Tag Archives: NOL-M9

Saturday Night Action in Delve

It has been a while since I have been in a fight in the was that was worth a post, but last night we had quite the time.  It was time to get Munnins out to shoot things.

Muninns out for a shoot

It started with an innocuous ping from Asher calling for a Muninn fleet.  It was only about 10:30pm local time for me, not too late to join in on something on a Saturday night.

Asher calls

There were about 100 people in fleet when I joined, which swelled up past 150 before we undocked.

When we did undock, we warped over to a titan that bridged us into NOL-M9 in Delve, a system with some history, both old and recent.  In fact, it had been the focus of a clash earlier in the day when PAPI forces tried and failed to kill an Imperium Astrahus in the system.  That structure, now safe, was where we landed.  Once assembled, we moved over to a PAPI Fortizar which we started shooting.  The plan was to try and reinforce and to see if we could draw a response.

Asher kept us appraised of PAPI’s ping status, the joke now being that they have to ping multiple times to get enough pilots into a fleet in order to come fight us.  On our side pings went out with links to The Count from Sesame Street to indicate how many pings they needed.

Six! Six fleet pings! Ah ah ah ah!

Eventually that number would far exceed how high The Count usually takes his numbers on the show.

They put a Falcon on the Fortizar, on tether but as far from us as they could, which seemed to indicate that they would be bridging in an opposing fleet soon.  As the likelihood of its arrival grew, Asher had us split out one gun from out stack to keep on the Fortizar while the rest would be for the battle.

A Ferox fleet joined us, along with some bombers, and PAPI eventually dropped Muninns of their own along with carriers and fax support.  It became a fairly even exchange between the Muninn fleets, but we still managed to set the armor timer for the Fortizar.

Muninns and Carriers around the Fort

And then, with the timer set and no need to split guns any further, Asher noticed that one of the faxes was off tether.  So we loaded up short range, high damage ammo and he brought us in very close, inside the PDS range of the structure, where we took a shot and one of the faxes… and managed a kill.

A fax kill

Then we managed to grab another.  Then another.  And finally a fourth.  Four faxes down.

Four Faxes Destroyed

That turned what was already a bit of smug… we managed to ref one of their structures while in combat when they had capitals on the field… into a very smug moment for us.  Asher warped us off the Fortizar and back to our Astrahus, the job done.

The battle report fell in our favor, helped along by those four faxes.  We got the objective and won the ISK war.

Battle Report Header from NOL-M9

Asher pointed us back towards home in 1DQ1-A and the Muninns and Feroxes started gating back.  But before we got too far, Asher asked us to respond in fleet whether we would like to just go home and stand down or if we wanted to try and reinforce another structure on the way.  We voted to reinforce.

Mind1, who was doing the Saturday night show, got in our fleet and joined in the fun, streaming our progress and laying down a motivational beat.  Did you know that the Imperium has its own official DJ?  It is a glorious thing.  You should check out his stream.

So we stopped one system short of home, in T5ZI-S, the home staging system in Delve for the PAPI coalition, the place where all of their members are supposed to be and where all their ships and supplies are stored.  We were going to hang out in the lion’s den and shoot a structure.  We would see how awake the lion really was.

Not very.

After a while shooting the Fortizar without a response, Asher moved the Muninn fleet over to their main Sotiyo engineering complex, pretentiously named “Forge of Heroes,” in order to see if that would provoke PAPI to action.

Shooting the Sotiyo

You can see in that screen shot, below the Sotiyo, their Keepstar in the system.  That is their main base.  We were that close to the heart of enemy and for a long stretch the only opposition we faced was the gunner in the structure shooting bombs at us.

I have trouble visualizing something like this happening one gate over in 1DQ1-A, our home, where the presence of bads tends to draw an eager response from people looking for combat.

The first response from PAPI was to get out carriers and HAW dreads to make sure we didn’t take out any of their cyno jammers.  Fighters were sent to cover those as that is all that stands between them and the looming menace of our titans and supers.  Progodlegend, the leader with Vily or TEST, got out on the Sotiyo to assess the situation, but didn’t do much otherwise.

The Fortizar was reffed by the Feroxes, who then came over to join us on the Sotiyo.  The hostiles eventually joined us as well.  Asher had us strip a single gun out of our stack yet again to keep on the Sotiyo and then we started going after the hostiles.   They brought a Ferox fleet of their own and it was on.

Time dilation hit 10% at points and there were nearly 1,200 people in the system, but the biggest frustration was that my guns would cycle fast enough so I ended up only getting on every second or third kill mail, the hostile Feroxes were blowing up so fast.

We stayed in range of the Sotiyo and kept one gun on it while blapping hostiles as quickly as our guns would cycle.  The Muninns went relatively unscathed as the hostiles were more focused on support ships and the easier to kill Feroxes.

