As Sun Tzu once said, “Stop quoting me about a video game.”
-kcolor, Jabber broadcast to all
And preparation has gone in to taking the first big system, ZXB-VC. I addition, judging from the kill boards of people I know in the capital fleet, the CFC has been reinforcing and wiping out towers all over the region, sometimes replacing them before the owners have even noticed that they are gone. (As with this loss, where a shuttle loaded with blueprints warped to where their jump bridge USED to be.)
So Delve is capital ships and fleets and hundreds of players roaming out at a time in order to crush our foes.
Operations in Querious though, that is a bit different. There the Reavers roam about in small groups hitting undefended targets, reinforcing towers, blowing up defensive SBUs and dropping our own, and occasionally hitting the local renters when they become too complacent about us and start going about their business as though we were not there.
When the enemy forms up a fleet to defend a timer or puts some carries on an ihub to rep it, we fade away, mission accomplished. Every pilot down defending sovereignty in Querious is a pilot not defending Delve. The whole thing works at a slower pace though, with small fleets and limited capabilities and often the same people night after night in a given time zone.
And while we are there to harass, reinforce, interdict, and otherwise make a nuisance of ourselves, we do like a kill mail once in a while.
For example, the other night a pilot name s1thl0rd (which is ‘sith lord,’ though your brain can be forgiven for resolving those characters as ‘shit lord’) was attacking one of the SBUs we dropped with an expensive ship, a Barghest, the Mordu’s Legion battleship that came in with the Kronos expansion about a year back.
It was felt that we should kill it, what with it brazenly shooting our SBU, so a plan was devised.
For reasons still not completely clear to me, we decided to hot drop on it. That meant stealth bombers and a black ops battleship to deliver us to the target. We had some stealth bombers around, but the person with the battleship wasn’t on. So we sent somebody to Amarr to go buy a Panther, fit it, and fly it back down. I flew along to go grab a stealth bomber so I could join in.
We flew up, made our purchases, and flew back. As we did that, a couple of tacklers were stealthed up and close by s1thl0rd, who kept on shooting the SBU. If I heard things on coms correctly, he even decloaked one of the tacklers and didn’t think to fly off.
When we got back everybody who was going to drop on s1thl0rd formed up and flew to a system within drop range. There was a short lesson on how to hot drop and stay stealthed and all that, required by the way we all failed to do so when forming up.
Finally, we were all set and the person on the gate with the cyno went to go light it so we could drop in… and it failed. He decloaked, which didn’t seem to bother s1thl0rd, and found that the system had a cyno jammer in it. We needed a covert cyno generator, which nobody happened to have handy. There was a call out to see who online could actually fit and use one, and I x’d up in fleet and was tasked with lighting the cyno.
I just didn’t actually have a covert cyno handy. So I went off to buy one and bring it back. I was on my way back… at this point we were about two hours into this “we’re totally going to kill this guy” operation and not only were we still trying to get it together, but the target was still in place… when a couple of wormholers dropped into the target system and blew up s1thl0rd and his shiny ship.
At that point people were more laughing than disappointed as the total amount of time we spent trying to set up for that one kill… and our dependence on our target just sitting there for all that time… made the whole situation comical.
Besides which, we got to kill his shiny, billion ISK Rattlesnake a couple days later, along with his pod full of implants. I even got the kill mail on his pod, as Asher let the logi pilots get first crack at it.
Otherwise, the operational tempo in Querious remains about the same. We shoot stuff up until we become annoying enough that NCdot has to respond. Just to do things even more on the cheap, we have even started using laser Vexors, which end up costing a couple million ISK if fully insured, so you can go AFK if you need and not be too worried about losing anything if hostiles show up. The beams just keep cycling until you or the target are done.
Still, I have been a bit jealous of my corp mates who have been off fighting on the Delve front. Big fleets, big battles, systems being taken, and all that. So Sunday afternoon I decided I would clone jump to Fountain to take part in the Easter operation in ZXB-VC. That operation was being pinged for hours and hours in advance, so it seemed like it might be an important fight. I thought it would be nice to be there when a system went down. So when the time came I was in place and in a big fat newly purchase Dominix, because that is the main battleship doctrine yet again, and ready to go.
However, when we finally got to ZXB, it turned out to be just the station timer. We were going just there to put the station into the armor reinforce cycle.
We were the first of a few fleets to drop on the system. As we sat around the station we were encouraged to shoot the station services to knock them out.
However we barely got into that before we were sent off to one of the gates to guard an SBU, lest NCDot and friends drop in and kill it during a window of opportunity and cause us to have to restart the whole reinforce cycle again. So we sat out there, spread out in a ball, while the capital fleet came in and very quickly put the station into its armor reinforce time.
All we had to entertain us was the Circadian Seekers who kept showing up to fly around and scan us every so often. I started seeing those in Reaver fleets. In Reavers we are sharp enough to not start shooting them. However, with 240 of us sitting on the gate with nothing to do but wait for orders, somebody was bound to shoot one of them. And they did, eventually having to warp to the gate and exit the system to break the cycle of escalations that comes with starting that fight.
With the station reinforced again and no hostiles to speak of (920+ people in system, I counted 3 non-CFC pilots in local) I opted to head to the gate with the capitals, parked myself in Y-2ANO, and went to have dinner with my wife and watch a bit of TV. (We just finished up The Wire and are starting on Treme.) My Domi will be safe there and will be set to join any operations headed for Delve if I want to pile in.
Meanwhile, while I was off experiencing battleship travel, time dilation, and the sitting and waiting that comes with covering the capital ships, down in Querious Asher was pinging for more pilots because we actually had a fight going down with the locals. I chose poorly, but I couldn’t get back to Querious quickly enough to help out. I will jump back down when my jump clone timer runs down and join the small harassing ops on the fringe of NCDot space. There is no time dilation and there is always something to shoot.
On the bright side, I did get a few big fleet screen shots, which at least was a change from what is becoming an ongoing series of “Basilisk goes to…” events, so I have some fresh fodder for my other blog.