Tag Archives: TEST

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.

Quote of the Day – Goblin Gets His Due

Gevlon was right

-The Mittani, Imperium Fireside May 4, 2019

I previously mentioned the ongoing conflict in Perimeter over control of trading citadels.  Last year the Imperium and Legacy Coalition began to assail the trading citadels set up by Pandemic Horde.  Those were blown up and replaced by citadels run by TEST alliance, including a Keepstar.

Shop at the sign of the middle management dino

Why Perimeter?  Well, it is one of the eight systems that connect directly to Jita.

Jita and Perimeter

More importantly, it is one of the five neighboring system in The Forge, the same region as Jita, so if you are in Jita and searching for something to buy, goods in Perimeter will show up in your results as well.  As to why Perimeter won out over the other four, my guess is that being on the direct route to Amarr, the second trade hub of New Eden, probably tips the scales.  People try to set up in the other systems, but the listings there are even more meager.

Anyway, since the swap over to Legacy Coalition holding the trade stations in Perimeter a low scale conflict has carried on to try and wrest control away or at least make life annoying.  I had not heard much about that conflict of late.  As it turns out that was likely due to negotiations going on over the whole thing.

At yesterday’s fireside The Mittani announced that a deal had been reached and that going forward the Imperium, Legacy Coalition, and Pandemic Horde would all work together to defend the structures of the Tranquility Trading Corporation, consisting of the Keepstar, two Sotiyos, and one Tatara in Perimeter.

Instead of fighting, each of the three groups will now share in the profits from the trading complex.

This is where Gevlon comes in.  Somebody sent the link to one of Gevlon’s posts where he predicted something like this would come to pass to The Mittani, and Mittens had to admit that Gevlon was right on that particular point.  Some null sec powers did come together to hold a trading citadel together rather than fighting over it.

Of course, Gevlon was wrong on just about everything else in that post.  It is debatable as to whether or not the Imperium, led by Goonswarm Federation, Legacy Coalition, led by TEST, and Pandemic Horde add up to being “everyone significant” when it comes to null sec powers.  It most certainly does not mean peace between the three powers.  Even as I was writing this I got a ping to log in and shoot Pandemic Horde and expect to continue with the campaign against them and NCDot in TKE and The Spire, striking straight at their rental income.  These are not staged “gud fites” but an actual campaign meant to hurt them.

And then there is the effect on Jita.  While some trade is going through Perimeter, it seems to be mostly focused on some high price density items, things like PLEX, skill injectors, and the like.  Trade at the station at Jita 4-4 carries on pretty much as before, three years after the Citadel expansion brought this player run trade center option to the game.

Whether people keep trading in Jita out of habit, ignorance, or mis-trust or player run citadels… some of those trade citadels have been blown up after all… doesn’t matter, people still do most of their buying and selling in Jita.

This means that Gevlon’s assumptions and ISK estimates are all completely bogus.  If his prediction had come to pass we should have seen some sort of drop in the Broker’s Fees collects on the ISK sink side of the chart in the MER.  However, compared to his numbers from the February 2016 MER, the broker’s fees collected were actually up in the March 2019 MER.

As for how much the owners of the trade citadels have to discount their fees in order to attract business… well, he was way off once more.

Fee comparison

In Perimeter they had to cut the broker’s fee to the bone to get the business they have, and that hasn’t moved very much out of the much more expensive Jita.  Even if they got the level of business he predicted, the net profit would be nowhere near his cataclysmic outlook.

And Gevlon said he left EVE Online because of this, because of his grim predictions of what was to come with player run markets in citadels.  I guess he could have stuck around.  The null sec empires are still getting rich, but it doesn’t have much to do with markets in Perimeter.

A Fortizar Shoot in Perimeter

As I mention in a previous post, the null sec alliances brought their recent conflict to high sec using war decs, allowing TEST to assail Pandemic Horde’s trade hub in Perimeter.  PH’s structures in Perimeter were reinforced while TEST dropped its own citadels, a faction Fortizar and a Keepstar.

War decs piled up between the groups as The Imperium joined in on the side of TEST and its Legacy Coalition allies while Black Legion jumped in to assist Pandemic Horde.  Notably missing was the rest of PanFam, including Pandemic Legion and NCDot.  Pandemic Horde has truly grown into its own entity.

