Tag Archives: Naglfar

Using my Dreadnought

I am not a very good capital pilot.  Along the way I have managed to acquire four capital ships, a carrier, a fax, and two dreadnoughts, and I almost never use them.  And the two dreads are the most embarrassing as they are fit as suicide dreads, meant for one way trips into fights to destroy hostile supers.  One of them is about a year and a half old and is starting to seem like the  Kamikaze pilot asking about the retirement plan.

My capitals have mostly been used to move things, usually ships, to and from the various fronts.  Mostly from, as I tend to fly out to a staging area, accumulate ships as we add or change doctrines, and they have to get them all home after the deployment is over.

Every so often I am on at the right time, in the right place, and can get in a fleet.  With dreads we often don’t even undock as the opportunity has passed, so usually it is my fax that gets to undock for a home defense operation in Delve.  But on a rare occasion I get to shoot something.  The last time I was able to undock a dread and actually use it was back in August at the battle around the X47 Keepstar.

So I was pretty happy when a ping went out calling for dreads in Delve.  Some hostile caps had dropped on a Rorqual and killed it, but they were now locked down so we were going to get to shoot something.

Of course, I wasn’t ready.  My capital alt had to clone jump back to Delve.  Then I realized that the Naglfar dreadnought I had there wasn’t on that account, so I had to log in my main and quickly contract it to my cap pilot.  And then I had to clean out the holds, just in case it got blown up, as they were still full of stuff from the big move op last October.

But I still managed to get that sorted, get in fleet, get undocked, and jump to the cyno in time to actually shoot some hostiles.

Sweet explosion

I managed not to do anything wrong.  Or not much.  I think you’re supposed to come to a complete stop before you siege, but I still managed to hit three of the hostiles, and almost got top damage on one.

It was an odd moment when there was one last hostile dread on grid with us, but he was over 300km off and, because we were in a mission space with acceleration gates, we couldn’t warp to him.  So we just sat there for a bit while some subcaps went after him.

Thwarted by game mechanics

After that we warped off to the local Keepstar, because there is a Keepstar in most system in Delve these days.

Warping with some Revelations

From there, once jump timers ran down, we were cleared to jump back home and dock up.

It was a quick op, and not particularly significant.  We didn’t even save the target.  But I got to shoot something with my dread, which was good enough for me.

A Massive Move Op Gets Me Home from the War

The peace of the north, where the Imperium agreed to withdraw forces back to Delve and not bother the north of null sec for a month and GotG for a full six months, came into effect on Saturday.  And with that began the first big move operation.  It was planned for 18:00 UTC, 11:00am for me, on that Saturday.

The first call to form up came at seven minutes before the hour in a ping and I was ready for it.

The whole operation had been announced almost a week in advance, so I had plenty of time to prepare.  As usual during a deployment, I managed to acquire a range of subcaps in my hangar.  Actually, in both of my hangars, the one in the Keepstar in 6RCQ-V and the one in the station in ROIR-Y in Pure Blind, where Reavers had been based for almost a year.

Usually the accumulation of ships means flying my main and my alt together in multiple move ops and maybe finding somebody with a bit of space in the ship maintenance bay of their capital ship to carry a couple of bombers or such.

This time however, one of the ships I managed to accumulate was a Naglfar dreadnought, a prize from the race that Ranger Gamma ran back in late December.  It was supposed to be a suicide dread, something expendable to drop on a valuable target like a titan   I only managed to use it one, during the first Keepstar battle at X47L-Q, and it survived so I had it to move back.

That turned out to be a bit of a boon.

With almost a week’s notice I was able to pack my ships into the Naglfar and jump it from ROIR-Y to the Keepstar at 6RCQ-V.  There I was able to stuff almost all of my remaining ships into the the ship maintenance bay along with the assorted modules and other stuff that ends up rattling around the corners of your station hangar when you stay in any one place for more than a week or two.  So much nanite repair paste mocking me because I forget to overheat most of the time.

The only ships that did not fit were a couple of travel interceptors, which are easy enough to jump clone to and fly out, and a Megathron battleship for the Baltec doctrine that I think I flew exactly once. (But that was one more time than the Ferox I had there as well.)

The Megathron was problematic.  A Battleship is big and takes up a lot of space in a ship maintenance bay, so I was reluctant to try to foist it off on another cap pilot.  But tech I battleships insure nicely and I wouldn’t miss it if it was gone, so I decided to just fly it home on its own.  I figure, best case, I might scatter a small gate camp and get a kill, while the worst case would be to lose it, collect the insurance, and not have to worry about it anymore.