Combat on the Sotiyo

The Sotiyo was reffed, the armor timer set, after which we saw ourselves out, warping to the gate to 1DQ1-A and jumping through.

Through the gate to home in 1DQ

The battle report was more even this time.  In the scale of the war, these losses were pretty minor.

T5ZI-S battle Report Header

Strategically this did not change anything about the war.  It was a Saturday night lark and the enemy is likely to get their act together and form up to defend the armor timers of the structures we reinforced.  There is little danger of any of them being blown up.

When it comes to demonstrating morale and responses however, this was another stark illustration as to how low things seem to have sunk for PAPI.  We did something on a whim in their main staging system that they haven’t been able to manage in our home next door in all the months since they set down that Keepstar in T5ZI back in November.

Even the Reddit thread about the whole thing was mild.

PAPI, as a coalition, theoretically out numbers us by a ratio of three to one.  But even in their home they could barely get together equal numbers after sending out nearly 50 pings to get people into fleets.  (The Imperium ping count for the same time was 23, at least half of which were images of The Count or The Mittani smugging and sending out battle reports.)

I am reminded of the tale of why the cheetah doesn’t catch the gazelle nearly as often as you might suspect.  The cheetah is just running for his lunch, the gazelle is running for its life.

The Imperium remains motivated despite the odds because we’re fighting for our survival.  I am not sure what PAPI is really fighting for at this point, but if it is for their lunch then they don’t seem to be very hungry.

25 Weeks of World War Bee

As expected, the Imperium Keepstar in NOL-M9 was destroyed by PAPI supers as we were unable to take back the ihub to prevent the system from being cyno jammed.  This will likely be the same fate that the Keepstars in D-W7F0 and 1-SMEB will face.

The highlight of the war last week was likely the Christmas Truce, where each group asked its members not to set timers that would come out on December 24th or 25th.  The truce seemed to be mostly respected, though not everybody got the word and the usual suspects on r/eve and elsewhere tried whine their way to a propaganda victory over things few cared about.  Nobody in an actual leadership position called out the other side.

There was even a game of “Griffinball” in T5ZI-S that both sides in the war participated in.  I saw the ping for it, though I didn’t have the time to join in myself.

Of course, the truce only covered structures and sov timers, so there was still plenty of shooting going on.  A big battle broke out on the T5ZI gate in 1DQ and there was an attempt to dread bomb a PAPI Erebus on the Keepstar in T5ZI that went wrong.  Christmas Day saw more than 150 billion ISK in ships blown up across the 1DQ-T5ZI front, most of it being Imperium losses.

And once Christmas Day was past, things returned to the usual grind, though PAPI seemed eager to give us a few last minute presents as they fed first one, then another Marshal blackops battleship for a combined loss of over 18 billion ISK for two subcaps.

Finally, there was a leak from a Fraternity alliance meeting that they were urging their members to get ready for a “big push” in Delve in January, so perhaps PAPI will make another move on 1DQ or Helm’s Deep.

Delve Front

There were not many big changes on the Delve front over the past week.  Timers came and went, but we haven’t been able to wrest any of the Keepstar ihubs back from PAPI.  Their doom awaits.

Delve – Dec. 27, 2020

The electrical metaliminal storm has kept on moving into the region.  Right now it is at a crossroads, where it might head up into the YX-LYK constellation or it could roam right into Helms Deep and its protected areas.  The storm in Helm’s Deep would actually help the Imperium as the only real threat there right now is covert ops bridges into the area to shoot at those still bothering to rat or mine.  Keeping them from cloaking would be a boon.  But even now, with it on E3OI-U it is keeping covert ops ships from slipping past the gate camp.

Catch Front

The Catch region remains in play with Brave and its Legacy Coalition allies having to spend time defending timers and structures.  Early in the week Brave had to defend its ihub, which The Initiative had reinforced.  They managed to form up enough to keep it from being take in the entosis event, but when their propaganda team compared it to the Imperium defending 1DQ I snorted audibly.  High on my list of objections to that comparison is the fact that PAPI hasn’t actually managed to reinforce the 1DQ ihub yet.

Catch – Dec 27, 2020

We keep pecking away at their infrastructure.  The Watchmen, which I mentioned last week because they appeared to be folding up shop, has lost a bunch of members and its sov will be up for grabs.  Legacy seems to have given up for now on killing our staging Fortizar in 0SHT-A, falling back to a defensive posture.  Brave has been keeping up a small gate camp on the gate between GE-8JV, their capital, and V-3YG7, the direction in which we lay.

Meanwhile, in addition to the Gamma storm that has been wandering the region for a few weeks now, the Plasma storm in Providence has started moving closer to the war zone.

Other Theaters

Querious continues to be a low intensity tug of war over some key ihubs in the region.

Querious – Dec. 27, 2020

Meanwhile, The Bastion and friends down in Esoteria are still holding on to a set of systems in the region.

