Tag Archives: Asher Elias

The Failed Trap at YZ9-F6

It seemed like a typical op.  We had a couple of Fortizar timers coming up in NPC Delve.  The enemy, having lost three Keepstars there last week, was probably keen to remove those footholds that allowed us to safely jump in the many ships needed for those fights.  Things might have gone differently without them.

I remember the first ping, because it said that we would be forming up at 23:45 UTC, an easily recalled sequence.  That was a quarter to five local time for me, I would be clear of work and able to join in.

There was a mention that the enemy was pinging about this op and claiming that we were pinging for it a lot.  We hear that a lot, intel back from the invaders about what their leadership is telling them we’re up to.  It often seems quite exaggerated, but if they’re pinging and saying we’re pinging, we will end up pinging more just because of that, so there is an odd cause and effect cycle in it I suppose.

When the time came I got into the Rokh fleet that Lazarus Telraven was running.  I named it “Remember the Lazamo” and went with the fleet when it jumped into YZ9-F6.  There we hung out waiting for the timer to count down.

waiting on the Fortizar

As the timer hit, we went through many of the familiar motions as we began to exchange fire with hostile subcap fleets.  Dreadnoughts soon joined us in the field before the structure and a fierce battle began to rage.

Dreads and subcaps on grid

We started out trading blows with the usual TEST Nightmare fleet at extreme range.  We exchanged with them, then started in on some of the heavy interdictors that were on grid.  Laz seemed quite focused on them.  There were a little more than 1,600 players in local.

Brackets drawn with the new UI only mode

Meanwhile, the fight seemed to be escalating beyond what I might have expected for just a Fortizar armor timer.  When dreads were thick on the ground carriers and super carriers began dropping in, with both sides putting them on grid with the Fortizar.

Imperium supers landing

But we had our own battle to fight.  Time dilation went to 10% pretty quickly and as more players showed up in local, responses to commands began to drag out.  I had the outstanding calls window up to watch what was happening and the wait time before calls were handled began to climb.

In the midst of that I had my own close call for the evening.  An Eagle fleet was passing by us at about 5-8km range and the decided to target me.  I don’t know if I happened to be in just the right place or if it was because I put my drones on the FC, but I saw them yellow boxing me.

I broadcast for reps and put the fact that I was being yellow boxed in fleet chat, overheated my shield hardeners, then unlocked all targets.  We were fighting on the Fortizar and if my one minute aggression timer ran down I would simply tether up and become invulnerable.

But a minute long time is very long in time dilation.

I could see the yellow boxes turn to red and I started taking damage before my unlock commands had been handled.  I was worried that the logi wing might have a similarly long wait in order to lock me up and get reps on me.  In moderate tidi the job of the logi pilot gets easier as you have plenty of time to response.  But when the server is backed up and processing commands slowly you are left to the whims of CCP as to when target locks happen and when reps land.

The first reps landed when I was at half shields, but they were countered by more and more of the guns aimed at me finally activating.  I could see the damage numbers zipping past on the screen at an increasing rate.  More and more logi started landing reps on me as well as my aggression counter slowly clicked down.

The race was one.  Logi was slowing things down, but the guns put me into armor, then into hull.  Reps would push back the shields for a bit, but the issue was clearly in doubt and I still had seconds left on the aggression timer.

Reps keeping me alive

And then one of the Minokawas got reps on me and my shields went back to 100% and it looked like I was safe.  The timer ran down and after an agonizing gap I tethered up.  Everybody’s lock on me, attackers and logi, dropped and the Fortizar began repairing my damage.

Upwell structures are op.

Meanwhile there were now about 2,500 players in local and the fight was spread out.

2,500 in local, blues are us, reds the attackers, purple our fleet

The fight carried on, though fleet coms were oddly quiet.  We were asked to keep quiet, which usually means something is going on in the command channel.  But this was more quiet than I had experienced in the middle of an escalating fight.  We were taken off shooting ships and began hitting deployable warp disruption bubbles.

And then some titans landed on grid.  They didn’t jump in though.  There was no cyno.  Instead they warped in and landed spread out.

Titans landing in the fight

I didn’t think anything at the time about the fact that they were spread out or that they had warped in rather than landing on the cyno that had brought in the super carriers.  I was just wondering if we were going all in on a Wednesday night, escalating up to titans.

Later we learned what was up.  This was a setup, a trap to burn up a bunch of PAPI caps and supers by getting them all bunched up and then hitting them with a multi-titan volley from bosonic field generators, the BFG doomsday that does 40K damage to all things in a wide area over a 20 second duration.

And it didn’t work.  The enemy was in place, the titans were in position, the BFGs all fired, but the server cut off the effect after just three seconds, so they delivered less than 15% of the damage that they ought to have.

Asher Elias posted an after action report to Reddit on the plan and how it was setup and pulled off, which I recommend if you want to know the details.

But after that things went badly.  The enemy, seeing titans on the field commenced to undock and throw into battle as many of their own titans as they possibly could, fielding 278 before the fight wound down.  The local count wound up to about 3,200.

PAPI titans jumping in

Meanwhile our own titans, supers, and caps were now lined up to get smacked.  The hostiles went after our titans first, tackling and hitting them as hard as they could.  16 of the 22 were blown up, while six got away.

Ooddell takes multiple doomsday hits, but managed to warp off

We opted to limit our losses.  We shot up what we could on field.  At one point is looked like maybe we might be able to take down one of the enemy titans that had bounced far from the pack.

Welcome citizen

However, that did not work out.  We shot him for a bit, but after not too long the call went out to stop aggression and to tether up.  The enemy went about picking off targets that they could find.

A good day to see doomsdays

At the end of the day the battle report showed that the gambit had cost us a lot.

Battle Report Header

We lost 2.5 trillion ISK  in ships while killing 722 billion hostiles.  That totals up to about what both fights in FWST-8 last week cost all told.  All of this should make a mark on the October MER.

Ship losses from the BR

In addition to 16 titans we lost 28 super carriers, 85 dreads, and 5 carriers.  We did at least knock down almost 200 of their dreads, though they dropped more than 750 of them.

So it goes.  We swung and missed.  Some times the server favors you, some times is trips up your plans and hangs you out to dry.  The war carries on.

CCP said they may have found the issue that caused the problem with the BFGs, but it seems unlikely that we’ll be able to stage something like that again even if they do fix the issue.

The word is that PAPI has dropped another Keepstar in NPC Delve, in 319-3D again.  It managed to deploy, but it should begin its anchoring cycle about the time this post goes list. [I am told the timer starts at 17:18 UTC.]  Expect another huge battle today.

Related:

Six Years of Reavers

We are at the sixth anniversary of the founding of the Reavers SIG.

Reavers forum bee

As has become the norm, I post on or around this date every year to commemorate the founding and to recount what mischief the SIG got up to since the last post.  For those interested in past tales, you can find them here.

This year my post is a little bit different.  While I am happy to raise a glass to the SIG to mark the passing of another year, I don’t actually have anything to look back on since the five year anniversary post.

It is not that nothing has happened over the last year.  Asher and various members of the SIG have been quite active.  But there wasn’t a lot of opportunity over the last twelve months for the Reavers to run off and do their thing in distant lands.

