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Going for the heart of providence

February 4, 2010 9 comments

If I didn’t know better, I’d think that title was some sort of romance novel. In fact this story is one of a love/hate relationship, which I am unfortunately not qualified to tell from the beginning, being in the North when it started. I only joined the fighting on the night that Against All Authorities took D-GTMI from Paxton federation, one of the Providence region holders.

Apparently the providence holders were offered a truce. Being the grunt I am, I was not party to the discussions, but from what I heard here are the events that brought us to the current situation:

  • Providence holders (CVA + pets) and Against all authorities (-A-) have had a Non Aggression Pact in terms of sovereignty changes but were enemies in terms of roaming fleets.
  • CVA got disbanded by a hacker and -A- marshalled to help protect their space from would-be invaders until they were reinstated by CCP
  • -A- Started a war with Goonswarm in 49-U.
  • CVA took the opportunity to launch an attack into -A- space, cutting us off from empire space.
  • -A- didn’t take this very well, especially after the recent show of solidarity and came back hard, taking an important station in providence (D-GTMI).
  • -A- after claiming the system in what is possibly the the largest fleet fight ever combined with possibly the largest single loss of capital ships ever with the greatest disparity between those on the winning side vs those on the loosing side ever proceeded to offer CVA a truce.
  • For reasons only their roleplaying god knows, CVA abandon common sense and reject said truce outright.
  • —-

    This brings us to the subject of today’s blog:

  • -A- begin an offensive into the heart of Providence, their trade hub of 9uy, a system that has not been contested for three years.
  • —-
    A vengeful battleship fleet prepares to jump into 9UY
    Photobucket

    I was at work, following twitter, when I read a post from my corp mate Wensley saying that the providence holders just got a nice surprise. I hastily tweeted back “What? What happened?!?!” knowing that the conflict had likely escalated. This was met with a “log on, get in fleet” and then a private “We’re taking 9UY”.

    By this time it was 6:30pm anyway and after mouthing a big “O…..M…….G……” I decided I didn’t have to work late anyway and literally ran to get the next tube home.

    9UY is a fair way from our home staging system, and so I was hoping that I hadn’t missed the titan bridge. it turned out that they had already started sieging the system, but CVA had counter attacked by dropping Sovereignty Blockade Units in our empire access system of HED and in the newly taken D-GTMI. Our fleet had returned to kill the attacking fleet and the SBU’s and I managed to catch the bridge back into 9UY in my Megathron.

    Fleet jumping into 9UY
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    On a side note: the -A- fleet megathrons are a very tight fit. I have Advanced Weapons Upgrades to lvl 5 but I still needed to replace my 3% capacitor recharge hard-wiring implant with a 1% CPU implant in order to fit everything. Same goes for the recommended Eagle fit, I need a t2 power grid module, a power grid rig and energy grid upgrades to lvl 5 to even fit the damn thing…(yes, I have a new shiny… I can finally fly HAC’s after putting it off for so long. but that’s another blog post).

    Unfortunately the battleship fleet at this stage didn’t see much action as the providence holders had exausted their resistance. Their jump bridge network was incapacitated and they didn’t seem to have any titans with which to bridge around from. whereas we were able go from HED, to D-G to 9UY at will with our titan pilots seemingly everywhere at once.

    Shortly thereafter both the station and the infrastructure hub were reinforced and the timer was is a very favorable saturday night.

    The order was given to return back to the home station and come back in roaming gang ships to lock down the system. I had my client set to have all the visual effects on for once and managed to get a shot of an open titan bridge:

    Titan Bridge open. ooooh, shiny
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    I thought about taking my eagle out. This baby can hit at 165km, which for a cruiser is pretty damn good. my other option was a falcon which I haven’t flown for ages or my trusty onyx. after actually undocking and jumping into the system where the next titan bridge was going to be, I changed my mind and went back for what I know. My faithful Gothic Robo-Chicken has been through multiple wars in the north and has yet to let me down.

