Category Archives: Null Sec

Departures from Querious for Points North

With the fall of our foothold in Querious at ED-L9T, I was left in a bit of a bind.

When we lost the shield timer a couple days before that, I took a bit of time and moved out some of the excess items I had stored there, lest they end up locked in a hostile station. My plan was to be able to move everything left out with the chances I could create if we lost the station.

And, of course, we lost the station.  So it was time to assess how to move out.

If it hadn’t been past midnight after a long day at the office and a full Saturday of outdoor activity waiting in the morning, I would have used the brief window we had left after the fight on Friday night to make a couple of round trips and I would have been done.  But I opted for bed and not being completely wiped out the next day.

The bind was that, as I left things, I had to take care of the trapped asset problem before I could really do anything else in EVE Online.  My alt was okay, docked in the station in ED-L9T with only a single ship.  He could jump clone out and come back later.  But my main, also docked up in the station after the fight, had two ships to move.

Well, three actually, but one was a disposable, cheap-fit Vexor that was destined to die as an AFK structure shoot ship anyway.  I could forget about that one.

Cheap Laser Vexor

Cheap Laser Vexor

But with a jump clone installed and there in the station, I had two outbound runs available and two ships to move out.  I couldn’t jump clone off and do something else without leaving behind a ship.  So I was determined to get both ships out, stuck until I got one out, and impatient.

Saturday evening, past the usual European prime time, I logged in my main and my alt to just see how things look.  I saw a dozen people in local, but ten were docked up with me in the station.  Feeling like the moment might be right, I decided to go for it with my alt.  I just had to go a couple of jumps and I would be safe.  It was just a question of which route to take.  There happened to be three possibilities.

The first was the straight route.

ED9LTAreaDirectRouteJust take a gate to 3-FKCZ and then on to Efa and the bubble-free joy that is low sec.

Of course, that was also the most likely route to be camped.  People are lazy or think they can just slip through, so why not just go for it?  I have been tripped up by that thinking many times myself.

At the opposite end of the spectrum was the long way to safety.

ED9LTAreaBadRouteHead to LS-V29, then to I1Y-IU, then into 3-FKCZ, and finally into Efa.  That would certainly be the least expected route.  However it also meant going through the staging system the hostiles were using, I1Y-IU and would maximize the amount of time exposed to risk or bumping into the wrong people.

In the middle was the middle route.

ED9LTAreaIndirectRouteGoing via 9SBB-9 would avoid the direct route and the most likely gate camp or drag bubbles that would no doubt be on the direct route.  That was clearly the one to choose.

(And yes, these little diagrams seemed like a good idea at the time.)

So I undocked my alt in his Ishtar.  I found myself in a mobile warp bubble anchored just off the undock.  However, nobody was minding the store.  I aligned to the 9SBB-9 gate, lit the MWD, and motored out of the bubble.  Then it was a quick warp to the gate, which proved to be clear, then a warp across 9SBB-9, which proved to be clear, then that one last cross-system warp to the Efa gate, which proved to be unobstructed.  My alt was in Efa and moved on the Badivefi without any further worry.

That was easy!

I decided not to push my luck immediately though.  I logged off my alt, lest anybody who might have been cloaked or otherwise keeping an eye on this notice that there was a breakout attempt going on, but left my main logged in.  Let them get used to just seeing me idle in local… nothing going on, no undock planned… while I watched some TV.

I came back a couple hours later and compared local with those docked up.  There were half a dozen hostiles out in the system.  That did not bode well.  I left myself logged in… let them camp me while I am AFK… and went off to get ready for bed.

A while later I was wandering up the hall after having given my daughter a push in the direction of bed when I decided to peek in on the game.  There were only three hostiles in space in ED-L9T.  It might be time.

But which ship to take?

The Basilisk was faster, but was fit to work in a group of like ships chaining capacitor between them.  Alone it would run out of cap just leaving the MWD on.  Then there was the Raven; large, awkward, and slow, but cap stable and fitted with a Microjump Drive.  That is still a new module to me, but seemed like it might come in hand for this sort of venture.  So I decided that the Raven would be the one to try to sneak out.

I left the station and found the undock still bubbled, but otherwise clear.  I aligned to the 9SBB-9 gate and triggered the MJD.  It spun up and then launched me 100km ahead, well clear of the bubble.  From there I warped directly to the gate.

And found myself in trouble.

There was a Malediction sitting on the gate.  This little Amarr interceptor immediately locked me up and pointed me.  I wouldn’t get away in system.  As that was happening, another ship landed on the gate, a Stratios.  The Stratios locked me up but did not engage me, knowing that to do so would put him on a one minute aggression timer.  He wouldn’t be able to jump through the gate with me if that happened and I would likely get away.

So there we sat, the Stratios waiting, the Malediction keeping me from warping off and plinking away at me.  I regretted using the MJD to get out of the bubble, though they might have scanned me down and warped to me if I had tried to slow boat out of it.  The re-use timer on the MJD seemed very long as I sat there.  But as it wound down I decided to jump through.

On the other side of the gate the Stratios appeared.  I held my cloak until it faded on its own then, even as I was aligning towards the 3-FKCZ gate, he locked my up and pointed me.  I wouldn’t be warping off, but I remembered that MJDs are immune to warp disruption and the cool down timer was just about up.

As I started to activate the MJD a Loki came through the gate and uncloaked along with the Malediction.  Now I had some real trouble on hand.  I could tank the Stratios and the Malediction for a long time, but the Loki could likely burn me down faster than the MJD would recycle again.

Then the MJD went off and I was 100km away.  A second or two later the warp disruption effect faded and I was able to warp off to the far gate.  I landed at zero and sat there.  The Stratios locked me up again and this time he began banging away at my shields, thus triggering his aggression timer.  The Malediction just sat there, as did the Loki, waiting for me to jump through.  My shields were slowly being eroded, but I had time.  I waited for the MJD to get close to the end of its cool down.  I jumped through into 3-FKCZ and immediately aligned for the Efa gate.  The Malediction was through the gate as well and on me with its warp disruption module.  Then I triggered the MJD and jumped that 100km and was able to enter warp before the Malediction was able to cover 30km in its attempt to catch me on grid.

The Malediction followed me to the Efa gate, but the Loki and the Stratios apparently gave up the chase.   They must have decided they didn’t have enough to force my hand on either side of a gate.  So I was into Efa and then on to Badivefi.

The Raven runs free

The Raven runs free

I was particularly proud of not dying, even if my escape ruse wasn’t all that clever.  And, once again, I proved that I am much more likely to survive any hostile encounter if I don’t bother shooting at anybody.