There was a problem with an overlap of objectives between Reavers and Liberty Squad for a stretch.  And when Liberty Squad was stood down, with its leadership heading off to form their own group elsewhere in null sec, there was the formation of the Goon Expeditionary Force to take its place.

The logo on the left became the official forum bee, but I still like the helmet on the other

The GEF was sort of the Reavers writ large, a mash up of them and Space Violence and Liberty Squad, a way to bundle up the people in the Imperium who play for war and deployments and who chafe during peacetime, to give them something to do.  Founded back in February, it was there to take the show on the road.  And from them until this past June, it deployed, ran ops, blew things up, and gave some of us a sense of purpose in the sandbox.

And then, of course, the war came.  Well, the leak that indicated that war was coming, which was denied right up until it wasn’t, when the non-invasion pact between Legacy Coalition and the Imperium was cancelled by Vily and the count down to conflict began.  Then everybody came home, we pulled back what we could, and there was a sense of purpose every day you logged in.

Asher and many others had bigger responsibilities, tasks beyond the scope of a single SIG in the coalition.

So you might ask, with nothing really to report on over the last year and nothing likely to come while our space is being invaded, is Reavers effectively dead?  Are we just a channel on Jabber and a hidden section in the GSF forms?

The answer is no.

Despite having no official task, Reavers still forms a cadre of players who Asher can call on for special tasks.  It has been that way for a while.  Reavers haven’t recruited in ages.  You cannot get in without a personal vouch and I don’t even think we’re taking those any more.  Everybody left has been around for a long time and the names in the channel are all familiar.

So there will be a ping to Jacketpals, or Trashtiertactics, or another of the many ping groups that Asher has created to send us notifications on Jabber, looking for some people for a special op or to have a special fit ready, or to hold off on the main fleet ping that is coming up because there will be another fleet coming up that will be more our speed.

I think the SIG almost universally signed up for the Spec Ops SIG that was formed for the war, along with a couple of the other groups.  When I am out on an op doing ECM burst interceptors or Sippery Pete’s or something like that, there are always names from Reavers in those fleets.

And when Asher suggests training something up, like EDENCOM ships or whatever, I always jump right on that.  Maybe it will pan out, maybe it won’t.  But if the time comes and there is a Jacketpals ping asking who can fly some specific ship, I don’t want to be left out.

Eight Weeks of World War Bee and the July MER

As I have mentioned in the last couple of posts, I was out of town for most of last week, so I do not have much in the way of personal observations to add.  Then again, it doesn’t seem like much happened while I was away either.  The weekend PCU capped at 35,650, down some from last week and the big move op.

A picture from the week before just because

If you’re looking for something to read, Asher Elias, founder of Reavers and one of the key Imperium FCs, wrote a long post on Reddit about Goons as the “Good Guys” in null sec and how, in his view, Goons and the coalition have changed over the years.  If you don’t agree with him, I am sure there is something in the comments to your liking.

Northern Front

The invaders spent some time moving their supers and titans from FAT-6P, where they had languished a mere four gates from Imperium space for weeks, all the way around to I-CUVX Fountain in order to assail the two remaining Imperium Keepstars in the region.  Kind of a long way to go, especially since they felt the need to lay down Keepstars for every step of the journey.  But both Keepstars will die to that onslaught without a doubt.  The KVN-36 Keepstar will likely be dead before this post goes live. (There it went.)  The Y-2ANO Keepstar, however, has no timer set currently.  PandaFam also cleaned up a bunch of structures we had left in Fountain.  When will they gate those supers and titans into Delve?

Southern Front

Going through the continuous update thread on our forums, Querious remains a place of skirmishes.  Neither side is keen to drop fresh ihubs in the eastern side of the region, and the western side remains in Imperium hands.  Lots of skirmishes, but nothing that changed the landscape.  Period Basis and Delve remained as they were.

My Participation

I did get into a couple of fleets once I was back on the weekend, so added a few kill mails to my list, but nothing spectacular.  I did not lose any ships either, so my loss total remains as such:

  • Ares interceptor – 9
  • Atron entosis frigate – 5
  • Drake entosis battle cruiser – 3
  • Malediction interceptor – 2
  • Scalpel logi frigate – 2
  • Ferox battle cruiser – 2
  • Bifrost entosis command destroyer – 1
  • Cormorant destroyer – 1
  • Purifier stealth bomber – 1
  • Hurricane battle cruiser – 1
  • Sigil entosis industrial – 1

The July Monthly Economic Report

Since I don’t have much else to say about the war, I might as well use this post to look at a bit of the July MER.  I will write a longer post later about it, but I thought the destruction numbers might be interesting.

As a baseline, the top ten regions for player ship and structure losses in June were:

  1. The Forge – 3.06 trillion (High Sec)
  2. Lonetrek – 2.40 trillion (High Sec)
  3. The Citadel – 2.19 trillion (High Sec)
  4. Sinq Laison – 2.17 trillion (High Sec)
  5. Black Rise – 2.15 trillion (Low Sec)
  6. Domain – 2.02 trillion (High Sec)
  7. Delve – 2.02 trillion (Imperium)
  8. Metropolis – 1.60 trillion (High Sec)
  9. Vale of the Silent – 1.15 trillion (mixed small groups)
  10. Fountain – 1.09 trillion (Imperium)

A total of 45.67 trillion ISK was destroyed in June across all regions.

That includes a bit of the pre-war warm up, but the war did not officially kick off until July 5th, so if the war is/was/will be real, we should see a rise in numbers in some regions.  The top ten for July were:

  1. The Forge – 3.60 trillion (High Sec)
  2. Fountain – 2.53 trillion (Imperium)
  3. Lonetrek – 1.89 trillion (High Sec)
  4. Delve – 1.61 trillion (Imperium)
  5. The Citadel – 1.31 trillion (High Sec)
  6. Metropolis – 1.06 trillion (High Sec)
  7. Providence – 1.02 trillion (Provi Bloc falling apart)
  8. Domain – 981 billion (High Sec)
  9. Heimatar – 962 billion (High Sec)
  10. Sinq Laison – 944 billion (High Sec)

The Forge, home to Jita, saw a 500 billion ISK rise in destruction, no doubt some of it due to interdiction efforts by both side.  And Fountain, the main front for the first phase of the war, was a near 2.5x increase in destruction.

However, a lot of regions, including Delve, were down when it came to destruction.  The overall count was 36 trillion ISK, down over 9 trillion ISK from June.  So I figured I would look at the regions where the war should be happening to see if at least destruction is up in those areas.

There are, I think, nine regions where the war is being waged.  Here are the June to July numbers for each:

  • Aridia – 688 billion to 516 billion
  • Catch – 801 billion to 723 billion
  • Delve – 2.02 trillion to 1.61 trillion
  • Esoteria – 717 billion to 1.31 trillion
  • Fountain – 1.09 trillion to 2.53 trillion
  • Paragon Soul – 118 billion to 668 billion
  • Period Basis – 418 billion to 1.01 trillion
  • Querious – 350 billion to 1.19 trillion
  • Stain – 558 billion to 148 billion

Looking at places where destruction was up, it seems like the war in July took place in Esoteria, Fountain, Paragon Soul, Period Basis, and Querious.  I will have to see how that develops when we get the August MER.

