Taking systems means taking ihubs. Take the ihub and you can drop structures quickly and if the owner was using the system as part of their Ansiblex jump gate network then that is gone and they either have to re-route or do without. Otherwise somebody like The Initiative, which has been working hard in D4KU-5 to hold the route from Aridia into Fountain, can just keep dropping replacement Ansiblex jump gates to carry on as before. This is becoming a bit of a meme over on r/eve.
To take an ihub you have to do the Fozzie Sov shuffle and entosis the ihub then win the eventual constellation event. Legacy has managed to do that in XZ-SKZ last week, but hasn’t been able to exploit it. Now their focus appears to be on Querious.
Running an entosis op to flip the ihub on a system you want takes some effort. Yesterday Legacy decided they wanted 9CG6-H in Querious for real. I am not sure why they wanted that particular system. If they can take the ihub, hold the system, get capitals moved in (and maybe a Fortizar to hold them, or at least a POS to hold a bridging titan), you can cover most of Querious from there and even reach into a bit of Delve.
But that is a lot of tasks and capitals that have come into 49-U6U haven’t been very lucky, even though they captured the 4-07MU, for formerly Imperium system on the other side of the gate. Still, their super fleet is in FAT-6P and needs to gate in through 49-U6U in order to get it into action in our space and then needs some place to base to avoid having to use the gate each time, a troublesome maneuver that can be made painful by a small force of interdictors. So maybe 9CG6-H does make some sense.
So during EUTZ prime time, about lunch time for me, both PandaFam up north and Legacy in the south started hitting ihubs all over. Not all of them were simple trolling attempts either, and several fleets were up and running around after these attacks.
In the middle of that they put 400+ ships in 9CG6-H with half a dozen entosis beams on the ihub. It was around lunch for me, so I took a break from work to run out in a 1.89 second align time ECM burst Ares to try and keep them at bay. I caught a dscan of their fleet.
That was Muninns with logi and a bunch of fast locking ships covering the ihub. (3 of those interceptors were friendly.)
They were heavy on the gates into the system and had additional ships in the adjoining systems. This was a serious attempt. And it was more than enough to keep out random defenders. Even my quick align Ares, the closest thing to being invulnerable to tackle you can find that can mount a weapon, managed to get locked up on nearly every run I did trying to burst jam the attack on the ihub.
At one point, with several of us making attempts, we managed to break all of the entosis locks and the attackers stopped making progress on their attempt. But this was serious and they just locked it back up and started their entosis cycles over again.
Meanwhile, I managed to lose my first Ares. The first couple of runs, while I got locked up, it was only a target painter on me. But eventually, as the attackers got on their game, more and more ships managed to lock me up as I tried to warp off. The plan is to land with your warp out already selected, hit warp as soon as you can, then light off the burst jammer as you warp off. I have been so successful with this in the past that I was a bit surprised that anybody could lock me up. Then again, I had mostly done this in fleet fights, where I wasn’t a real target, or against solo entosis attempts simply to break their lock and annoy them.
I also suspect that distance to the data center was coming into play. Being eight time zones away from Tranquility, outside of London, means that my commands take just a tad longer to get there than somebody in the UK or much of Europe. You don’t think that the few milliseconds more could make a difference, but I have seen it. In a Reavers race last year I could see the person from the UK able to gate, align, and warp off noticeably faster at each gate. So I suspect my attempts to warp out might have been coming in a bit too late. (There is an INN article from 2014 about server ticks if you want more info.)
However it went, I managed to lose three ECM Burst Ares trying to break the entosis locks on the ihub, but it was to no avail in the end. The ihub has been reinforced. The capture event will happen tomorrow at 19:28 UTC. At that point I suppose we will see how serious Legacy really is about taking this ihub and whether we will rise to respond.
I put in for SRP on one of Ares. I can be excused for losing one. Throwing two more into the fire when it became clear I was not so invulnerable as I had figured was just me being dumb. They are not that expensive, so I can afford that level of dumb at least. My ship loss count for the war is now four.
Addendum: After all the effort to reinforce the 9CG6-H ihub, there was no real follow up to take it. Focus seems to have shifted to getting a POS tower setup in area we call “Fake Qeurious,” as it lays within Delve, and ongoing harassment ihub reinforcements in the region.