And now the pressure was off.  I still had my Basilisk to retrieve, but I could do that at some distant date if I so desired.  I logged off and went to bed.

The next afternoon I was online but tinkering with other things when a ping came in on Jabber announcing a Reavers fleet.  I suspected it might be a break-out fleet so, when the appointed time came, I logged in and got on coms to see what the plan might be.

It was indeed going to be a break-out fleet.  However, the break-out was going to take a while as we all logged in and got into the station in ED-L9T.  There was much discussion of who had space to carry what out and what was worth carrying.  I had already made my plan and only had some cheap ammo, some tech I armor and hull repair drones, and that throw away Vexor I mentioned.  I put the cheap stuff up on the market and put the Vexor up on contract for 11 million ISK, which is what I paid for it, and waited for things to get sorted out.

Of course, a bunch of us all showing up in local and docked up in the station was a bit of a give away.  Hostiles started showing up and by the time we were ready to go our cloaked eyes on the station said that they had formed a merry little kitchen sink camp.

For reasons that escape me we decided to push Ohno no Borrox out of the station first in his Arazu on the theory that once everybody started locking him up the logi could undock and save him.  That didn’t quite work out.  By the time we got undocked and started locking him up, he was already in his pod.

But then everybody in a combat ship undocked, the logi anchored up and got the cap chain running, and we killed or drove off the hostiles on the undock and then blew up their mobile warp disruption bubble.  I even managed to drop a combat drone and got on one of the kills.

The station grid clear, the haulers undocked to join us and we all aligned for 3-FKCZ to take the most direct route out of Dodge.

As we were aligning out and about to warp, a Vexor undocked and took some shots at us and was promptly blown up for his effort.  At least I assume it was. The kill mail never made it to the kill board, but Asher commented that the fit looked like the AFK Vexor fit we had been using at one point during the war.

When he said that I immediately checked my contracts window and found that one of the pilots that was camping the undock, and who lost his ship, had docked up and bought the Vexor in order to take another run at us.

Contract complete

Contract complete!

That was my money back on that ship.  And then we were off to Badivefi.

A ragtag fleet heads for home

A ragtag fleet heads for home

Once back in high sec there was a short side task to take care of, after which everybody formed up to take a wormhole back north to the home regions of The Imperium.  I skipped that trip home.  It was time for dinner and I wasn’t in any hurry to move my ships back north.  The last time I put in the effort to get all my ships home from a Reaver deployment to Querious, we were right back in the same spot just a month or two later.

So that was that. the end of our deployment to Querious.  We started heading down south with the main fleet back in the middle of March and now we’ve returned home long after the main fleet has retired.  And on our departure I cannot help but have a specific mental image of what we have left behind after our deployment.

Darkness basking in their victory

Darkness basking in their victory

We had no real business taking that system, but we certainly made the locals pay to get it back.

Now for some quiet time after an exciting campaign while we wait for Fozzie Sov to hit.

Addendum: Arrendis has a post summarizing our time in the south over at TMC if you want a wider view that I can provide, and includes an interview with Sort Dragon of Darkness.

There is also a summary of the war up on EN24 as well.

Dominion Sovereignty Quirks and the Bloody Defense of ED-9LT

We knew they would be coming for us in force.  After the fight two days before, where we failed to hold them back and they put the station into the armor timer, the last timer, a fight was pretty much guaranteed when the clock ran down.

The timer counts down on the Querious region Jacket Disbursement Station

The timer counts down on the Querious region Jacket Disbursement Station

I was a bit late for the fight.  I logged in after the timer had already expired.  Furthermore I was off in Badivefi, a few jumps from ED-L9T and without a ship.  Supplies had run out, again after that last fight, and so I was sitting in my pod without a doctrine ship handy.  Fortunately, our supply team had been busy as the timer ticked down and there was a Basilisk up on contract for me.

I hopped in the Basi, insured it, undocked, joined the fleet, and headed for the fight.  I warped to the first gate in a flash, hit the next system, zipped across that, made it into Efa, the low sec link to null and landed on the 3-FKCZ gate.  I clicked the button to jump and suddenly my world slowed way way down.  I was clearly crossing nodes into the time dilation zone.

I was already on the logi channel for the fleet and had alerted them that I was coming to join the fight, but I had to revise my arrival estimate.  It was going to take a while to move across one system, take another gate, and get to the fleet.

With that bit of slow travel under way I logged in my alt to see where he might be.  He was actually in the station in ED-L9T and in an Ishtar, the doctrine of the day, and ready to go.  I joined the fleet and undocked him… and found myself in the middle of the fight.

A busy undock

A busy undock

There were several capital ships right on the undock.  Ours.  There was a pile of hostile capital ships off to one side, maybe 40km away, in the middle of some warp disruption bubbles.  There was a hostile subcap fleet ball, made up of the usual tech III selection that Darkness favors, rather close at hand.  And then there was our Ishtars about 80km off the undock.

That left me in the rather awkward position of being the Ishtar closest to the enemy, and I could see the yellow boxes, indicating that they were attempting to target me, begin to bloom on my overview.  I dropped my first batch of sentry drones… they were well placed to hit the enemy from there… lit the microwarp drive, and began to burn towards the fleet with an eye to anchoring up on Asher Elias.  I also requested shield reps knowing that the pain would be coming soon and hoped that our logi wasn’t too busy elsewhere.

Fortunately logi was not all that busy and were able to hit me with reps in time to stave off my destruction as they yellow boxes turned red and incoming fire began to hit.  I never got below 50% shield, and after the first volley stayed mostly fully topped off until the hostiles sought another target.

I got myself anchored up, assigned my drones to one of the fleet drone triggers… drone assist is still alive, if in abbreviated form, so you can assign drones to another person and whatever they shoot your drones will shoot as well… and settled into my orbit so I could go back and get Wilhelm on grid.

By that point the Basilisk had landed in system.  Time dilation was running around 15%, which means 15% of real time, which means very slow.  This final station fight had brought a lot of people out to play.  There were over 1,200 in local when I got there.  In addition to us defending the station, Lazarus Telraven had brought some Tengus down from Deklein, Pandemic Legion had some units in the system helping us, as did Pizza, and I thought I saw Brave pilots on grid as well.  On the hostile end of things Darkness had support from Northern Coalition, Gentleman’s Club, and Black Legion.  Hell, even TEST was in the fight.  It seemed the place to be that Friday night.

With a fair amount of warning I was able to get on grid, join up with my fellow Basi pilots, get in the cap chain, and… well… not so much else.

