Tag Archives: Pittsburgh2989

Operations in Eastern Tribute and the Vale of the Silent

Our operations have slowly been taking us further east.  The range of systems covered directly by capitals based in our staging system have been denuded of structures and ihubs.

Systems our capitals can reach in one jump from our staging

DOTLAN doesn’t show the “shape” of space, it being a representational layout attempting to group systems in a region together onto a single useful map rather than worrying about the actual distances between systems.  So, for example, SH1-6P looks to be much closer on the map than other systems we can reach.  But that isn’t the reality… whatever that means when we’re talking about a video game… of the actual layout of the stars which, among other things, are not a nice flat array but are in fact a three dimensional matrix of systems connected by star gates.  The in-game map tries to show you everything in 3D, and even if you use the “flatten” option, shows the stars in space with their actual distances (on one plane at least), which is why it is both so pretty and so useless to the average player.

Also, we haven’t spent much time worrying about the Territorial Control Units, the TCUs in each system, since aside from setting ownership on the map, they do not have any impact on the system.  The Infrastructure Hubs, the ihubs, are the key and they have all been blown where we can reach.  A few enterprising groups have been going out to flip the TCUs to get themselves on the map, but even where the systems still show NC. or -10.0 the ihubs and structures therein have been purged.

Anyway, we have been moving farther afield.  Sub cap operations have been starting with a titan bridge to PNDN-V, putting us on the path to operations in the far side of Tribute and into the Vale of the Silent.

Saturday I went with an Eagle fleet to the vicinity of the PanFam staging system in SH1-6P.  Word was that PanFam was evacuating the staging to pull back deeper into their territory.  A glance at Zkillboard for their staging system showed that somebody was insurance frauding a pile of Megathrons.

Some of the Blue on Blue kills in SH1-6P

Those seem to have been all empty hulls (I clicked a few but not all of them), so I gather they were not worth moving or sending to asset safety, but the modules were.

We passed through the system unmolested and moved to O-0ERG where an Ansiblex jump gate was waiting for us.  We landed on it in a ball and began to shoot.  As usual, I had plenty of T1 bash ammo in my cargo.  Life in Reavers, and then Liberty Squad, has kept me prepared to shoot structures at all times.

A Stork booster in our fleet with the Caldari Union Day SKIN

Being one jump away from a hostile staging system meant keeping alert, even if they were evac’ing.  While we were not the only fleet out shooting structures, at 100 ships we were a viable target if the locals decided to form and get a fight.

Our FC, whose name I’ve forgotten, seemed a bit on edge about the possibility of us getting dropped, but he was in the command channel where all sorts of information the line members don’t hear about things the enemy is up to is passed along.  We blew up the jump gate but were immediately aligned out to move.

On our way as the Ansiblex blows

We jumped into SH1-6P and passed through into D7-ZAC, where the FC had us start shooting a Pandemic Legion cyno jammer

Following the FC as we shoot

That did not last too long however, and he soon gave us an align point and told us that NCDot had formed a fleet and they would be coming for us shortly.  Vince Draken, long time NCDot lead FC, was bringing about 150 Eagles to fight us and we would be setting up for them.  The FC’s voice even sounded a bit stressed as he said we would be outnumbered and it would be a tough fight, so we needed to be on our game.

The enemy came through the gate and we started trying to hit their logi.  We failed to break the first couple and the FC switched over to targeting Eagles, which we were able to break and started to kill.  Things seemed to be going remarkably well considering we the odds were 3:2 against us and we were facing an veteran FC.  We were popping targets and almost nobody was broadcasting for reps. (Since I fly logi mostly I often forget and leave those broadcasts on in my fleet window.)

That was when I noticed that a full Baltec fleet of Megathron battleships had joined the fight on our side, weighing the odds heavily in our favor.  We were able to get some kills before the enemy fled, Vince Draken being one of the targets of the battleships who popped his Monitor FC ship.  The battle report shows that it ended up a very much one-sided fight.

Battle Report Header from the quick fight

That’s what happens when you’re out numbered.  I have screen shots of NC/PL dropping titans on us when we undocked Hurricanes back in Saranen during the Casino War, so I know what it is like.

Our Eagles were soon soaring alone on the field.

Eagle fleet spread out and chasing the FC

That was enough for us and we headed home.

