Tuesday, October 24, 2006

ASCN Thoughts

It has been a full week now at war with ASCN…and the results are mixed at best. While we have more numbers of kills…we have lost some quality ships in the process running into huge fleets of ASCN. Obviously, when a small skirmish patrol of 3 ships runs into 12…bad things are bound to happen. We will continue to prosecute our contract however, and the target knows that their transports are not safe in the major trade-lanes.

War in Eve is always evolving…and from my perspective, is moving towards larger and larger fleet operations. While the OEC has always specialized in small roaming kill fleets…those days maybe numbered. Group tactics have focused increasingly on numbers rather than tactics…much like the Asarihi did against Amarr Prime back during the bloodwars of 5 generations ago. Amarr adopted those tactics all the way up to the disaster against the Jove Empire…now they are rethinking strategy.

CONCORD has alerted the Empires to this…and all Empires are now refitting their fleets with higher grade armor and shields. This increase should be well over 50% in defensive capability…which adds to the frustration of small skirmish fleet tactics. Still…war, as in life, always forces you to adapt to your environment. The OEC will hopefully be no different.

We are still not fully rolling in my eyes…we have a lot of room for improvement. At this point, I honestly am at a loss in how to improve our situational awareness. Some of the new guys will just have to learn as they are baptized by enemy fire as I cannot restate common tactical advice for the 20th time.

If current operational results last for the duration of this contract…our client will be receiving a payback of 25% to 50% of the contract cost. How many ‘Merc’ corporations would do that?

Monday, October 16, 2006

Blood in the Water

“The business of war is often unpredictable…but the risk vs. reward is pretty constant.” – Anonymous Caldari weapons trader.

Unpredictable events set in motion are probably the specialty of any true Mercenary organization, but the ability to leverage political gain out of such events is the real value to clients. Large scale conflict is like blood in the water…many corporations are drawn to the scent of destruction and mayhem…something I think most large alliances are finding out this year.

Acendancy Frontier (ASCN) completed its first Titan class warship a few weeks ago…in fact, probably the first privately held Titan outside the major governmental navies of Eve. A huge accomplishment sure…but the lack of foresight in having one of the most aggressive alliances next door, the Band of Brothers (BoB) and what their response would be is a colossal failure. Less than 72 hours later the two alliances were in full war footing…and those of us in Empire space started reading of massive battles on a scale not seen since the Minmatar uprising.

Little did I know, the OEC would be pulled into the conflict…an event both fortunate and foreboding.

A new client buzzed me in regards to the situation in the south. He wanted to leverage this, which happens to be our specialty…but he was also looking for quality without the huge “MC” price tag. Since we are a small outfit, our prices are small. Looks like the sharks are in the water now...and I confirmed with a few other small mercenary commanders that they too are getting offers for one side or the other. After negotiations…the OEC stands to gain a lot from a contract in this war, but I would be dishonest to say it will be a walk in the park. We will fight hard and with honor.

And so the dice are sometimes thrown at fate’s grinning bust…Good luck to the Hunters…and Glory to the Bold.

The OEC war declares ASCN in contractual agreement with one unnamed client.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Of ISK and Experience

When I started this Blog, I named it “Fighting Broke”. The reason I did was that it always seemed like I was fighting against pirates and contract targets while my wallet icon was always blinking away signifying my last expensive purchase. While the experience and skill I have gained can never truly be measured by Isk…pure credits are often a benchmark of success in many Mercenary corporations. Still…to this day, I am fighting broke. Whether or not this makes me a bad mercenary commander is for others to decide when writing history…but I personally do not believe so.

I have been involved in the trade lanes of Eve for well over 5 years now…in fact one of the first commissioned pod pilots. Our class of pod captain charters was labeled “Alpha Test” for some odd reason…and we could only warp back and forth between two Caldari stations. While I have taken my share of time off from commanding duties, I generally have been very active in my corporation and the world of Eve. But, even to this day, there are things I learn…proving that no one can master this epic adventure that lay before us.

I also make ghastly mistakes…hence again, the title of this blog.

My last mistake was quite a large one. While patrolling in Beke for belt pod pirates (there were two in sector), I happened upon a fairly in-experienced pirate that had already shot some prey in the area. While concord flagged his ship as “weapons free” for 15 minutes, I proceeded to hunt him…finally locking him down just outside of webifier range in asteroid belt Beke II – 1. His Thorax class cruiser was no match for my Sacrilege HAC, and I soon stripped him of shields and armor. However, he did use his superior speed to finally break my warp disruptor system past 20km.

He warped away to the Amarr Logistics compound station…and I smirked, knowing he would instantly be destroyed by the sentries for his criminal flag. My smirk quickly faded as I realized I was not warping to said station…but the moon it orbited.

One rookie mistake….and one veteran mistake. Rookies make inexpensive mistakes…while veterans loose vast chunks of Isk for theirs. Needless to say, my incredible tank setup of my Sacrilege only lasted 3 salvos from the POS deployed on the moon. One slip of a control mistake…and you are left with a shiny pod.

The pirate had no idea what happened….I gritted my teeth and politely explained to him why he had died to the sentries as I opened the market and proceeded to acquire a new Sacrilege. Maybe it is my destiny to always fight broke…but I look forward to the day I can rename this Blog to “Fighting Strapped with Credits”.

Beke remains fairly clear of pirate activity...and the corp is making a pretty penny in the process (say that 3 times fast). In the end, the mission is paramount...not the losses or kills.