Tag Archives: PBD-0G

An Exchange of Threatening Looks in Tribute

All right, I tell you.
Monday we watch-a Firefly’s house, but he no come out. He wasn’t home.
Tuesday we go to the ball game, but he fool us: he no show up.
Wednesday he go to the ball game, but we fool him, we no show up.
Thursday it was a double-header, nobody show up.
Friday it rained all day, there was no ball game, so we stayed home, we listen to it over the radio.

-Chicolini, Duck Soup

As expected, after reinforcing two Sotiyos on Saturday there was an op announced to have another run at them on Sunday.  When the ping went out the population of local in Hakonen swelled past 1,600 as we all sought a slot on one of the four fleets announced.

Initially the call was for two Typhoon fleets, one Hurricane fleet, and a Jackdaw fleet.  They Typhoon fleets filled up quickly and in less than 30 seconds the adverts were down for them to leave a few slots for boosters or additional logi.  I was already online and found the first Typhoon fleet full so had to get into the second fleet under Corbzilla before it closed its doors.

The core elements of each fleet had been in place for a while… I saw the logi anchors being sorted out on Jabber well in advance… so we did not hang about in our hangars very long before the call to undock came and a mass of Typhoons spewed out of the station.

So many Typhoons… not enough skins

Our warp off to the waiting titan was less that perfect.  The POS shield was between us and our ride so we ended up way around the sphere and ended up having to warp off to the sun in order to aim for the right spot.  And so we got a close up look at the orange star of Hakonen.

Typhoons at the sun

The new star effects remain a joy to look at.  The intense color of each star and the roiling plasma surface.   Plus the way it reflects on ships close to the corona…

Typhoons in a misty orange dawn

From the sun we were able to warp back to the POS and take up station near the titan that would be sending us, and the other Typhoon fleet into Tribute.

The POS that sends people places

We’re the tight ball of Typhoons in the lower right, with the other Typhoon fleet spread out in the usual “keep at range” pattern.  If you click on the screen shot and view it full size you can see the dots of other fleets getting in range of titans.

Rather than sitting in hangars it turned out we were going to sit on titans for a while.  Some waiting was good as it turned out the template fit for the Typhoon in the fleet MOTD was wrong, so people had to warp back to station to change up.  This has happened a few times since we have deployed, where the fit is wrong, or gets changed, or includes modules the FC happened to have but which are not on the list of refits line members are supposed to carry according to the doctrine.

So there was a lot of that going on.  Meanwhile, Corbzilla clicked in space or something and flew in and out of the POS shield a couple of times, which was mildly annoying.  Logi is supposed to keep their capacitor chain up at all times, just in case.  So we were motoring around with the chain running.  But the moment somebody enters the POS shield they can no longer target or bet targeted, so the chain breaks.  If you’re zoomed out you might not know why until you try to reconnect and get the error message about the shields.  Also, if you aren’t in the GSF alliance, you can’t go into the shields without a password… and nobody is giving out the password for the POS holding our titans… so people like me end up bouncing off the shield as the fleet sails in.

Corbzilla was busy in command coms however, so we just had to deal with this minor annoyance ourselves until he got us all together outside the POS again just in time to see the first Typhoon fleet bridge out.  It was our turn to get in range of the titan, which some people did with such vigor that they bumped it, much to the annoyance of Jay Amazingness.  Due to how the titan model works, bumping the Leviathan and making it spin actually moved it closer to me.  The mysteries of New Eden.

Anyway, the bridge went up for us and we jumped into V0DF-2, the system adjoining MJI3-8, where the first Sotiyo to enter its repair cycle lay.

There we joined three other fleets in forming up around the gate to MJI3-8 and waited.

Sitting around the MJI3-8 gate

That screen shot is another one of those “need to click on it to be able to see any details” additions.  You can see the two Typhoon fleets and the Hurricane fleet because the capacitor chains, the yellow/gold lines, are visible around the gate.  The Jackdaw fleet was on the gate itself, in the middle of the yellow hexagon in the center of the picture, which is their booster cycling.

The four fleets, at about 250 pilots per fleet, sat there in space, watching the gate… and disconnecting every so often.  Disconnects and people needing to get back into already full fleets has been an issue that has plagued us since we landed in Hakonen.  I don’t think CCP was quite ready for our influx into the area.  Still, we had a over a thousand ships milling about, plus an additional Jackdaw fleet somewhere else and a fleet of dreadnoughts ready to cyno in should they be needed.

