MAX DUDES RED CRAYON CTA RIGHT NOW
WE NEED EVERY WARM BODY WITH A HULL
THIS WILL PROBABLY BE THE LARGEST SUPER FLEET FORMED SINCE B-R5 SO YOU PROBABLY WANT TO BE HERE FOR THE SCREEN SHOTS ALONE
-tiberizzle to allcaps
How could I say “no” to that ping? Besides, it was Sunday morning, my wife and daughter were off to other things and I had no plans for the day. So I clone jumped to the staging Keepstar, jumped into my Apostle, and got into the armor capital fleet. The armor fleet passed 200 people, while the first shield fleet filled up and they had to roll out a second. There didn’t seem to be any special fit required, aside from having a prop mod to speed up gate travel.
Once I got myself squared away I undocked and warped off to one of the citadels ringing the Keepstar so as not to be yet another massive object on the undock that people might bump into. The force auxiliaries are not as big as a titan, but they are bigger than a super carrier and make carriers look like mere battleships in the fleet.
My Apostle in warp with Tiberizzle’s Wyvern super carrier
As the fleets settled down we were given a destination to gate to and off we went. Traveling in a capital taking gates means jumping through a gate, clicking warp/jump for the next one, then running your prop mod as you align until your ship finally approaches the speed it needs to warp off. Then you turn it off and, as it cycles down, you should warp… unless you bounce of of another capital, which has a habit of knocking your speed back down to below the warp threshold.
Then you just want to get through the gate at the far end without bouncing off of somebody as ships land in a streaming mass and ending up out of range to jump.
That gate has to be feeling the pressure…
On voice coms somebody was telling people to spam the jump button in order to avoid that fate. I opted for the old auto pilot trick. Since we had a destination, as I my Apostle headed to the gate I would turn on the auto pilot which would then jump me through the gate itself hands off. You just have to remember to turn it off as you jump, as you could end up 15km off the next gate and slow boating for the next jump if you’re not careful.
Then you’re through the gate and everybody is spread out, uncloaking, and aligning for the next gate.
Capital fleet doing its align thing
We bunched up on a Fortizar as our first waypoint, then were given a new destination a few more jumps out. There was sat on a Raitaru, bunching up in a giant mass of capital hulls.
Make room! Make room!
We sat there for a while, so I was pretty sure this was where we would be jumping from to get to our destination. I still did not know what we were up to, if this would be my first capital op to involve a fleet action. Things were quiet on coms and I wondered what was going on in the command channel.
Then the order came through to jump to cyno that had been lit. The order was quickly amended to restrict faxes from jumping through, so everybody else jumped out leaving a convention of force auxiliaries on the Raitaru.
A meeting of faxes
There were complaints of tidi and bouncing and whatnot from those who had jumped. After a few minutes that settled down and faxes were given the clearance to jump.
Entering the jump tunnel from the Raitaru
Once through I could see capitals strewn about the field, but that was all the client was drawing for me immediately.
Landing after the jump
This happens some times when you land on a grid with a lot of objects to draw. Ships get drawn first. After a bit though the client got around to filling out a Keepstar citadel where we were all hanging about tethered or bouncing.
There we are
You can see some titans a bit off that may have bounced a bit.
This was the point of the operation. Whenever a Keepstar is set to go online a large capital fleet is assembled to protect it while it goes through its initial repair cycle, the point at which it is most vulnerable because a hostile force can blow it up without all that mucking about with timers, as happened with the Keepstar over in Auga about a month and a half back.
To prevent that a large force is mustered to sit on the Keepstar to dissuade any attack. And so there we were. No fight was likely given the forces we had on the field.
Sitting on the Keepstar waiting
This was the first Keepstar for our Imperium colleagues in The Initiative who, as it was going online, also won their match in the alliance tournament.
So there we sat. Jay Amazingness said that once it was online we would sit out our jump fatigue before we headed home again. That was going to be a while so, to entertain us Jay asked a pilot in a Phoenix dreadnought if the fleet could doomsday his ship if Jay bought him a new one later. He agreed and warped off to another citadel before returning to be in range off us but at a distance. On command all of the titans fired on him.
I did not have a very good angle setup when the doomsday fire went off, but Jay linked us a better screen shot in fleet, which I have borrowed.
Jay’s view of the doomsday fire
To stretch out the shoot the Phoenix pilot activated his Emergency Hull Energizer which boosts resists to 99%. However, even with that the weight of damage being thrown at him was so much that he exploded fairly quickly.
That left us some time to sit around and stare at the fresh wreck or take a break while our collective jump fatigue timers ran down.
Phoenix wreck lit by an explosion
As I was looking for a good screen shot of the Phoenix wreck, it was lit up by something that happened behind me. While I missed it, The Initiative blew up an Archon on the undock to sanctify the Keepstar going online or just to join in on the fun.
After that we mostly sat about. There wasn’t anything like a BBQ war in coms, which was probably a good thing. With about 15 minutes left on jump fatigue we were roused out of our torpor and given a destination. We set out to take some more gates to put us in range of home.
We had to wait a bit as there was a titan running behind. Somebody needed a bathroom break, but only after we started out taking gates. He eventually just jumped to us, leaving him within range of home and giving him the option to either double jump, and take a jump fatigue hit, or just wait it out and use the safe cyno later.
I don’t know what he chose, but the rest of us took the cyno once it was up and landed back at home.
Back at the staging Keepstar
Unlike the move op the other night, we were not cyno’d into the Twerk zone, there being some fear that a titan might bounce, escape the model, and end up flung hundreds of kilometers away. I’ve seen that happen. While the ship would likely not be in immediate danger, it is best not to take chances with expensive toys. After all, PL keeps dreads on hand for such opportunities.
And that was it for the operation. Another capital op for me, though I have yet to use my Apostle to rep a single ship.
John Hartley took some video of the fleet which includes us landing on the Keepstar, featuring some titan bounces, and the doomsday shoot of the Phoenix at the end.