NW Esoteria – Dec. 27, 2020

The Army of Mango Alliance appears to have all but given up fighting in the region.

And, if you have been watching Rorqual losses on zKillboard, you might have noticed that The Initiative has been busy dropping on Legacy’s backfield where they have been mining.

Dec 27 Rorqual kills

That should keep some crabs on their toes.

My Participation

My week in New Eden started with some fights and ended with some fights, but in the middle I wasn’t on all that much.  I formed up a few times for fleets in Delve where not much happened, but out in Catch with Reavers we have had some fun.

Waiting with Asher

I was involved with the fight over the GE-8JV ihub.  While we lost the entosis event, a significant brawl developed where we at least won the ISK war.  I had a close call on the way out.

Cutting things a bit close

But my Ishtar made it into warp and lived to fight another day.  It also has seven kill marks on it now, which is my new all time high.

Headed home for repairs

After the Christmas truce ended we were back at it in Catch on Saturday, reinforcing ihubs and shooting Ansiblex jump bridges.  Brave eventually formed up for us, but not before one pilot threw their Nidhoggur at us to try and stop an ihub hack.

Nidhoggur tackled

I gather he felt that his smart bombs would defang our Ishtars, but we pulled some range, dropped sentry drones, and took him down from a safe distance.  Not too long after we ran into a Jackdaw and Munnin fleet sent to see us off.  We were seriously outnumbered and had to safe up and log off for a bit.  But after that we were able to get out and home.  Through all of that I managed to not lose a ship.

I did lose another Ares, this time by forgetting it was on an alt sitting on a gate in hostile space because I was focused on my main for too long.  So it goes.  My loss count for the war is now:

  • Ares interceptor – 13
  • Crusader interceptor – 5
  • Atron entosis frigate – 6
  • Rokh battleship – 5
  • Drake battle cruiser – 4
  • Malediction interceptor – 4
  • Ferox battle cruiser – 3
  • Purifier stealth bomber – 2
  • Guardian logi – 2
  • Scalpel logi frigate – 2
  • Scimitar logi – 2
  • Raven battleship – 1
  • Crucifier ECM frigate – 1
  • Gnosis battlecruiser – 1
  • Bifrost command destroyer – 1
  • Cormorant destroyer – 1
  • Hurricane battle cruiser – 1
  • Sigil entosis industrial – 1
  • Mobile Small Warp Disruptor I – 1

Other Items

CCP released the Monthly Economic Report for November 2020 which showed the impact of the latest round of nerfs to the economy.  I wrote a post covering that, but the big news is pretty well summed up in this chart.

Nov 2020 – Top Sinks and Faucets Over Time

Mineral prices are at an all time high, destruction remains high due to the war, and the ISK faucet of NPC bounties has been cut back down to nearly the low point of the Chaos Era null sec Blackout of 2019.

The MER was followed up yesterday with a self congratulatory Dev Blog from CCP about how well they have done fixing the economy.  They promise things won’t remain as grim as they are now, so long as you can do without self-sufficiency, predictability, or wealth.  You can call my outlook cynical and I’ll agree, but I think history warrants it.  I’ll probably do a blog post about the dev blog later this week if I find the time and energy.

Meanwhile, the peak concurrent user count for the week fell on Sunday.  The holiday week was slow and Saturday did not crack the 30K mark, but Sunday it managed to break through to 31K.  The time when it his it peak corresponded to a form up by both sides in the war over a Sotiyo timer.  No fight ensued, so we all just bridged in and glared at each other.

  • Day 1 – 38,838
  • Week 1 – 37,034
  • Week 2 – 34,799
  • Week 3 – 34,692
  • Week 4 – 35,583
  • Week 5 – 35,479
  • Week 6 – 34,974
  • Week 7 – 38,299
  • Week 8 – 35,650
  • Week 9 – 35,075
  • Week 10 – 35,812
  • Week 11 – 35,165
  • Week 12 – 36,671
  • Week 13 – 35,618
  • Week 14 – 39,681
  • Week 15 – 40,359
  • Week 16 – 36,642
  • Week 17 – 37,695
  • Week 18 – 36,632
  • Week 19 – 35,816 (Saturday)
  • Week 20 – 37,628 (Saturday)
  • Week 21 – 34,888
  • Week 22 – 33,264
  • Week 23 – 33,149
  • Week 24 – 32,807 (Saturday)
  • Week 25 – 31,611

Still, that is the low point of the war so far and, while it might be explained away by the holiday, the count does seem to be trending down.  As I mentioned last week, CCP was patting itself on the back for managing to get 1.9 million new accounts in 2020, more than the previous three years combined, but it doesn’t seem to be reflected very well in the PCU.