Logistics cap chain burning through the sky

Logistics cap chain burning through the sky

The fight was… for lack of a better term… at odd angles from the usual brawl.  Down in Querious, where the fights had been relatively small (and tidi free) for much of the campaign, there has usually been just a couple fleets in action and the main point has generally been to get on grid in an advantageous position and let the other guy have it.  This time around we had at least ten fleets operating independently and each pursing its own objectives.  The enemy capital ships were intent on knocking down the station, their tier 3 fleet was defending them, another was hunting down off-grid boosters, a pack of electronic warfare ships was damping whoever got close or seemed like a threat, Pandemic Legion was on and off grid, while another group was chasing them around, a couple groups of bombers were hitting one side or the other now and again, and we were sort of flying around shooting targets of opportunity, but were never really anybody’s primary target.

Well, except for that hostile Celestis fleet.  They seemed determined to damp us all evening.

But for the most part we cruised around as Asher called targets and generally shot the hell out of things while not taking much fire ourselves.  There were relatively few calls for logi, except when a bomb hit and everybody panicked and suddenly 20 people were calling for reps.  My alt ended up getting on quite a few kills without a lot of effort, though he missed getting on the Elo Knight kill mail when our squad leader accidentally warped us off grid.  By the time I was able to get back on grid and reconnected to my drones he was gone.  I was not alone in my disappointment.

All of which was well and good… everybody likes some kill mails… but it wasn’t winning us the fight.  The hostile dreads were hitting the station hard and while we gleefully knocked a few of them down, they were going to finish off the station long before we killed the last one.

A dreadnaught can be a tough target, though none was tougher that Mtak and his mighty Phoenix.  The Phoenix might be the fourth choice out of the four dreadnaughts, but it has a mighty tank, and Mtak sat on grid for what seemed like ages absorbing fire while launching salvo after salvo at enemy caps, watching three hostile carriers burn before finally being brought down.

The Phoenix lights up another Archon

The Phoenix lights up another Archon… or is that a Naglfar on its side?

We were too far away to rep him, though close enough to lock him up and hope that we would pass close enough to give him a boost.  But it was not to be, and I watched him fall into structure and then slowly drop away until the inevitable explosion, leaving a wrecked hulk on grid.

The demise of the Phoenix

The demise of the Phoenix

Meanwhile, the station itself was well into structure and it was clear that our little reps… for we had been told to rep the station if we had not other duties… were not going to hold back the tide of incoming fire.  There was one last hope however, as the station came to its last few hit points, we joined in firing on it as well.

Station down to 1% structure

Station down to 1% structure

Among the many odd bits of the Dominion sovereignty mechanics, there is the bit where the alliance of the pilot who gets the killing blow on a station gets control of the whole thing.  If we could get in that final blow, the station would be ours again and the hostiles would have to shoot it again.  In fact, if things went exactly right, we might end up with another two day timer.

We got lucky, but not that lucky.

A pilot from SpaceMonkey’s Alliance got the final blow and took possession of the station.  However, since the station’s alliance ownership changed, the territorial control unit became vulnerable.  The fight then moved from the station grid to the TCU where, once again, we managed to get some more kills… more hostile dreadnaught wrecks on the field, but were unable to keep the TCU from eventually being destroyed.  The system rolled into an unowned state.

The clock counting down on the Querious region Jacket Disbursement Station

The doom of the Querious region Jacket Disbursement Station foretold

At that point we headed back to the station grid to pick off a couple more targets that were still in bubbles.  By then it was past midnight and, after a long day, it was time for me to go to bed.  I docked up in the station, since we still owned it.  There was talk of getting ships and supplies out of the station while we still held it, but I had already set myself up for the most part after we lost the shield timer fight.  I had a clone for every ship I wanted to get out.  I logged out.

The fight itself went very much our way, at least when measured by ISK destroyed.  The battle report indicates that of the ~200 billion ISK lost, 80% of that could be assigned to our foes, who fly under the name Guardians of the Galaxy at the moment.

The balance of the ISK war

The balance of the ISK war

The war, the strategic objective, on the other hand, clearly went to Darkness and their allies.  The battle report by Arrendis over at TMC indicates that after I went to bed there was a further fight to drop SBUs and TCUs in a Dominion sovereignty mechanics wrestling match to control the system.

Darkness prevailed in the end and the system rolled to their control about eleven hours after we lost control of the system.  The battle for that corner of Querious… an odd battle that saw the Reavers go from hit and fade tactics to stand up fights and taking sovereignty and ended up drawing in friend and foe alike until we ended up in full on tidi lagged battles…  was over.

We hit the top of the chart

We hit the top of the chart for ships killed in null sec

There is some cleaning up to do, and we still have some friends in the area, like Pizza, who we will no doubt work with some more.  But that could be the last Dominion sovereignty battle I see in New Eden.  Next month will be Fozzie Sov, and with it will come a new set of special quirks I am sure.

But it was a hell of a fight and a good time when otherwise not much else exciting has been going on in The Imperium.

And, of course, I have some additional screen shots from the fight.

 

 

Farewell to Home in Deklein

There was a bitter sweet change on the sovereignty map with Tuesday’s update, as my own alliance gave up most of their systems in Deklein as part of the realignment of systems required by the changes to the sovereignty mechanics this summer.

20150602SovChangesTactical Narcotics Team, or TNT, handed over a system I have considered home for most of my time in null sec.  While TNT’s main base was CU9-TD, and the coalition staging systems have been VFK-IV and YA0-XJ, I have always considered 0P-F3K as home, the place where I hung my hat, stored all my excess junk, ratted, and always had a jump clone.

Under new management... mostly

Under new management… mostly

For the moment TNT still holds 4U90-Z and K5F-Z2, the latter being the current champion for a system continuously held by a single alliance, having been acquired by TNT back on December 2, 2009.  Five and a half years is a long, long time in New Eden.  That was before Goonswarm had come north, when they still lived down in Delve and Querious… on purpose and not because they recently invaded it yet again… and Pandemic Legion held sovereignty for themselves and Atlas Alliance owned the southeast.

When I moved into null sec at the end of 2011, and at the start of the war with White Noise and Raiden, the then-CFC was packed into less space.

CFC Land, December 2011

CFC Land, December 2011

The CFC then stretched out, at one time running all the way from Period Basis in the far southwest to Tenal in the extreme northeast, in an arc that covered about half of the area of sovereign null sec, if not half of the actual systems.  During that time TNT expanded its holdings, picking up systems in Pure Blind and Tribute to tend for the coalition.

