Tag Archives: Reavers

Five Years of Reavers

Here we are on Reaver’s founding day.  I’ve always pegged the date as around the middle of October, but somebody said on an op that October 15th was the date and that is good enough for me.  So happy fifth birthday to the Reavers SIG.

Reavers forum bee

I have a special affinity for Reavers.  I happened to wander in and join right as it was formed from the remnants of Freedom Squad.  I flew ops with Freedom Squad, but never joined officially, so Reavers was the first Imperium (or CFC back then) group I became a member of.

Also, being there from the start I feel like I know a lot of the story of the SIG.  While I have not been on every op, I believe I have gone on every deployment.

Finally, being a member of Reavers has let me experience a lot of things that you don’t always get to do on main fleet or homeland defense or during big war operations.  There have been a few points where I have felt tired of New Eden, but a new Reavers deployment has refreshed my interest and kept me going.

So, as I do every year, I will try to summarize what the SIG has been up to over the last twelve months.  You can find past summaries here:

To go along with the now established tradition of these posts, I’ll start with a look at the null sec influence map, comparing the current state of null sec with what it looked like last year.

October 2018 and 2019 compared

Delve and surrounding regions stayed largely the same, with Red Alliance disappearing from Period Basis.  The region fell to the Imperium to hold, lest somebody else try to move in.  The north and east saw quite a bit more change.  Dead Coalition (formerly GotG) shook up its membership, with Slyce leaving, while Pandemic Legion and Northern Coalition were driven out of the north due to the “Glass Tribute” campaign this past spring, sending them to reform in Malpais, which was their rental space.  Further south, new names have popped up around Fraternity, which remains at war with TEST and its Legacy Coalition.

As for Reavers operations, it was a fairly quiet year for a number of reasons.

To start with, the shape of war has changed.  Back in the day Reavers would go off behind enemy lines during a war to act as a distraction.  We did peace time operations as well, but those were more to keep us busy and annoy some of our traditional foes than part of any grand strategic plan.

Circumstances have flipped Imperium doctrine on its head.  SIGs and squads are now the harbingers of war, going out to camp in hostile space and stir up trouble until a war sees possible, at which point the fleets mass to come join us and our operations are folded into main fleet.  And all the more so with Reavers, as Asher is the war time sky marshal, running all the big strategic ops.  So, things like the “Glass Tribute” campaign Reavers end up in main fleet rather than having their own deployment.

And then there is Liberty Squad, new US time zone group that formed up about a year or so ago.  There is a lot of overlap between the Reavers and Liberty Squad rosters.  Being on a Liberty Squad op is almost like being on a Reavers op, as almost all the voices on coms are the same.

Because of this, Asher put off doing deployments for a while to let Liberty Squad come together.  So my posts for this year cover more Liberty ops than Reavers.

Still, it was not a year without operations.  So I will run down the list I have based on the last twelve months of posts.

In December we went to wormhole J115405, otherwise known a Rage, to help evict Hard Knocks.  This was setup by The Initiative, who deserves all the credit.

The Initiative logo in spaceships

However, they invited other groups to come participate, and Reavers went as a group.

After that there was a long dry spell for Reavers as Liberty Squad deployed out to harass Pandemic Horde in Geminate.

We did have a couple of Reavers races, set up by Ranger Gamma.

After that there was the war in Tribute, which ran up to the Drifter invasion of null sec and the launch of the Chaos Era.  Liberty Squad did a bit during that, and I spent some time on Zungen Ops, which I get pings for by being in Reavers, but there were no Reavers deployments until recently.  With things quiet elsewhere, Asher formed us up and we went out to Insmother, passing through Legacy Coalition space to join in against Winter Coalition, moving to Cache there after.

That was an old school Reavers deployment, with us living in space without a station or structure to base from.  Mobile depots for everybody.

Swapping out my cloak

However, that also put a bit of a crimp on the numbers.  People who missed the move op out had to find their way out into the middle of hostile space, some opting not to bother.  Numbers were low for ops at times and we ended up coming home this past weekend.

