Well, my gut was right. We are setting up shop in Lonetrek in order to attack in the north. However, my lack of understanding of the strategic situation put my guess as to where we might stage off by a ways. We were not headed to Saranen, but to Hakonen to set up shop.
This puts us right by the M-0EE8 entrance to Tribute as well as within bridging and jump range of quite a bit of the region. My misapprehension was that we might be set to do something in Syndicate. Instead, the idea was to draw NCDot and their friends out of Syndicate by attacking their home. Our arrival made them start moving back, which cost them a few titans and super carriers along the way. The battle report showed it to be quite a one-sided loss.
Once I found out our destination I made the run there with my main and alt. That probably blew an easy PAP link for me, but the distance was only twelve jumps and I wanted to get there and start getting set up. I traveled light, taking only a couple of light ships with specific fits, figuring if we were going to be in low sec space that resupply would be easy. Being in Hakonen made it even more so, since it isn’t that far from Jita.
By the way, if you’re selling in Jita, now is a time to stock up your listings. I got in early and bought some stuff, but reports came back later of the place being stripped dry of things like Hurricane hulls and various other essentials. Time to make some money by supplying the war.
I sent my alt over and had him buy a Typhoon and then had a NPC corp alt fly in a couple more ships while I looked around the system. Naturally enough, we had a couple of Astrahus citadels going up along with a Raitaru. I wasn’t too sure as to why we were putting that up, but I will admit my own sense of the strategic can be lacking.
There were pings for fleets and things to do pretty much from the moment I got settled in with my ships. The enemy had come down to reinforce a couple of the POSes we had planted. We need those as safe homes for the titans that will be bridging us into Tribute. So I ended up in a Hurricane fleet flying cover for Minokawas sent to repair the POSes.
PL, NCDot, and the various alliances to the north did not come to contest the towers once they were exposed, so we mostly just flew around and waited. Somebody used their free high slot to mount a festival launcher, so we had some fireworks to entertain us.
We followed the Minokawas around to a couple to destinations, covering them as they did their work, then aligned back to the station to dock up.
We stood down, my first op for the deployment done.
About an hour later there was the expected call, a pre-pinged op. I jumped on and got into the Typhoon fleet and not a second too soon. It filled up as did the Hurricane fleet that was called. They setup a third fleet, which also filled up, so a fourth fleet was required. There were about a thousand Imperium pilots online in Hakonen looking for trouble.
I was in the Typhoon I had bought, but the word came down that we were short on logi, so I bought a Guardian off contract and swapped into that. Anything to help the cause I suppose. At least it had the right rigs, unlike that other Guardian I bought ages back.
The first bit of trouble expected had to do with the Raitaru coming online. It turned out that the Raitaru wasn’t actually part of the plan, but since it was there the locals were forming up to kill it as it came online, so the first part of our operation was to stand by to fight them. However, they ended up standing down and the Raitaru came online without issue.
We then set about hitting PL POSes in the system. The first one was unfueled, so was an easy kill.
I regretted not having put a combat drone in my drone bay to get on an easy kill. But I am sure there will be more.
The next one was fueled so we just knocked down its shields until it was reinforced. That will be a target for later.
All the while The Mittani had been showing up in coms to tell us what was going on at a strategic level. He told us about the NCDot super loses and how Pandemic Horde was supposed to show up and contest the Raitaru in Machariels, then opted for a much cheaper (to lose) Ferox doctrine and about how even that form up declined to move against us.
Not keen to fight, the hostiles stood down. However, before they had done that we were sitting on a titan waiting to be bridged into Tribute.
We sat there patiently waiting for the enemy to stand down and for things to go quiet. That meant sitting there looking at a wall of Typhoons for a while.
Eventually the word came it was time to go, a cyno had been lit, the titan bridge went up, and off we went into Tribute.
We had been sent to the system PBD-0G, which coincidentally was my old home system when we lived in the region, where I used to rat and such. It was also the system where I packed up my carrier and got the hell out of Dodge when Co2 betrayed us and it was clear we couldn’t hold the region. There is still some liquid ozone in the station there, just about all I left in Tribute.
But we were not there to collect my left behind belongings, but to take advantage of the vulnerability window of the NCDot Sotiyo anchored there.
We spread out and the shooting began. Unlike the Blood Raiders Sotiyo however, nobody undocked to challenge us.
As we shot that other fleets were bridged in to help and to cover entosis ships hitting the station, the infrastructure hub, and the territorial control unit. We followed Plexlive around in his command Legion and plinked away… or just followed for those of us in logi.
The Satiyo was reinforced, eventually the entosis work was done, and it was time to align out and head back to our staging system.
There was a group of hostile interceptors trying to grab stragglers, which was a bit of a problem. Pushing all of us through those gates was causing time dilation to flare up and people were getting disconnected or stuck in warp tunnels or just having to wait on Traffic Control to let them into systems. But we mostly made it home in one piece.
And so the fighting begins. I asked what we were calling this deployment/war. There is a faction that just wants to call it the Casino War, seeing it as a continuation of the fight we withdrew from a year back. But that doesn’t fly with me. One might as well argue in favor of calling WWII the Franco Prussian war, since the seeds planted then helped lead to WWI and then WWII.
So while the Casino War certainly fed into this fight, so did a lot else, meanwhile much has changed, not the least of which was the end of the casinos and the banning of some of those running the casinos as well as the confiscation of ISK being used for RMT.
But no other name springs to mind for me either. Something will stick eventually. I need something so I can tag the posts for later reference.