The situation in system

Meanwhile, on the far side of the gate PL and NCDot were waiting for us, with over 1,200 ships of their own ready to go.  While I didn’t see how they were arranged, I have to imagine it was pretty much the same thing as the day before when they blockaded the gate in PBD-0G with bubbles and titans and all sorts of other ships.

Something like this

A directional scan showed the ships undocked and on hand waiting for us.  I am not sure how long those dscan links stay active, but this is the summary listing:

Waiting for us in MJI3-8

The “by ship” break out showed that the 1,237 ships included 265 Machariels, 156 Cerberuses, 111 Abaddons, to back up the 107 titans, 127 super carriers, and 122 force auxiliaries.

A formidable force.  Pretty much a death trap for us, had we chosen to go through the gate.

Not wishing to feed them easy kills or give their titan pilots a chance to use their fancy fun sub cap slaughtering area doomsday weapons,  we did not go through the gate.  So we hung out one system over and they won the objective.  We flew back to our staging and that was the end of that.

This led to the usual narrative posturing on Reddit.  Goons are bad because we wouldn’t walk into their pre-planned murder box and NC/PL clearly didn’t want to fight because if they did all they had to do is take a gate, leaving their Satiyo unguarded.  But if the sides were swapped I doubt the results would have been different.  Each side did what was in their best interest.  We’ll see which side gets tired of forming up.

Meanwhile, over in PBD-0G, NCDot started taking down the Sotiyo there to move it elsewhere no doubt.  It certainly wasn’t going to be producing any supers because, as I understand it, you have to configure the ihub in the system to allow that, which requires that you own the ihub, a situation we managed to change.

The situation in PBD-0G August 7, 2017

The station is now a freeport so I can go and get that stack of liquid ozone I left behind last year.

And so it goes, with us continuing to set timers.  NCDot was recently doing the same thing to us down south from their staging in Gehi, reinforcing structures and not showing up for the timer, so their protestations on Reddit might sound a bit hollow.  Of course, they decided to show up for a timer down in Delve, assuming we were all up in Hakonen, and it cost them a few Lokis.

On the propaganda front, a Star Wars inspired “The Imperium Strikes Back” theme seems to be taking hold, buoyed by this excellent piece from Prog:

Asher gets a starring role at last

The highlight for many is the TEST dino stand-in for a tauntaun and the morale Rorqual.

We’ve now been through the first weekend of the deployment and are into the weekdays where huge form ups are less likely.  Maybe I will find some time to play LOTRO.

Another Day, Another Sotiyo in Tribute

On the first day of combat operations in the north we hit what was purported to be Vince Draken’s personal Sotiyo in PBD-0G.  I don’t know if that was really his or not, but it belonged to his alliance and we put it into its first reinforcement timer.

The stoically silent Sotiyo

That first timer lasts 24 hours, after which we have to return to shoot the structure again to setup the second time.  You can’t blow these things up until you come back for the third time.

However, the locals were not going to give us another free shot at this Sotiyo.  We had the weekly fireside chat at 19:00, more than two and a half hours before the timer would run down to allow our second shot at the structure and The Mittani told us that Pandemic Legion and NCDot were already forming up a defense.

There was a cyno jammer up to block us from bridging in, the gate was blocked with a copious number of anchorable bubbles to hold any fleet entering the system in place, while super capitals lay in wait to destroy any incursions into the system.  PBD-0G was locked down tight, something verified by a look at the DaOpa Twitch stream.

This is a serious gate camp – screen capture from the stream

We were not going to go there.  So we went and reinforced another Sotiyo belonging to NCDot instead.

The thing is, from Hakonen, we can bridge into a range of systems and, as it turned out, NCDot had another Sotiyo in its vulnerability window in MJI3-8.

Tribute systems in jump range of Hakonen are red boxes

At 20:00 EVE Online time the call went out for fleets again.  I was online and ready as the ping went up and was able to get into the Typhoon fleet before it filled up.  Cainun was out FC.  People love flying battleships so that fleet fills up in under 30 seconds.  Other fleets were up and filled as well.

