Citadels in Saranen

Last week The Imperium changed its sovereignty timers to run in EUTZ.  Previously they had been running in AUS TZ, where we had had considerable success on defense for a while.  The changes to EUTZ was billed as a way to catch hostiles running entosis links during a time when we could put more pilots on the field.

I supposed this worked to a certain extent.  The primary bit of evidence is the kill boards, and Pandemic Legion’s stats in particular, whose killboard ISK efficiency is lower this month than even January 2014, when the battle at B-R5RB took place. (They were at 68% efficiency for that month, though the amount destroyed, as measured in ISK, was much, much larger.)

Efficiency down for May

Efficiency down for May

The flip side of this is that our foes are also strong in EUTZ and still out number us.  So this strategy lasted for about a week after which we were fresh out of sovereignty to attract targets.  Last night the few remaining systems in the constellation around D2-HOS fell and that was that.

The last corner of Pure Blind falls

The last corner of Pure Blind falls

We have now reached one of those possible victory conditions I mentioned previously.  The Imperium holds no sovereignty, so we’ve lost.  Right?

GSF sovereignty now officially zero

GSF sovereignty now officially zero

Reddit, the official forum of the MBC, is certainly celebrating victory right now.

But are we defeated?

Judging from pings and ops going out and systems being reinforced and numbers showing up for fleets, it certainly does not look like it.  We are currently dug into Saranen and even managed to drop a citadel on grid with our station the other night.

In response to this PL dropped a large citadel, a Fortizar, on the same grid as our home station in Saranen.

The Fortizar looms

The Fortizar looms

We are in a state where the game as a whole is still figuring out what to do with citadels.  At first glance, and this is my guess as to motivation, this gives PL a station that overlooks our undock.  PL even declared war on all of the remaining Imperium alliances, so that NPC station and gate guns in low sec space wouldn’t fire on them any more when they shot at us.

However, this turned into one of those “tracers work in both directions” sort of things, where the fact that they could sit and watch our undock meant that we could also sit and watch them, either by undocking or by sitting on our of medium citadel, safely tethered and waiting for something to happen.

Hurricanes tethered

Hurricanes tethered

Meanwhile, our response to actually getting a citadel anchored and running was to immediately drop another citadel on the station grid in hopes of drawing more hostile fax machines into the system to kill with Hurricanes.


Another medium citadel freshly dropped and spinning up

The Hurricane has become the backbone of our defense and any time hostiles show up in force in capitals or T3s or other expensive ships, we undocked in them in order to trade cheap, well insured T1 battlecruisers for whatever they choose to bring.

Saturday, when that second citadel was coming online we formed up in Hurricanes again to see if there would be another brawl like the ones we saw last week.  As the citadel finishes building there is a period of vulnerability during which it has no defenses of its own, so anybody can show up and pop it if you do not defend it.

Citadel vulnerability as it deploys

Citadel vulnerability as it deploys… it kept getting renamed

We were again up in Hurricanes and trolling around the station grid as the time counted down to the vulnerability window.  However, aside from some hostiles playing station undock games with us… which included a PL Nidhoggur that managed to aggro and get caught by us, which was a surprise as we expected him to dock up pretty much right until he exploded… all was pretty much quiet.

Hurricanes cruising the station grid

Hurricanes cruising the station grid

Our foes decided to try something different.  They had some carriers sitting off their citadel. When the vulnerability window hit, those carriers launched fighter squadrons to attack the citadel.

PL Thanatos tethered on the Fortizar

PL Thanatos tethered on the Fortizar

The big grid meant that we could see the carriers launch and the fighters on their way.  (Also, the new camera nicely lets you look at anything on grid now, the 100km limit having been removed.)

We warped over to the citadel and destroyed most of the fighter squadrons as they arrived.  Out of about 30 squadrons sent against the citadel, 26 were destroyed completely… something that, unlike drones, generates a kill mail, which might be helping to weigh down PL’s efficiency this month… with the remaining ones withdrawing before the citadel finished its cycle.  That was the extent of the operation.  We won another minor economic victory.

The response to getting a second citadel anchored and running on the station grid was to… deploy a third one.  I suppose we will have a set of safe spots on grid now, because as long are you aren’t aggro’d you can get within range of these citadels and be safe as well as getting repaired while you wait.

Then on Sunday there was a ping for a fast form as PL had destroyed an allied POS that was on the station grid and then dropped their own tower there to replace it.  However, they did not hang around to defend the stick as it went online, so we ended up forming more than 400 people in two Hurricane fleets to shoot that.

Shooting the PL tower

Shooting the PL tower

Nobody showed up to get in the way of that and so the tower went boom.

A tower kill

A tower kill

Then GSF dropped their own tower back in the location of the original tower and we hung about making sure that it anchored, went online, and got fully fueled.

Tower onlining

Tower Anchoring

Meanwhile, that third citadel kept on moving through its deployment cycle.  The model fills in as the timer gets closer to the end of its count down.

