A Murder of Fax Machines

9:22 PM directorbot@goonfleet.com: Why do you spell pandemic legion with all lowercase? Cause they can’t use any caps!

~~~ This was a broadcast from asher_elias to opt-all at 2016-05-25 04:22:07.447156 EVE ~~~

I was having one of those weeks where, on Sunday night, I wondered what I would write about.  I had finished the post for Monday, knew Overwatch would cover me for Tuesday, and and item from Tuesday’s EVE Online patch for Wednesday, if I could make something out of it.  But after that, it seemed to be a quiet week.  We’d lost all our sovereignty and were sitting in our soda warehouse in Saranen fiddling with citadels and towers.

But war will bring opportunity.  We took back a bit of sovereignty last night.  And then, just as I posted that tidbit and was finishing up a post about recurring opportunities, a Jabber ping showed up saying that there were hostiles in system and we needed more Hurricane’s on Thomas Lear.

I almost didn’t go, but the standing defense fleet tends to be easy come, easy go, so I figured I could run off soon enough if nothing was going on.

And it didn’t seem like things were going to go on.  I joined the fleet in my Hurricane, undocked, and anchored up, because the fleet was hanging about the station.  On our overviews we could see the enemy forming up around Pandemic Legion’s Fozitar citadel on grid with the station.

The Fortizar looms

The Fortizar looms still

They were bringing Abaddons, the Amarr battleship which is supposed to be the cure for the artillery fit Hurricane menace that The Imperium has been bringing to bear over the last week.  Meanwhile, we were still stumbling around, trying to get people in fleet, trying to get some boosters, and warping around to find an angle on our foes.

The enemy got off the citadel and we tried to close, got chewed up a bit, looked at the numbers, and warped back to the station where we docked up even as more hostiles were being cyno’d into system.  We were not going to take the fight.

But people were still showing up in fleet and clearly something was going on in the intel channel, as we did not stand down, but undocked and sat on the station for a bit as the fleet filled in more.  Other forces were around to work with us.  White Legion was about, I even saw Talvorian Dex, who still hates us but joined WL to get in on the kills, in local.  Asher had a fleet of his own spun up and was supposed to be off doing something else, but the opportunity was right there in Saranen.

We started trying to take the enemy at the end of our range, warping in at about 70km and aligning out and trying to pick off what we could.  It was a narrow envelope of engagement as we were still lacking boosts so our lock range was less than the falloff of our guns and we kept moving beyond that limit.  We were able to volley off a couple of Abaddons, but we were losing Hurricanes pretty quickly as well.  An Abaddon is worth a little more than two Hurricanes, so we couldn’t exchange too many of ours for theirs and come out ahead.

Meanwhile there were also some Hurricane Fleet Issues on the field and some Machariels being cyno’d in to the fight.  We took a couple more runs and had some success.  The arty-caine’s strength is in its high single shot damage.  A sufficiently large fleet of them, all firing at once, can volley a ship off the field even if it is getting repair reps from its logi.  After several miserable attempts to do this, we actually started almost firing as one, letting off ragged volleys into the hostiles that would often destroy a ship in one go, or at least leave them so deep in structure that the next volley would take care of them.

We were still trying to operate at range, warping in, aligning out, picking a few targets while losing some Hurricanes.  We finally got our boosts setup and running after a while, and the fleet kept growing in size as people logged in, while those who lost ships were just warping back to the station to grab another Hurricane and rejoin the fight.

By that point the fight had moved to the tower we had on the station grid.  The enemy was arrayed about it and had six force auxiliaries, fax machines, in support.   By then though we had a full fleet of Hurricanes, other fleets in support, and things rapidly swung in our favor.

Thomas Lear had us load medium range ammunition at that point and we warped in much closer to the enemy and stood toe-to-toe and hit them with everything we had.  Time dilation kicked in, and for a while it was a slow motion fight.  A target would be called, locked up, volley’d off the field, and then the next one would be called.  Abaddon, Machariels, Bhaalgorns were all popped in succession.  We managed to knock off one of the fax machines, then continued killing off battleships.

