After the climactic battle over the NCDot Keepstar in X47 the headline level events in the north dried up a bit. The war carries on though and, while titans aren’t occluding the sun in mass blobs as often, things are happening.
Things are once again focused on the Fade region where Circle of Two lives. Given CO2’s position at the top of the list of Imperium enemies after their betrayal in the Casino War means that it is no surprise that we are camped on their doorstep. The defection of The Judge and the subsequent downfall of CO2 in Impass, which included GigX being banned from the game, was not enough. CO2 is back on the sov map and, more importantly, GigX is back, perma bans being transitory things I guess.
And so everybody is formed up in and around Fade.
CO2 remains in DW-T2I with their Keepstar, which we failed to kill previously due to not understanding how cynojammers work.
Other northern forces are staged in DO6H-Q where NCDot now has a Keepstar.
The main Imperium staging is at the Keepstar in 6RCQ-V, planted there back in July.
And then there are the Imperium SIGs and squads in NPC Pure Blind, where we have been knocking about, dropping on local ratters and miners, and deploying structures since at least last November. Longest deployment ever. My annual Reavers review post is going to be all about Pure Blind.
The target for the Imperium remains, as I expected, the CO2 Keepstar. But to be able to go after that we have to disable the cynojammer which means killing the infrastructure hub in DW-T2I so that our mighty blob of titans can drop on it the way it did in X47.
Doing that means entosis warfare and all which that entails. The Imperium has been chewing on the near end of Fade, attacking both ihubs and TCUs. If you look at the Fade map at DOTLAN you will see a couple more systems have been turned since I made the map above. But all that has been a mere clearing of the brush between the Imperium and its target. It is the ihub in DW-T2I that is the real objective, the necessary first step towards destroying the CO2 Keepstar.
We had a shot at the ihub on Saturday. Early evening on Saturday EU time, and mid-morning Saturday at my end of the world, pings went out for form up for a run at the ihub. It actually came about an hour earlier than had been announced, but I was up and wandering about the house, so saw the ping and was able to get into a fleet just before we departed. The Baltec fleet was full when I got on, but there was also a Jackdaw fleet coming along, so I joined up there in a Jackdaw. I had one of those handy already and didn’t want to buy a Scalpel just to fly logi. I am already accumulating ships in 6RCQ-V, something that happens every deployment.
Anyway, I wasn’t in fleet for long before we were undocking and getting to a titan to bridge out towards our destination.
After jumping through we followed the Baltec fleet through a gate and into CR-IFM where a fight erupted around the gate. The locals and their neighbors had formed up in greater numbers than we expected, their Muninns all over the place.
While we were killing things, we were not exchanging well, and the Baltec fleet logi seemed to be taking an especially hard pasting. Apple Pear, who was leading the op, had us align to a friendly Raitaru in the system and burn out of the bubbles, shooting any hostile interdictors that showed up. We cleared out, leaving the field crowded with targets for a bombing run by pilots from Initiative. That tipped the overall ISK exchange in the fight well in our favor accoring to the battle report.
However, any thought of contesting the entosis event for the DW-T2I ihub went out the window. A weekend in the EU evening time slot was just about optimum for the defenders, who tend to be stronger than us in that time zone.
On the Raitaru Apple Pear had us dock up and log off.
The plan was to go away for a few hours and then log back in to make our way back home when the system wasn’t camped and ready for us. And so we logged off and went and did whatever it was we had planned for the day.
The ping for the extraction came a few hours later with a five minute warning to get in or be left to your own devices. Of course, I only walked by my computer and saw that about ten minutes after it went up. At that point I should have just kept walking and come back late in US time to fly out on my own. But I thought that if the fleet was leaving then they would be headed towards Cloud Ring and our staging I might be able to head the other way towards Pure Blind and slip out.
I undocked and even as I started into warp I knew I had made a mistake. Despite having a perch well off the gate already bookmarked I warped straight to the gate and landed in the bubble I fully expected to find when I got there. Dumb once again yields a dead ship. At least I had an empty pod and was sent home the fast way.
In any case, I was headed the same direction that the extraction fleet was, so all eyes were on my route and looking for stragglers, so it was a poor choice. The nice, clean DOTLAN region maps don’t really show the distances between the systems in space. If you using the jump planning map you’ll see if you’re going to bridge out there are places in Pure Blind closer to Cloud Ring that the systems at that end of Fade.
The morning’s operations were enough to put the system at the top of the list for kills in 0.0 space.
Not a huge battle, but the biggest one on Saturday.
Operations picked up on Sunday where we repeatedly clashed with the locals, killing enough Munnins that I have to wonder if the price on those are going to start climbing. In the end we managed to entosis the ihub in DW-T2I again, so we are set for another clash. This time it will be on Tuesday in EUTZ, when I am at the office. I will miss it, but I am sure everybody will carry on without me. We will see if a weekday time slot works out better for us. We only have to win the ihub fight once to move on to the Keepstar while the locals have to win it every time to keep it safe.