HICS JOIN THAT FLEET – HAVE TITANS TACKLED – WE ARE DREADBOMBING – GO GO GO
~~~ This was a broadcast from the_mittani to all at 2017-08-20 22:45:34.680221 EVE ~~~
A flurry of pings showed up Sunday afternoon, of which the one quoted above is merely a representation of what I was seeing. It looked like something interesting was going on and I happened to be sitting down at my computer at almost exactly the correct moment.
It isn’t as though there haven’t been any ops to go on. There have been plenty, and I have been out on some of them. But none of them seemed to pass the threshold of interesting, or at least interesting enough to write about. Do I need to write a post about another run into Tribute to reinforce another tower? We did dash across New Eden via a pair of Thera wormholes in order to catch some capital ships down in Wicked Creek, but the fact that we got there too late takes some of the edge/interest out of the tale. Without a fight the story becomes more about travel, indecipherable Scots accents, and the occasional person being dumb on coms.
Anyway, I digress. Coms were not an issue for this fleet op. Getting in and getting to the destination was laid out pretty simply. I was a couple of minutes behind the curve, so when I got online and in coms Asher was telling people to undock and warp to a titan to be bridged. At the far end of the bridge, targets were already being called. I just had to get there.
I was a bit worried about that. I wasn’t in Hakonen, I was in Jita. That put me a jump clone and a couple of session changes behind the fleet. EVE Online protects itself, in its way, but not letting players do some things with a delay. After jump cloning the session timer keeps you from doing a number of things, like swapping ships or joining a fleet for 10 seconds or so. It feels like forever when you are in a hurry, but I bit my lower lip and hummed as I watched the tiny white timer circle in the upper left hand corner finish its revolution so I could get in fleet. They I got into a Typhoon and undocked. I considered joining up in a Guardian again, but I was late, Asher was saying that more DPS was better, and some days just shooting things is all you want to do anyway.
As I was entering warp to get to the titan, Asher said on coms that people who were not in GSF, and who thus could not just wander through the POS shields to get to the titan, should warp to a planet, then warp to the target to avoid getting stuck. So I hit the POS shield and bounced off as I watched others stream past be, unobstructed by the defense barrier. It is at times like this that I wonder why I just don’t join KarmaFleet and enjoy the benefits of not being that guy stuck outside the bubble.
I was able to warp off to the planet indicated, then warped back to the titan at 10km, so as not to bump it. I landed and pulsed my propulsion module once to speed up the time it took to close the gap between me and the titan, whose bridge was already up and sending people on their way. I was almost there.
Need to be within 2,500m
And then the moment I was within range the bridge expired and disappeared.
Fortunately the plan was to just keep bridging people as they showed up, so in a few seconds the titan, a Leviathan, was again aglow with bridging goodness. I right clicked on it to select the destination to jump through to, and couldn’t find it for a second. I am so used to null sec designations for systems, being in all caps and sporting a hyphen, that an actual name name just blends into the list. I looked, didn’t see it, right clicked again, just in case I had done so too early for the name to draw, didn’t see it again, right clicked a third time and really looked, found it, and selected the destination.
As the titan bridged me through my next thought was, “Nalvula? Isn’t that literally next door to Hakonen?”
Yes, Nalvula is connected to Hakonen via a gate. But sometimes it is better to bridge people in even that short of a distance. Doing so landed us directly in the middle of the fight and avoided any sort of gate camp that might have been setup along the direct and obvious route.
Nalvula was a busy place when I landed.
A pile of titans and other capitals on grid
Hostile titans were on grid as advertised, though I am not sure I would go so far as to declare them “tackled.” That word implies we hold some sort of advantage and that we need to rush in and start shooting quickly lest the tackled titans escape. There were more than a few about as the system filled with people.
Local under 1,000 when I arrived
Furthermore, they seemed to be multiplying. Being within easy jump range of their super capital staging, PL/NC’s response to a titan being tackled was to log on more titans and pile on so they could use their big shiny toys to shoot things.
The glare of more ships jumping in
When I got into the system and on grid with the fight, I locked up the first target. We were going after hostile force auxiliaries. The Typhoons were putting their missiles on the one broadcast, being instructed to find and put their energy neutralizer on another with a name that starts with the same letter as you own name (“W” for Wilhelm in my case), and launching drones to try and pick off hostile fighters that were roving the battlefield.
Time dilation was about in full effect, not at 10% most of the time, but in the low teens as the battle went on. That is a fine distinction, 12% isn’t much faster than 10%, but when it hit 10%, the minimum speed, and the system is still stressed, odd things start to happen. So 12% can be immeasurably better than 10%, since 10% can have added problems.
Slowly I got targets locked, starting sending missiles and drones down range, and found a hostile Apostle whose pilot’s name started with a “V,” the closest letter I saw, and started motoring into range so I could put the energy neutralizer on him to drain his capacitor. Meanwhile, the ball of capital ships was lit by explosions and doomsday effects.
