A call for a stratop went out: Alpha fleet with the usual smattering of dics/hics and intys. I had just used my clone jump timer to jump from deklein to Cloud ring for a corporate op when the ping came over jabber. I’ve been wanting to try my new raptor out for a while now and so I burned from CR to our staging point in Deklein to get there just in time to form up on the titan. I’m feeling fairly small at this point, I’ve pretty much never been in a large fleet in anything smaller than a cruiser before.
The FC did something different though: he called for instacanes. we ended up with about 5 or 6 of them in fleet, which I thought was weird.
The fleet seemed to be in no rush. but when it happened it happened fast. The FC told us to set our destinations for GIH-ZG, then told the idiots who started warping there to stop it and get back on the titan. The titan opened the bridge and we found ourselves two systems from our destination. The FC told us to individually burn as fast as we could into GIH and then warp to a fleet member at a friendly POS. It turned out that this was all done due to systems surrounding our destination were cyno-jammed and because there was an enemy bomber/recon fleet inbetween us and our target system. going on the safety in numbers principal, we only lost one battleship out of the 180+ fleet getting into the system.
Once we were in there and in the safe POS, we warped to a hostile POS that was comming out of reinforced mode in 3 minutes. Now, the counter to a blob of battleships has always been coordinated stealth bomber runs. This plays havoc with the logistics and if done right can destroy the fleet before the logis can rep everyone. However, a bombing run must have a target, and a battleship fleet is only vulnerable if they form up like this:
And so the FC wisely chose to spread us out. He anchored himself, told everyone else to spread out to 30km and had his HIC bubble up on his ship. This would make getting warpins for bombing runs quite tricky as any direct line of warp would cause the bomber fleet to be dragged into the bubble and it would be very difficult to point in the right direction and target before being killed:
So we waited for it to come out of reinforced and the alpha fleet shot it down. I sent a round or two into the tower for killmail goodness and then settled in, orbiting the fleet, ready for anything.
Anything came, and it became quite clear why the FC wanted the insta-canes. 17 bombers and an interdictor later the bad guys stopped comming. I managed to get on my first kills in a raptor including a final blow on a pod, which never happens for me.
I was quite a bit uncoordinated unfortunately – I need to practice and memorize the keyboard shortcuts for align to and that sort of thing. I’m sure I could have been more effective if I didn’t stuff around so much with clicking things.
Another lesson learned
We slow-boated home. There was another fleet of bombers that came after us, but the fleet stayed cloaked for as long as possible after each gate. Being in a frigate, I tried to get out of the way of the bombs and was soundly smacked down. took me a few seconds to realise what happened. I broadcasted for shield, then wondered to myself why I was only traveling 175m/s, “oh… I’m in my pod”… I got a shield rep anyway
As it turns out, holding your cloak after a gate also gives you immunity to AOE weapons. I did not know this. I’ve never had to worry about bombs before as my usual ship the Onyx tanks more than battleships, and pretty much the last time I flew a battleship, they had to be tanked for doomsday AOE.
so there you go: even though I’m not planning on flying interceptors regularly, I have learned something useful. The lessons learned today will still be useful when I fly light dictors in about 2 weeks time.
in other news, as I write this (on a saturday morning my time) there are large fights going on with CFC vs NCdot and also Honeybadgers Vs AAA. I can’t be a part of it because of family commitments. oh to be a single forever alone person sitting at my computer by myself all weekend….. heh, nope, having kids is awesome
From the looks of the forums I frequent TEST/PL and EXE pulled together to get everyone possible into system and won the day. SoCo didn’t even show up.
Here’s a choice tidbit from one of the SOCO intel channels after they were told to stand down:
Absocold > We were told to be here for the fight of the year. Now we’re told we’re not going to fight. :/
Zalyz S’venfirion > think about it
Zalyz S’venfirion > we wouldnt get to the station before those 100+ carriers would rep it
Sargeamarrminer > someone tell me why the fuck we standing down and i just woke up?
Cheez Burgr > Well, 700 of us were “blueballed” while 1400 test+friends were blueballed
pritch1 > just because we didnt fight doesnt mean we lost
Spiral Architect > the jump in would have been a massacre.
