Tag Archives: Deklein

Last Moves Before the Big Move

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

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

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

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

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

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

Mymridon headed for recycling

Mymidon headed for recycling

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

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

Heading from YA0 to Saranen

Heading from YA0 to Saranen

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

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

Heading for the gate

Heading for the gate

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

Another tower in Pure Blind

Another tower in Pure Blind

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

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

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

And then another wait for jump clone timers.

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

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

Harpy on the move

Harpy on the move

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

Go little Harpy, go!

Go little Harpy, go!

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

The Imperium - July 21, 2016

The Imperium – July 21, 2016

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

Another Goon brand

Another Goon brand

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

Now living in Fade

Now living in Fade

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

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

Shooting another tower

Always something to shoot

Wait.  Shoot a tower.  Wait some more.

Titans and Jams on Saturday

Saturday after the Meta Show, which featured Stunt Flores talking about his pay for performance SRP plan, a ping went out for Hurricanes under Jay Amazingness to clear the undock.  My theory is that EN24 is going to keep running stories about Saranen being “hellcamped” until it is actually true, because if 100 Hurricanes can brush off the camp, then it is not yet set to “hell” in my opinion.

We cleared things away but, it being a Saturday afternoon in prime time for EVE, the MBC wasn’t going to let that stand.  The first round of fighting was between us and a fleet of Circle of Two Omen Navy Issues.  This went better for CO2 than last time… no GigX kill mail for us… but we did strip off a chunk of their logi after which they stuck near the Abaddon fleet that showed up to counter our Hurricanes.

Abaddons show up to counter us

Abaddons show up to counter by the station

The arrival of the Abaddons and their Fax Machine support led to some jockeying for optimal position as we exchanged blows with the Abaddons, trading kills.  However, the Abaddons just kept coming, even as we were warping about the station grid the Pandemic Legion Fortizar kept spewing out more and more Abaddons to join the fight.

Abaddons leaving the citadel

Abaddons leaving the citadel

Pandemic Horde, absent from Saranen of late, also showed up in interceptors.  However, by that point DBRB had already undocked a Harpy fleet into the fray and, but the looks of the battle report, most of the interceptors were sent home the fast way.

PL and NCDot also logged in several titans and put them out on the station grid, either as bait or just to show that they could.  However, if they were supposed to be bait, we were not biting.  Jay warped us into range of the titans and had us take a quick shot at them, just because, and then had us align out and warped us off just as a pile of Abaddons were arriving on grid.  Those who didn’t align properly had a good chance of dying.  (There is a video of the goings on in the system, and you can see that particular moment at about the 5 minute mark.)

By that point the weight in numbers was heavily enough against us that we tethered up at one of our citadels and spent some time playing, “we’re watching you watching us watching you.”  We were not going to feed them any more kills, but so long as we stayed there on grid and tethered up, we were a fleet in being.  I had DBRB’s stream on in the background and I could still hear him leading his fleet around, landing to take a quick shot or two then warping off.

Eventually Jay docked us up so that those who wanted to go do something else could get out of fleet.  Another fleet formed up and took over the vigil, however the fun looked to be over for the moment, so I logged.  Overall we lost the ISK war, with us losing 54% of the 40 billion ISK destroyed over a few hours of shooting, according to the battle report.  We probably pressed home a couple more attacks than we should have, but it was a pretty even exchange overall.

Later that evening I was back at my computer and there was a call for a Harpy fleet under Thomas Lear.  I decided to go along in my new Griffin, a ship type which Asher had been handing out the other day in order to introduce some electronic warfare abilities to our Harpy doctrine.

