My wife was about to head off with a friend for a bit when the ping came in. Two fleets were going up early Saturday afternoon my time, one Maze Fleet doctrine, the other Lockjaw doctrine, so it seemed like something might be happening. I bid my wife farewell and logged in, joining the Lockjaw fleet, which is based around the Caldari Jackdaw destroyer.
I happened to have one of those at our staging system already and had yet to actually shoot anything with it. So I joined that fleet and made sure I was all ready to go. I was keen to fire some missiles. I undocked just to zip around a bit in the ship and look at it.
Then we waited around for a bit. Some of it was the usual dance of getting boosters and logi and getting people in totally wrong ships to swap to something that matched the doctrine. However, we started getting asked to swap over to the Maze Fleet if we could fly logi.
Grrr… I want to shoot something!
Then I got a ping on Jabber from Repswarm asking people to logi up for the Maze Fleet. Repswarm was, if I read it right, a place to learn how to be a better logi pilot and even a logi anchor. However, we don’t have our own forum for the SIG, we haven’t had any training since I joined, so the main effect of my membership so far is now Arrendis and Apple Pear can badger known logi pilots who signed up for Repswarm to get into fleet and fly logi.
So, obeying the call, I docked up, grabbed the last remaining Scimitar off of contract, left my still shiny Jackdaw and the Lockjaw fleet, joined the Maze Fleet, and got into the logi channel.
At least I was back in the familiar old Scimitar, the logi ship I first learned to fly back in the days of Drake Fleet. Fast and agile and without the now familiar cap chain routine, at least it has a big enough drone bay that the doctrine fit includes some Hornet EC-3000 drones to you can whore on a kill mail or two if you’re not busy repping. I undocked to zip around the station while we waited for things to get under way.
I flew around for quite a bit as there was a special fit required for this fleet. Maze Fleet doctrine is based around the Rattlesnake, Gurista pirate faction battleship, and is so name (I think) because the escalation “The Maze” is one of the places you can get a blue print copy for the ship so you can build one. (I have an old screen shot from The Maze over at my other blog.)
People kept joining fleet and had to be told the new fit. Meanwhile there was a guy who joined in a Lachesis who was way out in DY-F70 already and kept asking if that was where we were headed, because he didn’t want to fly all the way back if we were just going to be headed there.
While I have known that pain, and was sympathetic to his plight initially, the reality is that for operational security reasons we don’t tell people in the fleet where we are going, something he clearly did not get as he asked the same thing over and over on voice coms, simply helping to confuse the getting ready aspect of the fleet.
Still, things finally came together and we were given the word to undock and warp out to a POS where we would be bridged.
We hung out there for a while, waiting for the moment to arrive. I was able to look at all we were bringing along. With the Rattlesnakes and Scimitars was a flight of special Basilisks, a few Nestors, and a Scorpion Navy Issue. Apparently everybody who has a Nestor has the blue skin for it, because there wasn’t a white one in sight.
After some waiting around, during which Lazarus Telraven joined us, the jump bridge finally went up and we bridged out for Cloud Ring and whatever lay in store for us there.
Technically, I don’t think we spent a full four hours in Cloud Ring, having mucked about for a good 45 minutes back at our staging system. But we were there for more than three hours easy, and after all that time I am still not sure what we were doing.
If I understood the latest update from The Imperium, we officially don’t care about who holds sovereignty in Cloud Ring. We just want to control the money making moons. However we were bringing along Entosis link ships with us… they were going out with the Lockjaw fleet… so we were clearly not after moons.
We flew on to our destination in Cloud Ring, but only after one Rattlesnake refit along the way. There was a change up in drones, so the fitting services of the Nestors in fleet came into play. As it turned out, that guy in the Lachesis lucked out as we ended up with him in DY-F70.
Once there, not much happened. Some Fozzie Sov stuff appeared to be in action.
I mean, we heard about stuff happening. The Culture took out some of the Entosis ships in another system. There was a fleet of Machariels, or Machariels with capital support, or Machariels with super cap support, which was docked up, or had just undocked, or was docking back up, which might or might not come our way.
We deployed into our combat formation. We moved and deployed again. We went to another system and did the same on a gate. Then we sat on a station, hoping to hold down the team that was attacking the Enotsis ships in the other fleet.
Along the way we orbited. I took screen shots. Asher put up several straw polls. We learned that Dabigredboat’s first name is Allen. We shot at Sothrasil in his shiny Scorpion Navy Issue with its immense EHP. War was discussed. Opinions were ventured about why Germany lost WWII, the nature of the rasputitsa is Russia in the spring, and whether or not Alaska gets anything even close to that. We learned that in Germany today the conflicts around world today are not called wars, but war-like scenarios (Kriegsgleiche Szenarien or Kriegsähnliche Szenarien, depending on who you ask). Sounded like a step up from our own situation.
And we moaned about the time, the lack of Entosis ships in the other fleet, Fozzie sov in general and how blowing shit up trumps watching somebody Fozzie laser something every single day of the week. The Euros, including our long suffering FC Boomslang, who had to keep us all together on this fleet, noted how late it was getting for them, midnight having long since passed while we were still sitting around. I took more screen shots. A third fleet under Blood Hellioin was called up to bring more Entosis ships out to finish up the hacking.
At some point my wife arrived home, having sat through a youth performance of The Nutcracker and then stopped by Egg Roll House on the way home, arriving with fried rice and egg rolls. I wandered away from my computer, filled up a plate, and listened to her review of the evening. I sat back down at my desk and found I was still orbiting Arrendis as I had been about 15 minutes before. A participation link had been issued at some point before the three hour mark. A second one came a while after the mark.
Eventually we started moving in the direction of home. We had some of our own capitals to escort, so things went slowly, but eventually they got in range of the cyno on our undock and jumped out, after which we were able to meet up with a titan and get bridged back ourselves. And I am still not sure what we did. I guess we killed the ihub there, eventually, but it didn’t get us a fight. I did get two PAP links and took a bunch of screen shots. And so it goes. Some days you get the fight, some days you don’t.
Of course, as I am writing this on Sunday there is a ping that says, “HOSTILES UNDOCKING MACHS TO GO FOR OUR MAZEFLEET!” Maybe the fight we missed was going to happen a day later. I missed it. I went and saw Star Wars Episode VII instead. But I have some screen shots left to share.