jump to navigation

And Sometimes We are the Ones Outnumbered… September 17, 2014

Posted by Wilhelm Arcturus in entertainment, EVE Online.
Tags: , , ,
2 comments

GUARENTEED FIGHT IN FOUNTAIN TONIGHT

-Blawrf McTaggart, the broadcast some claim jinxed the whole thing

Black Legion still has a tower set up in Fountain.  We had put it into reinforce and the timer was set to come up last night.  We were going to go and try to finish it off.

Reagalan put up a broadcast about fifteen minutes in advance of the form up time for the fleet, but otherwise it wasn’t really on the calendar or anything, so when Blawrf finally sounded the horn there were already about 40 of us in the YA0-XJ station and in the fleet.  The follow up got another 50 or so people, putting us at 93 total.

Not bad for a week night without much in the way of advance warning.  Enough to cause trouble most days of the week.

The fleet composition had yet to be announced.  Reagalan wanted to take a Hawk fleet out, an experimental doctrine, but was overruled.  Neither were we destined to run out to Fountain in Tengus, which was probably a good thing as my Tengu is still down in F2OY-X.  The call from command said we were to go out as a Baltec fleet because this was serious business, a strat op, and not just some roam.

So we got out our Baltec ships.  I got into my Apocalypse, which had made it back from Delve, and joined everybody out at the staging POS so we could begin the part of every fleet op where we discover we do not have enough boosters or logistics.  I am still ages away from being able to fly a boosting ship and I wanted to get on a kill mail, it has been a slow month so far, so I was reluctant to give that up for logistics.

As it was, we had to escort somebody a couple of jumps to pick up a boosting ship in order to cover him from a hostile gang roaming the area.  We managed to land on them at one point and I was able to lock up and get on a kill mail, helping blot out a tackled interceptor.  I even got top damage.

My need for a kill mail satisfied, I volunteered to swap out for an Oneiros logistics ship.

Oneiros at a Cloud Ring POS

Oneiros at a Cloud Ring POS

Some other people swapped for logi and we ended up with a fleet composition worth taking out at last.  Then it was a quick warp to a titan to bridge us a little ways along before we picked up the well worn trail to Fountain.  The route was posted in fleet for us to free burn to B-DBYQ, the gateway system to Fountain from the north, where we spent so much time last year.  I barely needed to look at the route, as I can fly it by rote at this point.

We burned out way, spreading out along the route, light ships landing at the destination as the battleships slowly followed a few systems back.  Reagalan was trying to get the battleship pilots to hurry up by having them cycle their MWD modules before starting the process to warp to the next point in space.  This is supposed to speed up the transition to warp by bringing the ship up to the 75% of top speed threshold needed to engage.  Wags on coms were pointing out that this was shaving off about a second from the align and warp time, but that the extra second was pretty much being eaten up by the actually having to cycle the MWD.

As we arrived in B-DBYQ over time, Reagalan had us hole up at the POS where the jump bridge was located.  The battleships finally caught up and joined us within the protective shield.

Apocs burning for the POS

Apocs burning for the POS

There we sat for a bit, the force now consolidated again, when Reagalan, without preamble, warped us to the local customs office.  This was unusual as part of the doctrine is to keep everybody aligned so that we will all warp and land together.  As we were all spread out in the POS and facing this way or that, this lead to a long, ragged fleet warp.  I happened to be facing almost exactly 180 degrees from the destination, which meant I was one of the last to warp off, but which also meant I got a pretty good view of the new warp termination effect as the rest of the fleet landed in front of me.  A pity it is so faint and transitory that it is tough to capture effectively in a screen shot.  It looks very nice when you see it happen, but a single frame can’t seem to capture its essence.

Reagalan then had us align back in the direction from which we had just warped.  A we landed back at the jump bridge he told us to take it, which got a collective moan out of the fleet on coms.  Taking the jump bridge would send us in the wrong direction.  That was the way home.  That meant no fight for us.

Reagalan confirmed this.  While we managed to get a fleet of nearly one hundred together, Black Legion had a Tengu fleet up with a reported 150 members in fleet, roughly one third of them logistics.   That last bit is a key factor.