We got ourselves squared away and undocked, warping off to a titan waiting to send us on our way.  The bridge went up and we jumped in to see another lonely Sotiyo waiting for us.

Landing with the target in sight

We scooted over to get in range of the Sotiyo so we could begin shooting it.  There was a moment of panic as we started taking damage because somebody had set off the smart bomb mounted on their Typhoon.  But after that we anchored up and started shooting.

Our fleet visible under the NCDot logo

If you click on the screen shot and look near the left upright, you can see the Jackdaw fleet bridging in to cover us lest the locals decide to defend.

We adopted a very tight formation, so our fleet is one big ball with an electric blue aura about it from all of the sensor booster effects running at the same time.

A close up of the glow around out fleet

A couple of small ships came out to see what we were up to, but no defense was mounted.  So we flew in our blob, spewing missiles and keeping close to each other.  Somehow a group of the Guardians ended up in a line with one of the Damnation boosting ships, as though the Amarr ships were being pushed out of the sphere of Minmatar battleships.

Amarr ships together in the strange glow and effects

Amarr hulls also seemed to have a pretty high amount of skin usage.  There were very few Guardians in the stock colors.

We put the Satiyo into its first reinforced state and then packed up to head home.  The way out was easy and short, the fleet not going on nearly as long as I thought it might.

All in all a demonstration of the problems of defending multiple systems when your enemy has a range of targets from which to choose.  So it looked like they would have to form up again the next day on the second Sotiyo to stop us from moving it along, at which point we could return to the first and reinforce it unless they split up or formed up enough people to cover both systems.

But then a few hours later Asher pinged this out:

So I was sitting watching the sotiyo that PL/NC sat 5 hours guarding today, while we reffed another one of their sotiyos. I was watching as it came out of reinforced and I noticed they had left system and it was still vulnerable for another hour, I guess they didn’t want to guard it for another hour. So…

The “So…” was followed by a link to this screen shot.

The first Sotiyo…

It looks like we used that unguarded hour to reinforce the Sotiyo in PBD-0G.  So now if they want to keep us from pushing into the next reinforcement cycle they will have to form up, guard one while it repairs, then jump to the second one and guard that while it repairs.  And they might give mind to sticking around until the vulnerability window, as if it is still open we will be back to shoot them again given the opportunity.

And so it goes from Hakonen, where we continue to setup for a long stay.

One of the citadels already deployed

Day One on the Beachhead in Lonetrek

Well, my gut was right.  We are setting up shop in Lonetrek in order to attack in the north.  However, my lack of understanding of the strategic situation put my guess as to where we might stage off by a ways.  We were not headed to Saranen, but to Hakonen to set up shop.

This puts us right by the M-0EE8 entrance to Tribute as well as within bridging and jump range of quite a bit of the region.  My misapprehension was that we might be set to do something in Syndicate.  Instead, the idea was to draw NCDot and their friends out of Syndicate by attacking their home.  Our arrival made them start moving back, which cost them a few titans and super carriers along the way.  The battle report showed it to be quite a one-sided loss.

Once I found out our destination I made the run there with my main and alt.  That probably blew an easy PAP link for me, but the distance was only twelve jumps and I wanted to get there and start getting set up.  I traveled light, taking only a couple of light ships with specific fits, figuring if we were going to be in low sec space that resupply would be easy.  Being in Hakonen made it even more so, since it isn’t that far from Jita.

By the way, if you’re selling in Jita, now is a time to stock up your listings.  I got in early and bought some stuff, but reports came back later of the place being stripped dry of things like Hurricane hulls and various other essentials.  Time to make some money by supplying the war.

I sent my alt over and had him buy a Typhoon and then had a NPC corp alt fly in a couple more ships while I looked around the system.  Naturally enough, we had a couple of Astrahus citadels going up along with a Raitaru.  I wasn’t too sure as to why we were putting that up, but I will admit my own sense of the strategic can be lacking.

Raitaru finishing up its deployment cycle

There were pings for fleets and things to do pretty much from the moment I got settled in with my ships. The enemy had come down to reinforce a couple of the POSes we had planted.  We need those as safe homes for the titans that will be bridging us into Tribute.  So I ended up in a Hurricane fleet flying cover for Minokawas sent to repair the POSes.

