Saturday, September 3, 2016

Fear the Battle Venture!

On Friday night, I logged in to comms not really sure what to expect. While RP runs a Friday drunk roam (don’t let the name fool you; most of us are stone-sober, and it’s really a code phrase for low-sec roaming), we haven’t done it the past couple weeks, so I wasn’t sure what was happening.

The first comment I heard was, “X up if you need a Venture.”

Oh, God… what was I getting myself into?

Had I stumbled into a mining fleet? How dare they usurp the low-sec roam time for a mining fleet! And why ventures? Was this a wormhole op in our C6? There were just too many possibilities. And, perhaps, it’s a credit to RP that my first reaction wasn’t to simply log off in frustration, but to ask for some context. We do a lot of different things – the aforementioned C6, alliance fleets in NC., low-sec roams, and some isk-generation efforts – so I really couldn’t assume.

“Um, what?” I asked.

Battle ventures,” Niceandblue replied. I was intrigued. Drunk roam is a time for being silly and losing ships, and a Venture certainly sounded like a terrible idea. So, shrugging my shoulders, I put a stop to my initial though to bring a Brutix Navy Issue instead, and hopped into a Battle Venture.

Allow me to set the scene for you. This ship did 141 dps. It had no real resists to speak of, and the only thing that recommended it was its +2 warp core strength, meaning it could simply warp out if things got hairy. Of course, that didn’t much matter, since it had only 1,000 ehp and would be dead pretty much instantly. Oh, but it had a medium ancillary shield booster, so you could watch your shield bump up a bit just before the second volley killed you. For kicks and giggles, I brought a Blue Pill with me to help with the shield boosting.

Yet, this ship was a piece of crap. A terrible choice.

Boy, did my opinion change quickly. This was the most fun I’ve had on a low-sec roam fleet in a long time. Perhaps it was our carefree attitude. Our ships were worth 6 million isk fully fitted. We could kill a T1 frigate and come out isk-positive. So, we didn’t much care if we died in it.

We found that just about everyone would engage us, and no one was frightened by a fleet of ventures. “Mining fleet!” they’d think. And then, we’d start shooting at them. Uh oh…

The fun started when we warped into two twenty-man cruiser fleets slugging it out on another gate on-grid with us. It was our out-gate, but we wisely decided to take another route. As we landed on our new out-gate, our scout say a pirate Claymore (flashy red) sitting on the gate.

“Don’t lock it yet.  Just approach it with your MWD on,” the order came, in an attempt to bump it off the gate. We didn’t want to lock it immediately, since the pilot was likely alt-tabbed to another ship while he boosted his fleetmates. So, we started to bump him off. Then, all at once, we locked and began to shoot him.

Fifteen battle ventures shooting a Claymore is a long business. His shield diminished ever-so-slowly, but it was going down, and he was about 10 km off the gate. One of members, Tattoos, called out, “He’s about to get his shield warning,” as his shields started to collapse, and we all began to overheat.

Let me tell you, a Venture with blasters actually has a remarkable overheating ability. I was overheating for at least twenty cycles without accruing too much heat damage. Don’t underestimate the value of resistance to overheating.

Sure enough, the Claymore began to move closer and closer to the gate. His shield notice had warned him and he was responding. He jumped through at 15% structure.

Let me repeat that for you. Our fleet of Ventures very nearly killed a Claymore.

Then, a few jumps away, one of our scouts caught a Hookbill at a FW plex. We overwhelmed and killed him. And not one Vexor Navy Issue, but two VNIs that came to rescue him. And the Vexor Navy Issue that came to rescue them. They just kept feeding.

“Surely, our VNIs can tank Ventures!” Apparently not! If all three would have landed at the same time, we might have been in trouble. But, they didn’t, so only a few of us died. Each VNI cost around 90 million; each Venture cost around 5 million, not including loot.

Nor was that it. In Kedama, we caught an Augoror Navy Issue and a Curse, both of whom thought they could kill us with ease. The ANI took 40,000 damage, yet he wasn’t able to take us down.

And, to top off the night, we killed a linked Auraus Porcaleus of Verge of Collapse in his Omen. He did get one of our Ventures, though.

We were shocked at how well this fleet was performing, with our attitudes rising from surprise at almost killing the Claymore to a sense of giddy omnipotence as we kept killing targets. That collective shift in attitude made it one of the most enjoyable fleets I've been on in years.

In the end, it was a linked Worm of Exodus who massacred us with Augmented Hobgoblins when we tried to chase after him in a FW plex. Cruisers of every flavor and color were dying left and right to the battle Venture blob, but a single Worm (sure, he was probably linked based on how fast he was traveling, but that’s cool) cut us apart.

What a time to be alive! What a game! Suffice to say, I think Battle Ventures are going to be a regular thing now!

Battle Ventures!

1 comment:

  1. Ah battle ventures, I remember we hotdropped fifty of them on someone to celebrate our alliances five year anniversary, then flew a bunch of blackbirds into tama and all lit cynos at the top belt.