Tag Archives: Querious

Thirteen Weeks of World War Bee

Here we are again.  Today marks the third month of World War Bee, as it started back on July 5, 2020.  A lot has happened since then, though not so much with the war itself.

This past week saw CCP actually take some official notice of the war, mentioning the battle at 49-U6U in their latest EVE Pulse video.  The mention happens in the first 40 seconds of the video:

CCP Mirage calls out the Imperium losses (true enough) and then declares that the Fortizar was saved (not true at all).  The former is likely due to them using TEST streamer RonUSMC as their source, while the latter reflects the recent state of disdain the company has for null sec, viewing the region as more of a problem to be solved rather than a play style of value. (But they still love us more than faction warfare, so we have that going for us.)

PAPI, or “the snake people” as they are now called by some, also finally decided to step up and do something in Delve.  They didn’t actually invade the region yet, but they were alleged to be offering a bounty for killing ratters and miners in Delve.  PAPI players can earn 100 million for blowing up a ratting Myrmidon.  If anybody is interested, I’ll undock an insured Myrmidon and let you blow it up if you front me 30 ISK million in advance.  I won’t even file for SRP.

Of course, the deal as posted didn’t say the 100 million would be in paid in ISK.  It might be simply delivered in “value” like the Tranquility Trading Consortium profits.

The author of the post later deleted the details and now only the title of the post remains, so it could be that there was no bounty offer at all, making the whole thing yet another example of failure to take action in Delve.

We did, however, get the news that CCP had deployed a “UI only mode” for the game client to the test server.  That should make big battles better for many players. especially those running multiple game clients on their system.

In the end, if that is all I have for an opening, then it wasn’t much of a week.

Querious Front

This is pretty much where things seem set to happen.  The invaders have staged here, so this is where the action should be taking place.

I mentioned in last week’s post that the invaders had managed to drop a Fortizar in SVM-3K, which is actually in Delve.  The timer for that came out on Tuesday in the early AM my time and was promptly blown up by Imperium forces, with PAPI only fielding a token effort to try and pick off some kills.  I was hoping it might brew up into a long fight, but by the time I logged on in the morning the field had been looted and everybody had gone home.

The best bet for potential action last week seemed to be around the Keepstar that the hostiles dropped in 8QT-H4.  That is in Querious still, but on the boarder with Delve, just one gate over from the Fortizar they lost above.

Keepstar deploying

Again, it would begin anchoring very early in my time zone… like 4am… so I wasn’t going to make it to the start of whatever came to pass, but my hope was that a big fight would ensue and I might get in with some reinforcements later on in the day.

However, once I was up and online (6am my time) the fight was over and the Keepstar had anchored successfully.

Apparently Asher had a new tactic to try out involving a host of stealth  bombers and a series of strategic bookmarks  However, he shared the bookmarks alliance wide with full add/edit/delete capabilities and somebody deleted them.  It isn’t clear if this was the work of a spy or just commonplace stupidity on our part, but Asher’s plan failed and now the invaders have dropped their ~20th Keepstar in pursuits of their “Maginot Line offensive” where they place a structure then hope we’ll come and fight on it.

Otherwise the Querious front was remarkably quiet.  The invaders blew up some Fortizars we left behind in the region and we poked around some, but not much changed.

Other Theaters

The destruction of our Fortizars left behind in Querious was balanced out somewhat by The Initiative destroying Fortizars the invaders left behind in Foutain and Aridia.  The big kill though was in Aridia where LowSechnaya Sholupen, a member of the invaders that has actually stuck around in Fountain and contested a bit of space, got caught trying to deploy a Keepstar in Hier only to have it blown up by Siege Green.  Both sides in the war rushed out to whore on the kill.

Other than that, there were the usual range of skirmishes in roams into hostile space and attempts to hack ihubs all over.  Period Basis saw a bunch of hacking activity on our side, and we returned the favor in Esoteria, keep the low order conflict around the TCAG-3/G-M4GK gate simmering.

Edit: Of course, I wrote this Sunday morning when nothing seems likely to happen (though I guess the week should go Saturday to Sunday, but whatever) then, when I was out, a fight broke out in SNM-3K as PAPI made its first capital push into Delve to try and take the ihub in the system.  120 billion ISK total lost according to the battle report doesn’t make it a big fight, not after 49-U6U, but John Hartley got his titan on grid and got the kill on a TEST Rorqual because he likes to live dangerously.  The ihub was defended but PAPI won the ISK war and I missed the whole thing.

My Participation

I went on exactly one fleet last week.  Not much was going on during the USTZ time frame when I am able to dedicate time to fleet operations.  I went out on a fleet that chased around some TEST hackers down in Period Basis.  We blew up a few of them, they blew up a few of us, but we stopped their enotsis attacks and everybody went home.  I was not among the exploded, so my loss count for the war remains:

  • Ares interceptor – 9
  • Atron entosis frigate – 5
  • Ferox battle cruiser – 3
  • Drake entosis battle cruiser – 3
  • Guardian logi – 2
  • Malediction interceptor – 2
  • Scalpel logi frigate – 2
  • Scimitar logi – 1
  • Bifrost entosis command destroyer – 1
  • Cormorant destroyer – 1
  • Purifier stealth bomber – 1
  • Hurricane battle cruiser – 1
  • Sigil entosis industrial – 1

Other Items

Despite some early examples, this is becoming the war where nobody shoots Keepstars.  PAPI has not touched the Keepstar we have in 49-U6U and we’re not doing anything with the Keepstar the dropped in 8QT-H4.

The word is that the enemy hasn’t even moved into the 8QT-H4 Keepstar yet, that it is just bait to try and get us to commit titans.

On the Meta Show this past Saturday The Mittani speculated that the invaders may still try and drop a Keepstar in NPC Delve, though the fact that he seemed to salivate at the prospect may mean that is more wishful thinking than anything.

Delve remains relatively unmolested three month into the war.  Given that is where we live, Vily’s war aims of extermination and removal of the Imperium, articulated in the Polygon article I quoted two weeks back, remain essentially unfulfilled.  I am sure his recent attempts to walk those goals back are completely unrelated.

There was some mention of other groups taking advantage of the Drone lands residents being away for the war to mess with their space, with some ihubs getting taken in Geminate and some ratters and miners finding themselves hunted, but it is not clear if this is any sort of concerted effort of just a moment of opportunism.

The PCU count for each week of the war looks like this:

  • Day 1 – 38,838
  • Week 1 – 37,034
  • Week 2 – 34,799
  • Week 3 – 34,692
  • Week 4 – 35,583
  • Week 5 – 35,479
  • Week 6 – 34,974
  • Week 7 – 38,299
  • Week 8 – 35,650
  • Week 9 – 35,075
  • Week 10 – 35,812
  • Week 11 – 35,165
  • Week 12 – 36,671
  • Week 13 – 35,618

Down a bit from last week, though still holding in the same range.  The fight late on Sunday came well after the peak.

Other coverage:

Twelve Weeks of World War Bee

The war made it through its twelfth week and shows no signs of abating.

At some point during the weekend before this past one the invaders, who had been calling themselves PAPI, an acronyms whose origin I hadn’t bothered to look up, decided to change their name to the Anaconda Coalition.  The name was announced on Talking in Stations, and the public response was not wholehearted in its support.  Even members of said coalition were mocking the name on Reddit.  The universal agreed upon symbol quickly became a variation of this internet meme based on the Gadsden Flag.

