In null sec wars are like buses; if you wait long enough another one will show up.
Which is a good thing, since war and the accompanying fleet operations are my favorite null sec activities.
OTEC, which previously brought various parties together, isn’t quite holding together it seems. The upcoming nerf to technetium production… which will either kill tech moons and make us all poor or is purely for show and won’t change a thing, depending on who is speaking… seems to have shaken at least one member of the coalition out of the ranks and into conflict with the rest of the cartel
Tech moons were already under attack in Venal, which like Stain, is one of the more amusingly named regions. Black Legion and our old foes from the south, Nulli Secunda were on the move there. But then Northern Coalition, a member of the cartel, joined in as well. I do not know if this was a dispute over other cartel members dumping tech on the market and killing the price or if they were just looking for something to do after the “mate war,” but things were on. (I have to go listen to the intel collected from NC comms.)
And so the weekend consisted of a series of fleet engagements base on reinforcement timers, starting on Friday night.
Friday night was pretty much a bust for me. The fleets started off before I was home from work so by the time I could log in everybody was headed for home.
I have one shot. I happened to be on coms and at the staging system as fleets were coming back when Black Legion tried to hot drop on our Drake fleet in 9-R6GU. There were carriers on the field and I burned out to join the fight. However, by the time I got there not much was left. I managed to lock up an Abaddon and get missiles launched before it blew up, so I got on the kill report with 0% of the damage.
Saturday morning though, that was a different story. Everybody seemed to be hungry for a big battle. One of Northern Coalition’s tech moons was coming out of reinforcement the word was that they were going to gather up some friends and fight for it.
On our side we filled up an Alpha, a Tengu, and a Drake fleet and then had to make another Drake fleet. Even The Mittani logged in and got into a fleet. Just moving ourselves from VFK to the staging system brought up some serious time dilation.
I joined up with the first Drake fleet. The FC was Zarks who has the cool demeanor of a late night FM disk jockey (if such a thing still exists). Somebody in the fleet was complaining that the FC was “shouting” at them, and idea of which made people laugh and openly mock the person. I have never heard Zarks speak in anything but the most moderate tone imaginable.
To counter that, we did have Suas along to be the Drake anchor. And unlike Zarks, Suas always sounds like he is shouting with that finely honed British tone of voice that seems to imply that we are all morons because he had to even bring up a particular item, much less shout it at us to get us to pay attention. So it was sort of Good FC/Bad FC.
We slowly bridged out to Venal and started burning towards the target system, N6G-H3.
In what seemed like an odd turn of events to me, we did not face that much of a threat before Northern Coalition’s tower was destroyed. Some stealth bombers came our way, but that was it. Of course, that was just the part of the battle I was in. The count in local was up beyond 1,200 people and TiDi was heavy, so something was going on.
With the tower blown, we joined the real battle. With one of the first targets being a carrier that was inside the tower shields. That went before I could lock it up. Then the combined force from Northern Coalition, Black Legion, Nulli Secunda, Ev0ke, Ewoks, and Intrepid Crossing, with a few Gypsy Band ships thrown in for fun, collided with the CFC fleets.
This followed the pattern I have seen in such battles in the past. Once one side starts chewing away at the other, the balance of things quickly gets out of hand. Our own targets were battleships and logistics at first, then the opposing Drake fleet until the focus became keeping them from escaping.
One of their battleship fleets retired to another station they had in the system where they were safe within the POS shield.
There were a few other skirmishes after that. Stealth bombers plied their trade, attacking us while we roamed around the fleet safely in the shields. The password to get in was known by us and at one point we flew into the shields and attempted to bump some ships out to face the waiting guns of the lurking Alpha fleet.
While an Iteron V that was sitting on the edge of the shields did get bumped out at one point, the exercise was not very successful. If a ship is under way it is difficult to bump it very far, and the enemy fleet set themselves up orbiting the tower once we started bumping which put an end to our ambitions.
The end results, like the odds, favored us. We put nearly double the number of ships in the system in the end which lead to us dominating the kill board for the fight. This of course brought up the usual arguments about how the CFC is bad at PvP and needs to bring favorable odds in order to win. That still leaves the open question, “If we are bad, why would we do anything else?” along with “If you’re so good, why do you need such evenly matched odds to win?”
I ended up with 84 kills for the day, though 44 of them were POS modules.
I am not sure how I ended up with 43 out of those 44 kills. I only shot the tower. But I guess you somehow get credit for the module that are destroyed or collected afterwards.
Both sides drifted off the field and we headed back to the staging system where I parked my Drake in anticipation of the ops that were set to go on Sunday.
The Sunday ops were early in the morning for me. As much as I like fleet ops, I wasn’t going to get up before 5am in order to participate. It seemed like I wasn’t needed in any case. These ops were to defend and rep our own towers that had come out of reinforcement, as opposed to going after the towers of the opposition, so Northern Coalition and friends were less inclined to go head to head. I got on coms near the end of the second of the mornings three ops and it sounded like it was more of a cat and mouse game with a lot of scanning and probing.
And by the time the third op went out, the opposition had had enough of that, so we flew around hindered only by TiDi and our own incompetence. Our inability to follow orders when we aren’t actually shooting things is phenomenal. At one point, on the way home our FC, Reagalan, said one destination system in voice coms, then quickly changed it to another destination, which he said a few times, which was linked in the fleet channel, and which was broadcast in the fleet window, and still a good 10-20% of our fleet wandered off in the wrong direction.
We were also very lucky. While the Tengu fleet went out with 55 Scimitars to support it, we had just two. That would be about 18 shy of sanity. And then one of them dropped off, which left us with just a single logistics ship, the pilot of which seemed quite concerned. It is the logistics ships that keep us from getting turned into so much wreckage most days of the week, so we were primed for disaster. But nobody showed up to fight us, so we hung around until our towers were repaired… we even sent our sole scimitar off to help… what good was it going to do us… and then headed home.
The war of the moons in Venal continued on last night while I was asleep. We shall see if it continues on with as much vigor next weekend or if, like so many past wars, the stand up fights come early and after that it turns into another bug hunt.