Tuesday 27 January 2015

Morality in EVE

A recent post on reddit about a corp theft got me thinking about morality in EVE. EVE is a game where you can play the villain and take part in actions that would be considered bad or evil in real life, such as betraying a corporation by stealing their assets. However, many consider these activities to be a reflection of the real person behind the keyboard. I'm not so sure about that.

I treat EVE as a game. It can be a highly immersive experience and can be an emotional roller coaster, from the adrenaline high of a close victory to the sinking feeling in the pit of your stomach after a crushing defeat. Without the lows the highs become meaningless. The emotional response is very real. However, at the end of the day EVE is still just a video game and it is important to separate this from reality. From that perspective, I believe that any action solely involving game mechanics does not reflect on the personality/nature of the person taking part in them regardless of how those actions would be viewed in real life. If I were to believe otherwise then I would have to believe that shooting people in an FPS means I wan't to shoot them in real life too. Maybe a simplistic example but I believe the logic still stands. Playing a game by the mechanics provided does not make you a bad person.

However, things start to get grey when social interaction is involved. EVE by classification is an MMORPG. The RP element of that is important. Many people like to escape into a fantasy world and role play a character that they could not in real life. I don't feel that playing the villain in an RP context automatically makes you a villain in real life. Being able to explore an evil career path in a videogame can be an interesting experience, even if it is not a career path you would be comfortable with in reality. However, not everyone puts on a persona when they play EVE. Many players are genuine, looking for friendships and are all too willing to misplace their trust in someone else. If I were to put on a persona and gain the genuine trust of someone only to break that trust through corp theft then I very likely will inflict a very real emotional sense of loss in that person. Though, I may still feel justified in my actions I would personally find it hard not to be empathetic towards that person even if the actions are allowed within the context of the game. The question is, would it make me a bad person for breaking their trust anyway when it is allowed within the context of the game?

I'm not sure. My gut feeling is no, it doesn't. The key variable here is that my goal would have been to advance myself in the game in wealth and/or specific assets. My goal was never to hurt my target emotionally, though that would be an end result. Befriending people within the context of the game with the intent of robbing them blind is a legal move. Just as bluffing is a legal move in poker. I don't feel that I should be responsible for their own poor decision making and misplaced trust leading to their own emotional feeling of loss. Simply put, I don't think it would make me a bad person to have beaten them at the game they chose to play where the rules are stated up front when you install the game. I don't think it should be my responsibility to tiptoe around someone who can't separate the game from reality. However, I'd be lying if I said it wouldn't make me feel guilty. At the end of the day I would have still chosen to be the villain and made someone else feel bad as an indirect consequence. That is why I don't think I could carry out a theft or action in game that is based on trust at a social level even if logically I think that it is simply part of the game.

Finally, I think intent in these situations is extremely important. If the goal of an activity is focused on the game, then I believe that it is more acceptable than if the goal is an emotional response from the target. My feeling is at that point it is no longer within the spirit of the game and is moving into harassment territory. I think there is a distinct difference in intent between gaining trust and friendship within the context of the game in order to steal someones stuff in comparison to trying to emotionally cripple them, even if the result is still the same. It is important to distinguish between fantasy and reality and EVE at the end of the day is very much fantasy. It is still my view that real friendships can be made in EVE and for that reason I don't think I could break someones trust to steal their stuff. Although I view it as a "legal move" I accept that they may not and it isn't worth ruining a friendship over. In EVE, the best ship is friendship after all.

Tuesday 16 December 2014

Blog Banter #61: Experiment

The latest blog banter asks the question:

"What would we encourage ALL new players to do in their first month to get them to subscribe long term, if we had to give out one set of advice for everyone (which we do if we're giving general advice)?"

