The high tide of the GEF expedition into the southeast of null sec has been reached. After purging the flood plains of FI.RE and getting into their core region of Tenerifis, the end of the road was reached.
Late last week in the system of 46DP-O on the boarder with Detroid, a barrier was hit, the extent of our grasp was reached, and the campaign seemed to have reached its conclusion.
It wasn’t a defeat. There was a point when titans were dropped and went on to lance the locals, destroying a Machariel fleet. Capital ships engaged.
But the sov contest failed when we lost a HAC fleet or two of our own. FI.RE and their PAPI allies held on and going back to try again seemed like more trouble than it was worth. We had already burned down most of their core region.
Come the weekend and the fireside it was announced that we would be pulling back. The southeast had been burned down and some other groups were testing our other frontiers. Fraternity had grabbed HED-GP in Catch and was making threatening noises about some slight by Imperium alliance Dracarys. Meanwhile, some bits of PAPI had been nosing around Pure Blind, so the time seemed right to head home.
Of course, leaving is a challenge all its own. In any deployment getting all your ships back home in one piece is a challenge, and I have already complained a few times about having ships scattered all along the route or our advance. And the locals were not going to let us get away without some harassment. There would be no solo/yolo flights home. Gate camps awaited us in Tenerifis and Feythabolis and they were retaking the ihubs to re-establish their own footholds again.
So the plan was to move back one staging Fortizar at a time. Our first move would be to pull back from Tenerifis to Feythabolis, then to Esoteria, and so on down the line to home, getting everybody to each stop. That means a week’s worth of move ops because there is always somebody who doesn’t get the word or is late or on vacation or is otherwise busy.
I had been preparing to leave some smaller ships behind for asset safety, but for the first stage of the move out I actually left nothing behind. It took a few trips out of our main staging Fortizar, but I have everything back in Feythabolis.
That was only four ships though. That number became six once we got to the Feythabolis staging, and will become eight when we get back to the next stop. That includes a blockade runner and some ammo and drone supplies that I brought out and then mostly never used.
But people are generous in letting others use hangar space in the capital ships jumping back. I hope I won’t have to fly ALL the ships I brought or bought during the campaign back home.
Eventually we’ll get close enough to home that the move ops will be quick and end in Delve. Once I can pile everything back in the Keepstar in 1DQ1-A I’ll feel better and swear once more that I won’t end up with so many ships on a deployment. But somehow I always do.
So I meant to post this LAST Monday, and then every day there was something else I wanted to post, so here we are a week later and move ops have pretty much come to a close. FI.RE and PAPI have popped our staging Fortizar in Tenerifis, so anybody who had things left behind will have to go find them in asset safety.
But there were lots of move ops. I ended up going on three so between two characters flying ships and somebody carrying ships in their SMA space in the capitals, I managed to get all ten ships I somehow ended up with on the deployment back home to 1DQ1-A.
Of course, it was not without its minor challenges. Move ops, especially combined move ops with capitals, supercapitals, and subcaps, tend to be slow and problems arise, people go AFK, instructions get ignored or misunderstood. The patience of the FCs was pretty high given all of that.
It was basically 12 gates from Omist to home thanks to the Ansiblex jump gate network. But supers can’t go through those and when you push capitals through allied gates you sometimes empty the tank and have to make another plan.
Still, it was one of those uniquely EVE Online null sec things, convoys of ships from frigates to titans all moving together.
The enemy was on the lookout for stragglers, and did try to “waterboard” us a couple of times… that being the in-game term for just making move ops miserable by using drag bubbles and interdictors to slow everything down… but it wasn’t very effective. I think self-inflicted slow downs were much more common.
Mostly is was gate, align, wait, capitals move, subcaps cover, do a jump, wait for a timer, rinse and repeat all the way back to Delve.
There are still people moving from some of the waypoints, but the most distant two are mostly clear… or completely clear in the case of the one in Tenerifis now that the Fortizar is gone.
Now to see what is next in Delve.