Addendum:

Defending the Y-2ANO Keepstar

The war over the ihubs in Fountain, such that it was, is over.  PandaFam took the final one this past week.  Now there is just the structure in cleanup.  And that too has gone well for the attackers so far.  There were six Keepstars, the big targets, in the region and they have blown up three of them so far.

Three Keepstars Down

The remaining three Keepstars, located in O-PNSN, KVN-36, and Y-2ANO, were the next obvious targets.

PandaFam chose to go after the one in Y-2ANO, which is also the closest one to Delve, being on grid with the region gate to ZXB-VC.  The theory I have heard regarding the choice is that, in taking away the Y-2ANO Keepstar, they would hinder our ability to defend the other two.  We could not just undock a titan and use it to bridge fleets to help with the defense of the Keepstars deeper in the region.

This past Thursday they began their assault by hitting the Keepstar in order to set the first timer.  This involves knocking down the shields, after which the count down starts for the next round, the armor timer.

I missed the start of that fight, but showed up later in an interdictor to help out.

It seemed to go about the way it went back at armor timer in IGE-RI.  The enemy brought subcaps and carriers.  The fighters from the carriers were used to attack the Keepstar while the subcaps fought.  There were a few more people involved, but things played out as before.  The attackers managed to set the timer at a cost in ISK in time.  The battle report shows we did much better on the ISK war, but we lost the objective, and the objective is what matters most on defense.

Shield fight battle report header

It also took them almost three hour to finish the job, and the shield timer is the easy one.  When the fight was over and we left, we could see the clock counting down for the next fight.

The timer to the next fight

The timer was set to come out on Saturday in EUTZ prime time and early USTZ time.  Given that, the fight was expected to attract a lot more pilots.  And the Keepstar itself was said to have tech II armor plates installed, meaning that it would take longer to get through the armor layer and set the final timer.  The expectation was set that it might be one of those fights that goes on all day long.

In the mean time, both sides got ready.  At our end, the night before, I was along for a fleet that moved some resupply ships to the Keepstar, so that if people lost a ship during the fight, they could dock up and reship.  There was some talk about when the ping might come for the fight as the hostiles were looking to get there first to try and hold us off, so we might have to counter by showing up earlier.

Fortunately for me, I wake up by 6am no matter what.  It is part of getting old.  I used to wonder why my grandfather never slept in, and now I have become him.

So I was on and able to do a bit more prep work long before the first fleet pings landed.

I was actually concerned that there were zero Tracking Computer II modules listed on the market at our home Keepstar.  They are part of the extra fit you need to get a Ferox or Megathron set to shoot fighters.

So I ran out in an interceptor to NPC Delve where there were 60 up for sale at around 1.7 to 2 million ISK.  I bought them all up and flew them back.  19 would fit in my cargo hold, with another fit and offline in an empty mid slot.  I listed most of them on the market back at home for 2 million ISK each, where they sold out very quickly.  I hope they went to good use.

The first ping came over Jabber at 14:38 UTC (7:38am my time).

There were three initial fleets flying Megathrons, Feroxes, and Jackdaws.  I had hauled out a replacement Megathron the night before, so that was probably the right choice as I had a reship ready.  But Asher was leading the Ferox fleet, so I went with that instead.

We managed to put 1DQ1-A into 10% tidi just with people logging in, getting in fleets, and undocking.  2,000 people in motion will do that.

Staging slow down

We undocked and and took a titan bridge to the Keepstar in ZXB-VC where the fleets gather up for the push into Y-2ANO.

Megathrons and other Baltec ships bridge in

From there we warped to the gate and started to push through all together.

A clump of ships on the gate

It was there that I ended up getting disconnected.  The Ferox fleet went through and I could hear Asher giving orders and could tell that the fleet was in motion, but I was stuck in the tunnel animation.  There was tidi on both sides of the gate, so I could tell when things went wrong because the animation suddenly started running at full speed rather than the slow rate that indicates tidi.

I closed the client and tried logging back in.  The character screen indicated that I had made it into Y-2ANO, another sign that my client wasn’t in sync with the server, but there was so much going on that it took a long to get on.  I hit the jump button on the gate at 15:12 UTC, but didn’t load grid after logging back in until 15:35 UTC, by which time Asher’s fleet had made it away from the gate.

I had been watching some of the INN Twitch stream of the fight and could see that PandaFam had changed their plan from the first attack.  They had decided to try and keep us out, so they put the fighters from their carriers on the gate along with some subcaps, no doubt with the intent of trying to thin us out as we tried to get through the bubbles around the gate.

My lone Ferox trying to escape the bubbles

I was a big of an obvious target out by myself and was primaried by a Munnin fleet that was part of the group guarding the gate.  The game was moving so slowly that I saw my pod get ejected and got to watch the ship fly off for a bit before it finally exploded.

Bye-bye Ferox!

I got to watch that as I tried to motor out of the bubbles, but they popped by pod as well, sending me back to 1DQ1-A.

Back home, I hopped in a travel ceptor and headed back towards the fight.  I dropped fleet, thinking that I might have to get out the Megathron and join that fleet.

Getting back in the second time was much quicker and, of course, I could just warp out of the bubbles in my Malediction.  (The only thing faster was my SPR payment.  I filed for when I ended up back in 1DQ1-A and saw the ISK hit my account as I jumped into Y-2ANO.  The SRP team must have been ready to go.)

I docked up in the Keepstar and checked what was on alliance contract.  I was worried that I might not have the right fit if I grabbed a Ferox (those Tracking Computer II modules came to mind), but there were a bunch there that were the correct Keepstar defense fit. (Which probably explains why the market was dry of them.)  So I bought one of those, got into that ship, and rejoined the fleet, all of which took a lot longer at the time it took to type that out.

While I was doing all of that, the plan of the attackers started to unravel.  The plan, I gather, was to use the carriers and subcaps to kill us on the gate while a TEST Raven fleet kept the Keepstar timer paused.

However, two bombing runs later, the first led by DBRB and the seconds by Sister Bliss of The Initiative, left 200 Raven wrecks in their wake, allowing the Keepstar to continue its repair cycle. (Video of TEST Ravens exploding)

Undocked on the Keepstar we could see the hostile fighters, which had been engaged elsewhere, now turning our way to try and hit the Keepstar.  We took them under fire as they hove into range, but they were too few and too slow.  The timer ran down below a minute and it looked like we were going to win.  We all keyed up and counted down the last ten seconds as there was nothing in range than could stop the clock.

The repair timer hits zero

After that, the attackers were back to where they were on Thursday night.  The would have to shoot the shields again to set a new timer and come back again at a later date.  They did not seem inclined to do this and the next couple of hours were spent skirmishing and trying to extract.

The final battle report shows losses fairly evenly split.

