Tag Archives: Nulli Secunda

Feythabolis and the Fight at ZS-2LT

The first deployment behind enemy lines went well enough.  We dropped into their territory, blew up infrastructure, shot the locals, and dragged back a bundle of loot in haulers we had stolen along the way.  It was a training exercise in order to learn how to run such an operation as much as anything else.  That we destroyed so many towers and didn’t all get blown up along the way was a bonus.

That was supposed to be the extent of our pre-Phoebe activities, a single test run before the expansion went live and our tactics became much more viable.  And then an opportunity arose.

Nulli Secunda announced in their state of the alliance meeting that they would be staying in the north to continue attacking our towers until the very last minute before the expansion dropped.  They would be sticking in low sec system of Tartoken, on the edge of the Lonetrek region and just two jumps out from Pure Blind, one of the CFC held regions.  In this they would be a long way from home. (Map from the usual source.)

Nulli Secunda situation

Nulli Secunda situation

In the pre-Phoebe universe, with a huge stretch of friendly territory in the middle and no jump fatigue to worry about, that isn’t all that far.  There is no doubt a jump bridge network across that expanse for the subcaps, while capital ships could no doubt use their jump drives to cross that distance quickly enough.  This situation would be a pickle for Nulli Secunda after Phoebe, but returning home quickly before the expansion was a completely doable operation should they take the option.

So we were sent out to see if we could get them to change their plans and come home early.  We were called up for an operation that drop us into the middle of the Feythabolis region, home to Nulli Secunda and much of their capital ship building operations.  I got online for the deployment, got out my shiny new Basilisk, and we made our way south.

Basilisk at a wormhole

Basilisk on the way

Into Feythabolis.

We setup in a system where a tower had been deployed for us in advance, made our safe spots around the system, and then set out to start shooting structures almost immediately.  Last time around we spent quite a bit of time on moon mining operations.  This time, deep in what seems like safer territory, the targets included a number of capital ship assembly stations.  I put up a few pictures of those on Friday.  Not that we did not shoot other targets.  We hit the usual array of towers, including one that was sitting in space offline, probably for a lack of fuel.

We took that stack of modules for our POS

We took that stack of modules for our POS

Among those towers put into reinforce was the one sporting a supercapital assembly array at ZS-2LT.  This POS, like all of its high value brethren we hit down there, had a full load of strontium clathrates, the compound that dictates how long a reinforce lasts.  In this case, being full, it would come out of reinforce in two days, seven hours.

We figured that would get Nulli’s attention.  After hitting major targets like that, we bided our time, moving down the list and hitting lesser towers, their jump bridge network, and then whatever stray SBUs they had sitting around.  This was all done without any real opposition.  This is what Asher Elias called “investing in future fights.”  Putting things into reinforce is annoying, but the big moment is when the structure comes out and can be destroyed if not defended.

As time passed and towers came out of reinforce, we retraced our paths across the region, taking down towers.  As we moved, resistance began to stiffen.  It looked like Nulli Secunda was going to haul back some assets to defend their stations.  At ZID-LE we were stymied as they plus some Northern Coalition pilots formed up in numbers sufficient to keep us from burning down the POS.  A group of bombers worked on wiping out our sentry drones while a Tengu fleet picked off targets of opportunity.  The Russians came to help us, but did not bring enough to turn the tide.  We warped to our safe spots, cloaked up, and waited until the coast was clear.  There was still at least one more target on the list.

We were pinged a little while later to wake up and start free burning for our staging system.  We had another high value target to hit.

This was probably out point of greatest vulnerability during the deployment as we streamed in penny packets back into the center of the region.  A half-assed gate camp with a drag bubble could have sat and picked off targets, severely reducing our available forces.  But we managed to blunder through mostly unhindered.  Fortune favors the bold I guess.

We assembled in our staging system and then moved as a group to ZS-2LT where the timer was up.  We landed and began shooting.  There were hostiles in system, but not enough initially to interfere with us.

Then a ship landed on grid with us and put up a cyno.  We were able to take it out and deploy a cyno inhibitor on grid with us to prevent that from happening right on top of us again.  However a cyno went up elsewhere in the system.  Nulli Secunda was jumping in carriers to repair the POS.  We had the tower into armor and were knocking it down slowly, but it was now a race to kill it before the carriers could get on grid with us and possibly turn the tide.  Hero interdictor pilot Azure and Argent sacrificed himself while dropping a series of warp disruption bubbles from his Sabre that managed to slow down the carriers long enough that we got the tower into structure.  The kill seemed within our grasp.

The carriers then landed on grid with us and we began a tug of war over the fate of the POS.  We kept fire up on the tower and were just barely out damaging their repairs.  The structure damage moved from 60% to 79% gone over the course of minutes before the Nulli Carriers finally got their act together.  For a while they seemed to be concentrating on repairing the tower and were doing a poor job of hitting our ships.  We only had a few Basilisks flying around in support, but we were able to keep up with damage which seemed to be spread around many ships.  Then the carriers finally started coordinating on targets, painting them and having their drones work together.  Ishtars started to get blown up before the Basilisks could save them.

It seemed that the tower was going to survive.  Nulli Secunda had arrived with just enough forces to thwart us.  Asher had us warp off to safe spots and cloak up.

