The Great Venture Bash

Corp Ops for a mining/industrial Corporation are rarely adrenaline-pumping things. Rarely doesn’t mean never…

DPSLG is mining a lot of ice lately in order to supply our various facilities with fuel blocks. This is not fun outside of the social aspect, and I find myself yearning for more fun other than mining or running L4s to grind standing.

So, during one of these mining ops there is frequent discussion about the recently wrapped up Alliance Tournament. Watching the battles on YouTube is a way to kill time while mining, as well as a way to admire tactics and the amazing metagame behind the tournament. It’s also a grand spectacle where you can watch billions of ISK get vaporized too, which is always fun.

So we joke that DPSLG should run its own tournament within the Corp just for shits and giggles. Its something fun and different to do and lets us blow off some steam by Awoxing each other in a controlled fashion.

I say that since we’re a mining Corp, we should do this in mining ships. Kurt agrees, and the first DPSLG Venture Bash is formed.

Here’s the rules:

  • Ship used must be a ORE Venture mining frigate
  • No equipment over Meta 2 (we want to keep this cheap and fun)
  • No faction ammo, no boosters, common sense stuff
  • Matches will be 2v2 fought in a round robin fashion. Teams to be decided depending on who shows up

Suddenly, I’m energized.

I love the Venture. Always have…hell, this blog is named Rising Star after my first Venture frigate that I got on my first day of playing EVE. I don’t ever recall fitting one for combat though…but I’m energized because I now get to pit my wits against my corpmates. There is a promise of prizes too. Yay loot!

First order of business, fitting. Ventures are actually really fun to fit; their one glaring weakness is only a single low slot but they have a few mids, two turrets and a utility high. One thing of note too is that (compared to many frigates) they have a ton of powergrid. This is important for reasons I’ll note later.

I fire up EFT and realize that I’m actually taking this damn seriously. I’m not playing for fun, I want to win. So, the metagame begins and I start looking at my corpmates…at least those I know are going to show up on Saturday to fight.

Now, first thing I think about is that these guys (to my knowledge) don’t ever like to armor tank. In missions I see them flying a lot of Caldari boats, and we all know that Caldari loves their shield tanks. Plus, the Venture has three mids and only one low so it seems super likely to me that they’ll shield tank these Ventures. This gives me a couple of thoughts. If they shield tank the crap out of the ship, they’re not going to have much (if any) room for tackle or e-war in their mids. And if they do have tackle or e-war, they’re going to have weaker tanks.

So I decide that I want my mids freed up, primarily for ECM. Can’t target, can’t shoot, right? And a Venture only has two drones so a jammed Venture with two Hobgoblins can hurt me, but not tear me apart with a full flight of lights.

I also want longevity, so I can remain fighting while their (hopefully) weak tanks buckle under my assault. So, buffer Armor tank it is. Here’s where the nice, fat grid that the Venture has comes into play. For fun I see what the thickest armor plate I can slap onto the Venture is. Turns out that I can throw a 400mm plate on there and still have whats looks like enough grid for guns, a prop mod and everything else I want. I watch EFT gleefully as I add the 400mm plate and a Trimark Armor Pump, pushing my EHP in the 3,000 region. Given the fact we’ll be using T1 drones and Meta 2 guns, that seems like a nicely comfortable buffer to me.

Next I look at shoring up my resists. The Venture is essentially a Gallente boat (like all ORE ships) and it has no launchers (much to the chagrin of my Caldari loving corpmates). I decide to leave the huge Explosive Damage hole in my armor resists alone because I’m 99% sure it will never be a factor. They can’t mount missiles and the turrets are unbonused so technically they can mount ANY gun type without penalty, but since this is a Gallente boat I gamble that they’re going to fit it as such and mount blasters or rails. So I use the rest of the rig slots by shoring up my EM and Thermal resists. I’ll just have to hope that they don’t use Minmatar drones.

So that’s my low and rigs done. Next up, Highs and Mids. I fit an afterburner to compensate for my sad, sad speed and agility with the Trimark and the 400mm plate. I add a Gallente specific ECM and with my spare slot, a Gallente specific ECCM in case someone has the same idea as me.

Before everyone shut up and started strategizing by themselves there was some talk in Corp about using Neuts. This further reinforces my choice of using a buffer tank and makes my choice of guns easy – Autocannons. No cap required. Load with EMP to shred their shield tanks.  Load some different ammo in case their resists are sky high, maybe I can find a hole. Right now the ship is cap stable but for fun I add a Neut of my own to the utility high.

Drones? I get two drones. I run through a variety of fancy scenarios involving e-war drones and extra jamming power or damping power, then decide that I just want some extra raw thermal DPS. Hobgoblins it is.

I have 0.1 Powergrid left, as well as an enormous grin on my face. I’m convinced that this ship is a winner. I run a couple of tests making a shield tanked ship, again with a huge buffer (Medium Shield Extender) to see what my opponents could come up with, but I’m still convinced by my own fit.

I name her DPSLG: Bob Marley, because she be jammin’, mon.

Saturday eventually rolls around and throughout the week we’re talking smack and looking forward to the festivities. Turnout doesn’t look to be too great but we resolve to have fun regardless. On the day, there are six of us, so we split into teams of two and get ready for two matches per team, that way everyone gets to fight everyone.

I get paired with Solaris, one of the Corp veterans. We compare fits. Sol is active armor with a repper and the rest of his fit is designed for range, with rails and ECM drones. We don’t make any changes and feel that we’re a good pairing…I’ll brawl, he’ll engage at range. Since I’m gong to be in the thick of things, I’ll call primaries.

Kurt has set up the arena with a variety of jetcans marked with ranges for us to warp in to when given a signal. Sol and I wait as another match plays out and I feel the adrenaline pumping, constantly telling myself not to freeze during PvP like I always do.

Keep your traversal speed up, call your primary, keep your drones active, don’t freeze, use your ECCM constantly, keep trying to jam, keep your guns cycling, overheat as needed, do not freeze!

We’re aligned and ready to warp in to fight Teddy Bendherass and Marcus VanNosh, two other corp vets. Kurt gives the signal.

We warp in at 10km.

My ship screams out of warp to find Marcus and Teddy already on grid. I come to a stop practically on top of Teddy while Marcus prowls at range.

“Teddy is primary!” I yell, fingers flying. ECCM on. Afterburner on. Move! Target both enemies. Drones out. Cycle guns and command drones to attack Teddy.

Fire begins to erupt from all sides. I grin as I see Marcus using rails and Teddy using lasers. My EM and Thermal choices were perfect. Teddy’s guns are highly cap limited, so I throw my Neut on him for good measure.

We’re tearing into Teddy now and ripping his shields up. Abruptly, my guns stop as Marcus tags me with ECM and jams me up hard. My drones are still working on Teddy, but I throw the ECCM into overheat and after a few seconds, the jam breaks and doesn’t come back.

Teddy is already well through armor and by the time my guns have cycled again, his Venture is a fireball.

I check my status. No shield, and only the barest hint of damage to my armor. Hell Yeah!

Now for Marcus. I fumble for a moment in the overview, confused to still see Teddy displayed. I hover for a moment to target him, he’s not dead? Then I see…shit, CAPSULE. That could have been ugly. I don’t think I want to pod my corpmate during a friendly matchup. I draw my attention to Marcus.

Marcus is kiting us now and pounding me with rails. He moves off at incredible speed and I know he must have a Microwarpdrive…There’s no way I can catch him with my burners and my weight penalty, but I burn after him anyway, making me an easier target while trying to get into autocannon range.

He has to stay within 16km to target me and my buffer is huge, so my drones and Sol’s rails are steadily picking him apart. Marcus is doing a good job with his rails on my armor when I’m not jamming him, but its not enough. When I’m at about 50% Armor, Marcus is already done. My armor tank worked beautifully. Sol appears totally undamaged.

First Victory!

We rep up quickly and get ready for the next match. Sol and I are thrilled with the way things went, so we elect to continue our current tactics with no changes. We align, and prepare to engage Kurt Gaterau, our CEO, and Summerwolf.

The go signal is given, and again we warp in at 10km.

Dropping out of warp, Summer and Kurt are again already on grid. I wonder if Sol and I had a start point that was further away for our warp, but no matter. I call Summer as Primary and start activating my modules, targeting, making adjustments. The adrenaline is there again, but I am calmer. I do not freeze, and Sol and I start eating into Summer’s shields.

Kurt is keeping his range just like Marcus and Sol, tagging us with rails and trying to jam. We manage to jam him up to focus on Summer but its slow going and Summer is repping shields at a prolific rate while beating on my with Blasters. I see Kurt is responsible for Summer’s longevity…he has drones repping Summer and for a moment I consider switching targets, but Sol counters with the fact that we’re wearing Summer down anyway. Our guns and drones pound away, and 3,000 HP later, Summer is done.

I think Kurt knows he can’t win. He doesn’t flat out kite us like Marcus, but passes us at high speed several times, taunting us almost, making me wish I’d fitted a web instead of my Afterburner. Again he can’t stay outside 16km to target us, so after the dancing is done, my Hobgoblins and Sol’s rails chew up his shield, armor and hull just like they did with Marcus.

Dust and debris settle. Its over, and I am elated.

We all drop back into Corp and our shared TS channel and chat about the festivities. Summer is (jokingly) bitching up a storm about his partner Kurt during the match, and we all crack up laughing when it is shown that Kurt actually damaged Summer himself (inadvertently) during both their matches.

I am happy with the victory. It may not be real, everything-on-the-line PVP in this case but it was a tasty morsel indeed, and I look forward to the upcoming low/null roam I’ll be doing with my friends where hopefully I’ll bag someone else.

And, to the winners go the spoils. As a token of our victory, Kurt presents Sol and I each with a shiny new Dramiel. Awesome.

I gleefully spin the ship in my hangar a few times, then I call it a night.