Minokawas in siege repairing the POS tower

PL, NCDot, and the various alliances to the north did not come to contest the towers once they were exposed, so we mostly just flew around and waited.  Somebody used their free high slot to mount a festival launcher, so we had some fireworks to entertain us.

A Happy Hurricane Fleet

We followed the Minokawas around to a couple to destinations, covering them as they did their work, then aligned back to the station to dock up.

Hurricanes aligning en masse

We stood down, my first op for the deployment done.

About an hour later there was the expected call, a pre-pinged op.  I jumped on and got into the Typhoon fleet and not a second too soon.  It filled up as did the Hurricane fleet that was called.  They setup a third fleet, which also filled up, so a fourth fleet was required.  There were about a thousand Imperium pilots online in Hakonen looking for trouble.

I was in the Typhoon I had bought, but the word came down that we were short on logi, so I bought a Guardian off contract and swapped into that.  Anything to help the cause I suppose.  At least it had the right rigs, unlike that other Guardian I bought ages back.

Purity white Guardian with the Typhoons

The first bit of trouble expected had to do with the Raitaru coming online.  It turned out that the Raitaru wasn’t actually part of the plan, but since it was there the locals were forming up to kill it as it came online, so the first part of our operation was to stand by to fight them.  However, they ended up standing down and the Raitaru came online without issue.

We then set about hitting PL POSes in the system.  The first one was unfueled, so was an easy kill.

Missiles and drones hitting the helpless stick

I regretted not having put a combat drone in my drone bay to get on an easy kill.  But I am sure there will be more.

The next one was fueled so we just knocked down its shields until it was reinforced.  That will be a target for later.

All the while The Mittani had been showing up in coms to tell us what was going on at a strategic level.  He told us about the NCDot super loses and how Pandemic Horde was supposed to show up and contest the Raitaru in Machariels, then opted for a much cheaper (to lose) Ferox doctrine and about how even that form up declined to move against us.

Not keen to fight, the hostiles stood down.  However, before they had done that we were sitting on a titan waiting to be bridged into Tribute.

Typhoon fleet sitting at range

We sat there patiently waiting for the enemy to stand down and for things to go quiet.  That meant sitting there looking at a wall of Typhoons for a while.

Many Typhoons waiting

Eventually the word came it was time to go, a cyno had been lit, the titan bridge went up, and off we went into Tribute.

Landing in Tribute

We had been sent to the system PBD-0G, which coincidentally was my old home system when we lived in the region, where I used to rat and such.  It was also the system where I packed up my carrier and got the hell out of Dodge when Co2 betrayed us and it was clear we couldn’t hold the region.  There is still some liquid ozone in the station there, just about all I left in Tribute.

But we were not there to collect my left behind belongings, but to take advantage of the vulnerability window of the NCDot Sotiyo anchored there.

Where NCDot builds

We spread out and the shooting began.  Unlike the Blood Raiders Sotiyo however, nobody undocked to challenge us.

The stoically silent Sotiyo

As we shot that other fleets were bridged in to help and to cover entosis ships hitting the station, the infrastructure hub, and the territorial control unit.  We followed Plexlive around in his command Legion and plinked away… or just followed for those of us in logi.

FC was wearing one of the new T3 cruiser skins

The Satiyo was reinforced, eventually the entosis work was done, and it was time to align out and head back to our staging system.

Typhoons showing their exhaust

There was a group of hostile interceptors trying to grab stragglers, which was a bit of a problem.  Pushing all of us through those gates was causing time dilation to flare up and people were getting disconnected or stuck in warp tunnels or just having to wait on Traffic Control to let them into systems.  But we mostly made it home in one piece.

And so the fighting begins.  I asked what we were calling this deployment/war.  There is a faction that just wants to call it the Casino War, seeing it as a continuation of the fight we withdrew from a year back.  But that doesn’t fly with me.  One might as well argue in favor of calling WWII the Franco Prussian war, since the seeds planted then helped lead to WWI and then WWII.

So while the Casino War certainly fed into this fight, so did a lot else, meanwhile much has changed, not the least of which was the end of the casinos and the banning of some of those running the casinos as well as the confiscation of ISK being used for RMT.

But no other name springs to mind for me either.  Something will stick eventually.  I need something so I can tag the posts for later reference.