Tag Archives: Lazarus Telraven

Four Hours in Cloud Ring

My wife was about to head off with a friend for a bit when the ping came in.  Two fleets were going up early Saturday afternoon my time, one Maze Fleet doctrine, the other Lockjaw doctrine, so it seemed like something might be happening.  I bid my wife farewell and logged in, joining the Lockjaw fleet, which is based around the Caldari Jackdaw destroyer.

Jackdaw in sniper mode with the new shield hardener effects

Jackdaw in sniper mode with the new shield hardener effects… also, Cloud Ring nebula

I happened to have one of those at our staging system already and had yet to actually shoot anything with it.  So I joined that fleet and made sure I was all ready to go.  I was keen to fire some missiles.  I undocked just to zip around a bit in the ship and look at it.

Then we waited around for a bit.  Some of it was the usual dance of getting boosters and logi and getting people in totally wrong ships to swap to something that matched the doctrine.  However, we started getting asked to swap over to the Maze Fleet if we could fly logi.

Grrr… I want to shoot something!

Then I got a ping on Jabber from Repswarm asking people to logi up for the Maze Fleet.  Repswarm was, if I read it right, a place to learn how to be a better logi pilot and even a logi anchor.  However, we don’t have our own forum for the SIG, we haven’t had any training since I joined, so the main effect of my membership so far is now Arrendis and Apple Pear can badger known logi pilots who signed up for Repswarm to get into fleet and fly logi.

So, obeying the call, I docked up, grabbed the last remaining Scimitar off of contract, left my still shiny Jackdaw and the Lockjaw fleet, joined the Maze Fleet, and got into the logi channel.

At least I was back in the familiar old Scimitar, the logi ship I first learned to fly back in the days of Drake Fleet.  Fast and agile and without the now familiar cap chain routine, at least it has a big enough drone bay that the doctrine fit includes some Hornet EC-3000 drones to you can whore on a kill mail or two if you’re not busy repping.  I undocked to zip around the station while we waited for things to get under way.

Scimitar with the new shield hardener effects

Scimitar with the new shield hardener effects

I flew around for quite a bit as there was a special fit required for this fleet.  Maze Fleet doctrine is based around the Rattlesnake, Gurista pirate faction battleship, and is so name (I think) because the escalation “The Maze” is one of the places you can get a blue print copy for the ship so you can build one. (I have an old screen shot from The Maze over at my other blog.)

People kept joining fleet and had to be told the new fit.  Meanwhile there was a guy who joined in a Lachesis who was way out in DY-F70 already and kept asking if that was where we were headed, because he didn’t want to fly all the way back if we were just going to be headed there.

While I have known that pain, and was sympathetic to his plight initially, the reality is that for operational security reasons we don’t tell people in the fleet where we are going, something he clearly did not get as he asked the same thing over and over on voice coms, simply helping to confuse the getting ready aspect of the fleet.

Still, things finally came together and we were given the word to undock and warp out to a POS where we would be bridged.

Rattlesnakes landing at the Blue Tiger Ragnorak

Rattlesnakes landing at the Blue Tiger Ragnarok

We hung out there for a while, waiting for the moment to arrive.  I was able to look at all we were bringing along.  With the Rattlesnakes and Scimitars was a flight of special Basilisks, a few Nestors, and a Scorpion Navy Issue.  Apparently everybody who has a Nestor has the blue skin for it, because there wasn’t a white one in sight.

Asher's Blue Nestor

Asher’s Blue Nestor

After some waiting around, during which Lazarus Telraven joined us, the jump bridge finally went up and we bridged out for Cloud Ring and whatever lay in store for us there.

Bridge up... new graphics

Bridge up… new graphics

Technically, I don’t think we spent a full four hours in Cloud Ring, having mucked about for a good 45 minutes back at our staging system.  But we were there for more than three hours easy, and after all that time I am still not sure what we were doing.

If I understood the latest update from The Imperium, we officially don’t care about who holds sovereignty in Cloud Ring.  We just want to control the money making moons.  However we were bringing along Entosis link ships with us… they were going out with the Lockjaw fleet… so we were clearly not after moons.

