I was keen to get down to the staging base for the was in Fountain. So as soon as I could get into the game, I started looking for a convoy op that was headed down to B-DBYQ, the initial CFC base of operations for the war. I remember the delopment to Delve last year around this time, where I missed the first couple of days and convoys stopped getting formed. I had to make my way down solo, which meant dying. I think I have learned something since then.
B-DBYQ is essentially the last system in CFC space and sits on one end of a jump gate connection that covers the big gap between Cloud Ring and the J5A-IX system in Fountain.
That is our gateway into Fountain.
Fortune was with me, as a convoy was forming up for the run from VFK-IV down to B-DBYQ right then. The question was, what to pack? Or what to fly?
The State of the Goonion announcement said there would be no call for Alpha Fleet ships. Drake fleet is no longer really a thing. And I do not have any ships, other than logistics, for the remaining doctrines that we will be using. So logistics seemed to be the way to go. I pulled out my Tech Fleet Oneiros, joined the convoy fleet, and flew out to the staging POS to wait for the FC, Reelism, to get us under way.
Tech Fleet logistics seemed to be a good plan. I saw a lot of Tech Fleet ships, especially Tempest Fleet Issue battleships, along for the ride in the convoy.
I realized, as we started off on our journey, that this was the first time I had really been in space since Odyssey launched this week. So there were actually new things to see. For example there is the sensor overlay effect that happens every time you enter space or jump into a new system. This gives sort of a 360 degree sweep of the system around you, highlighting points of interest.
My first impression of that was it wasn’t really all that practical. Often when I jump into a system I am busy doing other things while that scan happens, and I am not sure if it can be invoked again later. But it is something.
And then there are the update jump gates. The graphics of the games themselves have been updated to be more active. There are elctro-static effects and such ships are jumping through.
And then, once you jump, your camera is aimed down the center of the jump gate, there is a whole new “warp tunnel” effect as you travel, and then a somewhat sudden transition as you arrive at the far end.
Because of its newness, there was some discussion of all of this on voice coms. The consensus seemed to be that, while it was perhaps not the best thing since sliced bread, it sure beat staring at a loading screen or a progress bar or the like. Give then bittervet demographic in the fleet, that seems to be an endorsement of the change.
The trip down was otherwise pretty quick. The distance wasn’t all that great, but I have been on convoy ops where we have taken an hour to go 8 jumps. And there wasn’t much opposition. There was a report about some TEST bombers… TEST bombers are shooting us on purpose now, which given past events, might mean we are actually safer… but we managed to avoid any encounters.
Once down in B-DBYQ, I met up with Gaff who had a couple of spare ships for me that he hauled down in his carrier. He had a Scimitar logistics ship and a Manticore stealth bomber for me. The Scimitar was good. I now have logistics ships for all of the likely fleet types. The Manticore was cool though. I trained for stealth bombers a while back, but never got around to buying one. And the updated Manticore model looks pretty neat. At this moment, it is featured in the blog header. Plus, that gave me a potential “shooting” ship for operations.
And then it was time to look for something to do. Jabber was quite active. However, it was almost all for convoy ops to B-DBYQ from various points in CFC space. Gaff was off on a POS shoot with the capital fleet. He sent me a couple of screen shots.
Around B-DBYQ, there was a lot of travel activity. There were capital ships all around the undock.
There was even a titan hanging around the station on bridging duty. Seeing a titan no longer counts as a big deal for me I guess. But it is still rare to see one sitting by itself in space, rather than inside a POS bubble or in a fleet.
Titans are extremely high value targets and titans that get caught alone in space tend to attract hostiles like flies. Everybody wants to be on a titan kill mail.
So I pottered about. I flew my new stealth bomber around just for the sheer hell of it. I had dinner. I watched some hockey. I checked Jabber every so often.
Eventually DBRB and his Tengu fleet arrived back in the neighborhood and I was able to hop in a Scimitar and fly with them. Not that we went very far. We ended up camping a gate in J5A-IX, the system next door, our foothold system in Fountain.
This meant keeping bubbles up on the gate and hoping that TEST would stumble into the system. A couple of singletons did show up, but the highlight was when 50 TEST Talwar destroyers jumped showed up and were shredded.
Coming up against a Tengu fleet, the Talwars pretty much had no chance at all. Our mix of ships was off the biggest contingent was logistics, so we were even able to save most of our frigates. We saved a Rifter that got targeted. Total losses were approximately 50 Talwars for the loss of one Atron.
And then things were quiet as we flew around the gate. The Mittani showed up in our op channel after the repeat State of the Goonion, this time with questions and answers, and there was a promise of going off to do something at some point. But we mostly just sat at the gate. I flew around, looted a couple of wrecks (I have a pile of faction light missiles now! Go me!), looked at the SBU that was off the gate, and listened to coms.
We eventually pulled back to our in-system POS to wait for a titan to show up so we could bridge out for whatever was planned. That ended up taking a while and, it being a week night, I wasn’t able to hang around any longer, so I called it a night and headed back to the station in B-DBYQ.
I am deployed down by Fountain though, ready to be part of the fight. The theme for the day, due to the date, was the D-Day invasion. We are going to liberate Fountain.
TEST says that they are going to fight to the last Rifter. This weekend should be interesting if that is true, but it can be hard to tell what is propaganda for the troops and what reflects the real situation. I remember the famous declaration from White Noise a year and a half back. At least TEST is not claiming they were surprised by all of this.