Tag Archives: ED-9LT

Departures from Querious for Points North

With the fall of our foothold in Querious at ED-L9T, I was left in a bit of a bind.

When we lost the shield timer a couple days before that, I took a bit of time and moved out some of the excess items I had stored there, lest they end up locked in a hostile station. My plan was to be able to move everything left out with the chances I could create if we lost the station.

And, of course, we lost the station.  So it was time to assess how to move out.

If it hadn’t been past midnight after a long day at the office and a full Saturday of outdoor activity waiting in the morning, I would have used the brief window we had left after the fight on Friday night to make a couple of round trips and I would have been done.  But I opted for bed and not being completely wiped out the next day.

The bind was that, as I left things, I had to take care of the trapped asset problem before I could really do anything else in EVE Online.  My alt was okay, docked in the station in ED-L9T with only a single ship.  He could jump clone out and come back later.  But my main, also docked up in the station after the fight, had two ships to move.

Well, three actually, but one was a disposable, cheap-fit Vexor that was destined to die as an AFK structure shoot ship anyway.  I could forget about that one.

Cheap Laser Vexor

Cheap Laser Vexor

But with a jump clone installed and there in the station, I had two outbound runs available and two ships to move out.  I couldn’t jump clone off and do something else without leaving behind a ship.  So I was determined to get both ships out, stuck until I got one out, and impatient.

Saturday evening, past the usual European prime time, I logged in my main and my alt to just see how things look.  I saw a dozen people in local, but ten were docked up with me in the station.  Feeling like the moment might be right, I decided to go for it with my alt.  I just had to go a couple of jumps and I would be safe.  It was just a question of which route to take.  There happened to be three possibilities.

The first was the straight route.

ED9LTAreaDirectRouteJust take a gate to 3-FKCZ and then on to Efa and the bubble-free joy that is low sec.

Of course, that was also the most likely route to be camped.  People are lazy or think they can just slip through, so why not just go for it?  I have been tripped up by that thinking many times myself.

At the opposite end of the spectrum was the long way to safety.

ED9LTAreaBadRouteHead to LS-V29, then to I1Y-IU, then into 3-FKCZ, and finally into Efa.  That would certainly be the least expected route.  However it also meant going through the staging system the hostiles were using, I1Y-IU and would maximize the amount of time exposed to risk or bumping into the wrong people.

In the middle was the middle route.

ED9LTAreaIndirectRouteGoing via 9SBB-9 would avoid the direct route and the most likely gate camp or drag bubbles that would no doubt be on the direct route.  That was clearly the one to choose.

(And yes, these little diagrams seemed like a good idea at the time.)

So I undocked my alt in his Ishtar.  I found myself in a mobile warp bubble anchored just off the undock.  However, nobody was minding the store.  I aligned to the 9SBB-9 gate, lit the MWD, and motored out of the bubble.  Then it was a quick warp to the gate, which proved to be clear, then a warp across 9SBB-9, which proved to be clear, then that one last cross-system warp to the Efa gate, which proved to be unobstructed.  My alt was in Efa and moved on the Badivefi without any further worry.

That was easy!

I decided not to push my luck immediately though.  I logged off my alt, lest anybody who might have been cloaked or otherwise keeping an eye on this notice that there was a breakout attempt going on, but left my main logged in.  Let them get used to just seeing me idle in local… nothing going on, no undock planned… while I watched some TV.

I came back a couple hours later and compared local with those docked up.  There were half a dozen hostiles out in the system.  That did not bode well.  I left myself logged in… let them camp me while I am AFK… and went off to get ready for bed.

A while later I was wandering up the hall after having given my daughter a push in the direction of bed when I decided to peek in on the game.  There were only three hostiles in space in ED-L9T.  It might be time.

But which ship to take?

The Basilisk was faster, but was fit to work in a group of like ships chaining capacitor between them.  Alone it would run out of cap just leaving the MWD on.  Then there was the Raven; large, awkward, and slow, but cap stable and fitted with a Microjump Drive.  That is still a new module to me, but seemed like it might come in hand for this sort of venture.  So I decided that the Raven would be the one to try to sneak out.

I left the station and found the undock still bubbled, but otherwise clear.  I aligned to the 9SBB-9 gate and triggered the MJD.  It spun up and then launched me 100km ahead, well clear of the bubble.  From there I warped directly to the gate.

And found myself in trouble.

There was a Malediction sitting on the gate.  This little Amarr interceptor immediately locked me up and pointed me.  I wouldn’t get away in system.  As that was happening, another ship landed on the gate, a Stratios.  The Stratios locked me up but did not engage me, knowing that to do so would put him on a one minute aggression timer.  He wouldn’t be able to jump through the gate with me if that happened and I would likely get away.