Logistics for sub caps is the new trend (well, new-ish at this point) in why null sec is broken.  Back in the old days, long before my time in null, apparently fights were often blood baths where winner and loser could wander off almost equally mauled.  Everybody got kill mails though, so even the losers in a fight where they were burned down to the last ship would feel that at least they had inflicted some losses on their foes.  They had some tangible effect and the fight was not in vain.  Some of the bad guys… and your foes are always bad guys… had to walk home too.

Now, however, if two fleets of roughly equal size square off, if one has better logistics support not only is it likely to win the engagement, it is likely to do so with minimal losses.  So, in the absence of other ways to win a fight, piling on logistics support has become a thing.  We no longer fly strat ops with just a couple logi ships.  Instead the FC has to chide people into support ships under the threat of standing down if we do not get sufficient numbers in the space priest column.  The same go for boosting ships, though calls for nerfing boosters has been going on for a while now, at least for off-grid boosting.

Anyway, so you can add “nerf logistics” to the “fixing null” sec bingo card along with “nerf jump bridges,” “nerf jump drives,” “nerf supers,” and “fix sovereignty.”  (“Grr Goons” is the center spot and everybody gets that as a freebie.)

The upshot of this was that we faced a formidable foe by the reports that were shared with us.  Spies on both sides mean that we all generally know what we are facing for this sort of timer fight unless somebody is very, very clever.  The Tengu fleet alone seemed very likely to chew us up unless handled badly.  Add in the fact that Black Legion’s allies had assembled an additional fleet of 100+ ships for the fight, and the decision was made not to give the enemy an easy victory by fighting them with the odds in their favor.  We headed back to the staging station in YA0-XJ to stand down.

We got our participation link for showing up.  While Dabigredboat took a bomber fleet down to harass the hostiles at about the same time we headed out, I am sure Black Legion saved their tower.  I am also equally sure that we will soon be headed down to reinforce it yet again, so there will be more timers and more possible fights.

Addendum: And there was a fight there again already.  Oops, sorry about that LAWN.

Addendum2: Or maybe that wasn’t the same tower.  Still, bloodbath in Fountain.

Blow Up at F2OY-X August 4, 2014

Posted by Wilhelm Arcturus in entertainment, EVE Online.
Tags: , , , , ,
add a comment

I was a bit disappointed on Saturday.  There were a couple of strat ops planned, but they were both during time frames where I was not going to be able to come along.  I like strat ops because they tend to be based on timers or some other event that forces both sides to show up.  And they tend to be focused on a specific mission beyond shooting whoever we can find.

But as I was poking around early Saturday afternoon, an op came up in Jabber asking people to get in fleet fast for action in F2OY-X.

That sounded like my kind of deal.  A fight in our staging system meant no travel.  Of course, it was likely to be a chimera, the possibility of a fight that would never materialize.  But I was sitting around and I wasn’t going to be around for the later strat op, so I jump into the game.  I would get a participation link for showing up at least.

But on getting into the game, a fight looked more than likely.  There were over a thousand people in the system, TiDi was already starting to hit hard, and even as I got into Reagalan’s Baltec fleet he was telling us to undock and align.  It was time to go, so I got my Apocalypse pointed in the right direction and went.

There were warp disruption bubbles of one flavor or another all over space within sight of the station.  We actually had to warp to a mid point to get around some to drop in on the fight.  Along the way, we passed within sight, if not range, of a TEST pilot who wanted us to be sure of who to shoot.

Ship naming fun

Ship naming fun

We slowly made our way to the engagement, tidi dipping to 10% already and, on arriving, started shooting the targets called.  Initially we did not have much success.  A later count showed that the hostiles brought a lot of logistics with their Tengu fleet, so were catching sufficient reps when targeted to shrug off our fire.  Remote reps have come up as part of the larger “fix null sec” thread of posts that has been banging about the EVE Online world.  You only get kills if you can out-damage the remote repair abilities of your foes.  So the game becomes “bring more dudes” while your FC yells at you to get into a logistics ship.  More reps means life, so nerfing reps is now being discussed.