It looked like there might be a fight brewing in high sec, just one jump from Jita.

Instead, Pandemic Horde decided to punt on its high sec trading empire.  There is a post over at New Eden Report about the impact of this on the market.  But for those of us just looking to shoot things, there would be no war.  Pandemic Horde opted to contest neither the structures TEST deployed nor defend their own structures.  At best there would just be a structure shoot to take them out.

Being in Reavers, structure shoots are clearly my bag.  And since our war dec was still in place, I went out to shoot the PH Fortizar just because I could.

The Safe Trade Hub is no longer Safe

The nervous bit was getting there.  I undocked from Jita 4-4 with my market/training implant clone to run to another station where I could install a jump clone.  Then I ran back.  Fortunately, the usual people who have us war dec’d and are generally camping the undock at 4-4 had joined us in the war.  I was able to safely setup a local clone, jump to it, then roll back into 4-4 to pick up a ship.

I had a Jackdaw handy there and, not wanting to spend any ISK I didn’t have to, I rolled out of Jita to Perimeter in that.

Jackdaw on the way

When I arrived the shoot was already under way.  TEST had a fleet sitting at range shooting the Fortizar.  There was another group about 120 degrees off from them shooting the citadel as well.  That group was putting out constant beams, which confused me for a bit.

Jackdaw spotting the red beams, TEST fleet ball visible

When I put the camera on that group though, the answer was clear.  It was a small fleet of Leshaks, the Triglavian battleship, (supported by a few Nestors) responsible for those beams.

A Leshak at the shoot

The Triglavian weaponry, the precursor weapons, fire a continuous beam that puts out more damage the longer it stays on a target.

I had warped in at 50km and went into orbit around the citadel until the structure got down to about 25%.  I only noticed after I arrived that the Jackdaw was fit for rockets rather than light missiles, which meant I would have to move in close to get my hits in.  Even in sniper mode that meant being about 25km off the Fortizar.  I was wondering if wandering in that close might draw the attention of the defensive weaponry.

However, that didn’t turn out to be an issue.  I decreased the radius of my orbit to bring the rocket launcher in range and let fly.  I am way down the list for total damage, but at least I got on the kill mail.  It has been a quiet month with the peace agreement and PH not defending in Perimeter, so this is the only kill mail I am on for October. I try to be on one every month just to prove I am alive.

And so Pandemic Horde lost its foothold in Perimeter.

The PH logo shortly before the explosion

If you look at the kill mail, you will see that the five Leshaks in that group managed to get the top five slots for damage.  Those precursor weapons work as advertised I guess.

Null Sec goes to High Sec for a War Dec

Weren’t we just talking about war decs?

Okay, this isn’t that sort of griefing war dec that drives high sec care bears from the game.  In fact, this is exactly the sort of thing CCP wants war decs to be.

With the ending of the war in the north there was supposed to be a month of peace.  However, Pandemic Horde took great exception to the peace payoff that sent the Imperium on its way and loudly declared it was not bound by it in any way and heading off, along with Black Legion, after Guardians of the Galaxy in a war that seemed set to disturb any recovery peace might bring.

Pandemic Horde setting themselves apart from the peace terms left the door open to further conflict before the month long timer ran down.  And while there is combat going on in null sec space as each side drops on the others ratters and miner, a new front opened up over the weekend in Perimeter, a system one jump over from Jita, the central trade hub of New Eden.

Jita and Perimeter and the general area

Perimeter has been the system of choice for attempts to setup trading citadels since they were first introduced.  While not much trade has moved to those citadels… nobody is going to buy hulls or ship modules there when their market alt is in Jita 4-4… certain commodities like skill injectors have found a market home there.

If you are sitting in Jita 4-4 and you look at the market for skill injectors sorted by price, the lowest prices are in the Perimeter citadels.  Since you can activate them remotely, you should probably buy them there.  The lower tax margins allow for lower prices, though that still doesn’t stop people from buying them from Jita 4-4.  I’ve sold a couple dozen skill injectors, always in Jita, and always for much more than the current going rate in Perimeter, without issue.  People will pay more to buy from the station they are in, often much more, just to avoid having to undock and travel.

This is one of the special features of EVE Online.  There is no magical delivery service.  If you buy something remote you then have to go get it or pay somebody to bring it to you.  Travel is a burden in New Eden, but it makes market segmentation possible.  There is not a single, unified auction house that will pop your purchases in the post.  Distance matters.

CCP, in their usual techno-Viking libertarian madness, despite having seen how we generally behave, wants players to control as much of the economy as they can get away with, so this citadel market operation is their plan working as designed… for once.  Player owned citadel markets haven’t taken over the economy.  Gevlon citing this as a corrupt developer game-killing excuse to leave the game was yet one more sign of his self-deception.  But they are a thing and can make some groups a decent amount of money.

And, in the case of Perimeter, Pandemic Horde is a big player both directly and through their neutral alt alliance, IChooseYou Holding.  So this weekend a new front was opened against Pandemic Horde via high sec war declarations.

Declaring against Pandemic Horde

Both GSF and TEST got in early with their war declarations.  While the Imperium reset standings with TEST and its allies with the peace in the north, high sec is a different story.  We can work together and not be blue as standings between alliances do not matter in high sec, only war decs do.  And so both groups declared against PH and their alt alliance right away, with a few additional groups trailing in late.

Probably at war by the time this post goes live

Those mirror the war declarations against IChooseYou Holdings as well.  You can check their info in-game and see the same list.

So we may be working with Darkness, the lead alliance of Guardians of the Galaxy, in this war.  Black Legion, sided up with Pandemic Horde, was also included in the whole thing.

Black Legion’s war plan

Null sec alliances are used to having war declarations against them.  This is usually done by groups like P I R A T, which you see there on Black Legion’s list, that camp the undock in Jita (and sometimes Amarr) hoping to catch the unwary and the unknowing leaving the station for an easy kill.

If you look at Pandemic Horde’s status in-game, you’ll see they have no shortage of war decs running.  But none of them are quite like what they are facing now.  And TEST was quick off the mark to get the party started.  Once their war dec went active they immediately hit the trading Fortizars in Perimeter.

Pandemic Horde Fortizar reinforced

With the first timers down those using the market in either the PH or the IChooseYou Holdings face a choice.  If TEST comes back and wins the armor timer, then the market functions will be shut down and sellers may end up having to wait for asset safety in order to recover their goods.

But TEST was also in to setup their own trade hub.  There was a TEST alliance hub being spun up, using a Draccous faction Fortizar no less.  A bit of showing off in that I am sure.

TEST branded sales

But bigger still was the Keepstar they dropped in Perimeter under an alt corp.

A Keepstar in Perimeter

INN says that this is the first high sec Keepstar and it is right there on the Jita gate in Perimeter if you want to see on up close.

The Keepstar managed to slip past the initial vulnerability period when it was deployed, but anything that big is too sweet of a target to ignore.  War decs on the alt alliance went out immediately and we shall see what happens when it goes into its initial repair cycle after 19:00 today.

Fortizar with the Keepstar in the distance

So for those who were asking, “Now what?” when the war in the north ended, here is the answer, and likely not one many expected.  We will see if Pandemic Horde can be thrown out of the market hub business, something reported to be a serious source of income for the alliance.  The proximity of Jita, still the undisputed trade hub of New Eden, makes for fairly frictionless logistics, so both sides in this conflict could hang on for quite a while.

And, as null sec pilots prepare to enter high sec, the usual comedy will no doubt ensue.  If you live in null sec, where pretty much anything goes, the rules of empire space can be arcane and confusing.  There are already warnings going out for people to check the security status lest they find themselves a target of CONCORD and I am sure the locals will take advantage of anybody’s suspect status.

Finally, with war decs in the spotlight and loud calls to turn the feature off resounding around the community (if only until a better solution is found), there is the possibility that whoever can control the Perimeter trade might have their supremacy locked in by CCP.

Draccous Fortizar anchoring

That is, if you believe CCP will actually turn off war decs.  Somehow I doubt that will come to pass.

Further information:

A Keepstar Lives in Tenerifis

If at first you don’t succeed…

Last night saw the second Keepstar deployed in UALX-3 in the Tenerifis region come online successfully.

Home for Executive Dino

The circumstances of the past few days allowed this to conclude successfully.  The big fight over the first attempt to anchor a Keepstar in UALX-3 led to the node crashing after the Keepstar had been destroyed but before the attackers could extract themselves from the system, leaving many pilots trapped, logged off on the grid where the fight took place.  This area was covered by anchored bubbles by TEST who have been camping the area since the system came back up.

A field of bubbles waiting for people to log back in

With a fleet trapped and camped in the system and TEST able to anchor a cyno jammer to prevent reinforcements, the stage was set for the second Keepstar to online successfully.

I did not get to hang around and watch the Keepstar come online, but I was there earlier in the day to join in the camp and to watch the Fortizar that was anchored on the edge of the bubbled area come online.

Just before it started to anchor

You can see a large covering force around the Fortizar, with the bubbles nearby and the Keepstar, still a few hours from anchoring, in the background.

Once anchored, the Fortizar was a handy location for carriers to sit as they sent fighters out into the bubble camped area.

Meanwhile, as the camp dragged on, it seems that the FCs of the trapped fleet started telling members logged off but stuck in the bubbles to petition to have their ships moved by a GM under the theory that they were trapped.  I guess given a wide enough definition of the word they were trapped, but not in the way that CCP intended when it comes to asking for GM help, so CCP felt the need to issue a news bulletin on the topic.

UALX-3 Fleet Fights – Misfiling of “Stuck” Tickets

Over the course of the last twelve hours, we’ve been made aware of instructions being broadcast by the leaders of several alliances to file “Stuck” support tickets in order to have their capitals, supercarriers and titans moved out of the system of “UALX-3” by the GM Team.

This comes after a node death occured at around 09:00 UTC on July 19th, during a large scale engagement over an anchoring Keepstar, which resulted in the attacking forces being sieged in the system.

Our policies are clear when dealing with large-scale player engagements, and the GM Team will not intervene and move capitals, supercarriers or titans for pilots involved in these kinds of fleet fights, as per our Reimbursement Policy:

“Any losses of any kind resulting from a large-scale player engagement are not covered by this reimbursement policy.”

Furthermore, it is not possible for us under any circumstance to move ships sporting their own Jump Drive. This is clarified in our “Inaccessible Assets And Returning Players” article:

“Ships sporting their own jump drive are assumed to be capable of jumping themselves out quickly without the usage of a gate and no exception or move will be granted to these ships.”

Please be aware that the GM Team will not grant relocation of ships involved in large-scale player engagements, and that attempts at co-oridinated mass filing support tickets in order to avoid the destruction of ships involved in engagements of this nature may be considered abuse of the support ticket system.

Pandemic Legion an its allies aren’t going to get CCP to move them out, so the camp continues.  According to zKillboard it looks like there was an attempt to break out some dreadnoughts early this morning, leading to a series of kills,

But the camp won’t last forever.  People will either try to break out and either succeed or get blown up, or hunker down and wait the long wait until the locals get tired of deploying bubbles and sitting around waiting for people to log in.  Given that there are some titans yet to be accounted for, the camp may go on for a while.

Keepstar and Fortizar watching the bubble camp

And, of course, the next question is, “What now?”  Will deploying this Keepstar and trapping some of the attacking capital fleet blunt the attacks on TEST and its allies in the south?  Will the Imperium, which showed up in force for these Keepstars, stay in the south, return to Delve, or move back to the northern front once more to assail Circle of Two and Guardians of the Galaxy?

Then there is the propaganda war on Reddit, which has reached a high water mark of smug from the defenders.  Some examples:

Addendum: Meanwhile CCP Falcon has taken the time to lay down some facts on Reddit about some controversial aspects or misunderstandings about battle and subsequent stranding of capitals in UALX-3 in order to set the record straight on what CCP will and will not do.

Imperium Ignorance Saves the CO2 Keepstar in DW-T2I

After laying down a Keepstar in Cloud Ring last week, the Imperium went straight to work on Circle of Two, reinforcing their Keepstar in DW-T2I the next day.  The Imperium staged in Cloud Ring meant that most of Fade was in capital range, if those capitals took the gate between the two regions.