Armor timer battle report header

Given that they had 800 more people than us on the report… more than three fleets worth of pilots… we did pretty well.  But fighting on your own Keepstar is a big advantage (something we’re just learning, as our history is attacking them, not defending them), as is the fact that the timer is not affected by tidi as it runs down, but runs in real time. (Something that bit us back during the so-called Million Dollar Battle a few years back.)  Imperium institutional paranoia expects CCP to change that now that it is helping Goons.

The battle report shows the whole thing lasting more than three hours, but the Keepstar had been saved in under two, so the objective was won in a shorter time than the initial attack that set the timer.

Meanwhile, as that was going on, some Legacy pilots not involved in the fight used this as an opportunity to set some ihub timers and reinforce a couple of Ansiblex jump gates.  Well played, but the war so far shows they are not very good at following up on such ventures.

We’re certainly not done in Fountain.  The attackers will be back.  There are three Keepstars sitting out there still.  If they cannot kill those in a situation where our titans and supers are not in play, then they are going to have a really rough time when they try to cross into Delve and hit Keepstars there.

Other Coverage:

Fighting on the Keepstars

PandaFam continues to sweep on in Fountain.  They have taken most of the ihubs in the region and, save for the few behind the KVN-36 line, the region is mostly theirs at this point.  However, a bunch of our structures remain behind in the captured space, including some Keepstars.

A Keepstar in Delve, still safe

Keepstars are the anchors of any defense, the strong points that an attacker must eventually assail if the don’t want the defenders to have a safe harbor behind their lines from which they can operate.  PandaFam cannot let them linger, so they have started setting up to kill them.

When our Keepstars in Fountain start to fall, it is going to be a big boost to the morale of the attackers.  If you look at zKillboard, dead Keepstars are relatively rare.  A few didn’t get recorded due to server issues, but there is only a page or so of kills to scroll down.  (There was a time when I was on the kill mail for almost all of the dead Keepstars, and I would wager that I am still on almost half of them.)  When one side starts losing Keepstars, it is generally a sign they are losing the war.  So the narrative that the Imperium is going to lose, is losing, should give up already is going to be strong.

We have a ridiculous number of Keepstars in Delve.  It is going to be a long, slow grind when the enemy attacks there in earnest.  But some of the Keepstars out in Fountain are guaranteed to be destroyed.  Getting all the way to the far end of the region to defend the one in J5A-IX doesn’t seem viable.  And PandaFam is setting up their own structures from which to attack the Keepstars.

Somebody is making plans for us

Still, the coalition has come up with a strategy to at least make taking these structures costly.

I went out with a Ferox fleet under Asher that was set to try out one of the Keepstar defense plans.  There is a Keepstar out in IGE-RI that PandaFam has started reinforcing.  We came out to try and defend the armor timer.

Getting there took gates and one titan bridge as the Ansiblex network in Fountain is no longer there.  Our ability to move around in the region is very much curtailed.

Landing on the Keepstar

The enemy showed up with carriers and battle cruisers.  Their super carriers, usually one of the main weapons when attacking a Keepstar, are down in FAT-6P in Catch with their main titan force, awaiting their time in the invasion.  So carriers need to pick up the slack.

The carriers stood off and sent their fighters in at us in a great wave.  We loaded up long range ammo and started shooting them as they fell within our guns.

Fighter inbound

We tore up a lot of their fighters.  Whole groups went down, while damaged sets were recalled.  That was when their Feroxes came in.

We swapped over to Spike, the longest range ammo, and Asher moved us so that they were within our fire envelope, at which point his back seat began calling targets and we commenced to blowing them up as fast as we could lock them.

The Keepstar in the battle

I went out on the fleet in an alt because he had a doctrine Ferox handy, but I kind of wish I had gone on my main, because there was some serious kill board padding to be had.  My alt ended up on 126 kill mails, including the final blow on two targets, which doesn’t happen very often on a fleet with more than 100 ships present.

Ferox alt goes wild

Two kill marks on my Ferox… and lots of wrecks up above the Keepstar where the hostiles had set up station.

Wrecks and corpses litter the area

The battle was a lot of lock and fire, with some of the hostiles reshipping and returning only to be called and blown up a second time.  The battle report showed that we blew up almost 500 ships and fighters.

Header from the Battle Report

Unfortunately, for all the carnage, we lost the objective.  PandaFam moved the Keepstar into its final timer.  A Sunday Keepstar fight will attract a lot of pilots.  People like to be on those kill mails.

The final fight coming this weekend

Meanwhile, it seems unlikely that we will be as successful with Feroxes again as we were this time around.  The enemy isn’t likely to be so generous in feeding us kills.  Next time they will have some counter to our defense, which means we will have to come up with some new twist of our own.

But this time we did okay, even if we lost the objective.  We took out fleet back to Delve.

Back the way we came

We will have to see how next time plays out.

Addendum: Our Keepstar in J5A-IX went down just minutes after this post went live.

Defending Odd Allies in Stain

There was a ping prompting people to be ready on Tuesday night as a battle seemed to be brewing.  For one… as much of the was seems to happen in EUTZ… the time set was in a sweet spot for me, early evening my time, so I was logged in and ready to go when the fleets began forming up.

There were two fleets available immediately, Munnins under Elo Knight and Sacrileges with Asher Elias as the FC.  I always roll with Asher when I can, so I got into my fast clone, into a Guardian, into the fleet, and into the logi channel.

From there we moved out and headed south, using the Ansiblex network.

Sacs at an Ansiblex

When we ended up in XZ-SKZ in Period Basis I thought perhaps Legacy was making another push for the system.  But we did not linger there, turning instead to the CJF-1P gate and the Stain region.

We burned through Stain for a while, reaching a Fortizar with a titan sitting on it.  We did not having docking rights and could not tether, but the Avatar hanging there on tether next to us did not seem to mind our presence.  We were told to get in range.  The logi channel was confused for a moment, because you don’t cap chain on a structure… unless you can’t tether.  So the cap chain went up slowly as people figured out the situation.

We were then asked to temp blue a few groups, who happened to represent some of the Stain locals, like Pen is Out, Good Sax, and Ferrata Victrix, the latter standing out as a name that isn’t trying to be a sexual reference.

I had heard that we had been working with the Stain locals.  They are not our friends, but they really don’t like TEST for whatever reason and TEST has been returning that as they pass through Stain to attack us.  So we have been cooperating with them at times, and tonight we were with them.

The titan joined our fleet and bridged us off to our destination.

I just like to watch fleets bridge

There we landed on another Fortizar, this time in 4GQ-XQ, which did allow us to dock and tether, though people in the logi channel chained up because it was assumed we would not have rights.

The Fort also had a timer counting down.  This was our objective, defending the timer.

Timer counting down

I was kind of amused to see the name Against ALL Authorities.  We were fighting them down in Delve back in 2012.  I wasn’t aware they were still around, though I guess organizations rarely die in New Eden.

We hung around on the Fort for a while as the hostiles started showing up.  Much to our surprise, an Erebus appeared on their structure in system.  There was speculation as to whether they meant to jump or jumped instead of bridging.  But Asher, seeing a possible opportunity, warped us straight to the cyno and bubbles went up to hold the titan in place.

It was not to be.  The hostiles got their act together and started bridging in as we formed up.

