Category Archives: Null Sec

Last Moves Before the Big Move

After getting the word that the Imperium would be leaving Saranen for points unknown and being told to pack for a long stay elsewhere in New Eden, I started moving around to get things together.

The first thing I did, even as the fireside chat was winding down, was repackage a bunch of no longer in doctrine ships and modules and had them shipped to Jita.  I probably have to do another pass at that.  I still have too many ships in Saranen.  But at least the obvious stuff is off in Jita waiting for me to find time to jump clone over and list it all for sale.

It may be a bit before I get there.  I had other places to jump clone.  The first stop was UMI-KK, where I listed some stuff I had left behind.  Somebody got a good deal on an implant that I listed for cheap, and some mining stuff went at a discount, but other stuff I listed closer to Jita prices.  I think.  I tend to be haphazard and pricing on a good day.  If it sold already, I probably priced it too cheaply.  I also contracted a Heron to Orion Sa-Solo as a lark.  I am not sure if it was even fit, but it is his problem now.

Then it was off to my alt account.  I jumped him to D2-HOS in Pure Blind where he had one of the ratting Myrmidons that the coalition was selling back during one of our “retake Pure Blind” phases.  Designed to be able to survive and run away, I was able to test that out when I hit a bubble camp on the Mantenault gate in RQH-MY.

Nobody was there when I landed, so I started motoring to the gate.  Even with the afterburner lit my progress could be at best described as “stately.”  And then a couple of unaligned hostiles dropped on me while I was in the bubble, locked me up, and started blazing away.  I turned on the armor reppers and considered my options.  It looked like they would get through the armor before I got to the gate, so I spun up the micro-jump drive.  That sent me 100km from my attackers, who had followed me into the bubbles.  From there I was able to align and warp off to a safe.

After that, if I read local correctly, some Pandemic Horde guys showed up and, finding my attackers stuff, shot them up.  I was congratulated for being bait.  I don’t know how that ended up, but when I landed back on the gate a few minutes later, all was clear and I was able to motor to the gate and into low sec.  From there I flew the ponderous beast to Jita, where it and all its modules were repackaged and listed for sale.  I wasn’t bringing that on the move op.

Mymridon headed for recycling

Mymidon headed for recycling

Then it was time to wait for jump clone timers to tick down before the next moves could be made.

The next night I made another jump for another move.  Wilhelm went to YA0-XJ in Deklein, where I had a Harpy, a Crane blockade runner, and barely a quarter of a cargo load of excess junk.  I put the Harpy up on contract (I got an in-game mail later from a reader who said they would buy it at a reduced price, so I relisted it.  However, the contract remains unclaimed, so there is still an “as flown by Wilhelm” Harpy available!), loaded everything else into the Crane, and headed off on the longest of my planned flights.

Heading from YA0 to Saranen

Heading from YA0 to Saranen

YA0-XJ itself was pretty quiet, though Aryth, who is one of the Imperium reps on CSM 11, was hanging around in the system.  I don’t know what he was up to, and I didn’t hang around to find out.

The route out was pretty clear.  I did get somebody trying to grab me when I got impatient and uncloaked on the way to a bubbled gate to light my MWD.  However, by the time he targeted me I was already there and all he did was aggro himself, ensuring my escape.

Heading for the gate

Heading for the gate

I have very few bookmarks for bounces and safe spots in that part of Pure Blind, but I was able to use old corporate bookmarks for towers and jump bridges for that.  Those were available in plentiful supply, and the towers were often still there.

Another tower in Pure Blind

Another tower in Pure Blind

MOA, which holds/held/will hold that stretch of territory, didn’t bother to go through and shoot a bunch of the towers we left behind.  For the last month, every time I have bounced through the area, I kept landing on towers sitting there, unfueled, waiting for our return.  With the push into Pure Blind a bit back, GSOL looks to have gone out and fueled a bunch of them.  Of course, they are all GSF towers, so being in TNT, I can’t safe up in them unless I know the password, and the usual password isn’t always the right one.

Anyway, I managed to push through and made it to Saranen without incident.  Well, an NCDot scout tried to point me in Saranen when I decloaked, but I had warp core stabs fit, so I warped off for the station handily enough.  That Crane, which I have had for years now, will likely be hauling stuff to our next deployment.

