Tag Archives: United Federation of Conifers

Rebuffed Again in X-7OMU

We had another op out of Cloud Ring run last night.  The ping popped up as I was sitting down, so I logged right in and got in the fleet.  We were once again headed out in Sacrileges, so I went with the logi wing in my Guardian.  As we were getting ready I stepped away for a minute, got distracted, and when I got back I heard the FC, Kocicek, telling us to align for the Ansiblex.  I quickly hit the undock button and got out just in time to pick up the warp and follow the fleet, jumping through not too far behind.  By the next gate I was caught up.

Sac fleet outbound

We took the same route we took the other day after the move op, heading up to 6RCQ and into Pure Blind.  It was gate, Ansiblex, gate, and so on until we hit our first waypoint, KLY-C0.  There an armor timer was coming out on a Pandemic Horde Raitaru, which we formed up and shot, sending it to the final timer.

Just a blob of us flying around

That done, we warped off to a Fortizar of our own and met up with a titan who quickly bridged us off to our next destination, X-7OMU.

Off we go

There again.  That was where we had a tough time after the move op, and PanFam and the locals were formed up and waiting for us again, with Abaddons and Muninns and capital support, again.  This was another armor timer, thus not the final fight for the structure, so I suppose there was some question as to whether they would show up.  Question answered.

We got on grid with the Astrahus, as we did back on Saturday, and started putting damage on it as the time came out.

Circling the Astrahus

Unlike the last fight, where we left the citadel grid to take the fight elsewhere, this time we stuck it out.  It did not go well.  The gunner on the Astrahus was throwing a mix of damage and void bombs at us, the latter which can disrupt even cap chaining Guardians.  The void bomb hits and your capacitor is suddenly empty to the point that your cap transfer modules turn off and if you’re not paying attention you can find yourself drained and falling behind.

Meanwhile the damage bombs were keeping everybody broadcasting while the web on the Astrahus was on our anchor to slow us down, though we kept swapping anchors in order to mitigate that.  And then the hostile fleets came out to get us.  Things seemed to fall apart about then, though I was very busy following broadcasts for damage.

At one point Kocicek warped us and I caught the warp just as an interdictor bubbled the fleet, so I was alone until I could turn around and warp back to the fleet with a couple other ships that happened to be as quick to align as I.  That broke the cap chain where I was until I got back in range, by which time one of my cap buddies was down, as were two of the alternate anchors.

Kocicek told us to starburst as a bubble went up and warp to a safe.  I was getting yellow boxed as that happened, but had quickly scooted out of the bubble that was on us and was warping off as damage began to hit.  I was going to get away.

Almost on my way out… just pixels left on that align bar…

And then another bubble went up and I was just inside of it, cancelling my warp.  I scooted out of that, overheated my hardeners, and set myself to warp once more.  Damage was landing and I had to move to align and things looked pretty dicey for a bit there.  And the warp drive kicked in and I was off.

The hull is still half full, right?

I had warped to a planet, but wanted to get away from there, so warped to another in order to make at least a mid-point bookmark.  But X-7OMU is one of those huge systems and I fell out of warp before I made it to my destination, my capacitor drained.

So there I was, wandering at a mid-point in the system, halfway into my structure, heat damage on my lowers (and no nanite repair paste, I seemed to have forgotten it), and not really in any shape to do anything but hide.  However, Kocicek spoke up and told us to warp to him when he said to… so I got that up and ready to click… and he said “Warp to me…” and I was off.  And then he counted down from three, so I landed way off from him, but still on grid and close enough to get the fleet warp that pulled us all off to the J-CIJV gate, where we jumped out of the system.

An unguarded way out

We went from there to G95-VZ where we tethered up on yet another Fortizar we have hanging around the region and the repair function slowly took care of my hull, armor, shields, and heat damage.

Repairing on the Fort

From there the way home was pretty straightforward.  Once everybody was ready we made our way back to the end of the Ansiblex network and headed back to Cloud Ring from whence we had started.

Back in the Cloud Ring nebula

The fight, such that it was, did not go well for us.  The battle report, which looks incomplete to me… though if you don’t get on a kill you don’t appear on the list and we got precious few kills… shows us taking a pasting for very little gain.  We lost the objective and over 100 ships for only 9 real kills.