Megathron in Cloud Ring

So on Wednesday night I undocked it and headed towards Delve.  I knew the risks. The coalition had pinged multiple times “Don’t move yourself!”  But I was going to go for it.  I already knew the route home.  Many trips over the years through the area hes left me with the lay of space.  You get into Fountain, you take the jump bridge to the mid-point of the region, you take the gate that cover the mid-region gap, you take the jump bridge to the gate to Delve, and in Delve you take a jump bridge to where you want to be.

Megathron on its way

The trip went off without incident.  It was even relatively quick.  With the revisions to jump fatigue I only had to wait for a timer to cool down a bit before hitting the next jump bridge.

My small op was done.  The big op was coming.  I was on and ready to go before the first ping came.

The first ping was for four capital fleets, divided up by type, and an overflow fleet.  Those quickly filled up and a second overflow fleet was called.  Then two subcap fleets were called.  If I recall right there was also an overflow fleet for subcaps eventually, and then a final fleet for people who could fly Apostles to help get the strategic force auxiliary reserves home.  I got my alt in for that, so had two accounts running for the move op.

If I had know that was going to be a thing I could have shoved the Megathron in the Apostle to carry it home.  Oh well, it was done already.

Move ops can be long and exasperating affairs, as demonstrated by the classic Endie “trail of tears” graphic memorializing an all day move to Delve from the north.

The Trail of Tears move op

That was back when capitals were rare and the pilots alleged to be the elite.  Now almost any scrub who rats in Delve has at least one capital ship and many of them have supers or titans.

And now, on a Saturday morning I was going to move to Delve with more than 1,800 other capital ships and a couple of fleets of subcaps, all of us sharing the same voice coms channel. (For those interested, there were about 1,400 actual people in the voice coms channel for the ~2,000 ships being moved, so less than a 2:1 ratio of accounts to people.)

There was a non-zero chance of this becoming a nightmare.

Instead, it all ran surprisingly smoothly.  People used all the advance notice we had to get ready, so a fleet of capital ships jumped to the first cyno just a little bit after 18:00.  The dreadnought fleet went at 18:17, while the Apostle fleet, the last to go, was cleared to jump at 18:25, landing on a Fortizar.

About 1,800 capitals tethered

Our first jump was a few gates shy of critical gate to Fountain, but we had jump fatigue to burn off, so we were sent by fleet forward to the last system in Cloud Ring, then gated again by fleets in order to keep time dilation from going crazy.  We held up together on a Fortizar in B-DBYQ, the last system in Cloud Ring, and the jumping off point for the Fountain War five years back.

Aligned in B-DBYQ

Again we were sent through the gate by fleets.  That put is in J5A-IX at the top of Fountain, where we regrouped on the Keepstar there, docking up.

At 19:34 we got the call to undock and, in a moment of hubris, the command was given for all fleets to jump.  That cranks up the tidi to 10% and ended with some disconnects, but for the most part it was just slow.  We got through, landing on the Keepstar in C-N4OD to dock up.

By 19:50, once people got through and things settled down, we were again called by fleets to undock and take the gate to KVN-36, the place where we were ambushed on another move op back in 2015. It ended up looking like a stream of titans being fired from the Keepstar.

You could walk back to the Keepstar on those titans

There we aligned to the Keepstar, then were sent by fleets to dock up, the Apostles going last to avoid bumping.

Apostles aligned and waiting

That put us in the southern half of the region.  We were told that for the next jump, which would bring us to the Delve gate in Y-2ANO, our arrival on the Keepstar would be recorded for use as a propaganda video, so we were all going to jump at once again, but this time we were not to dock up because that wouldn’t look as cool as all the ships arriving and just hanging on the citadel.

Again, lots of time dilation due to all of us going at once, but most people got through okay.  Traffic control was up for a lot of people and was even giving positions in the queue to jump.

412th position in the queue

My dreadnought went through, but the jump by the Apostle was cancelled by the delay.  I set it to jump again and it went through fine on the second go.

A batch of caps arriving in Y-2

I will be interested to see what the footage of us coming in looked like.

After that we all aligned to the ZXB-VC and waited for cynos to get in place in 1DQ1-A.   Another chain of titans was then fired at the gate.

