Tag Archives: Zintage Enaka

Failed Headshot in Tribute

It was one of those fights where I could tell we were losing, but things in my own little corner of the engagement seemed to go pretty well.  So my view of the strategic outcome is more a matter of what I have read and heard elsewhere rather than anything I could attest to personally.

There had been pings earlier in the day to rouse the troops and get them to log in at what is generally a late hour for even USTZ, 04:30 UTC.  That translates to 9:30pm here on the west coast, which is about the time I want to be in bed.  But I figured I could be a little tired on Friday, so I stayed up for it.

The stated plan was to take out the ihub in SH1-6P, which is where the defenders of the region have massed their forces.  To finish off the ihub, which had been reinforced previously, meant an entosis fight across the six systems of the constellation.

The two stagings and the target constellation

If we won the cyno jammer would be disabled and we would be able to drop titans and supers on their staging Keepstar at will.  With the jammer still there they can keep out capitals out unless they want to gate in.

The first ping that went out for a Baltec fleet, the battleships doctrine based around the Megathron.  That filled up almost instantly, to the point that even though I was logged in before hand I couldn’t get in.

The next up was the Eagle fleet.  I managed to get into that before it too filled up, though it filled partially with people in Megathrons and interceptors, so there was a while of sorting that out and getting the right ships in the fleet.  It took us a good 40 minutes to get sorted and on a titan and ready to be bridged.

A dramatically lit titan

From there we were bridged into Tribute to sit on one of our citadels, where it seemed like we were bringing out the big guns as two titan fleets landed and tethered up around us.

Shield and armor titans on the field

We bridged off the citadel into Venal, something that a PanFam post on Reddit at least implied was unexpected.  They had bubble fucked the route through Tribute so we went through Venal, which was clear.  They seemed a bit salty about that.

Coming out of Venal with the Baltecs

We didn’t see those titans again last night.  We went in with the Baltec fleet, swatting aside the Sabres sent to slow us down pretty easily, ending up in Q-CAB2 on the WH-JCA gate.  The fight waited for us on the other side of the gate.

Ready to jump in

In we went.  TiDi was surging and while it never got down to the sludge of struggling at 10%, it stayed between 12% and 20% for much of the fight, slowing everything down.  The Eagles went through the gate and shot anchored bubbled and Sabres to clear a way for the Baltecs.

Glancing at the TiDi situation

Once through the bubbles and anchored up the fight became the usual repetition of locking and shooting targets, changing ammo to suit the situation, and managing drones.  For us the fight was trying to hit targets and break their tank before they could get reps, which is tough to do in TiDi, since it gives the logi pilots additional time to respond.  The game may be moving slow, but the humans at the controls are still at normal speed.  I know when I am flying logi it is easier to land critical reps in that situation.

This time however I was in an Eagle, shooting things.

Eagles flocking on grid

It was announced pretty soon into the fight that the entosis effort had failed.  The locals had won the objective.  But we were stuck in and not doing too badly, so there was no rush to get out.  We were managing to pick off a target now and again before they got reps.  I even saw a name or two I recognized, like Dreydan Trovirr of the Open Comms Show.

Saying “Hi” to Dreydan

He, like many of our targets, caught reps in time and lived.

The locals brought out some HAW dreads, which put some hurt on the Baltec fleet, which was taking the brunt of the fire.  Big, fat battleships are hard to resist and the dreads shredded the Bhaalgorns that were with the Baltecs.  But we managed to get in and pop some of the dreads along the way.

A Naglfar blows, other wrecks visible

We were also given a treat when a small pack of Macherials arrived on grid with us, which we blew up as fast as we could lock and shoot.  I ended up on the kills of five Machs and five dreads.

In a bit of a surreal situation, it turned out that one of the hostiles was streaming the fight with a very short delay… or no delay because it seemed only seconds behind… which meant we could hear their FC calling targets, allowing our logi to get reps on our ships before the damage hit.  I am not sure if that was ignorance or arrogance on their part, but we were happy enough to listen in as we continued to shoot.

Our Eagles lit by a dread explosion

As the Baltecs ceased to be much of a force and we became the primary target and the locals brought out their titans it looked like it was time for us to go.  We had lost our anchor, Zintage Enaka and were following a backup as we headed back to Q-CAB2 and though Venal again for home.

Once we were into Venal and grouped up the route was clear for our staging.  Our fleet, the Harpy fleet that came in after us, and what of the Baltec fleet that managed to get out were not bothered after that.  I arrived back at our staging Keepstar safe, having only lost my drones somewhere along the way.

