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First Time Out with Tech Fleet March 10, 2013

Posted by Wilhelm Arcturus in entertainment, EVE Online.
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The call went out from Mister Vee for a fleet.  This time it was one of our new fleet doctrines, Tech Fleet.  Tech Fleet is based around armor tanked Tempest Fleet Issue battleships and support ships.  I am still a week or so short of flying the Tempest, but I was ready with the logistics ship for the fleet, the Oneiros.  I had a shiny new one in my hanger waiting to go and the skills to fly it.

Ready and waiting

Ready and waiting

Again, The Retirement Club was the enemy, and the action was down in Gentleman’s Agreement space, at P3EN-E.  A chain of titans was laid on to deliver us from VFK to P3EN-E.  However, once we got there, things did not go quite to plan.  The enemy’s cyno ship was popped by Gents before the enemy was fully bridge in, which scattered them about the system.  Our attempts to chase them down and kill them was hampered by our own bubbles at a couple of points.  In the end there were some kills, we blew up a POS that had come out of reinforce, and that was about it.  We took very few hits and nobody was in any danger when they called for reps.

But at least I got a new ship out in a fleet finally.  It has been in the hanger for weeks.

And, of course, I took pictures along the way.

Cyclone Fleet Bags Two Carriers March 6, 2013

Posted by Wilhelm Arcturus in entertainment, EVE Online.
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Okay, our intrepid allies, Gentleman’s Agreement, and their Rokh fleet had the larger part in the carrier kills.  But we were there.

I was just sitting down at the computer for the evening and wondering what I should do when the call went out over Jabber.  Fyzick was forming a fleet.  A Cyclone fleet.

A Cyclone fleet?

Not a CFC fleet doctrine I was familiar with.  It is something Blazingbunny and Fyzick were experimenting with I gather.  They put a bunch up on contract for people.  But Drakes were also on the list of desired ships and I had a Drake handy in VFK.  So I went with that.  I joined about 50 other people in the fleet.

We headed down to Tribute where we caught a titan bridge into low sec.  We were there to save a allied customs office.  We arrived on station and flew around, our logistics helping rep the station when word that the opposition, The Retirement Club (401k) again, was actually after a Gents tower back in null sec, in Vale of the Silent.

That was only a few jumps away, but they were already bridging in from one of their titans.

We headed out in a hurry and jumped into Q-L07F only to find the 401k fleet right there on the other side of the gate.

Surprise on the overview!

Surprise on the overview!

Fyzick had us hold cloak until we were all through.  One of our Scimitars had broken cloak and was getting pounded on before the rest of the fleet was there.  Down to structure by the time we actually broke cloak and joined the battle, he ended up surviving through the fight.

Fyzick initially called the enemy Onerios logistics ships as targets, but we quickly switched over to 401k Nidhoggur carrier right there in our midst.  We, and the Gents Rokh fleet, which was also on the field, managed to bring the carrier down even with the other carrier, an Archon, repping it.

FyCyTargets

Once the Nidhoggur was down, it was the Archon’s turn.  Without similar logistics support, it went down much more quickly.

At that point the 401k forces began to bug out.  We caught a couple more on the field before they finally disappeared.

We flew cover for a bit on the logistics repping the Gents tower in the system, then looted the field.  I actually ended up looting more Scourge missiles than I fired, which would have been a net win except for the fact that I lost my drones.  I always lose my drones.

Then it was jump bridges back to VFK where the fleet dispersed while Fyzick and Blazingbunny assessed the potential for Cyclone fleet going forward.

All of which put me on three kill mails for March:

Pictures from the operation.

Returning to EWN-2U a Year Later February 8, 2013

Posted by Wilhelm Arcturus in entertainment, EVE Online.
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A year ago I was posting about what was really my first big fight in null sec.  I had been on some fleet ops previously, but had either been so lost, or the fights had been so fast, that I barely knew what was going on.  So up to that point I had only really experienced the joy of POS shoots.

And then came EWN-2U.

White Noise was all but gone and the CFC was rubbing up against Raiden in the Branch region.  The war in the north was entering its second stage, which ended up with the restoration of the Razor Alliance to the Tenal region.

Drake fleet was the new doctrine, and one that seemed made for me, since I had already maxed out almost all of the Drake related skills.  Time dilation was a new thing.

And all of this came together at EWN-2U, a sprawling battle with hundreds of ships engaged.  I even made a YouTube video about what I saw at the battle.  And I got on my first ship kill mail.

Fun stuff!

Fast forward exactly one year to the day and there I was again in EWN-2U.