I even invested in a SKIN for it

I even invested in a SKIN for it

I had fit multi-spectral ECM to jam fighters, but Thomas called for three of the racial ECM jammers, Caldari, Minmatar, and Gallente, to be fit.  ECM isn’t completely new to me… after nearly 10 years of playing EVE Online I have run into ECM a few times… but it was still a role I had never flown before in a fleet.   Each of the four main factions has their own electronic warfare type.  I know, after many years, that the Caldari use gravimetric, which is blue, but I had to look at the module info to figure out that Gallente was magnetometric… which is the green ECM module…  and I associate green with their ships, so a decent visual clue… and that Minmatar was ladar and was red, which is close enough to rust to remind me which was which.

I had gotten that about straight when we undocked (again, the camp in Saranen not set anywhere close to “hell”) and started heading towards Deklein, where we have been operating recently, including the carrier kill I was on late last week.

Along the way I noticed that I was the only Griffin in the fleet, which I figured could be good or bad.  On the good side, I wasn’t going to have to worry about jamming the same person somebody else chose.  On the down side, being the sole ECM frigate seemed likely to make me a priority target.

We moved up through Pure Blind and Fade and into Deklein without incident, aside from a hostile shadowing us along the way.  The enemy would know where we were and what we were bringing, but we carried on.

We ended up settling into the northeast part of Deklein, in the N-U2LX constellation which adjoins to Venal, where we moved around, setting up for a fight.  Eventually trouble found us in the form of a Guardians of the Galaxy coalition fleet and we moved in for the fight.

At this point I had to do something with this ECM stuff I had been flying around with.  I launched my combat drone and then started playing “match the colors,” remembering to not bother jamming the primary.

I saw a few Amarr ships, but I didn’t have the Amarr racial jammer fit, so I put the multispectral jammer on one of those.  There were Jackdaws on field, so I put the blue gravimetric on one of them.  Then I saw that their logi was made up of Kirin tech II logi frigates, so I swapped it over to one of those instead.  I put the green magnetometric jammer on an Ares that was close by.  That left me with the red ladar jammer, which I put on a Bifrost that happened to be the first Minmatar ship on my overview.

All jammers were now running on whoever I happened to pick… the FC didn’t call for anybody specific to jam, so my choices were pretty haphazard… so I focused a bit on my combat drone, sending it after targets to try and whore on a few kill mails.

The fight seemed to go all our way and the enemy left the many wrecks behind when they warped away.

As we were recovering from that encounter I got a convo request from Hendrink Collie.  He happened to be a reader of the blog (so “Hey!” if you are reading this) and wanted to say hello.  He also turned out to be the FC of the fleet we had just fought and was flying the Bifrost I chose to jam, which messed up his target calling and likely helped our side in some material way.  Amazing but true!  Also, I put my drone on him at some point as well, so that shows up on his kill mail rather than my jams.

Then, as we chatted a bit, some Pandemic Legion Astartes landed on us and it was time to pay attention.  However, I did not have to pay attention for long.  Unlike the GotG fleet, the PL gang saw me as a priority target and I was blown up in fairly short order.  We were in a bubble at that point and, as the rest of the fleet burned out to warp away, I was caught and podded and was back in Saranen.  At least I remembered to insure my free ship, so betting against myself paid off.

Thomas Lear also got the chop on that encounter, though did not get podded so was able to get the fleet off mostly still intact.  Another bit of fighting that was pretty much a was on the battle report.

After that I hung around on channel until we got a participation link… gotta show the flag for TNT in the coalition… and then called it a night.

During that op in the Griffin I was too busy to take any screen shots it seems, but I did get a few more from the push and shove in Saranen.

A Carrier Dies in Deklein

The evening started out on a now familiar note, a Jabber ping about the MBC blockade of the Quafe Company Warehouse and the need to run them off.  A Hurricane fleet on Thomas Lear did the trick for a bit.

The enemy came back and put a bunch of carriers on the undock and launched fighters, so we docked back up and switched doctrines to try a different tactic against fighters in our search for a way to kill them more quickly, especially when they are coming at us in a mass.