Once through we were cleared to jump to the Keepstar in 1DQ1-A.  The cyno in the Apostle fleet disconnected, but by 20:41 the cyno was up again and I was docked in the Keepstar contracting the Apostle back to the person who handed them out.

Back at the Delve Keepstar

So from the time of the first ping at 17:53 to my being done and able to log off was just about three hours, which is amazing for a move op of this size and complexity.  Pilots new and old managed to make it down.

I think we’ve gotten a bit better as a coalition, but also the leadership has gotten better at keeping these sorts of operations moving.  For one thing, there were markers called at various points, that if you hadn’t reached a certain objective you were too far behind and told to log off and wait for the next move op.  The whole move op didn’t stop people one person disconnected or didn’t follow instructions.

Of course, citadels have made this sort of thing easier as well.  At every jump or gate there was a citadel waiting for us, usually a Keepstar, letting us tether up or dock.

And so it goes.  I am back in Delve for the first time since November of last year.  When I go back to put together all the posts for this deployment, this ought to be the final one.

A gallery of my screen shots from the op:

A Postcard from the Imperial Academy Hangar

I haven’t done much in New Eden recently.  I have spent a lot of time in a high sec station that sells skills.

Somewhere in Amarr space

Somewhere in Amarr space

Some of it has been that I haven’t had the time to get in on fleet operations that have been going on in Curse since our redeployment back down there.  But more of it has been around the fact that I have a long list of things I want to do in World of Warcraft and it is frankly easier to log in and get busy on that list than it is to hang around hoping a fleet op will come up.  Accessibility wins for the moment I guess.  Plus my corp leader, El Supremo, has been slacking even more than I have.  I see him playing Farming Simulator 2013 on Steam some nights.

Still, things move along all the same, so I have a couple of items to bring up.

Naglfar Capable

I am finally fully skilled up to fly the Naglfar in CFC capital fleets.  Back when I started down that path, I put the timeline as ~20 days of training.  Of course, I ran into a couple of additional skills I needed along the way, but it only added a couple more days.

Now I just have to purchase one.  I have held off on that just in case there was another doctrine change and in hopes that Naglfar production will ramp up and there will be more choice at slightly lower prices.

Alts and Skill Points

Jester has been thinking on skill points and alts and the distribution of the skills we train and so on.  Good stuff.  Worth looking at just for the charts.  There are two posts so far:

And there is a promise of more.

Anyway, it got me thinking of my own approach to alts in EVE Online.  They always start out as an attempt to cover a segment of skills that my main does not have.  But over time I seem to aim my alts back at my main in order to let them act as a backup pilot in the same roles my main fills.  Meanwhile my main, now at 116 million skill points, tends to eventually pick up some portion of the role I was attempting to fill with the alt.

Right now I am only running a single alt, but his skill plan has been to try to catch up to all the subcap doctrine skills required for CFC fleet ops so I can be two places at once in space.  I have cloned jumped with my main on a couple of occasions only to have a fleet called and 16 hours left on the clock until I can jump to the start point.  So my alt is purely about operational flexibility at this point, allowing me to show up at one of our staging points able to fly.

Because Gevlon

The Greedy Goblin has found a new purpose in EVE Online.  A purpose is an essential part of sticking with a sandbox-like game.  This time Gevlon has decided to war on Goonswarm.  He has a declared a forever war against Goonswarm in high sec.  He also has a thread up about it in the official forums looking for allies.

Now the question is, how will this play out?

On the one hand, there is no shortage of hate for Goons.  At no time since the Goons appeared in the game have they lacked for some alliance opposed to them.  There is a whole EVE Online news site devoted to hating them.  So a “shoot Goons” platform seems like one for which there might be a line trying to get in, especially since it will be in high sec.

On the other hand there is Gevlon.  He is space famous.  In fact, he is probably more famous in game than many alliance leaders or a couple of the members of the CSM.

Not green in EVE

Portrait of the Goblin as a Spaceman

And while Goons might be hated, Gevlon is not exactly the Dale Carnegie of New Eden.  I admire his fortitude and his ability to set his own rules and proceed to win according to them.  He clearly belongs in EVE Online and the game would be a poorer place without him.  But if you haven’t been categorized as a moron or a slacker by his definition, you are a rare person indeed.  So I am going to guess that there is a not insubstantial Goon-hating demographic that wouldn’t mind watching Gevlon attack as much for a chance to see him get stomped on as to see him pester the Goons.

We’ll see how this one plays out and whether Gevlon has a new purpose in a month or two.