Then came the announcement of Fozzie Sov.  With the Phoebe expansion, and the coming of jump fatigue, Period Basis, Querious, and Delve were sold off.  And, as the next round of changes loomed, Fountain was abandoned as well, leaving the newly minted Imperium focused back in the north… with a couple of groups still operating in other regions.

Regions of The Imperium - June 2015

Regions of The Imperium – June 2015

Contrary to what I previously wrote, we do not appear to be letting go of Cloud Ring.  Fweddit, or J4LP, or I Whip My Slaves Back and Forth, or whatever they should be called, appears to be taking up residence in the region, which is not all that large but which has a couple of important connections to other regions.  Fweddit has been part of the coalition for a while now… I think.  I just don’t hear much about them, they disappeared of the sov map for a while, and their logo doesn’t appear in official Imperium propaganda videos.

The Imperium Alliances... sans the Fweddit space chicken I guess...

The Imperium Alliances… sans the Fweddit space chicken I guess…

But there they are holding space in Cloud Ring along side Goonswarm, so they must still be on the team, and they’ll be our bulwark against Black Legion.

That all means we are holding eight regions, which annoys me for purely aesthetic reasons.  I thought “The Seven Regions” was close enough to “The Seven Kingdoms” from Game of Thrones to be amusing.  I guess I won’t be able to beat that joke into the ground.  The lands of The Imperium have condensed though.

Imperium Space - June 2015

Imperium Space – June 2015

So amidst all of that, TNT is focusing on Tribute as our new home, a region we will be sharing with Circle of Two.  That puts us on the doorstep of Venal, and NPC controlled null sec region, and just a few jumps away from our friends in Mordus Legion.  It also, oddly enough, puts me potentially a couple jumps away from the first system I was blown up in (such a tale too, go click on that link) playing EVE Online, M-OEE8.

The move also puts me close to my original home in Caldari space.  It is just five gates from M-OEE8 to Hageken, the system where I first set up shop after finishing up my initial missions in Jita.  I remember feeling like I had gone WAY off the grid back then.  It was the wild west, with people looting jet cans and getting feisty over asteroids and such.  I lost a very badly fit Caracal to a jet can thief.  That 0.6 security status was off the hook!

Now I look at the map and see I made it all of six jumps from Jita on my first venture.  Well, it seemed daring back then!  I still have a pile of stuff, including a Moa cruiser, in the Caldari Navy Assembly Plant station in Hageken.

So that is where I will be headed, at least once I get back north.  I’ve moved most of my stuff down there already, leaving some strategic doctrine ships, and a jump clone, up in the coalition staging system at YA0-XJ.  But the bulk junk is down in Tribute.  We shall see how the new location plays out.

(As usual, sovereignty maps swiped from the usual source, with regional maps coming from DOTLAN.)

Entosis Link Modules in Action in Querious

The first night out after the Carnyx expansion and we already using the new Entosis Link module to assail station services down in Querious.  There was a shield timer coming up on our besieged station in ED-L9T, our last little foothold in the region, and we were piling in early in anticipation of a fight.

Foothold in Querious

Foothold in Querious

As we often do, we assembled and flew two systems over, to I1Y-IU, and sat on their station in our Ravens in hopes of being able to pester them as they formed up.  And, as it turned out, somebody remembered to bring along an Entosis Link module.

Nobody mentioned it in coms that I heard, so for the first indication that something was happening was a strange beam… like the Cicadian Seekers scanning beam… emanating from one of the Ravens in the fleet.  Mtak had a tech II version of the module mounted and was hitting their services.

Entonsis Link beam

Entonsis Link beam

That go me looking at the station and the station services.

The station services, as noted in one of the update posts for Carnyx, have been moved around the station model so they aren’t all just piled up in a bunch around the undock.  Targeting them I could see the new status indicators.

Station services being hit

Station services being hit… also, new icons to confuse everybody for the next few weeks

You can see in the picture above that Mtak had already taken out one of the station service (fitting went first, if I recall right), which is indicated by the red circle.  He was just finishing up the second target on his list (repair maybe?) and you can see how the circle compares to the third service (clones) where, as the link runs, progress is indicated by progress of the marker (and the coloration) around the status circle.  The second set of services is almost out of action.

The whole thing worked as advertised… imaging that… with the first cycle of the link being just a warm up cycle, followed by actual progress on bringing down the service.  While the link was active attempts to apply reps or otherwise assist Mtak were greeted by error messages indicating that such things could not be done with the link running.  As a reminder, the restrictions are:

  • While the module is active, your ship is unable to cloak, warp, dock, jump or receive remote assistance. There is no way to get rid of the module penalties early except for losing your ship

And so we knocked out those three services on their station.  It was reported on coms that the absence of cloning services cause a couple of their pilots to get re-rerouted to their original home systems when they tried to suicide/death clone to get to I1Y-IU, but I couldn’t tell you whether that was true or not.  We certainly tried to pod anybody who lost a ship during the subsequent fight on the idea that doing so would keep them from simply docking up and reshipping.

As the timer on our station ran down to about the 30 minute mark, we pulled the Ravens off their station and headed back for ED-L9T to reship to Ishtars.  In the mean time we had been joined by some reinforcements from Deklein which included long time Imperium fleet commanders Reagalan and Lazarus Telraven in one of his alts.  As we landed back on the station grid in I1Y-IU, Pandemic Legion also showed up with some Tengus in order to get in on the fight.  In the short time we were away the hostiles had already started to run their own Entosis Link module in order to restore services in their station.

On the opposing side Darkness undocked their usual T3 fleet, supplemented by fleets from Northern Coalition and Gentleman’s Club, leading to numbers on the field sufficient to trigger time dilation throughout the fight, hitting pretty significant levels when fleets were taking gates between systems.

The fight itself went our way for quite a stretch.  I was dual-boxing, with my alt in an Ishtar and drones assigned to a trigger so I could set him to anchor up and pay attention to repping in my Basilisk.  Logistics was fairly strong, with more than a dozen Basilisks on grid for most of the fight.  I was able to keep up with both accounts for quite a while.  Then NCDot landed on the logi and the fight became a desperate scramble to keep ourselves alive.  We managed to survive mostly intact through that assault, but I knew I had to focus on logi completely at that point, so warped my alt off and sent him back to the station in ED-L9T for the balance of the fight.

After that the chaos of battle was pretty intense, with a lot of locking, repping, and unlocking for the next target.  NCDot managed to land on us again and ripped through the ranks of our Basilisks quite thoroughly this time.  My final act of defiance, my reps already engaged, my armor drones long gone, having already seen the yellow boxes meant for me, and having called for reps that I knew would never come, was to launch the one combat drone I had kept in my drone bay and set it on the nearest Loki in hopes of whoring on at least one kill mail.  Mission accomplished.