So there we sat, the Stratios waiting, the Malediction keeping me from warping off and plinking away at me.  I regretted using the MJD to get out of the bubble, though they might have scanned me down and warped to me if I had tried to slow boat out of it.  The re-use timer on the MJD seemed very long as I sat there.  But as it wound down I decided to jump through.

On the other side of the gate the Stratios appeared.  I held my cloak until it faded on its own then, even as I was aligning towards the 3-FKCZ gate, he locked my up and pointed me.  I wouldn’t be warping off, but I remembered that MJDs are immune to warp disruption and the cool down timer was just about up.

As I started to activate the MJD a Loki came through the gate and uncloaked along with the Malediction.  Now I had some real trouble on hand.  I could tank the Stratios and the Malediction for a long time, but the Loki could likely burn me down faster than the MJD would recycle again.

Then the MJD went off and I was 100km away.  A second or two later the warp disruption effect faded and I was able to warp off to the far gate.  I landed at zero and sat there.  The Stratios locked me up again and this time he began banging away at my shields, thus triggering his aggression timer.  The Malediction just sat there, as did the Loki, waiting for me to jump through.  My shields were slowly being eroded, but I had time.  I waited for the MJD to get close to the end of its cool down.  I jumped through into 3-FKCZ and immediately aligned for the Efa gate.  The Malediction was through the gate as well and on me with its warp disruption module.  Then I triggered the MJD and jumped that 100km and was able to enter warp before the Malediction was able to cover 30km in its attempt to catch me on grid.

The Malediction followed me to the Efa gate, but the Loki and the Stratios apparently gave up the chase.   They must have decided they didn’t have enough to force my hand on either side of a gate.  So I was into Efa and then on to Badivefi.

The Raven runs free

The Raven runs free

I was particularly proud of not dying, even if my escape ruse wasn’t all that clever.  And, once again, I proved that I am much more likely to survive any hostile encounter if I don’t bother shooting at anybody.

And now the pressure was off.  I still had my Basilisk to retrieve, but I could do that at some distant date if I so desired.  I logged off and went to bed.

The next afternoon I was online but tinkering with other things when a ping came in on Jabber announcing a Reavers fleet.  I suspected it might be a break-out fleet so, when the appointed time came, I logged in and got on coms to see what the plan might be.

It was indeed going to be a break-out fleet.  However, the break-out was going to take a while as we all logged in and got into the station in ED-L9T.  There was much discussion of who had space to carry what out and what was worth carrying.  I had already made my plan and only had some cheap ammo, some tech I armor and hull repair drones, and that throw away Vexor I mentioned.  I put the cheap stuff up on the market and put the Vexor up on contract for 11 million ISK, which is what I paid for it, and waited for things to get sorted out.

Of course, a bunch of us all showing up in local and docked up in the station was a bit of a give away.  Hostiles started showing up and by the time we were ready to go our cloaked eyes on the station said that they had formed a merry little kitchen sink camp.

For reasons that escape me we decided to push Ohno no Borrox out of the station first in his Arazu on the theory that once everybody started locking him up the logi could undock and save him.  That didn’t quite work out.  By the time we got undocked and started locking him up, he was already in his pod.

But then everybody in a combat ship undocked, the logi anchored up and got the cap chain running, and we killed or drove off the hostiles on the undock and then blew up their mobile warp disruption bubble.  I even managed to drop a combat drone and got on one of the kills.

The station grid clear, the haulers undocked to join us and we all aligned for 3-FKCZ to take the most direct route out of Dodge.

As we were aligning out and about to warp, a Vexor undocked and took some shots at us and was promptly blown up for his effort.  At least I assume it was. The kill mail never made it to the kill board, but Asher commented that the fit looked like the AFK Vexor fit we had been using at one point during the war.

When he said that I immediately checked my contracts window and found that one of the pilots that was camping the undock, and who lost his ship, had docked up and bought the Vexor in order to take another run at us.

Contract complete

Contract complete!

That was my money back on that ship.  And then we were off to Badivefi.

A ragtag fleet heads for home

A ragtag fleet heads for home

Once back in high sec there was a short side task to take care of, after which everybody formed up to take a wormhole back north to the home regions of The Imperium.  I skipped that trip home.  It was time for dinner and I wasn’t in any hurry to move my ships back north.  The last time I put in the effort to get all my ships home from a Reaver deployment to Querious, we were right back in the same spot just a month or two later.