Once there I was able to put the rigs on my ship.  I only noticed when we were into Venal that, after I bought the Eagle off a contract, I forgot to put the rigs on.

Something in my cargo hold I should have noticed

This is maybe the fourth op I’ve been on in this Eagle too.  I’ve glad nobody shot at me, though I am even more glad I didn’t get into the Baltec fleet.  However, I might have got to bed sooner if I had been in the Baltec fleet.  I didn’t turn the lights out until 1am.  Very late for me.

As for the battle, not only did we lose the objective, but the ISK war came out against us as well.  I tried to put together a battle report covering the constellation so as to include kills in battles over entosis hacking. (That just adds to our losses.)  I didn’t get everybody in the right columns, but all the significant groups were sorted.

Battle Report Header

We blew up almost 58 billion in hostiles, helped along by those HAW dreads, but lost over 100 billion ISK in the process.

Nearly 2,000 pilots were involved.  The locals dialed up Fraternity for some assistance while we had TEST and Brave from Legacy coalition, who have been fighting Fraternity, show up on our side.

In the end though, a fight like that doesn’t change much.  We’re not going home, the locals are not going away.  I suspect that rather than jumping straight at their staging we might spend some time drawing the locals out.  There is a Keepstar sitting 0-YMBJ, one gate from our staging in Pure Blind, that is just begging to be blown up.

Anyway, we shall see where we go from here.

Other posts on the battle:

Setting Ansiblex Timers in Geminate

Another night, another fleet.  The ping was for Eagles as usual, so I logged in and got the important bit out of the way; deciding which SKIN my Basilisk would wear.

In the new dark and moody hangar lighting

I have to figure it out in advance because you can’t change your SKIN when somebody has you locked and, being in the logi wing, I was set to be in the cap chain and locked by two other people for most of the op.  Usually I run the Emergency Response SKIN, which is done up like an ambulance, complete with flashing lights, since that goes with the Police SKIN the Liberty Squad FCs usually run on their Monitors.

This time I figured I would go all red with the Rataa Sunset SKIN.  Liberty Squad is full of faux patriotism and I tried to get the logi wing to go all red, white, and blue SKINs at one point.  In what is probably a reflection of the general population, about half the fleet embraces SKINs in some way, while the other half rejects then and wants nothing to do with them.

And so it goes.

While I was pondering that our FC, Zintage Enaka, was trying to get the fleet composition together.  Our problem of late seems to be getting the right number of boosters for the fleet.  Not that that is a new problem.  I think half the fleets I’ve gone on over the years has spent some amount of time trying to find the required boost, with a good percentage of those threatening not to undock unless they get them.  I always feel a tinge of guilt during that scenario, as I have the skills to fly a booster.  And, when it comes down to it, the job isn’t difficult.  Boosts up when the FC says, boost down when he calls for that, gently remind the FC now and again when boosts are still up when they are determined to suddenly travel.  I just hate the waste of being a booster.  Inevitably I have the wrong implant so have to buy the right one and destroy the old one to put the new one in.  Then on the next fleet they’ll need somebody with the old one and the cycle will repeat.  I’m not poor, but I’m not keen waste that much ISK nearly every fleet.  And FCs can be insistent about your implant.  I had an FC threaten to kick me if I didn’t change my implant for a move op.  A freaking move op, with no fixed doctrine and a wide mix of ships, but my implant was somehow critically important. So I gave up on that.

Instead I sat quietly in the logi channel while that got sorted.  I take comfort in the fact that, after boosters, logi is the other thing that the FC will call for before they undock.  At least I am filling one of the critical roles.

And things did indeed get settled.  Boosters were found, sufficient logi pilots filed into the fleet, and we at last undocked.  However, rather than turning the usual direction to head into The Kalevala Expanse or The Spire, we headed for a different gate.  We were headed into Geminate, the core home area of Pandemic Horde.

As we flew into their space Zintage explained that PH was off to fight with Guardians of the Galaxy… because the north is still fighting amongst themselves in addition to having us lurking about… and we were going to use this opportunity to do what we do best… fly around in circles and shoot structures.

And, specifically, Ansiblex jump gates.

Eagles shooting another Ansiblex

These have the advantage of being a bit less of a commitment than reinforcing something like a Fortizar as well as the immediate impact of disrupting the local jump gate network.  When you put them into their reinforced state they stop being able to pass ships.

While PH was away these were mostly undefended.  Mostly.  People put them on grid with Fortizars and Keepstars for a reason.

Fortizar on grid with us as well.