Logistics become a lynchpin in engagements.  You keep your logistics alive, which tend to be easier to kill than your ships of the line, by having your logistics anchor keep as far off on the other side of the fight from your foes as possible.  Out of range means being safe.

Fortunately for us, the reach of Baltec fleet is pretty far.  An Apoc with range scipts and the right crystals can reach out and hit things as far as 150km off if you have the right skills trained.  Not that we needed that.  Their logistics seemed to be close to hand, within the range of our short-to-medium range ammo.  So Reagalan had us swap to targeting their logistics.  That worked and we started getting kills, breaking Scimitar tanks one by one.

That was an investment into the future of the fight.  However, killing logistics now leaves all the hostile firepower still on hand to shoot at you.  We had enough logistics for the fleet, so long as you paid attention and clicked the “need armor” button as the hostiles were just starting to target you.  That is indicated by the yellow boxes around ships in your overview.  I was not paying close enough attention and only hit the button when I noticed those yellow boxes starting to turn red, which means that you are now being shot at.

Never a good sign...

Never a good sign…

Soon I was floating around in a pod.  But first I got to see my ship explode in slow motion.  The tidi was bad enough… it had clearly pushed beyond the level that was showing as the backend systems struggled to keep up with things running at one tenth speed… that my ship was gone as far as my controls were concerned a good 30 seconds before it actually exploded on screen.

I go boom... eventually

I go boom… eventually

Then I was sort of stuck.  There were layers and layers of warp disruption bubbles to fly through so I would be clear to warp back to the station and re-ship.  I took that time to go through the contracts, pick out, and purchase a new Apocalypse.  Reagalan was cajoling us to return in Celestises in order to sensor damp the hostiles, as not being able to target and shoot things apparently induces rage in our foes, but those had all been bought out.  So it was back to a big ship.

Pods move slowly, put-putting along at 187 meters a second, made all the more slow by tidi inflicting is penalty.  Eventually though I wandered out into open space and was able to warp back to the station.  Docking and reshipping went very quickly given the TiDi situation, and I even remembered to check the fitting to make sure the guns were online before I undocked.  They were not.  Ships on contract sometimes get fit by an alt that cannot use all the modules, so they are with the ship but offline.  It is embarrassing to be in a hurry only to get undocked and find you can’t actually shoot anything.

Then it was time to find my own way back to the fleet, which meant finding a wreck or something to warp to, since the direct route from the station was still blocked by bubbles.

I got back in time to see the end of the initial engagement.  The long range ammo was out now and we were taking shots beyond the 100km mark as the hostiles headed away from us.  The last kill we got there was Doombunny.  As the hostiles began to fall out of range, Reagalan warped us off to the staging POS to regroup.  There we were joined by one of the hostiles.

I am not sure how this happened, but one of the enemy Scimitars warped to the POS with us, getting stuck outside the shields.

Visiting Scimitar

Visiting Scimitar

Of course, we were all “Shoot her, shoot her!” but were, for the most part, stuck inside the POS shields and unable to target or shoot.  So we started to burn out of the POS towards her.  Those who had forgotten to enter the POS password (I do not remember entering it myself, but somehow I landed at the tower) and were bouncing off the shield got a quick kill before we could get there.

We then warped onto the enemy Tengus again and were able to bubble them up and start shooting.  By this point their logistics had been pared down so that we were able to alpha Tengus off the field fairly regularly.  It became a race to lock up hostiles before they disappeared and the targets called quickly stretched out into a long list.  And then they were off again.  We warped around a bit trying to catch them, ending up hanging around on the 1DH gate for a while.  But that was the end of things for us.

Return, getting a warp in, more shooting.  Warping about, catching some more. Warp back to POS, scimitar joins us.  Hanging on gate, no joy.  The action was over for us.

The fight itself seemed to develop as a slow boil on our side of things.  Black Legion, Northern Coalition, and their allies dropped in and established an early dominance with a mass of tengus, which cost use a lot of losses amongst those who came out to meet them at the start of the fight.  There was a point where they were “winning” for whatever definition you choose, and if they had been able to extract at that point, they could have made the case for victory.  At the end of the first round, Reagalan seemed pessimistic about how we were doing, hoping for a draw on the ISK war after we were mauled early on.