Sunday several fleets were called up.  This time I went back to logi and joined the Baltec fleet under Pittsburgh2989.  This time we gated out to PNDN-V where a titan bridged us into the Vale of the Silent.  There we took up station and started shooting structures.

We did get one kill early on, an Azbel in 97-M96.

Baltecs already aligned out as the Azbel blows

But most of the time was spent reinforcing various structures in the vicinity.  A fleet had gone through and done the shield timer on a whole range of structures previously, so we were there to hit the armor timers as they came up.  This included a series of Athanor mining platforms that were mid-way through pulling moon chunks into position in order to be broken up and mined.

Moon chunk being pulled

That was kind of a neat visual, and on this sort of fleet you have to be interested in the visuals or watching Netflix on another screen or something.  I spent some time in WoW running world quests on an alt during the fleet.  But I also watched the ships and the targets.  We had a group from Black Ops that were out in the Triglavian battleship, the Leshak, hitting the structures with us.

A Leshak with the Metamateria Exotica SKIN

They can be kind of mesmerizing to watch, with their one red beam hitting the target continuously.

I just make a “bzzzzzzz” sound in my head when I see that

Seeing them makes me want to try out some of the Triglavian hulls at some point, though that will likely have to be something in a SIG.  They are too expensive and not abundant enough to be a main line doctrine.

We had a couple of the Triglavian tech 2 logi with us as well, the Zarmazd, which hit the game back in December, though I did not get a good screen shot of one of those.

What I did get to see is what happens when a mining platform gets its hull timer reinforced when it has a moon rock on the hook.  I have actually seen that before, but one of the Athanors had one very close to hand, ready for the mining action, so when it exploded it was right there on top of us.

Moon chunk goes boom!

And once it blows it leaves behind an oily black cloud that slowly dissipates.

The cloud as the explosion fades

It was a long fleets… past the three hour mark… but we reinforced a lot of structures and setup a lot of kills for a future fleet.  In a few days another fleet will be running around that area blowing up one structure after another.  We’ll see if I manage a return.

Tonight, or tomorrow morning EVE Online time, is another big structure kill.  The Keepstar in P3EN-E in the Vale of the Silent is set to come out of its final timer.  As with the two Keepstars last week, the fleets won’t even be forming up for the kill until almost midnight local time for me.  Kind of late on a weeknight.  Not something I can manage over and over.  But I am sure there will still be lots of people forming up to get on the kill mail.

An Evening of Explosions in Etherium Reach

Cainun had pre-pinged that we had a big op planned for last night, that he wanted as many of us who could make it.  He was determined to undock and take whatever fight was offered after standing down a few times when Pandemic Horde and its allies brought out multiple fleets.

The enemy was laying in wait for us again, though Cainun had called in some help.  In addition to our Eagle fleet, which swelled to over 200 pilots when we undocked, not bad for just a squad like ours, we had an additional fleet of Cerbs fly out from Delve, and bomber fleet led by DBRB come along, a fleet from TEST, and another from GoTG to all converge on LXQ2-T in Etherium Reach.

We sat on one side of the gate in Paala while Pandemic Horde and its allies sat on the other.  And then we went in and the battle started.

The first stage of the evening took place around the Paala gate in LXQ2-T, which PH had thoroughly bubbled.  Those of us in the logi wing were immediately busy as the fleet started moving and engaging the battleship fleet close to hand.

Bubbles around the Paala gate

Things did not appear to be going too badly for us so far as I could tell.  We were catching people and repping them before they died, including one lucky Eagle pilot who was way into structure before we saved him.

Hemo Lived… once we got reps on him

He ended up on a lot of battleship kill mails and made it through the night.

But as you can see in the first screen shot of the gate, the pink spots at about 11 o’clock of the gate, PH dropped in capital ships, carriers and super carriers, to support their battleships.

Even the capitals were not so bad at first.  Fighters take some time to get around and are vulnerable.  Drones were sent against them as we popped battleships.

But eventually the fighters started to overwhelm us, focusing on the logi in the fleet.  There were more than 30 people in the chain channel and as one would be blown up they would drop out.  The fighters were overwhelming our reps more quickly as each Basilisk went down and I spent then last two minutes of the fight trying to swap up who I was chained with for capacitor as the losses were hitting faster than I could lock people up.  I was the next to last person in the logi wing before I too went down.