Fade Map with Locations noted

With the Keepstar in DW-T2I reinforced, the next big even was set to be the armor timer.  To destroy a fueled citadel you have to go through three battles.  The first is the shield layer.  You can attack at any time and if you get the citadel’s shields down to zero, a timer comes up.  When that timer finally counts down the citadel goes into a 15 minute repair cycle.  You have to form up and shoot it again, this time shooting its armor layer down to zero.  By applying enough damage you can stop the repair cycle and get through the the final timer.  When that comes up you do the same thing again, only shooting away the structure.  If you succeed, the citadel blows up.  If you fail, you get to start all over again.

So it was the second round, the armor timer, that came up yesterday.  It was set to hit at a little after 19:00 EVE Online time, which is UTC.  However, because fleets had to move and get in position, the call to form up came a good four hours before then.

That was before I got out of bed here on the west coast.  I turned on my computer to find fleets already forming and heading out from Delve.  But that was okay.  I wasn’t interested in heading out with main fleet for the long drive there and back to visit CO2.  I hung around waiting for something to form up in Pure Blind.

And I was rewarded for waiting with a fleet ping from Dabigredboat.

Some might not consider that a reward.  Boat can be an acquired taste.  But he works hard, gets you in the action, and tells you what is going on.  Plus, he was handing out free ships.  We were going to head out in Tengus to snipe targets of opportunity and run down disconnects.  I was happy enough to be in a Tengu again that I bought the snappy new Ghostbird SKIN for it.

55 PLEX well spent to my mind

Meanwhile I already had an alt online in a stealth bomber in DW-T2I to watch what was happening with the Keepstar and the system in general.  CO2 had been busy.  Both of the gates into the system were heavily bubbled, so any fleet trying to gate in to contest the timer would have to get past that.

The P-33KR Gate

You can just barely see the Keepstar in the background of that screen shot, through the dense layer of bubbles laid about the gate.  The array of bubbles was big enough that if I pulled back to get them all in the screen shot, the gate and the small bubbles around it become difficult to see.

The same gate from a distance

Everything seemed to be coming together for a big fight.  While Boat was arranging a black ops bridge up to DW-T2I my alt sat and watched CO2’s allies start to show up.  Darkness and their coalition brought a Tempest Fleet Issue fleet.

Darkness in a ball

Ranger Regiment brought an Ishtar fleet.  NCDot brought a Machariel and a Cerberus fleet.  CO2 undocked a fleet of Megathrons.  And capitals began to form up about the Keepstar.

Boat got us a bridge into system and we went off to safe spots to cloak up and wait for something to do.

Tengus on the way

In system Boat was keeping us up to date about what was going on while also looking for something to shoot.  We went and tried to pick off some transports that were parked near the O-CNPR gate.  We didn’t get a kill, but we scared them off at least.

Then Boat said we were going to go try and shoot the cyno jammer in system.

This was the first of many times I would hear the words “cyno jammer” during the op.

Boat explained that the previous day and evening the Imperium spent time putting up POS towers on every free moon and reinforcing the towers that CO2 or anybody else had deployed in the region.  This was to keep a cyno jammers from being deployed.  A cyno is a beacon which lets ships with jump drives travel to it.  You need a cyno lit in a system in order to jump into it.

A cyno jammer, as you might imagine, blocks cynos from being lit.  The ones on a POS jam the whole system, and CO2 had one in DW-T2I.

(Cyno jammers do not block covert cynos, which only black ops capable ships may use, such as our Tengus, which is how we got into the system.)

So Boat warped us over to the POS with the cyno jammer and had us start shooting it.  Very shortly a Minokawa force auxiliary logged on just outside the POS, close to the cyno jammer, and started to repair it.  CO2 had prepared for an attack on the jammer and, later, more Minokawas were spotted on the POS.  The Minokawa was repairing faster than we could inflict damage, so Boat warped us off and we went to our safe spots again.

As we sat around I turned up the volume on the INN stream of the event and heard Boat talking about the situation.  There, and on our own coms later, he explained that somebody running the preparatory ops believed that cyno jammers would not function on reinforced POSes.

This turned out to be a fairly wide-spread belief.  Progodlegend, on the same stream, said that they had just done the reinforce thing to Fraternity recently.  However, it appears that Fraternity just didn’t try anchoring a cyno jammer on a reinforced POS, no doubt because they believed the same thing.

GigX however, knew better it seems.