We flew on to our destination in Cloud Ring, but only after one Rattlesnake refit along the way.  There was a change up in drones, so the fitting services of the Nestors in fleet came into play.  As it turned out, that guy in the Lachesis lucked out as we ended up with him in DY-F70.

Once there, not much happened.  Some Fozzie Sov stuff appeared to be in action.

The slow pace of node regen

The slow pace of node regen… also, big grids again…

I mean, we heard about stuff happening.  The Culture took out some of the Entosis ships in another system.  There was a fleet of Machariels, or Machariels with capital support, or Machariels with super cap support, which was docked up, or had just undocked, or was docking back up, which might or might not come our way.

We deployed into our combat formation.  We moved and deployed again.  We went to another system and did the same on a gate.  Then we sat on a station, hoping to hold down the team that was attacking the Enotsis ships in the other fleet.

Along the way we orbited.  I took screen shots.  Asher put up several straw polls.  We learned that Dabigredboat’s first name is Allen.  We shot at Sothrasil in his shiny Scorpion Navy Issue with its immense EHP.  War was discussed.  Opinions were ventured about why Germany lost WWII, the nature of the rasputitsa is Russia in the spring, and whether or not Alaska gets anything even close to that.  We learned that in Germany today the conflicts around world today are not called wars, but war-like scenarios (Kriegsgleiche Szenarien or Kriegsähnliche Szenarien, depending on who you ask).  Sounded like a step up from our own situation.

And we moaned about the time, the lack of Entosis ships in the other fleet, Fozzie sov in general and how blowing shit up trumps watching somebody Fozzie laser something every single day of the week.  The Euros, including our long suffering FC Boomslang, who had to keep us all together on this fleet, noted how late it was getting for them, midnight having long since passed while we were still sitting around.  I took more screen shots.  A third fleet under Blood Hellioin was called up to bring more Entosis ships out to finish up the hacking.

At some point my wife arrived home, having sat through a youth performance of The Nutcracker and then stopped by Egg Roll House on the way home, arriving with fried rice and egg rolls.  I wandered away from my computer, filled up a plate, and listened to her review of the evening.  I sat back down at my desk and found I was still orbiting Arrendis as I had been about 15 minutes before.  A participation link had been issued at some point before the three hour mark.  A second one came a while after the mark.

Eventually we started moving in the direction of home.  We had some of our own capitals to escort, so things went slowly, but eventually they got in range of the cyno on our undock and jumped out, after which we were able to meet up with a titan and get bridged back ourselves.  And I am still not sure what we did.  I guess we killed the ihub there, eventually, but it didn’t get us a fight.  I did get two PAP links and took a bunch of screen shots.  And so it goes.  Some days you get the fight, some days you don’t.

Of course, as I am writing this on Sunday there is a ping that says, “HOSTILES UNDOCKING MACHS TO GO FOR OUR MAZEFLEET!”  Maybe the fight we missed was going to happen a day later.  I missed it.  I went and saw Star Wars Episode VII instead.  But I have some screen shots left to share.

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.

 

 

Entosis Link Modules in Action in Querious

The first night out after the Carnyx expansion and we already using the new Entosis Link module to assail station services down in Querious.  There was a shield timer coming up on our besieged station in ED-L9T, our last little foothold in the region, and we were piling in early in anticipation of a fight.

Foothold in Querious

Foothold in Querious

As we often do, we assembled and flew two systems over, to I1Y-IU, and sat on their station in our Ravens in hopes of being able to pester them as they formed up.  And, as it turned out, somebody remembered to bring along an Entosis Link module.

Nobody mentioned it in coms that I heard, so for the first indication that something was happening was a strange beam… like the Cicadian Seekers scanning beam… emanating from one of the Ravens in the fleet.  Mtak had a tech II version of the module mounted and was hitting their services.

Entonsis Link beam

Entonsis Link beam

That go me looking at the station and the station services.

The station services, as noted in one of the update posts for Carnyx, have been moved around the station model so they aren’t all just piled up in a bunch around the undock.  Targeting them I could see the new status indicators.