Anaconda, cha cha cha

The Anaconda Coalition name has since faded from use by our foes in most public forums, though the leadership still uses it in their safe space on Talking in Stations.

Querious Front

The action over the last week was largely concentrated in Querious, where the invaders have taken all of the ihubs in the region save for those in what is sometimes referred to a “fake Querious,” as those systems an an enclave within Delve, and that one ihub in NDII-Q, which somehow still belongs to United Earth Directorate.

Querious – Sept 27, 2020

Of course, action is a relative term.  The week did not start off with much action as the invaders stood down a few times, even when they outnumbered us.  That led to a new Fountain Frank video, featuring soundtrack made up of samples from their comms.

Things livened up a bit on Tuesday night when a battle over the armor timer for a Tatara in NDII-Q escalated into a dreadnought fight that found us outnumbered 2 to 1.  The objective went to the invaders as did the ISK war according to the battle report.

NDII-Q Battle Report Header

I actually missed that battle as the enemy had stood down over another objective shortly before there was a ping and a form up for the Tatara.

The next night came the battle over the armor timer of a Fortizar of ours in 49-U6U, about which I have written already.  This is where the war really began in earnest as the first big capital fight, with both sides escalating up to super carriers and over a trillion ISK destroyed.

On the Fortizar in 49-U6U

We were, once again, out numbered by a ratio of 2 to 1 and the losses lined up to that ratio.  The enemy also won the objective.

The fight ran just four hours, which isn’t bad for a tidi slug fest where capitals are dropped, but the servers, struggling to keep up even at 10% tidi, acted up, causing more problems for us than our foes.  The server issues led both sides to decline to drop titans and even the super carriers were pulled back when it was possible.

This sort of battle is going to become more and more common as the invaders move closer to Delve and within range of our capital fleet.

After the clash at 49-U6U things settled down a bit, with no further large scale fights for the rest of the week.

Other Fronts

When things were quiet early on in the week a group from the Imperium slipped into Detroid and reinforced then took out some TEST ihubs.

A little corner of Detroid made empty

They were replaced after not too long, but it was a nice harassment operation behind the front lines.

Later in the week the invaders managed to drop a Fortizar in SVM-3K, which is their first attempt at a big structure within the bounds of Delve, at least that I have seen.

Hostile Fortizar deploying

As a potential foothold, that system would put a lot of southern Delve in capital jump range while being just beyond the single jump radius of our own capital staging.  But it is withing range of 1DQ1-A, where we keep everything else.

Being in our space, it is taking some time for the Fortizar to anchor.  It should finish its cycle tomorrow, if I counted on my fingers successfully.  I imagine we will be looking to destroy it as it anchors, which could lead to another big fight. (Addendum: A small fight, with the Fortizar killed.)

My Participation

I went on a number of fleets over the course of the week, but about half of them ended up with no fight as the enemy stood down or ran off on our approach.  Of course, the 49-U6U fight made up for that.

I also did not lose any ships during the week, so my tally of losses still stands as follows:

  • Ares interceptor – 9
  • Atron entosis frigate – 5
  • Ferox battle cruiser – 3
  • Drake entosis battle cruiser – 3
  • Guardian logi – 2
  • Malediction interceptor – 2
  • Scalpel logi frigate – 2
  • Scimitar logi – 1
  • Bifrost entosis command destroyer – 1
  • Cormorant destroyer – 1
  • Purifier stealth bomber – 1
  • Hurricane battle cruiser – 1
  • Sigil entosis industrial – 1

Other Items

As noted above, I expect we will come to blows over the hostile Fortizar in SVM-3K.

More interesting will be what the enemy plans to do about the Keepstar we still have in 49-U6U.  They have said they don’t want to fight on our Keepstars, but since that is where we keep most of our stuff it won’t be much of an extermination if they don’t attack them.

And, since I have been tracking this sporadically in posts, I might as well keep it up.  The weekly peak concurrent users ongoing tally:

  • Day 1 – 38,838
  • Week 1 – 37,034
  • Week 2 – 34,799
  • Week 3 – 34,692
  • Week 4 – 35,583
  • Week 5 – 35,479
  • Week 6 – 34,974
  • Week 7 – 38,299
  • Week 8 – 35,650
  • Week 9 – 35,075
  • Week 10 – 35,812
  • Week 11 – 35,165
  • Week 12 – 36,671

We were up a bit for the week, though that probably has less to do with the war than with the threat to the economy from CCP’s plan to nerf mining even harder next month, but I’ll get to that in another post.

Other articles about this week in the war:

The 49-U6U Fight Foreshadows Battles to Come

A large battle went down last night in 49-U6U, with over 3,000 pilots in system and a trillion ISK in losses.

Right there in Querious

It was a fight over an armor timer on an Imperium Fortizar, one of the structures we still have in that system in Querious.  I joined up with Lazarus Telraven’s Rokh fleet to go out and help defend the timer.

Rokhs on the move

The invaders had been sending out pings to rally the troops for this fight, no doubt feeling a bit stung when, last Friday, they declined to contest the armor timer on this very same structure even though they outnumbered us.  Their advantage then was insufficient.

Last night they got the numbers, outgunning us on the field by about a 2 to 1 margin.

The fight started when the timer finished its count down.  We had subcap fleets on the Fortizar with fax support for reps.  They had subcaps on hand as well, but started dropping dreadnoughts near us almost right away, the first group landing pretty much on top of the Fort.

On the Fortizar

The Rokh fleet started shooting a TEST nightmare fleet and managed some kills but, as the fight escalated and people kept piling in, the server began to stagger under the weight of commands.  And a struggling server can be a capricious factor.  Back at the KVN-36 fight, the node went down and won us the timer.  This time around the node stayed up, but balked at our super carriers jumping in, with a bunch failing to jump and those that made it getting disconnected.

That stopped the battle escalation in its tracks.  Titans were not deployed and the supers started getting pulled back.  The fight devolved to an attempt to kill as many attacking dreadnoughts as possible.  We were told to stop fighting, tether up, and to get to our Keepstar in system to grab an interdictor to hold down enemy dreads.

That was easier said that done.  I sat for about 20 minutes trying to get my drones taken care of… somebody’s smart bomb managed that for me in the end… my guns to cycle down and for tethering to finally grab me.  And it was a near run thing too.  As I was watching the aggression timer count down the last 20 seconds… at 10% speed due to tidi… a hostile Munnin fleet that was rolling through the scrum decided to target me.  I could see their yellow boxes turn to red as their damage started to land on me.  I overheated my hardeners and hoped for the best.  The timer ended and there was a long wait as my shields dropped below half to almost one quarter before tether hit and I was invulnerable.

I’m going to say that tethering is pretty OP, even when it saves my ship.

Then it was just a matter of getting over to the Keepstar… through a field of warp interdiction bubbles.

Bubble, bubbles everywhere

I spent quite a while trying to motor off in a direction that would get me a clear line of warp to the Keepstar.  I went and did the dishes while that was going on.  When I was back it seemed like every time I seemed to be clear, the server would decide that a Sabre had launched its bubble before I had initiated warp and I would be back to trying to get clear again.

Meanwhile more and more Sabres were being bridged in as bubbles when up all over to hold down hostile dreads.

Bubbles all over the place

Eventually I managed to warp off and made it to the Keepstar, but by then it was getting late for me on a work night.  The battle seemed to have reached its crescendo and was now wandering slowly to its conclusion.  I decided to go to bed.

