January 10, 2016

Mercenary Coalition: Contract Start

Today officially marks the beginning of Mercenary Coalition's next contract. This is our first one of the new year after a nice holiday. This marks the ninth contract Mercenary Coalition has had since Noir. joined the alliance in August. For those of you counting, that's averages out to almost two contracts a month. In short, that's pretty good.

Of course, I can't talk about the current contract because of security (but I'll do a recap once it's all said and done, obviously!), but I also can't talk about it because I don't know too much! There was an alliance meeting on Teamspeak last week that explained the contract in some detail to attendees, but the meeting was not recorded and I was not able to attend. In addition, while there are usually very motivational contract announcements, there wasn't one this time . Intentionally, apparently.

I have to admit, I'm a little bummed by the lack of contract announcement. Maybe it's silly, and perhaps I'm just being cantankerous but I truly enjoy reading a well-written hype post that lets you know what you're going to be doing. It's also an incredibly useful tool for those of us who, like me, missed the one-time explanation meetnig and provides a great reference tool when you're a couple weeks in.

Nevertheless, I hvae the basic gist of this contract, which is essentially a Harrassment contract. Our employer is paying us to keep the residents constantly on their toes, kill what we can, and deny them any kills if at all possible. What this means in practice is that we'll be doing a lot of skirmishing, rarely - if ever - hard engaging, and spending a lot of time cloaked. Personally, I love this kind of contract.

Yesterday, technically the day before the contract started, I logged in and saw 23 people in Teamspeak and nothing happening, so I started getting a blomber fleet together to either BLOPs or hit some towers. There were a couple of towers that had already been scouted that looked juicy, so we began preparing for hitting a Gallente Small.

As we were getting ready to depart, I realized I had a business call in about 30 minutes, so I handed the fleet to Zeeba, one of our regular FCs. We bridged into the system and began hitting the tower. Zeeba had us align to the sun (remember guys, always align in bombers!). We hit the tower for a while, bringing it to ~75 shield, before a small Circle of Two response fleet began forming. They came to us on the tower and we cloaked and warped off.

Unfortunately, when you ask people to align towards the sun they often warp there, too. To make it worse, some pilots warped before cloaking, letting the Co2 fleet follow. Somehow they apparently managed to decloak a couple of guys and nab four kills and a pod.

Around this time my business call had not shown up, so Zeeba handed the fleet back over to me. We hung around in system cloaked up for a while until the Co2 fleet left system. We began hitting the tower again, this time everyone aligning out to their own celestials.

What followed was a series of dances with one another: MC hitting a tower, Co2 responding with a Crow, Ares, Vengeance, and Confessor, MC cloaking up and warping off, only to repeat.

The Confessor was a surprise, locking and hitting from 100km. With no point, we were able to avoid it easily enough. At one point, we had been warping around a bit and I had just moved the fleet back to a POS to begin the dance. Just a bit after we had landed, a Vengeance came as well. We were all still cloaked about 40km away from him, so he wasn't aware of our presence. Surprisingly, he was about 10km outside of the shields and was at a full stop. So, I ordered the fleet to approach cloaked and get point. I kind of screwed the pooch, decloaking myself before our points were in range, but it ended up not mattering. I ordered the fleet to decloak and light him up, and due to having no tank, the Vengeance went down before he could even align out. We nabbed his pod, too.

It had already become pretty clear that we weren't going to be able to take the tower down, so with that kill I decided to go ahead and get out while we were ahead. Well, at least before we got more behind.

Overall, nothing special. It's always fun to fly, and even more fun to FC - even a small, easy fleet like this. Next time, we'll bring a Rapier and Falcon and I'll be comfortable taking on their response fleet and hopefully finish the tower.