But rather than leaving the hostiles lit cynos and jumped people in as the CFC pot came to a boil.  As things moved on the pings for fleets built up on our side, filling out the Harpy fleet and then bringing out a wrecking ball of carriers deploying even as the rest of us were reshipping and returning to the fight.  We were fighting right there in our home system, so people logging on had no problem jumping on.  The end result of the battle shows things tilted very much in our favor.

Total kills were close, with 358 kills for our side against 315 for the hostiles.  But the ISK war fell heavily in our favor, as we lost 16.5 billion ISK in ships to their loss of 37 billion.

Always the ISK war

Always the ISK war

We lost a lot of inexpensive ships.  If you look at the ships engaged, there are a lot of dead interdictors and Celestises and tier 1 logistics listed for us, all pretty cheap as far as things go, while the hostiles lost mostly Scimitars, Tengus, and Huggins.  Those are pricey.

The fight ended up about two hours before the start op I was going to miss, but I had gotten my share of internet spaceship kills for the day, so was satisfied to leave that to others.  It was certainly better than the fleet op on Sunday where we flew out to Aridia through a mess of TiDi only to arrive at a fight that had just ended.  Pandemic Legion invited us out to help, but I wonder if they just wanted to inflict pain on us as we took 16 very slow gates out to Soliara and then 16 back home again.

There is a write up of the larger, strategic view of the fight at F2OY-X over at TMC. which answers the whole “so how did this happen?” aspect of things.

And naturally, I have some screen shots from the fight after the cut.

(more…)

Fight at the POS in A-ELE2 July 29, 2014

Posted by Wilhelm Arcturus in entertainment, EVE Online.
Tags: , , , , ,
3 comments

The battle had been raging for a while when I sat down at my computer and saw a list of pings from Blawrf McTaggart, CFC Skymarshall.  Most of them were old enough to discard, fleets long since off to the races, and trying to catch up by yourself is a mugs game.  But the last one was only six minutes old, a call to get into a reinforcement fleet and get on a titan for a bridge into the current fight.

Multiple doctrines were being called up; Harpies, Celestis, and Apocalypses were in demand.  I was in my high sec implant clone, still working away at my leadership training plan, but my timer had run down and I was clear to clone jump immediately.  So it was back to my clone in F2OY-X where I jumped into my Apoc, primarily because I had the power grid implant needed to fly the doctrine fit already installed in the clone, and if I was going to lose it I figured I might as well lose it in the ship I need it for.

I was on the bounce right away, into the fleet with the titan to get a bridge, undock, enter the POS password, warp to the titan at 10km so as not to bump it, into the bubble, and then a quick burst of speed with the microwarp drive to get in range because the bridge was already up and I didn’t want to have to wait around for the next group to form up and get bridged.

Passing into the POS

Passing into the POS

We landed in A-ELE2 and things slowed way, way down.  There were about 1,100 people in the system and TiDi had everything running at 10% of normal speed.

A-ELE2 is not that far away from our staging system in F2OY-X, but it is in the hot zone corner of Delve, the NPC null sec, where our foes are staged and where there are often camps and where a lot of the action happens.

Where things happen in Delve

Where things happen in Delve

I dropped the reinforcement fleet and changed com channels to find out what the Baltec fleet was doing.  Reagalan’s was the FC and he was calling targets already.  It was time to get out there, but servers were balking at doing anything.  It took half a dozen tries to get into fleet even though there was space available and then it was time for the long, slow warp to join the battle.

Landing on grid was agonizing.  My ship seemed to spend an eternity stopped at the battle but still in warp.  I could see the targets being broadcast, they were in my overview, but I could not lock them up because I was still flagged as being in warp.  Finally, the server relented and I was back in normal space and able to engage targets.  Despite TiDi, the enemy, a host of Black Legion Augoror Navy Issues were in a bubble and going down fast.  Locking a target took ages, and when you finally got somebody locked they would appear to be only lightly damaged before suddenly blinking out in the familiar destroyed sequence.  They cycle time of my lasers was the gating factor for kills.  I launched some drones and got those into action to give myself an additional way to deal damage… and to whore on kill mails.