ScarfaceMkd > we lost. deal with it
Weldon Byrn > operation blueballs was a success
Soknorb Revned > who gives a crapo about station., we all came here for a fight
Magnus Gallantus > we’ve had 2 hours to blow them up before they could even start repping it
Sargeamarrminer > we knew this would be a big fight, where was our capital and super fleet?
ScarfaceMkd > we suck
pritch1 > them bringing 1400 shows they are desperate and running scared
Kainos Kerensky > Agreed, and like I said, their allies wont come full strenght each time. We cant fight all of eve, just most.
Next time is our time since we are closer to the objective, their allies have to move from the north. Blueballs = Moral loss
I’ll leave off my commentary about why bringing 1400 doesn’t actually mean we’re desperate and running scared but rather that we’re determined and can pull together when needed…..
Here’s a recording of the “stand down” announcement:
I love the “they’re not listening to this” comment at the end.
So hey, no pew pew, but system very comprehensively saved. Also Deluded enemy FTW!
I was in the middle of brushing off my scanning skills – I spent 3 months in a wormhole when they first came out and I only now remember exactly how much I grew to hate scanning. still, I’m sure it will come in handy one of these days, and so I practice.
The ping came through pidgin – there was to be an Alpha fleet and a drake fleet – The Alpha fleet had already been up for a while and were combining with a dread/carrier fleet to reinforce some NCdot Towers. NCdot appeared to be forming a response drakefleet and so the call went out to hustle as we were expecting a fight from the Northern coalition defending their towers Y-PZHM.
I warped back to the station, got out of my ship and jump-cloned out to QPO and hopped in a drake. On Joining the fleet I saw an unusual Message Of The Day: Drop your passive EM hardener and replace it with a damp with a scan resolution script or a web. The FC had personally bought damps and webs and put them in the staging system at a personal isk loss just so we could all have one fitted.
We all got on the titan – 100+ in fleet including scimitars, which wasn’t bad for 10 mins notice including a fitting change and we bridged in.
FC told us to hold cloak, load up a Logistics only overview profile and choose a logistics to target (usually when the FC gives you the option, you should pick someone close to your name in the alphabet) we all had ECM drones as per the goon doctrine. This would be interesting. As it turned out, the enemy had brought Tengus and munnins rather than drakes – that’s an interesting combination. they still have the weakness of relying on scimitar logistics however.
The call came to uncloak and targets began to be called in addition to the pet logis that we each had. The first thing you mus always do in a drake fleet of course before anything else is turn your modules on, microwarp drive included and anchor up on the FC. Then and only then can you target something.
Mild Time dialation kicked in but it didn’t affect us much. The damps made a huge difference – even though our drake fleets were approximately even numbers we blew them up quite a bit faster. The damps increasing the lock time of the opposing scimitars.
Just to make sure, we warped our alpha fleet onto them and then dropped some dreads as well. towards the end of the fight, there were a lot of “Mate”‘s put in local. I don’t think the NCdot leader is ever going to live that down.
While it was enjoyable, I’m starting to get bored with just drake fleets. I can’t fly a maelstrom and I’m not sure I want to retrain either – I retrained galente from caldari back in the day, but retraining a third racial battleship? not sure. It’s encouraging to see TEST are still using Rokhs and scorpions.
At the end of the day, we won of course
Here’s the outcome of the fight as shown by eve-kill (doesn’t always have all kills)
In other news – we got a broadcast from TEST leadership. it seems that Executive Outcomes as an alliance needs to help our friends TEST. We have closer ties to them than goonswarm and NCdot are out-matched in any case. so back to Delve we go.
Here’s part of the broadcast:
In 48 hours we’ll fight for 49-’s final timer. As a brutal realist I want to tell you that its possible we could lose that fight, it wont be the last station we fight for if we do and we will fight to take it back should that happen, Defensive wars suck balls, Offensive wars are more our style anyway.
The outcome though, will depend on every one of you. You have 48 hours. I know lasts nights fight was murder on wallets and ship stocks, but you MUST work as best you can to replace what we burned, and have even more if possible.
The final fight for that system will be bloody. Expect AAA to call in every single thing they know and or own, expect to see close to 300 tengus. Expect to die, a lot.
If you can do what you did last night, I feel we can hold that system (turns out armor reinforce cycles work well with slow cat fleets). So I dont care if you have to sit on the corner of 1dh and suck dick for money, do whatever it takes to have a fairly large stock of ships sorted, fit, and ready to go. Spare dics, bombers, frigates, HUGGINS (holy shit tons of these), scimmies and mainline fleet ships (Rokhs/Maels/Drakes).