I ended up on a lot of kill mails… looks like about 60 now that the kill board appears to have caught up… and I could barely keep up with the cycle of lock and shoot.  I did get one final blow, which means that my Hurricane has a kill mark on it… somewhere… I forgot to look after the fight.

At that point the enemy started to bug out and it was a scramble to lock some of them down and hold them on the field to be destroyed.  Most of their sub cap logi got away, but the five remaining fax machines were priority targets and were destroyed in turn.

And then it was over.  Tidi had lifted towards the end as we raced to slaughter the remains.  The tower had been saved and the enemy driven off.

We lost a lot of ships, 40 more than the enemy.  But as noted, Hurricanes are cheaper than Abaddons, much cheaper than Machariels, and you can expend a lot of Hurricanes for each fax machine kill and still come out ahead on the ISK war, which we clearly did according to the battle report.

Battle Report Summary

Battle Report Summary

Curiously missing from the match was Pandemic Horde, which usually provides some bulk in Feroxes to help out.  Of course, there is some speculation on Reddit as to what may have happened there.

As we lolled about on grid looting and laughing, Mittens showed up on coms wondering what was going on.  He had missed the whole show.  A bit of command chat was rebroadcast over Jabber for us, which included this:

(11:25:13 PM) the_mittani: i asked you to kill a tower asher_elias did you kill pl instead
(11:25:25 PM) asher_elias: sorry :(

Apparently Asher was neglecting his duties in order to destroy hostile capital ships.

I did not know it at the time, but this was the second batch of fax machines to go down in Saranen, as PL had lost five earlier in the day in exchange for a few Hurricanes.  We do like bashing fax machines.  At least somebody at TMC actually woke up and posted something about the war, though still no post about us losing all our sov.

On top of that, some intrepid spirits managed to take back another system in Pure Blind, doubling our holdings since my last post, with EWOK-K falling to us.

Asher pinged for his tower busting op, and I was tempted to go along, but it was getting late for me so I passed, logged off, and headed to bed… though not before a flurry of writing.  Asher got his tower kill without my help in any case.  Another op success.

All in all, a pretty good day for The Imperium.  The sort of day that keeps us logging in and joining fleets.  And just before all this kicked off a B-24 from the Collings Foundation (this one), which is out at Moffett Field with a B-17, a B-25, and a P-51 for the week, flew low over our house as I stood on the front lawn.  That certainly put me in the mood for a fight.  A good day indeed.

And, as I noted previously, our prodigious appetite for Hurricanes is probably stimulating the market in Jita.  I haven’t checked, but I wonder if prices are climbing or if production is ramping up, but it seems like an opportunity for a producer out there somewhere.  If you look at some of our Hurricane kill mails (like this one), they will show you the modules we are using, which are also be in demand.

The Hurricane op was pretty busy, but I did managed to get a few screen shots along the way.  I guess I can save that recurring opportunities post until tomorrow.  The week seems to be filling up on its own.

Addendum: Talvorian Dex has a post up about effectively using volley damage to kill hostiles even when they are getting reps, if that aspect of the fight is of interest.


16 thoughts on “A Murder of Fax Machines

  1. Talvorian Dex

    This was a great little fight, to be honest. When I saw the FAXes hit grid, a couple people called out in comms, “We can’t break those…” But once their cap ran out, it was game-over.

    In fact, your write-up reminds me of something that occurred to me as everyone was calling targets that I need to write about…


  2. dude51

    Wow. Your site has really tilted to propaganda lately. That’s disappointing. After many years (I first visited because of Jester’s site), I think I’m done here for a while.


  3. Zari Tenjin (@ZarosTenjin)

    @dude51 calm down he is part of one of the warring factions and thus is naturally biased, he’s not trying to hide that. Read AARs from both sides and then go for a middle of the happenings. Propaganda looks different this is more of a AAR

    Nice writeup, i’m still gonna keep watching this war from J-Space :P I just dont feel comfortable with local anymore ;)


  4. Chaosrook

    Yea…Propaganda? He speaking about his experiences…Which happen to be from the Imperial Point of view “Rebel Scum”…opps sorry couldn’t resist. Anyway, It is going to be pro Goon but anyway…great fleet story. Makes me want to fly out and enlist in the Imperium.