And that is where we stand currently at the the end of five years, back home from a venture out in the wilds of Cache, where we were living in space, shooting at structures, and looking for fights.

My posts do not cover all the Reavers ops.  I know I missed a few out in Cache, and some good ones too from what I hear.  But I believe that covers the deployments the SIG has done over the last year.

A Wormhole Home from Cache

In one of those moments of extreme good timing, about 30 seconds after I launched Jabber last night a ping from Asher popped up saying that if anybody wanted to head home early there was a wormhole up in Cache that led Amarr low sec space, which is conveniently close to Delve.

I immediately logged on my main and alt, joined Asher’s fleet, followed the instructions in the MOTD, jumped through the wormhole, and found myself about a dozen gates from Delve.  In about 20 minutes I traveled from the far east of New Eden to the far west with both of my Guardians tethered up outside a Keepstar.

Waiting at the back door

Doing that route the hard way, going gate to gate, would involve passing through 55 gates and 8 regions before arriving in Delve.  Even the expected move op home, which might get to use Legacy Coalition Ansiblex jump gates, as we did on the way out, will likely have to make more jumps than I did.

As for why we are headed home, participation has been low.  A bunch of people made it out with the original move op, but interest has tapered off and anybody who missed the move out faced a long and hazardous trip to get to us.  That is one downside of living out of mobile depots in hostile space as opposed to basing out of NPCs stations.

So I am back home in Delve.  Now I have to figure out how to move all of my stuff.  While we were away there was a change to which Keepstar was going to be the staging point and market for Delve.  It is in the same system, but moving all of the crap I have collected over the last year or two is going to be either awkward or expensive… or both.

Further Structure Bashing in Cache

Asher got us together again for another structure, this time an Astrahus timer, the timer that TEST had set while we were out bashing that tower a couple days before.  Being a final timer that might see the structure destroyed, the thought was that the locals might form up and defend leading to a fight.  And if they didn’t fight… well.. structure kill mail.

We logged in, once again totaling less that 30 ships, swapped out our cloaks and formed up to travel to M-MCP8, where we sat on the P7-45V gate.  The latter is Vindictive’s staging, so we hoped to catch some people passing through.

On the gate, bubble up

We did catch a Fraternity Dominix on the gate, and a couple other minor target.  The Domi seemed like a good sign, that maybe Vindictive would be getting some support from their Winter Coalition allies, since they were not leaving the coalition until the end of the month.

They would need some help and somebody else we caught in our bubble was Seddow, the FC of the Legacy Coalition Loki fleet that mauled the Vindictive Machariel fleet while we were shooting that POS tower.  We were asked not to shoot him.

So it seemed like they would be coming back to finish off the Astrahus.  They set the timer, so why wouldn’t they?

Our eyes on the Vindictive staging Keepstar was reporting various activity and even a titan up and perhaps ready to bridge a defense fleet in on the Astrahus.  They had a couple of force recons, the only viable cyno ships these days, hanging about.  Asher even had us drop our mobile depots in safe spots in the system in case things went against us and we had to either reload drones from cargo or get our cloaks on and hide.

However, for all the activity, not much happened.  When the timer ran down on the Astrahus we started shooting it, waiting for something to drop.  But nothing did.  Instead, a gunner in the Astrahus took shots at us, neuted us, hit us with tracking disruptors, and generally tried to make our time hitting the structure as taxing as possible.

Another bomb from the Astrahus goes off

The gunner did manage to kill off some drones, something of an annoyance to a group with a long supply line back to Delve, but did not slow down the inevitable all that much.  Legacy showed up with their Lokis again as expected.

Legacy Lokis join the shoot

Then final outcome was determined, the Astrahus exploded.

Another Upwell structure destroyed

We scooped our mobile depots and formed back up.

Then it was over to P7-45V, where an Athanor was also in its final timer.  There was no defense put up there either, so another structure kill mail was shared between us and the Legacy Loki fleet.