Dreadnought of Choice – A Real Nail Biter

Back in August, as the war in Fountain and Delve was winding down, the Alliance update at the time was pushing us to get into dreadnoughts.  A force of dreads was seen as the coming thing.  About then I began my training for capital ships, targeting an Archon carrier first while pondering which dreadnought would be best.  At the time, the Moros and the Naglfar seemed to be the best of the bunch.  The Moros was heavily favored in the forums, but there was a vocal minority extolling the virtues of the Naglfar.

Well, that minority seemed to be on the right path.  While their arguments seemed to flow mostly around the fact that, with their vertical orientation, they are “different,” the subject or armament did come up now and again.

Armament and range seems to be the key, as the Alliance update that got posted yesterday makes the Naglfar the keystone of our next fleet doctrine, OmegaFleet.

OmegaFleet is being put together to counter the Slowcats doctrine, which used to mean a fleet of carriers cross-repping each other and coordinating drones, but which now apparently means ~250 Archons, the carrier of choice for all sides these days, cross-repping and assigning all drones to the FC via the “seemed broken back in Fountain and still seems broken now” drone assist option, which allows the FC to then one-shot all sub-caps off the field while remaining pretty much invulnerable.  Such is the tale being spun about Slowcats.

Not to be confused with lazy cats

Not to be confused with lazy cats

Anyway, if you want the official line on the doctrine, read the Alliance update.  I can say that I have seen with my own eyes the ascension of the Archon Slowcat fleet, which has become a staple on-grid in the war in the East.

Domis and Carriers

Domis and an Archon fleet at E-YJ8G

Responses to the update have been both the unexpected and the expected.  Jester seems to think it is odd to use such updates to announce a change in fleet doctrines or that such updates should follow a consistent pattern or something.  I am not quite sure.  It does seem like a similar template could be written about weekly CSM updates.  Hell, the CSM meeting minutes update template is a one liner: [insert latest excuse here].

Meanwhile the EVE News 24 editorial about the update might be summed up as “CFC = whiny biatches,” which is pretty much the stock standard response anybody gives to their foes updates.  Alliance updates from all sides are often used to point out what horrible things the foe is doing, exploiting this mechanic or that or otherwise taking advantage of their superiority.  Certainly the CFC has been called out on many a past occasion for blobbing because of its numerical advantage.  And there certainly is a good deal of “Grrr… Slowcats” in the update, such as:

Slowcats combine spider tanking, capital power projection, sentry drone assist and elite pvp player entitlement into one noxious, disgusting package of imbalance.

But there is also that whole, “And here is how we’re going to counter them” bit, that sort of sets the update apart from the run-of-the-mill complaining about ones foe thing.  And the solution:  Naglfars!

The name Naglfar comes from a boat in Norse mythology made entirely from the finger and toe nails of the dead.  Eeew.  I am sure there is an apt metaphor in that somewhere.  The dreadnought itself, less disgusting.

Naglfar

Naglfar

Anyway, all that talk of doctrines and updates and the official party line and such is way above my pay grade.  I am just a soldier of the line in the CFC.  For me, it is more a matter of “Can I fly it and where can I buy it?”  Well, that and, “If I buy it, will we use the damn thing?”  I still have a Ferox in my hanger in G-0Q86.  What happened to the non-ironic Ferox doctrine?

Assuming that OmegaFleet will be a thing, I can actually fly the Naglfar today, thanks to mostly to the training I did to get into the Archon.  And to get to the skill level required to fly with CapSwarm, I have ~20 days of training, mostly around getting Minmatar Dreadnought to level IV.  So can I fly it? Yes I can!

Can I buy it though?  Well, I have the ISK, provided that the market for Naglfars doesn’t spike into the stratosphere.  As a coalition we’re pretty good at gouging each other on essentials until the command staff cracks down on it.  I assume there will be some sort of coalition effort to get pilots in reasonably priced Naglfars and to get them to the war front in Curse.

So we shall see.  I am training for it.  I have the ISK to buy one.  Will I be able to get blown up in my most expensive combat ship yet?

And while I was writing this, I started to go through my screen shots to see if I could find a picture of just a Naglfar.  No such luck.  I had to go for the stock picture above.  But I do have some shots of Naglfars mixed in with dreadnought fleets, see the gallery below.  You can spot their vertical silhouette in the mix.

Towards a Confederation of Dreadnoughts

It seems to be an unwritten rule of EVE Online that, once you have a training plan all nailed down and under way, something will come along to make you change it.

