Vexor: Multi-tool of the Federation Navy

As a member of the Minmatar Militia, the sight of the quintessential drone carrier of the Gallente is a relatively rare sight for me. The 'Minmatar Rush' has meant that Matari vessels are used disproportionately both by on my side and by the Amarr (see the composition of most Fweddit fleets). The fact that for PvP, there is considered to be a relatively small range of effective ships that more often rely on a philosophy of face-rolling your enemy (Drakes, Hurricanes, Harbingers, Abaddons, Thrashers, Wolfs, Ruptures and to a lesser extent Stabber Fleet Issues) are all guilty of this particular quality. This isn't necessarily a bad thing, it's an uncomplicated play style and for fleet commanders its easier to coordinate fleets that have a singular method of fighting (and chances are you'll see a lot of fleets made this way for the upcoming Alliance Tournament X). For myself though, I felt the desire to try something new, if for no other reason than I'm getting bored of seeing the same ships in my hangar day after day and need some occasional changes to keep my play interesting. A secondary consideration has to been to find ships that are able to effectively counter the kitchen sinks that Fweddit are gaining a reputation for fielding. Most surprisingly, I've been hearing whining (actual whining) from within the militia for this at once most endearing and irritating quality of Fweddit, their signature "lack" of fleet organisation, and how this spoils good fights. The fact is that Fweddit's swarm tactics tend to ruin the more carefully arrayed forces of more experienced players. Like this. And this. This entire engagement. And also this because it just looks funny. It made sense that you need ships that are more durable and better able to sit through swarm engagements (which Matari ships, with their requirements for pulling range and kiting, are not really optimal.). As Fweddit's favourite ship seems to be the Thrasher, it makes sense you want a ship big enough to withstand little bits of projectile bouncing into it while still have to bring effective dps to bear on smaller ships. It seems then that the effective answer to this was go for drone carriers, which are known for being dangerous for smaller ships, and can adjust damage types with different drone swarms. They also give no fucks about range, as they are quite happy fighting at 0 or at 20km. With weaponry decentralised, it means that onboard you can concentrate on build a heavy tank (1600 plate or active tank) that can wipe thrasher ammo off its hull. Drones of course, do suffer from the weakness of being destructible, but if can field of fleet of even just 2 or 3 of these, you could easily take on 6 or 7 Thrashers and have obliterated them while only losing perhaps half the drone swarm of the cruisers, assuming the Vexor pilots are competent and have good drone skills.

 This is the basic idea anyway. Eve remains tricky like that as any counter always has a reply, and I'm sure that experts in the field could say what is precisely wrong with my theory. But hey, everything is worth trying once, and my killboard will tell the story of how well it actually works.

Signing off,



Reckless Brilliance

Captain's Log: Edna Ironsides
EDs Botheration (Myrmidon-Class Battlecruiser)
High Orbit over Siseide III


Reckless Brilliance.

The last few weeks have seen a change in tone of my life with the Minmatar Militia. Valkyr Industries, Almost Epic's mother corporation, made a unilateral secession from the Late Night Alliance, and has now subsequently moved on to other parts of space, with what remains of Almost Epic. I for one, have had my fill of training newbies and administrating a bastard corporation. So I resigned my directorship and began looking for a new home. Now, despite the allure of certain corporations in the militia, I decided, after much contemplation to make a go of it on my own, for various reasons in-game and in real life. So, with Karigan Vespire, another ex-Almost Epic pilot, we formed Reckless Brilliance. Our ethos is simple. We kill Amarr, we pay no taxes, we have fun. I don't anticipate this to be particularly long lived, but for now, it's good to be without the accountability of a corp of noobs and responsibility of answering to anyone but myself, especially as Late Night Alliance continues to destabilise the the militia generally with its worsening reputation throughout the war zone, the dispensation of its professional image, and its penchant for making enemies of people on both sides of the war. For myself, I'll be happy for now making my own little way around here.

Signing off,



The Art of Deception for Eve Online

I, like so many others, loved Samurai Jack, and was most sad when it was cut short. He was everything I idealise as a warrior and as an aspiring master of PvP in Eve Online: cunning, quick, alert, and honourable. My detractors would probably like to point out that I never hesitated to fire guns at the slightest provocation, regardless of the status of the person I have locked. I would like to point out in return that to fight honourably doesn't mean you will always fight fair. While the clashes between Jack and Aku were sometimes straight-up brawls, the vast majority were won or lost because of some element of deception one or the other was able to use to their advantage. This brings us my lesson for today, one that I think that all pvpers of Eve should know, but seem to often forget:

All Warfare is Based on Deception.

It is often said around FW space that the only way you are likely to get a fight is if you're outnumbered at least 5 to 1, or will be overwhelmed, at least on paper, by enemy firepower. This certainly appears to bear out in large part, as oversized gangs, both fw or otherwise, tend to have a hard time finding fights around here, in part because large ships are relatively rare (most of faction warfare tends to occur in ships smaller than battlecruisers and anything larger usually only comes out for special activities, like hub and POS bashes, or Pandemic Legion coming to visit), and resultedly, having an fc comfortable organising such a fleet usually comes down to a few select individuals who may or may not be online. So then, as fitting of true combat, engaging in a fight comes down to looking like an easy target, but possessing some kind of ace up your sleeve.

This particular Taranis pilot makes an excellent example of this. At face value, even a minimally experienced Eve pilot will, quite rightly, assess the matchup as "ZOMG, it's a bleeding Rifter vs. a Taranis, Ed's gonna get pwned in the face, badly." Indeed, a combat interceptor should have no trouble obliterating a T1 frigate on its own. However, as the killmail shows, this doesn't tell the whole story. I had two aces up my sleeve on this occasion. Firstly, I was actively armour tanked, which in itself could not win me such a battle, but it does significantly increase my survivability against a pilot that had evidently thought me a quick kill. However, the second ace was, as may be guessed by the heavy NPC firepower, that I was sitting on the button in a Major Outpost, and this pilot was the third such to have made a go at me, so the spawn cycle inside the plex was already active. What it amounted to was a staggering amount of dps and neuting power was brought to bear on him as he leeroyed straight at me from the complex entrance. To his own credit, he had made it most of the way through my armour when the NPC's ate his capacitor and then masticated what little armour and shielding he had. But none of that was evident when he would have picked me up on scan and decided to have a go. All he saw was a lonely noob sitting in a plex running down a timer to save Tzvi from the Amarrian menace.

A message to those people new to faction warfare, or any kind of PvP in Eve really: never imagine that simply because you're low-level and lack the experience and firepower to defeat enemies in pitched engagements (of which there are an overwhelming myriad on YouTube), you cannot defeat enemies who should by all accounts eat you for breakfast. Battles in Eve are often not won by the side that brings the biggest or most number of ships, but by the side that knows how to shape the battlefield to their advantage, be it in plexes, on gates, outside stations or in asteroid belts, and most importantly, the side that knows how best to deceive the other. If Eve PvP was really only about charging in armed to the teeth, we'd probably get bored of it very quickly.

Signing off,