The traditional advice is important; join a corporation/community, only undock what you can afford to lose, ignore Jita local etc. However, I think it is more important to set up a new player with the right mindset to go forward in EVE. EVE is a game where the experience is more important than the end goal. Setting a destination is merely a vehicle for an exciting journey. The game doesn't really provide a linear path or set "endgame" like other popular MMOs. Setting your own goals and targets is key. So what advice would I give a new player in their first month? In the wise words of Johnny Knoxville: "Take a deep breath and say fuck it."

Johnny Knoxville: A true philosophical savant of our generation.
I would absolutely recommend joining a community. Having a support structure for the inevitable screw ups is key to survival in EVE as a month old player. There are load of people out there willing to help you. However, I think that experimentation is the most important thing you can do in EVE. Go do stuff. Go die in a fire. Go figure out what ticks your boxes, what excites you? Everybody is different. Ignore people that tell you their way of playing is the right way and that what you are doing is wrong. Go fail. Go succeed. Step outside your comfort zone. Find yourself in a rut? There is always something you haven't tried yet. Go do it. No not later. Do it now. Don't tell yourself that you are just "saving up a nest egg before doing PvP". Shut up. You are lying to yourself. Go find the nearest lowsec/nullsec and blow up immediately. Someone told you mining is boring? Go try it and find out. Don't take their word for it but don't get stuck in your comfort zone doing it. In the first month the galaxy is your oyster. Very few of your fuck ups will matter in the long term and the first month is the best time to make the most of that freedom.

In my first month I did some really, really stupid stuff. I can look back at that experience with a smile on my face. I had fun. I stepped outside my comfort zone when things got stale. As long as I have fun I will continue to play EVE and I believe that you will too. Next time you get that feeling of fear when things are outside your comfort zone just remember, "take a deep breath and say fuck it".

For more blog posts on this topic check out Inner Sanctum of the Ninveah by Kirith Kodachi.

Thursday 11 September 2014

Offensive Logistics

Logistics is an important part of warfare in EVE. Without ships and ammo in the right places it is impossible to mount an offense against the enemy. Also, in friendly sov space, keeping jump bridges and POSes fueled is important in strategic fleet movements. Currently the HERO coalition is fighting with Providence. The goal, as far as I am aware, is to take the remaining systems in northern Catch from them. This post will be about my own little logistical effort during a bombing fleet.

Catch region with strategic areas highlighted.

In the picture of Catch above I have highlighted a few key areas. Box A represents our frontline against Providence in Northern Catch. This area contains stations which we can resupply from and systems which border the Providence owned systems in Catch that we are trying to obtain. Area B in the East is mainly HONOR space. This area is important as the sov in this area was recently dropped and reclaimed due to an internal dispute. This resulted in the off lining of a number of key jump bridges which previously allowed for quick access to Northern Catch from the BRAVE staging system. Box C represents one of the Catch Providence borders. Due to the temporary disruption of our jump bridge network in the East of Catch these border systems are the most direct route to the frontline from HED-GP, which is connected via jump bridge to GE-8JV. This area is easily camped by Providence making travel for bomber pilots or individual pilots hazardous, but not impossible. I won't detail our super secret opsec jump bridge network in the East (yeah I laughed too) but just know that GE-8JV was well connected to the East which was then connected to the North prior to the sov drop. In summary, with the disruption of the jump bridge network and ability for Providence to camp the Western border it can be difficult to resupply and rejoin fights on the frontline during a major engagement.

Recently I was in a bomber fleet during an engagement with Providence over a system in Northern Catch. After 4 successful bombing runs, a resupply was needed. A quick market search pointed us towards bombs in various station systems along our frontline and to the east. However, as each system was called for resupply the bombs were rapidly bought out before many of our bomber pilots could get to the stations. It was suggested that Providence was capitalising on the situation and buying out our bombs in an attempt to prevent continued bombing pressure which was wreaking havoc with their fleets. An interesting strategy if true. Either way we needed more bombs and I had a plan.

