A Tower Without Stront

The ongoing skirmishes in the north continue in and around Pure Blind.  Some times they are big.  More often they are more modest in size.  With the departure of Pandemic Horde from the area, the Guardians of the Galaxy coalition has had to pick up the slack.  That started off aggressively.   During the time of the failed million dollar battle, when our attention was elsewhere, GotG and PH cleared out all of our citadels and towers and dropped their own, towering up all the moons in the system.   On our return to Pure Blind they started bubbling our station in an attempt to camp us in.

The situation upon our return

Their resolve in this seemed to waver as we showed up regularly to break their camp and clear out the bubbles.  Their aggressive stance slackened and responses to our activity dropped off, allowing us some nice kills now and then.

Meanwhile Pandemic Horde left behind a bunch of POS towers that slowly but surely ran out of fuel and became regular targets for us to shoot.

Drones tickling an unfueled tower

We also began the slow process of rebuilding our structure base, dropping citadels and engineering complexes.  Those were contested regularly… until they weren’t, and slowly we’ve added more structures to the mix.

There was a gap in the back half of March that I missed, which included that fight where GotG lost five titans, but I’ve been back and on ops since the weekend and the pace of things has changed.  Getting capitals and super caps dropped on us was a regular event before, now we seem to be able to roam in numbers often without that.  Also, NCDot has starting getting involved, looking for some fights close to home no doubt.

They were the ones who showed up to shoot a Raitaru we had dropped, a fight that would have happened had Comcast not dropped Asher just as we were forming, leaving us without an FC.

The next night though we were back again, with another structure coming online and nobody around to oppose us.  Formed up to cover that, Asher took us to one of the towers that NCDot had dropped so we could shoot it to see if anybody would show up.

Shooting a tower with lots of hardeners

At a glance this fresh tower in our midst looked formidable, with many hardeners to up its damage resistance, portending a long and dull shoot to put it into reinforced state.  However, the person who put up the tower had placed the hardeners but hadn’t gotten around to putting them online.  So they were merely decorative.

As nobody seemed to be forming to fight us, Asher called out a bit of heavy support to speed things along.

Nags add their weight to the shoot

They came in for a siege cycle then docked back up as the shield quickly approached the 25% level, at which point the tower would be reinforced and become a target for another day.

And then the tower dropped to 24% and we realized that, in addition to the hardeners, the tower also lacked any strontium clathrates, the ice mining derivative that fuels a towers reinforcement mode.  Without that we could just sit there and burn the tower down and kill it.

That’s right Pee-wee, the secret word is “Unstronted!”

And, in a moment of things just not rolling NCDot’s way, seemingly just seconds after the shields dropped below 25% an NCDot pilot warped into the POS shields, no doubt carrying some stront with which to fuel the tower.  However, once the shields are below 50% you can neither add nor remove any stront, so he was already way too late, but it seemed especially galling that he should arrive just when the tower’s fate was sealed. (The amount of stront determines how long the tower will remain reinforced, so defenders will tinker with the amount in a tower being attacked to get a favorable time period for the next round.)

We kept on shooting, all the more enthusiastic now that a kill mail was on the menu.

My alt in a laser Vexor adding to the firepower

Once we were past the shields, where the bulk of the Caldari tower’s defenses lay, things went much more quickly and we were rewarded with that tower kill mail along with kill mails for all of those hardeners.

The hardeners being popped

The day when POS towers will be removed from the game is still coming.  In a way I will miss their quirks compared to the citadel defense mechanics.  And few things can brighten up a structure shoot than learning that the tower you’re shooting won’t require a second visit because the defenders forgot to fuel up with stront.

And so the game goes on in the north.  We shoot their stuff and drop our own structures.  If they don’t come to defend, then we move outward to shoot stuff closer to their home.  If they do defend then we get a fight.

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