Tag Archives: Pure Blind

Notes from the Pure Blind Front

We’ve been out on this deployment to the north for a while.  I do not think my main has been back to Delve since some point in November of last year.  Back at the start we were running around in VNIs shooting ratters with the same ships they were using.

VNIs leaving the station

I haven’t written that much about the deployment as this sort of guerilla warfare doesn’t always make for interesting tales.  We go shoot structures and drop on miners and ratters.  There are a few posts if you click on the Reavers tag and scroll down the posts, but that does not represent our level of activity.

However, recently a few things have happened, not all of which I was there to see first hand, so I thought I would sum up a bit of the situation.  A year from now we’ll see how all this played out, but for the moment this is what has come up.

Changes Over The Last Month

As I noted previously, Pandemic Horde moving to Geminate left something of a hole in the north that the Guardians of the Galaxy coalition was looking to fill.  They started off right after the whole million dollar battle thing by clearing all of our structures and aggressively camping our staging station, keeping it bubbled and watched.

This is a bubble camp

They seemed to tire of that after a few days and we were soon able to undock to clear the bubbles and kill some of their forces.  Eventually they gave up on that, but would aggressively defend the structures they had planted all over the system and attack any that we dropped.  Then they lost some titans and seemed to give up on activity in our staging system.  We have since been able to drop structures and chip away at theirs in system.

The New Normal

Recently we have had to go into GotG space to get them to form up, since they mostly leave our staging system alone.  We have been into the Darkness capital system to drop structures, or to reinforce their structures, on grid with their Keepstar, acts that don’t always get a response.

Shooting one of their structures, Keepstar visible

We’ve been into Deklein drop structures and reinforce their stuff to see if we can get a rise out of them.  We don’t always form up to defend what we drop or reinforce.

Deploying a Raitaru, visible between the Keepstar uprights

There was a Sotiyo engineering structure we hit, setting a timer.  A Sotiyo is where you build capitals and super capitals.   That they formed up to defend, but when the timer hit we were nowhere to be seen.  Depending on who is telling the tale, one of the titan pilots that formed up either blew up his own titan by playing the self-destruct dare game because they were bored or self-destructed and rage quit the game because they were assured we would show and we didn’t.  They self-destructed a super carrier as well.

Either way, reinforcing that Sotiyo ended up costing them a titan.  So we went back and reinforced it again, along with other structures.  And when we’re not doing that people are still out hunting miners and ratters.

A Rorqual we got after reinforcing that Sotiyo again

The Strange Tale of Bad Juice

At one point in a prod at GotG Reavers chief Asher Elias went to Reddit and posted a link to an enthusiastic video showing the locals shooting a small, undefended Imperium tower.  It was very much in the usual spirit of what happens in /r/eve, a bit of a laugh about them posting that but not fighting us.  Golf clap level stuff.  The video itself got some extra views and a few wry comments and the person who made the video, who we saw in space later that day, seemed chill about it.  More views are better, right?

Then the video maker freaked out, posted another video accusing Asher of cyber bullying for posting the link which ended up bringing legions of haters to his video and declaring that Asher could be facing up to 10 years in prison (according to Texas law).  And then there was the declaration that he wanted to face Asher in an MMA style cage match, a post which he took down because he said CCP Scorpion threatened him with a ban if he did not.  CCP Falcon showed up in that thread to say there was no CCP Scorpion and that he didn’t know anything about any of that.

The drama seemed to be too much for all concerned and the pilot ended up the week looking for a new home.

A MOA Defection

Mordus Angels, who long waged a low key guerilla war against the CFC then the Imperium when we lived in the north.  While their solo war was never more than a nuisance, once the Casino War opened up they found themselves with many allies as we were swept from our space and, in the aftermath, found themselves holding sovereignty.  They soon became part of the GotG coalition, “blue-trals” to their neighbors, and open to ratters and miners and getting fat on the bounty of null sec space.

Now it is us sitting in an NPC station waging a guerilla war against them and their allies.  Despite the occasional hysterical cry that we’re there to invade, we’ve just reversed things.  We just happen to have the economic power behind us to drop suicide dreads.

As the Monthly Economic Report earlier this week indicated, ratting and mining is down and not so very lucrative in Fade, Deklein, and Pure Blind where a lot of GotG lives.  Up in Branch however, some of the coalition are working away relatively unmolested being out of easy bridge range.

That MOA was suffering while others were making bank seemed to set off one of the MOA corps who defected to The Imperium, bringing with them some assets and snapping the local MOA owned jump bridge network.

Anyway, having been in our coalition for almost six years at this point it is bizarro world strange to have a MOA corp defecting to us.  But then, the MOA that lives in Pure Blind now is hardly the MOA that used to live in 5ZXX-K for all those years. (And a couple more corps, FWCEF and FWS, left MOA after A.N.D defected.)

Space Violence Arrives

While a couple of Imperium SIGs have been wandering the north for a while looking to harass and interdict the locals, it has often been a low key affair.  And then the Space Violence SIG announced that they had arrived with ~400 dreadnoughts and were looking for trouble.

The thing with low key is that, while the locals know you’re around and can guess pretty accurately what you can muster (and what it will take to counter), but the rest of New Eden is pretty oblivious unless something big happens, and then they only know after the fact.  That is too late for third parties.

Will a big splashy announcement about Space Violence’s arrival in the north shake things up?  NCDot has come over from Tribute to support GotG on occasion, but they know the drill, that we’ll just fade away if they bring enough supers.

Response by the Locals

Confirming what I mentioned up a way, the GotG response to our presence has gone from aggressively going after us to not forming to fight, this coming from a leak from GotG leadership.  The expectation is that they can time zone tank their structures and we’ll get bored and go away. As Asher notes, not fighting is a legit tactic, and one we have to use ourselves up in the north where we can easily find ourselves outnumbered if the locals form up.  But given our past, I think it will take a while before we tire of shooting structures and dropping our own.

Anyway, unless a war involving us breaks out somewhere in New Eden, I think we’ll be the north for a while longer.

Delve – Now With Contract Values

The Monthly Economic Report for March dropped on Friday and contains all the usual fun data to peruse.  This is the first MER since CCP Quant left the company, so we get to blame any errors on the new minder of the report, CCP Larrikin. (We’ll get to that.)

Going down the usual path I want to look at mining first.

March 2018 – Mining Value by Region

Mining value was up in Delve by almost a trillion ISK.  This came in the face of sagging mineral prices in the market overall.

March 2018 – Economic Indices

That means that there was just more mining going on in Delve, likely related to the ever expanding moon mining operations in the region, all of which left Delve at the top of the stack again.

March 2018 – Mining Value by Region – Bar Graph

Of note are the rather static month over month value of Querious.  I was wondering if that might go up due to Locust Fleet, the attempt to mine out all of the moon mining operations in a single day.  Perhaps that did not go as well as planned.  I heard it was of to a rough start, but did well enough to carry on again this month, running yesterday.  We’ll look back again next month to see if that raises Querious.

Also of note are the falling mining output numbers for Fade, Pure Blind, and Deklein, regions in the north that have been hunted by several Imperium SIGs.  They are all down noticeably over last month, more so than the dip in prices would explain. With the departure of Pandemic Horde for Geminate, the Guardians of the Galaxy coalition has pretty much ceded the staging systems being used against them and has adopted a defensive posture, allowing the Imperium to do its fighting on their home turf, inhibiting mining and ratting operations in those regions.

And since we’re on about that, I might as well move to NPC bounty payouts where, as expected, Delve remains at the top.

March 2018 – NPC Bounties by Region

The change is moderate, up about a trillion ISK for Delve… what a world when that much ISK is a moderate change… so holds its place in the stack ranking.

March 2018 – NPC Bounties by Region – Bar Graph

As noted above, the regions in the north being stalked by Imperium forces saw some impact.  Deklein, once number three on the list, fell back to fifth, having shed nearly a trillion ISK from its 3.6 trillion ISK February number.  In this case a trillion ISK represents more than a 25% drop.  Likewise, Fade saw a significant drop, while Pure Blind wasn’t hurt too bad, but its February number wasn’t that hot to begin with.

As usual, null sec remained the prime recipient of NPC bounties, with its percentage dropping a bit, from 93.3% last month to 93.1% this month.

March 2018 – Bounties by Space Sec Rating

Overall however bounties saw a noticeable dip on the sinks and faucets chart during March, though it recovered somewhat by the end of the month.

March 2018 – Top 8 ISK Sinks and Faucets

I am not sure what was going on during that part of the month, but overall NPC bounties are down some.

On the production front Delve saw a huge surge in March, jumping from 29 trillion ISK in value in February to just past 40 trillion ISK last month.

March 2018 – Production Values by Region

This surge managed to push Delve past The Forge, the region that is home to Jita, in total production value.

March 2018 – Production Values by Region – Bar Graph

That is quite an accomplishment but, as I have noted in the past, Jita sits at the intersection of three regions, The Forge, Lonetrek, and The Citadel, so production centered on the marked hub of New Eden still exceeds Delve overall.  Still, the Imperium is building a lot of stuff as The Mittani encourages people to train into titans.

On the trade value front The Forge remains dominate.  There is a reason manufacturing is clustered around there, it is the place to sell things.

March 2018 – Trade Value by Region

The dominance of The Forge and its Jita market nexus is made starkly clear by the bar graph.

March 2018 – Trade Value by Region – Bar Graph

The next two contenders, Domain, home to Amarr, and Delve, fade in comparison to such an extent that CCP provides the same graph without The Forge every month, just so you can see how the rest of New Eden compares.

March 2018 – Trade Value by Region – Bar Graph, Forge Excluded

There you can see how the other regions compare to each other when the shadow of The Forge is removed.

This month we got an additional insight into trade when CCP Larrikin added charts about the value of contract transactions per region.  Unfortunately, the main chart appears to have problems.  It is not labelled correctly (it just says trade value by regions) and the number for The Forge is clearly wrong. (Blame assigned.)  However, the accompanying bar chart appears to be correct both in labeling and data, so I will toss that in.

March 2018 – Contracts Trade Value by Region – Bar Chart

Here The Forge is still on top, but Delve is not too far behind.  This is likely due to the fact that doctrine ships are generally purchased by line members assembled and loaded via contract and because capital and super capital purchases are also often done by contract.

Finally, I will end on the usual chart, the comparison of various stats across key regions.

March 2018 – Regional Summary Stats

Things to look for next month:

  • Will Fade, Pure Blind, and Deklein remain down?
  • Will the Space Violence SIG showing up in the north push them down further?
  • Will the “Bee Control” attacks on Delve suppress its numbers?
  • Will the Locust Fleet boost Querious mining?
  • Will Delve production remain this high?
  • Am I going to have to bring up Fountain at some point?

Anyway, that is my look at the New Eden Monthly Economic Report.  The report itself has many more charts and the raw data on which they were based, so if numbers are your thing you should go take a look.  Over at INN they have taken the raw data and rolled a few of their own graphs, if you want to see some of the data presented in a different way.

A Tower Without Stront

The ongoing skirmishes in the north continue in and around Pure Blind.  Some times they are big.  More often they are more modest in size.  With the departure of Pandemic Horde from the area, the Guardians of the Galaxy coalition has had to pick up the slack.  That started off aggressively.   During the time of the failed million dollar battle, when our attention was elsewhere, GotG and PH cleared out all of our citadels and towers and dropped their own, towering up all the moons in the system.   On our return to Pure Blind they started bubbling our station in an attempt to camp us in.

The situation upon our return

Their resolve in this seemed to waver as we showed up regularly to break their camp and clear out the bubbles.  Their aggressive stance slackened and responses to our activity dropped off, allowing us some nice kills now and then.

Meanwhile Pandemic Horde left behind a bunch of POS towers that slowly but surely ran out of fuel and became regular targets for us to shoot.

Drones tickling an unfueled tower

We also began the slow process of rebuilding our structure base, dropping citadels and engineering complexes.  Those were contested regularly… until they weren’t, and slowly we’ve added more structures to the mix.

There was a gap in the back half of March that I missed, which included that fight where GotG lost five titans, but I’ve been back and on ops since the weekend and the pace of things has changed.  Getting capitals and super caps dropped on us was a regular event before, now we seem to be able to roam in numbers often without that.  Also, NCDot has starting getting involved, looking for some fights close to home no doubt.

They were the ones who showed up to shoot a Raitaru we had dropped, a fight that would have happened had Comcast not dropped Asher just as we were forming, leaving us without an FC.

The next night though we were back again, with another structure coming online and nobody around to oppose us.  Formed up to cover that, Asher took us to one of the towers that NCDot had dropped so we could shoot it to see if anybody would show up.

Shooting a tower with lots of hardeners

At a glance this fresh tower in our midst looked formidable, with many hardeners to up its damage resistance, portending a long and dull shoot to put it into reinforced state.  However, the person who put up the tower had placed the hardeners but hadn’t gotten around to putting them online.  So they were merely decorative.

As nobody seemed to be forming to fight us, Asher called out a bit of heavy support to speed things along.

Nags add their weight to the shoot

They came in for a siege cycle then docked back up as the shield quickly approached the 25% level, at which point the tower would be reinforced and become a target for another day.

And then the tower dropped to 24% and we realized that, in addition to the hardeners, the tower also lacked any strontium clathrates, the ice mining derivative that fuels a towers reinforcement mode.  Without that we could just sit there and burn the tower down and kill it.

That’s right Pee-wee, the secret word is “Unstronted!”

And, in a moment of things just not rolling NCDot’s way, seemingly just seconds after the shields dropped below 25% an NCDot pilot warped into the POS shields, no doubt carrying some stront with which to fuel the tower.  However, once the shields are below 50% you can neither add nor remove any stront, so he was already way too late, but it seemed especially galling that he should arrive just when the tower’s fate was sealed. (The amount of stront determines how long the tower will remain reinforced, so defenders will tinker with the amount in a tower being attacked to get a favorable time period for the next round.)

We kept on shooting, all the more enthusiastic now that a kill mail was on the menu.

My alt in a laser Vexor adding to the firepower

Once we were past the shields, where the bulk of the Caldari tower’s defenses lay, things went much more quickly and we were rewarded with that tower kill mail along with kill mails for all of those hardeners.

The hardeners being popped

The day when POS towers will be removed from the game is still coming.  In a way I will miss their quirks compared to the citadel defense mechanics.  And few things can brighten up a structure shoot than learning that the tower you’re shooting won’t require a second visit because the defenders forgot to fuel up with stront.

And so the game goes on in the north.  We shoot their stuff and drop our own structures.  If they don’t come to defend, then we move outward to shoot stuff closer to their home.  If they do defend then we get a fight.

A Hole in the North

I heard Monday on comms that Pandemic Horde was packing up to move.  This was confirmed later via an article over at INN.  PH were going to leave their home in Fade, Pure Blind, and a bit of Cloud Ring, and move east to pick up space in Geminate.  That space was being vacated by the Russians who were going to consolidate deeper into null sec after Triumvirate gave up in Insmother.

The North Feb 15, 2018

That will actually put Pandemic Horde up tight against the rest of PanFam who sprawl across Tribute, Tenal, and Vale of the Silent, the latter sharing a border with Geminate.  That is probably a good move for them as it makes for a tighter center of mass for PanFam.

Move ops should be fun as people line up to try and catch them exposed on the path to their new home.

But it raises the question of who will move into the vacated space once PH finishes relocating?

Certainly the Guardians of the Galaxy Coalition, led by Darkness, seems a likely candidate.  One of their members, Mordus Legion, already holds some space in Pure Blind.  But do they want to shepherd that much space?

One of the oft commented upon/complained about aspects of the current situation in null sec is that you do not need to control nearly as much space to have sufficient access to mining and ratting to keep your members happy.  The Imperium, for the most part, is fine just in Delve, as the monthly economic report indicates.  Farms and fields.

The Initiative went and took much of Fountain when the previous situation there fell apart, not so much out of need as the fact that the space was there to be taken.  That put the reach of The Imperium up to the border with Cloud Ring and not so far from Fade and Pure Blind.  There went the neighborhood.  So PH’s move puts them a bit further from that mess.

Guardians of the Galaxy will no doubt scoop up the remains of Fade, which is small and in which they had maintained a foothold already.  The western half of Pure Blind however seems like a lot of space for them to keep an eye on.

And Cloud Ring seems right out.  Cloud Ring is already a bit of the Wild West with even some Gallente Faction Warfare pilots, off on a lark, grabbing the Assilot constellation in the region back in September, space that they still hold today.

I guess Cloud Ring could just roll along on its own, but western Pure Blind… GotG either have to take it to cover themselves or get somebody they can deal with to move in.  Maybe Tri is looking for a new home?

Then again, Pure Blind isn’t anybody’s favorite region… unless you like to hole up in the NPC in the middle and hot drop on the things.  So it will be interesting to see who ends up there and if they will live there or just hold it to keep somebody else from living there.

On the one hand, it is probably good that null sec is now all largely livable space without the useless systems that made people spread out.  On the other, if you told me five years ago that there would be chunks of prime, livable null sec that people wouldn’t want to bother with I might have laughed.

Anyway, we will have to see what develops in the hole in the north left by Pandemic Horde’s move.

Last Moves Before the Big Move

After getting the word that the Imperium would be leaving Saranen for points unknown and being told to pack for a long stay elsewhere in New Eden, I started moving around to get things together.

The first thing I did, even as the fireside chat was winding down, was repackage a bunch of no longer in doctrine ships and modules and had them shipped to Jita.  I probably have to do another pass at that.  I still have too many ships in Saranen.  But at least the obvious stuff is off in Jita waiting for me to find time to jump clone over and list it all for sale.

It may be a bit before I get there.  I had other places to jump clone.  The first stop was UMI-KK, where I listed some stuff I had left behind.  Somebody got a good deal on an implant that I listed for cheap, and some mining stuff went at a discount, but other stuff I listed closer to Jita prices.  I think.  I tend to be haphazard and pricing on a good day.  If it sold already, I probably priced it too cheaply.  I also contracted a Heron to Orion Sa-Solo as a lark.  I am not sure if it was even fit, but it is his problem now.

Then it was off to my alt account.  I jumped him to D2-HOS in Pure Blind where he had one of the ratting Myrmidons that the coalition was selling back during one of our “retake Pure Blind” phases.  Designed to be able to survive and run away, I was able to test that out when I hit a bubble camp on the Mantenault gate in RQH-MY.

Nobody was there when I landed, so I started motoring to the gate.  Even with the afterburner lit my progress could be at best described as “stately.”  And then a couple of unaligned hostiles dropped on me while I was in the bubble, locked me up, and started blazing away.  I turned on the armor reppers and considered my options.  It looked like they would get through the armor before I got to the gate, so I spun up the micro-jump drive.  That sent me 100km from my attackers, who had followed me into the bubbles.  From there I was able to align and warp off to a safe.

After that, if I read local correctly, some Pandemic Horde guys showed up and, finding my attackers stuff, shot them up.  I was congratulated for being bait.  I don’t know how that ended up, but when I landed back on the gate a few minutes later, all was clear and I was able to motor to the gate and into low sec.  From there I flew the ponderous beast to Jita, where it and all its modules were repackaged and listed for sale.  I wasn’t bringing that on the move op.

Mymridon headed for recycling

Mymidon headed for recycling

Then it was time to wait for jump clone timers to tick down before the next moves could be made.

The next night I made another jump for another move.  Wilhelm went to YA0-XJ in Deklein, where I had a Harpy, a Crane blockade runner, and barely a quarter of a cargo load of excess junk.  I put the Harpy up on contract (I got an in-game mail later from a reader who said they would buy it at a reduced price, so I relisted it.  However, the contract remains unclaimed, so there is still an “as flown by Wilhelm” Harpy available!), loaded everything else into the Crane, and headed off on the longest of my planned flights.

Heading from YA0 to Saranen

Heading from YA0 to Saranen

YA0-XJ itself was pretty quiet, though Aryth, who is one of the Imperium reps on CSM 11, was hanging around in the system.  I don’t know what he was up to, and I didn’t hang around to find out.

The route out was pretty clear.  I did get somebody trying to grab me when I got impatient and uncloaked on the way to a bubbled gate to light my MWD.  However, by the time he targeted me I was already there and all he did was aggro himself, ensuring my escape.

Heading for the gate

Heading for the gate

I have very few bookmarks for bounces and safe spots in that part of Pure Blind, but I was able to use old corporate bookmarks for towers and jump bridges for that.  Those were available in plentiful supply, and the towers were often still there.

Another tower in Pure Blind

Another tower in Pure Blind

MOA, which holds/held/will hold that stretch of territory, didn’t bother to go through and shoot a bunch of the towers we left behind.  For the last month, every time I have bounced through the area, I kept landing on towers sitting there, unfueled, waiting for our return.  With the push into Pure Blind a bit back, GSOL looks to have gone out and fueled a bunch of them.  Of course, they are all GSF towers, so being in TNT, I can’t safe up in them unless I know the password, and the usual password isn’t always the right one.

Anyway, I managed to push through and made it to Saranen without incident.  Well, an NCDot scout tried to point me in Saranen when I decloaked, but I had warp core stabs fit, so I warped off for the station handily enough.  That Crane, which I have had for years now, will likely be hauling stuff to our next deployment.

Then it was my alt’s turn.  He had an entosis Rapier up in ROIR-Y, which isn’t that far from Saranen.  Still, I almost managed to get caught along the way.  I crashed through a camped gate, but the hostiles there jumped through with an interdictor and started bubbling to hold me there.  I did the uncloak, MWD, cloak, turn hard off previous course routine, but it looked like they might get me for a bit.  They had a decent sense of where I was and threw bubbles around that area while trying to close in and force me to decloak.  I watched one of them get within 6,000 meters of me as I twisted around to try to keep out of decloak range.  And then the range started to open up.  Soon they were well out of range and I was out of their bubbles and on my way again, arriving safely in Saranen.

And then another wait for jump clone timers.

The third night I had an easy run for my alt, but Wilhelm had a Harpy and a jump clone still stashed in QPO-WI in Deklein.  I thought about just selling it, but nothing else was going on, and it was only a Harpy.  I decided to YOLO it home or until it got blown up. (Orion Sa-Solo can confirm my prediction in advance that the ship was going to be destroyed.)

So off I went.  Deklein was, as usual, pretty quiet.

Harpy on the move

Harpy on the move

Likewise, Venal was empty, though there were plenty of GSF citadels strewn about the place.  I was able to stop at one of those to tinker with my fit.  This was an old Harpy and one of the guns was offline,   That done, it was into Tribute and then into Pure Blind for the run down the pipe where I hit another bubbled gate.  This time, however, there was no escape.  A Garmur pointed me as I was turning away from the bubbles to try and warp off.  I was too far from the gate to make that, so I targeted him back and started blazing away.

Go little Harpy, go!

Go little Harpy, go!

I did manage to strip away his shields, however he had friends arriving to help out, which only sped up what was already a foregone conclusion.  The Harpy went boom and that was that.  That Harpy was the last asset I had left to fetch from our former home.  I am sure I have bits and pieces of things strewn about Deklein, Tribute, Pure Blind, Fade, and Branch, but nothing important.  Certainly nothing worth bothering about.  So I am about ready for the move, along with what is left of the Imperium at this point.

The Imperium - July 21, 2016

The Imperium – July 21, 2016

For those who will miss Goons in the north, fear not.  It appears that DARIUS Johnson and his “True Goons Only” club is arriving even as we are leaving.

Another Goon brand

Another Goon brand

They got a few systems transferred to them from Pandemic Horde.  I suppose that is one way to get sovereignty.

Now living in Fade

Now living in Fade

Anyway, shooting Goons will still be a thing in the north.  They won’t be as plentiful, but it will still be an option.  Pandemic Horde has you covered.

Now I am waiting around for the destination to be announced and the move ops to begin.  There is always the new 7.0 patch in WoW to keep me busy, along with the occasional op.

Shooting another tower

Always something to shoot

Wait.  Shoot a tower.  Wait some more.

Hurricane Massacre

Expecting another run with Nagas again, I logged into EVE Online early to grab two off of the contracts available in Saranen.  There seemed to be plenty available, so somebody had worked to restock the market over night.  Pick your favorite quote about logistics and war.

But when the ping went out to form up for the 02:00 op, the call was for Hurricanes alone.  No Nagas would undock, so I had to grab a Hurricane off contracts in order to go along.  Plenty of those were available as well. Thomas Lear was the FC and, by way of indicating what we might be up to, the message of the day in the fleet window asked that we bring extra T1 ammo.

We were going to shoot a structure.

Thomas would neither confirm nor deny this allegation, just telling people to bring extra ammo.  I had shipped out plenty of cheap ammo for Hurricanes, so I was covered, but people who went to the market in Saranen were faced with some very expensive choices.  Somebody had bought up the T1 ammo and priced it way above market, making faction ammo cheaper by comparison.  A bit of economic warfare.  So people bought faction ammo instead.  I listed some of my T1 ammo and mentioned it in fleet chat, however nobody seemed to notice and I wasn’t wearing my headset with a mic, so couldn’t shout about it in voice coms.  Ah well, somebody will buy it at some point… it was still listed last I checked.

After boosters were setup the fleet, approximately 100 people, undocked through the cloud of Abaddons sitting on the undock and warped off to a gate.  A couple people got tagged and had to dock back up, but most of us had no problem.

We traveled a few jumps to pick up a titan that bridged us up into Pure Blind where we did indeed setup and start shooting a tower.  It was an NCdot money moon in U-INPD in a MOA owned system.  So we went into orbit of the tower and started shooting it while sending drones after the offensive modules to incapacitate them.

Hurricane fleet blazing away at the stick

Hurricane fleet blazing away at the stick

We had a couple of hostiles in system scouting us, but things were quiet for a while until a group of hostiles showed up in local.  NCDot had put together a small bomber fleet to disrupt our POS shot, and disrupt us they did.

When the NCDot bomber force uncloaked and launched against us, the call went out to overheat hardeners.  That I did overheat saved my ship, as I was square in the middle of where they had aimed.  I saw my shields stripped away, then my armor burned off, and finally the very structure of my ship began absorbing the incoming explosions.  I thought I was done for, but the damage stopped with 8% of my structure remaining.  A couple of Hurricanes went down in that run, but most survived.  However, like my ship, the survivors were still heavily damaged.

Meanwhile, reinforcements were coming in to help our foes.  NCDot had put out the call to the other members of the We-Are-Not-A-Coalition Coalition and they were showing up in system.  Thomas warped us off, then brought us to a GSF POS in the system.

However, the POS password wasn’t the standard one you can find by googling “Goon POS password” and he did not know what the actual password was.  So anybody who was in GSF, which was most of the fleet, could safely hole up in the POS while those of us in other alliances had to go make safe spots and bounce around.

While Thomas was trying to get somebody from GSOL maintenance out to reset the POS PIN to let us in, a Guardians of the Galaxy T3 fleet showed up at the POS and started shooting our tower.

A blob of T3s outside of our POS

A blob of T3s outside of our POS

Meanwhile, somebody woke up MOA and told them they had an Imperium POS in one of their systems, so they dragged out a couple of Revelation dreadnoughts to join in the shoot.  Things had turned around and our own tower was the focus.

MOA Revelations exist

MOA Revelations exist

Pandemic Horde also filtered into the system with a mixed frigate and interceptor fleet.  All sorts of people were showing up.

I saw Hendrink Collie again

I saw Hendrink Collie again

In the mean time, the GSOL service tech had made it out to the POS and had set a temporary password so those of us warping between safe spots could rejoin the fleet.  Soon we were all huddled together, orbiting the stick at 500m, and wondering how long it would take our foes to get bored and go away.

Sitting in the POS

Sitting in the POS

At that point we were out numbered and out gunned, but in addition to that we were all still heavily damaged.  Ships orbiting the POS tower all showed visible armor damage.  We looked like a fleet of the undead shambling about the stick, giant patches of burned armor exposed.

Skins can't hide the damage

Skins can’t hide the damage

We were a shield tanked fleet, and shields do regenerate.  However, we still often count on armor and hull to act as a buffer while we hope that logi can get to us and start repping our shields.  And, for me, that secondary buffer was mighty thin indeed.

No armor, 8% hull, and heat damage on the hardeners

No armor, 8% hull, and heat damage on the hardeners

So we sat in orbit for a while inside the POS shields and waited.

Then Thomas told us all to wake up.  Asher Elias had pinged for a reinforcement fleet and was going to be arriving shortly.  At that point we were going to leave the POS shields and engage the enemy.

We stopped orbiting the stick on our own and anchored up on Thomas.  He made a few turns back and forth as we waited, then headed for the edge of the shields, then end of safety, and started calling targets.

I had managed to lock up and hit a Guardian before it exploded, then moved on to a Devoter where I scored the final blow, giving my Hurricane a temporary kill mark.  Very temporary indeed, as the NCDot bomber fleet had uncloaked already and bombs were on their way.

I overheated my hardeners again, annoyed that my ship hadn’t come with any nanite repair paste and that I hadn’t bothered to check and grab some before we left, and waited for the hammer to fall as I started shooting the next target.  My shields went down by leaps as each bomb hit.  There was a short pause in the pulses of the attack as my shields lingered at the hairy end of being gone.  I thought for a brief second that maybe I might survive a bit longer.  And then another bomb pulsed and the ship disintegrated around me and I was in my pod.

I am sure I was not alone.  Those who did not go with me on that round no doubt went soon thereafter, as the bombs were not done hitting and my pod was destroyed with the next explosion, putting me back in the station in Saranen.

There were calls on coms to reship and be ready to return, but I doubted that we were going to go back.  The bulk of our fleet, damaged earlier by a well aimed bomb run, had been finished off by the same bombers.

The battle report shows that we lost almost all of our ships in the engagement, totaling up to 15.3 billion ISK while only inflicting 4.43 billion ISK in damage on our foe, a ratio of almost 3.5 to 1.

Not a good day for the USTZ 02:00 op.  And the daily Astrahus in Saranen was destroyed as well.

We shall see what tomorrow brings.

A Rumor of War in Fade, Pure Blind, and The Vale of the Silent

There is a war going on in our neighborhood still.  It has spread to The Vale of the Silent recently, but things continue.  It has been going on for a couple of months now, kicking off with the I Want ISK versus SpaceMonkeys Alliance dispute.

Nosy Gamer pointed out earlier this week how hard it is, as an outsider, to get a sense of what is really happening in the war.  DOTLAN EVE Maps can show you some data points, like what the ADM is for some systems, or if an ihub has been reinforced or a station has been freeported.  But that paints an incomplete picture at best.  Meanwhile the two key EVE Online news sites aren’t much help either.  TMC is run in the name of The Imperium at this point, with little pretense at much else, while EN24, long anti-goon in policy, takes ISK from the very same source that is funding the war.

So an outsider can get conflicting and incomplete views.

The thing is, as something of an insider, or at least a line member on one side, it isn’t like I am getting much better news.

Both sides are so riddled with spies that the assumption has to be that anything said to a group of more than three people is going to be in the hands of the enemy and up on Reddit or Pastebin soon enough.  So I hear lots of good things about how we are doing.  I go to Reddit or EN24 and I read about how well the other side says they are doing.

This sense of the war… or lack thereof… hasn’t been helped by the fact that it has been a busy month for me.  I was out of town for nearly a week and there have been all sorts of things going on at home to keep me away from the game.

And even when I am not busy, I seem to miss the action.

I know there are battles going on.  At the office I check Jabber on my iPad once in a while and I see fleets getting called up and battle reports being broadcast.  But the peak time seems to be mid-to-late EUTZ and early USTZ.  Here on the west coast of the US, by the time I get home from work, have dinner, and settle in for some spaceship time, the last fleet for the night has often left already.  The vulnerability windows are winding down across the alliance.  If I am lucky I get in one of the clean up fleets.  So I am familiar with Hurricanes again.

Standing guard on a gate

Standing guard on a gate

I’ve run around with Jackdaws.

Jackdaws on Patrol

Jackdaws on Patrol

I’ve been on quick response fleets, firstwith interceptors, then with Caracals.

Caracals discouraging entosis ships

Caracals discouraging entosis ships

A lot of the time is spent hanging about watching Fozzie Sov in action/inaction.

There was a fight on elsewhere while we were staring at this

There was a fight on elsewhere while we were staring at this

While we get the occasional big kill, a lot of it is doing the dull but necessary work to support the war effort.

So lots of propaganda from both sides, but little in the way of actual progress being made, even after major fights.  It almost sounds like a Dominion style conflict at this point, with both sides grinding away at each other until one side gives up and finds something else to do.

Of course, that gives me confidence in our side.  Goons or the CFC or The Imperium have a long earned reputation for being stubborn and showing up for fleets in good numbers day in and day out for long stretches.  And doing so on our own patch of null sec, so there is no home front left depleted to worry about, strengthens that idea.

Of course, unlike dominion, our foes are no longer sovereignty holding entities in the old school way of things, so they don’t really have an unguarded flank either, except maybe when it comes to money moons and the like.

So the war grinds on and on, looking to break one of the long standing traditions in null sec.  Fanfest is coming up in April, and the usual routine is for NCDot to form some sort of loose coalition and attack Imperium space while our leadership is off drunk in Iceland.  This year, they are already attacking our space, along with a lot of other names from the past, including TEST, which got a warm welcome to the war from its allies when PL dropped on their convoy op.

I suppose we shall see whose will breaks first.

Addendum: See, this stuff keeps happening while I am at work.  By the time I get home, it’s done.