December 8, 2015

Contract Recap: Taking The Initiative

Immediately after our last contract, Going East, ended in a bust, we packed up and moved all over again. You may notice, those of you who read Golden Crusade quite a bit, that being a mercenary involves a lot of moving. It's definitely a lot of what we do and certainly one of the benefits to longer contracts - not having to move again so soon after deploying.

Nonetheless, we packed up and moved to from Scalding Pass to Curse even before we had time to settle in. It wasn't a bad move for me since our logistics team handled the bulk of the ships and I just moved a few quick jumps in my Redeemer.

Once in place, we began working on the objective: remove The Initiative and Initiative Mercenaries Towers in Curse. We didn't expect a huge resistance since The Initiative live in Tenal and were currently involved in the police action in Cloud Ring. We began the contract officially on November 30. Just six days later we had completed the contract.

The contract result was more strategic in nature than anything. Our employer was apparently very pleased with the results that our actions precipitated. There's nothing better than making the guy with the money happy.

I was only involved in one really fun fight. We were in a fleet of HAM Cerberus and RLML Caracals - not ideal together, actually. The engagement ranges are not super conducive. We were attacking one of The Initiative's towers in stealth bombers when a member came in to restront it. Assuming he wanted the timer to come out in the ideal time for The Initiative, we calculated that if we reinforced now, it wouldn't put us in the best position to finish it off. So we decided to kite the shield, leaving it at 30%. We planned to come back every so often and hit it again and make sure it stayed low without reinforcing it, causing the timer to come out at a more favorable time for us.

The Initiative responded by bringing out a Naga fleet with Basilisks to repair the tower.  As I mentioned, we shipped into Cerberus and Caracals. The plan was to get right on top of them and brawl since we knew they had 425mm Railguns on their Nagas. There turned out to be an issue with that plan; there was a Gorgon Tempest fleet roaming around that was causing a lot of issues for us, as we could have potentially been sandwiched between the two fleets, likely dying a horrible death.

Eventually we were able to move quickly enough to avoid worrying about Gorgon and get a warp in on the Nagas right on their tower, landing inside their fleet with every ship about 15km from us. We bubbled them up quickly, before they could warp - even though they were aligned - and chewed through them.

The rest of my time was spent on towers which isn't typically the stuff dreams are made of. But hey, getting to sit on comms and hang out with some really cool people is a special type of fun that only we EVE players probably appreciate.

Now we're spending a few weeks on R&R, earning some ISK and spending a lot of time away from the computer, I'm sure. After the holidays are over, we'll immediately set off on our next contract which is already bought and paid for.

I'm preparing an update to The Current State of Mercenaries in EVE, and while it may not be all sunshine and roses across the board, I have to say that the grass is pretty damn green from this side.