And then change it again.

I lucked out to a certain extent when I moved out to null sec space back in December 2011.  I showed up just in time for the CFC to start up the Drake fleet doctrine, a ship I was already exceptionally well skilled to fly.  I think I had all related skills to level IV or V at the outset and have since honed them up even more.  I have many a post here about flying with Drake fleet.

Some of us in a line

Happy Days in Drake Fleet

That luck gave me time to train up for logistics, so I was able to fly a Scimitar with Drake fleet or Alpha fleet.  I trained a little for Alpha fleet as well, but there was not much pressure because there was a tech 1 Megathron fit I could fly already.  So I could idly train whatever I wanted.

I got myself set for Tengu fleet, just in case.  I never actually flew the Tengu part, sticking to logistics there.  When Tech fleet came out as an armor tanked doctrine, I trained up that part of logistics as well.  I trained up Planetary Management, with the idea of setting up a bit of semi-passive income at some point.  I haven’t quite gotten there yet.

And then came the war in Fountain and the subsequent doctrine changes.  Drakes had been nerfed into oblivion by CCP, Tengu and Tech fleets were not holding up, so new plans were made.  Sure, I had Caracals covered when they were thrown in as a cheap stop-gap, and it doesn’t take much to fly a Celestis.  But when Batltec fleet was announced, and the mighty Megathron was the order of the day, I was a few skills shy.  I could fly logistics, but not the Megathron fit.  And while that was all of a day’s training, I was still at the very low end for armor tanking skills.  How I missed Drakes.

I have a lot of Megathron screen shots now

And then we added AHACs with lasers and Harpy fleet and I was clearly behind the times.

So about three weeks back I put together a plan in EVE Mon titled “Fly All the Subcaps!” and put in all the things that might ever get included in a future doctrine, training them  all up to level IV (or V when needed), giving me about a 200 day training plan.  You would think with 107 million skill points, I would be covered, but there are a lot of skills in EVE Online.  I biased the plan towards things that would help current doctrines first, so Armor Honeycombing was in there early, and set off training.

And then the fighting in Fountain ended and rumors started that we would be moving to Fountain.  Gaff poked me and suggested that it might be a good thing to train up to fly a carrier so as to be able to haul ships back and forth at need.  If we moved to Fountain, I had a pile of ships to move there, and if we didn’t, I had a pile to move back to Deklein.

That seemed like a plan just reasonable enough to blow up my previous plan.  And I had laid some groundwork for it during my aimless training time.  I had Jump Drive Operation up to V and Jump Drive Calibration to IV.  Flying a carrier… and I could chose any one, they were all equidistant… was just 19 days away.  So off I went on that plan, the Archon being my target.

Archon under fire

Not THAT kind of target!

And then, a week into that, with the Fountain fully taken, there was an Alliance Update that, among other things, assigned new training goals.  We were asked to max out sentry drones and work towards flying a dreadnought.  The plan is to abuse the “assign drones to the FC” mechanic (which did not work all that well for TEST at G95F or 6VDT) until CCP fixes it and to fling dreadnoughts at everything in future conflicts.

Since I was already at maximum skills for sentry drones (trained them years back and never really used them until now) I started looking at dreads.

I am equidistant in training time from 3 of the 4 dreadnoughts, though the Phoenix is out due to being unsuitable for a “blap dread” (a subcap shooting dreadnought) fit.  (Gaff, who owns a Phoenix, blames me for this, saying I told him to go Caldari back in 2007.) The Revelation is the furthest out of reach, as I am way behind in laser weaponry.  So the choice is between the Moros and the Naglfar.

The Moros seems to be the favored choice among many who purport to know best.  They certainly seem common.  They are a bit bulbous, looking a bit like Dabiggreenboat, to coin a phrase.

Moros Firing

Moros Firing at 3WE-KY

And then there is the smaller, but quite vocal Naglfar faction, whose primary arguments are that it uses no capacitor for its guns and looks damn cool with its vertical orientation.

Naglfars stand out among dreadnoughts

Fortunately, the work I started on for flying a carrier applies to dreadnoughts, and I have a bit of time to decide on which one to choose.

And I have to start working on earning some ISK.  This is going to cost.  The skills alone are pricy, and I haven’t even gotten a price on hulls and fittings yet.

Anyway, once I finish the dreadnought plan and then the carrier plan, I can get back to my subcap plan.  Unless something else comes up.

And something else always comes up.