Athanor brews up

After that it was back to our staging system and our safe spots, cloaks once again fitted and running, waiting for our safe log off timers to run down so we could leave space safely.  Another night in Cache.

A Tower Bash in Cache

The current Reavers deployment has has some stretched of inactivity.  We were delayed deploying due to a hurricane (other than Hilmar) bearing down on Asher, then he was away on vacation for a bit.  My main and my alt had been logged out in hostile space for a while now, though since WoW Classic has been getting most of my attention, I wasn’t complaining.

But Asher got back and settled and it was time to log back in late last week.  We had something to do, so we dropped our mobile depots to refit and get rolling.

Off with the cloak

The target picked was a simple one, another powered down POS sitting out in space.  Maybe somebody would come get us, alerted by our attack.  We formed up and flew out to the target system, M-MCP8 in Cache, only to find it somewhat more populated than expected.

The residents, Vindictive alliance, were out in force, with 50 or so appearing in local as we jumped into the system.  We had fewer than 30 ships in our fleet, but Asher figured we might get a fight so we warped on grid with the tower and started shooting.

Tower hits

As we slowly circled the tower, formed up and following Asher’s Legion, more people started piling into the system, and we saw local rise even further.  The newcomers appeared to be from Legacy coalition, with TEST making up the bulk of them in local.  Of course, with TEST in system, local began to come alive with chatter.  We kept on orbiting the tower, chipping away at it.

Following Asher

As it turned out, there was another operation going on parallel to ours.  A group from Legacy had been running ops into Vindictive space for a while now and had recently set the armor timer on an Astrahus in the system.

The timer was set to come out just a few minutes after we arrived.  So people were showing up to that party.

Our target was a remnant left behind by Dragon Empire, who now live up in Geminate, so were unlikely to run out to save an anchored by unfueled tower.  Likewise, nobody in system had anything to do with the tower, so no notifications were going to them.  They were content to focus on their own battle, ignoring the small fleet of Ishtars easily within dscan range, it being one of the smaller systems in the area.

A clump of Ishtars

The tower took a while.  Even a small faction tower has a lot of shield hit points, but we kept on flying around it, letting our drones to the work.  In local it sounded like things were not going well for the owners of the system.  There were recriminations and some mocking going on.  It seemed that the defense, a small Machariel fleet had been swept aside by Legacy Loki fleet.

At our end, we eventually cut through the shields and were able to get through the armor and structure layers rapidly.  Soon the tower blew up with a satisfying display.

Brewing up, ready to burst

By that point the fight over the Astrahus had been resolved.  The final timer had been set and Legacy had finished spewing in local and headed home.  We too headed for the exit, our own small mission complete.

The out gate

However, as we landed on the gate to P7-45V an Vindictive Machariel landed as well and jumped, no doubt hoping to get away ahead of us.  And his hope was not unwarranted.  Aggression timers were still live on some of the fleet.  I still had a few seconds remaining on my own timer as we saw him jump.  But the call went out to jump through and tackle him if we could.  We jumped as soon as we could… and it was just soon enough.  A bubble went up to keep him from warping off and we piled on.

Machariel getting ganked at the gate

He put on speed to get out of the bubble but had a web on him as well, so exploded well before he reached the edge.  The kill mail showed a modest fit for a Mach, and no implants in his pod, but a good solid kill.

Having already deployed around the gate with a bubble up, we hung around and camped the gate for a bit, and were rewarded with a few more kills and the locals attempted to move back and forth between the two systems.

We even got the Machariel pilot again trying to slip through in a Cormorant this time.

But such a gate camp is a temporary thing.  We were in the heart of their space and they were just standing down from a defense operation, so it seemed likely they could form up enough Machs to sends us running if they had the heart for it, so we moved on back to our own staging in their space, warping off to our safe spots to once again deploy out mobile depots, mount our cloaks, scoop the depots, and cloak up safely while out logoff timers ran down.

I am not sure how much heart Vindictive would have had though.  They withdrew from Winter Coalition the next day, no doubt due to the attention Legacy had been giving them.  We haven’t moved on yet though.  There were ops on over the weekend (which I missed) including another camp on that same gate which was fruitful yet again.  But it is possible we might pack up to hunt elsewhere soon.

On The Road Again in New Eden

The Chaos Era has been a bit of a bust for me.  I don’t rat or mine, so I am not on that declining indicator, but with a lot of people turtling up there are not as many defense fleets to go save people.  I am also not a solo PvPer, so I haven’t been out hunting.  I generally depend on SIG or squad deployments for my content and, aside from the short one up to Placid… which was low sec, so no Chaos Era benefits there… I haven’t had much to get me to log in.

There has been talk of a Reavers deployment, but things kept getting in the way, like a hurricane Dorian headed straight for Asher’s home.  That eventually passed and last week Asher got us grouped up.  It was going to be a very traditional Reavers deployment, with Ishtars and support and no station to dock up in.  I had a couple of Guardians left over from past operations already correctly fit, so I put one on my main, one on my alt, and waited for the ping announcing our departure.

I didn’t plan to dual box Guardians.  Keeping up with reps and the cap chain on two screens during a fight is too much for me.  Instead my alt was basically hauling out a reship.  If my main got his ship popped, he could just grab the extra from my alt, while if he got blown up and podded, he could just fly out in an interceptor and swap ships with my alt, who could then fly home.

Soon enough the ping came and we loaded up our ships with the intent to live out of them in hostile space and headed out.

A small fleet warps off

As is tradition, our destination was not announced in advance.  We just went to a series of waypoints along the route to our area of operation.  But Asher couldn’t hide which direction we were going.  We were headed east and were soon into Legacy Coalition space, where the jump gates seemed to be set to less us pass through.

Using the middle management dino gate

I was wondering whether this was a default setting, if Legacy was letting us use their gate network to let Imperium forces pass through their space in order to join in on fights in the east or if we were getting some special treatment.  The war between Legacy and Winter coalitions, which has been running off and on for ages now, continues to bubble down in the southeast of New Eden, with third parties like Pandemic Legion showing up to grab some content.  Certainly the Imperium had sent fleets east before during the war.

However, not all gates were green… or blue I guess… to us.  At an XIX gate we had to stop and hold, hanging in space while Asher found somebody to flip the switch for us.

Waiting for the gate to let us through

That he had to get on a channel somewhere to get us a pass seems to indicate that at least an “Imperium flies free” policy isn’t Legacy wide.  So we sat and waited, no doubt scaring a few of the locals who jumped through to find a fleet of not blue Ishtars and support hanging about.

We had our own fat targets, but no shots were taken

Asher found the right person and we were able to jump through and continue on our way, heading past Legacy space and into Winter Coalition’s domain.  No jump gate travel for us there.  But it was also well past prime time for the locals, and we were able to pass through their space using gates without much notice.

My Guardian aligning out from another gate

The blackout was in effect, so they would have needed to lay eyes on us or catch us on a dscan to know we were there.  Finally a bit of the Chaos Era working in my favor.

Another gate to pass through

Eventually we found a spot to safe up in Insmother, made our safe spots, got out our mobile depots, and fit cloaks in order to be able to cloak up and stay safe.

Living out of a mobile depot

Once there we had to find something to do.

Initially we found a couple of unfueled Fraternity towers, which we proceeded to shoot.  That is all part of the Reavers plan.  We set up in space the start shooting things until somebody shows up to chase us off.  If the hostiles for big, we just cloak up and disappear.  If they form a fleet about our size, then we take the fight if we can.  So we blew up the towers.

An old Minmatar tower blows up

All that yielded was a “But why?” from somebody in local… and I am not even sure they meant us.

The next time I was on we went looking to stir things up with one of the Winter Coalition members more in our time zone, the Lord of Worlds Alliance (LORDE).  Their alliance logo is an angry unicorn on a pink shield, which I guess gives them some synergy with GoonWaffe (GEWNS), whose logo is a unicorn in front of an outline of a heart.

The comparison

This similarity came up on coms and, while the GoonWaffe logo was no doubt chosen for irony, who actually chose it and why has been lost to the mists of time.

Anyway, we went out to entosis a couple of their infrastructure hubs to see if they would come out to play.

The ihub awaits

The word was that they were on during our time frame and would form up and fight if the numbers worked out.  After tinkering around a bit to get and entosis link on the right ship… it started on a Tengu and there was some awkward work with people swapping ships and using mobile depots in order to get it fitted on an Ishtar… we commenced to fly in circles around the ihub and run the magic entosis wand over it.  Exciting game play.

Entosis coming from the Ishtar in the middle

There was a bit of trouble with the Ishtar running out of capacitor, but one of the Guardians in the cap chain just diverted one of their cap transfer modules onto it and we were set.  And then around and around we went.

The locals did come out to play, but apparently couldn’t get enough people together for a stand up fight.  Instead they came out in bombers and interceptors to try and and interrupt the entosis ship.  That was mildly annoying, but not enough to get us to break orbit, and we ended up getting a couple of kills.  Ishtars racing in a circle with props on move pretty quickly so you have to anticipate where they’ll be before you bomb.  The locals were not quite that good.

Things were quiet enough that I put EVE Online on my second monitor and played WoW Classic for part of the op.  That is EVE Online some days, a game that lets you watch movies or play other games.

That ended up with a couple of ihubs reinforced, after which we went back to where we were living, where we safed up, put on our cloaks, and logged out again.  I didn’t do much with EVE Online over the weekend.  I missed any ops we might have run.  But today things changed.  As CCP announced on Saturday, the blackout is over.  We’re no longer invisible in space.  People can now see us in the local channel when we log in.  Our extra cloak is gone.  But we have always had to deal with that in the past.  And us being logged in and cloaked up can be a deterrent on its own.  And so it goes, living out in hostile space on another Reavers op.

Reavers Gnosis Racing

As happens, every so often Ranger Gama sets up another race event for Reavers.  The last one had us flying around in Drakes back at the end of December.  This time around the Gnosis, the Society of Conscious Thought battlecruiser, was the hull of choice.  We gathered together at 02:00 EVE Online time and Ranger Gama handed us the ships for the race.

Gnosis with the Icecloud Investigator SKIN

The Gnosis is a bit of an odd bird, one of the rare faction battlecruisers… I think it was the sole such example until we got the Triglavian Drekavac recently… along with having very low skill requirements to fly as well as bonuses to which ever weapon system you prefer to mount.  Rails, projectiles, beams, missiles, and drones all get a boost on this hull.

Of course, for a Reavers race the fit is always part of the equation, though weapon systems rarely come into play.  We got our ships and found the usual odd set of modules.

Mix of all sorts of modules

For those who want the details, here is the EFT block:

[Gnosis, Reavers Race]
Damage Control I
Reinforced Bulkheads I
Nanofiber Internal Structure I
Inertial Stabilizers I
Overdrive Injector System I
Warp Core Stabilizer I

Medium Micro Jump Drive
10MN Afterburner I
50MN Microwarpdrive I
Cargo Scanner I
Ship Scanner I
Survey Scanner I

Miner I
Salvager I
Small Tractor Beam I
Festival Launcher
Cynosural Field Generator I
Core Probe Launcher I

Medium Hyperspatial Velocity Optimizer I
Medium Hyperspatial Velocity Optimizer I
Medium Hyperspatial Velocity Optimizer I

Mining Drone I x1
Light Armor Maintenance Bot I x1
Light Shield Maintenance Bot I x1
Salvage Drone I x1
Light Hull Maintenance Bot I x1

Liquid Ozone x249
Core Scanner Probe I x8
Sodium Firework x100
Barium Firework x100
Copper Firework x100
Mobile Medium Warp Disruptor I

There was also an Ironblood SKIN in each so people could spiff up their ship.  I already had that SKIN.  In fact, I was a bit surprised to find I had four SKINs for the Gnosis already.  I am not sure I’ve ever bothered to fly one, other than to undock one back in the day just to see it in space.

Fireworks are the usual fit.  A miner, a tractor beam, and a salvager are not unheard of.  The cyno was an interesting touch, though in the cargo we found ourselves one unit of Liquid Ozone shy of being able to light it off, so nobody would be coming to our rescue that way.  And we had probes.  I guess we could wormhole our way home if we survived.  The Gnosis gets a bonus to probe strength as well.

There was also a medium warp bubble in the cargo.  Those are fun at parties, though I wasn’t sure how one would fit into the race.  Theoretically, if you could get far enough ahead, you could drop one to annoy the people behind you.  But they take 240 seconds to deploy and if you’re that far ahead you might as well just carry on flying.

Otherwise the ship was at least fit for speed.  The hyperspatial rigs meant we would be warping fast for a battlecruiser.

The rules for the event were the usual; only standard star gates allowed.  No Ansiblex jumps, no titan bridges, and no wormholes.  The payout for the winners was set as:

  • 1st Place:  50% of the pool
  • 2nd Place:  30% of the pool
  • 3rd Place:  15% of the pool
  • POD:  5% of the pool
  • Harlyq Prize: Something special

The Harlyq prize, named after a Reaver for reasons I’ve no forgotten, required you to stop and mine 500 units of Scordite along the way and have that in your hold at the finish line.

Unfortunately, the timing for the race was not optimal.  It was Saturday night before Easter, the second day of Passover, and a Liberty Squad op had just formed up minutes before the race ping… and there is a lot of overlap between Liberty Squad and Reavers, so much so that the two groups pretty much cannot run fleets at the same time… so that turn out for the race was pretty low.  There were just five of us.

Still, we were game.  We all had our ships in 1DQ1-A in Delve and were ready to go.   Ranger Gama had us undock then warped us to a celestial while updating the message of the day with the route.  When we landed, we were off and running.

Gnosis Race is On

The route was essentially the same as the last one, landing us in HED-GP, a location which usually has somebody camping it.

Race Route

As tends to happen, with all things being equal, the person with the best connection to the data center starts to pull ahead as they transition through gates faster.  As it so happened Zarakik is close to the London data center and, when we all announced our client latency, was showing an easy 10ms advantage over the next person on the list, hitting 6ms to 16ms or more for those of us in the US.

Somebody did a long post at one point about the dynamics of EVE Online and specifically how to be that person who always gets the kill at a gate camp, the summary of which was “be close to the London data center.”  Same thing here.

We could see Zarakik gaining a lead with every gate.  Our only real hope was for him to go AFK for a bit or to run into a gate camp ahead of us.  And the former wasn’t going to help me much.  Being on the west coast of the US I was the furthest from the data center and was falling behind everybody ever so slightly, so I would still be in last place if I just did gated and warped with the rest of them.

Destined for last place if nothing got in our way, I decided to stop and mine so at least to get the Harlyq prize.  The problem was just finding some Scordite out in null sec.  That doesn’t spawn in mining anomalies, or so I observed, so I had to start warping to belts to find some.  Eventually I spotted an asteroid in a belt without rats and ran a cycle that got me what I needed.

Gnosis mining

That accomplished, I was way behind the pack.  My main hope was that they would hit a gate camp.  They were far enough ahead of me that I would hear about it long before I got there.  But I decided to hedge my bet and pick a route to get to HED-GP via another route.  So I looked for a waypoint on DOTLAN that would get me around the straight path.  It would take me longer, but last race the winner was the person who did not run the shortest path.

My proposed alternate route

So I set 4-07MU as my destination and started taking gates.

After a bit I started to suspect I might have made an error as I noted along the way some of the things the people ahead of me had mentioned.  I then realized that I had simply made 4-07MU my destination and that the shortest path there was to go through HED-GP and back around through Querious.  Navigational error on my part.

But it did not matter.  As it turned out nobody was camping anything along the route.  TEST and its allies have a campaign of their own going on in the east and were probably all deployed out there.  So the five of us just flew through their space, all arriving in HED-GP unscathed, without much of a scare.  I think somebody saw an Onyx along the way, but it didn’t come after us or anything.