Battle Report Header – Click to Enlarge

But we cannot win them all.  Mistakes were made, ships were lost, and hopefully some lessons were learned, as I am sure we will be back again.

During the fight I did see Riverini get called as a target, one of the few I I recall coming up.  The experience of the fight was invigorating enough that he actually wrote about in on EN24, his first post in quite a while.  There was also a short AAR on Reddit, again highlighting that this was not a shining moment for the Imperium.

Fortizar Defense Brawl in JE-D5U

Another trip up north, up the Eye of Terror and into Pure Blind.  I’ve been up north a few times to defend one structure or another and a fight has yet to show up for me.  Not that there haven’t been some fights lately, it just hasn’t seemed to happen when I’ve been on the op.

But last night things finally rolled my way.  There was yet another Fortizar to defend up in the north and the word was that PanFam and the locals were going to form for it.  Maybe the other side was emboldened by killing our Keepstar. (Unanchored, and in a freighter, but they still killed it in the end.)

Anyway, the call went out for the op, but Asher had pinged Reavers a bit before looking for some people to fly ECM burst interceptors.  I’ve done that before and not many people were X’ing up, so I figured I had best jump in to help there.  Also, the ships are handed out for free and during the battle you get to sit above it all and see the whole thing… not that the view helps me much, I still never get what is going on half the time even when I can see it.  I took an Ares from the offer and got ready.

Asher was set to lead the Sacrilege fleet, so he had a newer FC, Kappa Hutt lead us on to the field.  So the Sac fleet and a Baltec fleet set off for the north with our interceptors flying along, peeking ahead to scout, then letting the others catch up.

My Ares in with the battleships

As we made our way along the route we caught up with some bigger ships that had started out ahead and were also making their way to the fight.

Some dreads in the mix now

We zipped ahead though… there was a gate that had been seriously bubbled, but that doesn’t bother interdiction nullified interceptors… and arrived in JE-D5U up in Pure Blind ahead of most of our fleet, but there were already over 300 hostiles in the system according to local.  There was going to be a fight it seemed, and the timer was counting down.

Less than six minutes to go

As the other fleets arrived we set about bookmarking our perches over the potential battlefield.  The plan is generally that we sit cloaked on a perch while the FC scans down a potential target, often the FC of a hostile fleet who is usually out in front of the pack.  Then we get the word to uncloak, overheat our burst jammer, and align, at which point the FC warps everybody beside himself onto the target.  We land, started warping back to a bookmark, then set off our ECM burst.  If the warp was good we’ll be in the middle of some hostiles and break some of their target locks… this is especially good if we land in the logi… and be warping back before anybody has a chance to take a shot at us.  Done right you don’t even get any heat damage on your mid slots because the burst goes off as you’re going into warp, which shuts down the module.

So we got ourselves in place as the timer counted down and the fleets got into position.  A fight seemed guaranteed as there were quickly over a thousand people in the system, with TEST dropping in to third party on the event, and even some notable PanFam FCs on grid like Vince Draken and Headliner leading Muninn fleets.

Hostile Muninn fleets getting ready

The timer hit and the repair cycle started, which meant we had to defend the Fortizar for 30 minutes while it repaired, though that 30 minute timer could be paused or pushed back by hostile fire on the Fort.  It was on.

Fight around the fort begins

Kappa Hutt was having a bit of a problem getting a probe signature on a good target.  Time dilation and system responsiveness was really bad, with the tidi number well below 30% for most of the fight, and into the 10% for some stretches.  Still, he got something and we got ourselves ready to go.

Uncloaked on a perch above the fight

We were then thrown into the fray to set off our jammers.  I landed pretty well the first time and got off some jams.

In with the hostile logi even

Meanwhile, the forces on the fort broke tether and were shooting up the attackers as they ran past the structure.

A Baltec Megathron on the fort

We warped off and back to our perches where we waited for the next target.  The scanning interface was acting up for Kappa still and for a few runs SpyFly Catharsis found wrecks for us to warp to, which worked as well if we timed it right.

Once again into the mix

We were getting good warps and I don’t think I went in even once where I didn’t get at least break a few target locks on hostiles when I landed.