Reagalan had the fleet orbiting the POS tower, which is at the very center of the defensive bubble/shield, at just enough range to be outside of the bubble and able to fire, but also able to duck back in and become immune should they get targeted.  After the action, Reagalan asked how many pilots managed to pull off this maneuver, and there was quite a show of hands.  That, and reports shared with us about Black Legion complaining about us constantly blowing up their anchor or target caller because we had a spy in their midst, seemed to be tiling things our way.

And then, as often is the case, Black Legion got free of the bubbles and warped off, leaving us alone in space orbiting the POS with no targets.  TiDi dropped from the heart crushing 10% to a bearable range as the server was no longer having to keep track of hundreds of ships moving and locking and firing and taking damage.

We sat there for a bit.  There was a report of a fight at the 1DH gate, but Reagalan warned us not to just jump in willy nilly thinking we would get a few more kills.  So we stayed in orbit of the POS for a bit until the time was ripe, then he warped us all off to the gate together where the Brave Newbies Moa fleet had been bubbled.  Then it was a race to lock up targets again before the exploded.  Reagalan was broadcasting targets, but they were popping so quickly I just took to sorting by range and locking up everything possible in hopes of getting in a shot or two.  That did not last long, the Moas melting like snow under a hot sun.

Then it was back to the POS and into orbit.  There was actually a very nice starburst pattern of ships as we landed in a ball on the tower and then turned on MWDs to get out of the shields and into orbit.  We waited there for a while to watch the POS for any further hostiles and cover the carriers that had been sitting in a happy, self-repping ball all this time.  My corp CEO was in the carrier ball, in one of two Chimeras in a sea of Archons.  He wanted me to get a good shot of him, which I figured I had better do because I haven’t done much with the corp in ages.  I go on strat ops and click on participation links.  I don’t play with our towers, mine, do planetary interaction, or even rat much these days.

After the carriers pulled out, we headed to the 1DH gate where there was a scramble to get through as the ISboxer bombers were out and about and waiting for us to land on the gate.  All those people piling on the gate caused a bunch of people to drop, so there was a long wait until people got back online, through the gate, and back with the fleet.  Then it was another gate back to F2OY-X and then to the station and done.

I never did get the story as to how this fight started, except that it was over the POS where the brawl took place.

According to the battle report, there were more than 1,200 players involved with over 1,500 ships on the field over the course of the fight, with losses of nearly 48 billion ISK for both sides combined.  The split in forces was 686 CFC to 528 hostiles on grid, so not excessively unbalanced.  Black Legion and their allies ended up with more kills, destroying 435 ships to the 251 we blew up.  On the ISK war, things tilted our way, with the hostiles losing some expensive ships.

CFC is Blue

CFC is Blue

That comes out to about 21 billion in losses for the CFC and a little over 26 billion for the hostiles.  And we ended up with the POS still intact.  So I guess we won.

One bit of intel that got passed along was about TEST, who apparently had 60+ Ishtars formed up at one point, but then did not join the battle.  That force might have changed the ISK war if not the overall result of the battle.

Addendum: There is now a write up about the battle over at TMC.

After a quiet week or so, where I mostly collected participation links for sitting on titans by never bridging into combat, or chasing around reluctant foes when we did, it was nice to get into a stand up fight that did not involve us getting blow up in Ruptures. (Rupture doctrine is now dead.)  It managed to push me over the 1,000 kill mail mark, though EVE Kill and Zkillboard cannot agree on exactly how many kill mails I have been on over the years. (And Battle Clinic says I have less than 700. No idea what the right number actually is.)

And, as usual, screen shots from the fight after the cut.

(more…)

Tackling in Syndicate May 8, 2014

Posted by Wilhelm Arcturus in entertainment, EVE Online.
Tags: , , , , ,
11 comments

One of the things that has often been said about EVE Online is that a new player can be useful on day one.  In any operation there is generally room for the new guy in a basic frigate who is willing to get out there and tackle hostiles for the fleet.