    Due to me being a noob, any lucrative potential is one that I would seek out so I had tried to find a hurricane BPO the other day when you spoke about it. I ain’t find any so looks like I cannot contribute to the war effort in that way :(.

    …Lets talk about recurring opportunities, as a noob I’m excited.


  5. Wilhelm Arcturus Post author

    Dear dude51,

    The management here at TAGN was most disappointed to hear that you were rage quitting our establishment due to our failure to cater to your own personal biases. However, we understand that, as somebody clearly just discovering the internet, it can be disturbing to find that people can have points of view that vary from your own.

    Might we suggest that you try the main EVE Online forum at Reddit? There you will find plenty of fellow travelers who will reassure you that The Imperium… excuse me, the CFC, as Reddit has not allowed that faction to change its name… does not undock, does not get kills, is filled with naught but people of indisputably bad moral character, and is being an all around poor sport for not packing up and going away when they have clearly lost.

    We wish you luck in your future endeavors and would advise you to be wary of the door on the way out as the spring on it is rather strong and we would not want it to strike you on the posterior as you left.


    The Management


  6. Jon Curtis

    It seems like CCP got fax machines a bit wrong. Now, there were a lot of moving parts. They took away refitting during combat at the same time they introduced fax machines as the triage carrier replacement. They were also ungenerous on the fitting of FAXs. The end result appears to be ships that are extremely susceptible to popping whenever presented by a large fleet and there’s pretty much no counter other than not using them. The FAX must be in triage to rep others and it can’t be repped itself when it’s in triage. Field a large enough fleet and you just have to overcome the Fax’s own reps to pop it. I suppose at present FAXs pilots are just the suicide squad you employ to allow your supercaps time to escape a bad situation or protect the more expensive dreads while they blap stuff on the field. Either way, FAXs are going to die when fielded. They are basically expensive expendable ammo in a cap fleet fight.

    So either CCP is going to change them a bit to make them work or someone is going to come up with some other sacrificial way to keep them alive. A fleet of 200 blackbirds fit with minmatar jams, perhaps. Jam all things, protect the FAXs. Blackbirds are even cheaper than hurricanes.

    Then again, the FAX targets are getting people to form up to blow them up and get blown up, perhaps they are working as intended.


  7. Wilhelm Arcturus Post author

    @Jon Curtis – CCP Larrikin said at EVE Vegas last year that one of his goals was more dead capital ships. As I noted on that Crossing Zebras article about how bad fax machines are to fit unless you go faction, it appears to be “mission accomplished.” But I suspect it won’t last.


  8. Holgranth

    See how this is the kind of backed into a corner feral beat stuff I wanted to see from the imperium! Continue kicking the snot out of people! More blood! My ancestors had the coliseum and I have Eve Online.


  9. Rob Kaichin

    “Of course, there is some speculation on Reddit as to what may have happened there.”

    Posting a DBRB post as “Reddit speculation” is a misnomer, as I’m sure you’ll agree. It is interesting to watch the swarm of Goonswarm posters come out of the woodwork every time there’s something “pro-Goon” on Reddit though. Look at some of the newer accounts and you can find a chronicle of Goon propaganda from their posts.

    Upvotes do win wars, apparently.

    Anyway, I’m with Dudewhatever that your blog is swinging rather heavily towards the ‘my interpretation’ side of the truth, but it is your blog, after all :P.

    What I find interesting about the current situation is the chest beating over killing insured capitals. The old arguments Mittens made about “insured dreads vs supers” seem to have vacated the minds of those who used to crow it.

    What’s more interesting is the apparent lack of learning NC./PL have done. LSV proved that Cane fleets were only as strong as their synchronous alpha was. Removing one of those tracking computers and fitting a TSB would significantly disrupt that synchronous alpha, just because people wouldn’t hold fire until relock.

    Then again, I’m certain there’s some deliberate irony in using Hellcats vs WelpCanes.

    And on a final, somewhat unrelated note, are you an official Eve fansite or not? I recall somewhere reading that your EvePictures blog is one, but my memory, as you can imagine, is rather sketchy.