Then it was my alt’s turn.  He had an entosis Rapier up in ROIR-Y, which isn’t that far from Saranen.  Still, I almost managed to get caught along the way.  I crashed through a camped gate, but the hostiles there jumped through with an interdictor and started bubbling to hold me there.  I did the uncloak, MWD, cloak, turn hard off previous course routine, but it looked like they might get me for a bit.  They had a decent sense of where I was and threw bubbles around that area while trying to close in and force me to decloak.  I watched one of them get within 6,000 meters of me as I twisted around to try to keep out of decloak range.  And then the range started to open up.  Soon they were well out of range and I was out of their bubbles and on my way again, arriving safely in Saranen.

And then another wait for jump clone timers.

The third night I had an easy run for my alt, but Wilhelm had a Harpy and a jump clone still stashed in QPO-WI in Deklein.  I thought about just selling it, but nothing else was going on, and it was only a Harpy.  I decided to YOLO it home or until it got blown up. (Orion Sa-Solo can confirm my prediction in advance that the ship was going to be destroyed.)

So off I went.  Deklein was, as usual, pretty quiet.

Harpy on the move

Harpy on the move

Likewise, Venal was empty, though there were plenty of GSF citadels strewn about the place.  I was able to stop at one of those to tinker with my fit.  This was an old Harpy and one of the guns was offline,   That done, it was into Tribute and then into Pure Blind for the run down the pipe where I hit another bubbled gate.  This time, however, there was no escape.  A Garmur pointed me as I was turning away from the bubbles to try and warp off.  I was too far from the gate to make that, so I targeted him back and started blazing away.

Go little Harpy, go!

Go little Harpy, go!

I did manage to strip away his shields, however he had friends arriving to help out, which only sped up what was already a foregone conclusion.  The Harpy went boom and that was that.  That Harpy was the last asset I had left to fetch from our former home.  I am sure I have bits and pieces of things strewn about Deklein, Tribute, Pure Blind, Fade, and Branch, but nothing important.  Certainly nothing worth bothering about.  So I am about ready for the move, along with what is left of the Imperium at this point.

The Imperium - July 21, 2016

The Imperium – July 21, 2016

For those who will miss Goons in the north, fear not.  It appears that DARIUS Johnson and his “True Goons Only” club is arriving even as we are leaving.

Another Goon brand

Another Goon brand

They got a few systems transferred to them from Pandemic Horde.  I suppose that is one way to get sovereignty.

Now living in Fade

Now living in Fade

Anyway, shooting Goons will still be a thing in the north.  They won’t be as plentiful, but it will still be an option.  Pandemic Horde has you covered.

Now I am waiting around for the destination to be announced and the move ops to begin.  There is always the new 7.0 patch in WoW to keep me busy, along with the occasional op.

Shooting another tower

Always something to shoot

Wait.  Shoot a tower.  Wait some more.

Defeat in the North and New Destinations

The war, for whatever name you chose… Casino War, World War Bee, The War of Sovless Aggression… will effectively be over by the end of the week.

The Mittani announced on the weekly fireside chat yesterday that The Imperium would be packing up and leaving Saranen. (Recording here, since it is already up on Reddit. The meat of the announcements are in the first 10 mins.)

I have previously had people tell me that the war was over already because The Imperium lost all of its sovereignty, or because they personally were done, or, most bizarrely, because Reddit wasn’t talking about it enough, as though Reddit defines reality.  But I have always maintained that wars aren’t over until the losing side admits defeat and goes away.

Well, here is that admission.  We lose.  End of war.  Fabian strategy failed.  The reconquista has been postponed indefinitely.  The MBC/CFC 2.0, rules the north.

So the fight, which has been going on for over six months for some of us, is over.  I know that there are ops going on this week, running into Pure Blind, but my heart isn’t in it now.  Of course, part of that is because we were told to pack all of our stuff and be ready to move this coming weekend.

I favor Vanilla Quafe myself

Good bye to the Quafe Factory Warehouse, Saranen V, moon 9

I was just enough ahead of the curve that I got nearly everything out of Deklein and Tribute before the MBC began to actively contest those regions.  There is still a Harpy in one station, a blockade runner in another packed with a final bit of stuff, and an Oneiros I put up on contract in UMI-KK.  But that is about it.