I happened to be near the edge of one of the bubbles… and a good 100km off the gate, so I motored out and warped off.  With the logi gone Cainun took the rest of the fleet out as well and tethered up at a citadel we had in the system.

The fight at a distance from my pod

I don’t know why I felt I needed to get out.  It was an empty pod, no implants, so getting blown up would just put me back in our staging station.  That would have been convenient too, as Cainun was calling for logi to reship and get back into Paala.  But the word was that there were no more Basilisks up on contract and I had been using my backup Basi already, not having replaced the one I lost previously, so it seemed like we were done for the night.

Still, I figured I would try to get back to our staging.  I warped into the thick of things and started to motor to the gate, pretty sure that somebody would shoot me eventually.  It took a while, and I had decided to self-destruct rather than wait, but then I was painted, marking me for a quick return home.

Pod express all set

Being back in our station didn’t help much.  There were still no Basis on contract.  But Cainun kept telling logi to reship and get into Paala.  And then I checked the contracts for the third time in 20 minutes and found that somebody had listed a bunch.  So I reshipped and headed to Paala where we tethered on an Astrahus and waited for instructions.

Fresh Basi on the Space Violence citadel

The situation was unclear to me at that point.  Actually, it is still unclear to me now.  I have tried to build up a battle report for the events, however the data the tool gets in dramatically incomplete.  I suspect that the new push to keep people from giving zKillboard their API might be having an effect.  Long a Pandemic Legion tactic, somebody recently decided that you give away too much intel if you have your API linked there.  So a lot of kills do not show up on the battle report, including my own.  But my kill is there on zKill, so maybe the tool is the problem.

Meanwhile, our fleet was split up.  Cainun and the bulk of the Eagles and surviving support were sitting tethered on a citadel in LXQ2-T while the reconstituted logi wing was doing the same in Paala, with just a gate and a killing ground between us.

Eventually he called for us to warp to the LXQ2-T gate and hold.  We sat there for a bit, then he called for us to jump and anchor up and the fleet was back together again.

However, by that point the whole thing had been going on for almost two hours and most of the locals had moved off to other things.  We were not alone, but there wasn’t much to shoot at in the mass of bubbles.  So Cainun took us out of the bubbles and warped us off to the 8KE-YS gate where we jumped in.

There we were able to find a solo Apostle hanging around in space, which we quickly jumped on and bubbled and started to shoot.

Tackled Apostle

However the Apostle was able to cyno in some friends and we soon had nine HAW dreads drop in to join the fight.  At least I could nine on the kills, eight Revelations and a Naglfar.

Dreads arrive to assail us

This didn’t seem to bother anyone despite our mauling at the hands of a single HAW dread just the other night.  However, that dread had a subcap support fleet.  This pack of capitals were on their own.  PH was busy elsewhere, though a Jackdaw fleet did show up to try and support the caps.  However, the Cerb fleet from Delve was still roaming around looking for targets, so they came and chased the Jackdaws off, leaving us to our work.

I was bummed at this point as I had been in a hurry to get to Paala when Basi contracts went up so I forgot to buy some drugs and I forgot to stuff a combat drone in the drone bay to whore on easy kills, and this group turned out to be pretty easy.

Cainun just pulled us back out of the optimal range for high angle weapons and proceeded to pick the dreads off one by one.  The fax slowed us down, and the first dread was well fit, so that first kill took a while, but eventually we got there and it exploded.  And then another exploded.

A dread explodes

The dreads seemed happy to sit around unbubbled for quite a stretch, accepting their fate while trying to score a kill.  Still, we wanted to kill them all so a call went out to get some more dictors in fleet and over to help hold them down and maybe keep away any rescue attempt.  I had my alt already logged in.  He was in a Naglfar, as there was the possibility of us counter dropping, but I swapped him to a Sabre and zipped off to join the effort.

Meanwhile another dread explodes

Eventually we were down to the Apostle, and then the drag began.  The Apostle had armor repairers mounted and was able to counter the firepower the fleet was able to bring to bear.  Now I really wished I had some combat drones with my Basi, we needed every last DPS.  I even put the little guns of the Sabre on the Apostle.

Eventually Pittsburgh2989 dropped by in a Revelation to add his firepower to the fight, and even then it wasn’t going well.  There was talk of getting a second dread to join up with us.  But eventually the tide started to turn and with each rep cycle the armor on the Apostle was pushed back ever so slightly from the previous peak.  Soon we could see damage bleeding through into structure and the end seemed in sight.  The Apostle was doomed.

Our Revelation as the Apostle explodes

With the Apostle down… and he did not go easily into the night… we had ten capital kills under our belt for the evening.  I am not sure that balances out losing 30 Basilisks earlier, but it made us all feel pretty good.

At that point it was time to wander back towards home.  We stopped again in LXQ2-T to loot the battlefield and shoot the drag bubbles still arrayed about the gate.

Back at the Paala gate

With a full cargo hold (do I really need 150 cap batteries?) and no combat drones I just orbited the gate until we were done.  Then we moved on to our staging and stood down for the night.  We were almost at the four hour point by then, so a second PAP was issued for those of us who stayed around after the first action.

Meanwhile The Mittani was pinging about war on Jabber, so I am wondering if this was the opening salvo.  We will find out on Saturday, or so I am told. (Though, naturally enough, Reddit claims to know the target already. We shall see.)

Addendum: Another battle report tool (there are no end of EVE Online tools out there), mentioned in a Reddit post about the battle, shows an about even split when it comes to the ISK war, though PH won the objective, installing an ihub in LXQ2-T. (We didn’t really talk about the ihub in fleet that I recall.)

LXQ2-T and 8KE-YS combined report

That report includes both systems where I fought and includes my dead Basi as well as the Apostle that tanked us for so very long.  That group of dreads and the Apostle helped balance out the ISK war.

Structures and a Short Brawl in Amamake

It started off as many evenings do, with an FC taking us out to shoot structures.  Shooting structures sets timers which end up with explosions one way or the other.  Either we blow up the structure or the owners come to defend it and we get a fight.  Asher Elias called this putting money in the bank.

Pittsburgh2989 had scoped out a few low sec structures that Pandemic Horde and NCDot had dropped.  They were busy elsewhere, so we formed up a Ferox fleet, loaded up on bash ammo, and headed out.  Even Logi were encouraged to add firepower, so many of us loaded up combat drones.  The first target was only a few gates away.  An Astrahus, it turned out to be low power as well, so we got to burn through both the shield and armor.

Feroxes cruising along during the shoot

Once that one had a final timer set for six days hence we moved off to the next target.

Gratuitous Minmatar gate picture

The second Astrahus was powered so we only got to burn through the shield to set the armor timer.

You can tell it is the second because the Feroxes are moving the other direction

The fleet itself was fairly quiet.  There was some discussion of the current hockey game, the Sharks vs. the Avalanche, to rile up Pitts because the last team he supported had already been eliminated from the playoffs.  Somebody decided to see if you could reinforce a structure with smart bombs.  Apparently you cannot, though you can kill a friendly drone or two.

With that timer set we moved on to the third target of the night.  However, when we arrived we found a small fleet from Did He Say Jump in the system with us.  DHSJ is a low sec PvP corp, once part of the most recent incarnation of Black Legion, into whose home area we had wandered.

While they had fewer ships than us, a dozen Legions, a pair of Lokis, five Guardians for logi, and some support, they were still a formidable force.  Low sec groups like that bling up their ships with office mods and tend to run full sets of implants since people don’t pod you as readily as in null sec.

While we have about three times the numbers, our core was 34 fleet fit (meaning cheap fit) T1 Feroxes, though most of our logi was the more durable T2 Basilisks.  That meant there was no guarantee we could trade well with them.  It was also pointed out that we were close to their home and that it was likely that they would drop HAW dreads on us if we got engaged.

With this info, and the DHSJ fleet’s desire to engage at a specific range when we bounced around them, Pitts held back from getting tangled up with the T3s.  The first thing he wanted to know was whether we could counter drop with our own dreads.

Just hearing that got me to log my capital alt in and clone jump him to our staging and put him in my Naglfar there.  However, the distance was not right for us.  We would have to either mid point or take a couple of gates to get into range to drop, either of which would make us forming up to drop obvious and would leave us vulnerable going in and out.  The counter drop was off the table.

At this point the DHSJ fleet had pulled back from where we had been moving around into Amamake, where they were sitting on the gate.  Pitts felt that if we could start in up close to them we might have a shot, so piled us up on the other side of the gate to jump in.

In we jumped and the fight started.

