The purging of Cloud Ring continues, though mostly while I am asleep. Waffles and Pandemic Horde changed their vulnerability widow to be during AUTZ, so the Entosis Link ops have been left to Lemba’s Korean’s in DOKDO and Arsehole squad, the AU/NZ time zone SIG in The Imperium. So I wake up in the morning and can see the fleet pings that went out overnight.
While The Mittani’s optimistic six day forecast now seems… well, optimistic… the purge doesn’t seem to be in doubt. The desired end state though… I’m not sure what that is. We don’t want any hostiles living in that region, so we are purging them. But we don’t want to take the sov ourselves, so we didn’t, for example, drop a TCU in W-4NUU after we killed the Pandemic Horde TCU, which allowed them to drop one and take the sovereignty right back. (Though reset to 0, so the system is easier to take/retake.) And we have seen that our only friend in the region, Fweddit, can’t hold the whole region by itself, so I am not sure who we expect to come live there. Who wants to live next to us?
Anyway, there has been day by day coverage over at The Nosy Gamer under the Kickstarter War tag.
Having avoided Cloud Ring completely, I did get into one fleet over the weekend, once that ended up in a fight. There is a story about it up at TMC that I find a bit confusing. The copy makes it sound like the whole thing was a surprise when, in fact, there were pings out for a “max dudes stratop” nearly 24 hours in advance. Maybe I have misunderstood. I guess we did pour in over time.
Anyway, the pings were out far enough in advance for me to get down to our staging system in Pure Blind and be online and ready to go. Well, mostly ready to go. I ran down in an interceptor and wasn’t keen to buy a doctrine ship off contract until I knew what fleets were going up.
When the ping for fleets went out, the initial options were Tengu fleet or Harpy fleet. Later Cawk fleet was added to handle all the people piling into the system and trying to get into a fleet. I opted for Harpy fleet because, if nothing else, a Harpy is cheap and warps faster than a Tengu and looks better as well.
Also, with three Basilisks lost already this month, I might be past my limit on reimbursement. No need to risk losing a Tengu or a Basi.
Anyway, I got into fleet and immediately began looking forward to the next Reavers deployment. It has been a while since I have been in the main fleet during an op. Somewhere around 500 of us showed up, got in fleets, and starting flying towards some distant destination, leaving time dilation and tasty stragglers for MOA in our wake.
We reached UMI-KK about an hour after I joined the fleet, a system where I had both a jump clone and a Harpy standing by, so if I had known I could have saved myself the first part of the journey and the price of a Harpy. The cost of op sec.
We didn’t have to go the whole way by gates. We did take one jump bridge. When we arrived there, the guy who said he had a three day timer before he could take a jump bridge and was told we would be taking one, again announced his timer issue. I suppose he expected us to all slog an additional half dozen gates to keep him safe. We took the jump bridge and let him fend for himself.
From the far end of the jump bridge it was a few more jumps through tidi until we finally arrived at MR4-MY in Geminate. Our FC was hurrying us along at that point, as it sounded like the fight was going to end soon. Sure enough, things certainly seemed to be in progress when we got there.
After some mucking about just out of range of all of the fun, our FC pointed us at the two biggest targets on the field, the two Archon carriers supporting the NCDot fleet.
Everybody loves a capital ship kill. And certainly everybody seemed to get on those kills. There were 741 involved parties on the first carrier kill, and 717 on the second. I also managed to get on the kills of a Proteus, a Damnation, and a Devoter. But that was about it. After that, the field was clear and it was time to head back home.
The battle report shows 865 of us blobbing 121 of them, inflicting 43 billion ISK in damage for about 5.5 billion in losses. That is the old CFC way.
And then it was another hour getting back to our staging system. The whole thing went a little longer than three hours, so at least we got two participation links for the effort. But it was a reminder of what big fleet fights can be like in the main fleet, with time dilation, hours of travel, uneven levels of skill, and coms that made me hide in the “no chatter” channel. After that, a Reavers deployment feels like a vacation.