Category Archives: Null Sec

Capitals at Okagaiken

HURRICANES – OP3 – THOMAS LEAR FLEET – STRATOP – STANDING FLEET GET IN THIS – EVERYONE – HOSTILES CAPITALS TACKLED GO GO GO GO

Jabber Ping, 2016-04-26 02:30:08 New Eden time

I happened to be sitting in front of my computer when that ping, my wife was out of the house and my daughter was otherwise occupied, so it was clearly time to log in and shoot something.

I got on, jumped in the Hurricane I had sitting in the back room of the Quafe Company Warehouse, joined the fleet, and connected up to voice coms.  It was go go go time.

We got ourselves sorted out fairly quickly and undocked.  FC Thomas Lear gave us a free burn destination, Okagaiken.  Just five gates to travel and the promise of hostile supers trapped at the far end.

We burned off as quick as we could and, as we approached our destination, Thomas Lear told us to hold our cloak when we jumped through into Okagaiken.  Sure enough, just there on the other side of the gate was a pile of Psychotic Tendencies capital ships in a ball between the gate and a blue water planet.

Psychotic Tendencies capitals spotted

Psychotic Tendencies capitals spotted

When we were through in force we anchored up and set out after the enemy.  We were told to start shooting fighters as the situation sorted itself.  We took shots at a couple of carriers before Aliventi in an Archon was spotted away from the pack.  We headed for him to bump him further from his support then shot him up fairly quickly.

Aliventi about to go down

Aliventi about to go down

Once he was down we turned back towards the main force and tried to take on a another carrier.  However, by then the enemy had reinforcements bridging into the system to help.

About them I saw the fighters on my overview begin targeting me.  I had clearly been called primary by someone.  I called for shield reps and our logi got on me before the fighters began to hit in force.  However, it was not enough and my Hurricane blew up leaving me in my pod.

Thomas was getting people to align and warped us all away, me following along in my pod.  Then we turned about and as I was setting the self-destruct we were warped off again before I could cancel in, aborting my attempt.  At the far end I got somebody to pod me and was back in Saranen.

However, by that point orders had come down waving off anybody else coming to Okagaiken.  The enemy had arrived in force and it was decided not to feed them kills.  The fleet docked up in the station at Okagaiken and waited for the enemy to clear off.

The exchange was a bit in our favor, with the battle report indicating we lost 66 ships worth 4.8 billion ISK while the enemy lost 33 ships worth 5.8 billion ISK.  A short, sharp encounter.  Here are a few more screen shots:

Fast Times with Boat in Fade

If your enemy is secure at all points, be prepared for him. If he is in superior strength, evade him. If your opponent is temperamental, seek to irritate him. Pretend to be weak, that he may grow arrogant. If he is taking his ease, give him no rest. If his forces are united, separate them. Attack him where he is unprepared, appear where you are not expected.

Sun Tzu, The Art of War

Deklein is gone.  I have a Harpy, a Burst, and a Scimitar left in a couple of stations up there, ships I dropped off in out of the way places.  But that does not mean that things have been quiet.

If you have been listening to The Mittani on The Meta Show, and given the rage in chat some of you just can’t help yourselves I guess, you have heard that The Imperium is picking its battles, fighting where it can win.  The target for that has been Fade, where Pandemic Horde has set up shop.  If they have came to the North seeking fights, we have obliged them.  In addition, we have also taken back a few systems in the region.

Fade - April 25, 2016

Fade – April 25, 2016

Fade, once entirely conquered by the Moneybadgers, has eight systems controlled by The Imperium as of this point.  We may not hold them for long, but now they have to come back and retake them.

A large part of this attack on PH has been led by Dabigredboat who has been leading fleets of bombers and coordinating with interceptor gangs to keep the horde busy while racking up a large number of kills, putting GSF at the top of the list over at zKillboard.

zKillboar Lists - April 25, 2016

zKillboard Lists – April 25, 2016

While I have been hearing about the exploits of Dabigredboat, or Boat, or DBRB, I wasn’t able to get into one of his fleets until Sunday.  The ping showed up announcing that he wanted to try something new.  Leaving behind his stealth bombers and interceptors, Cormorants were the ship of the day and he would be handing out 100 for free to those who joined his fleet.

Free ships got a response and he actually had to get 30 more together to hand out and, once the pre-op nonsense and confusion was resolved, we undocked our fleet.  No logi, no links, a couple of support ships, and a whole lot of Cormorants.

Cormorants undock

Cormorants undock

I actually splurged and bought a skin for my Cormorant, the Guristas 30-Day version, which somebody thoughtfully stocked in our staging system.