And it is true.  I have seen it often enough flying with the CFC, and especially with Goonswarm, which prides itself in not just bringing new players to the game, but getting them into action very quickly.  So when the call went out last night for a Baltec fleet, which I was able to join, we had a couple of new players in the fleet as well, including a one day old account.

Jelly Knight - 1 Day Old

Jelly Knight – 1 Day Old

Despite having “things to do,” people spent time getting him into the fleet and pointed in the right direction.  We also got to hear him go through the sense of scale in EVE.  When he flew out to the staging POS in his Condor frigate, he was clearly impressed with how much bigger the battleships around him were.

Bumping Jelly Knight with my Apoc

Bumping Jelly Knight with my Apoc

He was then treated to another boost in scale when Reagalan led us off to the titan to wait for a bridge out for out op.  And there those big battleships looked pretty small waiting on the hulking titan.

Waiting for a bridge out

Waiting for a bridge out

I cannot image how it would have felt to have gone from a frigate to sitting on a titan after only a day or so in EVE Online.

The new guys also got to experience the “waiting on a titan” game.  We played that for quite a stretch until Reagalan had us turn around and head back to VFK-IV.  He got us a participation link for our time on the titan and asked those who could stay around for a different op to re-ship to a frigate or an interdictor.   I did not actually have either handy and the ship market in VFK was pretty empty last night.  The closest thing I had was a Hawk, a missile firing Caldari assault frigate, so I grabbed that.

Reagalan gave us a route that ended at 4-EP12 in Fountain, our old final staging base from the Fountain War last year.  I immediately checked to see if I had a more suitable ship there, and found I had a very low skill fit Rifter docked up in the station.  I would have just clone jumped out to it and save myself the trip, but I had just clone jumped to VFK for the fleet, so I had about 18 hours to go before I could jump again.  So I flew along with everybody else to the destination.  Fortunately, that did not take too long in frigates.

Arriving in 4-EP12, Reagalan had us drop his fleet and join the Freedom Squad fleet under DingoGS.

Freedom Squad is a Goonswarm group that looks for fights during US time zone prime time and which heavily plays up mock patriotic fervor in the “‘merica!” tradition.  They were happy enough to have us along, but were a bit surprised to find that we were mostly tackling frigates and interdictors;  Sabres and Rifters and what not.  Still, it seemed likely we would be able to hold on to any hostiles we managed to land on.

Then it was time to move a few systems in order to sit a titan again.  I took opportunity to head to the station and swap out my Hawk for me low skills Rifter and then joined up with the fleet.  In fleet there were some tips on tackling being given to the new guys which was also a helpful reminder for me.  While I had heard the routine before, I have never actually flown a tackling ship in more than seven years of playing EVE.  By the time I ended up in null sec, I was trained up to fly battleships for most of the factions, so have tended to fly in the “press F1 when told” DPS role (especially when DPS meant Drakes) or as logistics (which the first big training destination after hitting null sec).  So this would be something new… once we got into action.

Getting into action took a while.

We were waiting on a titan while the intended targets got themselves into position so that we could drop on them at just the right moment.  As usual, the right moment took its time in showing up.  Finally the bridge went up and we jumped through into CIS-7X and warped to where the hostiles were bunched up.  Then it was time to go through the tackling routine I had heard listed out on coms so many times.

Pick a target alphabetically close to your name.  For me that was the pilot VisualNarcotics, who was flying a Proteus in the middle of the pack.

Turn on your propulsion module, a basic MWD in my case, and spiral into the target so as to keep the traversal speed differential high enough to make your frigate tough to hit.

Orbit your target, remember to actually lock him up, and then turn on your tackling modules, which in my case was a Stasis Webifier I and a Warp Disruptor I.

Stay alive for as long as possible.

That last bit is, of course, always the trick.  I dove in through the blossoming warp disruptor bubbles and successfully locked down my target.