Station services being hit

Station services being hit… also, new icons to confuse everybody for the next few weeks

You can see in the picture above that Mtak had already taken out one of the station service (fitting went first, if I recall right), which is indicated by the red circle.  He was just finishing up the second target on his list (repair maybe?) and you can see how the circle compares to the third service (clones) where, as the link runs, progress is indicated by progress of the marker (and the coloration) around the status circle.  The second set of services is almost out of action.

The whole thing worked as advertised… imaging that… with the first cycle of the link being just a warm up cycle, followed by actual progress on bringing down the service.  While the link was active attempts to apply reps or otherwise assist Mtak were greeted by error messages indicating that such things could not be done with the link running.  As a reminder, the restrictions are:

  • While the module is active, your ship is unable to cloak, warp, dock, jump or receive remote assistance. There is no way to get rid of the module penalties early except for losing your ship

And so we knocked out those three services on their station.  It was reported on coms that the absence of cloning services cause a couple of their pilots to get re-rerouted to their original home systems when they tried to suicide/death clone to get to I1Y-IU, but I couldn’t tell you whether that was true or not.  We certainly tried to pod anybody who lost a ship during the subsequent fight on the idea that doing so would keep them from simply docking up and reshipping.

As the timer on our station ran down to about the 30 minute mark, we pulled the Ravens off their station and headed back for ED-L9T to reship to Ishtars.  In the mean time we had been joined by some reinforcements from Deklein which included long time Imperium fleet commanders Reagalan and Lazarus Telraven in one of his alts.  As we landed back on the station grid in I1Y-IU, Pandemic Legion also showed up with some Tengus in order to get in on the fight.  In the short time we were away the hostiles had already started to run their own Entosis Link module in order to restore services in their station.

On the opposing side Darkness undocked their usual T3 fleet, supplemented by fleets from Northern Coalition and Gentleman’s Club, leading to numbers on the field sufficient to trigger time dilation throughout the fight, hitting pretty significant levels when fleets were taking gates between systems.

The fight itself went our way for quite a stretch.  I was dual-boxing, with my alt in an Ishtar and drones assigned to a trigger so I could set him to anchor up and pay attention to repping in my Basilisk.  Logistics was fairly strong, with more than a dozen Basilisks on grid for most of the fight.  I was able to keep up with both accounts for quite a while.  Then NCDot landed on the logi and the fight became a desperate scramble to keep ourselves alive.  We managed to survive mostly intact through that assault, but I knew I had to focus on logi completely at that point, so warped my alt off and sent him back to the station in ED-L9T for the balance of the fight.

After that the chaos of battle was pretty intense, with a lot of locking, repping, and unlocking for the next target.  NCDot managed to land on us again and ripped through the ranks of our Basilisks quite thoroughly this time.  My final act of defiance, my reps already engaged, my armor drones long gone, having already seen the yellow boxes meant for me, and having called for reps that I knew would never come, was to launch the one combat drone I had kept in my drone bay and set it on the nearest Loki in hopes of whoring on at least one kill mail.  Mission accomplished.

The logi having been all but wiped out, Asher wrangled the fleet and pulled it off the field, jumping into LS-V29 where there was one final exchange of fire before they disengaged and headed home to dock up.

The battle report, which was part of Arrendis’ article about the battle over at TMC (he was, as usual, the logi anchor during the fight), showed that we won the ISK war.  However, in being driven off the field we lost the strategic objective and were unable to rep the station in ED-L9T sufficiently to stop Darkness and friends from putting the station into the armor timer.  We are now pretty close to being evicted from our foothold in Querious.

The battle report also showed how much these fights have heated up over time, having gone from maybe 150 pilots total on grid on a good night to in excess of 400 pilots for this fight.  Also, the proximity of home stations meant a lot of people were able to re-ship and re-enter the fight, with ship kills standing at 523.  I died late enough in the fight that, by the time I got back to our supply base, the remaining Basilisks had been snapped up, so I was done for the night.  I filed for reimbursement (which got paid before my alarm clock went off this morning) and then waited for the PAP link before signing off.  (Oddly, neither of my characters, nor my alliance, show up on that battle report.  So it is at least two pilots and one kill shy of accurate.)

Now there is at least one big fight left in ED-L9T, over a station shoot that has to be done the old fashioned way, since the Entosis Link module is only for services with Carnyx.  We will see how many show up for that.