Then he called us all back.  We assembled on him and warped back on grid.  Sentry drones were deployed and we began shooting the tower again.  By this point, the carriers had repaired a substantial amount of the tower’s armor, so we were only slowing them down.  We hung on as the carriers all seemed to want to target Asher, so for a while I think all reps were on him holding back the tide.  Then local spiked up and Dabigredboat and 130 siege bombers warped onto the grid and began to hit the tower.

Torpedoes away

Torpedoes away

You have to enlarge the picture above to really see it, but a mass of torpedoes were suddenly streaming into the tower.  DBRB and his fleet had found a fortuitous wormhole that brought them all the way from Deklein down to Feythabolis in time to turn the tide of the battle and save the day.  The armor repairs were rolled back and suddenly the tower was in structure again and quickly dispatched.

The tower dies

The tower dies

Then there was some quick business to attend to, as pilots targeted the assembly arrays, the fat targets we were really there to kill.  As to what was killed with them, there is some debate.  The CFC says their spies indicate that an Avatar titan was under construction and was destroyed along with the arrays.  Nulli Secunda says that production of that titan was aborted when Phoebe was announced.  Either way though, the tower and its assembly arrays were destroyed.

Array down, carriers smart bombing to shake us off

Array down, carriers smart bombing to shake us off

That out of the way, attention turned to the hostile carriers on grid.  Bubbles went up and tacklers raced in to try and hold them down to inflict some more damage.  The carriers lit off smart bombs to try and clear space around them.  A Nulli Secunda Chimera was under pressure but managed to warp off.

Carriers on the field

Carriers on the field

Then an Archon was picked out of the pack and became the focus.  Fire poured in as it attempted to get away.

Archon is primary

Archon is primary

The Archon was done for.  The rest escaped but they left one wreck on the field for us.

We had accomplished our mission… and then it was time to run and hide again.  A Nulli Secunda subcap fleet that was supposed to support the carriers had finally arrived, late to the battle because they had to slow boat via gates as the jump bridge network in the region had been taken down.

Then it was time to get out.  We were short on drones, losses had cut back our numbers, and hostiles were finally awake and active in the region.  DBRB and his bombers headed back through their wormhole and the rest of us online packed whatever bags we had and followed Asher through as well, landing back in the north through a direct wormhole.  I had never been though one that did not requires us to warp through W-space before.  We just entered this one in Feythabolis and landed a few jumps from home.  The only thing missed out on was kill mails.  Being the good logi pilot, I flew out with the gear I was supposed to, which did not leave any room for combat drones.  But I suppose I got on my share of kill mails last time around.

After that, the only thing left to do was guide home the stragglers… return ops ran all weekend trying to get people home who couldn’t be online for the main US and EU timezone ops… and wait for Phoebe to hit.  That goes off tomorrow, and future ops will be in a universe where fast travel is no longer a thing… unless you can find the right wormhole.

There is Blobbing, and then there is Blobbing

It was Sunday afternoon/evening and elements of the N3 coalition along with Black Legion came calling in force, taking advantage of easy travel while it still exists.  There was a call up for fleets, a tower to be saved, and all of the usual elements.  But the surprising bit was catching the Tengu fleet on the gate in R6XN-9 and having first capital ships and then supercaps drop in on the fight.

Titans on grid did not bring out PL, so there was no B-R or Asakai style escalation.  Not ready to have a supercap pyre just yet I guess.

Meanwhile, DBRB and his bombers were taking care of a hostile Abaddon fleet in one pass.

Addendum: Reports on the bombing run at TMC and EN24.


One of Those EVE Stories – S2N Alliance Brought Down by an Insider

If they were a force to be reckoned with, you’d think they’d have audited their director roles.

-The Mittani, on past similar hijinks

Reported over at The Mittani, it appears that a director from S2N Citizens Holding moved over to Circle-of-Two and, with some help from somebody who helped bring down Band of Brothers, kicked all the corps out of the S2N Citizens alliance, dropped sovereignty on over 200 systems, looted 400 billion ISK, locked everybody out of a series of stations, all while collecting the monthly rental payments, due today, from those sub-letting from the alliance.

SovChanges20130701This will no doubt set the east of null sec space afire as competing alliances race to drop territorial claim units and pick up unclaimed systems.

What a difference a day makes

What a difference a day makes

(Sov maps from the usual source. Today’s map has a huge sov lost listing on the left.)

Reported to be leading the charge is the Russian alliance of SOLAR FLEET.

This will likely have some impact the war in Fountain because S2N Citizens was affiliated with Nulli Secuda, one of the alliances doing the fighting for TEST.  Nulli will have to move back to the eastern front to try and reclaim some of the lost systems or risk finding its own holdings in Perrigen Falls invested by rampaging Russians.  We shall see if any of TEST’s other allies follow suit and rush off to the eastern front sov grab.

As always with EVE Online, just when you think things have gotten static, something comes along to shake things up.

Further details on what exactly happened are up at The Mittani.  A follow up post with further details is also up now.

EVE News 24 also has a post up about it, which is only interesting for the horrible comment thread, while Poetic Stanziel looks into what it means.

Weekend War in Venal

In null sec wars are like buses; if you wait long enough another one will show up.

Which is a good thing, since war and the accompanying fleet operations are my favorite null sec activities.

