Tuesday, November 28, 2006

How mighty those winds of change...

As I write this, I must admit to sipping on the sweetest of Matari Rum. While pod pilots do get to experience the whole of the Eve cluster…my Amarrian friends would not like to hear how good a slave culture can make a sugar based liquor. Maybe that is the inspiration for this communiqué…The only constant in the galaxy is change.

While good Rum and Amarrian Folk music pour over my quarters…we live in a dramatic time of change for all pod pilots in the cluster. DED and CONCORD have forced all empires to more stringent ship specifications that should boost the defensive capabilities on most ships upward of 50%. On capital class ships…try 400%. This has a profound impact upon small combat corporations like the OEC…which will only become fully known once we begin operations again. We have chosen to comply with the directives, and have hired a small firm named Prime-Armor Inc, to carry out the modifications on our fleet ships. We should be complete in 24 hours time. It is amazing how nano-production methods have advanced taking a job that was once a 3 year process and made it into 3 months. The OEC was simply rotating ships that survived combat back into the dry docks for their armor upgrades.

But the changes do not stop there. Interbus has released its proprietary contract system for all pod pilot corporations to use. DED has declassified its system scanning technology, which allows CONCORD to react so quickly in secure sectors. The Amarr Empire has de-criminalized combat booster drugs for pod pilots (other empires will follow suit), and a breakthrough in combat logistical retrieval (slang of ‘salvaging’ comes to mind). It really is too much to write about…but the consequences should become fully known soon.

The OEC has been reviewing a lot of its combat tactical doctrine in light of the coming changes. Overall, we should be in fine shape…but we will need to make a few big changes on how we operate in fleets and the roles each member is assigned. Capital ships will become almost invulnerable to us. But we will continue to fight for our niche in Eve. Preparations for our move home have begun…but that will be a long journey both militarily and physically.

ASCN contract is nearing completion. I must say they drop a lot of good cargo from their Empire fleet assets. A Raven was stocked full of BPC and BPO of assorted Tech 1 ships and modules, and we finally hit an industrial carrying POS fuel outbound to ASCN space. Finishing strong would not even be a phrase I could use…finishing like true professionals is.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Contract Update

We march to the final weeks operations with measured success…something I am proud of not only for the OEC, but for the individuals leading the charge in destroying ASCN shipping. Last week, we located an ASCN transport hauling two ships within its cavernous shipping bay: A Hulk which exploded during the attack and a Phantasm…which survived. Since we did not have a pilot on hand to fly the Sansha ship…we elected to destroy it as well so it would be unrecoverable. Add to that the number of Local Hull cargo expanders fitted, it was in excess of 800m Isk loss to our target. Within the next 48 hours, we destroyed an ASCN Damnation that seemed to be fitted by a rookie straight out of the Academy. Not sure what standards ASCN high command are using to let in member corporations, but it is clear they are lacking combat skills in Empire space (although I am sure they run competent fleets down in ASCN space). Domain region in Empire space has been totally ravaged by our combat patrols. It is a wonder we still see any targets...I can only surmise they lack effective communication between their member corporations in their alliance.

Still, all work and no rest will get to anyone. I believe the guys need a break after this contract. We plan on retaining our Beke policing duty contract…as well as finishing our first strategic plan initiative goal. Once that is completed it is a time for us to return home…and I do not mean where our current HQ is located.

The Phoenix constellation is calling us…rife with war, blood, and of course untold riches...it is a place where we have longed to return. We were born in the ashes of the phoenix’s fire…and we shall return to that nest by year’s end.

Monday, November 13, 2006

The Coming Fall

“As the summer sets…so does life of this land. Replaced with the dark and mysterious death…that at times acts out a life of its own.” - Olarg Vyxian, 4th Circuit Sage

True to form, the OEC has ‘bounced back’ in the second phase of our contract. Although we are never kill heavy due to our lower numbers and small gang tactics, we are building quite an impressive ratio. I am proud of the guys for their hard work, and hope our fortune continues. Additionally, I have extended the contract as a bonus to our client. While this was not in the original contract, I felt it necessary due to the poor performance of the first half. Overall, my guys are getting more and more experience…which is something that isk cannot buy.

Our highest quality kill thus far was an ASCN transport ship with its pilot sporting 100+ million isk of implants jacked into his clone. Needless to say, he was quite unhappy about the situation in Empire space. I wonder if our clients have issued other mercenary contracts against them for the Empire trade lanes.

In other news, I have finally finished my learning regimen of logistics training, and have pre-ordered a Damnation class heavy command ship. This was step one in making our gang warfare more effective, especially with the upcoming fleet control changes that CONCORD is issuing soon. The new fleet doctrine will be vastly different than the current mass gang system, and I think everyone here is looking forward to it. But gang effects only are applied from the FC of the fleet (or relative of the FC in the command structure). The Damnation is in preparations for that.

And the quote above? It is from the “Prophecies of Barmai”…in a passage where they describe a coming fall and winter campaign with the old empire of Rytia. The Amarr elite warriors at the time were labeled “Blackguards” for their black armor meant to intimidate their foes. As the Damnation leaves drydock…I believe I will christen it the OEC Blackguard as a tribute. May it live long...or die in a furious fire.