We deployed down to Curse, holing up in a station in H-ADOC, the Monday before EVE Vegas. Karma Fleet and LAWN joined us as we headed down south. As I mentioned in a previous post, our main mission was to hit TEST sovereignty down in and around Wicked Creek so they would come out and fight.
Wicked Creek area of New Eden
And for the limited goal of getting fights, the operation was a success. The fights, when they happened, were good and not heavily out of balance due to numbers. I managed to miss most of the “good fights,” even when I was there in the fleet, but fun times were had. Even under Fozzie Sov, in the Balkans of the south east of New Eden null sec, attacking somebody’s infrastructure will force people to come out and fight at a specific time and place.
We also got to fly a few doctrines. We had our usual Tengus, and Ishtars returned to the fold during the deployment. And with Karmafleet along, there were also Cormorants and Ferox fleets to join.
Sitting with Feroxes at the sun
And if the enemy doesn’t come out to fight, then it costs them. We managed to drop TEST sovereignty in LKZ-CY when they couldn’t get numbers together to come and fight us. The did show up, but ended up declining to engage and for a bit the system was unowned.
There went your TCU…
I actually got to successfully Entosis a node during that op, flying a Cormorant. I was also one of the few kills for TEST on that op as I had moved to do a node in LKZ-CY and then they showed up. They didn’t go after the main fleet, but the dropped in to kill me.
Cormorant on a command node destined never to be finished
On the flip side, I was also involved in at least one Fozzie Sov endless tug of war horror show. A couple hours after dropping LKZ-CY, another opportunity came up to hit S-E6ES, which is right next to our staging. However, we only got about 20 people in the fleet, so the hope was that TEST wouldn’t show up and we could ninja the whole thing. But TEST did show up after a bit with about 40 people. That was too many for us to hit directly, and they did not seem inclined to come and get us to force a show down, so we each went off to one side of the constellation or the other and hit nodes.
We had gotten there first and eventually go the balance to tilt 90% in our direction. But they have more links running, and so the number see-sawed between 80% and 95%, slowly working its way in their favor. It eventually became clear that, unless we got more numbers… and it was past EUTSZ prime time on a Sunday night… the event was eventually going to go to TEST, the question was just how long were we willing to drag this out. Sitting around running Entosis Links not being as fun as promised, we opted to stand down and end the madness.
There was a final event, a last battle, on Monday night my time where we ran out what forces we could round up in an Ishtar fleet to try and contest a timer in 1L-OEK. In anticipation Slyce, which owned the system, put up drag bubbles on every gate between H-ADOC and their system, making us take a detour around to another route.
We ended up squaring off on the 1L-OEK gate in Q-GQHN (which gets pronounced Qui-Gon, as in Qui-Gon Jinn) where the numbers were only slightly against us. We got there first and repaid the route blockage by having everybody with a deployable bubble drop it around the gate, leaving a small mess for the locals to clean up later.
Bubbles on the 1L-OEK gate
When the locals arrived, the fight was very tight, though we were losing a ship now and again as logi tried to keep everybody up and going. Our work did not go unnoticed, even by our foes.
Pandi Borgia of TEST
And then Pandemic Legion dropped in on the fight, landing pretty much in our midst. At that point the requests for shield reps suddenly spiked and the logi pilots got very busy… to the point that I did not notice I had been yellow-boxed again and was soon wandering around in my pod, my Basilisk a wreck in my wake.
At least then I had a moment to survey the battle. I set my pod to approach a Nestor in the PL fleet, just to get a closer look.
The shiny Nestor in the bunch
My sight seeing tour was short lived, as somebody eventually decided to pod me. That was probably a favor as I didn’t have to try to fly home through bubble-ville, I was sent there directly and without cost.
The battle report shows the slaughter, with us losing 61 of 104 ships, including all but one of the Basilisks. There are comments on the battle in one thread over at Reddit. (And a comment from Asher about bubbles, the fight, and our deployment goals.)
After that we were done in the south. Tuesday evening USTZ the first fleet for home formed up. I only had a Ferox to bring home, having left three Basilisk, three Crucifier, and two Cormorant wrecks behind in Wicked Creek.
We happened to get a fortuitous direct wormhole and the return op should have been very quick, but then CCP was having a problem with one of its ISP connections in London. This meant that at a couple of points nearly a third of the fleet would drop from the game as we transitioned through a gate, and then would struggle to get back on. So we spent more time waiting than we did moving.
Sitting on another gate waiting for people to reconnect
There were moans at the start of the fleet because an Abaddon was along for the ride and was going to slow down our warps. In the end though, that was less of an issue than the game itself. Eventually things seemed to clear up and we got everybody to the wormhole.
Approaching the wormhole
On the far side of the wormhole we were just a half a dozen gates from the current coalition staging station at 3V8-LJ in Pure Blind. We were soon landing on the station, docking up, and calling it a night.
Landing at 3V8-LJ
And so ends another Reavers deployment. Fun and fights were had deep in hostile territory.
I am going to steal one thing from Asher’s Reddit thread on that final fight. At some point during the deployment we began spamming local now and again with the word “RATKINGBOIS” linked to the character profile of RatKnight1. This seemed to start while I was off in Vegas, but I joined in when I got back and spammed local with the team and renamed my ship. Later the word of the day got changed to “FISHKINGBOIS.”
Asher offered up an end of deployment tale on Reddit of where this all came from.
Oh I promised to explain RATKINGBOIS at the end of the deployment to some of the Test guys who were asking – but be forewarned, like I said before, it’s a shitty story: We were going to Test renter space to ref it and it’s kinda far away so it’s a long boring trip, I was looking through my fleet and I saw the name “RatKnight1” which I decided might be the worst name I’ve ever seen, so I asked him if RatKnight without a number was already taken because it’s such a desirable name. Well Mr. RatKnight1 then very earnestly describes how he is the original RatKnight but he lost access to him so he’s got the number now and we all had a good chuckle because he never seemed to grok that we were busting his balls over his terrible name. So the next day someone called us “RATKINGBOIS” because I guess they forgot the actual rank of the rat, he’s only a knight, not a king. And we were earnestly corrected by said Knight about his rank. So it just stuck after that. RatKnight1 seemed to enjoy the notoriety and being the mascot. And then it became FISHKINGBOIS because we were staging in H-ADOC – which sounds like haddock – which is a fish. So, you know, now you can put this on urban dictionary and your mom can look up why your in-joke is soooooo hilarious.
I had gotten the haddock part of the joke, largely because Sadus trolled it regularly on coms.
So deployment complete. Now there is a rumor of war and an announcement coming tomorrow to indicate where it will be.