One of the newer Goonwaffe FCs, Fyzick, wanted to get out our spaceships, get a fleet formed, and get a fight because, contrary to what some might say, fleet battles are good, m’kay.

EWN-2U isn’t the front line of a conflict any more.  It is the Branch territory of the SpaceMonkey’s Alliance, which puts it in the middle of a whole bunch of CFC alliances.

In that brown spot of Monkey poo

It is in that brown spot of Monkey poo

However, it is just a few jumps in from Venal, and NPC held section of null sec, which I guess is what explains The Retirement Club (which is made up of former Band of Brothers players it seems, and which has the excellent alliance ticker “401k”) having a tower in the system.

(And hey, look, my alliance, TNT, is now three purple dots on the map… though I still just live in that northern most dot.)

So the plan was to get a fleet together and go shoot at their tower in EWN-2U until they came out to tell us to get the hell off of their lawn… or something.

But that meant getting a fleet together, which took some time.  I saw a call for a Drake fleet go out over Jabber just as we were getting ready to have dinner at our house.  I was kind of bummed, as it looked like I was going to miss a fleet op.  We had dinner, watched Modern Family, cleaned up, and then I went back to my computer to find that the fleet was still forming.

So I grabbed one of my still-insured Drakes and joined up.  The timing was just about right, as the fleet looked to be getting under way at last with a complement of ~56 ships, of which about half were Drakes.  Those of us in VFK met up with the contingent from Branch along the way, arriving as a group in EWN-2U, where we started in on the tower defenses.

We knocked the defense guns offline, then started poking at the tower.  We flew around and around the bubble, missiles flying.  Roland Hova put a movie on SyncTube, the hilariously bad live-action Dragon Ball, so we could all watch together.  The tower slowly lost shields.  A handful of Drakes makes for a long POS shoot.  A friend in Capswarm asked what we thought we were doing, shooting towers without inviting them.  They live for tower shoots I guess.

The movie ended.  I had coms running through my speakers as was playing Prose with Bros on the iPad.  The tower dropped below the 85% mark.  A video of Blazing Bunny’s recent op was linked, which had a titan doomsday shot in it.  A discussion about what the next movie ought to be started (I think Frankenhooker was winning out).  And then word was passed along that The Retirement Club titan had logged on.  One of their pilots in a cyno fit Falcon had already been shadowing us.  It looked like action might be imminent.

We shook out our formation a bit, aligned for a planet, and got ready…. and nothing happened.  So we went back to shooting the tower.

As the tower dropped below 80%, word came that a cyno was up in an adjacent system.  hostiles were bridging in and would be headed our way.

Fyzick told us to align and then jump to “four four,” which my brain, only half paying attention, translated as “planet 4, moon 4,” as in “Jita 4-4.”  And so there was a few moments of confusion for me as I realized that planet 4 only had a single moon.  Most of the rest of the fleet warped off, and I decided to just warp to Fyzick, which brought me to the 4-48K1 gate. (Which my brain would have gone to if the phrase “four tack four” had been used.)

We anchored up on Fyzick just as reds began appearing on grid.

Things started off well.  We knocked off some of their logistics support and a couple of Muninns.  However, the reds soon got their act together and started knocking us off in return.  A limited logistics was working hard, but unless you were very quick to call for shield reps, you were dead.  I got primaried and my Drake was into armor before I clicked the button and was flying along in my pod before any help could possibly come.  The Drake went boom.

At least it was still insured.  The down side was that the Drake was an older one, and wasn’t of the current fleet doctrine fit, which means no reimbursement for me.  That will teach me to head off in a hurry I guess.

I headed out of the bubble we were in and headed for home, left alone in the fight.  While a slow pod trip home was annoying, I am now up to clone grade Tau, which means every time I lose a pod it is 30 million ISK.  That stings a bit.

As I scooted away, it became clear, listening to coms that the battle was not going our way.  Fyzick said he made an error at one point that caused us to, in his words, get “dumpstered.”  The result in EWN-2U was 27 ships lost for us.  There were a number of cheap frigates on that list, as well as the now-expenable Drakes, but also Roland Hova’s command ship.

In return we knocked down 10 Muninns and Scimitars, which are pricey, so the ISK balance wasn’t as bad as the ship count, but we still lost.

Fyzick was still upbeat on the way home.  He said he learned from the action, thanked us all for coming out, and was keen to try another trip.  Having a few more Drakes sitting in the hanger, I am up for that sort of mission again.

It wasn’t the epic battle of a year ago, but it was a nice little fight.  And in the absence of a “real” war, it is all we have.

Screen shots of the mission.