Guristas Cormorant Sking

Guristas Cormorant Skin

Then it was off to the usual destination for DBRB this past week, O1Y-ED in Fade.

It was another fine example of DBRB in action.  He is loud and excitable.  He gets frustrated quickly when people makes mistakes, but that passes as quickly as it shows up.  And clearly enjoys taking advantage of the enemy when they make a mistake.  We rolled up on our target, the staging station for PH.

Aptly named or not?

Aptly named or not?

DBRB has the area around the station well bookmarked, so we began what would become a routine over the next two hours of warping, aligning, and warping off again while looking for a tactical advantage.

The horde however, wasn’t sure what to do about us for a bit.  We were able to knock off a few ships around the station, the best probably being a Vargur that apparently felt he could tank a bunch of Cormorants.  That loss alone was probably worth more than our entire fleet.

We did get a couple of small surges where the pattern for the afternoon seemed to get set.  Horde seemed set to headshot DBRB at every opportunity, and he ended up losing four Cormorants during our time in system.  However they never managed to pod him and so he was able to re-ship… somebody in fleet would jump out of their Cormorant and DBRB would take it and continue to lead us in the fight.

Eventually PH got together a Ferox fleet and started to chase us around in that.  That was not a winning proposition for us, so we warped around them for a while… occasionally hitting a lone Ferox that wandered off from the pack…  until they tired of that.  We remained trailing our coats within site of their station.

Cormorants still there...

Cormorants still there…

Then it was time to come after us with frigates and destroyers, which is when the kill mails began to pour in for us.  There were a couple of points where we landed in amongst a PH formation and took down targets as fast as we could lock and shoot.  The battle report I was looking at after the fight showed we had racked up more than 500 kills during our visit. However, it kept updating after that and the total now appears to be beyond 600 kills.

O1Y-ED Report

O1Y-ED Report

Not all of those kills were ours.  There was another group zipping around hitting PH.  But not all of those deaths were ours either.  Still, out time there added greatly to the total of kills in the system over the preceding 24 hour period.

The most effective response to us came from a few intrepid stealth bomber pilots who managed to score hits now and again.  For a while there we were able to catch bombers or warp away in time… except for people who were not aligned as instructed.  Towards the end though we got caught a couple of times.  When we finally turned for home I had taken a few hits and was about halfway through my armor.

Shield regeneration kept me going!

Shield regeneration kept me going!

So my ship was looking a bit chewed up when I arrived back in Saranen.

Armor damage on the Cormorant

Armor damage on the Cormorant

Of course, my ship had some additional markings as well.

Kill marks

Kill marks

I think those are two “5 kill” round-up marks on the ship, though I am a little confused on the whole count, as I only got 7 final blows during the fight.  This was a handout ship however, so maybe it had three kills on it already?  I didn’t check before the fight and I *think* I can see marks on the side in one of the screen shots above that might be the same marks… so I might be looking in the wrong spot.

Edit: Those are the kill marks, the kill marks are located here:

7 kill marks in a neat row

7 kill marks in a neat row

Anyway, I got home safe with the remains of the fleet and repaired the ship for next time.  DBRB let us keep the ships for now.  We shall see if I can get out with it again and add to its kills.

Overall though it was one of the best fleets I have been on in a while and a prime example of what happens when Boat is let loose in the right situation.

Deklein Falls, Goon Splinter Groups Double

The last system in the Deklein region, homeland of the Goonswarm Federation for more than five years fell during the wee hours of the morning.

Deklein - April 25, 2016

Deklein – April 25, 2016

Deklein joins Branch, Tenal, and Tribute as regions completely lost by The Imperium.  Fighting continues is Fade, Pure Blind, and Vale of the Silent.

Meanwhile, Darius JOHNSON, former Goon leader, former CCP dev, and former TMC contributor, has announced his return to the game, decrying ally alienating decisions made by the current GSF/TMC leadership and heaping scorn on the pubbies that make up the coalition as a whole, and the alliance specifically.  He says he doesn’t want to fight The Imperium, but he doesn’t want to associate with it either.  He just wants to make a home for “true Goons,” of which he estimates there are about 200 in the whole coalition.  Getting those 200 to flock to his banner would boost the numbers in his new corporation, Ten Dollar Bond, to nearly 250 pilots.  With that he says he has a plan to rescue their assets in Deklein.

Ten Dollar Bond

Ten Dollar Bond

I am told that idea doesn’t sit well with another Something Awful splinter group in New Eden, The Greater Goon, part of the Clockwork Pineapple alliance, which joined forces with the Moneybadger Coalition to attack The Imperium.