Related

Weekend Fleet Ops in Delve

The “Good Fites” war in Delve continues on, giving us something to do during our summer vacations, such that they are.  As usual, I tend to just sit and do other things until Jabber pops up and tells me it is time for a space fight.

Saturday morning seemed to be a rich time for ops.  I missed an earlier tower defense, but happened to just sit down at my computer when a call went out for Harpy fleet.  They had suffered some losses during a fight and were re-shipping in F2OY-X, so there was an opportunity to jump in.  I quickly got online and on coms and was off with the fleet to NOL-M9 where a Northern Coalition Tengu fleet was in the process of being pinned down.  NOL is about at the edge of what is the current radius of action around the NPC null sec stations in Delve.

The hot corner of Delve

The hot corner of Delve

We arrived just in time to find the NC Tengu fleet bubbled up and heavily committed.  We were able to warp to the fight and join in at extreme range for Harpies, using Spike ammo and range scripts.

Rolling in on the bubbled Tengus

Rolling in on the bubbled Tengus

Time dilation was running close to 10% at times with a lot of ships on grid, but we were able to close and get in on our share of kills before the remaining hostiles slipped the trap.  We then bounced around quite a bit trying to catch them on their way home, but there was no further action for the Harpies and we eventually headed home ourselves.

That fleet slaked my need for a fight, but when a call came up two hours later for a Baltec fleet to go and kill some super capitals, I was in as quick as I could be.

On coms the word was that there were supers tackled and so it was time to go go go!  Reagalan was FC and, as proof that we were in a hurry, he had us warp to zero when traveling to the titan waiting to bridge us, causing it to get a severe bumping. (Don’t bump the titan is the mantra of almost every bridging operation.)  We bridged immediately to another POS where another titan was waiting to bridge us soonest out to Rilera, where the supers were said to be waiting.

However, once we got there, the supers had slipped away.  We were left with a Black Legion carrier on the field though, which we proceeded to blow up as quickly as we could, and then we cleared out all the drones that the supers left behind.  Super pilots leave so much litter behind I swear I saw a crying space Indian… or native American… or whatever.

No splitting fire with just one target

No splitting fire with just one target

We then managed to corner a Black Legion Ishtar fleet and took a bite out of them before they got away.  There were a lot of people hanging around the system for a while, and then people faded and Reagalan had to figure out what to do with us.  We were in a low sec system, which was fine, but to get back to Querious and F2OY-X, we needed to travel through high sec.  Rilera is a pocket of low sec surrounded by high.

The route to low sec

The route to low sec

For me this was no big deal.  My security status is 4.98.  But there were a lot of people in fleet with negative security status, all the way down to -10 if coms are to be believed.  And I have yet to be in a CFC fleet that has to pass through high sec where anybody seemed to know definitively what will happen if low security status pilots go into high sec.  Will CONCORD shoot them, will faction police shoot them, will they get pointed or just webbed before being blown up, will they be able to get through in a battleship… always questions with half a dozen conflicting answers on coms.

Reagalan eventually just got us lined up on the jump gate to Col, gave everybody the destination, and told us to just fly as fast as possible through high sec.  There was nothing else for it, nobody was going to risk jumping a titan out to low sec just to rescue a few relatively cheap battleships.  So we went.

And, as far as I could tell, nobody got blown up.

From there it was just a matter of getting to null and the jump bridge network for The Initiative, which we can use, and hey presto we were home.  A lot of anxiety for naught.

That was it for me on Saturday, but Sunday held the promise of more fights.  One of our towers was reinforced in 1-SMEB and the timer was set to come out at around 19:00 EVE time.  Skymarshal Blawrf McTaggart was putting up pings on Jabber about this operation, counting down to the undock time and practically promising a fight.

STRATOP FORMING IN 30 MINS. We’ll be forming large – tengufleet as first fleet, baltec as second, fyf & harpies as third. BE IN F2O FOR A SUNDAY BRAWL

Since 1-SMEB is in the Delve hot pocket, I figured this would be a short commute for a fight, so got into the Tengu fleet.  I am starting to acquire a ship for every occasion in F2OY-X.

We formed up, caused a lot of TiDi undocking, bridged to 1-SMEB, got to the POS and watched the tower count down the minutes.

And nobody showed up.  Well, we showed up, but the other side did not.  We ran off to a blocking position in another system, lest this be some trickery of some sort.  But the hostiles were not going to fight us.  Eventually Blawrf was back on Jabber telling us the fight wasn’t going to happen.

After broadcasting for guarenteed fight all day, the lowsec pirates sit on a titan and ref a moon before docking again. Sorry that we didn’t get a fight.

We wandered back home and stood down.  Unfortunately, that was about all I had time for on Sunday.  I left Jabber up and it looked like there were fleets of opportunity throughout the day, but I was done.  Still, two fights out of three tries isn’t a bad record for null sec.

Some screen shots of the various ops after the cut.

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