Tag Archives: Fozzie Sov

Lurking in Catch

Over the the last two days I have posted about a serious entosis effort, but much of the entosis work in the war so far has not been serious.  As I mentioned in the past, trolling via entosis can be a low effort way to annoy your foes.

The host of Alliances arrayed against us have been doing this sort of trolling.  It has largely been confined to Querious and it seems that Brave Collective has been the primary factor in these pin pricks.

Having hunted them for a bit I decided to return the favor and set out for Catch where much of their sovereignty lies.

It seemed like a simple enough task.  I had done a bit of entosis work back in the Casino War.  Things had changed a bit since then and the whole high speed cloaky Rapier option seemed to no longer be a thing.  So I looked around and grabbed an Atron entosis fit from one of the kills I was on, copied it to the clipboard, then imported it on one of my alts sitting around in Jita.

I bought the pieces, fitted it up, and flew my alt down to HED-GP, the high sec link to the Catch region and Legacy space.  I wasn’t dead set on Brave as a target, but TEST was further along and a chunk of their space is right there.  I was a little nervous jumping in to HED, it being traditionally a heavily camped gate, but nobody was home when I passed through.  I was able to fly off, warp gate to gate, until I was into their space a bit.  I found an empty system, warped to the ihub, locked it up and clicked the button.

I received an error.  You need to be in an alliance to do sovereignty things and my alt was just a high sec character I skilled up to run abyssal sites a while back.  What to do?

I logged in my main, put him in a travel Ares which I knew my alt could fly and them sitting cloaked up while I flew through Delve and Querious, through the big camps guarding either side of the 49-U6U and 4-07MU gate, through the hostile staging in FAT-6P, and into Catch and Brave’s section of that.

I formed a fleet with my alt and, after burning a couple of safe spots and gate perches in an empty system, I warped to my alt and had both characters eject and swap ships.  Now I could entosis.

I had decided to copy not only Brave’s fit, but also their later tactics.  Early on I was catching people on ihubs regularly, but after a bit they changed over to doing the warm up cycle and then, at the first sign of anybody in the system, would align away and turn on their MWD so to be far off the ihub before anybody landed.

That Arton fit can go the full 4,000 m/s allowed with an entosis link fit, so it moves away rapidly and you need something fast to catch it.

With that plan I warped to the ihub, set myself to orbit at 15km to keep myself within the 20km maximum range, locked it up, and started the entosis module.

I then sat there orbiting for the five minute cycle of the module as it warms up.  At that point you are committed.  You cannot warp off, cloak up, jump to another system, or dock.  You just get to stay on grid.  But during the warm up no alert goes out to the owners either so nobody is likely to bother you.

Out hitting an ihub

And then the first five minutes go by and the real attack cycle begins.  It looks just like the warm up, your entosis beam on the ihub, but once it starts the alert goes out to people in the owning alliance that it is being captured.  Then the fun begins.

I waited until somebody arrived in system then aligned away and turned on the MWD to get myself up to speed.  I was quickly out of entosis range, so my attack stopped, but I still had to wait the full entosis cycle before I could get away clean.

Meanwhile, the locals began to show up.  My empty system went up to 17 people and most of them came to visit the ihub at  some point.

Around the ihub

A couple of them chased me.  You can see that Atron on the overview was about halfway between me and the ihub.  I kept ahead and once the entosis cycled down I waited for my MWD to start a fresh cycle, activated my cloak, and turned off 90 degrees to keep anybody who was traveling straight towards me from decloaking me when the passed.  I was safe.

The locals, however, were not best pleased.  They abused me in local, all the more so when I cloaked, told me my attempt was pointless and didn’t bother them anyway.  But I followed one of the strict rules from Reavers, which is to never talk in local.  That seems to annoy people more than anything I could possible say, and they kept trying to goad me as if to prove my point.

Meanwhile I had my neutral alt out in Catch in a ship I wanted back in Delve.  So I flew them back down the path I had come, through the staging, through the two gate camps (tossing a dscan in local on the Imperium side of the gate to give them a peek at what lay beyond), and into NPC Delve where I docked up and contracted the ship back to my main to pick up later.

I sat around cloaked up with my main in the background, coming back in a couple hours to spin up another entosis cycle, which drew another crowd.

But I realized I had a problem.  Not thinking things through, I had flown out in my “do all the things in subcaps” main, who I would want to use on fleet ops.  But now he was stuck in Catch in an entosis Atron and was unlikely to get past the camps back to Delve.

I know my main alt could take over, but I had him setup to fly caps if a big fight broke out, so didn’t want to get him stuck out in Catch either.  So I went to see if another alt I had in KarmaFleet could help.  As it turned out, I had trained him up just enough to fly out to me in a Malediction, swap ships, and take over the entosis gig.  I had to use some of my unused skill points, but that was what they were around for.  So Claude Ring flew out through all that stuff, swapped ships, with Wilhelm, and Wil flew back.