I sent a lot of it to Jita to be liquidated so as to have ISK for a protracted war, but a good chunk of useful stuff ended up in Saranen.  And my stockpile in Saranen grew as we swapped doctrines and I had to buy new ships time and again.

Now that all has to go… somewhere.

Even before the fireside chat was over I had repackaged a bunch of ships and modules and contracted them to be shipped to Jita.  That was the first pass, the easy picks, the ships no longer in doctrine and related items, 100,000 m3 of stuff.  It has already arrived safely.

But I am still left with a lot of stuff in Saranen, more stuff than I can easily move, including a carrier.  Since I am not part of CapSwarm, I am not sure how I will get that safely to wherever we might be headed.

Of course, that is the big question of the day, where are we headed?

If you look at the current null sec influence map, you will notice that there isn’t a big empty spot in sovereign null sec for us to simply move into.  So we will have to take some space.  But where?

Even leaving aside our old space, space occupied by groups with which we have agreements (various Russians), and space that is just shit (sorry Period Basis), there are a variety of possible destination regions on the map.

Where will The Imperium go?

Where will The Imperium go?

Delve is the classic Goon location and has NPC null stations to stage out of.  Querious has good access to empire space.  Fountain is old, familiar territory, though a bit close to the MBC.  Etherium Reach keeps some proximity to the big trade hub in Jita.  And the others… well… they are far away from the MBC.  Who is likely to follow us to Omist?

Everybody has a guess as to where we will be going, but the official announcement won’t come until the end of the week.

Wherever we are headed, we have been told we will be there for a long time, a year or more perhaps.  And that brings up the question of how this will change The Imperium.  Some people are tired of the war and want a place to settle into and in which they can rebuild.  Others are invested in Deklein and the north, either identifying with it strongly or having left a lot of their stuff behind.  This long march into exile may winnow down our numbers further.

As we head towards the new normal, whatever that may be, the winding down of the war and the summer downturn in PCU numbers has led to the usual “EVE is dying!” reaction, which is the topic of this month’s blog banter.

I won’t be joining in on that, I have too much to do in game.

Discobricks and Preemptive Titan Kills

I was almost late to the party.

I saw the ping, Asher asking for max dudes in Discobricks, the current Augoror Navy Issue fleet doctrine (so called I imagine because the ship has all the graceful lines, and the innate toughness, of a brick, and shoots pretty colored lasers), but I was in the middles of something so couldn’t log in.

Then there was another ping.  And, as that ping started to go stale, to the point I figured that the fleet might have left already, I was finally able to launch the EVE Online client, get onto Mumble, and get my headset working… the latter being the biggest pain of the three, as my Logitech g930 headset seems reluctant to power on these days… and get in the game.

I had purchased an ANI previously and as I got onto coms the first thing I heard was Asher saying the work “undock.”  I quickly got into the ship and hit the undock button and had been sitting outside the station for about a minute before it became clear that he didn’t mean “fleet undock.”

He had been telling the dreadnoughts that would accompany us to undock and jump to the system where we would meet up with them.  The main fleet was still docked up.  Or most of it was.  There was me and about a half a dozen other ANIs lingering outside, having not understood orders.

I docked back up, insured my ship, made a couple changes based on the fleet MotD, and waited until we got the actual order to undock.  It came shortly enough, and we were soon streaming out of the station.

Another day at the Quafe Factory Warehouse undock

Another day at the Quafe Factory Warehouse undock

We headed off to a titan in order to catch a bridge.  I figured that with a few dreadnoughts in tow, we were off for a structure shoot.  It seemed unlikely that bait dreads were going to work again so soon after the Okagaiken trap.

That was fine with me.  On Reavers deployments Asher often had an oft repeated saying about putting money in the bank now in the expectation of it paying dividends later.  Setting timers one day will get you fights when they come out.  And so we wandered out to Cloud Ring, to the system 28O-JY, where Asher warped us to within sight of the target.  And it was a juicy target.

First sight of the target

First sight of the target

That is a POS with a Supercapital Ship Assembly Array and a X-Large Ship Maintenance Array, which marks it as a place where the locals, in this case TISHU, builds supercaps.  That seemed to make the eventual fight over this POS almost inevitable.

We warped into range of the tower and started spreading out and shooting the POS tower.  Asher had asked people to bring along deployable warp disruption bubbles, which were spread around the POS to stop anybody from warping in with a load of strontium clathrates that could change or modify the timer for reinforcement.  There was a guy in an interceptor in the POS, and interceptors aren’t affected by warp disruption bubbles, but to bring in any usable amounts of stront they would need something bigger.