Carriers and Fax machines on the undock

Carriers and Fax machines on the undock

That did not go as well as planned.  We killed fighters, but lost enough ships along the way that I am sure we came out on the short end.  I was actually flying logi, so was mostly busy just trying to rep Thomas as they kept head shotting him.  A mass of fighters focused on one ship will do that.  I did launch my single combat drone and it obliged me by getting on a few kill mails.

We ran around with that for a bit then docked up.  A participation link was generated and we stood down from the op.

Probably the most amusing aspect of that was having The Mittani on coms and in game with us.  He was manning the guns on a citadel, which I understand is the new fun time activity for GSF directors.  Plus, as I understand it, when a citadel gunner targets you, it tells you who has their finger on the trigger, so people know they are being blapped by Mittens himself.  Another way to send his regards I suppose.

A while later, as I was sitting at my desk, another ping came up.  This one was for a bomber op on Asher Elias.  I hadn’t been out in a bomber in ages and I make it a point to go on any Asher fleet I can, so I logged back in and strapped into a Purifier I had in my hangar.

We rolled out of the station and traveled off to meet a black ops battleship in another system that jumped us up to Fade.

Bomber bridging off a Sin black ops battleship

Bomber bridging off a Sin black ops battleship

Once up there we met up with another black ops battleship that was positioned to drop us on a ratting carrier.  However, there were problems getting the cyno up.  At the far end the target, wisely, had set up a cyno inhibitor, so our advanced pilot on the scene was unable to bridge us in.  There was some discussion as to whether covert cyno generators were blocked by portable cyno inhibitors or not, since they are not affected by system-wide cyno jamming arrays.  In a quick search I couldn’t find anything definitive on that, but our experience indicates that portable cyno inhibs do block covert cynos.  Live and learn.

Our primary mission having been aborted, we headed off to a secondary objective.  We were to baby sit a tower that was being put online by GSOL.  The tower just happened to be in Deklein.

There is a strange feeling flying though Deklein now, all those system I grew to know so well and flew through freely in a time now gone.  I can’t quite find the words to explain it.  I want to say something about dwarves returning to Moria, but that overstates the feeling.  Still, there was an “all this used to be ours” sense along with a feeling of emptiness.  Not emptiness within ourselves, but in space itself.  Systems that used to always have activity were now quiet and empty as we passed through on our way to the tower.

Our path through Deklein

Our path through Deklein

And the feeling of familiarity grew more intense within me as we entered what used to be TNT territory back when I joined the alliance in 2011.  We gave it up just about a year ago during the realignment and consolidation period, so as to make our space more defensible.  Pity that didn’t work out.

We did pick up a couple of followers from Solyaris Chtonium, the owners of that section of Deklein, and members of the Guardians of the Galaxy coalition, in stealth bombers as well.  We managed to pop a couple of them on the gate when we hit our destination system.

From there we headed to the POS tower that was going up, spread out, and cloaked up as the online timer counted down the remaining fifteen minutes.  We just had to keep it safe.

And then a Chimera landed on grid with us at the tower and launched fighters.  He must have known we were there as he cycled his smart bombs a few times in hopes of getting a lucky hit on one of us.  However we were all well off from him.  He set his fighters on the tower and then warped off.

Templars attacking the stick

A flight of Templars attacking the stick

It was neat to be able to sit and watch the groups of fighters zoom about the tower in their formations, though there was a question as to whether or not fighters are supposed to carry on shooting targets when the carrier that launched them warps off grid.  I know so little about the new fighters and how they operate, beyond that they generate a kill mail if you kill a full squadron of them.

That question became moot when the carrier pilot warped back to the tower.  At that point, as we watched him sitting there, it became a question of what we should do about him.  We had enough points to hold him down, but could we kill him before help arrived or his fighters shredded us.  We decided to give it a try.

Chimera pointed and painted

Chimera pointed and painted

He only managed to knock off two bombers before we were able to bring him down.  It was a close run thing though, as help arrived on grid just as we were getting him into structure.

Your shields flaring orange is never a good sign...