Throwing fireworks at Ranger Gama

The results were:

  • 1st Place:  Zarakik
  • 2nd Place:  Ranger Gama
  • 3rd Place:  Hoff Talvanen
  • Harlyq Prize:  Wilhelm Arcturus

Then there was the question of what to do when you don’t lose any ships.  Ranger Gama did not want them back.  I flew mine back to 1DQ1-A through Querious, half hoping to get caught along the way.

Gnosis on the way home

The main highlight on that trip was discovering that SpaceMonkeys Alliance was a thing again and part of the Querious Fight Club.  I had not heard much about them since they collapsed from exhaustion during the Casino War. (They helped start the whole thing, or so the story goes, and were fighting for months before it became the big conflict it ended up as.)

The SMA logo above a gate

I arrived back in Delve intact, missing only the mobile war disruptor, which I dropped along the way during the race.  I aligned for a gate at one point, triggered my micro jump drive to put me 100km off the gate, and set it to deploy.  I figured that would annoy somebody.  And somebody did take the time to kill it.  Ranger Gama also dropped his and it was popped by a couple of the same people.  Zarakik dropped his in TEST space where it got solo’d.  EVEBruceL and Hoff Talvanen either didn’t drop theirs or dropped them some place where they simply expired before anybody felt like shooting them.

The final aspect of the race was to find out what the Harlyq prize would be.  “Something special” covers a lot of ground.  But later that evening a contract popped up from Ranger Gama.  I figured out what he did with the spare Gnosis hulls he had.

Some Gnosis hulls for me

They were all set up as mining ships, with cargo expanders in the low slots and mining lasers in the high slots.

Mine my own business

I doubt I am going to mining in them.  I’ll have to find a decent PvP fit and take them out to get blown up… once I’ve insured them.

Of course, we’re back to what to fit.  The Gnosis works with so many weapon systems.  Maybe lasers.  At least those are pretty.

The Reavers Drake Race

The comedy race event returned last night, with Ranger Gama setting up another run for the SIG.  It was the fourth such race for Reavers this year, and the third one I was able to make.

The first one was actually almost exactly a year ago, in 2017, so not really this year I suppose.  That was the first one.  We flew Daredevils around the north, hanging out on the Pandemic Horde Keepstar as one of the way points.

I missed the second one, which also flew through the north, while the third one was out of Delve and had us flying Ventures.

This time around Ranger had a bigger ship in mind.  This time he set us up with Drakes.  As usual, the fit was more for comedy than anything else, with four festival launchers as the main armament.  They were also fit with hyperspatial rigs for faster warp speed, but the prop mod choices were frigate sized.  The one saving grace was that he fit a micro jump drive.

Nine of us were there for the race.  Ranger handed out the Drakes and I immediately insured mine, figuring that such a big target was likely to be blown up flying through the hostile space that we would likely be traversing.

It also gave me a chance to use the Drake SKIN that came with the holiday event in EVE Online, the Chromodynamic Candy SKIN.

At the Keepstar with the fresh Drake SKIN

I also grabbed some mining drones.  Ranger was offering a bonus prize for the first person to show up with a cargo filled with Veldspar.  He also wisely bought all of the Veldspar off the market in 1DQ1-A to keep us from simply buying it before we started.  We would have to mine it ourselves, or buy it along the way.

Then he gave us the route and we were off.

Candy Drakes on the way

We had to travel first to ZWV-GD, then to 0-MX34, then to C9N-CC, and finally to HED-GP where we needed to warp to Ranger’s alt to finish the race.  The total distance was 67 gates.  That route would put us through some fairly active systems.  But first we were off toward Period Basis and our neighbors to the south.

Hitting a RED Alliance gate

We started out with most of us neck and neck gating our way to the first way point.  It didn’t seem like we would face much trouble until we hit TEST space.

Middle Management Dino on the Gate

And, sure enough, just a couple of gates into the Paragon Soul region and TEST space we came through into a gate camp.  At the time Ranger was first through the gate, followed by Losmortos Nolm and then myself, with most of the rest close behind.