So that was that. the end of our deployment to Querious.  We started heading down south with the main fleet back in the middle of March and now we’ve returned home long after the main fleet has retired.  And on our departure I cannot help but have a specific mental image of what we have left behind after our deployment.

Darkness basking in their victory

Darkness basking in their victory

We had no real business taking that system, but we certainly made the locals pay to get it back.

Now for some quiet time after an exciting campaign while we wait for Fozzie Sov to hit.

Addendum: Arrendis has a post summarizing our time in the south over at TMC if you want a wider view that I can provide, and includes an interview with Sort Dragon of Darkness.

There is also a summary of the war up on EN24 as well.

Dominion Sovereignty Quirks and the Bloody Defense of ED-9LT

We knew they would be coming for us in force.  After the fight two days before, where we failed to hold them back and they put the station into the armor timer, the last timer, a fight was pretty much guaranteed when the clock ran down.

The timer counts down on the Querious region Jacket Disbursement Station

The timer counts down on the Querious region Jacket Disbursement Station

I was a bit late for the fight.  I logged in after the timer had already expired.  Furthermore I was off in Badivefi, a few jumps from ED-L9T and without a ship.  Supplies had run out, again after that last fight, and so I was sitting in my pod without a doctrine ship handy.  Fortunately, our supply team had been busy as the timer ticked down and there was a Basilisk up on contract for me.

I hopped in the Basi, insured it, undocked, joined the fleet, and headed for the fight.  I warped to the first gate in a flash, hit the next system, zipped across that, made it into Efa, the low sec link to null and landed on the 3-FKCZ gate.  I clicked the button to jump and suddenly my world slowed way way down.  I was clearly crossing nodes into the time dilation zone.

I was already on the logi channel for the fleet and had alerted them that I was coming to join the fight, but I had to revise my arrival estimate.  It was going to take a while to move across one system, take another gate, and get to the fleet.

With that bit of slow travel under way I logged in my alt to see where he might be.  He was actually in the station in ED-L9T and in an Ishtar, the doctrine of the day, and ready to go.  I joined the fleet and undocked him… and found myself in the middle of the fight.

A busy undock

A busy undock

There were several capital ships right on the undock.  Ours.  There was a pile of hostile capital ships off to one side, maybe 40km away, in the middle of some warp disruption bubbles.  There was a hostile subcap fleet ball, made up of the usual tech III selection that Darkness favors, rather close at hand.  And then there was our Ishtars about 80km off the undock.

That left me in the rather awkward position of being the Ishtar closest to the enemy, and I could see the yellow boxes, indicating that they were attempting to target me, begin to bloom on my overview.  I dropped my first batch of sentry drones… they were well placed to hit the enemy from there… lit the microwarp drive, and began to burn towards the fleet with an eye to anchoring up on Asher Elias.  I also requested shield reps knowing that the pain would be coming soon and hoped that our logi wasn’t too busy elsewhere.

Fortunately logi was not all that busy and were able to hit me with reps in time to stave off my destruction as they yellow boxes turned red and incoming fire began to hit.  I never got below 50% shield, and after the first volley stayed mostly fully topped off until the hostiles sought another target.

I got myself anchored up, assigned my drones to one of the fleet drone triggers… drone assist is still alive, if in abbreviated form, so you can assign drones to another person and whatever they shoot your drones will shoot as well… and settled into my orbit so I could go back and get Wilhelm on grid.

By that point the Basilisk had landed in system.  Time dilation was running around 15%, which means 15% of real time, which means very slow.  This final station fight had brought a lot of people out to play.  There were over 1,200 in local when I got there.  In addition to us defending the station, Lazarus Telraven had brought some Tengus down from Deklein, Pandemic Legion had some units in the system helping us, as did Pizza, and I thought I saw Brave pilots on grid as well.  On the hostile end of things Darkness had support from Northern Coalition, Gentleman’s Club, and Black Legion.  Hell, even TEST was in the fight.  It seemed the place to be that Friday night.

With a fair amount of warning I was able to get on grid, join up with my fellow Basi pilots, get in the cap chain, and… well… not so much else.

Logistics cap chain burning through the sky

Logistics cap chain burning through the sky

The fight was… for lack of a better term… at odd angles from the usual brawl.  Down in Querious, where the fights had been relatively small (and tidi free) for much of the campaign, there has usually been just a couple fleets in action and the main point has generally been to get on grid in an advantageous position and let the other guy have it.  This time around we had at least ten fleets operating independently and each pursing its own objectives.  The enemy capital ships were intent on knocking down the station, their tier 3 fleet was defending them, another was hunting down off-grid boosters, a pack of electronic warfare ships was damping whoever got close or seemed like a threat, Pandemic Legion was on and off grid, while another group was chasing them around, a couple groups of bombers were hitting one side or the other now and again, and we were sort of flying around shooting targets of opportunity, but were never really anybody’s primary target.

Well, except for that hostile Celestis fleet.  They seemed determined to damp us all evening.

But for the most part we cruised around as Asher called targets and generally shot the hell out of things while not taking much fire ourselves.  There were relatively few calls for logi, except when a bomb hit and everybody panicked and suddenly 20 people were calling for reps.  My alt ended up getting on quite a few kills without a lot of effort, though he missed getting on the Elo Knight kill mail when our squad leader accidentally warped us off grid.  By the time I was able to get back on grid and reconnected to my drones he was gone.  I was not alone in my disappointment.

All of which was well and good… everybody likes some kill mails… but it wasn’t winning us the fight.  The hostile dreads were hitting the station hard and while we gleefully knocked a few of them down, they were going to finish off the station long before we killed the last one.

A dreadnaught can be a tough target, though none was tougher that Mtak and his mighty Phoenix.  The Phoenix might be the fourth choice out of the four dreadnaughts, but it has a mighty tank, and Mtak sat on grid for what seemed like ages absorbing fire while launching salvo after salvo at enemy caps, watching three hostile carriers burn before finally being brought down.

The Phoenix lights up another Archon

The Phoenix lights up another Archon… or is that a Naglfar on its side?

We were too far away to rep him, though close enough to lock him up and hope that we would pass close enough to give him a boost.  But it was not to be, and I watched him fall into structure and then slowly drop away until the inevitable explosion, leaving a wrecked hulk on grid.

The demise of the Phoenix

The demise of the Phoenix

Meanwhile, the station itself was well into structure and it was clear that our little reps… for we had been told to rep the station if we had not other duties… were not going to hold back the tide of incoming fire.  There was one last hope however, as the station came to its last few hit points, we joined in firing on it as well.

Station down to 1% structure

Station down to 1% structure

Among the many odd bits of the Dominion sovereignty mechanics, there is the bit where the alliance of the pilot who gets the killing blow on a station gets control of the whole thing.  If we could get in that final blow, the station would be ours again and the hostiles would have to shoot it again.  In fact, if things went exactly right, we might end up with another two day timer.

We got lucky, but not that lucky.

A pilot from SpaceMonkey’s Alliance got the final blow and took possession of the station.  However, since the station’s alliance ownership changed, the territorial control unit became vulnerable.  The fight then moved from the station grid to the TCU where, once again, we managed to get some more kills… more hostile dreadnaught wrecks on the field, but were unable to keep the TCU from eventually being destroyed.  The system rolled into an unowned state.

The clock counting down on the Querious region Jacket Disbursement Station

The doom of the Querious region Jacket Disbursement Station foretold

At that point we headed back to the station grid to pick off a couple more targets that were still in bubbles.  By then it was past midnight and, after a long day, it was time for me to go to bed.  I docked up in the station, since we still owned it.  There was talk of getting ships and supplies out of the station while we still held it, but I had already set myself up for the most part after we lost the shield timer fight.  I had a clone for every ship I wanted to get out.  I logged out.

The fight itself went very much our way, at least when measured by ISK destroyed.  The battle report indicates that of the ~200 billion ISK lost, 80% of that could be assigned to our foes, who fly under the name Guardians of the Galaxy at the moment.

The balance of the ISK war

The balance of the ISK war

The war, the strategic objective, on the other hand, clearly went to Darkness and their allies.  The battle report by Arrendis over at TMC indicates that after I went to bed there was a further fight to drop SBUs and TCUs in a Dominion sovereignty mechanics wrestling match to control the system.

Darkness prevailed in the end and the system rolled to their control about eleven hours after we lost control of the system.  The battle for that corner of Querious… an odd battle that saw the Reavers go from hit and fade tactics to stand up fights and taking sovereignty and ended up drawing in friend and foe alike until we ended up in full on tidi lagged battles…  was over.

We hit the top of the chart

We hit the top of the chart for ships killed in null sec

There is some cleaning up to do, and we still have some friends in the area, like Pizza, who we will no doubt work with some more.  But that could be the last Dominion sovereignty battle I see in New Eden.  Next month will be Fozzie Sov, and with it will come a new set of special quirks I am sure.

But it was a hell of a fight and a good time when otherwise not much else exciting has been going on in The Imperium.

And, of course, I have some additional screen shots from the fight.