On my second screen I quickly logged on my JF pilot and a cyno alt then podded the cyno over to a station in Northern Catch where I had some ozone and cyno generators. I then looked for nearby bombs on my JF pilot, in high sec at the time, and found some 1 jump away. I set to grab them and piped up on comms to say that I could get bombs and a bomb truck to us in ~10 minutes. "Fantastic", or something to that effect, came back over comms. I had a Viator ready at my JF staging system but didn't really want to break the rigs to move it. However, I remembered that you can transport assembled ships when they are wrapped as a courier contract*. So after some fiddling with contracts in order to courier my own Viator I made the jump, hopped in the Viator and got set up 1 jump from the hostile system at a safe spot. I then jetcanned some bombs, orbited it at 5km, cloaked and gave the okay to warp to me. With the fleet successfully resupplied things were back on track.

We then jumped back into the hostile system and set up on our bombing perches at opposite sides of the grid. Shortly afterwards a friendly fleet arrived on grid followed by a large enemy fleet 200km+ above them. The friendly fleet then bubbled themselves. The plan was to bait the enemy fleet to warp onto the edge of the bubble which would cluster them up for our bombing run. At first the trap looked like it was going to work. The enemy fleet began their warp, apparently not pre aligned, and they trickled in to the edge of the bubble.  Things looked perfect... until an enemy dictor bubbled up the enemy fleet. This was a clever move by them as the bubble would act as a screen and prevent our bombers from warping to optimal bombing distance and force us into a suicide run. "Screw it" says the FC and warp is initiated into the bubble "Decloak and bomb, decloak and comb" is called. Uh oh...

You see, Interdictors launch bubbles which have a diameter of 40km. Any ships that warp to these bubbles from any angle get pulled inside the bubble. When warping from a short distance, this usually leaves you just at the edge of the bubble. Our two bomb squads had warped towards the enemy fleet from opposite sides of the bubble. Without a bubble, we would have been ~80-100km apart. However, due to the bubble, we were now ~30km apart. Those of you who have bombed before might already be laughing at what is about to happen. For those who haven't bombed before, bombs travel 30km in a straight line then detonate. The explosion is a sphere with a 30km diameter. Anything inside the bombs sphere will take damage when it detonates. Unfortunately for us... Squad 1 landed first and bombed, shortly followed by Sqaud 2. This put Squad 2 inside Squad 1's natural bomb sphere. Venn diagram of death below:

How to not bomb

Sorry guys:


We did actually hit some of the enemy fleet too... honest.

Shortly after this spectacle of bombing excellence a reship was called. We also had a Blops ready this time to bridge more bombers back to the fight. However, it seemed that Providence had shipped up (a 300+ fleet was reported) and we were losing the subcap fight, forcing us to stand down. Our bomber pressure was good but ultimately not quite enough to turn the fight in our favor. So as they say, the battle may be lost but certainly not the war... not yet anyway.

* I moved my assembled Viator by courier package by doing the following:
1. Item exchange contract the Viator to Bizar Raizen
2. Accept on Bizar Raizen then set up private Courier contract to the JF pilot to move it to the station in Catch.
3. Accept courier contract on, JF pilot, jump to station and deliver contract.
4. Item exchange Viator back to JF pilot.

Fiddly and annoying. In future I'll be keeping an unrigged "bomb truck" to avoid having to do this. Also, please do not star contracting fit ships when using a freight service. Although it is possible to courier contract an assembled ship it is not possible to subcontract the resulting courier package due to it having an "assembled container". Most services rely on subcontracting from an alliance alt to a non alliance alt in order to avoid wardecs.

Wednesday 3 September 2014

Eating the Sand

I was listening to a Podside show recently when a line caught my attention:

"EVE is a sandbox and some people like to eat the sand." - Longinius Spear

Spear was telling a story about him and a friend trying to murder a Gnosis pilot. I won't tell the full story. Needless to say, the Gnosis pilot was totally unaware of Spear's intentions and had demonstrated some rather unusual behaviour prior to his demise. It seemed like this dude just had a rather strange way of playing and that his type of sandbox play was to simply "eat the sand". I think Spear was referring to how some people break the mould and do unexpected or unusual things within the sandbox and/or are just completely oblivious to their surroundings. It got me thinking about how I play EVE and what might drive other players into particular playstyles that could be considered "suboptimal".

A lot of activities in EVE get broken down to how much ISK/hour you can make doing it. I've talked about this before in a previous post. Being able to make ISK is important in EVE. However, it often leads people down the road to EVE becoming like a second job and padding the wallet can become an obsession. In my early attempts at playing the market I'll admit to getting a little obsessed. Watching the ISK roll in was satisfying. I was playing the 1 ISK game because I heard that it was an effective strategy that would get decent ISK/hour. However, I realised that I wasn't having fun. I needed to find fun activities rather than worry about being a space billionaire. That was the catalyst that led me to BNI but it also changed my way of looking at the game in general.

Opportunity cost gets applied to a number of activities in EVE when it comes to making ISK. Some players base almost everything they do in the game around the principle of opportunity cost. It is how I thought when I started, hence the focus on station trading. However, I realised that often I would have the most fun doing things just for the sake of it. I shifted my focus and started doing whatever took my fancy at the time. Feel like mining? Fire up the Retriever. Want to be a space trucker? Undock the space potato (Anshar/Obelisk). Need to prevent the Sansha from expanding its borders? Break out the Raven and smash some anomalies. The point is to try and avoid sacrificing fun for the sake of ISK and just play in the sandbox. I understand the "minerals are free" thing. People just like building things, even if it isn't the most efficient way to convert those mined minerals into ISK.

I'm fortunate that some of the activities I enjoy also yield absurd amounts of ISK, particularly the way I now play the markets. However, the point really is that I also do things that other people think are dumb. I do them because its fun. My most recent example is buying one of each bomb blueprint original and researching them to perfect ME/TE. That cost about 1.2 Billion isk in total (200M per BPO and then ~100M for perfect ME/TE on each). I'm also mining the ore, refining with almost no refining skills and then shipping the uncompressed minerals out to null sec with my JF in the spare cargo space I often have. I'm then going to build some bombs locally and keep a stock of minerals so that bomb types can be manufactured on demand. I can picture any industrialists out there cringing pretty badly as they read this. Why am I doing it? I'm doing it because part of me thinks it will be more fun to bomb people with home made bombs. So the next time you get bored grinding out ISK, or wonder why you aren't having fun in a videogame, remember that EVE is a sandbox. Sometimes it's more fun to eat the sand.

Thursday 28 August 2014

Still Alive, Still Rambling

It has been a busy few months for me and hard to believe that my last post was back in April. Mid April real life took over pretty hard and didn't leave much time or willpower to maintain the blog. I also sidelined EVE for a while to try out WildStar. This resulted in a shortage of EVE shenanigans to write about and talking about my skill queue choices and passive market PvP didn't seem too interesting. However, with the 1 year mark passing on my first character I thought it would be good to take a (brief) look at where I started, how things are going and how I feel about the game in general.

It's funny to think back to a year ago and just how much I've learned. I started playing EVE because I just wanted to try something different. I remember getting to grips with the UI and blindly meandering from place to place figuring out what to do. Wide eyed with ambition I was going to take over the universe... or die trying. Oh boy did I die. First in the tutorial missions, because I couldn't be bothered to read the wall of text. Blah blah, use the unfit frigate to go blah blah suicide mission blah blah. Then in a wormhole, because I didn't know what sleepers were but wormholes were mysterious and intriguing. Then to mission rats because a tech I fit Raven with no drones is made of paper and can't get away from frigates. But I was doing okay, from each failure I learned and slowly but surely I was building up some ISK. Then I joined BNI and died a whole bunch more. Fortunately Atrons are cheap and my wallet didn't evaporate too quickly. Eventually I found my feet.