While we exchanged blows they quickly lit a beacon and dropped in a Ninazu before we could pop the cyno.  That made things tough on us as with those reps we were struggling to break the tank on any of their ships.  We came close, driving a Loki deep into hull at one point, but things were not going our way in a straight up fight.

On the flip side we were holding up well.  It went into semi-busy mode for those of us in logi, though targets changed slowly and we kept people alive.  I was the first logi targeted but broadcast quickly and was never in any real danger once reps hit.  I did notice that somebody on the DHSJ side was also throwing fireworks along with projectiles.

My Basi flying through the fireworks barrage

Pitts ended up using the AOE MJD on the Stork we had with us to boosh us and some hostiles around, which opened up an opportunity to get in a kill on a Loki when it was momentarily out of optimal rep range.

However, that moment was short lived as another cyno went up and a Naglfar dropped in to join the fight.  We managed to kill the cyno ship, as well as one of their Guardians, but after that the Nag began burning through the T1 ships in our fleet.  One barrage was not enough to zap a Ferox, but it would knock them into structure leaving so little buffer than even if we repped up shields to full the next volley would finish it off.

And the fireworks kept coming

Pitts tried to get the MJD trick going again, but with only one command destroyer and the cool down time and people fumbling about getting in range at times, it just wasn’t happening.  As losses mounted he had us align to the sun and warp out.

From there we set our destination for home and headed out.

Another Minmatar Gate

The results were not too bad, though DHSJ killed a lot more ships and ended up ahead in the ISK war according to the battle report.

Battle Report Header

Of that 1.6 billion in kills we managed, 1.1 billion of it was in the Loki we managed to kill, with almost another 400 million in the Guardian.  A Harbinger and the cyno Prospect made up the balance.  Our biggest loss was a Cyclone command ship, and I am not sure how we let that one slip.  We were otherwise doing well keeping the T2 ships alive, their resists helping to keep damage under control.

In the end it was an interesting and fun asymmetrical fight.  We could have kept going for quite a while if we had been able to kill the second cyno in time.  But once that HAW fit Naglfar was on the field and toasting Feroxes we were done and had to concede.

Taking the Eye of Terror to Lonetrek

Every so often I go on a main fleet op just to remind myself why I don’t go on main fleet ops any more.  Plus I happened to still be sitting in 1DQ1-A from the Reavers race (still in my Gnosis) and Pittsburgh2989, who is in Liberty Squad, was the FC.  So when the ping went out festooned with no fewer than three animated parrots I joined up.

I thought if Pitts was here we might not be having a Liberty Squad op.  I was wrong, but I only figured that out when it was too late.

The call was for Baltecs, a fleet composition built around the Megathron battleship.  I actually had a few options for this, including a Megathron left over from last year’s war, sitting in my hangar.  I decided to go with Logi though, hopping into an Oneiros and putting on the Emergency Response SKIN.

Oneiros in the hangar

I could have gone with a Guardian… I have a few of those sitting around as well… but being free of the cap chain for an evening had its appeal.  So I got in the logi channel while the fleet came together.

There are any number of reasons why I avoid main fleet ops.  They tend to be ponderous operations, full of strangers who will talk on and on in a fleet of 150 people about not being able to find a something in the hangar.  There are a variety of FCs, each with their own quirks and pet peeves.  And they fly battleships, which are slow to get places.  This is why you join SIGs and squads, to fly with a regular group… usually in cruisers.

While things were getting sorted I undocked and sat on tether, wondering where we were headed.

Hanging on the Keepstar in 1DQ1-A

Of course, the battleship slow travel problem isn’t always problem.  Not when you have the reconstituted Eye of Terror jump bridge network running from Period Basis all the way up into Cloud Ring.  When the fleet got going Pitts essentially gave us three way points, each corresponding to an Ansiblex jump gate.

We were headed up to Cloud Ring and the trip was essentially “take a normal gate, take an Ansiblex, take a normal gate, take an Ansiblex, take a normal gate, take an Ansiblex, take a normal gate” and we were way up north, passing a series of Keepstars along the way.

Also, who puts a Keepstar AT THE SUN?

In Cloud Ring we took a gate into low sec and sat on a titan for a while.  The word filtered down to us that we were there to jump on anybody who formed up against an op already in progress.  We lingered there for a while… for longer than it took us to make the trip there for sure… until it was decided that nobody was going to show up.  So a cyno was lit and the bridge went up.

