Tuesday, 27 September 2011
Getting Ganked with RvB
These follow a very similar format to the ganknights of scrapheap challenge (and later failheap challenge) fame, and are a lot of fun (Mangala's blog explains the genesis of the idea and its relation to the srapheap events). The roams are open to anyone, and typically involve a few hours of roaming through nullsec in a themed fleet (rifter hulls, thorax hulls, and alpha thrashers have all been done so far) and killing as much as possible before everyone dies in a fire. Comms are relaxed, drinking is encouraged, and satisfation is guaranteed.
On Saturday I joined RvB for the fourth such roam, and the second to be run using rifter hulls. Knowing that most of the fleet would probably be close range gank fits, I set myself up an arty rifter with dual tracking disruptors and headed down to Autaris, their usual form-up point. Over 100 pilots showed up for the fun, as the fleet moved out through Vale of the Silent and intro Tribute. Our first blood was a smartbombing abaddon against which a certain blogger promptly got himself killed and podded along with a small portion of our fleet. Shortly afterwards, we ran into a Hydra Reloaded gang of fleet scythes and scimitars (fleet scythes, for those who don't know, are more like mini typhoons than their mining-focused t1 counterparts). This has to have been one of the most epic fights I've participated in for a long time, and over the course of about 20 minutes our 90 rifters gradually sacrificed themselves to take down the hydra fleet scythes, despite the heroic reps of their two scimitars who sensibly remained on the gate. You can see the kills here (note that it includes the abaddon kill, and the 'unknown' pilots on our side are those who got on that mail but weren't around for the main fight). The link doesn't show losses, but I'd estimate a good two thirds of our fleet was destroyed while about three or four fleet scythes managed to disengage along with their two scimitars and the obligatory cloaky boosting t3s. GFs were shared, while those of us who were still alive (including of course yours truly) headed back to Autaris for round two.
I joined our second outing a little late due to a drop in my internet connection, and caught up with the fleet just as they finished ganking part of a LAWN gang in M-O which had failed to dismantle their gatecamp in time. In the few seconds after I entered system, two drakes inexplicably warped themselves into their own drag bubbles, while a badger mk II casually jumped in unscouted and proceeded to learn the error of his ways in a manner that only an untanked hauler sitting in the middle of 80 bloodthirsty rifter pilots can. We proceeded into Pure Blind and briefly shot at some station services in KU5 until the residents dropped a large battlecruiser gang on us. As they gave chase, we decided it was time to die in an honourable fire! Our fleet doubled back and started hurling projectile ammo (and the occasional pulse laser beam - don't ask) towards some of their recon ships, attempting to take them down before the bulk of their gang caught up. Unfortunately it was not to be, with both an arazu and a falcon being pulled back from the brink by their gang's logistics pilots.
Somehow my lucky rifter once more survived the carnage, and I offered to scout the small band of survivors back to empire on my way home. Having done so without incident, my lucky rifter proved to be not so lucky after all as I jumped straight into the very same fleet which had destroyed us earlier. Bubbles were up, and I'd seen a sabre cross-jump me as I entered system so there was no going back - the ship had served me well, but I had one last favour to ask of it. I picked a celestial in the direction of the closest bubble edge, turned up the heat to full and punched the microwarp. Shields and armour melted in seconds, as the bubble wall screamed closer - 5km, 2km, a blue flash followed by a shower of duct tape and wingy bits as my capsule burst free from the bubbles and into warp. Success.
While this is the first gankednight I've managed to attend (I joined up with the first one once they were already in nullsec, only to die immediately upon doing so) I'm told this kind of experience is fairly par for the course. They take place every few weeks in late Euro/early US time (the next one will apparently be on October 22nd), and I absolutely recommend them to anyone looking for a bit of laid back PVP on the weekend. Incidentally I also recommend it to anyone looking to gank the hell out of a 100 man frigate gang (you know you want to)! I've tried to convince Mangala to set up a mailing list for them, but since he hasn't done so you can simply join the channel 'RVB Ganked' in game, check the RvB website or just follow him on twitter to find out when they're on.
See you there!
The Altruist is the Eve Online blog of Azual Skoll, PVP instructor and small gang PVPer.
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