The shooting began and the shield began chipping away, slowly but surely.  A Dread Guristas Control Tower is a large tower which has 60,000,000 shield hit points.  We brought those dreads along for a reason.

After getting the tower down to about 70% shields, during which time nobody else showed up to try and service the tower, Asher asked us to overheat our guns in order to get the tower down to 49% as soon as possible.

When out to reinforce a tower, the goal is to get it down to the 25% mark, and which point it goes into its reinforced state and begins consuming the aforementioned strontium clathrates.  The amount of stront in the tower determines how long it will remain reinforced.  A large tower consumes 400 units of stront per hour and, with a full load, will stay reinforced for 41.7 hours.

When the stront runs out, the tower can be shot again.

But there is another key point in the initial POS shoot mechanics.  Once the tower gets below 50% shields, the owner of the POS can no longer modify the amount of stront in the tower.   At that point there is what there is, and Asher wanted to remove their ability to tinker with the stront in order to time the tower to come out of its reinforced state at a time that favored them.

So we overheated.  Some people went too far.  One of the dreads overheated and burned out their guns at just about the 51% mark.  But we managed to get the shields below 50% before any help could come.  A couple of hostile T3s had shown up in system at just about the 50%, but had been deflected and didn’t bother trying to get to the tower once the mark was passed, so it was assumed they might have been trying to fly in some stront at the last minute.

Now all we had to do was burn the shields down to 25%, at which point all of our guns and lasers would no longer be able to lock the target and the reinforcement timer would begin.  The dreads stayed sieged up and the ANIs flew in slow circles, lasers hitting the tower.

Passing over the CSAA, obscured by bubbles

Passing over the SSAA, obscured by bubbles

The shields were ground slowly down until we were just getting to the 25% mark.  We expected to have the tower automatically unlocked as a target at any moment.  And then it went to 24%, and suddenly we all knew the word of the day was.

That's right Pee-wee! Unstronted!

That’s right Pee-wee! Unstronted!

It was such a moment that I didn’t even have the presence of mind to take a screen shot until the shields hit 23%.

There is no stront

There is no stront

Things went from being almost done setting up a fight for the weekend to killing an expensive tower and module and aborting whatever supercapitals TISHU had building.  There was a moment of excitement where the urge to run out and tell the world about this was almost overwhelming.

This was quickly replaced by a sense of paranoia, a feeling that if we said this too loudly that it might go away, that the hostiles might come and save the tower, that something might go wrong.  In something of an, “I don’t know, just shoot casually!” moment, people started pretending on coms like we were still shooting tower and it hadn’t hit 25% yet.

But that didn’t last long either.  The tower wouldn’t have much life left after the shields were down.  TISHU was deployed down in the Syndicate region, so they seemed unlikely to be able to mount a defense at that point.  And nobody else seemed to be near by, except for a White Legion fleet.  Since they are allies, Asher invited them to come over and help finish off the tower.

Once we were past the shields, the armor and then the structure went down rapidly and the tower was destroyed, followed quickly by the SSAA and the maintenance array.

Death of a tower

Death of a tower

A grand moment on a fleet where we expected to simply set a timer, and the obligatory Reddit thread was started.

As usual, there is no way to prove that anything was under construction in the SSAA, aside from the argument that people don’t put them up in order to let them sit idle.  Asher seemed to have intel that indicated there were two titans and three super carriers under way there, but unless we had a spy with an irrefutable screen shot, there will never be any definitive way to prove anything.  But whatever was being built there is gone, along with a few billion ISK in modules.

Time to head home.

As we were leaving the area, our eyes in the system reported that the hostiles ran out to another POS they had in the system and pulled down the assembly array they had running, no doubt thinking we were headed there next.  Was there no stront available?   Anyway, I suppose we can claim a soft kill on whatever they might have been building there.

We shepherded the dreads back to their staging point and then headed back to Saranen and our home in the back of the Quafe Compay Warehouse, still pretty happy about the night’s events.

Screen shots from the fleet in gallery form:

The Keepstar, a Hellcamp, and Pure Blind

Last Thursday I posted a picture of a Keepstar citadel deploying in EVE Online, strongly implying that there was going to be something happening around that.