Erebus in the mix

That turned into a brawl on their structure and things were pretty busy for a bit for logi as the two side started trading blows.  Things were happening fast yet slow… tidi was in full effect… so I was both in a hurry to lock people up who were broadcasting, yet often had a lot of time to look around while that was happening.

A Sac in the pack starts to explode

I was able to rep a few people, with my big save being Kappa Hutt, one of our boosters, who I caught with reps when he was well into structure.

All reps on Kappa

Things were complicated when we were hit by a cap bomb that drained everybody’s power.  Logi in the cap chain were able to keep going, but we were slowed down in getting out of the bubbles as most of the Sacrileges had their MWDs shut down.

Getting out of the bubbles

That meant apply cap to the Sacs that were falling behind.  There is a plan for that, but it took a while to get cap to them and everybody out of the bubble, at which point we disengaged and warped back to the Fortizar.

Our losses were not all that much, considering how deep we got into things.  We were able to tether up and repair while the Fort itself repaired.

The objective, saving the Fortizar timer, was accomplished.  But there were still almost 1,500 people in the system, and when some capitals dropped on grid with us, we ran out to see if we could grab something.

Caps on grid with us

That did not go our way as reinforcements arrived to support the caps.  Asher had us align out and warped us off, but there were bubbles up and not everybody got out, including both of my cap chain buddies, who were soon in pods.  I did, however, get reps on Kappa Hutt, who continued to attract fire as a booster.

We’re in warp and there is still a beam on him

From there it was back to the Fort.  The hostiles did not seem content to call it a night, so nobody was going home yet.  Tidi was still running high whenever we clashed and, me being me, I was in full graphics mode and was very happy to be running the 64-bit client given my memory usage.

The graph from the control-alt-shift-M readout

A Thanatos carrier landed not too far off the Fortizar.   We moved to meet it and it was quickly tackled and killed.  But a new brawl opened up at that point.  We were anchored up, but things started to go badly in the logi channel as hostiles warped in and started targeting us.  We shed almost all of our logi in fairly short order.  I was left in a capsule, ship destroyed, as the fight carried on.

In a pod as the fleet moves on

I dropped out of the chain channel, announced my demise in the logi channel, and then dropped fleet to keep from holding down warps to capsule speed.

There has been something of a prohibition on killing capsules at times in order to keep people from re-shipping and returning to battle quickly, which is the only reason I can explain the fact that I was left alone.  (We were far enough away that there was no way I was going to re-ship and return.)

With nothing else to do besides watch, I docked up and grabbed an Ibis.  I then undocked and started going after a few of the hostile ships that were close by.

Ibis on a rampage!

I was able to get in a few hits before somebody noticed and blapped me.  However, they once again left my pod alone.  So I motored back towards the Fort while my aggression timer counted down.  I was going to dock back up and do it again.

And then the person gunning the Fortizar turned on the point defense system and nuked my pod.  I suppose I should have tried to get out with my implants, but I was so far from home that it seemed unlikely.  Oh well.

At that point I was back in 1DQ1-A and could only listen on voice comms to what was going on.

The battle report shows we paid a price for winning that timer. (Alternate report if you like that other style.)

Battle Report Header

It wasn’t a complete wipe for us, but we clearly came out on the short side on the ISK war.  But the war goes on.

Addendum:

Some additional pictures from Lazlow Jones.

Legacy Sweeps into Eastern Querious

After nearly three weeks of trying to gain ground in Period Basis, which saw their early gains reversed while their POS tower dropping campaign did little to change he balance, TEST alliance and its Legacy Coalition allies decided to focus on a much softer target.

Perhaps they felt they needed a tangible win for morale reasons.  Or maybe they wanted to show PandaFam, which battered its way into Fountain earlier in the week in the face of stiff resistance, that they were carrying their weight in the war.  Either way, their target was Querious.

Not that Legacy had not been operating in Querious up to this point.  But, with rare exceptions, their efforts were largely harassment level efforts, doing entosis runs to ping warnings on GSF alerts and even setting some timers now and then, but with very little in the way of follow up.  But last night and this morning some something of an actual coordinated effort.

The targets were in eastern Querious, systems owned by the United Earth Directorate, a 114 character alliance which was set up, as I understand it, by P.L.A to claim the space that was abandoned when the Querious Fight Club was disbanded on the eve of the war.

That meant that the systems had low ADMs, which meant their vulnerability windows were large and the time needed to reinforce them was relatively short.  Plus, as an added bonus, notifications when sovereignty structures were being hacked only went out to UED, which meant they usually got little or no response.  So they managed to setup a set of events by reinforcing ihubs that would allow them to destroy a large batch of them in on big operation.

On the Imperium side it was seen as a foregone conclusion that we were going to lose these ihubs.  The way Fozzie Sov works, any alliance can attack during an enotisis contest, but only the alliance that owns the ihub can defend, and there seemed scant chance that we could find enough pilots in UED to make any difference.

Losing the ihubs being the accepted outcome, we instead chose to simply make the effort as difficult as possible.  Asher Elias formed up an interceptor fleet well after midnight his time on the east coast (the ping for the fleet hit just before 11pm my time… the vulnerabilities were set for Chinese/Austrailian hours) and set out to see just how annoying he could be.

Interceptors are fast align, warp, and move in general and are interdiction nullified, which means that they pass through warp disruption bubbles unaffected.  While their individual firepower is not great, a large enough group of them can focus fire and take down a hard subcap target.

Ares gang on the move

Though the fleet peaked in size at just over 100 while I was around, there were rarely ever that many of us on grid at any one time.  Of the kill mails I was on over the course of the night, the high water mark was an entosis Drake, a hard target, which got 92 pilots on the kill mail, including both my main and my alt.

(I was dual boxing for a while, as were some others, though that was too much for me after a while and I parked my alt nearby until I lost my main, then the alt caught up and carried on.)

But we also brought down a Prophecy hacker, which was capable of killing interceptors if we got within web range, which just 33 of us on the kill mail.

Prophecy under attack

It was a lot of run and gun, jumping into a system ahead of the fleets that were hunting us, getting around other groups that were defending the hackers, and trying to quickly blot out the entosis ships before warping off.

As Ratknight1 said on the fleet, it did help that we had the home field advantage.  There are a lot of citadels scattered about the area, including not a few faction Fortizars commemorating the stations that were once in those systems.

Tethered on up a faction Fortizar

This allowed us to tether up safely… a Legacy interceptor fleet landed on us just as we tethered at one point, so they couldn’t do much save warp off and try and catch us elsewhere… as well as repair the constant thermal damage from overheating guns and prop mods that came as part of our attempts to catch and kill entosis ships that are often equipped with MJDs or prop modes that let them hit the maximum 4K meters per second allowed with an entosis module fit.

Our efforts took what might have been an hour long operation for Legacy if unhindered, into at least a four hour effort while we were around.  And it might have gone longer.  Asher called it a night as the sun was rising for him, but another fleet was forming up to take out place.  It was on its way to 3am for me when I finally logged off.

I ended up lowing two interceptors… both on my main.  My alt seemed to have better luck.  SRP will cover that, plus I got the final blow on one of the entosis ships, which adds another 50 million ISK in bounties, or basically another interceptor fit for these sort of ops.