    We bridged into 9UY again and proceeded to lock every gate down. At this point the FC explained why he chose this system to attack, fairly simple really: Rather than grind through all the station systems one-by-one, we’re going straight for the heart

    9UY is a trade hub, and a number of CVA freighters were seen dropping off stuff at the station in recent days.
    9UY is a crossroads. if you look at a map of Providence region you will see that it is a vital system, tying together the alliances CVA, -7-, STEEL and SLYPH who control a small portion of neighboring catch. in order to marshal their forces, the providence holders would need to pass through this system. Also, if, perhaps one were to look at their jump bridge map, not that I approve of metagaming, but perhaps I have been privy to information that suggests it is a fairly central point for the providence holder jump bridge network.

    These two things have been the case for years and so this was a very obvious target for anyone wishing to shut down CVA and pets as fast as possible.

    Onyx Heavy Interdictor on a gate
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    It was quite fun actually there wasn’t any more than about 150 in the system at any one time, but we had almost complete control over all the gates. Large mobile warp disruptors were anchored on most of the gates so I parked myself at one that didn’t and threw my bubble up. A friendly MomSupercarrier pilot sent me some fighters and although I managed to get two hostile battleships into armour, I didn’t get any kills before they burned to the gate as there were only 3-4 of us on that gate at that time. I mentioned on TS that they may want to come help kill the 15 man battleship gang that was attacking my poor little (albeit very heavily tanked with 115,000 hp) cruiser but for some reason the battleships decided to burn to the gate rather than face the might of the one heavy assault missile on my ship and they got away. good times :-)

    For some reason, throughout the night, there was a gang of about 50 hostiles that appeared in 9-F, two systems away and went back and forth, playing chicken with our support ships. as soon as we jumped in, they’d safe or dock up. this happened about 5 times.

    Bubbling their station out of frustration. Wait…. that’s a minmatar station!
    Photobucket

    Eventually we left a cloaked interdictor there and Soundly Spanked them it looks like they were not all that prepared or just threw their fleet together at the last minute.. it looks like its trying to be a battlecruiser gang I guess. In any case, as you can see from that killboard link, the fight was reminiscent of the fight for D-G. we killed 34 ships and 11 pods for a loss of 5 frigates and two pods. lots of “gf”‘s in local afterwards, and at the time I thought we were fairly equal, but it seems not.

    I think I need a good beating from a providence fleet to give me a reality check, because I’m starting to think they’re generally incompetent.

    Another bit of fun we had that evening was when we killed a HAC gang that warped to the gate that I was at. The FC called primaries and we dutifully killed them one by one. Then at the last one, a guardian logistics ship, the FC told everyone to stop and get rid of their drones from him. Then he said to rep him up, “he’s our pet now” he said.

    and so we did:

    Photobucket
    Bubbled and Scrambled and Neuted and Jammed and Target Disrupted
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    It’s those little moments in eve that make it such an enjoyable game to play. Even the guardian pilot seemed to appreciate the joke, saying “awww, AAA loves me” in local.

    We thought it was only propper that we send him home the express rout and eventually killed him and his pod.

    The -A- killboards for the operation in 9UY (not including our kills in 9-F) show the VERY favourable result of 222 ships killed for 16 ships lost. This was becoming a recurring theme in our engagements with providence:
    Photobucket

    To finish off. I was very nearly able to reproduce the screenshot that I showed on my fourth blog post ever. The angle of the Nyx wasn’t quite right to get the sun glinting off the top, but it was damn close. I still haven’t managed to get a clear view of a Hel. I got one the other day, but it had about three titans in the background, ruining the shot (I never thought I’d say that).

    Nyx MotherSupercarrier by Starlight
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    Currently I’m logging in and out at a POS in 9UY, helping with the 23/7 lockdown of the system which will continue until it is in -A-’s hands in about 5 days or so.
    The station comes out of its first reinforced cycle on saturday, I hope I can be there for that battle also.