A bubble was up on the gate as we came through.  Ranger was the first to break cloak and managed to pull all the aggro immediately.  Losmortos Nolm managed to slip past while I tried to activate my micro jump drive before breaking cloak.  That led me to fumbling about a bit, which let those behind me break cloak as well.  That probably saved me as I was able to MJD out of the bubble and warp off while the camp was busy with other Drakes.  In all more than half of those in the race, five Drakes, were blown up and the pods destroyed as well.  Ranger Gama, Arianhrod Begin, Shokalokaboom, Buer Argarves, and Roy Garfield, were all done in 0SUF-3.

Meanwhile, Hoff Talvanen, who was running behind, managed to get picked off back in Period Basis in VYO-68.

That left only myself, Losmortos Nolm, and Grodd Gandar still in the running.  Losmortos Nolm and I were already past the camp so kept on the most direct route while Grodd Gandar, who was also a bit behind, decided to take an alternate path to the first marker.  That put him many jumps behind us.

Losmortos Nolm and myself had a fairly smooth run after that.

Into the Minmatar part of null sec

It wasn’t until we had hit C9N-CC and had turned around for HED-GP that the first bit of trouble came up.  We ended up with an Ares flying along with us.

The Ares decided to take a run at me, getting ahead of me through a gate and pointing me.  However I was able to light the MJD again and jump away from him and then warp off, jumping through the next gate while he was still waiting on his aggro timer.  But he was quick and tried to grab me two gates down the line.  At this point Losmortos Nolm was maybe half a system ahead of me.  I took the next gate and, instead of following along, I warped off to an asteroid belt hoping to maybe mind a bit for the Veldspar prize and ditch the persistent Ares.

The Ares kept on going, following after Lormortos Nolm, so I was alone in the system.  However, the rats in the asteroid belt were not happy to see me and I had nothing with me to take them out.  Also, I had forgotten how slow mining drones are.  I recalled them, then had to fly towards them before warping out, my shield down below the 10% mark.

That delay put Losmortos Nolm about eight gates ahead of me.  He was good about mentioning what he was facing, giving me some heads up as to what was coming.  It wasn’t until GE-8JV that he ran into significant numbers in space.  There a battle seemed to be in progress between the locals and some Imperium pilots with about 100 people in local.  The conflict seemed to be centered on the gate to V-3YG7, with forces on both sides of that gate.  Losmortos Nolm managed to slip past.  But by the time I got there a camp of Brave pilots were on the far side of the gate.  When I came through there was a bubble up.  There was enough firepower to take me down before my MJD could spin up.  My ship exploded.  I was out of the race.

Candy Drake coming apart

Losmortos Nolm managed to get through into HED-GP and was the winner of the race.

Meanwhile, Grodd Gandar, who had taken the long route around, was still something like 40 jumps from the finish line.  However, being that far behind worked out for him.  He had been watching the Gate Camp Check site, but by the time he arrived in the vicinity of GE-8JV the battle had subsided and the gates were clear.  He was able to slip through and get to HED-GP and Ranger Gamma’s alt.

He also said that he had collected a cargo hold full of Veldspar along the way.  However, it wasn’t clear how to verify that, so his Drake got blow up so people could examine the kill mail and see what he had on him.  Sure enough, a bunch of Veldspar was in his cargo hold.

And so another race ended.  First place went to Losmortos Nolm and second to Grodd Gandar, with the third place prize being rolled over for next time.  The route most of us ended up flying looked like this:

The route with death locations noted

Grodd Gandar went through Stain, which added a lot of jumps to his path.

It is always interesting to see who is out and about in space when we are flying.  There is very much a randomness to it.  You can fly through a dozen systems and see just one or two names in local, then stumble upon a gate camp or a battle with dozens or even a hundred people around.  They will be for a bit, then gone a little while later.  The same route can be safe for one person and a death trap for somebody else ten minutes later.  But that is the way of null sec.