In the end though, Legacy won the objective.  They have now managed to blow up and replace 25 ihubs in Quetrious.

Querious systems where Legacy now has an ihub

Holding the ihub gives the owner effective control of the system, though I did learn this week that the TCU is not as useless as I thought.  It you hold the TCU you do get notifications if somebody drops a structure in the system, which is how we have been so quick to track down the POS towers that Legacy has been trying to drop in our space.

However, those systems are not completely lost to us.  As I noted, many of them have citadels of ours anchored in them, safe spots where we can land and repair.  Legacy still has some work to do if they plan to reduce all of those.

But they can point out to their allies in Fountain that they now hold 25 ihubs in Querious compared to the 20 that PandaFam hold in Fountain as of this writing.  Morale victory achieved.

We shall see if they can work their way up to taking and holding ihubs in systems we can actually contest.

And you can say I am being snarky about Legacy in this post, but on /r/eve TEST and Brave are hailing this as a great victory, proof that they have the Imperium beat, while trying to discredit any assertion that maybe this wasn’t the triumph they are suggesting it was, so they feel deserving of some prodding.  Easy wins should be taken, but let’s not pretend that they were more than that.

I am sure I will be hearing about this in local, in between the usual “we can guard this ihub all day” threats, as I continue my own annoyance hacking in Legacy space.

Opening Moves in the War

It was a busy day in null sec yesterday.  A lot happened.  There were a massive number of ships in motion.  Yet almost nothing of real consequence came to pass.

So it goes.

The day started full of promise.  There was a fireworks event planned at the Imperium’s main Keepstar in 1DQ1-A, with more than 1,700 people in system and fireworks going off all over, which was enough to drag you frame rate down into the low teens.

The Keepstar lit by fireworks

The firework effects are relatively small compared to the size of the structure, but the cumulative effect of them going of lit up the whole tableau.

I had to peek in on that via an alt, as a couple hours before that kicked off there was a ping from Asher Elias to Reavers that was too hard to pass up.

SUPER IMPORTANT. TORP BOMBERS UNDER TOM FLOOD, NEED AT LEAST 25 REAVERS FOR THIS. IF IT SUCEEDS YOU’RE HEROES FOREVER. USE REAVERS SIG COMMS

Special operations can be a treat.  I love a big fight and, frankly, I am happy enough just shooting structures when it comes down to it, but something out of the ordinary is always welcome.

So a pack of Reavers flew off… and almost messed up the mission when our first black ops battleship warped with us straight into a gate camp in 1DQ1-A and got popped along with a couple of bombers.  The fuel truck got through the gate with 8% left in structure and had to tether up on the other side to repair.

A replacement blops was found, a Marshall, which is an 8 billion ISK ship.  But it looks good and, as fit, it aligned and warped off faster than the bombers as we moved to our destination.

Our hot rod blops

We moved carefully, eventually setting up shop in a dead end system in Stain that would allow us to drop onto a range of systems where Legacy Coalition was expected to drop a new Keepstar.

This Keepstar was to be the new staging base for their invasion of Delve.  But we had eyes all over and watched likely freighters come and go, bridge this way and that, because they knew they were being watched and no doubt feared that we would crash the party when they decided to anchor the structure.  And our hope was no less than to drop on the freighter and blow it up as it prepared to disgorge the Keepstar.

We even knew the timing that they wanted to align with, as they wanted the Keepstar live and deployed to in time for their own 19:00 UTC state of the alliance meeting to announce the start of the war.  Since it takes 24 hours to online a Keepstar in your own territory, the window of opportunity was pretty clear.

But being watched made them dither.  Meanwhile, as time went on, more and more Imperium luminaries slipped out of 1DQ to join our fleet.  Most of the major alliance FCs and one of our CSM reps were cloaked up on the blops with us before the decision point came.  Some poor Russian kept asking us in local to leave and go back to Delve so he could carry on farming LP for Nirvana implants, but we never answer back in local.

As we sat there, the Meta Show kicked off, where The Mittani, who had been on coms with us a few times, taunted Vily, the CSM member and leader of Legacy Coalition, that we knew what he was up to, that we were in his head.  If we couldn’t kill the Keepstar, we would at least mess with them.

The likely candidate systems were being watched, but we only had so many eyes, and in the end, after hours of hustling around and PM’ing our lurkers to see if anybody would answer, they dropped the Keepstar quickly in FAT-6P, a few systems over from our foothold in Catch at 4-07MU.

The Foothold in Catch

We got a covert ops cyno in position, but there was enough going on in the target system that tidi was up and it took a bit for the bridge to go up.

The Marshall is ready to send us

But the cyno ship got popped before more than a few of us could get through.  I ended up stuck with the blops.  But that was okay, as there were not many of us and the Keepstar was already anchoring.  In their haste to get things going, rather than giving it a meme name, as TEST tends to do, they named it “1111,” which we took as a sign than we has indeed made them nervous.  It also wasn’t very carefully positioned.  When you lay down a structure you try to face the undock in a useful direction.

Not one of their usual clever names

Asher, who had been through to see the Keepstar only to have his Purifier popped, took a moment to ping out this to the coalition.

Congrats to Test for starting the anchoring if their non-aligned keepstar panic-named “1111”. They meant to start anchoring it 3 hours ago so it came out with their 19:00 SOTA but a few brave bomber boys kept them flummoxed and confused for 3 hours while they cyno’d around Stain and Catch trying to lose us. A great start to the war for them! Looking forward to their pilots waiting for 3 hours after their SOTA before they can do anything!

With that ping “1111” became the new battle cry as people at the fireworks party in 1DQ began to repeat that in local.

GIF of 1DQ local

Expect “1111” to come up a lot.  At least you’ll know where it came from now.

This Keepstar was placed in the buffer zone between Legacy and the Imperium, which was yet another violation of the Non-invasion pact between the two powers, but with only a few hours to go before it ended, it was hardly going to change anything.

We made out way back home, disappointed that we hadn’t gotten to kill the Keepstar, but happy enough to have had an impact.  I actually had to leave part way through the vigil on the blops to go fire up the BBQ and cook some lunch for my family.  I had enough time to do that, eat, and get back on the blops again before anything happened.  Sometimes we just sit and wait.

It was about time for the State of the Goonion.  The Mittani read a prepared speech, the text of which has been posted on INN, in which he announced that our own war aim was to destroy TEST Alliance Please Ignore, that they were to be the Carthage to our Rome.  An list of 102 alliance might arrayed against us, but we would have one real target.

And once that was over, the form up for war began.  TEST seemed to have some plan to start the war well into July 5th, but so far as we were concerned, if the NIP between the Imperium and Legacy was to end on a date, we were going to get started at 00:01 EVE Online time, so declined to wait around for them to have their SOTA or for their Keepstar to anchor.

This led to a series of clashes across the map.  Up north PandaFam came out of their staging in Hophip and into Fountain where they fought several engagements with The Initiative, which was watching that way into our space.