Have Basilisk, Will Travel

And how I will travel.

As I mentioned in my “wait, where am I” new year’s post about EVE Online, I left things strewn about space after the last deployment.  And, with a new deployment promised for this week, I figured I had better get myself together.

Oddly, the new deployment, which was slated as a general admission operation, was going to use the same ships and fits as the Reavers, right down to mobile depots and cloaks and such.  But it was not going to be a Reaver op.

Still, that made things handy.  I had a couple of Reaver fit ships, I just had to get them to the jump off point for the operation.  The not-so-handy part was where they were.  The ship I wanted to fly, a Basilisk logistics cruiser, was way down in the southwest corner of Amarr space, not too far from a jump gate to HED-GP, while the staging point was back up in Deklein.  And I didn’t even have a jump clone in the system where the ship was, because we ended the deployment down there by flying Crucifiers back home as part of a potential DBRB trap that didn’t quite work out.

Also, I left a crucifier parked somewhere...

Also, I left a crucifier parked somewhere…

So I had some flying to do.

And, yes, I could have just bought a new ship.  But I am not exactly overflowing with ISK, being pretty lazy on the income front for the last year or so, and the Basilisk down in Amarr space was still insured.  Waste not, want not, and all that.  So the evening before the deployment I set out to get my Basilisk back home, because there is no minute like the last minute.

The first step was to get jump to the clone nearest the ship.  I was up in YAO and the nearest clone was one jump out of Amarr in Bhizheba.  I have sufficient standing with the Amarr Navy to install jump clones with them in stations that have medical facilities, and Bhizheba is the nearest such facility to the trade hub of Amarr itself.

I jumped there, bought the cheapest shuttle in the station, a Minmatar model, and flew down to Badivefi, where the Basilisk was docked, a quick 19 jump run.

Shuttle run... and Caroline's Star

Shuttle run… and Caroline’s Star

Once there I repackaged the shuttle and listed it on the market for more than I paid for it (and it sold in a couple of hours) and boarded the Basilisk, making sure it was fit for travel, which includes having a cloak, for the journey back to Deklein.  The most direct route back to YA0-XJ is 47 jumps, and pretty much avoids low sec, making the transition to null sec at EC-P8R.

Unfortunately, that is kind of a hot location.  Always a lot of camps, and then the route goes through NPC null in Pure Blind, where lots of not-blue strangers wander about.  That is a bad part of town and you are likely to get mugged.

I chose instead to use my old standby route and slip into Cloud Ring via Black Rise, a 33 jump journey that would get me into null sec, but leave me a long way from my destination.  However, it would put me on the jump bridge route between Deklein and Fountain.  I could take just two jump bridges and land just four jumps from YA0-XJ.  Granted, I would have to wait out the jump timer before I could use the second jump bridge, a 10 minute count down, but I had my cloak so I could just disappear for a bit and go do something else while that problem took care of itself.

The journey itself was uneventful.  The usual Marmite camp in Niarja was looking for fatter targets than I, and while low sec Black Rise is always full of people, they are usually off doing Factional Warfare stuff and have almost no interest in somebody just passing through.  Entering Cloud Ring I found myself pretty much alone.  It is kind of a “fly over” region in CFC space, or so it seems to me, so I used the first jump bridge, traveled to the second, cloaked up for a bit, then used it, landing back amongst the blue where I was able to dock up in YA0-XJ without incident.  I had a bit of jump fatigue, but that would wear off soon enough.

The next evening I got on a little bit before the form-up and took gates from YA0 to the start system, QPO-WI.  I joined the fleet, led by Lazarus Telraven, as soon as it went up.  I got in the logi channel and then the cap chain channel, where Arrendis was running the show, so we were in good hands on that front.  Our ball of Ishtars and Basilisks and assorted other support ships eventually undocked, and the first thing we did was fly back to YA0.

This has happened before.  Sometimes I wonder why I leave the system.

From there we headed west, following approximately the wagon trail to Fountain.  Our final destination had not been given for operational security reasons and every time somebody asked on coms, a new objective was named.  Fountain, Delve, Stain, Catch, Thera, and Providence were all mentioned at various times as we plodded through space, one full fleet of 255 plus a second fleet with another 30 or so traveling along.

