Things changed up a bit while we were down in Querious.
Before we headed down south for our deployment there was a small conflict boiling between the Imperium and some low sec residents over moons. When fighting them we were often facing a ball of ships like this:
That is a batch of Machariels supported by a Nestor and a Bhaalgorn and some Guardians and what looks to be a Proteus maybe. A lot of expensive ships piloted by people with slave implant sets. The backbone of the fleet is the Machariel which, by general consensus, seems to be pretty much the best battleship in the game. It moves fast, warps fast, can absorb a huge amount of damage, and with a Nestor on hand for refits, has a damage projection envelope second to none.
A tough nut to crack, and we sacrificed many ships to the welp Gods as part of the learning process. Not that we didn’t win, both when it came to towers and the ISK war now and again, but as we were preparing for our deployment it was still an active conflict with victories and defeats.
That all started back in early December. Then I was busy at work, then there were the holidays, then there was the deployment south, and then I was on vacation and then we got called back home, during which time I wasn’t paying much attention to the fight in the north.
Upon getting home and getting settled, a new fleet composition was announced. The new doctrine, called Yacht Fleet, seemed to be the admission that we were going to beat Machariels by flying Machariels. We would now be flying those and Nestors and Bhaalgorns and Vindicators and a few other things.
Supplies of the Angel Cartel ship seemed to be sufficient and I guess we had have the money to reimburse losses. Why not go with the best?
New doctrines, especially with shiny new ships, are always exciting. Granted, if you happened to invest heavily in a now defunct doctrine, you might be less than thrilled. (WTS: 8 Harpies) But I wasn’t invested in anything but the logi ships, and Yacht Fleet will be using the same Guardian fit as our previous armor doctrine, so I was set on that front.
So that was new. But so apparently was the situation in the north. Somewhere along the way our Imperium allies, SpaceMonkey’s Alliance got into a conflict with the EVE Online based gambling site I Want ISK (who I mentioned earlier this week when they dropped 1.8 trillion ISK to max out a new character via skill injectors), something covered here, which lead to I Want ISK hiring Tishu to bring the war to SMA’s homeland in Fade. So fights appear to be moving there. Which is fine. When it comes down to it, I don’t get involved in the politics I just go where the fleet goes.
Anyway, I was excited to see the first ping… well, the first one while I was at home… for Yacht Fleet. I logged in, hopped in a guardian, got into fleet, and off we went. The vulnerability window for SMA space was up and there were things to save and a rumor of a Tishu fleet in the vicinity.
So the first thing we had to do was undock, fly around frantically for a bit, then sit and wait for a while as Jay got updates from the intel channel. Then there was more flying about, though it sounded like we might have a target. I thought this was going to be great, seeing two Machariel fleets beat on each other.
And then we found Tishu in the form of a smaller fleet flying Cerberuses. That wasn’t going to be nearly as interesting. We managed to pin them down for a bit, pop some of their logi and a few Cerbs, before they decided to leave, after which we covered the ihub entosis effort then headed back for home.
There was word of a Pandemic Horde fleet in the area that was allegedly supposed to reinforce Tishu, but which did not arrive in time. But aside from a couple of ships tailing the fleet looking to grab stragglers, the journey home was uneventful.
And so went my first op with what may be our most expensive subcap doctrine so far. Flying Machariels as a mainline doctrine is a long way from where Goons started back in the day.
As for me and the Machariel… I am tempted to buy one to give it a try. I like flying new ships and I am just a day of training away from having all the skills needed to get reimbursed. (I’m already there for the Bhaalgorn, but need Minmatar Battleship V for Vindicator reimbursement, which is about 20 days off.) Then again, even with reimbursement, that is a lot of ISK for a ship. I might be content just flying logi and watching the big ships brawl.