The Greater Goon

The Greater Goon

We shall see how well they and their 80 members do against Darius JOHNSON’s handpicked 46 to win the hearts and minds of “true Goons” in New Eden.  Not being a “true Goon” (though I paid my $10 to SA back in 2008) neither side is likely to see me as anything but a target.

CSM 11 Announced – Xenuria Wins at Last

This morning as part of the EVE Online keynote at Fanfest, CCP Seagull announced the members of the 11th Council of Stellar Management.

CSM11_logo

Turnout was reported as low for the elections, which clearly benefited organized groups.

CSM 11 looks like this:

The 11th Council of Stellar Management

The 11th Council of Stellar Management

The winners, ordered as presented, save for two exceptions:

  1. Mr Hyde113 – Pandemic Legion (Perm attendance seat)
  2. Aryth – Goonswarm Federation (Perm attendance seat)
  3. Steve Ronuken – Fuzzworks Enterprises
  4. Sullen Decimus – The Bastion
  5. The Judge – Circle-of-Two
  6. Fafer – Northern Coalition.
  7. NoobMan – Hard Knocks Citizens
  8. Jin’Taan – Curatores Veritatis Alliance
  9. Kyle Aparthos – TheDivision
  10. Innominate – Goonswarm Federation
  11. Bobmon – Pandemic Legion
  12. Nashh Kadavr – Pandemic Legion
  13. Xenuria – Goonswarm Federation
  14. Gorski Car – Pandemic Legion

So there are your new representatives… provided you’re in a null sec bloc in most cases.  As I said, a low voter turnout meant organized blocs won big.

For those of you keeping track, that GSF suggested ballot I mentioned back when the elections started ended up picking six winners, though clearly The Judge is a bitter victory on that front.

FCON Shows Up in Immensea

One headline from the litany of bad news for The Imperium last week was about Fidelas Constans, or FCON, leaving the coalition.  While they gave a general statement about seeking sovereignty somewhere else, no details were immediately forthcoming.

Down nearly 1,000 since last week

Down nearly 1,000 members since last week

Well, they have popped up on the sovereignty map already.

While the alliances that are part of the Guardians of the Galaxy coalition, including Darkness, The Methodical Alliance, Nerfed Alliance Go Away, and Blades of Grass are busy taking over some of the territory ceded by FCON (and Executive Outcomes) in Branch

Branch - April 19, 2016

Branch – April 19, 2016

…FCON is down in Immensea and Detroid attacking systems from those same alliances, with its flag already planted in a few places.

Immensea - April 19, 2016

Immensea – April 19, 2016

I doubt this is any sort of agreed upon exchange, especially since it looks like everybody besides TMA is contesting at least some of the timers down there.  However, if the GotG coalition is serious about setting up shop in Branch, it is going to be very difficult for them to hold onto territory down south in Immensea if FCON is determined to push into the area.  Of course, we’ll have to see how other residents in the area react to having new neighbors.

Immensea is a distant location for me, though I have been there a few times.  We never ended up in the region for Reavers, but there was a special deployment (including a long flight home), the Halloween war forward staging , and of course, the epic battle of B-R5RB.

How Will We Know if We Have Won?

The question came up in the comment thread on Friday’s post about victory conditions for the war.  Rather than waste more time in comments with an off-topic thread (which about six people might bother reading) I figured that would be a reasonable topic for a blog post.  Why keep that old fire burning when you can set a new one?

Victory can be a strangely intangible thing in a video game where you can never actually destroy or remove your foe from the game.

Sometimes it is clear.  I think all sides agree that the CFC won the Fountain War.  In the end TEST agreed that they lost and, after one final spectacular battle, packed up what they could and left.  TEST and its allies stopped fighting.  The war was over.

And there are times when things look like they are going one way and yet end up another.  I think all sides agree on is that the battle at B-R5RB was a major victory for the CFC/Russian coalition.

Wait, what?

Even during the fight PL had gone to their welp logo

We’ve all seen the infographic by now I think.

The war itself though… After B-R5RB the Russians imploded, the coalition collapsed, and the area we were fighting over became part of the vast NCDot rental empire.  A victory for PL and NCDot.

Oddly, the loss of that rental empire as jump fatigue and Fozzie Sov began to come into play wasn’t really seen as a loss for either that I can recall.

The Moneybadgers are #Winning

By any metric you care to look at you can demonstrate that the MBC is winning the war.  They have a huge and diverse coalition.  They are taking space.  They can assemble numbers that The Imperium simply cannot contest.  They go where they please and drop supercaps on us if we form in any significant numbers.

Still I am not sure what their victory condition actually is.  I am not sure they have a satisfactory answer to the question I insist on asking at project planning meetings, “How do we know when we’re done?”