And somebody did wander out to take potshots at us from the Fortizar.  Killing subcaps at that distance with a Fortizar takes some serious luck, but it did mean that logi had to wake up and rep somebody now and again.

He’s shooting the boosters just to drive home some sort of point I’m sure

The gunner had his fun I guess, though he mostly complained in local about the state of Upwell structures.  He did not stop us from reinforcing the the Ansiblex under his care.

This timer means we might be back

PH times their structures for USTZ, which means we might form up for a return visit.

We moved on to the next Ansiblex on Zintage’s list.  This time nobody came out to gun the Fortizar so we just flew around the Ansiblex and fired away.

I took more screen shots

When that one was about in the bag Zintage did an ammo check to see if we had hauled enough rounds along to reinforce a third Ansiblex.  People were running dry on T1 structure bash ammo.  It turned out a lot of people had been getting deflections all along, meaning their shots were over the damage cap and weren’t being counted. Had we started out the evening with guns split and pilots only shooting half their rack we likely would have had the ammo for another target.  But thinking about that two structures in meant we were not going to make it that far.  It was time to turn for home.

Word from the north was that PH had a mixed bout with GotG up in C4C-Z4 in Fade.  However, further word was that their Munnin fleet got caught by somebody on the way home that turned the loss meter way up for them.

Zintage looked into positioning us to intercept the remains of their fleet as it gated home… some of their jump routes now being in operable… but they took a route back out of our way.  So we turned for home ourselves.

Eagles through the gate towards home

Another op success in the smoldering east of New Eden.

More Structure Busting in the East

There are still a lot of somewhat low key operations running in the east of null sec on a regular basis.  My own alliance has a deployment running and a lot of ops, though they tend to run when I am at the office.  But Liberty Squad has me covered for US time zone evening ops.

There had been a warning ping about the approaching op, so when the real ping came over Jabber I was already logged into the game and ready to go.  We were advised to bring plenty of structure bashing ammo (read: cheap T1 rounds) so it was clear what we would be up to.

Once we got the fleet assembled… which took a bit because there were other competing ops running… we were able to undock and head out.  We even got a ride to our destination rather than having to gate our way out.

A Ragnarok sends us on our way

We landed in A-YB15 out in The Kalevala Expanse, which meant back to hitting Pandemic Horde structures to keep them from being able to turn the region into a rental income area.

We set up on anchor at a Fortizar and started shooting that, but it was clear to me what the real target of the night would be.  We were just setting up the Fort for later, but there was an Ansiblex Jump Gate on the grid that would be ready to kill in under an hour.

Less than an hour on the clock

We were just biding our time, setting ourselves in place for the real target and to be ready if Pandemic Horde came to defend it.  But for the time being we were pretty much left to our own devices.  Nobody even came out to gun the Fortizar.

The idea was to take up the time waiting for the Ansiblex by reinforcing the Fort, but we ended up done with that and still had 20 minutes on the clock before the main event.  So we found a Raitaru in the system and shot that as well.  That didn’t take long either.  It was even unfueled, which meant we burned through both the shield and armor.  We blamed RatKnight1 for speeding us up with his high DPS Kikimora.

The Kikimora

It took me a moment when I first saw him out there.  To my brain a solid red beam is a target painter and not the Triglavian weapon system.  When spun up to full power he was doing considerably more damage than the average Eagle was.

With the Raitaru set, we just loafed around the Ansiblex, waiting for the timer to get down to zero so we could start shooting.  There was some concern that Pandemic Horde would come out to defend it, since this would be a kill and, while it is easy enough to just drop a new one… it used to be the same deal with the POS jump bridges and so we wouldn’t kill them, just burn through their armor so the owner would have to work to finish the kill or repair the module… it does cost ISK to set these up over and over again as we kill them.

But they let us be and when the timer hit zero we opened fire.

The Fortizar visible in the distance

I had a couple of combat drones in my drone bay and we were close enough that I was able to set them on the structure to get on the kill mail.  However our FC, Zintage, was once again reminded that you cannot use a target painter on structures, and since that is all the monitor can mount, he did not get on the kill mail.  But he had already been in on a Brothers of Tangra  Ansiblex kill earlier, so he was ahead of the game.

The Ansiblex blew up shortly, leaving a glowing wreck behind as we aligned back for our staging base.

After the explosion

Thanks to cooperation with some of the locals we had a ride most of the way home as well, using one of their Ansiblex jump gates.

Sent back the easy way

With rides both ways it ended up being a fairly short op for how much shooting we did.  But I am sure there will be more to shoot again tomorrow.