While Burn Jita was still raging on Saturday afternoon, I was back in Delve and going out on my first real Cap Fleet operation.
I have formed up a couple of times for operations that never went anywhere, and I went on last week’s training on SiSi, the public test server, but those don’t really count. But yesterday I happened to be sitting down at my computer just in time to see a ping from Thomas Lear for a CapSwarm form up. I was already in our staging, so I hopped into my Apostle and got undocked to wait for instructions.
And then I docked back up because we were told to fit 500MN MWDs to aid in speeding up warping between gates.
I chose to go with the Apostle because I ran with my carrier during the training op on SiSi, which proved to me that I have no clue how to use fighters. I have to find a guide somewhere about the basics of moving them, as everything I have seen so far seems to operate under the assumption that you have that part mastered and just need to hone your technique.
Anyway, I undocked with the MWD fit and waited for instructions again. That was a bit difficult as we were sharing coms with Asher’s subcap fleet that was coming along to cover us. There is an oft repeated joke that USTZ fleets are much more… talkative… on coms than EUTZ fleets. I don’t buy it fully, as I have been on some EUTZ fleets that could sperg with the best of them, but this fleet seems set to prove the rule. For the first time in a long time I had to go down to the “no chatter” channel, where you only hear people on the command channel. And even that channel was a bit chatty as there seemed to be a bunch of people there across the two fleets.
We were first given a destination, then told to warp off to another citadel as the first gate we needed to take was on the back side of the Keepstar, so attempting to warp straight to it would end up with some of us just bumping off the face of the citadel.
I picked a nearby Astrahus and warped off, then turned about and headed for the gate.
While capitals have jump drives and can move 6 light years at a jump, jump fatigue keeps us from using those drives unless we have to. So we went by gates to the first system in Fountain. Once there we took off the MWDs and used our jump drives to put us close to our target, hopping over some hostile space, then took a few more gates to the target.
The subcap fleet did managed to bubble us on an in gate at one point due to the presence of hostiles, so we had to hang about for a short bit while that came down. No hostiles were trapped.
The only tense moment for me during the trip either way was when I lost connection. We were jumping through a gate and I was stuck in the warp tunnel for a long stretch, then got disconnected. When I got back in game an rejoined the fleet, I had to go through the return from disconnect routine. My ship had been warped off, so it had to go back to the spot it left from, which happened to be a few hundred km off the gate. I had to warp to the gate again and jump. Looking at local though, the fleet had left me behind, but there were half a dozen hostiles in system. However, they didn’t show up and I was able to jump the gate and catch up with the fleet at the first target, a tower belonging to The Culture in G95F-H.
There wasn’t much for faxes to do during the first shoot. I put out some Warrior drones and shot modules with the carriers, but other than that we were orbiting around Thomas Lear while the carriers and dreads did their work. (I even got on the kill mail for a couple of modules, though I didn’t think you could kill modules unless you killed the tower, only incapacitate them.)
We then went after a second tower, which was also reinforced. This one had a jump bridge, which required the usual special treatment wherein you burn it down to half structure, then rep the armor back up to half again, so the owner has to either take the time to rep it back up or put damage on it to destroy it and replace it. When it came time to apply reps the faxes were told to go into one cycle of triage. The triage module greatly boosts the amount of repair a fax can put out, but you cannot recieve reps, move, or warp. I lit mine for a cycle and started applying my reps.
And then, as I watched my capacitor drain away, I realized I did not bring and charges for my cap booster. Well, something for the list. So I turned off the repair modules after a bit and just let the triage timer run down. Something to remember for next time. Once we were done with that it was time to turn around and head for home. Enough time had elapsed for our jump fatigue to wear off, so after a couple of gates we were able to jump to Y-2ANO and then gate back to our staging. I managed to get through the op without screwing anything up too badly.
One thing I did notice was that, while the Cold Iron skin for the Apostle looks really good, in the darkness of space it can sometimes be too dark. I ended up changing to the all white Purity skin every so often just so I could see myself.
But otherwise I was able to keep up with the fleet, jump when told, and find my way back when disconnected. I just have to remember those cap boosters for next time.