Prelude to Invasion
So it has become apparent over the last week or so that Sons of Tangra would like to have a go at taking some of the 0.0 space controlled by Mostly Harmless. There have been movements of Capital fleets arround areas close to MH space and some POS’s put up by SOT and their allies in what is considered a region controlled by MH.
An Influence map of the north-west portion of the Eve universe
As you can see from the map above, SOT are quite a distance away from Mostly Harmless, however they have recently moved a capital fleet into a low security space staging area in the Lonetrek region, just south of the Mostly Harmless/Council/Morsus Mihi borders. This movement, combined with the fact that SOT have acted hostile to MH over recent months, lead the MH leaders to strongly suspect an attack this weekend.
Now, dispite the fact that I live in 0.0 space, I have difficulty understanding the politics sometimes, but here’s a basic run-down of this area of Eve:
Tau Ceti Federation, Razor, Morsus Mihi, Wildly Inappropriate and Mostly Harmless form what is known as the Northern Coalition. The NC is friendly to Goonswarm who control the region just south of SOT. Pandemic legion works closely with the NC but is only officially “blue” to a couple of the alliances. PL are officially Neutral to MH but own some high-end moons within MH space. you could say that PL and MH are “it’s complicated” facebook buddies. SOT are seen as PL pets, and I believe are known to be a heavy industrial alliance, as are MH. So perhaps now you can grasp the delicate nature of SOT attacking MH.
POS Warfare 101
POS warfare is an interesting thing, I’ll write another post about it sometime, but for now it’s only important to know that you generally can’t kill a POS in one-go. Once a Pos’s shields get past a certain point, it enters “reinforced mode” during which it is invulnerable until the timer expires. The amount of time that this mode lasts is dependant on the size of the POS and how much Strontium has been loaded into it’s fuel reserves. For a large POS, the general timer is 1 day and 17 hours. during which time of course, the owners of the POS will rally their defence fleets. This is why they say in 0.0, you always know when there’s going to be a large fleet battle a day or so in advance. and why CCP ask directors of corporations to let them know of potential >300 person fights.
Anyway… back to our previously scheduled program.
Mostly Harmless scouts were sent out early this week with the task of finding the enemy’s staging area. on Thursday, word came in of a weekend of Call To Arms. A CTA basically requires all members of every corp online to be working towards the war effort. Those that can’t fly combat ships can scout or haul resources to staging areas. As a member of my corporation’s Pew Pew brigade I warmed up my HIC, moved arround a few battleships for the corporation and double-checked my ammo supplies.
The first fleet of the CTA was called on friday night. The word was that we were going to reinforce a SOT POS, but it we were not told which one just yet.
Now, the Mostly Harmless leadership had chosen this particular POS and this particular time in order that it would come out of reinforced mode on Sunday afternoon, where everyone in the alliance from both Euro and US timezones would be online to take it down and we’d have a numbers advantage over SOT.
So the call went out to form up. the FC said that he’d Idealy like 4-5 Heavy interdictors and that they must all bring Focus scripts. I knew then we’d be fighting in Lowsec.
Avatar Titan in our Staging area
So we all formed up and Titan-Bridged into the lowsec system of Saranen in the Lonetrek region. Just one jump outside Mostly Harmless-held Pure-blind. Due to the fact that bubbles can’t be used in lowsec, locking down a system is that much harder. the HIC’s were chosen over interceptors for their ability to Tank the gate guns.
After engaging a few SOT undocking from a station near the cyno beacon, the Heavy interdictors were spread out to lock down the system as best as they could. I was sent to the Tartoken gate and was immediately set apon by the gate guns due to my previous aggression.
It was at this point I realised a distinct advantage of an Onyx-class HIC over the other types. Shields have a natural passive regeneration to them, and so I was able to take all the damage the gate was giving me and still remain above 60% shield. if I had the foresight to fit some shield regeneration modules I would have easily been up arround 80% but I was fitted out for mobile gang warfare with a Buffer tank rather than a passive regen fit.
The other HIC’s however weren’t so happy. as they too were Buffer tanked (as most HIC’s should be) they were having difficulty remaining cap stable repairing their armor, which doesn’t naturally regenerate while being hit by the gate guns.
Anyway, once our scouts and HIC’s were deployed, our Dreadnought fleet jumped in and proceded to bash on the SOT capital staging Pos anchored in the system.
The dreadnoughts went into seige mode – where they cannot move, or be repaired by other ships, but do many times the normal amount of damage. And we settled in for the duration. It was mostly uneventfull, with the occasional force recon warping in and out and jumping through, neither SOT or their allies put up any fight and so the dreads went into a second seige cycle.
It was towards the end of the second seige cycle that one of the dread pilots said on Team Speak: “Uh….I don’t think they put Strontium in this POS”. Sure enough, the Tower did not enter reinforced mode. Disbelieving, a third Dread seige cycle was ordered and the tower and all its modules melted. This is unheard of – No-one puts up a Tower and doesn’t put at least some strontium in it. Particularly not if the Tower is the capital ship staging area for an attack on another alliance……
The COAD post in the Eve forums said it all:
“SOT Cap Fleet Spotted Moving in near PB. Here it comes MH are you ready?????????”
and after a bit of banter, the result of the fight was posted:
“MH were indeed ready and attempted to use the default POS load of 1 day 17 hours to set up a fun Sunday evening. However as SoT had cunningly put zero stront in their low sec capital stagin tower, MH accidently the entire POS.
After the experience, we were all a bit numb… like I imagine you would be if you went to hunt a wolf but found it was just a little puppy…… but then you killed it anyway…
The FC appologised profusely for misleading us into thinking we were going to reinforce a POS. The others consoled themselves by toasting the FC, but since I had no whiskey on me at the time, I consoled myself with a cool screenshot of my HIC in Warp.
We were all looking for a bit of fun and were dissapointed. We’ll see what the weekend brings in any case. SOT have assured us: “The Pew; it will be glorious” we certainly hope so. Nothing beats fleets of 200+ on each side beating the hell out of eachother. Bring it on brothers.