Things were, of course, slow.  Travel ops are slow, pushing 280 people through jump gates causes time dilation to kick in, and the FC is hooked into the intel channel and talking to his scouts about the route ahead, so isn’t always sending us to the next system right away.  Plus Laz was also streaming and trying to get a covops past the Marmite camp in Amarr or some such.

Holding up on another gate

Holding up on another gate

We stumbled along for a while, going maybe 20 or so jumps before we were finally pulled up short and told to warp to an individual.  We had reached our wormhole.  This was how we were going to get across space, closer to our eventual destination.

Into the wormhole

Into the wormhole

There seemed to be a question as to whether all 280 of us would make it through the wormhole before it collapsed.  The logi went through first, so in we went.  And on the other side we found ourselves in Thera!

Not much to show for it...

Not much to show for it…

I was actually pretty excited about this.  Thera was the new special wormhole space that was added with the Rhea expansion.  Maybe Thera was our destination?  Maybe we were going to set up shop in here for a while a shoot things.  That seemed like something new and different.

And then we warped to the exit hole.  We were just passing through Thera on our way elsewhere.  But at least I had been there for a visit, even if I only saw the stations on my overview.

Things in Thera

Things in Thera

We passed through the exit wormhole, logi first again, and it went critical as the final ships passed through, and found ourselves in Wicked Creek.  There was a hostile, bubbles were deployed, not much happened.  Par for the course.

You don't get this stuff in low sec

You don’t get this stuff in low sec

From there we continued the slow gate crawl from one destination to another.  At one point Laz got some intel that the way ahead was camped so wanted us to stop a few jumps shy of the original destination he had broadcast.  However, there were two potential paths to where we were headed, and the in-game route finder changed its mind on which path we should take, so that those who set the destination to the new broadcast got one route while those who kept the original destination and just planned to stop at the broadcasted system were set to travel another route.  This meant stopping everything for a while as Laz tried to get us all back in the same location.

The fleet slowly moves forward

The fleet slowly moves forward

Meanwhile, the discussion on coms had turned to exactly what equipment a eunuch has left after he becomes a eunuch.  The no chatter channel, where you can only hear the fleet commander, was starting to sound like a good idea, but I stayed on the main coms because Baby Lemba was doing voices again, which I find funny, but which isn’t always conducive to coms discipline.  And then Laz lost another covops while trying to get us organized and I thought his head was going to fall off.  I had the stream up so I could see the look on his face.

Eventually this was sorted out and we were able to move forward.  We hit no camp and eventually arrived at our destination, which was XS-K1O.  We are bunking with The Initiative, which owns the system.  That is just three gates from B-R5RB, site of the giant titan battle almost a year ago and not too far from where we were based in Immensea last year at this time.  I still have a Dominix in B-R5RB and a couple more ships in AF0-V5, our old staging system.

I tried to put all my travels this week on the influence map, but the arrows got a bit confusing.  If I  haven’t been to the four corners of New Eden, I have certainly been beyond the four corners of empire space.  And I am not sure how I would even draw the two hour trip from Deklein to Immensea.  Two hours is about par for the course for such things, unless it turns into a trail of tears.

Estimated locations of key points in my move

Estimated locations of key points in my move

And that is where we are set up.  There is a write up over at Crossing Zebras about the situation in the area, which is both confused and very Russian.  There is also a write up over at The Mittani which includes our staging system, so I am not violating operation security by mentioning it.  And my Basilisk made it down there in one piece.

Cap chaining in Immensea... Caroline's Star visible

Cap chaining in Immensea… Caroline’s Star visible

We are down there to get fights or, if no fights come up, help tear down Northern Coalition’s rental empire.  So far, fights are not happening, so it is structure shoots.

Looking for trouble in Immensea

Looking for trouble in Immensea

We don’t want the space, we just don’t want NC to have it any more.  We will see what happens this weekend as we start setting timers.

Another infrastructure hub reinforced

Another infrastructure hub reinforced

Now should I nip over and pick up my long lost Dominix, or just leave it in B-R5RB where it had its big moment?  Meanwhile, I am still more than 20 jumps away from all those ships I left in Curse back in

Eastasia Routed at B-R5RB! 70+ Titans Down!