The Imperium lost, undoubtedly and without question.

We lost the objective.  For all of our dread killing the enemy was able to keep applying damage to the Fortizar and it is now set for its final timer this weekend.

We also lost the ISK war by a two to one margin, with the battle report showing us having lost over 756 billion ISK in ships while the attackers lost shy of 380 billion ISK.

Battle Report Header

Two thirds of our ISK loss can be chalked up to the 16 super carriers that we blown up after  jumping in, a tally that includes a Vendetta faction super carrier.  That Vendetta was 19% of our ISK loss in a single ship.  Luckily the two other Vendettas that jumped in got away, or the count would have been much higher.  But that is the risk you take when you allow your pilots to bring their expensive toys to the fight.  The 300+ interdictors we sacrificed to hold down enemy dreads… we might have gone a bit overboard on that… added another 25 billion to the total.

The bulk of the enemy losses came from the 90 dreadnoughts that we managed to kill on the Fortizar, close to a quarter of the 375 they dropped into the battle.

And yet, even having suffered an undeniable defeat, things are not downcast on our side of the war.

Yes, people are pissed about how the servers decided to roll this time.  The first post up about the battle was over at INN complaining about that.  However, somebody is always pissed at the servers when tidi goes beyond 10% and things just stop working.  Generally both sides are, as it leads to missed opportunities.

But there is also the knowledge that this fight is a sign of how hard the invaders are going to have to work to defeat us.  This fight wasn’t even in Delve.  This fight wasn’t even on a Keepstar.  This fight didn’t even escalate to titans.  This fight wasn’t even all that consequential.  There is another timer to go.

But this fight was just a taste of what is to come.  This was the first trillion ISK battle in what may end up being a series of them.  The question is who is going to get sick of this sort of thing first?

In the slow motion scrum of battle

Since Vily has declared this to be a war of extermination, I am guessing we’re good doing this at least a hundred more times.  What other choice do we have?

Of course, that idea must weigh on him as well.  If you look at who showed up to the fight you will see that, once again, PandaFam was there doing the heavy lifting, as they have throughout the war.  If they get tired of this and go back home… which is what they did during the Fountain War, abandoning TEST to their fate… the invasion will be over.

That isn’t going to happen any time soon, but neither is the conquest of Delve.  We’ll have to wait to see who can last the longest.

Other Coverage:

Eleven Weeks of World War Bee

When we started this war, we knew that we were fighting this to the end,” Vily told Polygon. “For us, this is a war of extermination. This is a war to the death. We are aiming for the removal of Mittani and The Imperium from Eve Online. […] We are here to purge them.

-Vily, in an interview with Polygon about the war

When, further on down the road, somebody asks what the goal of the war was, I will reference this quote.  It is one thing to say it in your alliance update, or on /r/eve, or in some other dark corner of the internet, but when he has given it to the mainstream gaming press, that is now the benchmark by which he will be measured.

Vily is allegedly aggrieved because he was “fired” by the Imperium, something he explains in that article.  However, people who were around at the time remember him leaving amicably.  And the Imperium has, up through the last CSM election, put Vily on their ballot because he was viewed as somebody they could work with.  Also, there is that long non-invasion pact we had with Legacy when PanFam was their enemy.  Not behavior consistent with the Vily narrative.

Anyway, he and Progodlegend continued to push a narrative that Goons are bad for the game,  forming a huge blue doughnut against us while repeatedly using a scene from 300 where the Spartans claim “warrior” as their profession as part of his narrative.

Somehow the Imperium are the Persians in this scenario, the farmers and other non-combat types who are… completely outnumbered by an overwhelming force attacking their territory?  That doesn’t sound right.

And it is especially suspect when you look at the MER and see who is farming.  But I’m just a brainwashed Imperium line member (per Vily), so maybe I’ve mislearned that historical metaphor.

On the bright site, TEST has changed its tune on operational tempo.  February is no longer the target date for VD Day (victory in Delve).  They have decided they will only need until the end of October, though that might only be the 1DQ1-A victory date.  It only took until week eleven to declare that the invasion has begun.   We will see if they actually attack in Delve some time soon.

The Northern Front

There isn’t a “Northern Front” to speak of now.  All but four of the invader’s ihubs have been removed by The Initiative as of this writing.  They even got the staging Fortizar.  Anything left behind will end up in Hophib via asset safety.  The Initiative even visited there.  Basically, the attackers are gone, we aren’t doing much there other than clearing out the remains, and nobody lives there for now.

The Southern Front

Querious is now where the action is.  Last week I speculated about whether the invaders might be making for NPC Delve given their run of attacks on the northern systems that lead there.

However, their eyes were apparently focused on another target, the 49-U6U system.

They first dropped a Keepstar in 1M4-FK, which seemed a little short of where they might want to be for NPC Delve, though it was a single jump from their staging in Khanid low sec.

Then they put up a Keepstar in P-ZMZV, which definitely ruled out NPC Delve as the immediate goal.  Instead they were using that as a staging to take the ihub in 49-U6U, an operation where they got out 3,000 pilots for node contest.  That was more than enough to take the ihub.

Querious – Sep 20, 2020 – Invasion route and ihub status

The system is important to them because it is on the direct route from Catch to Querious.  Those who have been following along at home might remember that PandaFam and Legacy concentrated all of their supers and titans in two Keepstars, laid down expressly to dock them, early in the war.  That seemed like it might be their invasion route.

Where they started out and the current focus

And then, of course, those ships sat there and did nothing while KarmaFleet camped the gate in 49-U6U with a cruiser gang.

Later the invaders laid down a chain of 13 Keepstars to move the supers and titans all the way around to Fountain to bring overwhelming force to bear on the Imperium Keepstars in Fountain.

Once done there, they moved to Khanid low sec to focus on Querious.  Now their attention has finally turned to 49-U6U.  It seems like they could have force the gate a while back, but maybe they don’t have the thousand titans about which Progodlegend was boasting a few weeks back.

Now, with the 49-U6U ihub in their hands, we can no longer cyno jam the system if we want, so they used their advantage to… make the slowest move op ever, gating one dreadnought at a time through the gate into Querious to jump them to their new staging in P-ZMZV.  They were paranoid enough to be worried about getting caught by Imperium supers and titans that they wouldn’t put more that one dread on grid at a time… covered by three subcap fleets around the gate… but not paranoid enough to just use the chain of Keepstars to jump their caps around into Querious the long way.  It seems odd.

Systems in titan range of P-ZMZV and supply routes

Meanwhile, there is still an Imperium Keepstar and Fortizar in 49-U6U.  They reinforced the Fortizar, but then stood down for the armor timer when they found they did not out number us sufficiently to take the fight.  Who were the Spartans in that scenario?

But they’ll have to fight us on Keepstars and Fortizars in range of our caps at some point.  So far they have only faced subcap resistance, with some dread and carrier support, and had to bring out their own supers to overcome that.  It is going to be fun when we have titans on the structures waiting for them.

My Participation

This week was Slippery Pete week for me, the name referring to a Tengu doctrine fit with the covert and interdiction nullified subsystems.  This allows them to use black ops jump bridges and pass through warp disruption bubbles.  They are slow to align and not at all tanky, but can blap targets out to 200km and warp off before you can get to them.  You don’t hold the grid with them, you warp in on a group attacking a target and savage them from range then warp off, only to return from another direction and pick off more targets.

Petes on the move

I got in a Pete fleet four nights running during the week, and we managed to frustrate hostiles attacking our structures in Querious, saving a Fortizar while bleeding the enemy and making them jump their caps out prematurely, even killing an Apostle, a Thanatos, and a Revelation along the way.

Petes on the Apostle kill

Petes are a lot of fun and inflict a lot of damage for very few losses when used correctly.

I was also on the ops around 49-U6U.  Friday night I was in the wall of battleships there to defend our Fortizar in the system.

Battleships massed

That was the Fortizar timer I mentioned above where were were outnumbered by the attackers declined to take the fight.  So we reinforced the ihub in the system, so now they’ll have to at least form up to defend it because we have a whole SIG dedicated to entosis ready to contest it if they do not.

I was also around for the hostile move op through 49-U6U, though they were so cautious that there was never an opportunity for a fight as they ran their caps through the gate one at a time.

However, later that evening they got careless and Kun’mi and his dread group dropped on a TEST titan, killing it on their Fortizar in 4-07MU.  They responded with a dread fleet smaller than the group that dropped on the titan… I guess all their friends moved already… and a brawl ensued.  I jumped in a Ferox fleet that burned in to support the dreads and got on a few hostile dread kills (and one fax) as we helped clear tackle so our own caps could extract.

A Revelation goes up as we fly past

The battle report shows things fell our way.

Battle Report Header

I ended up getting caught on the gate trying to get out, so lost my Ferox, but it was still a hell of a fight, run and gun and go go go.

So I ended up the week with having been in a few good fights, having gotten on quite a few kills, all for the loss of one Ferox.  My loss total for the war across all accounts is now:

  • Ares interceptor – 9
  • Atron entosis frigate – 5
  • Ferox battle cruiser – 3
  • Drake entosis battle cruiser – 3
  • Guardian logi – 2
  • Malediction interceptor – 2
  • Scalpel logi frigate – 2
  • Scimitar logi – 1
  • Bifrost entosis command destroyer – 1
  • Cormorant destroyer – 1
  • Purifier stealth bomber – 1
  • Hurricane battle cruiser – 1
  • Sigil entosis industrial – 1

Other Bits

The invaders remain careful… hesitant at times… and no doubt the titan kill I mentioned above is an indication as to why.

Their leadership is telling their members that we’re already dead, that the end is a foregone conclusion, that victory is theirs to take.  It is all the slanted rhetoric of war, and I would expect nothing less.

But, at some point, they are going to have to get on grid with one of our Keepstars within range of our supers and titans, something that has yet to happen, and put that rhetoric to the test.

Maybe.  I guess.

I mean, Dunk Dinkle was on Talking in Stations saying that they don’t want to do that, that they might never do that.  Instead they want to keep laying down a bunch of Keepstars to try and bait us into fighting on their grid.

I remain mystified about this apparent plan to build a Maginot Line of defensive Keepstars in hopes that we’ll attack them.  It worked so well for the French in 1940.  Or maybe the Italians invading Egypt in 1940 is the better metaphor.  I don’t know, and I might fall back into a “that’s not how invasions work” routine if I am not careful.  Though, if they get one close enough to us, I am sure we will attack it.  We have attacked defended Keepstars before, and won.

It the end, it seems pretty silly.   If you’re going to run a war of extermination (see quote at the top of the post), don’t you have to actually go in and get the people you plan to exterminate?  How are they going to makes us leave the game if they don’t have a plan to blow up our stuff?  How do you achieve the declared victory condition with that mindset?

Anyway, the lack of offensive spirit in our foes probably explains why the Sunday PCU counts for the war remain tepid.  You need a big battle to get big numbers.

  • Day 1 – 38,838
  • Week 1 – 37,034
  • Week 2 – 34,799
  • Week 3 – 34,692
  • Week 4 – 35,583
  • Week 5 – 35,479
  • Week 6 – 34,974
  • Week 7 – 38,299
  • Week 8 – 35,650
  • Week 9 – 35,075
  • Week 10 – 35,812
  • Week 11 – 35,165

I fear we may have blown the horn of Goondor too soon.  The enemy remains tentative.

Other articles about the war this week:

(I’d link something other than INN, but EN24 just reposts CCP press releases these days and the New Eden Post has an apparent article quota of about 2 per month, and they blew one of them on EVE Echoes so far this month.)

Seven Weeks of World War Bee

This past week saw CCP take some official notice of the war.  We didn’t get a dev blog or a news item.  Instead CCP sent out a press email to some gaming sites announcing that $112,000 worth of ships and structures and what not have been destroyed so far in the war which has involved maybe 130,000 players/accounts/capsuleers.  Some examples of sites running with that:

And then there are sites who couldn’t even copy the email successfully, like MMOs.com that attributed that destruction amount to the Triglavian invasion of high sec.  Or maybe they got it right and the others were wrong.  I haven’t actually seen the email that CCP sent out.

I do wonder what the distribution list looked like, as I haven’t seen PC Gamer, where Steven Messner has done a bunch of in-depth coverage of the game over the years, mention this.  The email must not have had enough to build a story of much substance around.

I am disappointed that CCP didn’t publish a Dev Blog or a news item on their site, but you can figure out what it said based on what got repeated over the multiple stories.  I am curious as to how they came up with that 130,000 number.  Hell, I am curious as to how they came up with the $112,000 amount.  Back at the end of week four it was estimated that ten trillion ISK worth of ships, structures, and modules had been blown up, an amount that, with even the most generous PLEX package they sell (who spends $500 on PLEX?), comes up to nearly that $112K figure.  Maybe that count at four weeks was wrong, but that just makes me want to know how CCP counted all the more so.

And then there is the World War Bee site which is trying to log all the losses, and it tallies up to more than that as well.

I am also a bit surprised they went for the ISK to real world dollar measurement, which generally hasn’t been their thing.  But I guess it does get headlines.

We also saw some action in high sec as Legacy Coalition went into Niarja to defend its supply lines from the Triglavian invasion.  The Imperium pushed back and now Niarja is a free fire zone with no CONCORD there.

EDECOM gives up at this point

Haulers will want to bypass that system, which means taking a lot more gates between Caldari and Amarr space.

Northern Front

PandaFam has turned their attention to Imperium structures in the Fountain region.  They had killed a number of smaller structures, but the attention has mostly been on the Keepstars  The successfully reinforced then destroyed the Keepstar in O-PNSN and had the Keepstar in KVN-36 in their sights.  However, a server crash interrupted things during the fight for the armor timer.  The clock reset and they now have to start the process all over again.  That moved the fighting to social media, forums, and Reddit, as people tried to blame one side or the other for the crash.  It is all about the smart bombs people say.

PandaFam is momentarily stalled them on the road to Delve.  But they still have four Keepstars in the bag already.

The Fountain kills

The Keepstars in KVN-36 and Y-2ANO remain standing, waiting to for the coming assault.

Southern Front

It is difficult to sum up what TEST and their Legacy allies have been up to for the last week.  I mean, sure, they showed up at the Keepstar fights in some force and managed not to get bombed off the field, though their leader seemed to have problems fitting the rigs on his ship, as I mentioned in my post about the O-PNSN Keepstar fight.

They were, of course, part of the fight at Niarja, where Brave and TEST both declared they were going to help EDENCOM defend the system.  And Brave actually showed up.  But I mentioned that at the top of the post.

And then there is Queirous, where one can describe efforts as dissolute at best.  In order to prove that nobody really wants to hold that space, a bunch of systems now sit with no ihub installed.  Neither side wants to defend ihubs in eastern Querious, but neither can they abide the other side holding an ihub.

Querious ihub map – Aug 22, 2020

So the Legacy ihub count is down to 18, but it is clear they are not really trying any more, so the count is more an indication of that.

There have been the usual range of skirmishes at the gates between Legacy and the Imperium, but the war is happening in Fountain right now and the south is just a side show at best.

My Participation

I managed to get in on a couple of big ops, including the two Keepstar battles, but otherwise it has been a quiet week for me.  A massive heatwave out here, plus the state catching on fire (smoke from two of those fires are visible from our house), work, and getting ready for our daughter to head off to college has kept me from doing much gaming at all over the last week.  And this week will likely see me even less focused on gaming.

I did manage to lose at least one ship on every fleet I went on however.  My ship loss count for the war so far now stands at:

  • Ares interceptor – 9
  • Atron entosis frigate – 5
  • Drake entosis battle cruiser – 3
  • Malediction interceptor – 2
  • Scalpel logi frigate – 2
  • Ferox battle cruiser – 2
  • Bifrost entosis command destroyer – 1
  • Cormorant destroyer – 1
  • Purifier stealth bomber – 1
  • Hurricane battle cruiser – 1
  • Sigil entosis industrial – 1

Overall

As I mentioned at the top of the post, CCP half-halfheartedly tried to drum up some press interest in the war with an email that got a few takers from second tier gaming sites.  I guess our fights are not big enough to be worth a dev blog yet.  But they at least put a little effort into some publicity.

But, after last week, I guess CCP doesn’t want to go bragging about a server crash.

Of course, CCP has been all about EVE Echoes since it launched the week before, putting out some odd adds.  But they are justifiably proud of the millions of players who have signed up for the game.  Now they just have to buy some stuff.

And then there was the fight over Niarja, which pulled null sec into the Triglavian invasion event.  I’m not sure everybody is happy that we showed up.

Anyway, another week of war has gone by and a victory for the attackers, or an accord between the belligerents seems a distant hope.

If the word is right, the invaders are moving their titans and supers from FAT-6P, where they have been sitting since the war, idle behind the 49-U6U4-07MU gate connection, to come around and approach Querious from a low sec direction to get them into the fight.  Apparently we’re too formidable for them to gate through directly into the region, so they have put down a chain of Keepstars to avoid that gate.

Maybe that is what drove the peak concurrent users up to 38,299, up from 34,974 last week.  Still not up to the first week peak of 38,838, but close.

We shall see how the move op turns out and what the invaders plan to do with their 1,000 titans.

Addendum:

Six Weeks of World War Bee

The war carries on in the game, on Reddit, and in other media.

I mentioned Fountain Frank last week.  Well, there was more news on the Fountain Frank front as Brisc Rubal managed to track him down and interview him on the Meta Show.

At last you can get the real word on the war situation.

The Northern Front

In Fountain PandaFam has completed taking all of the ihubs in the region.  They own all the space now.

The Fountain ihubs all in PandaFam hands

Some hay has been made on Reddit about this being accomplished in under six weeks while it took the CFC of old eight weeks to evict TEST back in the Fountain War of 2013. (A timeline post here of that war.)  The missing bit is that after eight weeks TEST had to evac to low sec while we still have our main line of defense still in Delve.  Oh, and there is the whole Keepstars in Fountain thing.

Attention has now become focused on Upwell Structures in Fountain. There are still a string of structures that belong to the Imperium in the region.  That includes some Keepstars.  PandaFam has blown up three Keepstars in the region so far.

Three Keepstars Down

The remaining three Keepstars, located in O-PNSN, KVN-36, and Y-2ANO, are the next big targets.  My post yesterday was about the successful defense of the Keepstar in Y-2ANO when PandaFam failed the armor timer and had to start their attack over again.  More than 4K people were involved, with the balance well in the attacker’s favor.

Local during the fight

Now they have to do it all again.

With their supers and titan still sitting idle down in FAT-6P in Catch, the attackers have been depending on fighters from carriers to do the heavy lifting when attacking structures.  The Imperium response has been to configure fleets to kill fighters in order to make any structure fight as slow and painful and costly as possible.  Fighters are not only pricey, but I am told they are logistically awkward to bring forward to a staging system far from home… and all the more so when the supply lines get interdicted.

PandaFam started to show some reluctance to lose fighters.  A couple of Fortizars were saved when they just pulled back their fighters rather than let the Imperium take its toll.  Saturday’s Keepstar fight saw the attackers completely avoid sending fighters to the structure until it became clear that their plan to keep the timer paused with a fleet of Ravens wasn’t going to work.  Those Ravens were wiped out in two bomb runs.  Only then did they send fighters, though it was too little too late.

Both sides will no doubt draw lessons from the fight at Y-2ANO and we will see how things turn next time.  PandaFam seems back on board with using fighters and absorbing the cost as they set the first timer on the O-PNSN Keepstar yesterday.  That is the furthest one from Delve, so is more difficult for us to get to and defend.  They also managed to kill one of the Imperium Fortizars in Y-2ANO, but did not set the timer for the Keepstar.  The ISK war went their way though, and they blew up a lot of Feroxes.  They have not let the loss on one Keepstar timer phase them.

The Southern Front

I was looking at the Querious map and was surprised to see how well Legacy had done over the last week… and then realized I was looking at TCUs and not ihubs.  Once I switched to the ihub view I was reconfirmed in my belief that TEST and Legacy are not doing much at all.

I have, in the past, implied, sometimes strongly, that TEST seems willing to let PandaFam in the north do the heavy lifting.   But given the past week I am just going to say that is pretty close to being an established fact.  They do distract us, keep us busy at times, and win their share of skirmishes, but they aren’t really bringing it to us the way PandaFam has been so far.  They are more “annoying neighbor” than “hostile invader” most days.

The situation brings to mind a bit of propaganda from the 2013 Fountain War.

Independence

The same allies are keeping them in play seven years later.  Time is a flat circle, or something like that.

Back to the ihub map of Querious, it shows that Legacy continues to struggle with the systems in eastern Querious they were so proud to have taken previously.

The Querious flood plain – Aug 16, 2020

Their ihub count is 21 as of this writing, down a few from last week, representing about a quarter of the 95 systems in the region.  Legacy did use the distraction of the battle in Y-2ANO to reinforce a bunch of ihubs, and some are in play even now.  But they have some work to do to even get back to their high water mark of 41 ihubs they held back at the end of week four.

They also continue to thrash about trying to grasp some sort of foothold in the west of Querious or Period Basis.  Delve seems pretty safe from them so far.

Meanwhile, when the Imperium forms up and when Legacy won’t fight, we go into their space to cause problems.

The high point of the week in that regard was when GSOL flew into Esoteria, TEST space, and dropped around 70 Athanors in the A-CJGE system, covering most of the 82 moons there.  When Legacy drops structures in Period Basis or Querious, we’re very aggressive at hunting them down and blowing them up as they anchor, and we anticipated they would do the same.

We formed up a bomber fleet and some Slippery Petes to be ready when TEST formed up to shoot the structures as they anchored, their most vulnerable time, as you can simply kill them without having to go through multiple timers.  We thought maybe some dreadnoughts would show up as happened previously.

