Last Saturday the Imperium began moving forces north, out of Delve, and into Cloud Ring, stopping at the Keepstar in 6RCQ-V that was the base of operations for the was last summer.
We were told this was a temporary location, that our final staging point would be announced later. Certainly Cloud Ring was too far away from Tribute to be an effective spot from which to launch operations. Not that we didn’t run some into Tribute all the same from there. The Initiative owns some ihubs in Pure Blind so there are some Ansiblex jump gates to get subcaps around. But for capital ships it just wasn’t an ideal spot.
I previously speculated about where we might end up basing for our assault on Tribute, thinking that Hakonen, where we based previously, might be an option. It covers the south of the region and is easily resupplied from Jita.
However, that was not the plan. Instead GSOL dropped a Keepstar for us in KQK1-2 in Pure Blind. The Keepstar survived its initial vulnerability window. We just had to be sure it successfully anchored and came online.
With that in mind, the call went out for another mass form up for capitals and subcaps alike.
As the pings went out and the form up began, there were three subcap fleets called, all of which filled up almost immediately. I had my main and my alt in two different fleets in order to move the only two ships I had on the deployment on to our new home. I felt that this was as much a move op as anything. It seemed unlikely that the locals would rise up against this show of force… recall how this went when we deployed the 6RCQ-V Keepstar.
When the capital fleets were called… six of them… space began to open up in the subcap fleets as capital pilots swapped over and just put their subcaps in their ship hangars to carry along with them.
As with the move op on Saturday, everybody was in the same voice coms channel, meaning that some coms discipline had to be enforced. And, as with the move op, the capitals jumped out first, then the subcaps. The Eagle fleet, which I was in, moved out last, though it quickly caught up with then passed the slower Baltec battleship fleet, where my alt was.
Not that anybody was going fast. Two full fleets moving through relatively lightly populated space, plus capital jump, meant we were dragging our own bubble of time dilation with us through every constellation, spiking it with every gate jump.
We met up with the capitals on a Fortizar in low sec where we had to pick out the titan that was going to bridge us from the ball of titans surrounding the structure.
This started in the usual ass backwards way with somebody telling us to “Get on the titan!” on voice coms without actually telling us which titan. Saying, “The only one in the fleet!” wasn’t all that helpful if you had brackets turned off, and with this many ships on grid you pretty much had to have brackets turned off to get anything more than slide show level performance out of your video display.
Eventually people got their acts together and had the respective titans x-up in fleet so people could watchlist them and keep at range. Finding the right titan from the group within 2km of you is a much easier task.
This time the Eagles went first, and we were bridged to a Fortizar in Pure Blind where we were chivvied onto first one titan then another and told to be ready to bridge.
In hindsight we were being made ready to jump in to defend the Keepstar which, at that point, was already in its repair phase. However, we were not called to jump in and so sat on our titan as we watched the rest of the force jump in around us.
This time the various fleets jumped in to cynos that were a bit more spread out, so we ended up being sorted out into visibly distinct groups.
The titans were still a big blob, but you can see the fax fleet off on the far side along with the relatively tiny capitals and subcaps.
There we waited until Asher announced over coms that the Keepstar in KQK1-2 was now online. Then, slowly, fleet by fleet, we jumped or bridged to our new home. Again, the Eagle fleet went last, just behind the fax fleet.
Once there we were able to stand down and dock up in the new Keepstar, the 47th Keepstar owned by the Imperium. The fuel costs alone must be a pain.
It is named the Taqostar, which I am told was a Sadus suggestion.
Move ops to the new base will likely continue through the weekend.
Of course, you might ask what was the advantage of staging in KQK1-2 in Pure Blind.
If you go to DOTLAN maps and use the jump range navigation feature, it nicely shows you how many systems in Tribute are within titan jump range of KQK1-2.
That is a lot of the region, enough for us to set to work on as we blow up ihubs, destroy any structures not yet taken down, and basically reset the region back to its starting state.
In the great circle of time, I have actually hung around long enough that I was in the operations that took these systems from NCDot back in 2012 and then again when we lost them all in 2016. And now, here we are again.
- INN – Goonswarm Keepstar Anchoring in Pure Blind
- INN – One More Step Forward – KQK1-2 Keepstar Onlined