Time to go

We landed in Nannaras, which is way up in Lonetrek, a location that seems like a long way from home.

Obligatory fleet landing screen shot

Looking at DOTLAN navigation, that is about 40 gates away from where we started.

Up the western edge of New Eden

But with the Ansiblex network it felt like we hadn’t gone that far at all.

As for what was in Nannaras, there was a Pandemic Horde Fortizar there in its final timer.

A kill mail to be had

We warped up within range of it and joined in the shoot.

Somebody was there to gun it, so bombs were launched our way repeatedly.  This led to a lot of people hitting the “need shields” button in the fleet window, an annoyance to those of us in the logi wing because Baltecs are an armor doctrine fleet.  There was nobody around to rep shields.

But even announcing that on comms didn’t stop people from broadcasting for shields.

I actually had some shield repair drones.  Since there was little else to do for the moment, I put those out and repped some of the pricier ships.

Shield rep drones on a Bhaalgorn

However, I missed a bomb launch… there was something nobody was announcing on comms… and it wiped out my drones in one go.  So that was the end of that.  A few people were unlucky enough to drop into armor due to bombs, but otherwise it was a simple shoot.  I put out a combat drone towards the end… among other benefits, the Oneiros has a big drone bay… to get in some hits on the Fortizar just to get on the kill mail.

The small ships in the fleet also warped in to get their hits in as well, which prompted the gunner to turn on the point defense system.  That meant I didn’t have to worry about recalling my Warrior II drone, as it died pretty quickly.  But the Fortizar followed suit shortly there after, and I was on the kill mail.  Priorities.

Another dramatic explosion scene

From there we had to actually slow boat back to the Ansiblex gate network.  But we were only seven jumps or so away.  And once we arrived we were let off the leash to free burn home.  As somebody pointed out in comms, the first thing that happens is that the logi, which are all cruisers, leave the slower warping battleships behind leaving the potential for comedy/disaster.

But nobody bothered us and we were all quickly back in Delve and docked up.

Not a bad op, for main fleet.  Comms were subdued.  There were relatively few Game of Thrones spoilers mentioned and only one fan theory brought up. (The “Due to a time travel loop Bran IS the Night King” theory.)  I am not saying that comms should be silent, but there are people who seem to forget they have an audience of 150+ people.

Even with a good main fleet op I’ll be happy to be back in a Liberty Squad fleet when I have the chance.

Hurricanes and Fax Machines at Saranen

directorbot@goonfleet.com:

saranen importers: better restock hurricanes
93pi importers: better restock caps

~~~ This was a broadcast from kcolor to all at 2016-05-17 01:33:38.817622 EVE~~~

It was actually a busy day on the front porch of the Quafe Company Warehouse at Saranen V, moon 9.  But then, it has been a month of busy days despite our foes continuing to harp on the empty propaganda about us never undocking.  Again, another week and the top alliance at zKillboard remains unchanged. (Charts from May 6 and April 24 previously posted, rankings explained here.)

zKillboard Top Alliances and Corporations - May 17, 2016

zKillboard Top Alliances and Corporations – May 17, 2016

Pandemic Legion has picked up the pace and climbed the rankings, but Pandemic Horde, almost 9,000 strong these days, has been sliding down at the same time, to the point that it is in danger of falling off the list, ending up behind even my own alliance of 1,200 pilots.

I actually managed to undock three times yesterday and get on a few kill mails each time.

The first time was around mid-afternoon when Asher called up a fleet to chase off some NCDot Phantasms that were camping the undock.  This is why a some Imperium pilots like myself are pretty upbeat on the current situation.  Our foes come hang out on our doorstep until we’re ready to come out and play.  No roaming for content, it gets delivered.

We undocked in Hurricanes, The Imperium flavor of the day as it turned out, and chased them off, killing a few.  I happened to be doing a large file transfer in the background during the fight, which probably didn’t help my already slow reflexes, so I only ended up on a single Phantasm kill mail.  I was probably shooting the secondary by mistake if I got in a hit.

It was a nice quick op that wrapped up with us flying cover for some jump freighters bringing in more materiel to keep the war going before we docked up and stood down.

Most days that is all I can ask for out of an op.

After that the day went on, we had dinner, cleaned up afterwards, and were settling in for the evening when I sat back down at my desk and saw a series of frantic pings to get logged into Saranen to kill fax machines, the unfortunate yet immediately applied nickname for the new force auxiliary capital ships that came in with the Citadel expansion.

Again, it was Hurricanes and, while I was late to the party, I still logged in, got into Pittsburgh2989’s fleet, and undocked… to find there were indeed capitals and super caps on the undock.

Undocking alone into the middle of fun...

Undocking alone into the middle of fun…

The fleet was more than 100km away, too close to warp to but too far to burn to with caps hanging around and likely armed with the new high angle weapons for blapping subcaps like myself.  I aligned out to a celestial to bounce and warp back from.  Even as I was aligning out, more capital ships were jumping into the system.  But I could hear Pittsburgh2989 calling targets and fax machines going down, so my timing didn’t seem too bad.

I did the bounce, landed with the fleet, and anchored up.  Tidi was up and that transition out of warp so I could lock up and shoot felt like it took forever, but eventually was was on a target and shooting.  During a brief flurry of activity I managed to get on five Apostle kills, the Amarrian flavor of fax machine, along with one of the Talwars from a Pandemic Horde support fleet that showed up, a Cormorant that happened to stray into range between targets, and BlueMajere’s Apocalypse that was pissing Pittsburgh off for having survived through the fight right in the middle of things.

As we were doing this, more and more capital ships were jumping into the system off the undock.  The critical mass of the fight soon favored them as their fax machine logi increased as our Hurricanes were steadily popped.  Our fleets aligned to warp off, then warped back to the station to dock up.  That is the general plan, according to The Mittani on Sunday’s fireside chat; when our foes drop overwhelming numbers of capitals ships, we dock up and let them stare at the Quafe logo.

The battle reports floating about at that point showed us losing a lot of Hurricanes, but winning the ISK war with about half as much in losses as our foes.  Op success.  Participation links were generated, fleets stood down, and that seemed to be that for the evening.  We would leave the enemy to stew on our doorstep with no more kills to be had.

I walked away from my desk again, sat down and watched a bit of the Warriors game on TV, then went back to my computer to look through the screen shots I got during the fight and started putting together this post.

As I was doing that, another set of pings started popping up.  The enemy had started leaving Saranen, but in bits and pieces so that their numbers became assailable yet again.  Hurricanes were called for once more and people logged back in and filled up the first fleet, so that I ended up in the second fleet under Cainun.  Again, tidi was hitting hard to the point that we didn’t undock in a ball but in a chain of individual ships like the station was spitting us out in a stream.

We aligned and warped off, then back onto a spot to join in on the developing brawl,  There was a T3 cruiser fleet and some carriers and a some Pandemic Horde Feroxes on the field and even a few more fax machines to hit.  There was a rush to get points on the capitals, the high value targets, to keep them from getting away.

Our fleet was popping away at the T3s for a bit, though their logi seemed to be on the ball so our targets were catching reps.  We still managed to knock off a few as we closed with the capitals.  From there it was shoot and neut, as we had refit to carry energy neutralizers in order to deplete their capacitors.

While we were out a call when out for a Grinder fleet, which is Megathrons and Apocalypses, in order to blap stuff off the field.  Even Fearless Leader, The Mittani, got in a ship and undocked to shoot people.

The Mittani's Apocalypse

The Mittani’s Apocalypse

If you look at his kills, it is mostly Pandemic Horde Feroxes, so I am probably not zoomed in close enough to see the “Free Candy” sign on the side of the white, windowless Amarrian space van that he used to lure them in.

Then we hit the point where people were trying to hold down the last few foes as they warped off before the field around the undock was ours.  Cainun got popped along the way, but we had Pittsburgh2989 along with us, so he took over and kept us going.  People looted the field, there were high fives all around, more participation links were generated, and we then docked back up again.

The combined battle report I saw for both engagements combined put the ISK war well in our favor.

Saranen May 17 Battle Report Summary

Saranen May 17 Battle Report Summary

We lost a lot more ships… Hurricanes were dropping like flies at some points… but our ships were cheap relative to our foes.  We lost so many Hurricanes though that there was some worry about resupply.  The supply in Jita was way down, so I guess your economic tip of the day is to get some Hurricane hulls on the market.  With Welpcaines back as a doctrine, demand will likely remain strong.

So that was Monday in space, a good brawl where we got to blow up nineteen hostile capital ships.  No supers though.  Maybe next time.

Here are some screen shots I took along the way.