OTEC, which previously brought various parties together, isn’t quite holding together it seems.  The upcoming nerf to technetium production… which will either kill tech moons and make us all poor or is purely for show and won’t change a thing, depending on who is speaking… seems to have shaken at least one member of the coalition out of the ranks and into conflict with the rest of the cartel

Tech moons were already under attack in Venal, which like Stain, is one of the more amusingly named regions.  Black Legion and our old foes from the south, Nulli Secunda were on the move there.  But then Northern Coalition, a member of the cartel, joined in as well.  I do not know if this was a dispute over other cartel members dumping tech on the market and killing the price or if they were just looking for something to do after the “mate war,” but things were on. (I have to go listen to the intel collected from NC comms.)

And so the weekend consisted of a series of fleet engagements base on reinforcement timers, starting on Friday night.

Friday night was pretty much a bust for me.  The fleets started off before I was home from work so by the time I could log in everybody was headed for home.

I have one shot.  I happened to be on coms and at the staging system as fleets were coming back when Black Legion tried to hot drop on our Drake fleet in 9-R6GU.  There were carriers on the field and I burned out to join the fight.  However, by the time I got there not much was left.  I managed to lock up an Abaddon and get missiles launched before it blew up, so I got on the kill report with 0% of the damage.

Saturday morning though, that was a different story.  Everybody seemed to be hungry for a big battle.  One of Northern Coalition’s tech moons was coming out of reinforcement the word was that they were going to gather up some friends and fight for it.

On our side we filled up an Alpha, a Tengu, and a Drake fleet and then had to make another Drake fleet.  Even The Mittani logged in and got into a fleet.  Just moving ourselves from VFK to the staging system brought up some serious time dilation.

13% TiDi and we haven’t even left yet!

I joined up with the first Drake fleet.  The FC was Zarks who has the cool demeanor of a late night FM disk jockey (if such a thing still exists).  Somebody in the fleet was complaining that the FC was “shouting” at them, and idea of which made people laugh and openly mock the person.  I have never heard Zarks speak in anything but the most moderate tone imaginable.

To counter that, we did have Suas along to be the Drake anchor.  And unlike Zarks, Suas always sounds like he is shouting with that finely honed British tone of voice that seems to imply that we are all morons because he had to even bring up a particular item, much less shout it at us to get us to pay attention.  So it was sort of Good FC/Bad FC.

We slowly bridged out to Venal and started burning towards the target system, N6G-H3.

Red in the ships/pods killed view

In what seemed like an odd turn of events to me, we did not face that much of a threat before Northern Coalition’s tower was destroyed.  Some stealth bombers came our way, but that was it.  Of course, that was just the part of the battle I was in.  The count in local was up beyond 1,200 people and TiDi was heavy, so something was going on.

With the tower blown, we joined the real battle.  With one of the first targets being a carrier that was inside the tower shields.  That went before I could lock it up.  Then the combined force from Northern Coalition, Black Legion, Nulli Secunda, Ev0ke, Ewoks, and Intrepid Crossing, with a few Gypsy Band ships thrown in for fun, collided with the CFC fleets.

Drake fleet in the fight

This followed the pattern I have seen in such battles in the past.  Once one side starts chewing away at the other, the balance of things quickly gets out of hand.  Our own targets were battleships and logistics at first, then the opposing Drake fleet until the focus became keeping them from escaping.

One of their battleship fleets retired to another station they had in the system where they were safe within the POS shield.

Battleships in the POS Shield

There were a few other skirmishes after that.  Stealth bombers plied their trade, attacking us while we roamed around the fleet safely in the shields.  The password to get in was known by us and at one point we flew into the shields and attempted to bump some ships out to face the waiting guns of the lurking Alpha fleet.

Drake formation in the enemy POS bubble

While an Iteron V that was sitting on the edge of the shields did get bumped out at one point, the exercise was not very successful.  If a ship is under way it is difficult to bump it very far, and the enemy fleet set themselves up orbiting the tower once we started bumping which put an end to our ambitions.

The end results, like the odds, favored us.  We put nearly double the number of ships in the system in the end which lead to us dominating the kill board for the fight.  This of course brought up the usual arguments about how the CFC is bad at PvP and needs to bring favorable odds in order to win.  That still leaves the open question, “If we are bad, why would we do anything else?” along with “If you’re so good, why do you need such evenly matched odds to win?”

I ended up with 84 kills for the day, though 44 of them were POS modules.

Kill totals for the weekend

I am not sure how I ended up with 43 out of those 44 kills.  I only shot the tower.  But I guess you somehow get credit for the module that are destroyed or collected afterwards.

Both sides drifted off the field and we headed back to the staging system where I parked my Drake in anticipation of the ops that were set to go on Sunday.

The Sunday ops were early in the morning for me.  As much as I like fleet ops, I wasn’t going to get up before 5am in order to participate.  It seemed like I wasn’t needed in any case.  These ops were to defend and rep our own towers that had come out of reinforcement, as opposed to going after the towers of the opposition, so Northern Coalition and friends were less inclined to go head to head.  I got on coms near the end of the second of the mornings three ops and it sounded like it was more of a cat and mouse game with a lot of scanning and probing.

And by the time the third op went out, the opposition had had enough of that, so we flew around hindered only by TiDi and our own incompetence.  Our inability to follow orders when we aren’t actually shooting things is phenomenal.  At one point, on the way home our FC, Reagalan, said one destination system in voice coms, then quickly changed it to another destination, which he said a few times, which was linked in the fleet channel, and which was broadcast in the fleet window, and still a good 10-20% of our fleet wandered off in the wrong direction.