Your shields flaring orange is never a good sign…

We overheated our launchers to hurry things along and he obliged us by exploding.

Then it was time to do what stealth bombers do, run away and cloak up.

In the mean time the tower went online and a Pandemic Horde frigate fleet showed up to help Solyaris Chtonium.  We bounced around a bit and watched them shoot at the now online and fueled tower, though if they were planning to reinforce it they were going to be there for a long time.  They did try to chase us for a bit, which allowed us to get back on grid, kill the fighters hanging in space and destroy the wreck before warping off again.

On one of our bounces Asher found that we were lined up just right for a bombing run, which managed to take out several of the Solyaris Chtonium stealth bombers that were on grid with PH.  My own launcher was offline, so I didn’t get in on that bit of fun.

At this point RiotRick, the leader of Solyaris Chtonium, was being salty in local… that is everybody’s new favorite term, right… so Asher put us back on grid with the hostiles and had us uncloak, pop him, and warp off.  I am sure that did not improve his mood.

After that it was time to slip away.  We headed to a GSF citadel a few jumps off where a Panther black ops battleship sent us back to low sec a few jumps from home in Saranen.

Not an epic, war changing operation, but a fun little fleet where we got a few choice kills and completed our objective.  In addition the battle report shows we came out pretty well on the ISK exchange, though it only shows about half of the PH pilots.  You don’t get on the report if you don’t get on a kill mail.

So that was our time in Deklein last night.  I am looking forward to returning again soon.  In the mean time, here is a gallery of screen shots from the evening.

Industrial Revolution

Yesterday afternoon The Mittani held another of his fireside chats which, along with The Meta show on Saturday’s, is part of his weekly one-two propaganda punch.  Both are streamed live on Twitch and our foes log in to watch and rage in chat.  It seems to make them angry.

Among the announcements during the chat (which you can replay here) were some new doctrine fits for entosis work.  They were the Cysknife, the FiestaCat, the Clownshoe, and the Max Tank Maller… the latter seeming to indicate that somebody ran out of cute names.

Of those, the Clownshoe was going to go directly into service after the chat, with a limited number of free ships being handed out by Jay Amazingness for this first official fleet.

Free ships!  Who could say no to that?  And so I was literally the first person in after Jay had formed the fleet.  Not that I was going to get a very valuable ship for me effort.

The Clownshoe, named after a term used by Sapporo Jones, the leader of TEST, in an angry rant about Imperium doctrines (available somewhere on YouTube), is a tanked Nereus, the T1 Gallente hauler that used to be at the wee end of the Iteron line of ships; the former shortest sausage in the pack, if you will.

The tank itself isn’t exceptional, though the fact that the shield regenerates 800 hit points a second helps a lot.  That means anybody hitting one needs to be doing at least 800 DPS, plus the resists, to start breaking the tank.  And then the Nereus also has a drone bay, so can carry some ECM drones to launch and break lock on any attacker, giving it some survivability in the wild.  So it might get away, or at least survive until help can show up.  The fit also has a cloak, so the idea is to be able to hack, fight off any small stuff that might come get you, then run off and cloak up if you need.

So we got into fleet and Jay started handing them out to the first 50 people who joined the fleet.  I got mine and bought a skin for it with some Aurum I had sitting around, just because this seemed to be a comically special event.  Since it was a freebie fleet, there were people who joined up before checking if they had the skills, including one pilot who had to train Gallente industrial.

Then, once everybody had something to fly, we had to sit around and wait for the standing fleet to clear off the undock as CO2 has showed up with some Svipuls.  When we finally got the okay to undock, they were still on grid with us, though far out of range.  I do wonder what they must have thought seeing a pack of T1 industrials coming out of the station.

Confirmed! Goons evacuating Saranen!

Confirmed! Goons evacuating Saranen!

Jay warped us off to the Tartoken gate and the CO2 Svipuls followed us there, though didn’t come through with us.  It was announced on coms, “The first transport is away!”