The logi having been all but wiped out, Asher wrangled the fleet and pulled it off the field, jumping into LS-V29 where there was one final exchange of fire before they disengaged and headed home to dock up.

The battle report, which was part of Arrendis’ article about the battle over at TMC (he was, as usual, the logi anchor during the fight), showed that we won the ISK war.  However, in being driven off the field we lost the strategic objective and were unable to rep the station in ED-L9T sufficiently to stop Darkness and friends from putting the station into the armor timer.  We are now pretty close to being evicted from our foothold in Querious.

The battle report also showed how much these fights have heated up over time, having gone from maybe 150 pilots total on grid on a good night to in excess of 400 pilots for this fight.  Also, the proximity of home stations meant a lot of people were able to re-ship and re-enter the fight, with ship kills standing at 523.  I died late enough in the fight that, by the time I got back to our supply base, the remaining Basilisks had been snapped up, so I was done for the night.  I filed for reimbursement (which got paid before my alarm clock went off this morning) and then waited for the PAP link before signing off.  (Oddly, neither of my characters, nor my alliance, show up on that battle report.  So it is at least two pilots and one kill shy of accurate.)

Now there is at least one big fight left in ED-L9T, over a station shoot that has to be done the old fashioned way, since the Entosis Link module is only for services with Carnyx.  We will see how many show up for that.

The Revenant Kill in JU-0WQ

The Sansha’s Nation faction version of a Supercarrier and quite possibly the ugliest piece of shit CCP has ever released. Seriously. It looks like a cross between a turd and a kidney stone, or some kind of rejected Dark Souls boss fight.

-GoonWiki, opening description of the Revenant

The simple description of the event that happened yesterday was that The Imperium got together and blew up a super carrier that had been built by the coalition itself in an orgy of blue on blue violence to celebrate the victories of the spring, the birth of The Imperium, and the general joy of just blowing up something big and ugly.

Blood for the blood god, skulls for the skull throne!

In general such things, from Rifter-level thunderdomes to Vile Rat memorial shoot blues events, are not new and, honestly, not all that interesting at a general level.  Ships exploded, just another day in New Eden.  It is getting down in the details that makes such events fun.

First, there was the super carrier.  It wasn’t just any ship, but a Revenant super carrier, as described at the top of the post.  It is a rare ship, the blueprint copy being a rare drop from a rare escalation that includes a Sansha’s Nation super.  The word on coms… and all rumors on coms are suspect…  was that there was some drama when this blueprint dropped to the point that leadership had to step in and take it away.

But what to do with it?

The Revenant isn’t a very good super carrier.  Its only value is in its rarity.  But to be able to say you have one, you have to commit a character to live in it.  So nobody really wanted it… or wanted it enough to buy out the blueprint and build it themselves.

It was decided that the best route was to build the Revenant and then blow it up as part of a coalition-wide event.  The production started and a post was put up in the forums announcing the time and date: 19:00 EVE Online time, Sunday, May 31 in JU-0WQ.  And as a cherry on top, the pilot would be Dabigredboat, everybody’s favorite FC5 losing commander.

Then things began to form.  The European Goonion, the Euro time zone group in Goonswarm, announced that they would defend the Revenant with a special fleet.  Other groups began to make plans on what they would bring to the big show.  Asher held a conference to figure out what the Reavers should fly for the big kill.

The day before I clone jumped my alt up to Deklein, put him in a Hawk, flew him out to JU-0WQ, and docked up in the station.  I wanted to have him ready to go as I assumed things would be chaotic.

I also jumped Wilhelm up early, but left him in YA0-XJ.  The choice of the Reavers was to fly our old-is-new-again Raven doctrine for the event.  Most of the Reavers participating were going to fly across New Eden in their Ravens (or Basilisks) before things kicked off, but there was a promise of some Ravens being imported to YA0 for those of us too lazy to fly.  So I was hoping to get one of those.  But if I missed out, I had an old perma-MWD Drake, left over from the heyday of Drake Fleet , picked out as an alternate.

As the date arrived and the clock moved towards the appointed hour, I logged both of my characters in.  I put my alt out on the POS in JU- to keep an eye out for the arrival of the Revenant.

It should show up here some time

It should show up here some time

Then I got Wilhelm logged in at the station in YA0 and on coms with the Reavers to listen to them coming north across space.  That included the usual comedy of people with low security standings and gate camps at the usual low-to-null sec transition points coupled with the pain of flying battleships, which warp slowly.

As the time drew nearer, it looked like the Reavers might show up late.  Being fashionably late is fine and all, but when shooting a high value target there is such a thing as too late.  While waiting I undocked and motored around the station looking at the array of ships being readied for the big shoot.

Always that guy in the Hyperion

Always that guy in the Hyperion

Fleets were going up to accommodate ships from outdated doctrines that people had sitting around.  There were Maelstroms from Alpha Fleet, Megathrons and Apocs from Baltec Fleet, Drakes forming up like the old days of Drake Fleet, and a kitchen sink of other ships.

As I flew around, the European Goonion fleet undocked, getting themselves ready for their task.  They would be flying a Nightmare fleet.  The Nightmare is the Sansha’s Nation battleship, and so absolutely the perfect doctrine to use to defend the Revenant.

Nightmares pushing through the undock

Nightmares pushing through the YA0 undock

About that time Oxygen showed up with parts for six Ravens.  I managed to snag the fifth one, assembled it, grabbed a little extra ammo… though ammo was scarce in YA0 that day… and undocked to keep watching what was going on.

My Raven with the Wiyrkomi skin applied

My Raven with the Wiyrkomi skin applied

As the Reavers approached, so did the hour of destiny.  Over in JU- more and more players were piling into the system.  I zipped about in my Hawk and even got close enough to the eyes of CCP to get a screen shot.

Lunaire Elois in a Polaris Ispector Frigate

Lunaire Elois in a Polaris Ispector Frigate

19:00 came and passed, but there was no Revenant on grid.  The Reavers made it to YA0 with only two losses from the trip, if I heard things correctly.  We got ourselves sorted out, ammo was shared out amongst those who were short, and we headed to a titan where Asher had arranged for us to get bridged in to the event.

Ravens on a titan was a new sight for me...

Ravens on a titan was a new sight for me…

We arrived in JU-, then warped to the station to pick some people up, waited a bit, then warped out to a safe to wait for the arrival of Dabigredboat.

Ravens waiting for a target

Ravens waiting for a target

We waited… and waited.  Jokes went around about DBRB being a skill short so that we were all waiting for his training cycle to wrap up.  Meanwhile the more people kept showing up.