Fast forward to the present. I now run 4 accounts maxed out at 12 characters. jEVEassets tells me I'm worth ~50B in total, the majority of which is invested in the market. I'm space comfortable and able to fund just about anything I want to do in the game. More importantly, I'm still learning and still having fun. Currently I'm doing a bit of everything and able to sink a bit more time into the game again. For PvP I'm either flying with BNI (never not bomb blues) or out hunting solo on my faction warfare alt (I finally got some legit solo kills, woo!). I've also build up a mini high sec trade "empire" across 4 characters which also double up as my personal logistics network along with my JF pilot which gets plenty of mileage. Finally I'm testing the waters with industry which has proven quite profitable so far and a nice side project when other things are quiet or just for a change of pace. Life is good.

Moving on I have a few things planned. I still need to play around a bit more with DED sites. I'm at the point where I could train into a Tengu so some extended trips in null sec could be fun. I quite like exploration so adding combat ability on top should be interesting. My trading continues to expand and I'm comfortably able to make ~5-8B ISK per month with a fairly passive trading strategy. At most I spend ~30 minutes per day updating orders and managing my item stocks. Usually this gets spread out between downtime in other activities such as quiet periods during a fleet or during form up. I find the markets in EVE fascinating and I'm learning more about them every day as I research additional investment opportunities. Other than that, now that my JF pilot has perfect skills, I'm training him into a Blops. I foresee some solo hot drops in my future!

Overall I have plenty on my plate to keep me busy and interested. One of the most interesting developments has been Brave Collective's progress from low sec chaos to a much more organised null sec sov group as part of the HERO coalition. So far I've enjoyed it and it has been a great natural progression for me. It has also fascinating to watch how much the metagame can change an alliances approach to EVE, for better and for worse. Either way, living in null has been a great learning experience for me and really helped round out many of my EVE activities. Just one more step towards universal domination.

Wednesday 16 April 2014

Space Truckin'

I had a rather interesting adventure last night in my efforts to assist the final evacuation of Barleguet assets. A lot of folk left stuff behind thinking we would return and the logistics guys are now working overtime to shift all the contracts. I think I cleared ~20 contracts last night and more keep coming in. I actually quite enjoy stretching the legs of my Anshar. My plan is to keep going up until this weekend and then evaluate how big the backlog is. Most of my jumps went fairly routinely and I got a bit of a rhythm going. Occasionally my cyno characters would get popped but my JF was never in danger. Though, I did end up on a mini adventure.

My derpitude started on Monday when I was positioning my cyno alts. I had forgotten that my Anshar was still in Sendaya after moving all my usual alpha cynos away from there. Derp. So I quickly podded Bizar Raizen over and into position. "Skill point penalty". Oh shiiii.... My skill queue had JUST passed my current clone. So off goes Evasive Maneuvering 5 on a short holiday. Good thing I'm not flying interceptors too much right now. I was facepalming pretty hard at that point but there was work to be done so I soldiered on, got my Anshar back into Highsec and started making my way over to Stacmon. However, I also remembered that burn Jita could fire up at any time. So I logged on another character in high sec, got him in a Rifter and went over to web my Freighter for faster warps. I had never done this before. I thought that it would be possible to web someone whilst in their fleet without concord response. Unfortunately I was wrong... Another lesson learned.

Roll on Tuesday. With everything in position I started the ball rolling and blitzed through 10-15 contracts in just over an hour. Along the way I had a few... interesting encounters with my cyno characters. When I light a cyno I cycle it off, set station as destination and then turn autopilot on. This means that if the character survives the 10 minute cycle then it will dock on its own and I can focus on other stuff. If it dies and gets podded then I just end up inside the station in a new noobship. However, when minimised I still get sounds from that client (yes EVE has sound!). So should someone target me, for example, I hear the locking sound. I usually just ignore it and focus on my JF pilot making sure it is safe. Though sometimes I come back to the cyno to find them alive... and next to an enemy wreck. Yesterday I was able to add a Cruicifer to my tally of AFK kills with cyno characters. The other being a Nemesis which didn't even get through my shields. They were evein kind enough to leave 3 Hobgoblin IIs behind which I scooped up, adding insult to injury. Station guns are a cyno's best friend.

