Daily Archives: October 29, 2015

A Year of Reavers

In putting together the usual month in review post for Saturday, I noticed that my first post about Reavers came up in October of 2014.  A quick check of our super secret section of the GSF forums shows the first posts on October 14 of last year, so I am a couple weeks late on the anniversary, though less than a week off from my post about our first op.

The Imperium holds itself and its many players together through a variety of special interest groups, or SIGs.  The Imperium is, in its way, a microcosm of EVE Online.  On the outside looking in, you may view The Imperium as a whole by your interaction with one of those groups.  MiniLuv, the high sec freighter ganking group… which turns a tidy profit through its actions… gets a lot of attention despite being a rather small group.  There are other combat groups like Space Violence, Top Goon, Black Ops, Bomberwaffe, and CapSwarm.

Groups have their symbols or logos

Groups have their symbols or logos

There are also groups that do wormhole ops, faction warfare, incursions, industry, shipping, escalations, and other such things.  Some are official, some just small ventures.  Some take all comers, while others have skill or ship restrictions or require somebody to vouch for you.  You can roll into Space Violence pretty easily, but they might want to check you out a bit for Corps Diplomatique, you don’t get into CapSwarm unless you have the skills and own the right hull, and for GIA they will want more than just a bit of skin off the nape of your neck.  Some love newbies and dilettantes, others want old hands and dedicated players.

While I try to err on the side of caution when writing about the inner workings of The Imperium, you could see all of this yourself (unless you’re Gevlon) by joining Karma Fleet.  There is a whole sub-forum devoted to recruiting people to these groups.

You do not have to join any of these groups to fly in The Imperium.  There are plenty of coalition-wide fleets, and some of the groups will ping for outsiders to bring up their numbers.  They are there to help you find something you like to do and other players to do that with.  And your alliance and corp will likely also have additional options for you.

I went through the first three years in the CFC/Imperium as just a non-affiliated line member, joining only CrapSwarm, the group for people with a capital ship (in my case an Archon) and minimal skills, but not yet skilled up to fly in CapSwarm.  I think I once got a ping about a move op for that.

Even not joining any of those groups, I did not lack things to do during that time, as this blog will attest.  Eventually though, I began to drift.  War time was always exciting, but between such conflicts ops could be dull.  I tend to prefer ops with a goal, something beyond sitting on a gate in an fast locking ship and popping strangers flying through.

And then came the Reavers.  Formed from the ashes of Freedom Squad, Reagalan’s US time zone “let’s go shoot things” group, it was announced by The Mittani during an internal State of the Goonion talk (and later revealed in an alliance update) and was to be headed up by Asher Elias.  It was put in place as a reaction to the changes coming with the Phoebe expansion, specifically jump fatigue.

I seem to recall the name Reavers being a placeholder, and a Firefly reference, and then nothing better came up, so it stuck.

Reavers forum bee

Reavers forum bee

In a null sec of far flung rental empires, the ability to bridge, jump, or otherwise move fleets rapidly across many light years was being curtailed.  In a war, a group with a large area to defend would have to commit to the front lines of any conflict.

In this situation, Reavers were to go deep into the enemy’s territory, far behind the front lines, and cause havoc by blowing up SBUs, reinforcing towers, siphoning mining operations, setting timers, disabling station services, snapping jump bridge connections, and generally making such a nusance of ourselves.  The enemy would thus be forced to decide between fighting on the front lines or putting out fires deep in their rear areas.

The Reavers themselves would arrive via wormholes, carrying all they needed in their Ishtars.  They would live in, and log out from, safe spots and refit via mobile depots.  They would, scout, hit targets of opportunity, set timers, call in coalition support for particularly juicy targets (like capital ship assembly arrays), but otherwise safe up, cloak up, and log off should the enemy show up in force.  Our existence was to be denied, we were never to speak in local, we were to be a rumor and a story to scare renters with when it was dark out.

And such was our modus operandi for a while, so long as the large rental empires remained.

Naturally, the stealthy nature of our group also made it difficult for me to write about.  Other EVE Online players do occasionally read my blog.  Even The Mittani was momentarily aware of this site at one point a few years back.  I couldn’t write after action reports, or what passes for such here, when it came to daily ops or our location or targets or such without compromising operational security.  Still, I summed things up occasionally, wrote about successes or battles after the fact, and generally kept some track of what we had been up to, trying to share out details sparingly or only after they had been revealed via other sources.

Of course, null sec changed over the last year.  The big rental empires shrank, then faded for the most part, remaining now just in the north east of null sec. (Maps from the usual source.)

October 14, 2014 and October 14, 2015 compared

October 14, 2014 and October 14, 2015 compared

And with that, the tactics of the Reavers changed.  We went from living in safes to holing up in NPC stations.  For two campaigns in Querious, we lived out of high sec space which, if nothing else, made resupply very easy.  We’ve gone from Ishtars to Tengus, with some special docrtines along the way, including an all to brief stint flying Ravens. (Reavans!)

Smart bombs activated

Ravens with smart bombs activated

We’ve gone from those deep behind enemy lines deployments where we avoided contact to cozying up next to somebody’s home,  hitting their stuff, and looking for fights… because there aren’t a lot of big empires left to hide in.  We have changed as null sec has changed over the year.

And, in that year I have felt like I have been a part of a special group.  I’ve made an effort to go on every Reaver op I can.  I have been out for every deployment.  I changed up my avatar to meet the jacket pal spec and even wore a rough copy at EVE Vegas.

Jacketpals unite

Jacket pals unite!

I might be the least well known Reaver inside the group.  I almost never speak on voice coms… to the point that Asher was surprised to learn at one point that I actually had a mic, I just never use it… but I still feel like I belong.  I have learned a lot along the way, got to do fun things, and felt like we had a mission in the coalition.

So here is my retrospective, all my Reaver posts from the first year of the group.

That is 27 posts that cover a good portion of the first year.  Going through all of that I noticed that I missed a few ops.  There was our past run at TEST and a Rokh op that had us in Fountain with Brave Newbies that I never got around to posting about.  But I have at least a timeline of sorts that shows where we started and what we have been up to.

As for what the Reavers will be doing a year from now in null sec, we shall see.