Citadel 3 in Saranen

Citadel three in Saranen

I wasn’t around when that third citadel went live.  However, in scrolling back through Jabber, I do not see a defense fleet being called for it and there were no citadel kills reported in Saranen, so I am going to take a guess that it went online and is now on grid with its two siblings. [Edit: Or maybe not.]

I suppose the question is now “Where does the war go from here?”  We’ve been removed from sov null, but still form up to harass our foes nightly and to fight when the odds aren’t stacked against us.  Meanwhile, PL and NCDot, who have been sovless for quite a while, now hold sovereignty within easy reach of our staging station.  A modest role swap there.  Who will tire of this state of affairs first?

10 thoughts on “Citadels in Saranen

  1. Stabs

    It seems to me from the other side that there’s a quiet confidence in The Imperium that you’ll be able to take your space fairly soon.

    What’s Plan B if you decide that waiting for a favorable set of circumstances is taking too long. (In history the Romans gave the Fabian strategy 2 years before getting bored and attacking Hannibal at Cannae where they were soundly defeated).


  2. Holgranth

    I have followed the Eve metagame for years (less than zero interest in ever playing the game) and I must say I would normally expect the Goons to bounce back and grab space somewhere before slowly building their allies and dismantling their opponents retaking their “home” space just to prove they can.

    But the leadership really seems to have choked on their own hubris. I probably spent more time reading the articles and comments on than any other Eve site before the war. But since the Goons started losing it has been like reading a German newspaper in 1944. Small victories are trumpeted and major defeats are ignored completely.

    If the attitude of the leadership was “well played guys you finally out metagamed us, feel free to rub our noses in it, god knows we’ve done the same thing when we won wars,” I could retain respect for the Goons. From day one the MBC propaganda machine has acknowledged their defeats and even praised the Goons for making good plays. There are a few things I would love to hear your opinion on.

    1. Goons have a bad habit of bringing real life into Internet Spaceships. If they attempt to take petty revenge on Lenny IRL how would you react?
    2. What do you think of the current Imperium leadership?
    3. If the Imperium loses most of its power becoming one of many feuding nullsec entities will the line members be happy? Will you be happy? Will the leadership be happy?
    4. Do the Goons deserve the animosity they receive from some sections of the MBC?
    5. Do you really think the imperium can regain its full former glory? Or is the illusion shattered?


  3. Wilhelm Arcturus Post author

    @Stabs – I tend to live in the moment when it comes to EVE. No idea what the long term plan is, I just want to know if there is a fleet up when I have some free time.

    @Holgranth – “From day one the MBC propaganda machine has acknowledged their defeats and even praised the Goons for making good plays.”

    I mean, sure, you can find a bit of that in the morass of shrill anti-Goon catcalling, but trying to make that stick as a general statement about MBC propaganda… well, I have to call bullshit on that. I rarely post on Reddit, but I still read it every day, so please don’t hold out a plate of shit and tell me it is ice cream.

    Answers to your questions, which reflect my views only. I do not speak for others, others do not speak for me.

    1- Assumes facts not in evidence. I haven’t seen anything about Goons as a whole doing anything of the sort, nor do I have insight in to, or control over, what anybody else in the coalition does. In general, if somebody is breaking the law or the EULA, I support them facing the consequences of their actions. Beyond that you appear to be asserting some sort of guilt by association check. I’ve already been called a bad person multiple times on my own blog for being in the coalition. That is not a winning argument.

    2- Mistakes were made. I have rolled my eyes about the leadership on multiple occasions. I wrote here and in comments other places when they were doing cringe worthy stuff like the Kickstarter, which I was quite critical of, or some of Sion’s posts on TMC, like his pedantic post about community.

    In general though, I do not interact with anybody above the level of an FC, and I am happy with all of them. I log in and go where they tell me because it is people like DBRB and Asher and Thomas Lear, and Jay Amazingness, and so on, who make the fun possible. I always try to put the FC’s name in a tag on any post I do about a fleet op to remind myself who made that operation happen.

    The Mittani, who is the only real face of leadership in The Imperium, serves his purpose, getting up every week in front of an audience to make our foes angry and boost our morale. I could do with less “you’re on the list!” revenge fantasies that come through about the MBC. But I think he is worth more to the coalition in that role than people may care to admit.

    3- Have to cross that bridge when we get to it. For Goons at least there has always been an affinity towards being the underdog. Even when the empire spread from Tenal to Period Basis, the narrative was always about being on the defensive and being attacked by foes who were better, stronger, and more numerous. So they are sort of living the dream now I suppose.

    For the moment the key question is, “Are we having fun?” The answer seems to be yes. Lots of fleets, lots of kills, very little need to travel far. Six months ago Reavers had to deploy down to Querious or Wicked Creek to get fights. Now fights come and find us.