However, TEST and its allies were only able to form a small bomber fleet which killed only two of the anchoring Athanors before retiring.  There ended up being about 68 live, fueled structures in their space which they now have to take down in three separate operations per structure.

They have killed a few more since, but when I visited on Friday there were plenty alive and active with no timer set.

The list of Athanors in the system

We could set them to pull moon chunks and have a mining op I suppose.

This is not the way successful invasions generally work.

My Participation

I managed more than a fleet a day last week.  Not all of them were combat operations.  I did a couple where we were just ferrying various ships here and there to prepare defenses.  I am 22 PAPs up on the month so far.

Being out and about meant some more losses.  Only two, a Ferox in the big fight and a Sigil during an entosis op.  I am surprised I didn’t lose my Sabre during the shield fight at the Y-2ANO Keepstar, but somehow it lived to return home.

My ship loss count for the war so far now stands at:

  • Ares interceptor – 8
  • Atron entosis frigate – 5
  • Drake entosis battle cruiser – 3
  • Scalpel logi frigate – 2
  • Bifrost entosis command destroyer – 1
  • Cormorant destroyer – 1
  • Purifier stealth bomber – 1
  • Hurricane battle cruiser – 1
  • Sigil entosis industrial – 1
  • Ferox battle cruiser – 1

Overall

The Keepstar armor timer fight did see quite a turn out, with more than 4,000 capsuleers counted on the battle report… you only get counted if you’re attached to a kill mail somehow… plus all of those on standby or doing peripheral tasks.

It helped that the timer was set for a Saturday at a time when both US and EU players were likely to log in.

The peak online user count for the day hit at 16:38 UTC, during the fight, when 34,544 accounts were logged in. Not a bad count for a Saturday.  But 30K of that number were involved in other space business.

And Sunday was still the high water mark for the weekend, with a peak of 34,974, even though there was no huge battle going on.  That was about where it was last week, when it hit 34,855, but still down from the start of the war when it hit 38,838.

So it goes.

I am now waiting for the July MER to be released.  CCP used to manage that early in the month, but they have been running late on it this year.  I want to see what the impact is on the markets, total destruction, and ratting and mining.  With the war focused on the southwest of null sec, those living elsewhere are likely free to mine and rat without bother.  I expect to see PandaFam regions doing very well.

Addendum:

Chasing Dreadnoughts with DBRB

Monday afternoon a ping went out asking people to be around for ops around 01:00 EVE Online time.  Something big was going down, but what it was all about was well above my need to know.

Still, I like to show up when something is going to happen, so I was online when the first ping went out.  However, I had just stepped away for a moment when the ping landed and a lot of people were online and ready to go, so I missed the Asher Sacrilege fleet that I was aiming to go on.  Additional fleets were promised.

They were not, however, immediately forthcoming.

After about a half an hour, a ping went out for a bomber fleet on Dabigredboat, or DBRB, and the question was whether to go on that or wait for the next opportunity.  When DBRB is on his game, his fleets are exciting and he has a knack for finding capitals to kill.  It was on one of his ventures that I got on my first super carrier kills. (He was also there for my first big battle fleet op in null sec.)  But he has a reputation.  His fleets can be manic chaos at times and there is a long standing rule to wait a couple of beats before you do anything his says.  He has been known to shout, “Warp to X!” only to countermand that seconds later and declare that those who warped might end up dead.

Still, the kills can be worth the effort, so I got in a Purifier and went along for the ride.

Chaos started right away as we traveled out to our destination.  DBRB was a few different channels and his orders were not always clear and he himself found that part way into the trip he had grabbed a bomber without a covert ops cloak and somebody had to find him one on the route to our destination.

Still, we got there, one of those Drifter wormholes.

Landing in the vicinity

We motored over to it… the beacon you land on puts you 100km off the hole… and waited for DBRB to tell us to jump through.

Bombers around the wormhole

DBRB got his black ops battleship, the blops, to us, found his covert ops cloak, and soon we were all gathered there.  Then the order was given to jump through, though he said to jump through to Jove Observatory, which confused many people, as there was a Jove Observatory in the system with us, but that was a few AU off of us.  But, as I suspected, he meant the wormhole.  Eventually that got clarified and we all jumped through.

Once in we were told to spread out and cloak up.  Standard stealth bomber practice.

While we were sitting there I say that the Sisters of EVE Flotilla was in the hole with us.

The Flotilla Spotted

The flotilla is one of those EVE Online points of interest, like the EVE Gate and the Wreck of Steve, and one of the ones I had not seen.  I had only read about it over at EVE Travel.

We were sitting and waiting for DBRB to get set up and I wasn’t sure I would have the time to zip off and take a look… but things were quiet for a bit, so I decided to chance it.  I managed to warp in and get a screen shot of the flotilla moving along through space.

Nestor Formation

Of course, after some minutes of quiet, as soon as I warped off DBRB started talking to us again, though in his usual fashion.  Somehow I managed to interpret him correctly and warped to him at the out hole, though I would wager half the fleet didn’t get that and there was a repeat later that got everybody there.

Once assembled, DBRB gave us the outline of what was going on.  GSOL had spammed a bunch of Athanors around TEST space… no doubt we had some extras sitting down after the moon mining changes made some moons not worth the effort… all set to finish anchoring and go into their repair cycle around the same time.  The number was later reported in the war update thread as “dozens.”  The expectation was that, to cover as many of these as possible, TEST would send out individual dreadnoughts to kill them.  A single dread can manage that when in siege mode.  We were going to go after any solo dreads we could find.

And it wasn’t long before DBRB had a target for us.  He had a covert cyno close to the target, so we all went through the wormhole into normal space, got on the blops, and were bridged on to the dreadnought.  On landing there was a Revelation there waiting for us.  We started shooting.  Those of us who brought focused void bombs set up and launched them to drain his capacitor.  I am no expert bomber, but even I can line up and launch a bomb on a target if I am just motoring around without anybody shooting me.

And we got him, a 4 billion ISK kill.

Help arrived to support him, in the form of a Jackdaw fleet, but we were already off and cloaked up.  The only loss was the Athanor.

DBRB already had another target for us and we were quickly back on the blops and being bridged to another system where we found another Revelation waiting for us, in siege and shooting another Athanor.

Revelation and an Athanor

There we once again managed another dread kill… along with a cyno Falcon… before help could show up to save him.  A Munnin fleet arrived and managed to catch a couple people who were slow to cloak up and get off grid… though, honestly, we lost more people to the guy who launched a scorch bomb at the Revelation and managed to catch a few blues in the blast.  Still, a very much ISK positive strike, even with the Athanor getting popped.

After that the locals seemed to be alerted to our presence and we had to hide for a while as DBRB looked for targets.  We were bridged to a trio of capitals and came very close to killing a Nidhoggur before a cyno let help arrive to save it.

The locals forming up large against us

We could have gotten it, but some of the fleet warped off as the capitals began to land.  DBRB expressed his disappointment in this, as losing a bomber… which will get an SPR payment… was worth killing a hostile carrier.  We warped off having only killed an Arazu cyno ship.

So we went back into hiding.  A couple of more false starts came and went before he had a fresh target for us.  There were three dreads on an Athanor and we were going to try and get one of them.  By this point the blops was out of fuel and we had to gate to the target.  We had a subcap fleet trying to catch us and those who were slow had to cloak and motor out of bubbles before warping off.