After my 15th or 16th contract I noticed someone looking for help moving stuff from a more obscure location in null sec within jump range of Barleguet. So I got in a chat with them and agreed to pick up the contract if they could get me a cyno out there. Once at the location, I go into the contracts menu to grab their contract. After accepting I look in my assets menu a little confused. I didn't have anything at the station I was docked in. I did however have stuff at an old null sec station Brave were working out of in Y-W6. Turns out I had accepted the wrong contract. Blargh. You see, I didn't really want to go out to Y-W6. I flirted with it on the Monday night since there were a few contracts there. I got a cyno alt in position, had modules donated by a nice Brave member who happened to have a cyno ship out there and then proceeded to light the cyno. Unfortunately, I had miscalculated the jump distance and was unable to actually make the jump from Stacmon (I forgot I only had JDC3 and needed JDC4). Before I could jump to Barleguet, which would have put me in range, the cyno ship got popped by some locals who didn't appreciate me lighting cynos on their doorstep. So I was a little hesitant to go back there for any more contracts.

However, now I was in a bit of a pickle. I was reluctant to toss the 200M collateral and the contract customer was not online. My only realistic choice was to get it done. I quickly grabbed the correct contract for my current location, delivered it and then made my way back to Barleguet. Fortunately, I was able to pod one of my cyno alts directly to the Y-W6 station. The next issue was locating a cyno generator and some ozone as there were none in the station. A quick look on the market showed that there were some 2 jumps away in TXW. Out I go in my pod without much to lose as it was an alpha clone. On my way there I find the TXW entry gate bubbled but no locals in system. I continue on, grab a cyno and some ozone and fit it onto a rookie ship. Okay, now to get back. I jump back into the bubble and suddenly realised that I was in a bit of a predicament. There were rats on the gate. Holding cloak I try and figure out what to do. Without much to lose I decide to make a beeline for the closest bubble edge. The rats start to lock me and a Breacher appears on grid, at the opposite side of the bubble. My heart skips a beat it as it starts to lock me too, then I realise it will be out of scram range. I click the next gate and start spamming warp. As soon as I exit the bubble I align out and warp before the red boxes appear. Phew, I could breathe a sigh of relief. Time to get my cyno sorted.

I arrive back at the Y-W6 station and dock up, noticing a Hurricane sitting on the undock. Balls, that might slow me down a bit. I undock anyway and start moving towards a reasonable cyno position, ready to dock back up if needed. Just as I look over to my other screen to prep my Anshar the Hurricane pops me. I was about ready to give up at this point until I noticed that the cyno generator and ozone both dropped! Quickly I get in my new fresh rookie ship, undock, loot my wreck (which was still directly on the undock) and dock back up again. At least I wouldn't have to go on another shopping trip yet. Evaluating my options, I decide to log off that character for 10 minutes and grab a drink in the hope that the Hurricane would get bored waiting. Logging back on, I find it still sitting on the undock. Being impatient, and probably a little stupid, I decide to try again anyway. I undock and creep into a good cyno position. The Hurricane doesn't lock me this time. I get my Anshar on the Barle undock ready to go. I light the cyno and look back over to my Anshar pilots screen. I right click the capacitor and get to the jump to button and hold for 5 seconds while I check the cyno isn't locked up. Things look good. I jump and I dock. Great success! So I load up my Anshar and get ready for the jump home. Interestingly the Hurricane still hasn't killed the cyno yet. As I undock my Anshar it looks like the Hurricane has woken up. He locks me up and takes a chunk out of my shield as I jump out. Safely back in Barleguet I breathe a sigh of relief as I watch the Hurricane pop my cyno ship. I don't think I'll go back to Y-W anytime soon. The locals aren't very hospitable.