(Today’s title is a reference to a post about null sec I wrote last week, in case you’re going, ‘Huh?”)

What to say about the fight at B-R5RB?

It was a battle to eclipse Asakai, the capital ship engagement that took place exactly one year before.

It was one of those events that demonstrates the scale of the possible in EVE Online in terms of players involved and resources consumed as well as the time frames required.

The first notification that a fight might be going down was broadcast about 8am PST yesterday when it was reported over at The Mittani that sovereignty dropped on the system B-R5RB after down time.  Nulli Secunda forgot to pay their recurring sovereignty bill (you get a reminder and it pretty much adds up to pressing a button) and so they lost the system.

They set about restoring their sovereignty while Russian and CFC units started poking around to investigate what was going on in what Pandemic Legion and other N3 forces had been using as a staging system for operations in the war in the south east.

If what I heard on coms last night was correct, Lazrus Telraven took the command decision for the CFC to go “all in” on contesting the system.  The fight was on.

I’m going all in.  Get here.

-Lazrus Telraven, convo with Mister Vee

I was at work, done with my morning tea and busy poking away at test application.  These things always seem to start on Euro time while I am at the office.

I checked Twitter throughout the day as EVE-Kill, which tweets every expensive ship loss, and ever super capital makes that grade, called out the losses one by one.  If you want to know when something big is going down in New Eden, that is a Twitter account to follow.

Titan kills kept getting reported all day long as capital fleets piled into the system.  Several live streams were up.  When I finally got home, I checked into the Pandemic Legion stream to see what they were saying.

Pandemic Legion Live from B-R

Pandemic Legion Live from B-R

They were reporting 20 Russian/CFC titans down for 38 N3 titan losses with less than 2,000 people in system.  There was a call for a Dominix fleet about then, so I logged in and joined up.  However, we were left hanging in a POS for quite a while before being dismissed.  There was nobody available to bridge us anywhere, all the titans online were engaged in the fight.  I logged back off and went and had dinner with the family, then watched the Sherlock that got recorded Sunday night.  The wedding episode.  Fun stuff.

After that and a bit of cleaning up I headed back to my computer.  By this point the Pandemic Legion stream had stopped counting losses.

Wait, what?

Wait, what?

When I shoved off earlier it sounded like the fight might be winding down.  There was loose talk about extracting our forces, some of whom had been on for nearly 12 hours at that point.  There was also a call for reinforcements for the Dominix fleet I had left earlier.  A titan had been found to move us around and the fleet had been sent out eventually.  I got back into my Domi and out with some other reinforcements (eluding the Dirt Nap Squad camp in our own staging system) only to be sent off to a system a few jumps from the main fight in order to shoot structures.

Joy.  A structure shoot during the biggest event in a long time.

We were there to try and draw off some of the capital ships that were assisting N3 in the big fight.  This had apparently worked a couple of times previously.  Carriers had been dropped on Domis, or so I was told.   But by the time I was out with the fleet N3 had lost interest in what we were doing.  Eventually Reagalan, our FC, decided that the venture was fruitless and arranged a bridge back to G-0 for us.  The fleet was standing down.

But that was only for a short break.  A new fleet went up on Lyris.  The Mittani himself got on coms to tell us we would be bridging into the fight in B-R5RB.  We were to refit out Domis to have four energy neutralizers in our high slots and get on the titan.  Our job was to drain the capacitors of hostile titans so that their repair modules would cease to function, making them easier to kill.  We were not to launch drones.  Nobody wanted to crash the system at this point… nobody on our side anyway… while there were still at least a dozen titans on the field to kill.

After a short wait, the bridge went up.

And then there was a much longer wait in the warp tunnel to B-R5RB.

Reports were that the system was responding much better than it had been earlier in the day.  Modules were responding to commands within a few seconds and things were generally working.  But time dilation was still at 10% and updates in the UI were sketchy at best.  So riding the bridge into system took quite a while.  I spent 15 minutes in limbo, from the point I selected the “jump through” option to when I was actually up and systems systems functioning in B-R5RB.  Somewhere along the way the system lost track of me and warped me off to a safe spot, so that when I finally loaded I had to endure what I would call a Zeno’s Paradox warp, where the distance to the final destination kept dropping in half, but never seemed to want to finish.  I think I was down to 122 meters until warp bubble collapse before the system finally decided I was there.