I have heard a range of answers that include:

  • Take VFK-IV
  • Take all Goon sov
  • Take all Imperium sov
  • Break up The Imperium
  • Break Goonswarm
  • Remove The Mittani from GSF leadership

Honestly, I think they could legitimately claim that just forming this coalition was a victory of sorts, since people have been saying things along the lines of, “If everybody just banded together against Goons…” for over five years now.  I wonder who first posted such a statement in the official forums?

Anyway, with a multilateral alliance like the MBC, there are many voices claiming to represent the group.  Who really speaks for the coalition?

Meanwhile, the problem with most victory conditions that I have heard is that they seem to assume that The Imperium is going to be good sports and go along with them the way TEST did at the end of the Fountain War.  Taking all of our sovereignty is a great headline moment, but if everybody high-fives and goes home after that, The Imperium is going to still be there and is unlikely to let the status quo sit unchallenged.

The Imperium – Welcome to Afgoonistan

Victory for The Imperium, on the other hand, is somewhere well over the horizon.  Reddit may mock The Mittani’s “hellwar” and “Goonhammer” metaphors, but he is clearly not selling us an easy win.

The Imperium is going through a paradigm shift.  After years of being fat and happy back in a safe homeland, where whole groups never deployed and devoted themselves to ratting, mining, and industry, we have had to shed all of that very quickly.  Deklein is falling, peacetime reimbursement is a thing of the past, and our reach from the Quafe Factory Warehouse in Saranen is limited.

Deklein - April 18, 2016

Deklein – April 18, 2016

That alone has caused players to leave The Imperium.

The immediate goal of The Imperium is simply “don’t lose.”  We cannot lose if you don’t buy into the enemy narrative, don’t give up, and keep getting into fleets to attack the enemy where we can.  We cannot face the enemy head on, but they cannot be strong everywhere at once.  As they take more territory they become more vulnerable to counter-hacking.  Pandemic Horde found out over the weekend that setting up shop in a station in Fade to rat and mine was inviting trouble.  Reavers and Bomberwaffe were able to sting PH pretty hard while reinforcing various sov structures in the region.

Small victories have to sustain us.  This is helped along by the fact that, for Goons of a certain era, being the underdog is just the natural order of things and they welcome the return of that situation.  Being the insurgent is a more natural role for them.  And, of course, when members of the coalition against us are busy shooting each other… in Iitanmadan or down in Providence… that simply buoys our spirits.

Something About Victory

So who wins and how?

I think the Moneybadgers could clear out Deklein and Pure Blind, setting all the ADMs back to 1.0, legitimately declare victory, and move on.  They would have made a tangible change to the game and could legitimately claim to have defeated The Imperium as it was at the start of the war and the north would remain chaotic for some time to come.

To hit any of the bigger goals, such as breaking up The Imperium or Goonswarm, would require the coalition to sit, in force, on Saranen for a long time.  I am not sure the coalition has the wherewithal to manage that.

On the other side, there has to be an admission that the old Imperium is dead.  With the current state of the game, there won’t be any return to holding all the space we had before.  The only victory is in not losing and coming out the other side of the war able to exert control over null sec space within easy reach of our staging base in Saranen once the Moneybadgers tire of sitting on us and move on to other ventures.  We win by being around to fight another day, by emerging from the crucible or war intact and hardened, and by simply refusing to admit defeat.

Of course those two victory conditions are not mutually exclusive.  They could both come to pass and each side would claim their own victory.

Are there other victory conditions possible for either side?  Can you ever truly declare an unambiguous victory in New Eden if your foe refuses to acquiesce?

Rooks and Kings – Message in a Bottle

I had heard a few rumors on coms that, with the changes that have come to EVE Online over the last 18 months, with jump fatigue figuring prominently in each mention, Rooks and Kings had decided to leave the Tranquility server for greener pastures.

Because out there, on the other side of the great firewall, there is Serenity, the Chinese EVE Online server, run by a local partner, and still living in the era of Dominion sovereignty.  No entosis link modules, no ADMs, and no jump fatigue. (TMC had a post about the server and its culture a couple years back.)

The Empires of our Chinese Comrades

The Empires of our Chinese Comrades, also fighting in Deklein

(The Serenity sov map from here.)

I do not know how far behind the Serenity server actually is, but if it is anything like WoW has had to be handled in China, where the local partner has a lot of say in things, it could be quite a different place when it comes to the code.

Anyway, Rooks and Kings released a new video that confirms what I had heard, that they have indeed transmitted themselves and their style of play to Serenity.  The video starts with a bit of story/lore to account for their arrival, followed by what they do best, making people swear in space.

Also, surprisingly short for a Rooks and Kings video.