JU- status at 19:43

JU- status at 19:43

The hour came and went and no Boat was apparent.  Then at about 20:15, the word came that he was here.  My eyes on the grid showed his alt in the Revenant at the POS.  Only the Dabigredboat was literally red to us.

Dabigredboat arrives... as a red

Dabigredboat arrives… as a red

The delay was caused by an extra special addition to the whole event.  Dabigredboat convinced our local pests (and one-time CFC members, until they were kicked) Mordus Angels  that he was bored with Goons and that he wanted to defect to them.  And, Mordus Angels, ever desperate to chip away at the edges of The Imperium for being kicked, believed that a long time and very active fleet commander, who has been known for his infiltration scams, was going to leave his old friends and allies to join them.  They let him in.  And then rather than going to them with the Revenant he said he was bringing, he jumped to us so we could blow it up and have it appear on their kill board as a loss.  A final bit of icing on the event cake.

But he was on grid now, so it was on.

We warped in and started getting in some hits on the Revenant.  However, against the rules, a few dreadnaughts landed on grid, so everybody checked fire on the Revenant to blow them up instead.  I am still not sure if they jumped in on purpose as an additional sacrifice to the Blood God or if they were simply part of the 10% that never gets the word and jumped in just to get in on the kill.  Lazerus Telraven, who was live streaming the event, was able to unleash a doomsday on them from his Erebus.

We plinked away at the Revenant for a bit, then turned our fire onto the European Goonion defenders to see if we could start whittling them down before the fight became focused on them.

European Goonion Nightmares in action

European Goonion Nightmares in action

That did not work out for us.  We lost a couple of Ravens… my Hawk also got blown up for just being in the vicinity, though not by the Nightmares… but were unable to bring down a single Nightmare.  As it turned out they brought something like 70+ logi ships to support them, so they were able to get reps running as we locked them up and were safe before our missiles even arrived.

After some jumping around trying to break their tanks, we backed off and returned to shooting the Revenant.  Meanwhile, my alt, unshipped, grabbed an Ibis and flew back to the fight in hopes of getting on the kill mail with a rookie ship.  The European Goonion forces helped out with that, as when the Ravens backed off they turned all their reps on the Revenant, holding the line at 15% shield and even slowly reversing the damage, getting it back up to nearly 20% before The Mittani was reported to have intervened so the event wouldn’t last all night.

Revenant going down

Revenant going down

Bereft of its direct support, the Revenant got into armor.  That did not last long and when it dipped into hull hit points things were close to done.  My Ibis managed to just get into lock ranged and began firing sufficiently to get on the kill mail.  From my Raven I could see the last moments and then the wreck.  It had been destroyed.  Wilhelm and and 1,800 other characters shared the kill mail. And a Reaver got the final blow.  Nice jacket!

While the kill seemed to take a long time, it was reported that, if we had been running in real time rather than in time dilation, it would have been all wrapped up in 11 minutes.

Then it was thunderdome time.  It was time to shoot the European Goonion and anybody else who looked like a tempting target.  I sent my alt after a couple of other small ships, attacking a Burst and then getting into a rookie ship slap fight with another Ibis for a while before getting blown up.  Still, he now has 4 kills in an Ibis.

Wilhelm joined in as well, but I was getting a bit tired and it was well past time for lunch, so during a short lull I headed for the nearest gate and jumped out of the system… and out of the time dilation.  We had put in a request to CCP to reinforce the system, and clearly they put it on its own node for the event.  While tidi reigned in JU-, jumping to the next system over found everything running at full speed.  You can see the impact of the event on the system in the DOTLAN stats.

Jumps and ship kills up, NPCs kills down

Jumps and ship kills up, NPCs kills down

JU- was also flagged as the most violent system in null sec for a stretch.

Top of the chart

Top of the chart

You can see a few other Deklein systems that happen to lay between JU- and staging systems saw a bump in kills as outsiders lay in wait for those trying to get to the event.

As I flew back down to Tribute, the European Goonion was declared the winner in the event, having taken on all comers and held their own on the grid around the POS.  They probably could have kept the Revenant alive if not ordered to stand down on the reps.  But it was their blue print to start with, so it was fitting that they should come out on top.

Then there was the question of what to do with my new Raven.  I had fully expected to lose it, and it wasn’t any good up in Deklein or Tribute, not being part of any doctrine recognized outside of Reavers.  I decided to try and fly it back down to Badivefi, our high sec staging system for operations in Querious.  I logged back in later in the evening and made the flight all the way back down to the south end of Amarr space unmolested.

The tale of the event is up at TMC and is likely more accurate than my own view of things.

And that was Sunday in New Eden for me, getting out to destroy one of the most rare ships in the game.  This was only the fourth Revenant to be blown up.  A hell of a way to expend more than 180 billion ISK in assets.  Now my last eight kills on the kill board are blues.  Well, technically the Revenant was red, since it was in Mordus Angels at the time.

A gallery of pictures from the event after the cut.

Continue reading

A Feast for Ravens

Down in Queirious, we seemed to be starting off weekend on the back foot.  As I mentioned in a previous post, the Reavers had been driven back to our one staging system by Darkness and their allies, our gains made during the Delve conquest retaken.

Foothold in Querious

Foothold in Querious

And as I logged in for the op the other night, things looked somewhat grim.  Darkness had our staging system SBU’d, our main POS was reinforced, and we were there to try and hold them off as the timer ticked down.

Timer on Education

Timer on Education Friday night

That we were not able to hold the region was no real surprise.  Reavers are not a large group.  Operations are often just 20-30 pilots flying away from where the enemy is to hit them where they are not, shooting their SBUs, dropping our own, reinforcing towers, dropping siphons, and generally being pests that fade away when confronted.

But we are in a time of transition.  Alliances and coalitions in null sec are shifting about, often hunkering down, in anticipation of the sovereignty changes coming this summer.  The Imperium is inwardly focused, setting up the Seven Regions to be defensible under the coming new reality.  As such, there isn’t a lot of combat ops going on, and there certainly isn’t any large deployment of campaign of conquest to take part in.

In this situation, the Reavers were still hanging out down south.  Our leader, Asher Elias, said that if we could get better numbers, we could start getting into fights with Darkness, as their numbers were not all that huge.  So a new round of Reavers recruiting went out, this time with the promise of doing something more that just shooting structures.  Even The Mittani was out pinging on Jabber about Reavers getting fights that were big enough to be interesting, but small enough to not bring on time dilation.