Meanwhile, down south, TEST seemed to be ready to form up for battle on the Period Basis/Paragon Soul border, where the systems TCAG-3 and G-M4GK form the connection between our territories.  This led to… not much at all.  I flew on down with the spec ops group in an ECM frigate, ready to cause trouble.

ECM birds flying

However, while a fight threatened to develop, with TEST forming up fleets, they would inevitably stand them down or leave them idle.  They did poke into Querious and manage to reinforce the Ansiblex in 49-U6U, and there was a brief clash as they came through into TCAG-3, but no huge brawl developed.  They seemed to still be on their own timetable, set to have a meeting at 19:00, move into the new Keepstar once it anchored, and then get on with the war.

So the opportunity was taken to go in and reinforce a bunch of their infrastructure hubs in Paragon Soul and a few more in Esotaria.

Systems with an orange boarder have been reinforced

We seem to have stolen a march on the invaders, though these are more morale points than anything tangible.  The first day of counting coup was fun, but made no real change to the situation.  We are still greatly outnumbered by foes who plan to assail us from multiple directions.  They will get their act together and come for us, sooner rather than later.

Fortizar Kill in Notoras

To cut to the chase, we blew up a Fortizar in Notoras, which is Black Rise, which is low sec space.  It belonged to Snuffed Out.

Another structure goes boom

There were actually a lot of us on that kill mail.  Looking down the list of the 413 characters listed, I can see at least three different fleets represented.  The Initiative brought a Zealot fleet, while a Sacrilege and Jackdaw fleet formed up in Cloud Ring and flew out to join in.

Zealot getting reps after flying into the PDS

There were also some capitals formed up and jumped to a mid point, though they were not called in.

We were clearly expecting a fight.

I didn’t see any pre-pings for the op, but happened to be online and done with work in the afternoon just in time to join up.  Asher was leading the Sac fleet and I almost didn’t get into it, as it filled up so fast.  A few people must have jumped to the Jackdaw fleet or swapped to a capital, because I managed to slip in after getting the fleet full message for a while.

I was going out in my lucky Guardian, being lucky that it lived through the last op.  I actually volunteers to be a capacitor transfer Guardian this time around.  You pull off the remote repair modules in your high slots, swapping them out for some more capacitor transfer module so you can cap up other ships in the fleet if they need it.  I had read up on the doctrine and saw this was something we might need once in a while, so had brought the modules with me.  I would be in the cap chain, but could turn off broadcasts for repair as I couldn’t repair anything.  I was just there to fill up the tank of other ships.

Things formed up and got settled pretty quickly and we were soon undocking.

Everybody out of the Keepstar

The capitals jumped from the undock, while the subcap fleets went off to meet up with a pair of titans to get bridged on their way to the target.

Simultaneous bridges up

That got us into low sec, where we gated out way to the destination, fighting the usual time dilation issue that comes up when you start pushing a few hundred ships through otherwise quiet parts of space.

The gate animations are pretty cool in slow motion

We got into the Notoras and sat on a friendly structure for a bit before being warped on grid with the Fortizar.  The final repair timer was already counting down and a gunner was present in the structure.

On grid with the target

On grid with a lot of ships, we didn’t see any opposition other than the structure itself.  But Asher told us the hostiles were formed up.  Capitals had jumped into position to oppose us, having passed through a mid point while somebody was watching, while they were reported to have a full Muninn fleet and additional formations ready to drop in on us.  A fight sounded imminent.

And then a Pilgrim force recon showed up at range from us and lit a cyno.  Asher warped us to it and we blew it up quickly enough.  A quick kill to get the event started.

Asher warped us back into range of the Fortizar and we went back to shooting it.  Well, those with weapons did, the logi just orbited around their anchor and listened to what was happening in coms.

Guardians out and orbiting

Arrendis, the logi anchor, moved us around to keep us in range of the fleet but to avoid some of the bombs coming from the Fort.  In taking stock of the logi, he apparently noticed Crake MaddAdam for the first time, who was along in an Exequror.  Arrendis told him he was likely to die when the fight came, but I had to admit he had picked the right SKIN to join up with us.

Still the best logi SKIN ever

Meanwhile, we started getting word about the impending fight.  Its likelihood seemed to be diminishing rapidly.  Asher reported that the hostile capitals were spotted heading back from whence they came, that some subcaps that had flown in from the dronelands were homeward bound, and that the Muninns might be standing down.

The question then was whether or not we had killed their only cyno ship, because everything seemed to be building for a fight right up until that exploded.  It seems unlikely, but sometimes people forget to have backup plan.

So it looked like we were just going to blow up a Fortizar with a bunch of people.  As the structure got down under 10% I slipped away from the logi and into range so I could launch a drone to get in a couple of hits so I too would appear on the kill mail.  The gunner had abandoned his post as the end came near so the PDS was off.  My drone made it there and back.

Things went boom.  Nkosis wanted to loot and there was some discussion around that.  And then we turned around and gated back home.

Returning to base

That took a bit, once again due to time dilation caused by pushing that many ships through low sec, but it wasn’t all that far to go, even without a titan bridge short cut.

We made it back, free burning most of the way, and I docked up, pulled the extra cap transfer modules off the Guardian, putting the remote armor rep modules back on lest I forget, and that was that.  There were a few points during the fleet where bombs were hitting us and I thought about repping, only to realize I could only cap people up, so I had very little to do save look out the window and listen to coms.  But at least my Guardian made in back home again.

Addendum:  And the next day we blew up another one in Rakapas, again with little opposition.

Fortizar Defense Brawl in JE-D5U

Another trip up north, up the Eye of Terror and into Pure Blind.  I’ve been up north a few times to defend one structure or another and a fight has yet to show up for me.  Not that there haven’t been some fights lately, it just hasn’t seemed to happen when I’ve been on the op.

But last night things finally rolled my way.  There was yet another Fortizar to defend up in the north and the word was that PanFam and the locals were going to form for it.  Maybe the other side was emboldened by killing our Keepstar. (Unanchored, and in a freighter, but they still killed it in the end.)

Anyway, the call went out for the op, but Asher had pinged Reavers a bit before looking for some people to fly ECM burst interceptors.  I’ve done that before and not many people were X’ing up, so I figured I had best jump in to help there.  Also, the ships are handed out for free and during the battle you get to sit above it all and see the whole thing… not that the view helps me much, I still never get what is going on half the time even when I can see it.  I took an Ares from the offer and got ready.

Asher was set to lead the Sacrilege fleet, so he had a newer FC, Kappa Hutt lead us on to the field.  So the Sac fleet and a Baltec fleet set off for the north with our interceptors flying along, peeking ahead to scout, then letting the others catch up.

My Ares in with the battleships

As we made our way along the route we caught up with some bigger ships that had started out ahead and were also making their way to the fight.

Some dreads in the mix now

We zipped ahead though… there was a gate that had been seriously bubbled, but that doesn’t bother interdiction nullified interceptors… and arrived in JE-D5U up in Pure Blind ahead of most of our fleet, but there were already over 300 hostiles in the system according to local.  There was going to be a fight it seemed, and the timer was counting down.

