Another deployment behind enemy lines has wrapped up. This was our fourth deployment. Previously we have been down in Insmother, Feythabolis, and Omist, the heartland of N3’s rental empire. This time we moved to the southwest, to Querious.
(Somewhat out of date map from the usual source.)
This deployment was different from the last three. While successful, those were really practice runs to validate the doctrine and get used to living rough in the field behind enemy lines. This time we had a serious operational objective, which was to force NCDot and friends to divert resources from its “invasion” of Fountain.
This was back when the CFC was in trouble, being besieged from Delve and Venal. We were not going to be able to fight a two front war.
Only we did. And we opened up a third front along the way, as the Reavers went out to shoot up unguarded infrastructure.
This deployment was also different in that we did not live rough, setting up a POS in the middle of hostile territory. Because of the the way space is laid out in the southwest, we were able to get a room at the Royal Khanid Inn and Suites in a corner of Amarr high sec space to use as our staging base.
This gave us a few of advantages. This gave us a safe haven to work from, like the Taliban in Pakistan. It made resupply very easy as Amarr, the second biggest trade hub in New Eden, was fairly close and the Marmite Collective’s camp of Amarr was asleep at the switch, letting us wander in to buy things repeatedly. Ships could be put up on contract to replace losses. And death clones could be set to the station, thus removing the “I died and am now on the other side of the galaxy” problem with previous deployments.
It also meant that getting out there was easy for me. My computer was down when we initially deployed, but I had a jump clone handy in Amarr, so was able scoot on down on my own without any drama and buy a ship from contract.
Finally, it also meant that we could jump clone back to other fronts if we wanted to. I switched up and split my time between Reaver ops and flying on some operations in south Fountain, including the final push that removed NCDot’s foothold in the region.
NCDot was trying to deal with us in Querious with minimal forces for a while. We would shoot up their SBUs, drop our own, and go away. They would then return and shoot our SBUs and drop their own back. A few times we got into later timers, shooting infrastructure hubs and even station services, but the idea wasn’t to take systems, it was to make them pay attention to us, something they really started to do after we killed four super carriers, which had been involved in the regular SBU shooting ping pong match, one night.
NCDot had given up on Fountain by that point, but after that they started showing up in force to oppose us. They moved their super capital fleet back to F2OY-X and started forming Tengu fleets against us, obliterating us a couple of times. (ouch, 9 logi were not going to cut it) With that our ability to cause them pain with little effort ended, but it also meant our job was done. The enemy had given up on their offensive as we reduced them to chasing our Ishtars around their own territory.
There were a couple of other attempts at operations. Asher Elias handed out Crucifier frigates to all of us, with a plan for us to zip out to B-R5RB so we could be there when The Initiative took it back. Site of the great titan battle back in January, it was taken back from NCDot this past weekend. I still have a jump clone and the Dominix I flew during the fight holed up there, maybe I can get them out safely now… or at least put the Domi up for sale.
In one of those moments where you realize that the same names have been around for a while, further down the list it shows that The Initiative owned B-R5RB July 2009 until January 2011.
Unfortunately, as we were burning across space to get to B-R5RB, we hit an Against All Authorities gate camp in Catch that killed enough of us to break up the fun. I was one of those who got blown up and podded. But, having happened after the Rhea expansion dropped, the whole thing was an ISK-free adventure. Asher gave me the ship and clone upgrades are a thing of the past. I should go die more often in frigates.
We tried another Crucifier op later that evening, reshipping in Amarr again. We were going to be one prong in a great DBRB trap, however the prey sensed something was wrong and fled, leaving us flying around low sec looking for something to do.
And that was about it for the deployment. I flew my Crucifier straight back to Deklein from our last operation, where it will likely sit in a hangar with the rest of my “no longer or never were a fleet doctrine” ships. So many Maelstroms, Megathrons, Apocalypses, and Drakes… oh the Drakes. I’m going to start bringing Drakes on ops, I swear.
Now we are in something of a down period. NCDot has other troubles so Fountain is off their agenda, Black Legion decided more fun was to be had teaming up with Brave Newbies to joust with Pandemic Legion in the south, Triumvirate, if I heard this right, apparently got dunked so hard that they issued a DCMA request to pull down a video of the fight (though, to be fair, I only know what I saw on Twitter and The Meta Show), leaving us with nobody except Mordu’s Angels as a regular foe in the north, and there is a CFC group camping them in 5ZXX-K, which is just a few jumps from our staging system.
Time to go out and earn some ISK. Once a lot of people are on a holiday break, things are likely to heat up again.