We were also very lucky.  While the Tengu fleet went out with 55 Scimitars to support it, we had just two.  That would be about 18 shy of sanity.  And then one of them dropped off, which left us with just a single logistics ship, the pilot of which seemed quite concerned.  It is the logistics ships that keep us from getting turned into so much wreckage most days of the week, so we were primed for disaster.  But nobody showed up to fight us, so we hung around until our towers were repaired… we even sent our sole scimitar off to help… what good was it going to do us… and then headed home.

Moon Harvesting Array

The war of the moons in Venal continued on last night while I was asleep.  We shall see if it continues on with as much vigor next weekend or if, like so many past wars, the stand up fights come early and after that it turns into another bug hunt.

Retaking the Tech Moon at 42XJ-N

In which pretty much nothing happens, so you might as well just look at the pictures and move on.

I was not sure I was going to get to go on this op.

There was an update to fleet doctrine recently, during the war in Delve, with new fits, new ships, and even new fleets becoming part of official policy.

I can still fly Drake fleet of course, since my skills in missiles and shields are just about all max’d out.  And I am still good with Alpha fleet, even if I have to fly the Maelstrom with training wheels because of my low gunnery skills. (Both on my character and in person.  I never seem to have the right ammo for starters.)

But Welp fleet changed fits to something I am going to need to train for, while the Bomber fleet just scares me because, while I have all the skills, I have no clue on how to actually fly the ship and really don’t want to figure it out in my usual manner, which generally involves screwing up badly.

And then there is the Tengu fleet.

Tengu fleet is the new darling of fleet ops, as unlike Drake fleet, it doesn’t need a nearly full fleet to be effective.  So it has become the go-to fleet for odd hour weekday operations.  It is odd, fleet ops in Delve at late hours were filled to overflowing but back in Deklein we seem to be scraping by with much smaller turn outs.  No war fever I guess.

Of course, the promise of a fight related to defending or attacking a tower might have worn thin over the many tellings.

So it was last night when the alert came up promising a fight over the control of a tech moon in Venal.  This is where Black Legion and our erstwhile foes in Delve, Nulli Secunda, have been hitting OTEC installations in the wilds of Venal in hopes of provoking a serious fight now and again.  Bless them for giving us something to do.

The call was for a Tengu fleet, which got a very low interest reaction from me.  I can fly the official reimbursement Tengu fit.  However, our alliance policy also requires some minimum subsystem skills in order to qualify for reimbursement.  This is something my pal Gaff found out the hard way.  I am level 4 across the board, but some level 5 skills are required if you want to get paid for the loss of your 600+ million ISK ship.  So no Tengu ops for me until I spend a couple weeks training.

An update came along a bit later asking for more people to get in the fleet, even if it was only in a Drake.

There was the magic word.  I can afford to lose a Drake even if I don’t get reimbursed because I brought it to a Tengu fleet.  And strong still is the call to “go shoot stuff” for me.

I got into the game, clone jumped to VFK, saddled up a Drake a warped out to the rally point.  And there we sat as DBRB called for more Scimitars to support the fleet.  Logistics, space priests, ever the linchpin of our fleet operations.

So I volunteered to reship to a Scimitar, as I happened to have one parked in VFK in the right configuration.  Apparently one more logi was all he wanted, because the fleet started off before I was able to undock.

You may be tempted to mention at this point that, in flying a Scimitar, I can join any of the standard fleets (aside from bombers) that the CFC puts up because we never have too many logistics ships.  And you would be correct.  My reluctance stems from two things.

First, I am pretty sure I am bad at logistics at this point.  I do not have a lot of direct evidence from the four times I have flown them on fleet ops, once I was blown up very early in the fight and the other three times (which includes this very op) things ended up going so well for us that I suspect everybody else was simply able to carry my dead weight without notice.  But the fact that I ran off without nanite paste or performance enhancing drugs again (I actually have some nanite paste, but never remember to buy the drugs) seems to argue in favor of my failings as a logi pilot.

Second, I like to shoot stuff.  Getting kills still thrills, even if I am just one ship in the Drake blob.  And, frankly, the only way my corp or alliance seems to know I am doing anything at all is when I get on the kill boards or when I submit reimbursement forms.

But, in the name of getting a fleet op going, I will bite the bullet and fly a Scimitar.  I suppose there is no other way to learn.

Of course, as I mentioned, the fleet took off so I was rushed, which is part of the reason for no paste/no drugs.  The fleet had used a jump bridge and was a couple of gates into Venal when I finally caught up.  Getting to the target system was a good dozen jumps from the jump bridge, but soon we were sitting on the gate to 42XJ-N, at which point the logi leader told us to take our drugs.  Yeah, oops.

Then it was through the gate and into the waiting arms of a Black Legion Abaddon fleet, which started off the battle on a bad note for us, when one of our Tengus got popped before everybody was together and focused.  I was still locking up key individuals when the “need shields” call came, and by the time he was locked there was only a pod to rep.

My first though was the hope that we were not sailing into a fiasco.  But the kill turned out to be a quirk of fate.  Black Legion was able to primary him before we were together.  We did better after that.  Even drug free me got reps off on ships taking damage, including our heavy interdictor who was something of a key to the operation.

It was he who was to put up the bubble to trap the enemy and to light the cyno to bring in the dreadnoughts.