  10. Wilhelm Arcturus Post author

    @Rob Kaichin – “Posting a DBRB post as “Reddit speculation” is a misnomer, as I’m sure you’ll agree.”

    Knee-jerk react much? Did you even look at what I actually linked to before you started in on your outrage? Click on the actual link. Take a look. It is to a specific, humorous comment on that post which got a ton of upvotes from even the MBC side of the house. OMG, how biased of me!!!

    I am sure beyond doubt that if the fight was the other way around, chest beating would still happen on the other side. It is what happens when you win a fight. You crow and your foe tries to diminish the whole thing. And here you are with “didn’t want those caps anyway.” So please do not act as though your excrement lacks odor.

    This blog is not an official fan site for EVE Online. You can tell by the lack of required disclaimers posted on the front page. Were you planning to complain to CCP about it if it was?


  11. Rob Kaichin

    What I need to do, is find a way to illustrate “I am changing subjects now, please do not view these next lines in the light of the previous lines” with words.

    (But not those words, because they are not the best words, and I have the best words…. [sorry :P] )

    Ok, so *deep breath* Linking a shitpost as “speculation” is totally wrong. As for the thread itself, I had to scroll half way through the comments to find a post which was more than :sun: :gottem: or some other shitpost from either side. In fact, because I dug through every single post, I counted 3 comment chains that might count as ‘speculation’.

    3 in the entire thread.

    (Was that good enough?)

    “This blog is not an official fan site for EVE Online. You can tell by the lack of required disclaimers posted on the front page. Were you planning to complain to CCP about it if it was?”

    Actually I was asking because I wanted to ask you about what exactly CCP requires of you for your EvePictures blog, which, the status of, I’m still unsure about.

    You may doubt it, but I have a lot of admiration for you and your blog. To write so much, and be so coherent in your writing is something I aspire to. You may dislike me, but don’t doubt that I admire you.


  12. Wilhelm Arcturus Post author

    @Rob Kaichin- Are you literally unable to click on the link I have embedded there? When I do it, in three different browsers, it brings up a Hodor joke. The whole thing was humor, not literally speculation.

    Are you able to see that? Even WordPress can find the joke given that link.

    That “d3ir1rb” is the key distinguisher in the URL. That gets you to just one comment. Going to the main thread and searching on “speculation” won’t get you anything. I will not rest or address any other topic until you either laugh or tell me you don’t watch Game of Thrones… or complain because I spoiled last week’s episode for you.


  13. Rob Kaichin

    So when you said speculation, you meant “shitposting”.


    Don’t worry, you weren’t the first guy to spoil it for me. That unlikely honour goes to globby.


  14. Rob Kaichin

    I’d just like to point out that you demand higher standards from my comments than your own posts :P.


  15. Wilhelm Arcturus Post author

    @Rob Kaichin – “So when you said speculation, you meant “shitposting”.”

    Wow, you call something with that many upvotes, Reddit gold awarded, and compliments from MBC members a “shit post” and then complain that YOU are being held to a high standard.

    You want a high standard? Let me give you one.

    Over the five month course of this war you have come here to lecture me on the internal workings of my coalition, asked trolling questions, been the arbitrator of what is a shit post, dismissed battle reports with “didn’t want that x anyway” responses, and have declared my site to be just propaganda, though you condescend to allow that, it being my site and all.

    And over that time your direct involvement in the war has been what? A couple of days of battle tourism? You have the gall to throw shit posting and and up votes in my face when those two items pretty much sum up your contribution to the war? You are an outsider, a poser when it comes to the war, a loud mouth on the side lines. I see you make comments on Reddit about things like Goons not undocking and I wonder how the hell you would even know about that, being that you haven’t been anywhere close to a Goon staging system in months.

    You are a sports fan wearing your team’s colors and yelling insults at people wearing the other teams colors. Your words aren’t even propaganda, but an echo of somebody else’s propaganda.

    At least my posts are based on actual first hand experience and not just attempts to parrot what others have said.

    You say you respect what I do, just not what I actually write? You can shove that up your ass sideways. You are not welcome here any more.


  16. TurAmarth

    ahhhh…. Rob finally got his. If or nothing else in this virtualife, thanx for that man. =]


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