    4 – Have to ask the people with the animosity that. A lot of the sins of the coalition, in the eyes of others, stem from there being quiet times during which they went out to stir things up and create content with things like Hulkageddon, Burn Jita, or the Viceroy system. But other than the relentless pursuit of BoB during and after the Great War, I’m not sure the coalition has been particularly ruthless. We didn’t, for example, farm Brave Newbies out of null sec just to get content like PL did. There are individuals out there, especially former GSF members, who seem to hold a deep grudge due to personal drama. Suas has rolled hot and cold before. People like Endie and Darius JOHNSON seem to be very much against Mittens and his “media empire” yet seem to conveniently omit their own roles in making it come about. There have been others who have fallen out or who sold us out. Lemba, who I quite enjoyed flying with had been handing over intel to our foes for ages before he was caught. (But he still writes for TMC.) But they were all willing members of the club before, and leadership drama is hardly the exclusive domain of GSF.

    5- That depends on what you mean by “former glory” I suppose. The Fozzie Sov changes mean that there will be no going back to Goons holding everything from Tenal to Period Basis. The mechanics simply won’t allow that. If you mean being a force to be reckoned with, then I would point to all those alliances on call around Saranen. If you have to keep that many pilots close to hand, I am not sure that the glory is all in the past. We don’t hold sovereignty, but we are clearly viewed as a threat.


  4. Holgranth

    Thanks for the answers I read reddit every day as well. I probably worded that poorly but you are a big boy. There is TONS of anti goon sentiment and propaganda, why wouldn’t there be? That’s part of the fun!

    I have never seen a highly rated post attempting to spin a Goon victory as something else. I see plenty of people admitting, often grudgingly, when the goons won a fight.Meanwhile the third party views I can get of SA and stuff like fireside chats are almost reality denial. No post about the complete SOV loss on Who are they kidding? I have read the site for a long time now, when the Goons kick someone out of their space there is a big post. In game go sodomize eachother to your hearts content but out of game have some sportsmanship.

    Which brings me to my next point. I started following EVE back in 2007, I liked Goons and found Mittani amusing until Wizard Hat, I still want to like Goons as an organization but it really does seem like everything they claimed to be evaporated as soon as they started losing.

    I don’t want to bring a guilt by association fallacy into the argument and probably wouldn’t have even mentioned it except for this little gem.

    “I am troubled by the tendency to pursue people out of game for things that happen in game which has gotten worse in the last month.”

    I don’t think Lenny was being hyperbolic when he said he was afraid to go public because of RL consequences. I don’t look down on you for enjoying what you enjoy. I am simply curious about what you would do if members of your alliance went outside the game to get revenge.


  5. Holgranth

    PS. As I said before I am here for the cockfight, I don’t really care who wins because I don’t play, I just want a front row seat to the drama. You are the only person I know who is likely to give reasonable answers, most people in the imperium seem very defensive and hostile towards an outsider who wants to probe the wounds.


  6. Wilhelm Arcturus Post author

    @Holgranth – “I am troubled by the tendency to pursue people out of game for things that happen in game which has gotten worse in the last month.”

    Yes, I have seen that. But it was also pretty vague (Out of game is pretty much everything, so if somebody taunts me on Twitter, is that pursuing me out of game?) and damns the whole alliance for what I assume is a very small subset. But everybody has their own insight and tolerance.

    If somebody like Asher Elias who, unlike anybody in coalition leadership, actually knows my name, said, “Fuck this, we’re bad people, I am leaving!” I would give serious thought to leaving as well. As I have said on multiple occasions, I fly for the FCs who get online every night and work to find fun for us. That is pretty much where my loyalty lies. The only catch in that is I am not sure, aside from Asher, if there is another real bellwether FC for me. DBRB, as an example, will never leave unless he totally burns out… and I am not sure how that hasn’t happened already. Other FCs tend to come and go.

    Meanwhile, in general, my experience, both on the other side of the coin, having been ganked, can flipped, and having Goons try to scam me, and having been an ally is that there is no “real” Goon. As a group they follow almost all the same paths that the general population of New Eden as a whole does. They are a magnifying mirror held up to New Eden.

    On the TMC front, I don’t know what is going on. You claim that not posting about the sov loss is proof of reality denial, but they hardly post about anything at all, win, lose or draw, when it comes to the war. As a propaganda channel, it is barely mailing it in at this point. Lemba, who is in Snuffed Out, wrote the only win piece for The Imperium last week. I could have written half a dozen easy 500 word, rage inducing propaganda pieces about minor wins or MBC foibles in the past seven days just from what I have seen in person and read in the GSF forums, and would have done posts about The Meta show and such along the way.

    I just don’t really want to write propaganda pieces… not under my own handle at least. It might be amusing to do so under a different pseudonym for a bit. But what I write here is supposed to be what I saw in person or events that affect the games I play so when I look back in a year or five years or ten years, I will remember what happened and feel a bit of it again. Which doesn’t mean that it is objective, it is just what I experienced.


  7. Fenjay

    I flew under DBRB back in 2009-ish during the BoB war and he was just as active and hyper as he is now. I think he has got to be burnout proof at this point (asbestos suit?)


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