And then I was on grid amongst the battle of titans.  The field was a mass of warp disruption bubbles and giant ships.  There were titans strewn about, as the N3 ships were trying to move out of the bubbles to escape.  But each was pinned down.  Meanwhile, hundreds of super carriers, carriers, and dreadnoughts hung about the field, secondary targets when compared to the big fish.  My screen shots are in a gallery after the cut at the end of this post, but they do not do the fight justice.  It was like no other fight I have been in.

But it was time to get to business.  We moved to the first titan on our list, bushy2, and began to neut him down.  Things went slowly.  We drained him and then watched the capital ships burn him down.  We moved on to Chris baileyy.  My capacitor and velocity read-outs in the UI stopped functioning.  We applied neuts as the next target was called, Mandrake Seriya.  Then it was Ryan Coolness, then Needa3, and then Maggy Lycander.  Doomsdays flared from our titans, burning down the drained targets as dreadnoughts and super carriers kept up a constant stream of fire.

In all, from the time I dropped into system to the point of the 6th kill more than two and a half hours had gone by.  It was now midnight my time and 16 hours had passed since the fight started to develop.  It was well past my weeknight bed time.  But what to do?  There was no way I was getting back to G-0 at that point, and I wasn’t keen to stay up until at least downtime, three hours hence.  So I just left myself logged in and following the fleet, turned off the monitor and hit the sack.  What the hell, I got on some titan kills.

When I checked in the morning, I had been logged out for downtime, but there was no kill mail for me, so I appeared to have survived.  My Domi is sitting in B-R5RB waiting for me to log in again.  But there are lots of ships in that state.  Our forces managed to kill the final N3 titan about 90 minutes after I went to bed and then started in on the super carriers until downtime.  And, in looking at the coalition broadcasts, there will be camping and mop-up operations going on for some time to try and catch N3 capital ships as they log back in to try and escape.

You can see the ebb and flow of the fight in the report from DOTLAN.

DOTLAN kills for the last 24 hours

DOTLAN kills for the key 20 hours

There was the initial rush, the mid-period when the system was at its slowest, then as things started to thin and the Russian/CFC forces started to get the upper hand, the kills increased until downtime, which is the red bar.  And then kills resumed.

Or kills tried to resume.  Today is also the Rubicon 1.1 patch, which appears to have broken any number of things.  There are reports of friendly stations shooting people and CONCORD issues and all sorts of fun things… because CCP.  We shall see which side all of that favors, if any.

And what does all this mean?   This wasn’t the biggest fight in terms of people involved or total ships killed, I think 6VDT-H still wins there, but it surely must be the most expensive fight in the history of the game.  CCP put up a coy tweet about the total titan losses.

That is 75 titans down in one day, each one of which cost at least 100 billion ISK.  Some of them were more than double that, when fit with officer modules.  I think, over the last seven years, I might have had a total of maybe 10-12 billion ISK all combined, so for me that is a staggering amount of destruction.  Call it at least a 7.5 trillion ISK day as an opening estimate.  I am sure CCP will roll out the stats as soon as they can.  In the mean time, they are in there with an offer to help rebuild!  Expect prices in Jita to go up on speculation alone.

As CCP_Fozzie asked, "Too soon?"

As CCP_Fozzie asked, “Too soon?”

And now the post-battle has begun, as people try to figure out what really happened in that 20 hour stretch in New Eden.  There will be lots of reports in the gaming press and even the mainstream press I am sure.  There will be a crazy, nothing to do with reality, dollar amount attached to the losses in this battle.  Some links so far:

Massively remains oddly absent from the list of sites covering this.  If I got all my news from them, I’d think it was just another ho-hum week in space.  Even my local paper is ahead of them.

As for what it means to the three big null sec coalitions… I don’t know.  I imagine that NC and Pandemic Legion have enough reserves that this won’t hurt them too badly in the long term.  They will rebuild.  In the shorter term, their ability to project power and drop supers onto fights has been diminished.  We will see how that plays out.