If we had known some simple contingencies could have been put in place, like leaving behind some logged off dreadnoughts to knock out the cyno jammer quickly to let fleets start pilling in.  But we didn’t so we were stuck.

That left the only way in to the system for the converging Imperium fleets… with more capitals on the way than the defenders had ships on hand… with one way into the system; through the O-CNPR gate.  But, as I mentioned, that gate was heavily bubbled.

The O-CNPR Gate

And it wasn’t just heavily bubbled.  It was also heavily defended.  The direction scan of the vicinity of the gate showed the following:

O-CNPR Gate DScan

Yes, you cannot possible read that unless you click on it.  But among the things on the list were 425 battleships, 124 super carriers, 35 carriers, 683 fighters from the carriers and super carriers, 504 drones from various ships, and a titan.

That titan, just sitting in a bubble waiting to boson somebody

So while it was possible that the Imperium could have thrown everything through the gate and eventually muscled past the defenses, it was going to be a slog.  Defending on a bubbled gate like that is referred to as “water boarding,” because it is torture that the attackers cannot escape.  With more bubbles no doubt set to be deployed and inderdictors on the field, a hostile fleet could be kept writhing in that mess for hours.  Certainly they could be held in check until the repair cycle on the Keepstar finished up.

Instead everybody turned around and went home.

That was it.  GigX won the day and saved his Keepstar.

As far as I can tell the biggest fight in the whole event was a smart bombing drop by NCDot on an Imperium Jackdaw fleet.  They did kill a lot of ships, 64 according to the battle report.  However, they lost 20 of the black ops battleships they used, destroyed by their own fleet’s smart bombs, which left the cost of the operation at roughly ten times the ISK of the hostiles they destroyed.  Not a good trade.

Battle Report Header from the Black Ops Drop

That was fine for everybody else.  However those of us in Boat’s fleet were still in the system and he was on the INN stream talking about events as they unfolded.  However, the stream wrapped up pretty quickly once it was announced that the Imperium was not going to show up.

Boat did not forget about us, though he forgot about his titan in the super fleet for a bit and almost got left behind.  He got a black ops battleship in to send us all back to Pure Blind, staying behind to cover two people who had gone AFK long after some FCs would have left them to their fate.  I got one last look at the Keepstar before we bridged out.

Still 35 minutes left on the clock

I was glad again to not have schleped all the way up from Delve in a Baltec fleet only to have to turn around and go home again.  But that was still shorter than having a fight before the return trip, so a bunch of people got some of their day back.

The Mittani held the weekly Fireside Chat on coms where he explained what went wrong and how we were going to go back to doing things the old fashioned way, grinding and suppressing the region until CO2  retreats.

Not our most brilliant hour.  Reddit will be filled with comments about Goons being dumb and not knowing POS mechanics for a while.

I guess we know the answer

But everybody knows about that POS mechanic now for sure, so if if anybody else falls for it… well, more of the same on Reddit I suppose.

So the war goes on.  We still have a Keepstar of our own on the border of Fade and SIG and Squads are still roaming north from Pure Blind.  The fun is not over, but it may be a while before we pave our way to the Keepstar to do anything more than keep it reinforced.  I suspect we’ll keep reinforcing it to ensure that CO2 can’t pack it up and move away.

Meanwhile there was no saving the TEST Keepstar down in 4-GB14 in Immensea.  They couldn’t even use GigX’s cynojammer trick since hostiles had already grabbed the ihub for the system, and if you don’t own the ihub you can’t setup a cynojammer.  And so that Keepstar died.  It wasn’t their capital Keepstar, but losing one hurts no matter what.

And then there was the Provi Bloc Keepstar, anchored down in 9UY4-H, which went online successfully.  This event also involved a cyno jammer, that being the EVE Online word of the day.  Hostiles sacrificed dreads to incapacitate it, but Provi just finished it off and anchored a fresh one, leaving the attackers without an easy way in.  Even being able get the cyno jammer offline doesn’t mean you’re good to go.

[Update: Or maybe Provi repaired the jammer. I’ve heard both stories now.]

So it was quite a day for null sec Keepstars, with one successfully defended, one destroyed, and a new one online.  And we all know just a bit more about POS mechanics, just in time for them to go away at some point in the near future.

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