Bubble AND Dreadnoughts present

DBRB said later on coms that Black Legion had asked Nulli Secunda to not form up, except as a bomber fleet, as the expectation was that we wouldn’t be able to field enough ships to want to fight if they both showed up in force.  Then we dropped capitals on them.  And once that happened, things pretty much went our way, with 13 battleships and 2 carriers getting popped as they pulled up stakes and headed for the exit.

At one point I deployed a combat drone and assigned it to one of the Tengus in hopes of whoring myself onto at least one killmail, but the drone sat idle the whole time, then got left behind as we hopped around a bit to try and chase down the opposing fleet.

That done, we jumped to the tower we were there to destroy.  Here I managed to fly too close to the tower defense, which locked me up and started shooting at me.  However, between my speed, size, and reps from fellow logis, I barely sustained any damage to my shields at all beyond the tiniest sliver of red showing.  But it looked exciting.

OMG the tower defenses are shooting me!

And then it was everybody’s favorite activity, a POS shoot.  Fortunately, the dreads stuck around and helped make it a short shoot.

Big guns make for short work

Once the tower was down, it was time to put up one of our own in its place.  The dreads trundled off and we got to sit around guarding the tower during its vulnerable deployment and onlining stages.  Each of those takes 30 minutes.  So there was an hour of flying in circles.

The boredom of the wait was mercifully broken by Nulli Secunda, which had some stealth bombers in system.  They took runs at us now and again, the most comic of which took place just as DBRB went AFK for a bathroom break.  The bombers swooped in, launched their bombs, took a loss, but got a Tengu kill.

When DBRB got back he was incredulous.  How could a Tengu die to such a weak attack?

It turned out that the victim brought his ratting Tengu to the fleet op.  A look at the kill mail shows it fit for active tank Guristas operations, with a low (25K) effective hit points.  Compare that to one that is fit for Tengu fleet operations, with an EHP of 125K.  Ratting ships do not do well in PvP, as I could tell you.

A later bomb attack hit the logistics ships dead on, which knocked shields down about 25%.  Not a big threat to the right fit.

As the timer counted down, people started to get really bored, or cranky, or both, which DBRB tried to solve with a combination of trolling and talking about Kristen Stewart getting caught cheating on Robert Pattinson with her recent director Rupert Sanders, who also happens to be married.  It was like TMZ in space.

Then DBRB said how old he was on coms, and the age difference between him and I happened to be exactly the same as the age difference between me and my father, which was mildly disturbing.

And then, at last, as the timer for the tower going online dropped below the five minute mark, the word was given to head for home, all gates green.  Back to VFK I went, calling it a night when I hit the station.  But it was not the end of things for DBRB.  He had an op planned for two hours later, in which he planned to hunt the great truffle whale or some such.  I will have to go read the forums to see how that turned out.

Meanwhile, I still do not know how badly I suck at the logi thing.  But I am going to remember to buy some drugs.  I swear I’ll have them next time.

Convoy Ops – Home From Delve

One of the mysteries of EVE:  How can a fleet op that takes us on a grand tour of high, low, and null sec, which included six supercarrier kills, take less time than a convoy op from Delve to Deklein, which is essentially 15 gates and five jump bridges?

I have to guess that it is just a matter of motivation.  If our FC, Sour Blossom, had told us that there was a potential capital ship kill waiting for us in VFK, we would have been on the ball.  As it was though, she had to lead and keep together the fleet of epic bad connections and little lost sheep.

Arriving at another gate

To her everlasting credit we did not lose or leave behind everybody.  If it had been me, an hour into the op and something like 8 gates in, I would have been screaming.  I am pretty sure DBRB would have been leaving people behind.   So I admire her fortitude in the face of such things as finding out that one of the people dropping was running six simultaneous EVE clients, streaming the Alliance Tournament, talking on Mumble, and probably clicking on all the porn links in chat.  Or something like that.  I might be exaggerating a little… but only a little.

I put the game in window mode, put Mumble on the speakers, and played Peggle Nights while waiting for the jump command at each gate.

It wasn’t that bad, really.  Nothing like the multi-hour scale of the supercap convoy to Delve, of which Endie wrote (Edit: Alas, the Kugu forums are no more, the link once there is now dead), which appeared at first glance to be a plot to punish Pandemic Legion, who were guiding the whole op, for some past sins.

The Trail of Tears

Originally I said I was going to leave some equipment and a jump clone in Delve, just in case.  But on Saturday there were lots of convoy ops heading back home and I decided to clean up some of the junk I left down in Delve and bring back at least one fleet fit ship, a Drake, and whatever I could fit in the cargo hold.  I ended up with a ton of crap primarily because, unable to find contracts for correct, doctrine fit ships, I had to buy non-standard fits and then refit them with the correct modules, which lead to some excess.

Plus, in some quiet moments while waiting for fleets, I killed a few rats and, in my usual manner, looted and stashed away every single drop.

Add in the piles of ammo I bought in anticipation of a long war and I had stuff to sell.

Of course, my selling this sounds more pre-meditated than it actually was.  I saw the announcement for the convoy fleet op go up and had to scramble to get myself in position in my Drake just as it was leaving.  I only realized when already outside of the station and warping to the fleet that I should probably sell some of that crap.  This is the point where many minutes between gates came to my help, as I was able to remotely list almost everything I had in 1Dh-SX on the market.  Training up all those trade related skills paid off, as I can list items from anywhere in the same region.

And while the prices I set were somewhat at the bargain basement end of the spectrum, at least I was able to get some ISK out the stuff, which is preferable to having crap sitting around forever in a station you may never visit again.  I have a lot of stuff in that situation in New Eden.  The case against region-wide buy orders.

While our convoy arrived unmolested in VFK, SoCo was organizing some going-away surprises.  They whelped a Rokh fleet in order to kill two dreadnoughts that were part of a capital ship convoy, along with a few Drakes that came out to support them.  I guess that SoCo will spin that as a moral victory of some sort, as they seemed to lose on both the total kills and ISK front by a wide margin.

Meanwhile, it looks like all will not be boredom and ratting back in Deklein.  Nulli Secunda is not just still alive, but has joined up with Black Legion in Venal.

Gentlegoons, we may have announced that we’re done with the war in the South, but the war is not done with us. Nulli has moved north and is actively working with Black Legion to siege our techs; last night we, soft after weeks of smacking around incompetent -A- fleets, welped a drake fleet and lost a Convicted tech in late US tz. The South and their laughingstock fleets has made us weak, fat and soft – which is unacceptable.

You need to be out of F20Y and back to VFK ASAP. Cap Convoys are going out regularly, as are subcaps; pay attention to broadcasts and get out of the shantytown, it’s time to fight some real opponents.

The original goon broadcast was by the_mittani to all-all

There is a post up on EVE News 24 about the battle and the Nulli/Black Legion alliance.  I was actually planning to be in that fleet, though it came up at midnight local time for me and I ended up falling asleep before it happened.  Probably a good thing too, as the results of the actions at 42XJ-N could not be spun as a victory for the CFC in any way.

Walltreipers Alliance Defeated – Conquest of Delve Complete

The Walltreipers Alliance held on to T-IPZB, the sole remaining unconquered system in Delve, through a major attack the day after I mentioned their efforts.

The Wallpapers Admiration Society that sprouted up on the forums and comment threads when their heroic stand came to light did not have much influence in the end.  War is war.  They were cornered in their system waiting for the inevitable.

A follow up attack two days later was too much, and yesterday TEST picked up the last system opposing us in Delve.

Thermopylae.  Masada.  Wake Island.  T-IPZB.

So Delve has fallen to an invader.  Again.

Looking at the system histories at DOTLAN, you can see that this is just another turn of the wheel.  T-IPZB, before Walltreipers Alliance owned it, had belonged at various times to Band of Brothers, Goonswarm, KenZoku, Pandemic Legion, and Ewoks, among others.  Now it belongs to TEST.  Who will it belong to in a year?

Delve – July 16, 2012

I suspect that the Walltreipers Alliance, having shown what they are made of even as some of their erstwhile allies were quitting the field, shouldn’t have trouble finding a new home somewhere.

Meanwhile, TEST has almost finished sweeping up Querious as well, the former home of Red Alliance.  That leaves most of the western edge of the galaxy in CFC/HBC hands.  Sovereignty map from the usual source.

State of Null Sec – July 16, 2012

There is a lot of blue on the western edge of the galaxy now, though I see that the Viking Empire is still there.  I guess somebody changed their mind about that summer vacation home.  (Oh, this happened.) Still, TEST now holds sovereignty in more systems that any other alliance.

This conquest was accomplished, according to Endie’s math, by 4,234 in-game characters, many of whom traveled across the galaxy to be there, and who had a logistical tail equally as long.  A bit less than the fearsome horde of 50,000 that people sometimes mention.  Though, we did have a force multiplier when it came to intel.

All of which leads to the usual follow up question: What next?

There is Period Basis to the south, with the remains of Nulli Secunda and the Vera Cruz Alliance, and there is Catch, the home of Against All Authorities.   We’re down there, we’re geared for war, and the summer is only half over.  Are we going on or are we going home?

Notes from the War in Delve

Some updates about the situation in Delve, mostly here to time stamp them so I do not forget them later.

Null Sec Power Blocks

The above picture was stolen from the opening post of the Kugu thread about the war in Delve, primarily because I thought it laid out the balance of power nicely.  Or at least how the balance stood a while back.  Also, it gives some scope to the size of null sec and empire space.

The opening post to that thread includes some background on the conflict to go along with the Elise Randolph post on the subject.

Meanwhile, what has been happening.

Nulli Secunda Pulls Out

Nulli Secunda, one of the original participants in the war in Delve (read the war origins posts linked above) and an important source of pilots to SoCo, announced to their membership yesterday that they were pulling out.

As some of you may have heard from faggot -A- corps or rumors from others, as of now, we are officially pulling out of 319. Starting immediately, any assets that you have in 319 or in PB for some reason if your still have stuff there, need to be moved to nearby low sec in Khanid or Aridia. Your corps will most likely have a location picked out where you can move stuff out too, it doesn’t particularly matter which low sec in Khanid or Aridia you pull out too, because we will be moving to a new location on Sunday anyway.

Right now the main focus is on making sure we get everything out of delve and period basis, and that means everything. All supers should already be out to low-sec as per orders from last week, but in case any are left, consult the super channel and make sure they get out safely. All capital ships need to be moved out, any assets that remain in Period Basis, etc. etc. Please be ready to work with other people in the alliance to help with cyno chains, making sure the station is clear of shit that pop’s cyno’s, and maybe even clearing bubbles. You have a good 4 days to get everything out of 319, and most of the stuff is pvp assets, so if the station is camped at one point, just be patient and wait for an opening.

Gaff, who had eyes on the 319 system last night, reported a regular stream of jump freighters moving in and out of the system, covered by carriers.  -A- has responded by increasing their effort to get Nulli Secundi members and corps to join them instead.

Meanwhile, I suspect Nulli Secunda’s Alliance Tournament ad might get pulled from YouTube.

They won’t be seeing anybody in 319 station soon.

Makalu is Putting You on His List

Gentleman’s Agreement, part of the CFC, managed to take down -A- FC Makalu in a 4.5 billion ISK Vidicator and then again in a 2 billion ISK Archon, earning them a serious, and much quoted, warning in local chat:

[22:00:32] Makalu Zarya > you killed my ship
[22:00:33] Makalu Zarya > congrats
[22:00:36] Makalu Zarya > now i kill your alliance
[22:00:45] Makalu Zarya > u can ask DRF for reference

Does this mean we’ll be fighting in Branch soon?  That is where the Gents make their home.

And this all happened in in TG-Z23, deep in the Stain region.  I am not sure if that portends anything for the war, but it cannot have made Makalu, who has been oft quoted from voice coms, very happy.

Walltreipers – Send More Goons!

The heroes of Delve at the moment have to be the Walltreipers Alliance.  They are currently hanging on to the one remaining system in Delve, T-IPZB.

According to a post provided by them over at EVE News 24, they have been holding firm since the start of the fight, against great odds.

They blockaded our system and attacked our outpost, reinforcing it. We were shocked. How could we confront the numbers of the enemy? We had many engages, some of them in our very home, others in the enemy’s. We lost ships, we lost clones… but we kept fighting. All the scars, all the pain were in our souls, not our bodies. And that made us stronger and stronger.

They have refused any quarter from the CFC-HBC forces and continue to defend their system.

In this stubborn, Wake Island-like defense, their primary concern appears to be that they won’t have enough ammunition to kill us all.  Meanwhile, they have been putting up some decent propaganda.

Cornered in Gaul, but holding firm

This has lead to more than a few expressions of respect and admiration for the 400 pilot alliance.  Ideas have been floated to allow them to keep their system, to give them the whole constellation, or just to bring them more ammunition so that they can continue their glorious defense unimpeded.

Oddly, these sentiments seem to be coming from their enemies or neutrals.  I am not sure where their friends and allies are.

And, finally, the big question in my mind, what does “Walltreipers” actually mean?

Addendum: Their defense in Delve came to an end.

In the Logi Channel at C3N-3S

Or “How I Lost All My Drones to Unannounced Fleet Warps.”

I did make it down to Delve, though not without screwing the pooch one more time.  Normally I would stick to my usual policy of describing every ship loss in excruciating detail, but this time I will just say that I got impatient and paid for it.

Third time was a charm… that and learning a little more patience.  At one particularly heavily camped system I just stayed cloaked at a safe spot and went and played Rift for a while.  Still, I know that part of that chart from yesterday’s post still applies to me.


Anyway, I made it down to our Delve staging station in a Buzzard, where I found exactly two Drakes up for sale, both of which were a slightly different fit than the Drake fleet doctrine last time I checked.  Or did target painters come back into fashion?  I am still catching up on posts and forums after my vacation.  Well, you take what you can get.

Safe… well, in a station… in Delve with a ship ready, I was rewarded in the morning with a fleet op.  There was a call for a Tengu fleet and a Drake fleet initially.  I was late to the party and missed the first Drake fleet, commanded by Dabigredboat, which was kind of annoying.  I like Boat fleets.  If nothing else, he tries to find something to make each one memorable and is usually pretty good about filling in the intel details on coms when he can.

After banging my head against the “join fleet” option for a while in the vain hope that somebody would drop, a third fleet was announced, centered on a core of Razor Alliance players.  They form up a couple of jumps over from where we were squatting, so I joined the fleet and jumped over to join them, avoiding the camp in between by actually looking at the solar system map and bouncing off a planet that would take me around anything.  See, I can learn… eventually.

There we formed up at a POS, all hanging 2000m off of the titan that was to bridge us in, when the FC began to assess what he had to work with; a lot of Drakes, way too many Sabres, and eight Scimitars.  The last was too few to support a fleet in his opinion and he said he was not going until we had at least 20 Scimitars.

And so, slowly, people swapped out.  We had 10, then 12, then 15, and finally 18 Scimitars.  Then the count didn’t budge.  The FC announced that the battle was already under way

I really wanted to get some kills up to offset my losses for the month, but I had all the skills to fly a Scimitar, even if my past experience as a space priest was pretty brief.  So I opened up contracts and went to see if there was one available close by.

Sure enough, there was one right there in the system.  And it wasn’t even over priced relative to the others available.  So I bought it, hit the station, re-shipped, joined the logi channel, and warped back to the fleet.

New, Darker Toned Scimitar Model

I was the 20th Scimitar.  And then two more joined while we were getting ready to bridge.  I could have stayed in my Drake.  Still not patient enough I guess.  But I knew if used my drones right, I could whore on a few kills.

We bridged to an adjacent system then took the jump gate to our final destination, joining the battle at C3N-3S.

Now go back to that last sentence and read it slowly enough that it takes you about five minutes to finish.  Yeah, we were in the time dilation zone.

