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

More after the cut.

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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, 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.