Jay, however, was being a bad and told us all to jump while forgetting to do so himself, so got himself blown up, not once, but twice getting to us.  After lingering in Tatroken for a bit, he finally caught up to us and led us off to a waiting titan that was ready to bridge us into Fade.

Nerueus' in warp

Nerueus’ in warp

We got there and were bridged in.  Another benefit of going out in industrial ships is the 90% reduction in jump fatigue accrued.

Bridge up, industrials away!

Bridge up, industrials away!

Once into Fade we headed to the VNX-P0 constellation where a capture event was going on for the TCU in MPPA-A.

Along the way we came through a gate and found ourselves face with a 9 ship NCDot gang.  I expected that we were going to get mauled by the mix of Svipuls and Kirins.

A wild NCDot gang appears!

A wild NCDot gang appears!

They locked several of us up and pointed us.  I was on the list of those pointed.

I'm doomed!

I’m doomed!

So we launched our EC-3000 ECM drones, anchored up on Jay, and waited to see how things went.  The droned proceeded to break locks.  The Svipuls hit one Nereus for a bit and got it down to about 50% shield.  I took a few hits myself from one of the Svipuls, but my shield regen kept things happy for me. After about a minute of that, they gave up and warped off, deciding we were not worth the effort.  Industrial success!

From there we continued on to MPPA-A where we split up and succeeded in the capture event.

Hacking my node

Hacking my node

Somebody from my alliance ended up planting the new TCU, so TNT now holds one system for the moment.

Flag found in Fade

Flag found in Fade

We then carried on and reinforced whatever else we could find in the area.  As this was going on, Asher and Boat were taking on Pandemic Horde in O1Y-ED where, despite PH numbers, they managed to hack the station cloning services, which meant that anybody who got podded was sent back to their designated home system or their default system if O1Y-ED had been so set.

That kept PH busy so we kept on hacking whatever we could find.

A couple of us on an ihub

A couple of us on an ihub

After a while of that, PH finally convinced Pandemic Legion that they had to come out and save them, so a PL fleet showed up and we all cloaked up in safe spots and let them fly around trying to find a target.

Cloaked Nereus

Cloaked Nereus

After they wandered off, Jay took us up into Deklein.  Up until that point the Clownshoes has carried on without loss.  In Deklein we would be on our own without Boat and Asher keeping the locals busy.

Wandering into the space of The Blood Covenant, we began spreading out some to reinforce sovereignty objects and station services.

Entosis all the services

Entosis all the services

While that started off well enough, we did eventually provoke a reaction from the locals who can swarming out to chase us off.  Clownshoes began to get blown up.  Those of us who could cloaked up again in safe spots while a Sword fleet showed up to help us, only to get mauled in the process.

Safe and cloaked, the rest of us hung about waiting for things to cool down.  At that point it was getting towards dinner time at our house and, since we didn’t seem to be going anywhere soon, I told the fleet I needed to go AFK in order to fire up the BBQ and cook something for dinner.  Salmon patties for my daughter and some bockwurst for her friend, my wife, and myself.

That ended up taking longer than I thought, so by the time I got back the remains fleet had made its way back to Saranen and docked up.  Left out along in Deklein, I decided to try a bit of “solo yolo” hacking and picked a non-station system to try and hit.  With ADMs low, I only needed 10 minutes alone after the warm-up cycled to reinforce a TCU.

However, the locals were still stirred up and before my fist post-warm-up cycle had finished a small gang landed on me.  Unfortunately, they brought more DPS than my Clownshoe Nereus could tank, so it went pop.  Then I got podded and was back in Saranen.  Still, a free ship, a quick trip home, and a new adventure, I don’t have anything to complain about.

So that is our new thing for now, Clownshoes.  It might be a good time to ramp up a bit of Nereus production, because losses of this T1 industrial are probably going to go up dramatically for now.

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.

