Monday, September 12, 2011

That Ship Can't Do That!

"What? That ship can't do that!" - Captain John Rouke, Clear Skies III

As well as an obsessive Eve Online addict, I like my scuba diving. And in scuba diving I like diving shipwrecks. Whilst the purposely sunk ones are nice such as the HMS Scylla back in the UK (which I have dived many times), I love the ones with a story behind them. There are three shipwrecks I know about which I think CCP should look into. The story behind them is something that they should consider whether this sort of shenanigans could be brought into Eve. I think it would fit into the Eve universe very nicely!

The issue at hand is that in Eve, basically we pretty much know how a ship will be fit. Nearly all ships in Eve have an A or B fit which the majority of players use. You see a ship, have a quick look at the turrets and most the time you know what that ship is, how it's roughly fit and what it's strengths and weakness are. Wouldn't it be interesting to have a wildcard once in a while.

Before we look into individual "wildcard" ships, there is another shipwreck story that makes me think of Eve. Following capture of the Enigma coding machine by the British Navy (Damn you Hollywood! Damn you!) they set a tarp. A coded message was sent back to Germany from a U-Boat in the area stating that the allies were running supplies up the Bristol Channel with little or no protection. I recall the message included a phase like "....bring as many torpedo's as you can carry....". They even included a map reference. The British intercepted this message and decoded it. Three U-Boats were dispatched and went to the co-ordinates, which, since the message had been sent, had been laid as a deep water submarine mine field. All three U-Boats were sunk. If you have a tri-mix qualification (they are 50m+ deep I recall) you can dive these wrecks off the Devon coast. Meta-"gaming" in real-life warfare?

So onto the Wildcards. Take a ship that is supposed to do one job, and fit it so it does something different.....

In the early days of submarine warfare the various Navy's around the world were experimenting. Just like an real noob, or a drunk person on Eve, they would experiment with fits that most people would laugh at. The British Navy took a bog-standard submarine and promptly mounted a 12in battleship gun on it's deck! The submarine would surface, fire its behemoth cannon, and submerge whilst the enemy on the ship that just took the hit were going "WHAT THE **** WAS THAT!?!?
The M1 was lost when a ship passed over it and knocked the gun which tore a hole in it's mounting and sunk the submarine. Just look at the size of that cannon mounted on the submarine!

This one is TD;DD for me (Too deep, didn't dive)

Originally fit the same as her sister ship, the M1, she was refitted after the M1's sinking. Only the British Navy could come up with a mad idea like this! They took off the battleship cannon and replaced it with a small water-tight aircraft hanger. Inside was a small folding-wing spy plane. The M2 would surface, open the hanger doors, unfold the wings of the plane, fire this poor little plane via a huge elastic band like something made by Wile E Coyote and then close the doors and submerge. At a pre-arrange time and place the sub would pop up, the spy plane would lane on the water, the sub would grab the plane with a small crane, heave it on board and submerge again.
During exercises between the wars it is believed that whilst trying to break their time record for surfacing-launching-submerging the sub submerged before the hanger doors were fully closed (or opened the doors before she was fully surfaced), flooding the ship and killing all those on board.

This is RD;DD (Right depth, did dive!)

A German U-Boat vs An East Coast Trawler Captain.
I have only heard this story 2nd hand (I think the link above is the same ship), but really loved it. During WW2 the British Navy were offering 6lb deck guns to fishing trawlers following attacks on them in order that they could defend themselves. The Admiralty also offered a reward for each confirmed German U-Boat they got. During a patrol a U-boat spotted a fishing trawler and surfaced next to it telling the crew to abandon ship as they were going to sink it. The Germans got a bit of a shock when the crew quickly pulled the tarp off a deck gun and swung it at the now defenseless U-boat that had pulled up alongside. The story goes the bushy-bearded fishing trawler captain yelled "Fire that there gun at em!". They scored three direct hits from point blank range with the 6lb gun and the Germans retreated rather quickly. The U-boat escaped, although it was badly damaged by the fishermen and was sunk soon after by a British destroyer after the fishing trawler reported it's position. Not sure if all the details are correct, but a great story anyway.


Now if only we could have some surprises like this popping up in Eve Online.

The Badger MK2 that deploys an Assault Frigate or an Interceptor. Some sort of hanger mod that uses up all the cargo space to house this one ship. One pilot "docks" in the Badger and the other flies it. When they get attacked, 1 become 2!

The stealth bomber with large artillery cannons (with a massive penalty to ammo volume so it can only fire once or twice and a huge buff to damage). Suddenly SB'rs become useful against something other than BS and POS'. Ooooooo, a cruiser sat still not moving on a gate. Surprise!

I'm sure there are many great ideas that could spawn from these real life examples. The possibilities are endless! Would mix things up a bit wouldn't it ;)

Further reading can be found here - Rixx Javix over at Eveogander recently blogged about wildcard fits such as ECM Drakes and Hurricurses ( which prompted me to finally write this rather than me diving and thinking, I really should write about this wreck in the Eve context!


  1. I think they were planning the docking in someone else's ship already. Hence the whole thing about Motherships becoming Super Carriers. I think I remember someone at CCP saying they did it so that they could free up the name and ship type of Mothership for something that would act more like one.
    Would be funny having the... Tier 3? Carrier deploy BS instead of fighter bombers hehe. (Save fuel from bridging too!)

  2. Q-ships are an awesome idea from WW2 that might work in Eve too

  3. With T3 frigates earmarked for 2014, I think we'll see Motherships around the turn of the next millenium S8.

    Yup, Q-Ships are another great example. A Mammoth with a full rack of arty cannons - SURPRISE!

  4. Actually, in WO I more ships were sunk with cannons on submarines than with torpedoes.


  5. Oh yes I want Q-ships