Looks like it has about 18 hours to go...

That is a titan’s worth of ISK in structure form…

And now it is Tuesday and I haven’t written any more about it, so I thought it might retrace what happened, or at least my own path through it.

If you are a regular on /r/eve you have likely read the story already and can probably skip this, as it will be a subset of events, mostly what I actually saw and heard.  If you live in New Eden vicariously through my posts, well, here is another tale from deep space.

Thursday night there was a ping for a Cerberus fleet led by Asher Elias.  This is a very Asher doctrine and I try to go on such fleets whenever I can.  They tend to be a good time.  I logged on and got into the fleet.

We had some special instructions.  One was to bring along a medium mobile war disruption bubble if we could deploy it.  The other was to bring along some extra ammo.  I bought a bubble and put it in my cargo along with some cheap t1 missiles, as it sounded like we might be shooting structures.  Then we undocked.  We had decent numbers, with over 200 in fleet, so there was a mass of Cerbs.

Cerberus undock

Cerberus undock

From there in Saranen we headed out a few jumps to catch a titan bridge into Pure Blind.  From there we headed through Fade and into Deklein, with our destination being the system 2O9G-D.

It was there that we saw, on the grid with the station, the Keepstar going up.  It was still early in its 24 hour deployment cycle, so I figured we were there to lay some groundwork in order to contest it once it came out of its deployment and spent an hour going online, during which it could not defend itself.

And that seemed to be our task.  First we went and dropped our bubbles around the station in order to making coming and going from there in anything besides an interceptor a chore.

2O9G station bubbled up

2O9G station bubbled up

We went and hit the POS in the system that had a cyno beacon and a jump bridge module in order to hinder comings and goings.  We also covered the deployment of a pair of POS towers and spent some time popping hostile warp bubbles around an Astrahus in I30-3A, which is the system next door.

Not much happened while we did this in the way of fights.  We killed a couple of bombers who tried to hit us, some interceptors that we buzzing around, and a couple of fighters sent out from a carrier.

During this The Mittani got on coms with us to tell us about the grand plan.  He said that we were not there merely to shoot the Keepstar, but to hellcamp the station through the 96 hour period it would take to turn the ownership over to us, thus locking down all the assets held therein by the locals.  We would also be there for the Keepstar fight, but the hellcamp was the thing.

A hellcamp is when you bubble up a null sec station and put a fleet on it to halt all but the most minimal comings and goings… you can’t really stop interceptors… for an extended period of time.  In this case, we The Mittani was talking about embargoing the station for 96 hours straight.  Not the longest hellcamp in my time… I think we spent at least a week camping a station in 319-3D in Delve back in 2012… but still a call for a commitment.

To do this Asher was going to take us back to Saranen and swap out for a Confessor fleet.  Those of us who didn’t want to stay up for the hellcamp… there were late night Euros in the fleet as well as early risers like me… we could safe log out in the POS and log back in the next day for the big fight and whatever else came up.

There was also the promise of a State of the Goonion announcement come the morning.

It wasn’t really that late, but I didn’t want to fly to Saranen and back out again, so I decided to call it a night and camp in the POS.  I was already planning to work from home on Friday and I figured if I camped in the POS I could log in to see a bit of the big fight… it was slated for about noon my time, so perfect for a lunch break diversion… and then figure things out from there.  So I left.

I do not know what happened with the hellcamp plan overnight, but when I finally got around to logging in the next day before lunch, 2O9G was starting to fill up.  There were already over 1,400 people in local.  Unfortunately for us, only about 20 of them were blue, and most were orbiting the stick in the now reinforced POS that had been setup the previous night.

As local climbed to 2,000 and time dilation started to kick in even without anybody fighting, the word came down through Jabber that there was not going to be a fight as there was no way we could kill the Keepstar in time.

Apparently, when time dilation kicks in and slows everybody down, one of the things that is unaffected is the timer to online a citadel.  Somebody had calculated that even without hostile interference, so long as tidi was running, we could not put enough sustained DPS on the Keepstar to keep it vulnerable and kill it before its unaffected timer ran down and it went online.

And, of course, hostile interference was going to be a big deal.  With about 2,000 people on grid with the Keepstar, including supers, we would be going in outnumbered, so that even without the tidi hitch the Keepstar seemed safe.