And for me, well, I am on six titan kill mails and I saw another giant battle.  Good enough for me!

Screen shot gallery after the cut.

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Remember the Lazamo – Bloodbath at 3WE-KY

This morning there was some running around as a possible fleet action built up in Fountain.  I got into game and into Lazerus Telraven’s fleet, which got left behind waiting on a titan while the other fleets moved out.

Then it was announced that we had a cyno in place and that our fleet would be dropping on the hostiles ahead of the other fleets.  After a tidi titan jump, where the bridge went up and then down before anybody got bridged out, we landed near the gate in 3WE-KY.  And then the fun began.

We were there ahead of the other fleets and sitting on top of several hostile fleets.  Reinforcements were on the way for us, but we had to hold out for over an hour while outnumbered.  And then TEST and pals started dropping some capital ships on the field.

Fleet doctrine and good logistics played out well for us.  There were some losses early on in our fleet, but for the most part we held out.  I was the primary target for the hostiles at one point, though I noticed I was getting yellow boxed in time to get my request for armor reinforcement early.  And even then, it was a near run thing.

Go Logi, Go!

Go Logi, Go!

I ended up about 10% into structure before reps started to out weight the incoming fire.  The battle went on.  I saw the numbers in local continue to rise.  When we jumped in it was just over 1,100 and I saw it get close to 1,700 by the time the fight hit its peak.  Naturally, time dilation was in full effect, running at 10% with some lag on top of that.

And then the tide began to turn.  Other fleets began to arrive on scene.  We ended up dropping some capital ships of our own.  And, in the end, any hostiles left on field were destroyed.  I have 8 dreadnaughts and 3 carriers on my kill tally for the day, along with a pile of enemy battleships.  A big battle indeed.

Lazamo-DotlanSystems

Early on in the fight, it was declared an Alamo operation, where we were surrounded and outnumbered and hoping for reinforcement.  Then, it became The Lazamo, named for our FC.

I remember...

I remember…

While EVE-kill.net is still catching up and we are waiting for more complete battle reports (maybe this one?), I have a pile of pictures from the fight after the cut.

Addendum: The Mittani has a report up on the battle now.

Addendum March 2018: Link rot has killed all those reports.  Here is one that still works along with the header so I can piece it together again at some future date.

Lazamo summary… mostly correct I think

Addendum April 2018: Wayback Machine link to the article from The Mittani, submitted by AZ.

I had the screen shots sorted by time and then the WordPress gallery tool decided that they needed to be in alphabetical order.  I have tried to put them back in the correct sequence.

The War Against Super Capitals at Q-VTWJ

That was how the fight was billed from the CFC side of things.

We were going to kill a super capital, rumored to be an Erebus, in its CSAA (capital ship assembly array) before it was born.  That this particular CSAA belonged to Intrepid Crossing (IRC), with whom we are neither at war nor at peace I gather, seemed irrelevant.  It was within our range and we were going to try and blow it up.  We have been down this path before.

A CSAA in its natural habitat

Razor put the POS into reinforce and we were coming back to take it out and the CSAA with it.

This fight was pretty well advertised.    The CFC had been put on alert and told to expect a fight, while intel reported that IRC had issued their highest level call to arms and was going to bring in as many allies as they could muster.

The only people who didn’t seem to get notified was CCP, since they clearly did not reinforce the node where we were fighting.  Or maybe they did.  It is hard to tell, but things got bad.

So it was last night.  The call went out that the fleets were forming.  DBRB was leading the Alpha Fleet, which filled up very quickly.  Zagdul was leading an armor tanked fleet, so we had Abaddons flying with us.  And finally there was Lazarus Telraven leading the third fleet, the Drake Fleet.

For reasons unknown, the Drake Fleet ended up in operations channel 2 because Zagdul took channel 3.  This seemed to confuse Laz and he kept telling people we were in channel 3 for long past the time it should have taken him to get his brain around it.  For Logical Laz, the third fleet should be in channel 3 dammit!

I joined Laz in a Drake, determined to shoot something fun before the month ended.

More after the cut.

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