In 48 hours we set the world on fire, again.
Our alliance and corp are pulling out all the stops for this even offering bounties on hostiles killed and extra reimbursements for ships lost such that flying a drake or rokh will actually bring a profit if you get killed. The fight goes down out of my timezone unfortunately, and gone are the days when I could just take a day off work on impulse.
I’m looking forward to reading battle reports from there.
Well that didn’t take long. Delve is over and war has begun with NC.
I tried to read The Mittani’s post on it and failed… maybe that attempt at motivational speeches works on some people. What motivates me? honesty. if you tell me “I’ve got no good reason, let’s just go shoot xyz alliance” I’ll be there, guns blazing. turns out there is actually a reason for this one.
Long story short: Technetium is being nerfed by CCP. Northern Coalition wants to go out with a fight.
This rings bells – back in 2009 when the Northern Coalition was actually a coalition of alliances, and held all the space that goons and friends now holds, (I was in Mostly harmless and we held Pure Blind, Fade and Cloud Ring.) CCP changed sov fundamentally. The Dominion patch moved from simply the alliance with the most pos’s wins, to actually being able to upgrade systems and having the mechanics of Territorial control units and blockade units and infrastructure hubs. At this point Pandemic legion held all of fountain and they came to give us a fight before dominion hit
(see http://evemonkey.wordpress.com/2009/09/22/news_from_the_north/ and other posts from around that time).
Now, the same thing is happening again. Tech will be nerfed, from Executive Outcome’s perspective our 30bill per month sov costs will no longer be funded by the high price of technetium. We’re going to actually have to work to pay our sov costs or contract our sov. The alliance that is called Northern Coalition seems to want to have one last war before they contract or go back to wherever they intend to go. fair enough. let’s pew pew bitches.
Executive outcomes is unfortunately tied to both TEST and goons. so I have ships and jump clones in cloud ring, Delve and Deklein, our new staging region for the war in Tribute. Happily I already have all the necessary tactical bookmarks for deklein. This was my very first nullsec region when I was part of Defi4nt alliance for a couple of months prior to moving to MH.
So Sunday night there was an op that I didn’t get in on due to the time, but Monday night I had the priviledge of knocking out the SBU’s attached to KQK1-2, one of the systems held by The Ancient Gaming Noob‘s alliance. One of these days I’ll fulfill a years long goal of actually flying along side him
Nothing much to tell on this particular occasion. Even though we were in hot-drop range of NC. they failed to show and we killed the SBU’s and went home.
Que the screenshots:
an SBU being assploded, here’s one: clicky
Yes, I brought a drake, I haven’t yet brought my HICtor. usually these ops will be late at night so I think I don’t want to risk making a stupid decision while tired so I brought also my raptor and a stealth bomber and bought two drakes at our staging system.
The other night I finally found some time to get online. I jumped from highsec to my nullsec no-implant clone in cloud ring, intent on finding some pew in my new raptors. Logged onto Teamspeak only to find that most of the corp in cloud ring (about 5 or 6 people) were busy finishing off a large npc complex 6 jumps away from our home system.
I literally have no PVE ships in nullsec. This is something that I’ve thought about fixing, but never gotten around to it.
Here’s my current hanger in cloud ring. As you can see, Drake, Falcon, Buzzard, Onyx, 4 raptors, 3 manticores, viator, occator. I would love to have a spare Onyx, but I don’t seem to die all that often when not on the front line. my Delve hanger has quite a few redundant ships.
So to contribute to the corp, I jumped in my Buzzard covert ops and headed out to scout for the returning pve fleet. Almost immediately we got a report of a neutral showing up in the system adjacent to our home system of 9-4. Great! usually one neutral is not cause for a home defense fleet mobilization, so I sat at my safe spot above the G8AD gate to get a visual on the neutral. Shortly after the intitial report, another report came through that the neutral fleet had increased to 6 people. The person reporting had no visual on the fleet. 5 neuts is something that warrants a small home defense response.
The returning pve ships docked up and changed into combat ships. Then the first neut then jumped through into our home system – he held cloak for a good 20 seconds and then warped to the station. I reported him as a harbinger. The assumption then would be that a 5 man gang of armor tanked battle cruisers, maybe some smaller tackle included would be following.
One of our HIC’s undocked in his broadsword and sat there, taking fire from the harbinger to keep him interested while the rest of our corp got their ships ready. at this point our alliance members in cloud ring were spread out in various systems around the place, but we were all listening to the intel happening from these two systems. Finally the rest of the harbi’s gang jumped in and I reported the surprising result: Scimitar, Drake, Drake, Hurricane, Tempest. eh? what kind of fleet was this? three shield BC’s, one shield BS and one armor BC with a shield logi?
Clearly the initial Harbi was their bait ship and possibly their FC. We knew that we could keep eyes on them with impunity (possibly the cane was an insta-cane, but still unlikely to catch a covert ops) so we were patient and stayed docked up for the moment. I kept eyes on them from my Buzzard. They must have become bored as they warped to the FQ9 gate. It was clear that they were going to do the complete circle around cloud ring.
A corp stealth bomber undocked and volunteered to follow them down the pipe. by this time we had people jump-cloning back from delve (no ops going on this evening), the rest of the alliance had joined our standing fleet and an FC volunteered to lead. Because there was only 6 or 7 of us at the start, we determined fleet composition by consensus and what we could fly.
The trick was we didn’t know what the harbi was fitted with, and clearly the Scimi would be a problem. Logistics ships are force multipliers, causing the opposing fleet to have far more dps to break the tank of the ships being repaired or to focus first on the scimi. We knew also that the harbi and the tempest would have either a huge tank or some ewar in the middle combined with a large alpha strike against battleships.
So options for us were immediately rejected such as battleships (not many of us have them anyway) also, not many expensive pvp ships are kept in cloud ring as we’re all supposed to be deployed to delve, so no tengus. the odds were too even to bring expensive things anyway.
However… thank CCP for their sand-box options: you know what else is a force multiplier?
Falcons are one of my favorite ships. One of my first losses in nullsec was a falcon: http://eve-kill.net/?a=kill_detail&kll_id=3366155 Back when I was flying them then, they could easily perma-jam anything, ECCM’s were not very effective and falcons could jam out to 150km and had a little bit of a tank. in small gang pvp, they were THE force multiplier to have. CCP has nerfed their range and tank somewhat and so now my optimal range is 57km. meaning that they can be within range of average long-range guns. still, guns only work if you can lock your target. So whereas they used to be “OMFG it’s a falcon! – Game over man! Game over!!!!” They are now an “oh crap a falcon. Falcon is primary, falcon is primary”.
We brought two.
With the neut gang being composed the way it was, there was no need for us to have fast tackle. we already had one falcon, so instead of getting out in my raptor I told the FC “I can bring a second Falcon or a HIC” Someone else volunteered their Broadsword and so I jumped in Steve, my falcon.
Doesn’t really matter what else we brought. There was no chance anything except the cane was going to get a lock, and it would be unlikely that the cane would have the range to hit a falcon even if it was insta-fit. We brought a smattering of battlecruisers and a HIC
By this time the hostile fleet had moved on two systems down the pipe with our dutiful covops pilot following them with impunity. It was funny to listen to as they were clearly being very cautious, with their Harbi going in first and waiting, then the rest of the fleet would jump in. perhaps they were trying to catch our stealth bomber pilot. in anycase, it gave us heaps of time. now, clearly, jumping into them on a gate wasn’t a great idea – our falcons need to be at range. Time to use our home advantage: Jump bridges.
We took our jump bridge and had enough time to get on the appropriate gate and waited for the inevitable harbi to come through. Falcons got at optimal range, everyone else was on gate and we waited. I cloaked up and got the following from the other falcon pilot in fleet chat:
[ 2012.08.02 13:03:14 ] Fleet Member > akura
[ 2012.08.02 13:03:16 ] Fleet Member > where did you go?
[ 2012.08.02 13:03:21 ] Akura Kawanaka > I cloaked
[ 2012.08.02 13:03:33 ] Fleet Member > you sexy bastard
Shortly thereafter he cloaked also….. I think he may not have flown a falcon very often or something. but yes… I am a sexy bastard. you should see me when I’m uncloaking.
Sir Yiffles from “Ninja Unicorns with Huge Horns” jumped in. Falcons were cloaked, we didn’t have a logistics ship and he must have thought that they had a chance. Their scimitar jumped in and Yiffles decloaked. We falcons uncloaked and locked them both up. Scimitar made the wise decision to gate-crash and managed to make it back to the gate in time, but mr Yiffles died.
shield tanked tackle harbi? ok I guess…?
By this time we had more people becomming interested in the fight – alliance members jumping back from delve – people listening on TS or on Jabber logged in and joined the fight – our little fleet swelled to 20 people and 4 falcons. The neuts brought a known hot-dropping recon pilot to get eyes on us. This gave us a clue – because we knew where he came from (lowsec Placid region) we had a good idea of where these neutrals were heading. We took another jump bridge to head-them off and sent our now multiple covops/stealth bombers into in-between systems to get eyes/probes on them wherever they went.
At this point, there was no way the remaining neuts could escape unscathed. Their only two options were to escalate to cynoing a larger fleet on top of us, or attempt a rush through and accept the losses. After a little bit of back and forth, they decided that the only winning move was not to play. They logged off. we couldn’t get a scan on them in the 60 seconds or whatever it is before their ships disappeared from our scanners. victory for us I guess.
At this point there was another roaming gang moving through fountain – we combined with a TEST fleet and went to head them off. It was late for me so I went to bed. but not before taking a shot of a caldari navy firetail:
All in a days work in nullsec
The war in delve is all but over as evidenced by the influence map. Delve and Querious are taken and it was quite disappointing. In their defense, RA and nulli didn’t want those regions anyway.
The last bastion of defense is the station in 319-3D. It’s an NPC station and so the best we can do is camp it until they give up.
and so we bubble the undock, bubble towards the sun and other celestials and sit there with our carriers and dreads and anything else people want to bring and wait for them to try to escape en-mass
So here’s a commemerative youtube video from PL in case you haven’t already seen it:
Well. it was good while it lasted…
Edit: I ended the night by dying honorably in a hail of heavy missiles: I failed to cycle my bubble down quick enough during a mass-hostile undock. only 5 mins before going to bed also. I guess they fought us maybe.
One of the good things about Jabber is the audio notifications that you get when there is a broadcast. I generally have Jabber signed in if I even think there is a possibility of logging in during the evening.
So I found myself in a drake fleet. A Drake fleet consists almost entirely of drakes with a smattering of scimitars and occasionally some interdictors/fast tackle. The screenshots really tell the whole story and finally make me feel like I’m back to the way my blog used to be: battle reports and epic screenshots:
This particular fleet was to happen very fast. we had 15 mins to form up, and then we were bridging into an unknown system
As is the case with most of the ops down in delve, the general masses are not told where we are jumping or what we are going to shootto until we actually do the jumping and shooting.
In this case, our target was the infrastructure hub in LUA5-L. Epic screenshots ensued:
The basis of a drake fleet is the ability to have your microwarp drive on permanently. Everyone turns it on and follows an Anchor. The logistics ships also follow their own anchor and we all end up forming a loose conga line in space. In this case we were orbiting an Infrastructure hub. With 175+ drakes, each shooting 7 missile launchers each, it went down fast.
The titan then jumped into the target system with a medium-sized fleet of supercarriers for support and bridged us all back:
Almost immediately another drake fleet was called and again we formed up on the titan.
It didn’t become clear until about 15-20 mins into this form up that we were actually a protection detail. We heard on comms that a number of POS’s were being deployed in a system within jump range. Lots of people didn’t get it or weren’t paying attention and as the time wore on and we weren’t jumping anywhere, people got restless. I’ve never really understood this. Perhaps I just pick up things and am able to put pieces of information together, or maybe its the experience that I’ve had in nullsec previously. 200 man fleets are not called on a whim.
There is always a reason, and yet people started complaining. Fleet chat turned into something worse than local….. people didn’t seem to understand the purpose of the fleet and so they went looking for porn….. This was my very first operation with the goons and I very nearly learned the hard way:
Don’t click on random in-fleet image links while wife is standing behind you.
It started off tasteful, but I had a hunch that it would descend into madness…. apparently i was right, as the FC made a decree: “Guys: No more bunny-suit-tranny porn ok? that shit’s just wrong.”. I was stuck – this was worse than barrens chat! it was worse than local smack in jita and I couldn’t close the fleet window because occasionally useful information would flow through like discussions about fittings and announcements from CFC command that I hadn’t read.
and so we sat there….. a wall of drakes… being repped by our bored logi pilots….. brain cells being killed by mindless drivel banter….. for one hour. seriously goons: do you all live in your parents basement? isn’t there something better that you can do with your minds?!?
It was necessary as we would have been able to obliterate any hostile fleet that came to stop the deployment of our pos’s. No killmails from it, but it is necessary for the war. However, it was disappointing that even after one hour of listening to the directors talk about deploying POS’s, a corpmate complained about having a fleet “canceled” after waiting about doing nothing for an hour. I duly informed him that we were in-fact doing something: Protection for the region logistics deployment.
And so the drake fleet ended in success and a scheduled Tengu fleet commenced forming up:
Yes, a Tengu fleet. This fleet is fully reimbursable by goons and test alliance. I heard that they are able to replace a the loss of 3-4 200-ship tengu fleets every week. That’s the wealth of the combined CFC. Can the southern alliances keep up with that?
Test Alliance have made this awesome video to get the adrenaline pumping:
40 alliances, over 50,000 characters are now in delve and fighting it out.
The Original plan was for Test and PL to go to delve and have a bit of fun. They invited EXE (my alliance) also. The southern coalition called on their allies and we called on the rest of the CFC…. this is the result:
Turn up the volume and make it full screen
Edit – to be fair – the Southern Coalition have produced their own propaganda video, but didn’t use in-game footage unfortunately:
I’ve been busy this week but I have had one good night of eve-time.
Akura apologizes in advance for the wall of text
Our alliance has been asked to deploy to delve. Specifically, this means that it is mandatory for all our combat pilots to be on the front line. Now, we (the combat pilots) were told a bit over a week ago, but I have been reluctant to move. commencing the one and only time I’m going to rant about this.
So far joining ANZAC has been a bit of an exercise in frustration:
- jump clone to fountain, make gate bookmarks
- wait for combat ships to be jump freightered out to base
- spend almost a week worth of play time reading forums and signing up to alliance (and ally alliances) coms.
- Ships arrive yay! …. Get told to move base to cloud ring.
- one more week of moving and making new cloud ring bookmarks (luckily I had some in the critical systems from 2 years ago)
- Sign up for more voice comms
- I found the market lacking and so I bought nearly 1 bil worth of ships and modules to bring out to our base.
- Finally I go on one or two roams!
- get told to deploy to delve.
- As I couldn’t be on for the weekend deployment convoys I ended up leaving all my ships in cloud ring and death cloneing down to delve.
- Repurchase core combat ships and modules: Buzzard, Onyx, Drake, Falcon, Manticore x 2.
- Make more off-gate bookmarks
- find out that there are still more voice comms to sign up for.
So pretty much I have spent more time making off-gate bookmarks, reading forums and signing up for voice comms than I have actually spent playing the game….. This pisses me off somewhat, but it is no one’s fault. It was just bad timing. I’m not so much annoyed about the moving around, just that I have over 3 bill worth of assets sitting useless in cloud ring. (sure, not much compared to some people but I don’t operate with excessive amounts of isk reserves and I don’t fly capitals)
ok, end rant……
So, Delve huh?
This region has always had a mythical intimidationness about it. This is the home of the old BoB and goonswarm after it. I’ve heard stories of the ledgendary 24/7hr perma-lockdown of NOL-M9 after BoB disbanded. I’ve heard it called “fortress Delve” I’ve heard of the Dusk and Dawn alliance pos warfare, I’ve heard of the legendary richness of the moons (prior to some R64 reballancing). Frankly, I’m intimidated.
You know what intimidates me more? There are so many allied alliances here that our corporation was not able to find a player controlled station with an office. We (and a number of other alliances) have almost filled out the NPC-held stations!
The line up of alliances deployed here reads like a who’s who of northern nullsec:
..And this is still early days in the deployment. apparently the plan is to pvp until Against All Authorities is a High-sec mining alliance. This is going to be known as the Third Great War. I missed the first two, the first was before my time and the second was when I was just barely able to sit in a battlecruiser for the first time. This time, I’m ready
The fact that we’re going up against -A-, red alliance and by extension Red Overlord makes me quite excited. Having been part of -A- before, I know that they will be very tough opponents. There will be more at play here than just game mechanics. There will be spies, there will be propoganda, who knows what else. unless -A- has changed significantly in the two years since I was part of it, they are very serious players with a very large capital fleet. at the time it was widely accepted that they had the largest number of Titans of any alliance.