No Last Stand in VFK as War Comes to Deklein

I opined a couple weeks back that I had nailed my colors to the mast for this war and would go down with the metaphorical ship, ready for that last ditch fight at VFK-IV, the one-time center station of the CFC and still a location with historical weight to it.

Of course, that grand vision ended up being made moot as we abandoned all our null sec staging systems and fell back to the hills of low sec to conduct a guerilla war out of the Quafe Company Company Warehouse in Saranen where we cannot be bubbled or camped effectively and where, while we lack cloning services, we have a nearly limitless supply of pretend carbonated beverages.

Effectively The Imperium logo now

Effectively The Imperium logo now

What I am waiting for now is somebody to put together a picture of The Mittani with a Che Guevara beret holding a bottle of refreshing Quafe or Quafe Zero.

Meanwhile the Moneybadgers have finally turned their attention to the heart of Goon space, the region of Deklein.  Relatively peaceful up until earlier this week, leaving aside the botched attempt to take VFK-IV on April Fools Day and repeated attempts to hack that one TNT system in the region, the MBC chose to put its weight into the effort and first reinforced, then finally blockaded and took two key systems in the region, VFK-IV, which has symbolic value, and YA0-XJ, the previous staging system for the coalition and the one-time biggest market station in null sec by a significant margin.  (When I checked EVE Market Data rankings earlier, Provi Bloc’s station at F-YH5B had eclipsed the current YA0 market, while the market at our staging station in Saranen had pulled ahead.  That said, it would seem there is still a lot of stuff in YA0.  Not everybody shipped their stuff out when I did I guess.)

So the map of Deklein now has this on it:

VFK and YA0 in new hands

VFK and YA0 in new hands

I would be interested to know how the MBC decided who got to take which system.  Certainly TEST and NCDot have suffered defeat at the hands of the CFC in the past, NCDot on repeated occasions after coming at the CFC.  Did TEST get VFK to make up for the fact that at the end of the Fountain War, their bitter rival from their own time in the CFC, Fatal Ascension, was allowed to take their capital at 6VDT-H?

Anyway, the oft stated slogan of “VFK by <date>,” first summed up after a White Noise pronouncement back in late 2011, has finally been achieved.

The war will continue in Deklein, however the numbers our foes can bring to bear and the distance from our staging system pretty much assures that we will lose the region sooner rather than later.  So we hole up in the back room of a soda pop warehouse and make our plans while The Mittani polishes his Goonhammer and talks about the wonder weapons that will send our foes fleeing before us.

I favor Vanilla Quafe myself

I favor Vanilla Quafe myself… also, Caroline’s Star visible

Of course, with TMC having pissed off I Want ISK, causing them to vow to continue to fund the war forever if necessary (Casino War eternal), we may be here for a long time.  At least I have the appropriate skin for my Megathron.

War Footing, War Fever

We must, indeed, all hang together or, most assuredly, we shall all hang separately.

-Benjamin Franklin

While I have spent some time getting myself ready for war, I spent last night tidying up some loose ends and looking to see if there was anything else I should package up and ship off.
I can be lazy about leaving ships and fittings and what no sitting about in various stations.  But past wars have encouraged that.  We have always been fighting in somebody else’s space, so there has been no worry about leaving anything laying about.  It would be there when I got back.

This war is different.  After four and a half years, war has come to our space.  It was time to get things together.  According to once EVE utility I had more than 15 billion ISK in ship and fittings and what not just sitting in stations.  Better to send that back to Jita, to turn it into ISK.  Better to have more liquid assets in such times.

I had already jumped my carrier into low sec after moving it out of Tribute.  That left one more load of non-essentials in the region for me to retrieve, a blockade runner full of my remaining ratting loot and excess ammunition sitting in L-VXTK.  I just had to get that out and to a station from which I could ship it all to Jita and I would have nothing left but combat ships in the area.