Along the way I got a pop up that a bounty had been collected on Nkosis when his Sacrilege went down.  I think I have mentioned him before, but he is a newer addition to the coalition who is so enthusiastic and positive about the game that he has become something of a celebrity in his own right in the Imperium.  But being a celeb means he gets razzed as well and at some point he got a bounty place on him, which he didn’t like and said so, at which point everybody started adding to his bounty total with an eye towards getting him to the number one spot.  He was into the top ten last I checked.  I, too, put a bounty on him, so now I get a notification every time he gets blown up when I am in game. (I used to put bounties on our FCs as that pop up was often the quickest way to find out the FC was down.)

We had a bit where we had gone so many times in a row that we didn’t have enough capacitor to make a run, the ECM module needing over 200 units of power to activate on top of the bit you need to get your warp in and out.  This was when the system was into the 10% tidi zone, which is the slowest the game will go and, if that isn’t enough, controls begin to lag and your commands may get ignored.  Waiting for cap to refill during that was excruciating.  Somebody suggested we wait for our weapons timer to go down and just warp to the fort to tether and fill up our capacitors, but at 10% tidi having just 15 seconds left on the time meant nearly a three minute wait.

Still, tidi hits everybody.  The targets were as slow as we were and were not going to get away.  Cap was restored and we were sent in again for more runs.

Aligned for another run

By the the tidi was starting to relax a little bit, or at least get up into the low 20s, and Kappa was able to get good probe locks on some likely targets, so we spent some time dropping on names I recognized.

Coming for Vince

Down around the fort, the repair timer vacillated between running down and being paused, but kept moving slowly towards the structure being repaired.  By the time we got past the worst tidi it stood at around ten minutes.  We kept on going.

Landing on the hostiles again

At about the eight minute mark on the timer it seemed like the battle had been decided.  The hostiles pulled some distance and “gf” for “good fight” started getting spammed in local by them.  Some “fofofo” appeared in local as well, which I am going to guess was from Asher’s sac fleet as he is the only FC I know who still does the “fofofo” for victory.

From that point tidi began to ease up and we were released to go loot the field if we wanted.  Being in interceptors would seem to give us an advantage, but Goons will plunder like no others.  I didn’t come up with anything.

Somebody dropped an MTU, which is always a target on a battlefield no matter which side drops it.  I zipped over and got in on that kill.

Not that I needed another kill mail.  Landing on fleets and setting off an ECM burst puts you on the kill mail of anybody you jammed should they get blown up after you’re there.  My kill board was well padded by the end of the battle, with 111 new entries, enough to get me momentarily onto the top ten for KarmaFleet.  (The last time I did that I was also doing ECM bursts.  It is a kill mail whore’s dream.)  Most of them were hostile ships, but there were not a few blue targets on the list and quite a few pods.  A few of us even got the final blow for pods that were self destructing when we hit them.

The timer ran down and the fort was safe.

Tethered off the save Fortizar

At that point we were done.  Kappa set us free to head home, which should have been a quick ride in some interceptors.

Back through gates towards Delve

There were some bubbled gates along the way, but an Ares just passed through bubbles.  I was feeling somewhat invulnerable flying home, which I should recognize by now as a sign of impending doom.

My usual travel Ares has a 1.83s align time, and the game lore is that if your align in under 2 seconds you cannot be caught unless you are extremely unlucky.  But this Ares, fit for ECM burst runs, had a 2.03s align time, which means 3 seconds by the way EVE Online calculates, which means it can be caught.  It isn’t likely, but somebody who is good in the right ship can get you.

And they got me in Cloud Ring with a camp that was primed and ready to catch anything possible.  Normally I am inclined to attribute losses to my own incompetence rather than claim my foe was really good, but I think this crew was actually pretty good at this.  I was toast and knew it almost instantly.  Kind of a sour point to end the evening and I always feel bad when I lose a hand out ship, but it happens.

As for the fight, it seemed to be lauded by both sides as a good fight.  Asher posted a salute to the attackers on Reddit and other related posts seemed to be similarly warm and fuzzy about a real fight going down, which was a bit of a change from the acrimony over the Keepstar thing I mentioned earlier.