The calculations by the heads of the Imperium seemed to include an assumption that the MBC wouldn’t form back up as a single unit again to defend a single citadel, or even that PL might join in to get on a Keepstar kill.  They seem happy enough to shoot MBC capitals of late.

Instead, once again, the MBC showed itself to be the CFC 2.0, a massive essentially blue coalition holding the north together.  Protest all you like, but actions speak louder than words.  Even PL was able to get in on the act thanks to a suspiciously convenient wormhole connection opening up between Thera and 2O9G before the fight.

But no fight was coming.  Some people who were keen to stream the event… including TMC… clearly felt led astray.

Instead, the Imperium undocked a couple of battleship fleets to shoot structured in Pure Blind.  Those of us per-positioned in 2O9G were feeling a little lost.  I safe logged again and went back to work.

Fortunately for me, that evening Thomas Lear came out with a fleet to rescue some of us that were stuck in 2O9G.  He got us back to a titan that bridged us close to Saranen.

Another titan bridge

Another titan bridge

Finally, on Saturday, during the usual Meta Show time frame, there was the previously promised State of the Goonion.  There is a summary of it over at TMC, but the essence was that the plan didn’t work and we were going to pursue a more modest/methodical approach to the long promised reconquista.  We would be pushing into Pure Blind from Saranen, taking systems in the first two constellations, the one based around 93PI-4 and the one next to it, referred to as “the kite” due to its shape on the DOTLAN map, defending the timers and raising ADMs on the systems to make them more defensible.

There was also some announcements about doctrines that would be used going forward.  We had quite a few doctrines live up until this point.  Reducing that will make supply easier, though now I am stuck with two Naga battlecruisers I never got to fly.  I will either ship them back to Jita myself or go do a long range camp on a gate or something with them until they die.

Caps to be used going forward were discussed, and since only the Caldari and Amarr force auxiliaries are going to be used/reimbursed going forward, a few people undocked their insured Ninazu’s for us to shoot.  I got one one kill mail just to be there.

Then it was off to raising ADMs, which means raising the Military and Industrial indexes, which in turn means killing rats and mining.  So after the SotG I joined up with Jay Amazingness’ mining op and broke rocks in 93PI-4 in a Procurer.

Rock crushing in a Procurer

Rock crushing in a Procurer

And that is the plan for now.  We have secured the constellations in Pure Blind.

Pure Blind - July 11, 2016

Pure Blind – July 11, 2016

Now we have to see if we can hold them, raise the ADMs, and push forward.  Deklein is always the goal on the horizon, the Goon homeland for many years.

Gevlon says it won’t work.  And certainly, if the MBC continues to work together and applies itself again to sov warfare, we are likely to be pushed back to the soda warehouse in Saranen.  We shall see how this turns out, this next stage in the war for us.

I am kind of disappointed that I didn’t get to see the Keepstar after it was deployed.  I might have to sneak out to take a look at some point.

Meanwhile, some screen shots from the events of the last few days put together into a gallery.

Foothold in Pure Blind, Path to the Future

Summer has arrived! Following the closing of World War Bee, the north continues to be quite active…

Updates Blog, June 20-26 Summary Post Opening

I am still not convinced that one side in a war, much less those calling things safely from the sidelines, can declare a war is done and pretend that ongoing fighting is something else entirely. (That said, I am happy to see the return of Updates Blog activity.)

Perhaps one might say that the operation, styled as “World War Bee” by one side, is over?  Some of us in the north have been fighting since before that name was even a thing, and we carry on fighting now that the operation has been unilaterally declared done.  Certainly plenty of individuals have said they are done with the war, but some of the same old names have carried on since January.

The again, we haven’t been doing ourselves any favors when it comes to reminding people that the war is still ongoing and that we form up every night.  The Mittani dot Com, or however you’re supposed to write that out (I usually just refer to them as TMC), has barely made a passing reference to the war in the last few weeks, with the last actual post about the war being Matterall’s article way back on the third of June.  Some organ of the state we have there.

TMC seems far more focused on its streaming channel.  Even there, the Meta Show this past weekend was more focused on TMC’s ArcheAge promotion than anything in New Eden.

Of course the flip side of that is, if some of our foes wish to declare the war over and move off to other places, that certainly seems to be to our benefit.  Maybe letting the war be “over,” for whatever definition of over one might care to choose, is a better plan.