TNT’s holdings in Tribute are going down.  We have managed to put together some resistance.  Fleets come out from Saranen to help.  But as always, there are multiple fights going on at any given time and Tribute tends to be the furthest away.

Of course, the fighting over the region almost got my blockade runner blown up.  I hadn’t checked, so was caught off guard when, trying to slip past hostile space and into Venal, I found myself in the middle of a Fozzie Sov command node tug of war.  There is nothing like sitting cloaked off a gate in the middle of two dozen Mercenary Coalition ships who would view my presence with the same enthusiasm a starving man might give the unexpected arrival of a Chicken Delight delivery truck.

Still, I managed to survive, holding my cloak, watching the timer count down, only to have them all warp off to a node with about 10 seconds to spare.  Just another day in a war zone.

I scooted along carefully, passed into UMI-KK, our fallen capital, and then off into the wasteland of Venal.

Former home of TNT

Former home of TNT

I wasn’t surprised to find Venal empty as I passed through.  It was rarely ever a busy place, but it has been more quiet since the null sec changes.  Somebody should do a study on the effects of Fozzie Sov on NPC null sec regions.

And then I was into Deklein.

I hadn’t flown about Deklein much of late.  I scooted off to YA0-XJ to drop off my load then checked my asset list to see what else I had stashed away in the region.  I had a couple loads worth of stuff still sitting in my old home station 0P-F3K that I never quite got around to moving down to Tribute after we left Deklein.  Good call in hindsight.

I also had a small pile of stuff and a few ships in QPO-WI, where we have staged now and again.

And, much to my surprise, I had a whole bunch of stuff, including half a dozen old doctrine ships, sitting in VFK-IV.  I can’t even remember when a Digi-Canes stopped being a doctrine.  There was also a Megathron from the Fountain War, the same one that refused to fire back Z9PP-H, which I named the San Ramon for reasons that escape me today.  And, of course, another Drake from the era when MWD Drake fleets ruled the skies, unleashing torrents of scourge missiles at our foes.

So I move around, picked up the loose items in the blockade runner, the flew about in my pod to ferry ships back the the shipping station.  Once there I repacked them all, created courier contracts for one of the alliance shipping services, and sent them all to Jita.  Almost 100 million ISK in shipping fees, at 320 ISK per cubic meter.  The shipping services are making some money this month.  But there was probably a couple billion ISK worth of stuff in what sent down. (And I awoke this morning to find it all safely delivered.)

Some of it I will just sell.  Some of the hulls I will buy fittings for and ship out to Saranen.  Megathrons are back in style, so I can use that Quafe skin again.  And I had a few interceptor hulls which, given the loss rates being sustained by that class of ship in the war, are actually worth a lot more in Jita than what I probably paid for them, shipping included.

If you are in the interceptor building business, it looks like fat city is here.  Look at the spike in that last line and the prices for hulls in Jita.  Industrialists rejoice.

The one thing I did not have to do during a couple hours of flying around Deklein during US prime time was dodge any hostiles.  I didn’t actually see a hostile ship until I decided to YOLO back down to Saranen in a surplus Hawk, rather than waiting for my jump clone timer, and got caught in a gate camp in Fade. (A kill that doesn’t seem to have shown up yet on zkillboard or I would link it.)

Yes, I passed by a couple of systems with somebody cloaked up.  There is always that guy watching the cyno beacon in YA0-XJ.  But a lot of systems were blue.  Intel didn’t report a single gang roaming the region while I was about.  It was, frankly, more peaceful yesterday than it was during peace time.

And here we see the fiction, for now, in the name “World War Bee.”

It is alleged by our foes to be a war against Goons.  They are the target.  They are the ones that the Moneybadgers say they want to take down.  Allies in The Imperium are just meat shields, casualties of Goon callousness.

But actions speak louder than words… or, if you prefer, inaction.  If our foes really want to attack Goons, they sure are taking their time getting to it.  Despite having effectively taken Fade and holding stations on the path to Deklein in both Pure Blind and Tribute, a look at the map of Deklein shows you this.