One step at a time though. Earlier this week we were just in the “establishing a beach-head” phase. As the threat of spies is ever-present, any major targets are not announced until we get jumped in and told to lock it up.
I’m curious: once we get past Delve and Querious – if it was me, I’d stage out of Providence. Last time I was there CVA appeared fairly easy to kick out. I doubt that -A- could extend their reach to cover that region as well. Providence may very well burn again.
My first night in Delve:
After deathcloning I looked around for ships to buy. There were cheap, fitted perma-mwd Drakes supplied by my corporation, so I bought one of them. I don’t generally fly one of these but they’re good to have ready should a drakefleet op be called. My preferred ship, the Onyx is less useful if mobility and speed are required over holding down an enemy fleet or locking down a system. Light dictors are easier to replace, Drakes are almost free.
We’re situated in and around some NPC stations. That means there are a bunch of annoying little non-sov holding alliances still left hanging around. I don’t imagine these guys will last very long, the shear number of major alliance members flying around will cause them to have a very unsatisfactory eve experience.
I saw an Onyx on contract for 300 mil isk a few systems away from our base so I bought it and waited for my corp to start up a roaming/gate-camping/bad-guy flushing fleet. Despite the fact I had to go 4 or 5 systems into unknown-npc-held space I encountered no issues getting in and transporting my Onyx back out again. Either the randoms that were in those systems were safe or docked, or they were just ignoring me. I have also felt much more comfortable in nullsec since re-mastering the microwarp drive/cloak trick that renders any ship all but unlockable so long as there are no bubbles.
Part of what I really love about my current corp is the excellent combination of seriousness combined with banter. We have a few ex-military members so the discipline is very good when it needs to be. people do what they are told, and they do it well. This is one of the reasons I joined in the first place. The banter is icing. At one point, our FC was practically yelling at some of the fleet for having not set up off-gate bookmarks. He called them “Perches” (apparently this is the correct military term). I’ve always just called them “off-gate bookmarks”. (for those that don’t know: to avoid getting trapped in bubbles, it is essential that every pilot have bookmarks at least 150km away from every gate so that you can warp to the bookmark and scout prior to warping to the gate. if there is a camp or sling bubble on the gate, this is a life-saver). Anyway, after long debate in-between warping around and killing people we all concluded that they should be called Drop-bears: “make drop-bears on all the gates!” , “warp to the drop bear in the corporate locations”. “anyone got a drop bear on the NOL gate?”
Later that evening Test Alliance announced a kitchen sink op. This is basically a non-reimbursable fleet where you bring whatever you want to fly and can afford to lose. The FC makes no guarantees that we will come out alive on the other end. As a result, most people came in battlecruisers, either hurricanes or drakes. These are very cheap to replace. Naturally, I came in my brand new Onyx, however the most expensive ship there was a redeemer Black ops battleship. Such was the confidence we had in the FC.
Now, despite the serious nature of the deployment to delve, ops like these have a purpose: to intimidate the local populous. As I mentioned, there are a number of small, annoying alliances hanging around. They inhibit our movements and need to be evicted. They need to know that they are never safe while this large-scale operation is in progress. And so we must constantly be keeping pressure on them until they leave. However seeing as this goal is secondary to the greater strategic goal and given the fact there is no actual set objective for these roams, there are no reimbursements.
Hot drop time:
Enter the surprise Hot-drop. A Hot drop is where a cyno is lit by a brave soul who flies right into the middle of a hostile fleet and hopes to live long enough for the rest of the fleet to bridge in via titan. In the past, if I have hot-dropped anywhere, it is to permanently take the system and usually has been with a fleet of capitals or large number of battleships into a similarly large group of battleships/capitals. If it works, it’s great. If the bad guys kill the cyno before the fleet can bridge in, it can go horribly wrong. (side note – if everything is perfect but your titan jumps in after you and explodes the fleet, then that’s bad also).
This time we were doing it with only 50 people, jumping in on small groups of 10 or so who had no chance if we did it correctly.
