Since the Twilight Imperium party was on Saturday at my place, my wife took the boys off to the Inlaws for the weekend and didn't get back until Sunday evening. That gave me plenty of time to play Eve after cleanup and I did not waste any of it.
I originally decided to play defense for the Minmatar militia as I felt it would allow me to participate without being in the nasty part of the warzone. I wanted some action, but not excessive amounts as my play time is limited right now.
Well I spent and hour and a half trying to find an Amarr complex to recatprure in three different systems and ended up with nothing for my efforts. I used my fast scanning Covert Ops Buzzard with faction scan probe launcher and fancy expensive implant, and while I found stuff it was never the complex I was looking for. I really expected it to be easier to be quite honest and I'm disappointed I wasted so much time on it. To be fair, part of the problem is the fact that the Amarr militia is outnumbered and outgunned so lacks any ability to put a lot of systems into the 'contested' state that remain that way for long as the hordes of Minmatar Militia pilots scour systems looking for action.
Frustrated, I decided to try a new tact. I went to a nearby Tribal Liberation Force station (i.e. militia station) and asked for a mission. Factional Warfare missions are very different than regular missions in that they send you deep into enemy territory to accomplish. Sure enough, my destination was 16 jumps away through the front lines on a Sunday afternoon. I buckled up in my trusty cheap Vexor and hit the road.
I didn't run into any problems along the way. One wartarget and I exchanged dirty looks but neither of us had a chance to engage. A few systems had lots of reds in them but none camping the gates as there was a lot of Minmatar fleets scooting around. Finally I arrived in the destination system and warped to the mission. Doh! The acceleration gate only accepts Tech I frigates and destroyers and I'm flying a cruiser.
The market in the Bleak Lands is not great so I decide to have Derranna run a rifter I have in Gulfonodi down to me. Its equipped for speed and PvP but I figure it might work in the mission. I have to go into Amarr high sec to get it and the NPC navy shoots at me but no serious damage is received. I warped back into low sec in the Rifter frigate and tried the mission again.
]No go. While moving fast with the Microwarp drive I can avoid damage but can't deal it in return, and as soon as I slow down I'm monkey meat. Lots of NPC frigates all firing at me make it difficult to avoid the incoming damage. I need something with range and good frigate destroying firepower, and a decent tank would help too.
I scoured the market and picked up a Cormorant Destroyer, a ship I have not flown since December 2006. Wow. I equipped it with 4 x 125mm II railguns and 3 x 75mm Gatling II railguns, stocked with Tech II Spike Ammo. With my skills that gave optimals of 42km and 37km respectively, very nice. With an afterburner and 3 small shield extenders in the mid slots and a Magnetic Field Stabilizer in the low slot, I felt ready for frigate combat.
I warped into the mission and popped the NPC frigs in short order, the Destroyer class living up to its name nicely. With the mission finished, I got brave and decided to capture an Amarr minor complex (also only allowing Tech I frigates and destroyers inside) in the same system and proceeded to do so with much difficulty. The whole time not another soul came into the dead-end system I was in.
I parked the Cormorant in station and hopped in the faster Rifter for the journey back to the mission agent. A while later I had turned in the mission and decided that was the way to go as I had more success and action in that afternoon in the Bleak Lands region than in hours of trying to fight defensively back in Metropolis region.
So the new plan is to make a base in the Bleak Lands with a selection of ships for various tasks and get missions assigned to me from an agent as close to the border as possible. I can use a fast Raptor Interceptor to fly from the agent to my ships for the mission and back, and while in the area I can scout for complexes to try and capture as well. It will be more dangerous as war targets will infest the areas, but it will be easier than banging my head against the wall trying to find any action at all.