And on the “over” front, Pandemic Legion has been reported to be pulling out of Saranen in what one wag over the weekend referred to as the “PLExit.”

The most common response to this pull out that I have seen is that PL always holes up some place to prepare for the Alliance Tournament.  Of course the dates for that were just announced, putting the whole thing out in November.  Does PL really go dormant for a third of the year over an event that requires maybe 50 people tops out of an alliance of more than 2,000 characters?

Anyway, war or not, tournament or not, the pressure on Saranen has relaxed noticeably, leading to GSF taking a system in Pure Blind over the weekend.

93PI-4 is on the other side of Saranen’s gate to null sec, and was once PL’s base of operations.  Now it is in Imperium hands, the station, ihub, and TCU having been taken and held.

Close to Saranen

Close to Saranen

A small start.  We shall see if it develops further.  NCDot is still in the neighborhood and we continue to fight them on a nightly basis.

Meanwhile, in another corner of Pure Blind, Imperium alliance LAWN, whose numbers were cut in half recently when the corporation The Graduates moved over to The Initiative, taking 368 characters with them, still managed to find the wherewithal to take not just one system, but a whole constellation in the region.

LAWN's 300 hold this

LAWN’s 300 hold this currently

Dare we draw hope from these minor gains?

I doubt we will have the forces to reconquer even half of the space we lost over the last few months, and all the more so if we plan to do it the hard way.  I have said in the past that I am not a fan of The Mittani’s book of grudges, where he has declared we will seek revenge on every last group who fought against us.  That isn’t practical, and even the new occupants of our space, who complain loudly and at length when called the CFC 2.0, are still blue-ish to each other.  They are okay fighting each other, but territory is inviolate, indicating that the age of coalitions and agreements is far from gone.  Different, but not so different.

There will have to be some coming to terms with the new state of affairs in the north, and we will have to have the flexibility to make new agreements if we can.  We are going to want some territory back, one way or another.  The only group that is completely beyond the pale is Circle of Two.  I would personally endorse any agreement or alliance that allowed us to send them packing after their betrayal.  I would ally with TEST or anybody else and forswear any claim on Deklein to take Tribute.  But that might just be me.

And any of that is all out in the future.  Nobody is going to deal with us because we captured a system or a constellation.  So we form up every night to press forward.  The war still goes on for us.

Hurricane Massacre

Expecting another run with Nagas again, I logged into EVE Online early to grab two off of the contracts available in Saranen.  There seemed to be plenty available, so somebody had worked to restock the market over night.  Pick your favorite quote about logistics and war.

But when the ping went out to form up for the 02:00 op, the call was for Hurricanes alone.  No Nagas would undock, so I had to grab a Hurricane off contracts in order to go along.  Plenty of those were available as well. Thomas Lear was the FC and, by way of indicating what we might be up to, the message of the day in the fleet window asked that we bring extra T1 ammo.

We were going to shoot a structure.

Thomas would neither confirm nor deny this allegation, just telling people to bring extra ammo.  I had shipped out plenty of cheap ammo for Hurricanes, so I was covered, but people who went to the market in Saranen were faced with some very expensive choices.  Somebody had bought up the T1 ammo and priced it way above market, making faction ammo cheaper by comparison.  A bit of economic warfare.  So people bought faction ammo instead.  I listed some of my T1 ammo and mentioned it in fleet chat, however nobody seemed to notice and I wasn’t wearing my headset with a mic, so couldn’t shout about it in voice coms.  Ah well, somebody will buy it at some point… it was still listed last I checked.

After boosters were setup the fleet, approximately 100 people, undocked through the cloud of Abaddons sitting on the undock and warped off to a gate.  A couple people got tagged and had to dock back up, but most of us had no problem.

We traveled a few jumps to pick up a titan that bridged us up into Pure Blind where we did indeed setup and start shooting a tower.  It was an NCdot money moon in U-INPD in a MOA owned system.  So we went into orbit of the tower and started shooting it while sending drones after the offensive modules to incapacitate them.

Hurricane fleet blazing away at the stick

Hurricane fleet blazing away at the stick

We had a couple of hostiles in system scouting us, but things were quiet for a while until a group of hostiles showed up in local.  NCDot had put together a small bomber fleet to disrupt our POS shot, and disrupt us they did.