The results… well, pick your battle report generator and get your results.  EVE Battle Report Repair Tool seems shy of the mark for totals while the zKillboard report is detailed but has a habit of pulling in things outside of the fight.  For a report header image I am going to go with EVE Fleet Manager, which is close to the zKillboard totals, but which lets me pull out a few oddities.  I don’t think the Guristas, for example, really took sides in that fight.

Battle report header – trimmed to the top 7 alliances –  click on it to enlarge

Overall quite a fight.  A big brawl, fairly evenly matched, lots of losses on both sides that went largely our way as we had the Fortizar to tip the balance.  And there was quite the array of space famous names from both sides.  I even saw Bad Juice, who once challenged Asher to an MMA style cage match back during a Reavers deployment.  I was happy to report in the Reavers channel that he was still around and that I managed to get on his kill mail.

That battle would probably be the beat event of the month for me, but the word is that the Goon Expeditionary Force will be deploying later today, so the promise of more fights is out there.  Or at least more structure shoots.  Mittens was using the term “glassed” again, so we might just be burning down structures somewhere.

Northward for Structure Defense

There was supposed to be a big USTZ op on Friday night, but it didn’t come off.

That was fine by me as I hadn’t been on Jabber for a couple of days so totally missed the build up.  But on the Fireside on Saturday The Mittani brought it up, apologized that it  didn’t happen, but assured us that an op would be coming up at 02:00 EVE time in order to defend timers on a couple of Fortizars up north that are part of the coalition power projection network.

The primary doctrine was to be the Sacrilege fleet, which was hyped a few times during the Fireside and in pings as the day went along, so it was probably not surprising that when 02:00 came around and the ping for the evenings fleets went out, that is the one that filled up almost immediately.

Asher was our FC and while the speed with which the fleet filled might not have been surprising, the fact that we were all in the right ships, with sufficient mainline DPS ships, boosters, and enough logi did seem to surprise him a bit.  It is a rare thing for everybody to show up on time with the right fit.  I guess if you ping at us enough about getting ready for a fleet some of us pay attention.

I opted to go with the logi wing for this op, refitting a Guardian I had in my hangar in order to meet the changes that the Surgical Strike update made necessary.  And naturally I went with the  Frontier Safeguarder SKIN from the Generosity Celebration event.  I collected the whole set for subcaps as well as a couple for force auxiliaries.

Bright and flashy

I like those SKINs even more than the Emergency Response set.  They are loud and colorful and the red and blue lights flash and it is a pretty obnoxious package, which is what I look for in a SKIN.

Meanwhile Asher was having to tell people there was no room in the fleet.  We were at 256 and he needed space to get scouts in with us.  People went off to the Munnin fleet, which I might have done as well, but I always fly with Asher when I can so I stuck with it.

We later found out that somebody in a Sacrilege joined the Munnin fleet but stayed on our coms and somehow made it through the whole evening without realizing they were messed up.  John Hartley, the Munnin FC said the Sac just carried on with them, sometimes on anchor, sometimes not, but never seemed to be fazed by their predicament.

The Munnins filled up too and a third fleet, this time Jackdaws, was formed up to handle the overflow, and then a bomber fleet for people who wanted to go that route.  This was a pretty big form up considering it was well outside of EUTZ and well into Saturday night… though I guess people aren’t really going out on Saturday night right now.

Asher was especially happy with the fleet composition as it only had a single Vigil frigate.  The Vigil is a newbie friendly option that lets people target paint to help the main line apply damage.  But you only need a few and there are times when vets pile in with them just to go along for the ride.  But when you have just one Vigil in the fleet, that pilot suddenly becomes special, their ship is the fleet morale ship, and ends up on the logi watchlist, and so it was with M4X HEADR00M.

Pilot of our morale Vigil

Once important issues like that were settled it was time to undock and start heading north.  Our destination was Pure Blind and we were off down the Eye of Terror network of Ansiblex jump gates.

To the Ansiblex

The route, at least to the Pure Blind boarder in Cloud Ring is generally a quick run… it is only 11 gates or so… until you start pushing about 700 pilots through it at the same time.  There were a lot of us jumping through together.

Gate activation for a fleet, each line representing a ship landing

And things got progressively worse as we moved along.  Delve is always active and so gets processing resources assigned to it that meant we only saw a little time dilation kicking in.  Through Fountain, a quieter region, it was more noticeable.  And then we hit Cloud Ring and we were clearly stressing the system.