We met up on the final gate and jumped through.  DBRB warped us on grid where we found Revelation, a Phoenix, and a Naglfar waiting for us.  DBRB picked the Naglfar and we opened up on it.  It was a near run thing.  At least one of the dreads on grid was HAW configured, which means it was setup to shoot subcaps like us.  We started losing some bombers.  DBRB, who got popped, called for us to overheat our launchers, which speeds up the missile cycle time at the cost over damage accruing.  The Nag went into structure, but got a rep up on its shields.  A cyno went up and some additional caps started jumping in.  We stayed on grid, shooting at the Nag as it was beat back into structure and slowly got to the end… then finally exploded.  Another dreadnought kill.

The Naglfar blows up

After that it was time to safe up again.

DBRB had us on the move again, once somebody donated a ship to him, but easy targets were not so readily available.  We managed to pop a Sabre that was trying to slow us down, but we were also down some ships.  A ping went out for a reinforcement fleet, so it looked like we would be waiting a bit, so I decided to call it a night.  It was getting late for me and I was happy enough to go home on a last win.

Getting home meant going through the TCAG-3 gate in G-M4GK (which people refer to as “Gee Magic” on coms).  That is the border between TEST and the Imperium and the gate is often heavily camped and, with us in action in their region, that night was no exception.  I arrived at a perch under the gate to find a half a dozen large warp disruption bubbles deployed and a small fleet hanging around waiting for some solo pilot to wander into their midst.

I sat on my perch and went to go do the dishes.

When I got back, I found that the fleet had pulled back to one of their structures and there was just a single hostile on the gate happily looting and salvaging any wrecks in the vicinity.

This helped me out a bit.  The locals had also dropped an array of jet cans around the gate so as to decloak anybody like me trying to sneak to the gate unnoticed.  But Mr. Salvage was clearing a nice little whole in the litter for me.  So I warped to the gate, getting stopped at the nearest bubble, and began to thread my way through the debris.

Threading through the field

This was like any submarine movie with the sub trying to make its way past mines and nets to get to its destination.  I had to corkscrew to the gate, and was worried for a moment when the happy salvager seemed to be coming my way.  But then he moved off in the other direction and I carried on.

I made it to the gate and jumped through.  Our side was not camped.  Activity seemed to be focused on TEST space, so I was able to warp to our Fortizar and let it repair my overheat damage.  I had enough nanite repair paste to keep my missile launchers and cloak in good shape, but the bomb launcher needed a lot more paste than I had on me, so that got fixed up.

From there it was a few jumps back to 1DQ1-A and home.  I put my main alt on the gate into the system to make sure it was not camped, but it was all clear, so I arrived safe.  Somebody on the fleet had been recording some of our handiwork, so there is a short video up showing our dread kills.

Later on the war update thread laid out the bigger picture.  The Athanors in TEST space had been dropped and timed to coincide with the removal of a Keepstar we had in 3-FKCZ out in the eastern end of Querious.  TEST and its allies had to decide whether or not to let a bunch of Athanors successfully anchor in their space… and many did… or try to grab/kill the Keepstar.

The cover fleet, which included a lot of titans, was probably more than enough to discourage them, though they did have a Charon freighter logged off to attempt to scoop the structure when it was unanchored.  The Charon was  quickly blown up after logging in, and we successfully retrieved the Keepstar.

Another day in the war goes by.

Legacy Sweeps into Eastern Querious

After nearly three weeks of trying to gain ground in Period Basis, which saw their early gains reversed while their POS tower dropping campaign did little to change he balance, TEST alliance and its Legacy Coalition allies decided to focus on a much softer target.

Perhaps they felt they needed a tangible win for morale reasons.  Or maybe they wanted to show PandaFam, which battered its way into Fountain earlier in the week in the face of stiff resistance, that they were carrying their weight in the war.  Either way, their target was Querious.

Not that Legacy had not been operating in Querious up to this point.  But, with rare exceptions, their efforts were largely harassment level efforts, doing entosis runs to ping warnings on GSF alerts and even setting some timers now and then, but with very little in the way of follow up.  But last night and this morning some something of an actual coordinated effort.

The targets were in eastern Querious, systems owned by the United Earth Directorate, a 114 character alliance which was set up, as I understand it, by P.L.A to claim the space that was abandoned when the Querious Fight Club was disbanded on the eve of the war.

That meant that the systems had low ADMs, which meant their vulnerability windows were large and the time needed to reinforce them was relatively short.  Plus, as an added bonus, notifications when sovereignty structures were being hacked only went out to UED, which meant they usually got little or no response.  So they managed to setup a set of events by reinforcing ihubs that would allow them to destroy a large batch of them in on big operation.

On the Imperium side it was seen as a foregone conclusion that we were going to lose these ihubs.  The way Fozzie Sov works, any alliance can attack during an enotisis contest, but only the alliance that owns the ihub can defend, and there seemed scant chance that we could find enough pilots in UED to make any difference.

Losing the ihubs being the accepted outcome, we instead chose to simply make the effort as difficult as possible.  Asher Elias formed up an interceptor fleet well after midnight his time on the east coast (the ping for the fleet hit just before 11pm my time… the vulnerabilities were set for Chinese/Austrailian hours) and set out to see just how annoying he could be.

Interceptors are fast align, warp, and move in general and are interdiction nullified, which means that they pass through warp disruption bubbles unaffected.  While their individual firepower is not great, a large enough group of them can focus fire and take down a hard subcap target.

Ares gang on the move

Though the fleet peaked in size at just over 100 while I was around, there were rarely ever that many of us on grid at any one time.  Of the kill mails I was on over the course of the night, the high water mark was an entosis Drake, a hard target, which got 92 pilots on the kill mail, including both my main and my alt.

(I was dual boxing for a while, as were some others, though that was too much for me after a while and I parked my alt nearby until I lost my main, then the alt caught up and carried on.)

But we also brought down a Prophecy hacker, which was capable of killing interceptors if we got within web range, which just 33 of us on the kill mail.

Prophecy under attack

It was a lot of run and gun, jumping into a system ahead of the fleets that were hunting us, getting around other groups that were defending the hackers, and trying to quickly blot out the entosis ships before warping off.

As Ratknight1 said on the fleet, it did help that we had the home field advantage.  There are a lot of citadels scattered about the area, including not a few faction Fortizars commemorating the stations that were once in those systems.

Tethered on up a faction Fortizar

This allowed us to tether up safely… a Legacy interceptor fleet landed on us just as we tethered at one point, so they couldn’t do much save warp off and try and catch us elsewhere… as well as repair the constant thermal damage from overheating guns and prop mods that came as part of our attempts to catch and kill entosis ships that are often equipped with MJDs or prop modes that let them hit the maximum 4K meters per second allowed with an entosis module fit.

Our efforts took what might have been an hour long operation for Legacy if unhindered, into at least a four hour effort while we were around.  And it might have gone longer.  Asher called it a night as the sun was rising for him, but another fleet was forming up to take out place.  It was on its way to 3am for me when I finally logged off.

I ended up lowing two interceptors… both on my main.  My alt seemed to have better luck.  SRP will cover that, plus I got the final blow on one of the entosis ships, which adds another 50 million ISK in bounties, or basically another interceptor fit for these sort of ops.

In the end though, Legacy won the objective.  They have now managed to blow up and replace 25 ihubs in Quetrious.