Now Claude sits out in Catch and flips on the enotsis module a few times a day while I am working.  I setup in a system, wait for nobody to be home, then warp to the ihub and get up to my mischief.  I start the entosis up, set a four and a half minute timer on my phone, and get back to work.  When the timer goes off I tab back and get ready.  When the second cycle starts and the alarm goes out, I wait for somebody to arrive in system, align out, light off the MWD, and wait for the fun to arrive.

The fun is in the chase.  I run away and then the locals land and come after me.  At 4K m/s not just anything is going to catch my Atron, but there have been some game attempts.

I had a Jaguar closing on me quickly enough that I was worried, despite a 300km head start, that it was going to catch me before the entosis module cycled down.  But for whatever reason, he gave up, then stopped, then came after me again.  By that point I was able to cloak up, veer off, and watch him sail by.

He got close, but not close enough

I realize that I could just warp off.  I have safe spots in the systems where I now ply my trade, and that would let me get away, but cloaking up to play submarine while the locals try to decloak me is more fun.  It also keeps them looking for me, and they clearly need something to keep them busy.

One smart person landed at the ihub in a Hecate with a probe launcher and probed me down to warp to me as I was burning away.  That was probably the second closest I have come to getting caught, though with my speed by the time they got a fix on me and warped I was well out of range and was able to cloak up before they got another fix on me.

So I keep at it and take screen shots when somebody gets close.  This Caracal got in the neighborhood.

RunsBeforeWalks walks on by

I have the tactical overlay on so you can see which direction both of us are headed.

Mostly they do not get that close.  One person, Shaarak, asked me in local how close he had come.  It was hard to keep to my no talking in local rule, since they are a regular who chases me often, but I did.  Still, if they somehow come across this post, this was their closest pass so far.

Sharaak at 16km passing by

Probably the most terrifying moment was when my account expired.  I was on grid and a couple of people were flying around looking for me and I suddenly got the big “GO OMEGA TODAY!” pop up and realized that I had purchased game time, but had not made it recurring.  So I scrambled to quickly re-subscribe… though apparently when you go Alpha while cloaked it doesn’t de-cloak you right away, so I survived.

My alt is still sitting out there.  I wasn’t sure how long he would last, but my worry now is that he is going to run out of strontium clathrates, the fuel needed for the entosis module, before he gets blown up.

Anyway, all of this summed up in meme form.

All things go brrrr

So it goes.

Update:   Oops, got caught trying to get out of Catch since I wrote this. (It was supposed to post yesterday, but then I had a battle to write about.)  You will note that there was no stront left in the cargo bay.  I should have just run more out in an interceptor.  Next time.  But I have already slipped another Atron past the gate camp in V-3YG7, so I can start again soon.

Breaking into Delve

Not everybody in the Imperium spent last week wandering casually down to our staging station in Sakht.  Fleets had been active in Delve for several days, focusing on the constellation YX-LYK, and by Saturday we had already taken the system Q-HESZ.

But the first real test of the invasion wasn’t until yesterday, when the ihub, station, and TCU in the system 1-SMEB, previously reinforced, were contested.  1-SMEB was also the capital system for the League of Unaligned Master Pilots (ticker: LUMPY), which gave it a boost to its ADM, making it a tougher nut to crack.

There had been pings in advance asking people to show up and be ready for a fight.  The first ping for a subcap fleet, under Jay Amazingness, went out at 16:30 and it filled up quickly.  It was a Proteus fleet and I got out my Oneiros, which I had just run down from Saranen on Friday, and joined up with the logistics contingent.

Once that fleet filled another went up, and another subcap fleet after that.

We undocked after only a short wait.

Emerging from the Genolution Biotech Production station

Emerging from the Genolution Biotech Production station

We held on the gate to 1-SMEB and waited for a bit.  Then a fourth fleet showed up to pass through the gate.  It was a fleet of capital and supercapital ships, jumping into 1-SMEB for the event.

Once they were through, we jumped into 1-SMEB ourselves, then into 6Q-R50, and then into RCI-VL, where we set up around the MJXW-P gate, which seemed like sort of an odd, dead-endy location.

However, it turned out to be the right place, as the hostiles fell on us there, starting with the Pandemic Legion FC Killah Bee, who landed on grid prematurely and was immediately targeted.  I even managed to get an ECM drone on his, so as to get on the kill mail.  After that though, I let my drone take its own course as there were reps to be applied as the two sides closed and got stuck into each other.  NCDot and PL had a T3 fleet, which formed the bulk of the opposition, while the locals, led by LUMPY, were using Gilas.  On our side there was the Proteus fleet, a Confessor fleet, and Asher’s Cerberus fleet.  Bubbles were up to hold the foe in place.