On the bright side, at 10% Tidi, the job of a rookie logistics pilot is made much easier, since you essentially have ten times as long in real time to lock up those requesting shield reinforcement.  I think the only time I failed was when one of our Claymores wandered away from the anchor and our of range.

Things did not start off very well though.  Once into the system, we jumped to a point where we could see the battle, were too close to jump again into it, but too far to actually target anything.  Though, for no reason I could see, we did not simply turn on the MWDs and burn to the fight.  We just hung around and watched for a bit, though the impact of TiDi no doubt distorted my perception of how long we hung around not doing anything.

And then we got bombed.

Here was where the fleet took most of its losses for the battle.  The logis were out of the way, so I took no damaged, having anchored up like I was supposed to.  Even the one Warrior II drone I launched in my kill whoring fever survived, having not made it into the target zone for the bombs when they went off.

And then we got fleet warped off to an asteroid belt to lick our wounds.  Good-bye drone.

There the logis took care of everybody’s shields and those of us with armor repair drones sent them out to work on those who had taken damage to armor.  Meanwhile, on coms, the FC started getting some flak for not just burning in to the battle.  During that conversation it came out that one of our fleet had actually burned in and was sitting in an ideal spot for the fleet to work from.  And so, without warning, we were fleet warped back into the battle.  Good-bye armor repair drones.

Once there, the routine of battle began.  Targets were called and dispatched.  As one of the logis, I watched for shield reinforcement calls and took care of that, while launching my remaining Warrior II drones and assigning them to various pilots in the hope that they would get in some hits a put a couple of kills on the board for me.  It was also at about that point that I saw our supercap fleet jump in and join the battle.

Titans on the field

We already had dreadnoughts in the battle, and I even saw a wreck left over from one that got destroyed, but the titans were now in and piling on.

Bubbles and Logis

The Pandemic Legion Twitter feed posted a nice panoramic view of the battle, which is better than any screen shot I managed to take.  As with most pics on my site, click on it to see it full size.

The Panorama of Battle

It was a big fight.  I saw more than 1,700 people in local at one point.  And both sides were reshipping and returning pretty quickly.  Our fleet was designated the reinforcement fleet at one point, but filled up and so another fleet was formed to bring people in.

It was during that point in the fight, as I was flying around with all modules on, that I realized I should have probably checked the fit on this scimitar.  The key indicator was noticing I was about to run out of capacitor power.  I had to shut down the MWD to keep shield reinforcement up and running.  This was not a cap stable fit, at least not for my skills.  There was a Damage Control II and a PDS II swapped into the lower slots.  I was going to have to manage my power rather than run with all spigots on.

Fortunately, nobody was really paying attention to us.  Our logi anchor kept us on the far side of the fleet from the enemy so nobody bothered taking a shot at the slow moving logi flying the corner cutting path trying to keep up with the anchor.

And then, as these things happen, the enemy started to fade.  One last Maelstrom, probably somebody who had just refit and was rejoining the battle, jumped into our midst and paid the price.  Shiny new missile explosion graphics!

Maelstrom lit up

But after that, things were suddenly quiet on our part of the field.  Stuff was going on in the distance, but well out of range.  The first sign of victory.  The FC let us off the leash to loot the field, which was a mess of unclaimed goodies at that point.

The messy overview setting…

And then, when I was about in range of my first wreck, which oddly enough was the remains of Qtipp’s ship, who happens to be the leader of my corp, we were fleet warped to a gate to try and cut off some escaping foes.  No loot and my remaining drones were left behind.

More running around, more shield repairs, more TiDi.

We jumped through the gate, hunted for a bit more, then sat on the gate and waited for some other fleets to move out in hopes that the TiDi would relax for our own trip home.  It was during this lull that somebody on the logi channel mentioned to me that they too had gotten caught by a drag bubble on the way down to Delve.  This was how I found out that Riverini decided to syndicate my post about dying en route to EVE News 24.  Stuff I think will work for the site, he never takes.  But an “I stepped on my dick” story, that he can’t seem pass up! Hah!

Anyway, TiDi did relax.  We jumped off to meet up with the titan that was assigned to bridge us home.  It happened to be DBRB’s Leviathan.  That was all I saw of him the battle.

I guess we won.  It can be hard to tell exactly what was accomplished when you’re just a foot soldier in the war, which is why I like DBRB’s fleets, because he is very good at filling us in on those sorts of things after the battle.

I personally ended up with no kills, no loot, and no drones, but I also took no hits and I think I did okay with shield reinforcement.  But as I said, TiDi makes that job a bit easier and we weren’t under a lot of pressure most of the time.

Later, The Mittani sent out an update on Jabber announcing that 3CN-3S was one of the systems, along with 319-3D, their main staging system, that the enemy seemed to be willing to put up big numbers in and fight for.  After the battle we were poised to take 3CN-3S and expected another big fight for the final show down.

However, apparently we put too many people on the field and Nulli declined to show up.

There are a few choice quotes in that audio file.

And so Nulli Secunda lost sovereignty in 3CN-3S this morning without a fight, putting them down seven systems in the last week.  C3N-3S is now a TEST outpost.

I hope this isn’t the end of resistance in Delve.  I just got there.

Edit: There is now a report of the battle up on EVE News 24 called, rather appropriately I thought, Burned on the Fourth of July, that gives an overview of the scope of what went on and includes a video.