When the NCDot bomber force uncloaked and launched against us, the call went out to overheat hardeners.  That I did overheat saved my ship, as I was square in the middle of where they had aimed.  I saw my shields stripped away, then my armor burned off, and finally the very structure of my ship began absorbing the incoming explosions.  I thought I was done for, but the damage stopped with 8% of my structure remaining.  A couple of Hurricanes went down in that run, but most survived.  However, like my ship, the survivors were still heavily damaged.

Meanwhile, reinforcements were coming in to help our foes.  NCDot had put out the call to the other members of the We-Are-Not-A-Coalition Coalition and they were showing up in system.  Thomas warped us off, then brought us to a GSF POS in the system.

However, the POS password wasn’t the standard one you can find by googling “Goon POS password” and he did not know what the actual password was.  So anybody who was in GSF, which was most of the fleet, could safely hole up in the POS while those of us in other alliances had to go make safe spots and bounce around.

While Thomas was trying to get somebody from GSOL maintenance out to reset the POS PIN to let us in, a Guardians of the Galaxy T3 fleet showed up at the POS and started shooting our tower.

A blob of T3s outside of our POS

A blob of T3s outside of our POS

Meanwhile, somebody woke up MOA and told them they had an Imperium POS in one of their systems, so they dragged out a couple of Revelation dreadnoughts to join in the shoot.  Things had turned around and our own tower was the focus.

MOA Revelations exist

MOA Revelations exist

Pandemic Horde also filtered into the system with a mixed frigate and interceptor fleet.  All sorts of people were showing up.

I saw Hendrink Collie again

I saw Hendrink Collie again

In the mean time, the GSOL service tech had made it out to the POS and had set a temporary password so those of us warping between safe spots could rejoin the fleet.  Soon we were all huddled together, orbiting the stick at 500m, and wondering how long it would take our foes to get bored and go away.

Sitting in the POS

Sitting in the POS

At that point we were out numbered and out gunned, but in addition to that we were all still heavily damaged.  Ships orbiting the POS tower all showed visible armor damage.  We looked like a fleet of the undead shambling about the stick, giant patches of burned armor exposed.

Skins can't hide the damage

Skins can’t hide the damage

We were a shield tanked fleet, and shields do regenerate.  However, we still often count on armor and hull to act as a buffer while we hope that logi can get to us and start repping our shields.  And, for me, that secondary buffer was mighty thin indeed.

No armor, 8% hull, and heat damage on the hardeners

No armor, 8% hull, and heat damage on the hardeners

So we sat in orbit for a while inside the POS shields and waited.

Then Thomas told us all to wake up.  Asher Elias had pinged for a reinforcement fleet and was going to be arriving shortly.  At that point we were going to leave the POS shields and engage the enemy.

We stopped orbiting the stick on our own and anchored up on Thomas.  He made a few turns back and forth as we waited, then headed for the edge of the shields, then end of safety, and started calling targets.

I had managed to lock up and hit a Guardian before it exploded, then moved on to a Devoter where I scored the final blow, giving my Hurricane a temporary kill mark.  Very temporary indeed, as the NCDot bomber fleet had uncloaked already and bombs were on their way.

I overheated my hardeners again, annoyed that my ship hadn’t come with any nanite repair paste and that I hadn’t bothered to check and grab some before we left, and waited for the hammer to fall as I started shooting the next target.  My shields went down by leaps as each bomb hit.  There was a short pause in the pulses of the attack as my shields lingered at the hairy end of being gone.  I thought for a brief second that maybe I might survive a bit longer.  And then another bomb pulsed and the ship disintegrated around me and I was in my pod.

I am sure I was not alone.  Those who did not go with me on that round no doubt went soon thereafter, as the bombs were not done hitting and my pod was destroyed with the next explosion, putting me back in the station in Saranen.

There were calls on coms to reship and be ready to return, but I doubted that we were going to go back.  The bulk of our fleet, damaged earlier by a well aimed bomb run, had been finished off by the same bombers.

The battle report shows that we lost almost all of our ships in the engagement, totaling up to 15.3 billion ISK while only inflicting 4.43 billion ISK in damage on our foe, a ratio of almost 3.5 to 1.

Not a good day for the USTZ 02:00 op.  And the daily Astrahus in Saranen was destroyed as well.

We shall see what tomorrow brings.