The fight develops

The fight develops

In the middle of all of that, a cyno went up.  As I watched, a single Wyvern supercarrier landed on grid.

A wild super suddenly appears!

A wild super suddenly appears!

Time dilation was already hitting hard, so the capital fleet jumping in on top of the fight unfolded slowly.  Soon, however, I was in the middle of a lot of big ship.

My Oneiros in the midst of a lot of caps

My Oneiros in the midst of a lot of caps

With the presence of a capital fleet on grid, the fight went from a brawl to trying to knock off as many hostiles as we could before they could get away.  I even got to see one of the new doomsday effects as one of the titans  We even got an official observer when ISD Lunaire Elois showed up in a Polaris Inspector Frigate to watch the supers in action.

Somebody has come to watch us

Somebody has come to watch us

That was towards the end of the fight and, as usual, a couple of pilots lit out after the ISD ship, only to find its performance envelope was well beyond their ability to catch.

Meanwhile, our foes escaped as best they could and that was about it for big fights for the day.  All told, that was about 90 minutes of time from undock to the caps heading back towards 1-SMEB where they formed up on a gate to smart bomb the Pandemic Horde and Mordus Angels frigates and interceptors that were in the area.  The battle report for the fight unsurprisingly shows the ISK war going in our favor, though not that much ISK was expended given the values of the fleets on grid.   However, the totals and participants keep changing when I go back to look at that report, so I am not sure how far to trust it.

July 31, 2016 RCI-VL fight

July 31, 2016 RCI-VL fight

It did seem that the majority of the hostiles were not Delve locals.  They must miss us up north.

With the fun over, the work began.  It was time to play the Fozzie Sov game so, over the next few hours we spent time running entosis link modules over command nodes in order to take ihubs, stations, and TCUs.

A command node in "action"

A command node in “action”

There was a bit of see-saw on a couple of the objectives.  At one point LUMPY was at 95% for the 1-SMEB TCU.  However, they seemed to give up before they got that last 5%… though with us roving through the constellation in force, I guess I can understand why… and the actual command node objectives were left to us.

The only opposition was a gang of interceptors that were dropping on nodes to try and break lock on the nodes to slow things down.  This was aggravated by our decision to use force auxiliaries… fax machines… for entosis work.  If I understand correctly, we did this because they were supposed to be immune from ECM while sieged.  However, this turned out to be only true for directed ECM and not area affect ECM burst.

So we ended up with the worst of both worlds.  Fax pilots had to endure the capital entosis warm up cycle penalty both when they started in on a node AND whenever an ECM burst broke their lock.

Fax machines continued on, but there was also a call for subcap pilots to come out and run entosis links as well.  By that point our fleet was split up by wings and sitting on nodes in a system where no hostiles bothered to show up, so I got out my alt.  He happened to have a Rapier fit for solo entosis work, so I ran him out to our system and put him on whatever nodes were available.

With multiple objectives in play, coordination was… not very well coordinated.  If the goal of Fozzie Sov was to reinforce the officious “spreadsheets in space” aspect of EVE Online, then op success, because this sort of event pretty much requires some master spreadsheet coordinator to run with any efficiency.  Instead we had multiple fleets on multiple coms and people going here and there.  On a couple of nodes I was running a fax machine would show up, having been assigned the node.  I would convo with them and tell them to let me know when they had spun up through their initial cycle, after which I would fly off to another node.

But at least I was out doing something with my alt.  The majority of our fleet was just sitting around watching nodes get wanded.  As I have said before, this is not engaging game play.  You don’t see ISD ships flying out to watch people conquer sov.

Asher, on his latest podcast, had some idea for updating Fozzie Sov to make it more interesting, or at least force more fights.  But it seems like CCP, buoyed by the cheers of people who don’t actually engage in sov warfare and who, in some cases, seem to actively dislike sov null and its residents, will not be revisiting Fozzie Sov for the foreseeable future.

Life in sovereign null sec.  We’re told get too much attention paid to us one day, and then on another day we’re blamed for the PCU drop because we’re not warring hard enough to keep people’s attention.

On the bright side, hours of entosis work… I spent 3 hours on it myself after the initial fight before decided I wanted to do something else for the rest of the day… did get us some ihubs, and TCUs, as well as freeporting a couple stations in Delve.

The result of Sunday's work

The result of Sunday’s work

The Ministry of Truth even put out a song about the fall of LUMPY in Delve.

So the conquest of Delve seems to be off to a good start.  Now we just have to hold what we have taken while doing the Fozzie Sov shuffle in a about a dozen more constellations.

My screen shots from the day collected up into a gallery: