Watching the War in Branch So Far…

The war in the Branch region of null sec continues, mostly without me.

Imagine that.

I did get some hits in early, going on that POS shoot back before Christmas.  That was fun, in a “I’ve never done anything like this before” and “OMG would you look at that” kind of way.

And then there was the reinforcement fleet to Burger King, which left me stranded out in Branch where bad guys were roaming.  My accomplishment for this week was getting my Maelstrom back to Mittaningrad in one piece.  Essentially I flew 11 jumps last night, including a jump bridge, and only saw a single person in local besides myself until I got close to Goondom.

Safe back in Mittaningrad

It seems that the fighting had moved on.

Back in December the map of the area looked like this. (Maps from here, cropped by me to focus on the area of conflict.  That little purple dot in the yellow is still where I fly most of the time.)

Deklein and Branch Sov, Dec. 27

As of 18:00 UTC yesterday, the map of the area looked like this.

Deklein and Branch, Jan. 4

So it is starting to look as if the White Noise statement about Deklein being rid of Goons by February might come to pass because the Goons will be living in Branch.  White Noise is either losing badly or conducting the most ambitious maskirovka attempt ever.  Consider me lulled into a false sense of security.

There was actually a bit of coverage of the war over at EVE News 24 last week, something of a summing up of the story so far, once you got past the initial moaning paragraph.  My favorite quote from the comments was, “You know an article is going to be good when it opens up with a lot of excuses and bitching. ”

There was not much new in the article for me, as Gaff tends to IM me all the juicy bits.  My personal favorite was Goons sending doctored kill mails to the White Noise chief and getting reimbursed for their “losses” because he was too busy to validate them.  That and the great buy-out of the market, where Goons spent as much as 20 billion ISK buying vital supplies on the Branch market so White Noise could not use them.  Go economic warfare!

After that, EVE News 24 seemed content to ignore the war and focus on a mercenary corp who headed into Goon space, presumably to audition for White Noise by showing that they could, you know, kill Goons.

So the only news is the official Goon variety and associated rumors and comments over in the Kugutsumen forums.  The official propaganda posts are always fun to read, doubly so since they tend to include official White Noise communications.  Go meta game!

As for me, now that I am safe and sound back in Deklein again I feel I had best turn right around get in on the action once more.  Getting on the kill boards seems to be the best external indicator that you are on the team and helping out.  We have to get out there and uphold the honor of the corp and the alliance.

Living on the left coast of the United States does that make it a bit of a challenge.

As noted in the report from that last link, the war is being fought largely on European time.  So when I see posts about planned fleet ops, they tend to occur either while I am at the office or when I had best be turning the lights out and going to bed.  My best bet seems to be what happened with that POS shoot, where the op took so long to get together that I managed to get home from work, have dinner, get online, and sneak in at the very last second before it kicked off.

With a weekend coming up, I am hoping I can get in on an operation somewhere.  We shall see.

9 thoughts on “Watching the War in Branch So Far…

  1. Warsyde

    Why does everyone fly Maelstroms for null sec PvP operations? It seems so . . . boring. One of the cool things about EVE is the variety of ships, so the vast majority of people flying one single ship model seems really dull.

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  2. Wilhelm Arcturus Post author

    @Warsyde – The Goons have a theory crafting branch that has determined the best ships for any given fleet, which tends to be Minmatar ships. The Maelstrom and the Hurricane are both on the list.

    You can still fly any ship you want. The POS mission had me in a Drake. But the recommended ships for a given fleet are available as alliance contracts with all fittings and ammo for a reasonable price. So they are easy to obtain and they are ready to go.

    And, if you fly one of the recommended ships with the recommended fit, and you lose it as part of a fleet op, they will reimburse you for the cost of your ship.

    So you can do what you want, but there is a fleet doctrine, backed up with economic incentives, to fly a given type of ship for a specific type of fleet op.

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  3. Gaff

    @Warsyde — you fly the same ship because the theory crafters in your alliance/coaliton have determined a ship/fleet composition that maximizes your advantages. The maelstrom is the “alphafleet” main battleship because a large number of them can take down any target, up to supers, very fast due to the high dps volley. One volley from fleet, switch target, volley, etc.

    We have logistics and other ships in the fleet as well. The common grunt is a mael pilot though.

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  4. sleepysam

    Will Eve run on my wife’s macbook pro she bought last month – these posts have piqued my interest…

    otherwise, need a new ios game.

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  5. Wilhelm Arcturus Post author

    As long as she didn’t get the one with the Intel video, I think you are good. This is, after all, a game where people often run multiple clients on the same machine and where the biggest draw on my video card most nights is drawing the station environments. (The traditional ones, not the captain’s quarters.)

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  6. pkudude99

    @Warsyde — Mittens actually talked about why the fleets are the way they are in this column at http://www.tentonhammer.com/eve/spymaster/55

    Here’s the relevant quote:

    “While my alliance had been using the ubiquitous Drake/Scimitar blob (along with 90% of nullsec) of late, for most of our history we have been trying to get our pilots into T2-gunned sniping battleships. Yet despite years of trying, goons simply would not get in battleships in any great numbers. We had a T2 sniping fit for almost every battleship, yet we would be lucky if 30% of any given fleet was a battleship hull. . . . we told our thousands of members to train for one battleship, of one race, with one fit – and two support ships. Goonswarm would use Maelstroms and Scimitars with Scorpions in support, and that’s it. In a game with a fetish for freedom of choice, the reaction was a shock: our pilots, a notoriously fractious lot, leapt on the direction we provided with gusto. Where in the past we could only get a smattering of battleships in our sniping fleets, our battleship percentage was now significantly higher, despite offering two hulls instead of twelve.”

    Part of it was theorycrafting for the high alpha, but part of it also was to remove “choice paralyis” from the members so that they had a specific goal to train for, rather than simply saying “train for a battleship” and the response to that being “yeah, someday.” Now it was “Train for Mael with T2 guns” and the response was “I can do that.”

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