We also end up getting some support down south thanks to convenient wormholes allowing fleets from Deklein to pop in for an evening.  And so it was that even as we seemed to be on the brink, with our system vulnerable, we were able to take the fight to the enemy.  Basically, that first evening, we got numbers early and were able to go camp the undock of their station in I1Y-IU.

Reavers on the move

Reavers on the move

On their undock we were able to hold our own and convince them to give up after a couple of brief exchanges. (Battle report, which I got from today’s null sec update) I even got my recently reactivated alt out and into an Ishtar, where he got a few kills thanks to the ongoing magic of drone assist.  I assigned his drones to assist Asher, anchored him up, and then went back to flying Wilhelm in his Basilisk.  Suddenly my alt, who I had trained up for combat at one point, had some kills.

We were then able to head back to ED-L9T and rep out POS, shoot the hostile SBU, and then cover the dropping of our own to secure the system.

Fun times.  But Asher had a further treat in store for us.  He announced a new Reavers doctrine.  In addition to Ishtars and Vexors and Crucifiers, we would also be flying Ravens.

This was the fleet doctrine I had been waiting for.  I had all those Raven and cruise missile skills trained up way back in 2008.  Now I would get to use them.  I even had a couple of Raven hulls sitting around in Amarr space, left over from level 4 missions way back in the day, ready to be re-purposed.  I got the fit, loaded them up, and set out for our staging system Wilhelm and my alt each flying one.

Ravens arriving in ED-L9T

Ravens arriving in ED-L9T

And while demand for Ravens was high… contracts for them kept selling out almost immediately… our logistical team was able to keep importing them so that we were able to form up our first Raven fleet.  The operation was a moment of opportunity, as Darkness was away.  Pizza had baited them to another system some jumps away and then put up bubbles on every gate on the route back home, so Darkness was mired for some time.

This allowed us to SBU their staging system and reinforce their station, setting the shield timer.

That was great fun, but I think most of the time was spent being great big nerds and talking about our new toys.  Watching the smoke trails of missiles hitting the station or the simply unfamiliar shape of and old school battleship was the highlight of the evening.

Missile exhaust trails

Missile exhaust trails. That big white ship is a Nestor.

The only opposition we faced was a bomber pilot who tried to hit us a couple of times.  That let us try out the smart bombs we all had fit, as used correctly those can kill incoming bombs.

Smart bombs active

Smart bombs activated

We missed the first bomb, but intercepted the second one.  Unfortunately, we also managed to kill a couple of our own frigates that were standing in close to the battleships, which was hilarious at the time.

Once we set the shield timer, killed the repair and fitting services, and discovered that there was no infrastructure hub in the system to shoot, Asher sent the small ships off to the gate for home, then had the battleships align to the gate.  We were going to land 100km off the gate, at which point Asher told us to activate our micro jump drives. (Lore behind MJDs) This would lets us experience another aspect of the doctrine.  As we landed, we activated the drives.

MJDs lighting up

MJDs lighting up

However, as we landed, some ships started bumping each other, changing their alignment.  This cascaded until the moment the drives were about to engage.

All that jump energy distorting space

All that jump energy distorting space

Micro jump drives jump you through space in the direction you are pointed when they go off.  So rather than all of us jumping straight to the gate, we all went off in a variety of directions in something of a MJD star burst pattern.  About three of us actually landed on the gate.  My alt was one of those who hit the gate, primarily because his skill level was so low, so his activated later than most.  I realized he couldn’t use MJDs just as we were about to undock, so bought the skill and started training it as we headed out.  I don’t think he had the skill up to 2 by the time we did the test.

We collected ourselves back on the gate and jumped through, headed for home. op success, as we certainly had a good time.

Getting the Ravens into combat though, that is going to be a more difficult nut to crack.  Occasionally we run into people who just don’t know what to think of us, like this Imperial Navy Slicer that we locked up at about 80km range and who thought he would just burn away from us.  With my skills, I can lock out to 150km and my missiles keep going to 220km.  He wasn’t pointed or webbed and a few volleys of cruise missiles caught him before he could out range them.  Again, hilarious.

Our fight with a Darkness T3 fleet however did not go so well.  They came to hit us while we were reinforcing a tower they had set up in our staging system.  When they arrived there was a period of warping around trying to gain advantage, but in the end when we got into engagement range, we had trouble breaking their tanks while they were able to whittle down a couple of our ships with every clash, often because somebody was slow aligning and didn’t get out when the rest of our fleet warped.

We eventually reshipped to Ishtars, at which point I jumped into a Basilisk and joined the logi force trying to keep people alive.  Then there was a report of a Darkness triage carrier in the system and we swapped back to Ravens again to hit that, though I stuck in with the Basi as we seemed to need as much logi as we could get.

I had some problems in the logi role when it came to the Ravens though.  At one point the Ravens lit their MJDs to jump into range of the enemy, which sort of left the Basilisks hanging in space by themselves, well out of rep range.  We were told to light our microwarp drives and overheat them to catch up.

Here is where I ran into problems, where I always seem to run into to problems.  I don’t know if it is me or the UI, but I cannot seem to reliably turn off the overheat option.  I clicked on the UI element to overheat my mid-slots, boosting my speed considerably, and I got the glowy green outlines on the modules indicating they were overheating, and I saw them taking damage.  But then I couldn’t seem to turn off the overheat options.  I clicked on the UI element again, and it seemed to take.  But then the modules were all glowing green again.  So I clicked it again.  And again. And then, soon enough, all of my mid-slot modules were burned out and I was a slow, easy target, my hardeners having all gone with the MWD.

This is not the first time this has happened happened to me.

And I felt all the more stupid because Arrendis, the logi anchor, said on coms not 30 seconds before this happened, “Don’t burn out your prop mods!”  So when he was asking why I was lagging behind I had to say that I burned out my prop mod because I am just that bad at EVE Online.  Oh the ignominy!

So I fell out of range as I tried to keep up my part of the cap chain and rep people as I went.  I just go lucky nobody targeted me.  As I fell too far back, I dropped out of the cap chain and warped to the station for a quick repair, but by the time I was able to undock again the fight was over and we were headed back to the station.  The battle clearly did not go our way, with us losing about seven times as much shipping when measured in ISK, with us losing a little over 8 billion ISK to their 1.5 billion ISK loss. (battle report, also a write up over at TMC)

Of course, over 40% of our loss value was tied up in three stupid-expensive ships; Arrendis’ Nestor, christmascaveman’s Barghest, and WhiteHalo117’s Raven Navy Issue were the high value targets of the evening.  (And, thanks to smart bombs, I got on the Raven Navy Issue kill.)