But then I was just there in the middle of the fight in a high speed orbit.  I turned my guns on my target, but wasn’t doing a lot of damage.  Meanwhile the FC was going through the list alphabetically, so I clearly was going to have to hold on for a while.  To keep myself busy I turned off my guns, un-grouped them, turned one back on VisualNarcotics just to let him know I still cared, then tried to lock up other targets being called to see if I could get in a few hits just to get on some kill mails.

Guns blazing

Guns blazing

Splitting my guns would be a sin if I were flying a DPS ship, but nobody is expecting the tackler to add significant damage… or to live very long… so what the hell.

I saw VisualNarcotics lock me up in return.  He apparently took a few shots at me as well, but failed to hit me according to my own kill mail.

In the fight itself, more ships were dropping in.  A hostile Naglfar landed right next to me, so I was able to lock him up and take a shot, which was enough to get on the kill mail.

And then the smart bombing started.

We were colluding with a group of neutrals on this op, which is always leads to interesting results.  In our case, we killed several of the neutrals before people got cleared up on who was who.  Meanwhile, the neutrals moved in and started to smart bomb the enemy formation.  Of course, I was in the middle of that with my MWD on, meaning I would get the maximum amount of damage if I was in range.  The first one hit and I was nearly dead, my status put me 90% into structure, meaning that even the duct tape holding the ship together was on fire at that point.  I turned off the MWD and hoped for the best.  I seemed to be out of range of the next few, but another one landed close eventually and suddenly my ship was gone and I was flying a pod, the kill mail having go to our temporary allies.

Gold pod away!

Gold pod away!

I expected, sitting there being smart bombed in the middle of warp disruptor bubbles, that my pod would soon go as well.  I headed for the edge of the bubble, crossed my fingers, and ended up getting out and away safely.  I hung around on grid, still opening the gap between myself and the battle, in hopes of being present for a couple more kill mails for ships I had shot up.  Then it was time to take gates back to 4-EP12.  The battle having wrapped up fairly quickly, the rest of the fleet was close behind.

The route to 4-EP12 ended up being clear.  There were a few neutrals along the way, but when the fleet showed up in system, the melted away.

Once there, I was able to re-ship in my Hawk and head back to VFK with Reagalan’s part of the fleet, while Freedom Squad went back to their current deployment base.

So the night ended up fairly well.  I got my first shot at tackling.  While I lost my ship (value ~730,000 ISK, look at how meager my fit was), I did not lose my pod (value ~55 million ISK thanks to all those skill points and the implant I need to fly a Baltec Apoc), I got on a dozen kill mails, and generally had a good time.  I could have done with less waiting, but that is simply part of the game.

The new guys seemed to be enthusiastic after their first battle.  Jelly Knight made it through without loss.  The fleet, as is the tradition, showered the new guys with some ISK.  I gave them each a million ISK, so I spent more on gifts than ships.  Another day in EVE Online.

A gallery of screen shots taken during the op is available after the cut.

(more…)

All The Way to Placid for a Kill May 1, 2014

Posted by Wilhelm Arcturus in entertainment, EVE Online.
Tags: , , ,
2 comments

Well, two kills actually.

PlaNavyIssue

It started with the usual lure.  The call went out for a Baltec fleet for a strat op.

I am all about the strat ops, and I happened to be home and sitting in front of my computer, so off I went to join Shock Fist, Reagalan, and a surprising number of Germans (must have been very late for them… or very early) to see if there was a fight to be had.

There was a promise of Apocalypse Navy Issue kills, which was later boosted to include some potential dreadnought victims.  All we had to do is travel a bit.

And the route laid out was quite familiar.  We were off via jump bridges to our old staging system for the Fountain War, nearly a year gone by, B-DBYQ in Cloud Ring.  I still have a jump clone there… though no actual ships.  I could probably delete that clone.

Unfortunately, the hostiles were not ready for us as yet.  So Shock Fist dragged us around the system where we shot up a Serpentis sanctum and goofed off until it was time to travel.  Good for those who needed to build up standings I suppose.

