Having just had the last of the adrenaline leave my shaky hands it's time I put into words just how Affirmative and Redemption Road's Monthly 'NewBro' Public Roam 'Garfield IV' went that set out from Berta at 2000hrs on Sunday, December 13. We should have called this the "Dead Comms Fleet" as it was a little quiet on the comms side of things but, going on my own feelings, I was trying hard to take in everything being said and try not to embarrass myself (too) much.
Now, don't judge me, but in the video you'll see I hadn't updated my overview in a long time (in fact I think I'd left my brain in bed for this roam) so there's a lot of clicking about sometimes in a bit of panic! The entire roam lasted 3h 33m but all in, from first to last dock in Berta, a not too shabby 4 hours 45 minutes! Trying to get that into a coherent video was tricky but I hope I've done it justice with this 1h 30m endeavour:
Greygal was our FC and, as she posted in Redemption Road's forum post, it was a slow start taking us all through fleet operations, broadcasting, broadcast history, etc along with going through some terminology that some mightn't have been familiar with: "Hold On Gate", "Hold Cloak" and "Scatter" to name a few. We had two, yes just two, official NewBros (characters that are one day and up to three months old) in our fleet of 40! Fully fitted Tech 1 (T1) Gallente frigates were the order of the day and were handed out completely free of charge. The 'Garfield' doctrine used by Redemption Road compromised of the Incursus used for grabbing and holding down targets (tackling) and damage dealing (DPS), the Maulus, used for Electronic Warfare (EWAR) against other ships in reducing their range or time to lock onto us and the Navitas used to remotely repair the armour of other ships in the fleet both during and after a fight.
I opted to fly a Navitas and swapped out some modules to give it a bit of extra humph in fleet: 3 x Small Remote Armor Repairer II, 1 x 1MN Afterburner and upgraded the one Hobgoblin I to a Hobgoblin II to add to the Incursus' DPS:
[Navitas, Garfield on Roids]
Damage Control II
Energized Adaptive Nano Membrane II
400mm Rolled Tungsten Compact Plates
Cap Recharger II
Cap Recharger II
1MN Afterburner II
Small Remote Armor Repairer II
Small Remote Armor Repairer II
Small Remote Armor Repairer II
Small Anti-Explosive Pump I
Small Remote Repair Augmentor I
Small Ancillary Current Router I
Hobgoblin II x1
And so off we went with Redemption Road's scouts\skirmishes out in front of the fleet looking for things to grab and shoot. We entered Sendaya in the Derelik Region (0.3 Low Security System) and a very eagle eyed fleet member spotted an Operation Frostline site. These Player-versus-Environment (PvE) sites were added as part of EVE Online's 'Operation Frostline' release on December 8 and require you to kill the Non-Player Controlled (NPC) Serpentis ships inside to get goodies. As we all love goodies Greygal took us in to have a go at Serpentis with any goodies going to our genuine newbros in the fleet. While running the site we received intel that there were four Panther Black Ops (BlOps) Battleships jumping into Sendaya. BlOps fleets are able to jump Covert Ops ships and themselves to a Covert Cynosural (Cyno) Field. A Cyno is a beacon in space that can be activated by a player in a ship with the right amount of fuel and module fitted that allows any ship with a jump drive to jump to it as long as they are within a certain distance. BlOps ships have the ability to create a bridge from their ship to the cyno that allows other players ships to "bridge" through the BlOps Battleship to the beacon and then they can follow them through closing the bridge behind them.
After that bit of excitement we entered Null Sec and made progress through until we got a heads-up that a Smartbombing (also known as a 'Disco') Battleship fleet were laying in wait for us in 0SHT-A via one of our scouts. Just as this was unfolding Drak'shala called out a Skiff on overview and had him tackled in an Ice Belt in V7D-JD, Curse Region. Our first kill came swiftly (with much giggling from Greygal) along with logi love landing on Drak to pull him back from 2/3 armour damage. We even got the pod (this is what you end up in if your ship is destroyed but is officially called a Capsule) which was a bit of a bonus. First kill of the roam that went to one of our NewBros Atticus X and we were green on the killboards from that moment on with 716,798,856.13 ISK destroyed. What we didn't realise until the Kill Mail (KM) (the pilot who gets the last amount of damage\kill receives a Kill Mail listing the Ship, Fit, Cargo etc) was posted was that the Skiff pilot we'd just killed had a full set of Genolution Core Augmentations implants fitted! Whoops.