Still, we clearly need to work on that.  But even with the loss people were still excited about Ravens.  After ages with Ishtars, flying an old school battleship and using missiles is new and different.

Some more screen shots from the weekend.

Doing the Null Sec Shuffle

The pre-Fozzie Sov re-alignment of New Eden continues apace.  If you look at the Null Sec Player Influence Maps site you can see changes on the map daily.  Black Legion has taken a big chunk of Fountain, the Northern Associates rental empire has all but disappeared from the map, and, likewise, The Imperium’s Greater Western Co-Prosperity Sphere rental space is rapidly shrinking down to nothing.

Over at DOTLAN EVE Maps you can see various alliances swapping, gaining, or dropping sovereignty.  Even CCP’s lore focused videos from The Scope has commented on the changes and possible power vacuum in null sec as the empires align themselves.

Up in the north, in the seven regions of The Imperium, the sovereignty shuffle is well under way.  The Initiative has set up shop up in Tenal.  LAWN just took over sovereignty in the Vale of the Silent, while Bastion soaked up the rest of the region.  My own corp and alliance is slated to head south from our long held home in Deklein to the Tribute region, space we took back during the Tribute War in late 2012.  I was there for that!

For me that means moving a lot of stuff I have accumulated over the last four years.  It is amazing how much stuff starts to collect in you hangar.  So I took my reactivated alt account and set him up to be a cyno monkey and got out my Archon to move some ships down to Tribute.

Archon... landing too far from the station...

Archon… landing too far from the station…

Here is where the Phoebe expansion changes rankle a bit.  First there is jump fatigue and the jump activation timer, which means waiting between jumps in the carrier as well as effectively limiting the number of jumps I can make in an evening.  That part isn’t so bad.  I can wait.  And I don’t want to spend all night moving stuff in any case.

Jump Fatigue timer counting down...

Jump timer counting down…

But then there is the second part of the Phoebe change, which limited jump range of capital ships.  Pre-Phoebe, having trained up Jump Drive Calibration to 5, my Archon could have made the jump from our old staging to our new in one go.  Now, with the 5 light year cap, it is three jumps.  So there was a bit more work for me, getting my cyno placed and then jumping the carrier in and docking up in one station after another.  You adapt to the game at hand, and fortunately I was able to get most of the ships I wanted to bring south into the Archon for one run.

The rest of the ships were a bit scattered.  But I managed to get them down safe, including some of the fat targets.

A Notcis on the go is easy mean

A Notcis on the go is easy meat

Moving stuff down was a bit easier.  There is a convenient jump bridge that goes most of the way down and haulers get a break on the amount of jump fatigue incurred.

Heading down in a Crane

Heading down in a Crane

After I got myself setup in the new staging, I started trying to reel in some of the more scattered ships I have strewn about null sec, starting with that Harpy I left in Fountain.  We still hold the staging system at 4-EP12, but as I mentioned above, Black Legion has moved into the area in a big way.

The route out of Fountain is through Black Legion space now

The route out of Fountain is through Black Legion space now

I figured with the Harpy I had a chance making a run for home through their space.  So I undocked and took the direct route to B-DBYQ and Cloud Ring, where I could again use the jump bridge network to at least shorten my route home.

The last Harpy out of Fountain

The last Harpy out of Fountain

Fortunately, Black Legion seemed to have business elsewhere.  I zipped through the few systems, some very familiar to me still from the war two years back.

I remember fighting TEST here...

I remember fighting TEST here…

In Cloud Ring I picked up the jump bridge network as planned.  It was later in the evening on the West coast, so it seemed good odds that I would have a smooth trip from there, with just a few waits on jump activation timers before I could log off and let that Jump Fatigue wear off while I slept.

However, trouble found me where it often does, in  W-4NUU, a system I had to pass through on the route, and one that is adjacent to low sec, so which is easy for random people to camp.

I came through the gate into the system only to see a couple neutrals in local, which included a Garmur on the gate just waiting for me to break cloak.  Since I have found that my best odds in solo PvP drastically improve when I don’t fire my guns, I decided to just burn for the gate and head back the way I came.

As soon as I broke cloak and lit my afterburner the Garmur started locking me up.  He had me webbed and scrammed and was firing on me by the time I got into range of the gate, but that just meant I could jump through while he would have to wait a minute for his aggression timer to run down.  However, while he was shooting, his partner in crime uncloaked and declined to open fire, following me through the gate in an Ishtar.  Once through the gate and half a step ahead, I knew I could outrun the Ishtar.  I think he was just hoping to get lucky on the other side of the gate, that I might hang around.

Instead I headed for the alternate jump bridge route, which would actually bring me closer to our new alliance staging system.  However, there was an issue.  When you land on a jump bridge, you expect to see something like this:

A jump bridge module, ready to send you 5 ly down the road

A jump bridge module, ready to send you 5 ly down the road

Instead, when I landed at the POS on the alternate route, I found this.

A jump bridge still in its shipping container

A jump bridge module still in its shipping container

The jump bridge I was expecting to find was unanchored and just hanging in space in the box it came in, waiting for some good soul from GSOL to set it up… or take it away… one or the other.  So no jump bridge route down to Tribute.  Still, I wasn’t all that far from Deklein, so I just headed up and through fade, waving to the Space Monkeys as I passed through their staging system, and on into our old home.  One more ship back in the seven regions.

And while that was going on, there was a ping for a Reavers op.  Having used my jump clone recently, Wilhelm wasn’t going to be able to get down there.  But my alt was available, had a clone not too far away from our staging system in Querious, and could fly the Ishtar fit that the Reavers favor, so off he went.

The war down there has been carrying on, with Darkness taking back a bunch of systems.  But we still hold ED-L9T and have gone back to our more normal mode of operation, avoiding stand-up fights unless we have the numbers, docking up when we don’t, and shooting structures and setting timers whenever we can just to be annoying.

Foothold in Querious

Foothold in Querious

All that is more difficult without a second front to draw the enemy away, but we have cut deals with a number of the locals who got screwed over by N3, so we have some support.

I have been busy up north so I have been missing out on some of the bigger Reavers ops.  Last time I was down in Querious we got slaughtered, but recently we have had some wins with our allies down there.  I was a day late for our last big win, and that apparently but Darkness in a down mood as they declined to come out to play.  That was a shame because a group from Karma Fleet took a wormhole down to join in the fun.  They were all in frigate and were sent to go sit on the Darkness undock and taunt them while we went about our business.  We shot one of their towers, saved one of ours, and planned what to do next time around.  I have a few screen shots from that, though nothing terribly exciting.

And so the null sec churns and I fly all over the place as we all wait for the big sovereignty changes to finally hit.