Gank Gang

24Nov08

As Joc has already commented, yesterday we took a leaf from The Bastard’s book and formed up a “gank tank” fleet. The operation was my idea and for the first time since joining The Tuskers I stepped up to lead our forces into battle.

For those of you who aren’t familiar with the idea the philosophy of the gank tank is that the sheer amount of damage that you do is your tank. Combined with a liberal sprinkling of electronic warfare a maximum damage fleet can take down a target before it has even got a shot off. The rules we adopted that the only tank you were allowed to fit was a single Damage Control unit. The rest of your fitting has to be designed for gank. The two exceptions to this rule were a tackler and our scouts who flew interceptors and covert ops ships respectively.

In our usual, slightly disorderly way we formed up the fleet and headed out into space about half an hour behind schedule. We had a couple of guests in fleet and it took a while to get things sorted, e-war assigned, and all the other odds and sods that come with getting a fleet moving. We eventually moved out with a fleet comprising of a Crusader class interceptor, four Ruptures, three Thoraxes, a Vexor, an Arbitrator, and a Maller. Our combined damage was somewhere in the region of 4,000 DPS.

As we moved out our first haul of the day was an Iteron whose pilot abandoned ship when targeted by our fleet. The hauler was taken back to base where it was discovered that it was equipped with four Expanded Cargohold IIs. Not bad for barely a shot fired.

Our destination was the Bleak Lands and we began by moving through the well known systems of Jovainnon, Aeschee, and Onne. In Onne we waited while our scouts tried to pinpoint a Cerberus, Brutix, and Raven (all independent of each other) but we were unable to get a hit. While we idled on the gate Mynxee came into system in her Rifter. Despite some playful banter and a bit of light hearted scanning we were unable to find her. You’d think a local chat channel full of pirates “yarring” at each other and over a dozen outlaws in system would make the carebears cautious. Alas for one, that wasn’t the case. Fleet comms lit up and “Vexor on scan” was reported. Our tackler was sent to scout and the fleet aligned to the cluster that he’d been seen in. “Point!” echoed out and the fleet warped as one. Well, not quite as one, a couple of strays (myself included) warped to the wrong belt and missed out on what must have been a very short fireworks show for the Vexor pilot. First blood to the Tuskers!

Our timers ticked down and we began to move again but without the support of our tackler as he had urgent business to attend to in station. A few systems down our scouts reported an outlaw Velator on a gate. We warped into Lermireve and popped the hapless rookie ship. Next up our scouts reported a Deimos in a safe spot. Scan probes were launched and the fleet readied itself on the gate ready to jump to the target. The command “warp to me” was given and in a much more co-ordinated fashion we leapt upon our victim. He was ready for us though and warped away as soon as we dropped out of subspace. We vented our frustration upon a pod that was idling in deep space.

Timers ticked down again and rather than hunt down every target we saw I made the decision to speed the fleet up and try and find a nice juicy target worthy of our might. Our two scouts we sent to leap frog each other feeding intel from two systems at once and the fleet picked up pace. Rylack informed us that the juicy prey we were looking for may well be found in Sahatagos, a mining system that was reinforced by the Malicious Intentions PvP corporation. MALIN usually fly battleships, battlecruisers, and other high end ships. Perfect targets for us. Our scouts jumped into Oyonata and reported an Onyx and Astarte on the Sahatagos gate with further battleships in Sahatagos itself. The decision was made to engage and the fleet jumped into Oyonata. As soon as we were in system we warped into battle…

Our tackler landed and locked and pointed the Onyx. As the fleet landed we piled on the DPS while damps and tracking disruptors were applied to the Astarte. Under our combined firepower the Onyx’s impressive shields melted in seconds and our attention quickly turned to the Gallente command ship. Again, the damage output was ferocious and the Astarte’s armour repair systems didn’t have a hope of keeping up. It too exploded but not without taking down one of our Thoraxes in the process. We held the field! Loot was scooped and the fleet returned to station to patch up any wounds, deposit our winnings, and record kills and losses.