Jumping into 0SHT-A and we had Disco Battleships positioned up on our out-gate (the stargate we'd be using to get out of the system). Disco Battleships fit Smartbombs and sit directly in the path of of one in-gate into the system and an out-gate. Smartbombs do an Area-of-Effect (AoE) damage and don't discriminate against who they damage. A fleet of Disco Battlehips are highly effective as demonstrated by " target="_blank">Rooks and Kings in their "Pipebombing" strategy but also in High Sec where it's been used effectively by Santo Trafficante. Most often seen through December, Santos sits in a Smartbombing Maller around Niarja taking out people in low Hit Point (HP) ships and pods who jump gate-to-gate as happened to this chap and his pod. Offft. Didn't want those implants anyway.
Once we'd outmanoeuvred those guys and they warped off it was straight into the next target, a Cynabal, Sabre and Jackdaw spotted on our in-gate in the next system. We put up a war disruption bubble AKA "bubbled" to stop anyone landing on our out-gate which stops them jumping through to the next system in U-QVWD and jumped through just as our skirmisher tackled the Cynabal with the Sabre and Jackdaw warping off. We quickly jumped on him and made short order of getting him into his pod...and then his Medical Clone to the tune of 298,182,281.11 ISK.
A few more Frostline sites were run to load up our newbros with goodies and then it was a few more jumps down to 94FR-S with no traffic so a jump into the Wormhole system of Thera was called. Thera along with another 100 new Wormholes that were introduced in EVE Online's 'Rhea' release on December 9, 2014 (2,500 Wormholes were first introduced with the 'Apocrypha' release ion March 10, 2009. It's become essentially a stellar super-highway as it has permanent (commonly know as Static) links to every part of Known Space AKA K-Space eg High Sec, Low Sec and Null Sec. On a side-not,e back-in-the-day, there was a super-highway that passed through the Yulai system which was the precursor to the Trade Hub that we see in Jita 4-4 today. Jita only came into being with the dis-assembly of the Yulai Super-Highway.
We docked up in Thera to grab ammo and found ourselves in a situation: Some of the fleet members had docked at different stations and were camped in. FC called for a breakout and off we went to break-out our trapped members and hopefully get a fight. Fights weren't to be had as we scared them off in our T1 frigates and assorted special snowflakes!
Everyone broken out we exited Thera into PUWL-4 in the Branch Region looking for a fight. We landed on FCON's Territorial Claim Unit (TCU) to much "Wow" and "Awesome" from me. Essentially TCUs declare who owns a particular Solar System in Non-NPC Null Sec space. The TCU has the alliance's logo projected out from it on three sides and rotates while a klaxon sounds out like a lonely whale in the sea of space. It sounds a lot cooler than I've described it so if you get the chance swing by one or catch it in the video.
Failing to find anything to fight we hit the gate to W-4FA9 and caught a Cerberus on D-Scan and a Sabre on the other side of our out-gate. Bubble went up on our out-gate again and the Sabre jumped through. This one just happened to have his Twitch channel as his ship's name so always good to be on TV doing cool things like taking down a Sabre in a bubble. We were also streaming out via Rahne Chocolate but with a 5 minute delay, which just happened to be posted into a Null Intel Channel earlier. The Sabre pilot made us wait for the kill while weighing up his options and holding his cloak but in the end we got him...and his pod for 61,702,869.65 ISK in our favour. Quickly on the heels of the Sabre (once our weapons timer ran out (this stops you from using stargates or docking for a certain amount of time)) we landed on a Cerberus two systems over in 3F-JZF. In a blaze of glory that burnt up 866,400,112.45 ISK we high-fived and went on roaming but getting pwned by T1 frigates in one of your own alliance's systems has got to suck. Curiosity hit us when we looked at the KM for the pod as there was an odd implant: Inherent Implants 'Yeti' Ice Harvesting IH-1003. Interesting for a Cerberus pilot but everyone loves a bit of mining.
We held on the out-gate in 1IX-C0 waiting for a Keres to jump through and just as we'd given up and started jumping through to Y-1918 it jumped through to us. People still in 1IX-C0 called "Point!" (meaning that they'd got warp disruptors preventing him from warping) and we prepared to jump back through. The Keres jumped through into Y-1918 and we bubbled up the gate, excitement building. We wouldn't not be denied again! He waited out the gate-cloak timer and burnt back through to 1IX-C0. Denied twice, good going Keres pilot O7.
Our next run was to out-manoeuvre a 4 x Barghest, Rokh, Armageddon and Huginn fleet around a Small Mobile Warp Disruptor (SMWD) being supported by a Stork, one of the new T3 Command Destroyer's (CD) introduced in the latest 'Operation Frostline' release. They set up on our out-gate in CZDJ-1 to A4L-A2 so we warped to a fleet member who had burned up and behind the fleet on the SMWD to enable us to warp to the out-gate from the other side. The Stork decided to execute it's Micro Jump Field Generator getting within 47km of the fleet while we warped to the out-gate and jumped denying the fleet it's bunch of T1 frigate kills. The good kind of denied this time. Yeah!
