Over the the last two days I have posted about a serious entosis effort, but much of the entosis work in the war so far has not been serious. As I mentioned in the past, trolling via entosis can be a low effort way to annoy your foes.
The host of Alliances arrayed against us have been doing this sort of trolling. It has largely been confined to Querious and it seems that Brave Collective has been the primary factor in these pin pricks.
Having hunted them for a bit I decided to return the favor and set out for Catch where much of their sovereignty lies.
It seemed like a simple enough task. I had done a bit of entosis work back in the Casino War. Things had changed a bit since then and the whole high speed cloaky Rapier option seemed to no longer be a thing. So I looked around and grabbed an Atron entosis fit from one of the kills I was on, copied it to the clipboard, then imported it on one of my alts sitting around in Jita.
I bought the pieces, fitted it up, and flew my alt down to HED-GP, the high sec link to the Catch region and Legacy space. I wasn’t dead set on Brave as a target, but TEST was further along and a chunk of their space is right there. I was a little nervous jumping in to HED, it being traditionally a heavily camped gate, but nobody was home when I passed through. I was able to fly off, warp gate to gate, until I was into their space a bit. I found an empty system, warped to the ihub, locked it up and clicked the button.
I received an error. You need to be in an alliance to do sovereignty things and my alt was just a high sec character I skilled up to run abyssal sites a while back. What to do?
I logged in my main, put him in a travel Ares which I knew my alt could fly and them sitting cloaked up while I flew through Delve and Querious, through the big camps guarding either side of the 49-U6U and 4-07MU gate, through the hostile staging in FAT-6P, and into Catch and Brave’s section of that.
I formed a fleet with my alt and, after burning a couple of safe spots and gate perches in an empty system, I warped to my alt and had both characters eject and swap ships. Now I could entosis.
I had decided to copy not only Brave’s fit, but also their later tactics. Early on I was catching people on ihubs regularly, but after a bit they changed over to doing the warm up cycle and then, at the first sign of anybody in the system, would align away and turn on their MWD so to be far off the ihub before anybody landed.
That Arton fit can go the full 4,000 m/s allowed with an entosis link fit, so it moves away rapidly and you need something fast to catch it.
With that plan I warped to the ihub, set myself to orbit at 15km to keep myself within the 20km maximum range, locked it up, and started the entosis module.
I then sat there orbiting for the five minute cycle of the module as it warms up. At that point you are committed. You cannot warp off, cloak up, jump to another system, or dock. You just get to stay on grid. But during the warm up no alert goes out to the owners either so nobody is likely to bother you.
And then the first five minutes go by and the real attack cycle begins. It looks just like the warm up, your entosis beam on the ihub, but once it starts the alert goes out to people in the owning alliance that it is being captured. Then the fun begins.
I waited until somebody arrived in system then aligned away and turned on the MWD to get myself up to speed. I was quickly out of entosis range, so my attack stopped, but I still had to wait the full entosis cycle before I could get away clean.
Meanwhile, the locals began to show up. My empty system went up to 17 people and most of them came to visit the ihub at some point.
A couple of them chased me. You can see that Atron on the overview was about halfway between me and the ihub. I kept ahead and once the entosis cycled down I waited for my MWD to start a fresh cycle, activated my cloak, and turned off 90 degrees to keep anybody who was traveling straight towards me from decloaking me when the passed. I was safe.
The locals, however, were not best pleased. They abused me in local, all the more so when I cloaked, told me my attempt was pointless and didn’t bother them anyway. But I followed one of the strict rules from Reavers, which is to never talk in local. That seems to annoy people more than anything I could possible say, and they kept trying to goad me as if to prove my point.
Meanwhile I had my neutral alt out in Catch in a ship I wanted back in Delve. So I flew them back down the path I had come, through the staging, through the two gate camps (tossing a dscan in local on the Imperium side of the gate to give them a peek at what lay beyond), and into NPC Delve where I docked up and contracted the ship back to my main to pick up later.
I sat around cloaked up with my main in the background, coming back in a couple hours to spin up another entosis cycle, which drew another crowd.
But I realized I had a problem. Not thinking things through, I had flown out in my “do all the things in subcaps” main, who I would want to use on fleet ops. But now he was stuck in Catch in an entosis Atron and was unlikely to get past the camps back to Delve.
I know my main alt could take over, but I had him setup to fly caps if a big fight broke out, so didn’t want to get him stuck out in Catch either. So I went to see if another alt I had in KarmaFleet could help. As it turned out, I had trained him up just enough to fly out to me in a Malediction, swap ships, and take over the entosis gig. I had to use some of my unused skill points, but that was what they were around for. So Claude Ring flew out through all that stuff, swapped ships, with Wilhelm, and Wil flew back.
Now Claude sits out in Catch and flips on the enotsis module a few times a day while I am working. I setup in a system, wait for nobody to be home, then warp to the ihub and get up to my mischief. I start the entosis up, set a four and a half minute timer on my phone, and get back to work. When the timer goes off I tab back and get ready. When the second cycle starts and the alarm goes out, I wait for somebody to arrive in system, align out, light off the MWD, and wait for the fun to arrive.
The fun is in the chase. I run away and then the locals land and come after me. At 4K m/s not just anything is going to catch my Atron, but there have been some game attempts.
I had a Jaguar closing on me quickly enough that I was worried, despite a 300km head start, that it was going to catch me before the entosis module cycled down. But for whatever reason, he gave up, then stopped, then came after me again. By that point I was able to cloak up, veer off, and watch him sail by.
I realize that I could just warp off. I have safe spots in the systems where I now ply my trade, and that would let me get away, but cloaking up to play submarine while the locals try to decloak me is more fun. It also keeps them looking for me, and they clearly need something to keep them busy.
One smart person landed at the ihub in a Hecate with a probe launcher and probed me down to warp to me as I was burning away. That was probably the second closest I have come to getting caught, though with my speed by the time they got a fix on me and warped I was well out of range and was able to cloak up before they got another fix on me.
So I keep at it and take screen shots when somebody gets close. This Caracal got in the neighborhood.
I have the tactical overlay on so you can see which direction both of us are headed.
Mostly they do not get that close. One person, Shaarak, asked me in local how close he had come. It was hard to keep to my no talking in local rule, since they are a regular who chases me often, but I did. Still, if they somehow come across this post, this was their closest pass so far.
Probably the most terrifying moment was when my account expired. I was on grid and a couple of people were flying around looking for me and I suddenly got the big “GO OMEGA TODAY!” pop up and realized that I had purchased game time, but had not made it recurring. So I scrambled to quickly re-subscribe… though apparently when you go Alpha while cloaked it doesn’t de-cloak you right away, so I survived.
My alt is still sitting out there. I wasn’t sure how long he would last, but my worry now is that he is going to run out of strontium clathrates, the fuel needed for the entosis module, before he gets blown up.
Anyway, all of this summed up in meme form.
So it goes.
Update: Oops, got caught trying to get out of Catch since I wrote this. (It was supposed to post yesterday, but then I had a battle to write about.) You will note that there was no stront left in the cargo bay. I should have just run more out in an interceptor. Next time. But I have already slipped another Atron past the gate camp in V-3YG7, so I can start again soon.