Querious systems where Legacy now has an ihub

Holding the ihub gives the owner effective control of the system, though I did learn this week that the TCU is not as useless as I thought.  It you hold the TCU you do get notifications if somebody drops a structure in the system, which is how we have been so quick to track down the POS towers that Legacy has been trying to drop in our space.

However, those systems are not completely lost to us.  As I noted, many of them have citadels of ours anchored in them, safe spots where we can land and repair.  Legacy still has some work to do if they plan to reduce all of those.

But they can point out to their allies in Fountain that they now hold 25 ihubs in Querious compared to the 20 that PandaFam hold in Fountain as of this writing.  Morale victory achieved.

We shall see if they can work their way up to taking and holding ihubs in systems we can actually contest.

And you can say I am being snarky about Legacy in this post, but on /r/eve TEST and Brave are hailing this as a great victory, proof that they have the Imperium beat, while trying to discredit any assertion that maybe this wasn’t the triumph they are suggesting it was, so they feel deserving of some prodding.  Easy wins should be taken, but let’s not pretend that they were more than that.

I am sure I will be hearing about this in local, in between the usual “we can guard this ihub all day” threats, as I continue my own annoyance hacking in Legacy space.

9CG6-H – Flash Point in Querious

Taking systems means taking ihubs.  Take the ihub and you can drop structures quickly and if the owner was using the system as part of their Ansiblex jump gate network then that is gone and they either have to re-route or do without.  Otherwise somebody like The Initiative, which has been working hard in D4KU-5 to hold the route from Aridia into Fountain, can just keep dropping replacement Ansiblex jump gates to carry on as before.  This is becoming a bit of a meme over on r/eve.

To take an ihub you have to do the Fozzie Sov shuffle and entosis the ihub then win the eventual constellation event.  Legacy has managed to do that in XZ-SKZ last week, but hasn’t been able to exploit it.  Now their focus appears to be on Querious.

Running an entosis op to flip the ihub on a system you want takes some effort.  Yesterday Legacy decided they wanted 9CG6-H in Querious for real.  I am not sure why they wanted that particular system.  If they can take the ihub, hold the system, get capitals moved in (and maybe a Fortizar to hold them, or at least a POS to hold a bridging titan), you can cover most of Querious from there and even reach into a bit of Delve.

But that is a lot of tasks and capitals that have come into 49-U6U haven’t been very lucky, even though they captured the 4-07MU, for formerly Imperium system on the other side of the gate.  Still, their super fleet is in FAT-6P and needs to gate in through 49-U6U in order to get it into action in our space and then needs some place to base to avoid having to use the gate each time, a troublesome maneuver that can be made painful by a small force of interdictors.  So maybe 9CG6-H does make some sense.

Systems in capital range of 9CG6-H

So during EUTZ prime time, about lunch time for me, both PandaFam up north and Legacy in the south started hitting ihubs all over.  Not all of them were simple trolling attempts either, and several fleets were up and running around after these attacks.

In the middle of that they put 400+ ships in 9CG6-H with half a dozen entosis beams on the ihub.  It was around lunch for me, so I took a break from work to run out in a 1.89 second align time ECM burst Ares to try and keep them at bay.  I caught a dscan of their fleet.

Ship count in 9CG6-H withing 5AU of the ihub

That was Muninns with logi and a bunch of fast locking ships covering the ihub. (3 of those interceptors were friendly.)

They were heavy on the gates into the system and had additional ships in the adjoining systems.  This was a serious attempt.  And it was more than enough to keep out random defenders.  Even my quick align Ares, the closest thing to being invulnerable to tackle you can find that can mount a weapon, managed to get locked up on nearly every run I did trying to burst jam the attack on the ihub.

At one point, with several of us making attempts, we managed to break all of the entosis locks and the attackers stopped making progress on their attempt.  But this was serious and they just locked it back up and started their entosis cycles over again.

Meanwhile, I managed to lose my first Ares.  The first couple of runs, while I got locked up, it was only a target painter on me.  But eventually, as the attackers got on their game, more and more ships managed to lock me up as I tried to warp off.  The plan is to land with your warp out already selected, hit warp as soon as you can, then light off the burst jammer as you warp off.  I have been so successful with this in the past that I was a bit surprised that anybody could lock me up.  Then again, I had mostly done this in fleet fights, where I wasn’t a real target, or against solo entosis attempts simply to break their lock and annoy them.

I also suspect that distance to the data center was coming into play.  Being eight time zones away from Tranquility, outside of London, means that my commands take just a tad longer to get there than somebody in the UK or much of Europe.  You don’t think that the few milliseconds more could make a difference, but I have seen it.  In a Reavers race last year I could see the person from the UK able to gate, align, and warp off noticeably faster at each gate.  So I suspect my attempts to warp out might have been coming in a bit too late. (There is an INN article from 2014 about server ticks if you want more info.)

However it went, I managed to lose three ECM Burst Ares trying to break the entosis locks on the ihub, but it was to no avail in the end.  The ihub has been reinforced.  The capture event will happen tomorrow at 19:28 UTC.  At that point I suppose we will see how serious Legacy really is about taking this ihub and whether we will rise to respond.

I put in for SRP on one of Ares.  I can be excused for losing one.  Throwing two more into the fire when it became clear I was not so invulnerable as I had figured was just me being dumb.  They are not that expensive, so I can afford that level of dumb at least.  My ship loss count for the war is now four.

Addendum: After all the effort to reinforce the 9CG6-H ihub, there was no real follow up to take it.  Focus seems to have shifted to getting a POS tower setup in area we call “Fake Qeurious,” as it lays within Delve, and ongoing harassment ihub reinforcements in the region.

The Imperium Loses the XZ-SKZ Infrastructure Hub

I was just on about entosis warfare and now one of the first big fights over sovereignty took place earlier today when the Imperium formed up to defend the the infrastructure hub in the system XZ-SKZ in Period Basis.  That is one of those systems on the invasion routes I pointed at in my Tuesday post.

Where the ihub was

There was a fair size battle spread out over the constellation where the system is located in order to contest the nodes.  The battle report shows some fighting took place, though the losses were small… a combined 65 billion… relative to the number of capsuleers listed on the battle report.

Battle Report Header

I managed to jump in a reinforcement fleet that was late to the party (lunch time while I was working from home) and saw no action, so there were more people floating around the constellation that the battle report indicates.

While the Imperium won the ISK war by a small margin, that is cold comfort now that TEST controls the ihub in the system.  That will allow TEST to more easily anchor Upwell structures in the system which will allow them to use it as a bridgehead into Imperium territory.

Jin’taan has a bit of footage from the fight, with a video that sums up with “1 down, 239 to go.”

The next timer down in Period Basis will be around the TCAG-3, on the route from Paragon Soul, which will happen early in the day (for me at least) on Friday.

Period Basis DOTLAN Map

TEST tried to deploy an old fashioned POS in TCAG-3 last night, with an eye to safing up a bridging titan in the system… to the point that the titan was through the gate and in the system… but they were pushed back and the POS tower was destroyed.

They will have to wait for the timer fight I guess.  We had best win that one.  Losing XZ-SKZ we can route around, but losing TCAG-3 would cut off a large chunk of Period Basis from easy access… sort of, the DOTLAN map makes it look further away than it is, so bridging and Ansiblex jump gates are still viable… and perhaps put the battle line at the south end of Delve.

Meanwhile, over in Querious, we did win the contest over the AO-N1P ihub.  That is in the constellation that includes 49-U6U, which is the route in from Catch.

Entosis Drake on the job

The war carries on.