Tidi hitting us hard

That is the game slowing down to 17% of normal speed for us.  We weren’t shooting anything, we were just using gates to travel.  But loading into a system is a heavy task and with three fleets going though at once.

But we pressed on, getting to the Keepstar on the boarder.

Sac fleet in warp

It was about then that information began to get passed along about the disposition of the enemy fleets.  Pandemic Horde had put together a Harpy fleet with about 100 pilots, while NCDot had wrestled together around 50 pilots for a Munnin fleet, which meant that the likelihood of there being a big fight was about nil.

At that point the fleets split up.

The Munnins went off and found a Naga fleet to wreck, then headed back home.  I never heard what the Jackdaws got up to, but word was that the bomber fleet managed to get itself wrecked shooting a structure.  And so it goes.

And the Sac fleet, we stood to and watched over the repair cycle of the Fortizars that had been reinforced.  We saw Horde in their Harpies come by a couple of times, but they didn’t want to close with us and were more than quick enough to stay out of our way.  We sat on a gate hoping to maybe catch them, but it wasn’t to be.

Sprawled about a gate in Pure Blind

At that point Asher sought to entertain us with story time in fleet.  He asked people to x-up in fleet chat if they met certain criteria for a miss-spent youth then called on people who did x-up to have them tell their story.

I thought this was going to be the time to go to the no-chatter channel, as the average person has trouble keeping stories of their life short and to the point.  My experience in life is that when somebody finally gets to the phrase, “to make a long story short…” it is far too late to hit any definition of the word “short.”

But Asher was a pretty good emcee for this, and kept people from getting too far into the weeds.  And we all learned about Jason Padgett, who became a mathematical savant after somebody beat him up.  Only one person ended up saying, “…to make a long story short…” at which point several people keyed up to say, “Too late!” as the tale had already rambled into the weeds.

The Forts repaired themselves and the hostiles didn’t look like they had much fight in them, so we flew off to reinforce a Pandemic Horde Astrahus, just to leave a calling card.  The Astrahus hadn’t even been fit yet, so we were able to knock it down through shield and armor.  Meanwhile, the “describe your crime” show went on.

After that we went over a couple of systems and shot a United Federation of Conifers Fortizar.  This had been fit, but nobody was home so we just put drones on it.  Then somebody from the UFC flew in to gun the Fort, so people who were paying attention pulled their drones.  Those who were asleep at the switch promptly lost their when the point defense system, the PDS, was switched on, wiping them all out.  So it was on to missiles to set the first timer.

Sacs firing away

Meanwhile the gunner started launching bombs at us, which woke logi up as we had to start repping people as they took damage.  I got  a good look at the logi wing around then, and was happy to see that my cap transfer buddies were both using the same SKIN I had chosen.

Cap buddies represent

Apparently we were shooting this because Brisc Rubal said on the Meta Show that he does not like the UFC, to the point that he has a coffee mug in support of his statement.  I guess they shoot at him or have some TISHU refugees or something.

Brisc, who will be running for CSM15 I hear

That kept us busy for a while, though at one point, just as we were done, M4X HEADR00M veered off and took a lot of damage from a bomb or the PDS or something got him.  It looked like the morale Vigil might go down.

Vigil in trouble!

However, he managed to survive by warping off.  At least I think he did.  I checked over on zKillboard and didn’t find a kill mail.

After that Asher warped us to one of the Guristas sites from The Hunt event, not knowing that you needed a key to get past it and had to be flying a destroyer or a frigate even if somebody had a key.

The Gate to nowhere

That lesson learned, we turned for home.  With just out fleet coming back we put less stain on CCP’s servers and did not invoke as much tidi as before.

Back home through Cloud Ring

Once you get through Cloud Ring it is just a few gates and you’re back home in Delve.

The last gate home

Overall the fleet lasted about three hours, which was kind of long.  We got two PAPs for it, which was good for those who need more.  And we even had the swarm DJ spinning for us, if you cared to tune him in. KarmaFleet has a regular Saturday Night Swarm op that usually includes him, but that had been cancelled in favor this.

It would have been better if we had gotten a fight, but it wasn’t too bad and the story time was amusing enough to keep us going.  And, of course, our structures were saved.  Op success.