EVE Online – roaming low sec with Salt Farmers

Every Monday and Wednesday at 19:00 EVE time we assemble a fleet that’s open to anyone who wants to give low sec PvP a try. While it’s bad for your security status, it’s really good if you want to score some kills and learn the specifics of low sec.

I always try to attend these fleets, because they’re pretty fun most of the time, and I have always liked small- to mid-scale PvP the most. Large fleet fights can be awesome, most of the time they’re anything but. And I’m definitely too much of a chicken for solo PvP.

Last Wednesday we used our Jackdaw doctrine, with Kirins and a Hyena for support. We always have a bunch of non-doctrine ships with us though, as we don’t exclude anyone based on what ships he or she can or can’t fly. There were 21 of us in total.

Fleet in warp

I flew my trusty Bifrost Command Destroyer again. Since CCP reworked the Fleet Boost mechanics it’s a really great system, and I love being able to give substantial bonuses to my fleetmates and to myself. Equally useful, if not even more so, is the Micro Jump Field Generator that only Command Destroyers can use. After a spool up time of 5 seconds (with perfect skills, which I have) myself and every ship in a 6 km radius around me are instantly jumped 100 km in the direction my ship is facing at the time. Exempt from this are only ships that are tethered to a citadel, warp scrambled or invulnerable after warping or a session change.

We use this mechanic all the time. Sometimes we split up an opposing fleet by jumping all our ships and only a couple of theirs away, making for some easy kills. Or we jump off people sitting at a station or gate, deeming themselves safe since they would just dock/jump as soon as we aggressed them. Not from 100 km off, you’re not!

MJD spooling up

Most of the time we use it to jump ourselves on top of folks sitting at a supposedly safe spot 100 km or more off a gate or the center of a combat site. When we have more than one Command Destroyer we can even stagger multiple jumps and move ourselves 200 or 300 km in less than ten seconds.

This time around the jump fields didn’t work out for us as well as we’re used to though. More and more people seem to become aware of these tactics and which ships can execute them, so they are more careful and alert.

We still got some nice kills, and two little fleet fights in a row toward the end of our roam.

We started off with Spike, our scout, spotting a Dominix near our home system Kehjari. We caught up and tackled him, he managed to escape by using his own Micro Jump Drive and quickly warping away after the jump though. We ran into him again in Kinakka, and got him this time. He decided to try and at least take one of us down with him, and he chose that someone to be me. I had barely taken the first points of damage from his drones when Lakisa already threw her reps at me, so I never was in real danger.

We then took our usual route through Black Rise and Placid. At first we only caught some small targets of opportunity here and there. In Oicx we engaged a couple destroyers from Federation Uprising outside of a combat site. While we were looting the wrecks another one of their pilots warped right into us in his Thorax for some reason. It didn’t end well for him.

We then crossed paths with our “special friend” Chichou from Caldari Militia leading a fleet of almost forty ships. They also had Jackdaws, Command Destroyers and Kirins, as well as a bunch of Hookbills and other small stuff. Obviously they liked their chances and wanted to engage us, but we kept evading them. One time they sat at zero on a gate while we watched them from a ping about 280 km off that gate.

Too many…

They tried to jump onto us with their Command Destroyers as described above, but we saw that coming and were already fully aligned to the NPC station in system. As soon as they finished their second jump we warped to safety and docked up for a bio break, hoping they’d get bored and continue on their travels.

After that we finally got our big(ish) fights of the night. We scanned down a small fleet of Confessors and other small stuff inside a medium combat site in Nennamalia. We warped there and activated the acceleration gate into the site itself right away.

We landed right on top of them. Although we had bigger numbers they decided to stay and fight. At least that’s what I assume they did, it didn’t look like they tried to run before we had tackle on them. But who knows, maybe they were just really slow.

We downed a Pontifex first, followed by four Confessors, while losing nothing in return. The rest of them bailed.

While looting the field a much larger gang appeared on our scans, and by watching local we already knew that it was Chichou’s fleet again. We stayed put and waited for them this time. Sure enough they all landed on grid shortly after, pretty much right on top of us.

The shootout began, and it became apparent that we wouldn’t be able to beat them rather quickly. We lost our Hyena and one Jackdaw early on while not killing anything, so Kelvin, our fleet commander, ordered us to retreat by warping off the field to a safespot. Two Kirins were tackled before they could warp though, Lakisa being one of them. It’s always a bad feeling to leave someone behind on the field, but there was nothing we could have done to save them.

I was much more fortunate. I not only made it out alive, I had also landed the final blow on one of the Confessors, earning my Bifrost it’s 12th killmark.

The small ones for one kill each, the bigger one for ten

The report for the battle as a whole in Nennamalia looks like this. It’s the first time I used this tool, so there may be people listed in the red or the green team that weren’t actually part of that respective fleet. Anyway, we’re team blue, and despite our losses we came out ISK positive.

Since we were low on logistics now we traveled back to Kehjari for ship replacements. We did one more round turn, killing one R.E.V.O.L.U.T.I.O.N. Vexor in the process (always nice taking out those guys). We also met the CalMil fleet once more. They managed to tackle one of our logis, but he got away by crashing the gate and hid for a while in the neighboring system. After they had left Spike scouted the way for him and we met up again to make our way home together. We called it a day almost two hours after taking off.

And so it goes in our part of low sec. Some nights we have many more fights and many more kills (more losses too every now and then, of course), but it was fun nonetheless.

If you’re interested in joining one of our fleets (and speak german) you can contact us via ingame chat channel Get Salty.

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