Monday 7 April 2014

The shakes and my first solo PvP kill(s)

Last night I experienced the shakes for the first time whilst playing EVE. I've been in plenty of fleets. I've undocked plenty of times but I've never really experienced the shakes that a lot of players have described before. Sure, I've been shocked, surprised or excited and left annoyed or happy at times (like my first Viator loss) but never had that "buzzing" feeling people describe that they get after a significant fight in EVE. I think I finally found it.

It is a sensation that I haven't felt in a long time whilst gaming. In essence it is an adrenaline rush. It is strange to equate adrenaline rush and video games. Imagine the feeling you get from a thrilling rollercoaster ride and the buzz that endures afterwards. Now imagine that whilst sitting playing a video game. Hard to imagine. It is quite a pure sensation given the lack of physical activity that would usually stimulate it. EVE has given me that feeling back whilst gaming.

The last time I remember such a sensation is in my early days playing competitive Counter Strike. I played at a reasonably high level in some great teams and participated in a number of tournaments, both online and offline. Often, when I first started playing, I would get the shakes. When everything was on the line, when every single shot fired could change the game, the pressure would be immense. There are plays I made over 5 years ago that I remember in great detail to this very day. I can play them out in slow motion in my head because they had such an emotional impact. I remember the adrenaline rush that they gave me and the shakes that persisted afterwards. Unfortunately the feeling did start to fade over time as I became a more experienced player. Arguably it made me a better player as my decision making would come to the front rather than playing from instinct. Hopefully it doesn't fade too quickly with EVE.

So what elicited this magnificent feeling? A simple solo bombing run. The third bomb I've ever launched to be precise.  However, it wasn't a particularly standard bombing run. A standard bombing run would usually involve setting up near a group of relatively stationary targets clumped within a bombs explosion radius. This was a little different. HERO is currently taking more sovereignty and we are shooting structures in siege bombers. Often small fleets will show up to harass us such as Crows which will circle the fleet and pick off bombers around the edges, seriously hindering operations. This time we were harassed by a small kestrel gang. Initially there were ~10 in the gang. One of our veteran bombers noticed they were constantly running their MWDs, causing their sig radius bloom making them a juicy bomb target. He managed to set up off the fleet and let a bomb rip directly towards them as they approached the fleet destroying 8/9 of them solo! Naturally I was inspired.

About 30 minutes later 5 members of the previous gang returned, again in Kestrels. This time they were a bit hesitant to close range on us. Holding a wide orbit they stalked the perimeter for stragglers. Carefully I watched and realised that they were anchored to a Kestrel which would take the lead. This allowed me to predict their movements. I also noticed that their wide orbit would eventually come close to one of my perches off the structure. This was my opportunity. I warped to the perch cloaked putting me ~100km off the gang. Tracking their movement I realised they would swing past me at ~60km so I set off to try and intercept that position. This is quite tricky, they were doing ~2km/s which meant that I would have to lead the bomb ~20km in front of them. As I got to ~70km they started to make a sharp turn directly towards me. Panicking I quickly aligned to the lead kestrel, decloaked and launched my bomb. I hesitated for a split second checking that the bomb launched and then start my warp out as fast as possible. This gave the kestrels time to lock. "Manticore no, no, no" came over mumble followed by the FC realising I launched a bomb: "Oh... Oh... Ooo... OOOOO ... BOOOOM". I warp out to my safe in 7% armor leaving 3 wrecks and a damaged kestrel in my wake. Cheers erupted over mumble as members of the support fleet warp to my last position, finishing off the last 2 kestrels. Buzzing with excitement I sat back in my chair contemplating what I had just done. Yesterday was a good day.

PS: I actually caught the whole thing on Fraps and put it on YouTube in a hurry. However, a concerned commenter noticed some OpSec in the video so I took it down. At some point I will edit it when I get clear guidelines on what needs to be removed.