Then finally we were warped to a titan and jumped into Syndicate, where we turned around and landed on another titan that sent us further across the region and into Placid.  The landing was confusing for a moment, as we dropped right in the middle of a Gallente station.  We warped to the Vestouve gate, where we held for a bit until Shock Fist has some of the smaller ships jump through.  Then he called for everybody to jump.  I pressed the button just as he changed that order.  Those of us who jumped through were told to re-approach the gate.  However there was a target for us, an Apocalypse Navy Issue which we blew up quickly enough.  Something was happening at the other side of the gate, and another Apocalypse Navy Issue jumped through, which we took care of as well.

Exploding Apocalypse

Exploding Apocalypse

Those on the far side of the gate picked one off as well.  Then we all got in one location to move, when there was a report of a hostile titan outside of a POS bubble.  We warped to that, but found it secure inside, safe from our attentions.

It was reported that the hostiles were not going to engage us.  There would be no more Apocalypses… and certainly no dreadnoughts… for us.  so we burned back to the second titan for a ride part way back.  There was a suggestion that we detour to visit Poitot, as it is the only named system in the Syndicate region… everything else is letters and numbers… but it wasn’t really on our way, so we passed on that.

As we reached the titan, word came down that the hostiles might be having a change of heart, that they might actually be upset that we were shoving off without a real fight.  So we sat on the titan for five minutes while somebody ran down the likelihood of this being true.  There was hope, but it turned out not to be the case.  So we were bridged back to B-DBYQ by the titan and made our way back home to VFK-IV in Deklein.

But at least I got on a couple of kill mails.  My  first for May.  And, it turns out, we weren’t just idly trailing our coats around Syndicate and Placid.  As is often the case, we were stomping about to cover cap fleet operations elsewhere, which is why it was a strat op.  Several towers were repped up and saved while we were making nuisances of ourselves.  The kills were just a bonus.

Some screen shots from the op after the cut.

(more…)

A Quiet Tower Shoot at KDV-DE April 18, 2014

Posted by Wilhelm Arcturus in entertainment, EVE Online.
Tags: , , ,
add a comment

There was another chance to shoot things with lasers last night.  Reagalan was leading a fleet into Pure Blind to finish off one of the towers that had previously put into reinforce.  The destination was KDV-DE.

We were a little slow getting off.  There was a call to meet up at the staging POS, where those of us in Apocalypses and Megathrons were sent back to the station to grab an alternate armor resistance hardener to put in our cargo bay.  Then, at just about the point where we had all done that, the order was changed and we were sent back to the station to swap hardeners, removing one of the standard fits for the alternate.  Finally, after my third undock, we all ended up at the staging POS, ready to move out.

At the VFK staging POS

At the VFK staging POS

Then it was off to the titan for a bridge out to the target, where we warped in, spread out, and began the shoot.  Black Legion was reported online and there was the expectation that we would again face a Zealot fleet to contest our operation.

We moved in our orbits around the anchor shooting the tower, a bit tense, expecting that we would soon be switching from standard crystals, which are appropriate for a structure shoot, to higher damage crystals that we would want to use in a stand up fight.

But no Zealots showed up.   No masses of hostiles appeared in local chat.

The tower went down with the usual satisfying explosion.

Tower down

Tower down

Then Reagalan pointed us towards home.

Honestly, we were not all that far away.  There was a jump bridge a couple systems over that would bring us most of the way there.  But Reagalan was being very slow and deliberate and not a little bit cagey about moving the fleet.  He refused to say our align points or destinations in coms.  We stood still for minutes at a stretch.  Nothing happened very quickly at all.

Eventually we made it to VFK, at which point Reagalan linked us a kill mail in fleet chat that showed a Black Legion pilot in a cyno fit Devoter who just happened to die to a CFC bomber fleet in 6GWE-A while we were waiting to jump into that system.

DoomBunny popped

DoomBunny popped

The plan was apparently to drop on us as we returned from the op, catching us potentially unaware as we headed home.  Instead we cruised through the system unmolested and docked up without a fight.

Landing back at VFK station

Landing back at VFK station

Which was a bit disappointing.  A good fight would have capped the night off.  But there are more ops planned and more towers to shoot this weekend.

As usual, tourist photos from the op after the cut.

(more…)