    The battle for D-GTMI

    January 26, 2010 2 comments

    This has been reported elsewhere and is perhaps overshadowed by the news that NOL has been taken from the goons in the heart of Delve but here is the story of last night.

    I had finished hauling a large amount of my ships down to the high-security systems just outside providence/catch last night when I decided that a whiskey-fuelled roam through nullsec would be just the ticket to celebrate. I knew in the back of my mind that I’d likely lose the ship but I didn’t care.

    Turns out I didn’t though. Initially I thought I’d have one more roam through providence while I’m still not red to the residents there, but I got sidetracked.

    I fitted out my tengu with an interdiction nullifier, covert configuration, warp core stabilizers and nanofiber internal structures. this is as hard to catch as any ship you’re going to get and it paid off. There was a heavily populated gate-camp by Against All Authorities (-A-) on the gate from empire but I blew past them. A few systems in and I went through another large camp with permanent bubbles anchored. it took me a while to realise that I had stumbled on a major battle between -A- and allies vs the providence holders.

    I thought I’d hang around to see the show despite being neutral to both parties. I had my graphics turned right down due to the nearly 900 people in system so sorry for the quality of the shots.

    Current location: D-GTMI
    Sovereignty > Paxton Federation (Vulnerable)
    Constellation > 4BZ-R3
    Region > Providence
    Security Level > 0.0

    Photobucket

    Immediately after entering the system, an old corp mate of mine from a year ago convoed me. Turns out he had been in Systematic Chaos for 6 months or so and was fighting on the side of -A-. It was good hearing his side as it went along.

    First of all, it was my duty to take a screenshot of a Sovereignty Blockade Unit which I had never actually seen up close before, having always had something more important to be doing, like shooting the bad guys. Now I wasn't allied to anyone and had warp disruption bubble immunity so I had the freedom to move around the battlefield:

    Sovereignty Blockade unit and two anchored bubbles at a gate
    Photobucket

    Next stop was my very first deep safe. Both sides jumped in capitals at a deep safespot, which, although I've not used these much, give time for whoever is jumping in to get their ships out before anyone can possibly warp to the cyno beacon.

    Deep safespots 253au away from the station. the safespot bookmarks you see there are 14 AU apart.
    Photobucket

    It was actually quite funny at one stage. The first cyno I warped to was lit by an -A- blackbird. after hanging around for a while about 10 or so severence stealth bombers turned up. I thought they'd target paint the blackbird and shoot it with torpedos or something. but no... they launched bombs.... I counted 9 bombs (at 1mil or soeach) before the blackbird died. talk about cost efficiency.......*rolls eyes*. They left and the cyno pilot was dead so I scooped the loot: some t2 ecm modules, t2 10mn mwd etc. not bad for all the not fighting I did to get it.

    At this point I was told by my mate that they were "titan bowling" where they warp titans into a hostile pos, hoping to knock out any ships inside..... then they blew up the pos as you'll see in a screenshot at the end of this post.

    Next was a trip to see the aggressor's capital staging POS. Here was a fairly largeish fleet of both -A- and UNITY (Ushra'Khan) capital ships that seemed to be slightly smaller than the Northern Coalition brought a while back vs PL but not less impressive by any means:

    Capital ships in a POS.
    Photobucket

    Shortly, their non-capital fleet warped to the station. I thought I'd be smart and warp to the station from the opposite direction of the POS, but it turned out to be a bad Idea. I warped to an asteroid belt first, then back to the station at 100, only to land about 10km from the bulk of their fleet. luckily I didn't become decloaked, but it was hairy there for a few minutes.

    -A- and UNITY sieging the station
    Photobucket

    Then they warped in the big guns....

    capital ships land at the station
    Photobucket

    In case you missed it, that's eleven (11) titans on the field according to my directional scanner, five avatars and two each of the other titans.

    This image: pretty much sums up the fight

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