Less than six minutes to go

As the other fleets arrived we set about bookmarking our perches over the potential battlefield.  The plan is generally that we sit cloaked on a perch while the FC scans down a potential target, often the FC of a hostile fleet who is usually out in front of the pack.  Then we get the word to uncloak, overheat our burst jammer, and align, at which point the FC warps everybody beside himself onto the target.  We land, started warping back to a bookmark, then set off our ECM burst.  If the warp was good we’ll be in the middle of some hostiles and break some of their target locks… this is especially good if we land in the logi… and be warping back before anybody has a chance to take a shot at us.  Done right you don’t even get any heat damage on your mid slots because the burst goes off as you’re going into warp, which shuts down the module.

So we got ourselves in place as the timer counted down and the fleets got into position.  A fight seemed guaranteed as there were quickly over a thousand people in the system, with TEST dropping in to third party on the event, and even some notable PanFam FCs on grid like Vince Draken and Headliner leading Muninn fleets.

Hostile Muninn fleets getting ready

The timer hit and the repair cycle started, which meant we had to defend the Fortizar for 30 minutes while it repaired, though that 30 minute timer could be paused or pushed back by hostile fire on the Fort.  It was on.

Fight around the fort begins

Kappa Hutt was having a bit of a problem getting a probe signature on a good target.  Time dilation and system responsiveness was really bad, with the tidi number well below 30% for most of the fight, and into the 10% for some stretches.  Still, he got something and we got ourselves ready to go.

Uncloaked on a perch above the fight

We were then thrown into the fray to set off our jammers.  I landed pretty well the first time and got off some jams.

In with the hostile logi even

Meanwhile, the forces on the fort broke tether and were shooting up the attackers as they ran past the structure.

A Baltec Megathron on the fort

We warped off and back to our perches where we waited for the next target.  The scanning interface was acting up for Kappa still and for a few runs SpyFly Catharsis found wrecks for us to warp to, which worked as well if we timed it right.

Once again into the mix

We were getting good warps and I don’t think I went in even once where I didn’t get at least break a few target locks on hostiles when I landed.

Along the way I got a pop up that a bounty had been collected on Nkosis when his Sacrilege went down.  I think I have mentioned him before, but he is a newer addition to the coalition who is so enthusiastic and positive about the game that he has become something of a celebrity in his own right in the Imperium.  But being a celeb means he gets razzed as well and at some point he got a bounty place on him, which he didn’t like and said so, at which point everybody started adding to his bounty total with an eye towards getting him to the number one spot.  He was into the top ten last I checked.  I, too, put a bounty on him, so now I get a notification every time he gets blown up when I am in game. (I used to put bounties on our FCs as that pop up was often the quickest way to find out the FC was down.)

We had a bit where we had gone so many times in a row that we didn’t have enough capacitor to make a run, the ECM module needing over 200 units of power to activate on top of the bit you need to get your warp in and out.  This was when the system was into the 10% tidi zone, which is the slowest the game will go and, if that isn’t enough, controls begin to lag and your commands may get ignored.  Waiting for cap to refill during that was excruciating.  Somebody suggested we wait for our weapons timer to go down and just warp to the fort to tether and fill up our capacitors, but at 10% tidi having just 15 seconds left on the time meant nearly a three minute wait.

Still, tidi hits everybody.  The targets were as slow as we were and were not going to get away.  Cap was restored and we were sent in again for more runs.

Aligned for another run

By the the tidi was starting to relax a little bit, or at least get up into the low 20s, and Kappa was able to get good probe locks on some likely targets, so we spent some time dropping on names I recognized.

Coming for Vince

Down around the fort, the repair timer vacillated between running down and being paused, but kept moving slowly towards the structure being repaired.  By the time we got past the worst tidi it stood at around ten minutes.  We kept on going.

Landing on the hostiles again

At about the eight minute mark on the timer it seemed like the battle had been decided.  The hostiles pulled some distance and “gf” for “good fight” started getting spammed in local by them.  Some “fofofo” appeared in local as well, which I am going to guess was from Asher’s sac fleet as he is the only FC I know who still does the “fofofo” for victory.

From that point tidi began to ease up and we were released to go loot the field if we wanted.  Being in interceptors would seem to give us an advantage, but Goons will plunder like no others.  I didn’t come up with anything.

Somebody dropped an MTU, which is always a target on a battlefield no matter which side drops it.  I zipped over and got in on that kill.

Not that I needed another kill mail.  Landing on fleets and setting off an ECM burst puts you on the kill mail of anybody you jammed should they get blown up after you’re there.  My kill board was well padded by the end of the battle, with 111 new entries, enough to get me momentarily onto the top ten for KarmaFleet.  (The last time I did that I was also doing ECM bursts.  It is a kill mail whore’s dream.)  Most of them were hostile ships, but there were not a few blue targets on the list and quite a few pods.  A few of us even got the final blow for pods that were self destructing when we hit them.

The timer ran down and the fort was safe.

Tethered off the save Fortizar

At that point we were done.  Kappa set us free to head home, which should have been a quick ride in some interceptors.

Back through gates towards Delve

There were some bubbled gates along the way, but an Ares just passed through bubbles.  I was feeling somewhat invulnerable flying home, which I should recognize by now as a sign of impending doom.

My usual travel Ares has a 1.83s align time, and the game lore is that if your align in under 2 seconds you cannot be caught unless you are extremely unlucky.  But this Ares, fit for ECM burst runs, had a 2.03s align time, which means 3 seconds by the way EVE Online calculates, which means it can be caught.  It isn’t likely, but somebody who is good in the right ship can get you.

And they got me in Cloud Ring with a camp that was primed and ready to catch anything possible.  Normally I am inclined to attribute losses to my own incompetence rather than claim my foe was really good, but I think this crew was actually pretty good at this.  I was toast and knew it almost instantly.  Kind of a sour point to end the evening and I always feel bad when I lose a hand out ship, but it happens.

As for the fight, it seemed to be lauded by both sides as a good fight.  Asher posted a salute to the attackers on Reddit and other related posts seemed to be similarly warm and fuzzy about a real fight going down, which was a bit of a change from the acrimony over the Keepstar thing I mentioned earlier.

The results… well, pick your battle report generator and get your results.  EVE Battle Report Repair Tool seems shy of the mark for totals while the zKillboard report is detailed but has a habit of pulling in things outside of the fight.  For a report header image I am going to go with EVE Fleet Manager, which is close to the zKillboard totals, but which lets me pull out a few oddities.  I don’t think the Guristas, for example, really took sides in that fight.

Battle report header – trimmed to the top 7 alliances –  click on it to enlarge

Overall quite a fight.  A big brawl, fairly evenly matched, lots of losses on both sides that went largely our way as we had the Fortizar to tip the balance.  And there was quite the array of space famous names from both sides.  I even saw Bad Juice, who once challenged Asher to an MMA style cage match back during a Reavers deployment.  I was happy to report in the Reavers channel that he was still around and that I managed to get on his kill mail.

That battle would probably be the beat event of the month for me, but the word is that the Goon Expeditionary Force will be deploying later today, so the promise of more fights is out there.  Or at least more structure shoots.  Mittens was using the term “glassed” again, so we might just be burning down structures somewhere.