As were we were warping through A4L-A2 our scouts reported a Minmatar Nidhoggur Capital Class Carrier on the gate one jump further along. Greygal was quick to jump on that it's a " target="_blank">trap but we swung by for a little look see. A Sabre did manage to get a bubble up on our in-gate and delayed a few of the fleet heading down to U-TJ7Y myself included. But, learning what we'd just been taught I burned out of the bubble and got underway. Like a newbro I reported on comms...with my mic muted!
Landing in U-TJ7Y we behold the beauty that is the Nidhoggur piloted by P1R4T3 P3ORO (I guess he just couldn't get the name he wanted!) just idling 12kms from the gate all on his lonesome. This was the second time I've seen Capital Class vessels in EVE Online (on Tranquility anyway) in my 12 years of playing. Needless to say I was as giddy as a child at Christmas at this sight. Unbeknownst to me all my Christmases were about to come at once!
An industrious member of our fleet checked out the killboards for the Barghest heavy fleet we'd encountered earlier and learned they were Rapid Heavy Missile fitted with at least one with Smartbomb. We continued jumping down through Null Sec till we hit Mz1E-P where a Barghest was spotted landing on the gate we'd just jumped through! Re-approach of the gate and set-up with bubble was quickly called and we got ready to pounce. We weren't sure if this was the Smartbomb fit and as our DPS ships were all very short range brawlers so caution was advised. Just before he dropped his gate-cloak another Barghest was called out hitting the in-gate to the system we were in. This was going to have to be fast...and it wasn't! The second Barghest jumped in joined by a Merlin, Sabre and Claw. Things were getting a little tense and then...
CYNO UP! The Barghest lit a Cynosural Field\Cyno (I think!) and in jumped the Nidhoggur that we'd seen earlier! Undeterred from our Barghest kill we kept on hitting him for all we were worth and getting him down to 1/6 shields. Just before losing his shields completely the Nidhoggur repped him back up. We were looking for a fight and by Bob we got one. We switched to the Sabre that was near us just as a Chimera Caldari Class Carrier piloted by French Zoolander cyno'd in! At this point the FC called a "Tactical Retreat" rather than whelp the fleet and we went on our way again. We left one of our own behind but just wow! All of that happened in 3.5 minutes... unbelievable.
Popping through the gate into 3T7-M8 found us confronted with an Onyx on-grid and a dire warning from our scout:
"3T7 should be considered extremely hostile, Onyx on gate, um, 40 or so in Local"
Nonplussed we got on the Onyx and began the grind through his shields. Giggles were had at how "effective" we were being. We tried to grab the Helios that jumped in and as we did a Barghest landed and jumped. That was enough for us and be banged out to E3UY-6 to land on a Frigate-Only wormhole J130222 (as it says on the tin: Only Frigate Class ships can jump into this kind of wormhole but other wormholes may lead into it as well that support bigger ships). Our scout jumped in and probed out a High Sec static to get us home. Except we just weren't quite ready to go home, at least not in our ships!
For our one last hurrah a Gallente Battleship Class Megathron piloted by waghes pig kindly sat on the wormhole entrance we were jumping through along with someone that had anchored a Mobile Large Warp Disruptor. I kind of feel that he didn't want to go home in his ship either so we feel obliged to do what we could for him. It took longer than I thought to burn through his shield and being armour tanked it was gonna take a little longer to get him into his pod. The footage shows the new visual effect of armour damage as we start to chew into his HP rather well in addition to the screenshot I managed to grab. Just as we were getting him into the lower 3rd of his armour we picked up two Guardians on the Directional Scanner. Guardians are the Amarrian Cruiser Class logistics ships and this wasn't good news for us but it sure was for the Megathron. ECM was switched to the Guardians in an attempt to stop them from repairing the Megathron but he caught reps and they dropped ECM drones on us. That was it for us and we called it a night.
We headed to the wormhole exit to High Sec. And that was the 'Garfield IV' fleet with Affirmatives and Redemption Road's very own Greygal.
We killed a miner, we blew up things, we saw Capitals, we saw a Stork MJFG, we got hot-dropped by Capitals, we saw Thera, we broke-out off Thera.
Greygal is an awesome and fun FC to fly with. I've been trying to get time to get on one of her roams for about 6 months. The set-up, cost and time that Redemption Road and Affirmative put into these roams is phenomenal. I can't recommend getting in on one of her and their roams. Giggles were certainly but no good fights (GF)...they were all awesome fights!
Screenshots can be found here that I managed to grab in amongst the mayhem.
Maximus Aerelius O7.
PS: Greygal, I still giggle listening to you on this video. Thanks for the great time in fleet. O7