The Last Moments of an Astarte - Image by Ronan Jacques

The Last Moments of an Astarte - Image by Ronan Jacques

As the adrenaline began to subside our scouts piped up once more. A Raven had entered Oyonata and was holding on the gate. The was also a pair of Abaddons and an Armageddon holding on gate in Sahatagos, taking sentry fire. I asked the fleet if they were willing to risk this engagement and I was greeted with a rousing chorus of assent. We undocked and warped to the Raven. DPS and E-war was applied and the Raven’s shields began to buckle and fair under our onslaught. As the Raven’s shields passed the halfway mark an Abaddon jumped in. E-war was transferred to the Abaddon and we continued to pound the Raven’s defences. 25% shield… 20%… 15%… we were taking losses now. The second Abaddon, an Armageddon, and Absolution had all jumped in to get their revenge for our previous assault. 10% shields on the Raven. “Keep your fire on the Raven, its going down!” 5%… I was webbed, scrammed, and under fire. I had no tank and my Rupture exploded before I could get it out. The order to withdraw was given and we disengaged without managing to kill the Raven. Summaries of the battle can be seen here and here.

We regrouped in the Oyonata station again and check on the health of the fleet. We’d lost four Rupture, an Arbitator, and a Thorax in the engagement but half of the fleet had got out safely. Our scouts were still in the field and reported the gate clear and the wrecks unlooted. A party was despatched to loot the wreckage and bring it back to the station where it was spread between the available ships.

Our losses were too great to continue the fight so we decided to head home proud of what we’d achieved so far. Upon undocking we were greeted by a hostile Phobos but using an impromptu undock bookmark we were able to make it into space unharmed. We were less lucky jumping out of Oyonata. The fleet we’d fought previously had assembled on our exit gate and managed to catch Taco’s Vexor before he could get into warp. We lost some of our spoils but were able to get Taco’s pod away safely.

The journey home was otherwise uneventful. We came across a gate camp but it had broken up before the main body of our fleet reached it. Other than that we just had a sprint home from Vitreauze with Mynxee’s Hellcats on our heels but in no danger of catching us.

All told we managed to kill a Vexor, Astarte, and Onyx for the loss of eight cruisers. We did an estimated 236,000,000 ISK of damage to 45,000,000 or so losses. A good ratio. On top of that everyone had a great time and I learnt a lot about commanding fleets. It was fun and I want to do it again soon!

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7 Responses to “Gank Gang”

  1. Oh I LOVED reading about this! Great work, Tuskers! I enjoyed bantering with y’all in Local, as always. Very glad to see other pirate corps jumping on the small ship bandwagon when it comes to roaming. It’s sooo much fun. You know what’s gonna be real fun? When two such fleets of a dozen or more AF’s or gank cruisers meet up in space and have a go at each other. I *so* hope I happen to be there when that happens.

  2. I have to admit, it was too tempting to not try to catch Ronan’s Ruppy on the gate ^_^ Luv ya all, I’d give you hugs if it weren’t for the pointy edges ❤

  3. Great Job FCing Wensley! This was great fun, between ganking lonely pods in space, having a bit of fun with Mynxee in local, or finally seeing the awesome firepower of cruisers take down an Onyx and Astarte, two ships known for heavy tanks.

    I was also real happy with the numbers that attended the op…in fact most of sunday we had good numbers on-line. Looking forward to the next OP!

  4. 4 two50

    Was my first op that had nothing to do with mining and I really enjoyed it, thanks for FCing

  5. 5 jhez

    It was a Bestower fitted w. 4 t2 expanders and some medium shields. I know, since I don’t have the skills to fly an itty 😀

  6. 6 jhez

    … and I will have to say you forgot my valiant velator in that fleet composition…. I am sure it was a worthy opponent for the Arbitrator who killed it. Yay for overkill!!!

  7. Nice op… Gratz on the kill v death ratio.


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