We had known that a Reavers deployment was in the offing for a couple of weeks now. There had been talk about doctrines and changes to fits. There had been some briefings about what to pack and who we might bring along with us. But when Asher started doing briefings for KarmaFleet, who would be joining us for the deployment, things were clearly getting close. Then we were told to be ready to move and to have our security status at least up to -2.0 as we would be moving through high sec.
The things is, with these sorts of things, operational security dictates that the line members be kept in the dark as much as possible so that information doesn’t leak and we find the route to our deployment camped by hostiles. We were all guessing where we might go, but Asher wasn’t telling. I was hoping for a return to Querious as I already had some ships at our old staging system lined up.
The first call for a move op came on Saturday just as The Meta Show was wrapping up. Pilots at our various staging bases were given directions as to where to head. I had to log in and decide what I was going to fly out to the deployment. I had a couple of the doctrine ships with me in D2-HOS, but figured I had best take a Basilisk for the first run. We always need logi, so having that on hand seemed the best idea. And we had been told that we would be staging out of a station and that shipping from Jita would be arranged, so we could buy and ship additional ships out later.
I undocked the Basilisk and warped to catch up with the fleet leaving the system via the jump bridge. Various groups were moving from stations around Deklein and Pure Blind converging on the Torrinos gate in EC-P8R, one of the gateway systems between null sec and empire space. We would form up there for our run into low, then high sec space.
It was there, while waiting for people to arrive that we got our first kill of the deployment. Granted, it was a blue on blue kill when, after Asher said we could clear some of the warp disruption bubbles on the gate, one of my TNT compatriots thought launching an electron bomb into the bubbles was a good idea. He didn’t even get a kill mark on his Purifier for the Cheetah, since he blapped a fleet member.
Sitting around on the gate for a while, we did manage to bring the deployment back to an “ISK positive” state as we were able to knock off some of the steady flow of ships attempting to slip into null sec through the gate.
I even managed to launch a combat drone and get on the kill mail for a Hurricane that sat on the other side of the gate for a while… letting us all get ready… before jumping in to his death.
After a bit of a wait, punctuated by enough kills that we started to joke about the Torrinos gate being the deployment, Asher got our attention and had us set our destination to Sarekuwa in Lonetrek. Those who had failed to get their security status up sufficiently were sent off to burn there and dock up while the rest of us were to move as a group just in case we ran into somebody who had a war dec against anybody in the fleet. Then it was off to fly through high sec, ~100 ships causing a small bow wave of time dilation, and leaving behind a pile of spam in local, as we passed though Caldari space.
We met up in Sarekuwa and formed again for the run to the next waypoint, which turned out to be our final destination. We were heading to Querious. I was at once happy… our operations in that region are part of the Reavers legend, including the taking and heroic defense of the station at ED-L9T… and annoyed because I already had two Basilisks parked at our staging for the region, so I would have flown something else had I known.
Querious is, of course, a different place compared to our last visit. Darkness and their friends are out and Pandemic Horde, Brave Newbies, Northern Army, are now residents with some others. Phoebe Freeport Republic is moving in, having left Scalding Pass. Even Red Frog appears to have a system in the region.
So it looks like Querious could be a region of fun.
The last leg of the run out was uneventful and we arrived at the Reaver home away from home once again.
Small ops started pretty much right away, though I had to run after the deployment cruise and didn’t get back into a fleet until the next day.
At that point we had a Ferox fleet going out with Entosis things to do. There had already been a run at the station in ED-L9T, but it had been repulsed by the locals, so we were off to try for some other stations.
I have to say, as an aside, that the new UI feature that came with the January update which shows beneficial effects on your UI is the best thing ever as a logi pilot who is in a capacitor chain. I can see when the chain is up and who has me.
So I am very happy about that.
Along the way we popped a couple of pilots from the corp Isogen 5 who were running around the area. They alerted us to a Brave Newbies ratting carrier, after which we agreed to stop shooting them so we could help them shoot the carrier instead. Our tacklers ran out ahead as we followed along.
The Archon was caught. A couple of friends had run over to help him, but they were brushed aside as we went in for the kill.
We got the ship, worth about 2 billion on the kill report, and the pod, which ended up having a set of High Grade Slave implants, which made it worth more than the ship. A happy diversion, but then we had to get back on our way to our target before the vulnerability window closed.
We were headed to OGY-6D, a Pandemic Horde system, in order to Entosis their station. We got there in time, passing through some of PH, got in the system, and set up on the gate to catch them if they followed up in. As we sat in readiness, an Entosis ship warped to the station and started his work.
Pandemic Horde seemed content to stay on their side of the gate while we did our work. As it appeared they wouldn’t be coming in, Asher sent another Entosis ship off to start on the ihub, however the vulnerability window closed before the end of the Entosis link module’s warm up cycle ended, so the ihub was safe for the moment.
When the station was done, our Entosis pilot rejoined the fleet and there was a decision to be made; should we fight Pandemic Horde or just try to blow past them and head home? The numbers were against us, but we decided to give it a go and piled into their side of the gate, in K7D-II, to see how we might fare.
Things did not go our way. Our boosting ship got caught trying to slip through to setup, so we were without the benefit of that. We decloaked, formed up, and started what became a short, bloody fight where we were coming off the worse. PH had some very effective EWar hitting our logi. We kept Asher’s command ship alive and only lost one Basilisk, but they were tearing through our Feroxes, so we aligned out and headed for home. A surprising number of us were able to warp off despite them having several of us tackled as the order to align out was given. The battle report shows we lost a lot, but we probably should have lost even more.
All in all, not a bad first outing in Querios for me. A nice carrier and pod kill for a warm up, the strategic objective accomplished, and a bloody fight on the way out. And the deployment has only just begun.
One side note. There is Pandemic Horde video up about the fight in D2-HOS that was part of a post I did last week. They were very proud about the Jay Amazingness headshot during the fight, before they got wiped out, but in the last moments of the video (at about 8:10) somebody speculates that Goons might get mad and invade Querious over it. Quite the prophetic statement. I wouldn’t call us an invasion, but there are Goons in the region now.
Meanwhile, a gallery of the screenshots I have so far.