Explosions in the midst of the ball
The first Apostle we targeted went down, but a secondary target had already been broadcast, so we were on to that. I had managed to get within range of my neutralizer target only to realize he wasn’t a hostile but one of our cooperating, but not blue, allies, so I started sorting the list by name again to see who else I could go after.
The second target went down and we locked up and started in on a third. My drones were wiped out by somebody’s smart bombs, so I launched the remaining ones in my drone bay and sent them after some fighters further afield, away from the thick of the smart bombs. Ships were exploding almost constantly on the field, with doomsdays lancing out to strike the dreadnoughts that had jumped in with us. As somebody noted on coms, they aren’t called “suicide dreads” without reason.
At some point along the way a command destroyer activated its area effect microjump drive nearby, booshing some of us 100km away from the fight. Given the range the Typhoon missiles have, this didn’t stop any of us from blazing away with them. However, it put a damper on any thoughts of getting my energy neutralizer on a target. It also likely ensured I survived the battle, as I was now annoyingly far off for fighters to bother with.
As the third target went down for us, we stared on a fourth. But then the FC at the moment… Asher was not on grid with us… had us change to target Grath Telkin, the volitile CEO of Sniggardly, one of the main corporations in Pandemic Legion. He would be what one might call a “prestige target.” Everybody likes to shoot CEOs, FCs, and anybody mildly space famous.
And Grath seemed to be going down well enough when there was a hiccup and my client started behaving badly, then quit on me.
Client chooses this moment to die on me…
You can see that Grath was into deep structure by that point. He was going down for sure, but if I wasn’t online there was a good chance I wouldn’t be on the kill mail. What good is a prestige kill mail if you don’t get on it?
I shut the window and clicked the button on the launcher to get Wilhelm back online with one of those firm clicks you use to let the computer you mean business. Surprisingly the computer seemed to take notice of my emphasis for once and I was back in the game quickly. Meanwhile, tidi did me a favor.
In a normal, non-tidi battle, if you disconnect the game warps you off to a “safe” spot and leaves you there. When you log back in it then warps you back to where you were previously, which can be awkward if your fleet has moved on, and slow if you’re in tidi. But with tidi in full effect, the game never got around to warping me off, so I was back on and in my spot. I got back into fleet, targeted Grath, and had missiles down range in time to hit him to ensure I was on the kill mail.
Later I noticed that not only was I counted on the kill mail, but that I got in the final blow, which made it my kill mail, such that that matters.
The luck of the final blow
If you’re going to be on a prestige kill mail, then getting the final blow in is about all you can ask for I suppose. However, I did not notice that I had gotten that kill mail, or another one, for a while.
We were still shooting targets as they were broadcast and the hostiles were still jumping more and more capitals into the system as our dreadnoughts were scourged from the field. Afterwards Asher noted that for a dread bomb to work, you need enough dreads to kill the target, plut 3-4 more for every force auxiliary the enemy fields, and the enemy was pouring Apostles onto the field. That was why we were shooting and neuting them, but it wasn’t enough.
There was a titan far from the enemy pack at one point, and we turned out attentions towards it, hoping that it might get tackled since it was too far off for help from the Apostles. However he dropped off of targeting as he entered warp, signalling and end to that effort. And then the command to “take fleet warp” came over comes. With the enemy still dumping capitals on us, our own dreadnought force almost spend, and our Typhoons being chewed up by fighters, it was time to extract. We had done about as much damage as we were going to do. I let my Typhoon align towards the Hakonen gate, tried unsuccessfully to recall my drones, and took a few last screen shots as I warped away from the fight.
Local closing in on 1,300 as I warped off
It was about then that I noticed that I had gotten the kill mails, so I had to zoom in on my ship to find the kill marks, the other benefit you for getting in the final blow. When you’re in main fleet with a couple hundred people, getting the final blow is a rarity. These were the first two marks I received on a Typhoon.
Two more orange dots on a hull with many orange dots
On the long warp to the gate I thought the battle went pretty well… for me. Not a lot of dithering or travel before hand, just shooting stuff for a while when we got there, another vista of capitals and super capitals to survey, a short trip home, and a couple of kill mails. What more could I ask from a fleet op?
For the coalition however, the battle report was pretty grim.
Battle Report Header
There wasn’t an objective to win, save for “blow up ships,” which leaves us with the ISK war. That did not go our way at all. Even removing our two temporary allies from our loss column only drops the total by 10%. Still, a victory for Jita I suppose as both sides resupply from the nearby trade hub.
And a victory for those wanting some screen shots.
A pile of titans and other capitals on grid
The glare of more ships jumping in
Explosions and doomsday effects brewing
The view after I got booshed away from the fight
Explosions in the midst of the ball
Doomsday effect in the ball of caps
Dreads being hit or exploding
Aligning out past that stray titan
Saying goodbye to the fight
In warp for the gate
Covering the gate as we all form up to jump through