Deklein - April 6, 2016

Deklein – April 6, 2016

There is exactly ONE system under attack in the entire region… and it is the ONLY one that isn’t held by GSF.  Some war against Goons!

No, so far this is the war against Goon allies.  Even in Pure Blind the enemy goes after the few non-GSF systems first.  They are going after us because they believe their own propaganda and think we are weak and oppressed and will rise up against Goons because everybody hates Goons.  They think we’ll thank them for coming after us.

They don’t even think they need to negotiate with us.  Their offer is to let us keep what we currently have, which is exactly the sort of offer you present to somebody you don’t think is in a position to negotiate;  the sort of offer you give to somebody you feel you can take care of later.  And all the while they keep hitting us and telling us Goons did that.

We’ll see how that works out.  Certainly The Imperium is suffering, with LAWN and Bastion already displaced, SMA on its way out of Fade, TNT’s remaining systems cut off on in Tribute, The Initiative driven out of Tenal, and Branch under assault. (Nosy Gamer has summaries for Fade and Tenal.)

That is World War Bee.  That is the attack on Goons.  I am starting to think that MOA did more damage in Deklein during any month in 2015 than the Moneybadgers have done so far during this war.

I am starting to think I should ship an Ishtar up to Deklein.  As Gevlon inadvertently points out, it is clearly safe to rat up there and GSF has opened up all of its systems to allies for ratting and mining.

Probably the best summary of the mindset of the Moneybadgers I have seen is this post, where after mocking The Mittani and his GSF CEO Update, the author disdains the Goon allies in The Imperium as worthless, tells us there is no shame in treason because Goons are bad for the game, and then goes on to a daydream about how wonderful the NEXT war will be, once Goons are gone.

This is counting ones chickens before the eggs are even laid.  You may have seen Jester was back for a guest post, cataloging the sins of the Goons.  One of the things he used to complain about back in the day was Goons casting themselves in the role of the underdog even when they held military superiority.  It was the role they made for themselves during the Great War (read the book), it is a role they find comfort and solidarity in, and the game has just put them back in that role again.  Among the alliances seeing a boost in membership is GSF.  The engines of war are being assembled.  The undock of our staging system is almost constantly lit by cynos bringing in supplies for the fight.

The sixth one went out before I could take a screen shot

Also I just wanted to use this screen shot because it looks pretty neat

So it may be a while before null sec is just happy little constellation versus constellation wars, all the while hoping PL or NCDot hasn’t decided it is your turn to provide them entertainment.  What, do you think that power bloc will go away?

As for “bad for the game,” well… I am not sure I buy that.  Bad for how you may want the game to be, your vision of a perfect little New Eden, sure.  But if you want to promote the game, Goons have a way of doing things that make headlines and draw new players to the game in droves. (Only to be driven off by the still horrible a decade after it should have been fixed new player experience.)  What else brings that kind of attention to the game?  How are esports working out?  Does the annual Alliance Cheating Tournament cause a subscription boost?  How about Fozzie Sov?  Did Fozzie Sov bring people into the game?  Do you think PL showing up to tell you to feed them kill mails or lose your constellation will boost subscriptions?

What drives up the PCU count?  What makes the grass grow?

PCU count tops 40K for the first time in ages

PCU count tops 40K for the first time in ages

They are so bad for the game that the CCP marketing department wouldn’t know what to do without Goons.

Anyway, I’ve already said where I will be for the duration of the war.  I may be something of a space tourist and not fully on board with our propaganda line, but I am not a traitor. (And hey, look, disagreeing with Dear Leader publicly doesn’t get you booted.)  If we get kicked out of sov null I will follow The Mittani into the hills to carry on the struggle by guerilla tactics, though he’ll need to grow a better beard if he wants to be Fidel.  It will be a new experience.

But the Moneybadgers will actually have to attack Goons first.