So we all formed up on the titan for the first jump I was the only Heavy Interdictor but towards the middle/end of the evening we had a few light dictors join us. Our FC was in a bait, armor tanked drake with a cyno and it wasn’t long before he got a bite. Up went the cyno, we all jumped in and I threw up a bubble. The hostile fleet didn’t stand a chance and I didn’t even get a chance to lock anything thanks to our “insta-canes” one-vollying them
Towards the end of the night the FC got me to put a cyno on my Onyx and we went together to find targets – nothing really eventuated unfortunately but it was still good.
I’ve found my situational awareness is a little bit down from when I was playing almost every night 2 years ago. I just have to get back into the habit of doing the fleet thing. Admittedly it was 1am, and by that time the best I could do was follow FC orders, not think for myself all that well, but hey, I was still slightly dissapointed. worst mistake I made was just a miss-placed bubble at one point because my mind wandered and I wasn’t centred on gate after our first drop, but still. There’s always next time
Comming up soon: I join a 200 man drake fleet – Very cool screenshots etc to compensate for this wall of text post here
So as I mentioned previously I joined up with ANZAC Alliance corporation who are part of Executive Outcomes. We currently control Cloud Ring and are unfortunately allied with Goonswarm.
So I rounded up all my PVP gear and took it to the designated system where the corp jump freighter pilots move things back and forth between highsec and nullsec.
Then I moved my medical clone out to our home system and podded myself to get out there. The first thing that you should do when moving to any new space is make bookmarks 150+ away from the gates. This is so you can be assured you are clear of any bubbles that may be on the gates. So I bought the cheapest frigate I could find and a ridiculously overpriced mwd and spent an hour or so making bookmarks around the area.
cheap vigil frigate
It was about a week before my stuff arrived via jump freighter and since then I spent about another week waiting for a scheduled fleet op to happen during the time I usually play.
Turned out that Today was the day! A fleet operation notification was placed in our “Ship Violencing” forums, we were told to bring “battle cruisers T2 and 3, rapiers, coverts, tackle, and MOAR dps ships that go pew pew and logistics (scimi).” I didn’t have a drake ready so I jumped in my trusty Gothic Robochicken Onyx and headed out.
Onyx Heavy Interdictor dwarfed by an Avatar Titan
One thing I was blown away with was the new animations for jump bridges…. instead of the gate “bloop” there’s this massive space/time tearing sound that is absolutely epic! and animation that looks like this: I was having such a nerdgasm taking screenshots that I nearly missed the second bridge…
Turns out the fleet was a major logistics operation to transport the massive amounts of modules and minerals required to deploy our own station! Some of the modules were being built in Lowsec and some in high sec, so the support fleet’s job was to protect the freighters….. I have never seen so many freighters in one spot before.
On the whole, it was a fairly dull evening, however sometimes these evenings are required. If we’re going to make our space better then sometimes the boring things need to be done. The FC and the other corp/alliance directors were busy the whole time though. We were occasionally told to shut up on Teamspeak just so they could think, although mostly it was friendly banter .
So for us, there wasn’t any pew pew. We did sit on a lowsec gate to highsec to ensure the freighters didn’t get bothered as they moved in and out. but as none of us thought we were going to be doing a lowsec op, we couldn’t hit anything….. The frigates we had couldn’t tank the gate guns and the cruisers/battlecruisers didn’t have the scan resolution to target fast enough. and when we did get something slow enough (a bestower hauler) those of us that could lock ended up being stopped by the “do you really want to do this” dialogue box….. So I will add to my list of “things to take in your HIC Cargohold” a sensor booster with a scan resolution script so you can swap it out with an active hardener if you get the chance to dock and you know you won’t be able to bubble.
Nevermind – objective achieved: Station Egg (see this guide on outposts: linky) will be placed tomorrow night just before downtime and it will grow into a station by tomorrow evening.
One thing I did discover, and I’m glad it was during a non-combat operation. Missile explosion effects in fleet for some reason cause a graphical glitch on my client and cause the client to pause for a good 10 seconds:
After turning off explosion effects it is fine.
Well, hopefully I’ll have some actual battle reports soon. Things seem to have died down in the north recently. I can only hope that someone tries to take it from us. My experience of Cloud Ring in the past has been quite violent (linky linky linky.)
On another note: to settle a dispute that some corp members were having my HIC guide got linked in corp chat and on jabber and it wasn’t by me. Turns out googling for “EVE online HIC guide” brings my blog up as the top result. Great success!
My HIC Guide being linked in corp chat