I could have had another EVE Online post yesterday, but I thought I would break up my seven post streak.
Tuesday afternoon a ping had gone out to Reavers asking who had ship ready for a new doctrine. It turned out we had enough people ready and a ping went out for a “short” op that evening. It was time to get out our Sleipnir doctrine.
The word “short” used in reference to a fleet op in EVE Online is generally deceptive. There can be short ops, especially if they are homeland defense ops where you are chasing off enemies already near your staging. But for an offensive operation where you are going to travel somewhere and shoot something or somebody, you should probably block out three hours for the whole thing. It might take less, but these things have a way of stretching out.
For our op, getting close to our destination was easy as Thomas Lear had a wormhole connection setup for us. As somebody noted, we were playing at PL, flying a command ship doctrine and traveling by wormholes. Our destination was the system E-YJ8G in the Catch region, where we were going to help Volition Cult take down an Astrahus that Honorable Third Party had anchored in their space. (We crashed a node in that system about three years ago, back during the drone assist days!)
With the wormhole path, which started just one jump from our staging, the ride out was quick. However, the wormholes shrank as we went through, indicating that they might not be able to accommodate us for the return trip. But there is no point in worrying about that on the trip out. The whole thing might be a trap so we could be going home the fast way in any case.
When we got there we found an Astrahus already under fire from our temporary allies in the fight and a POS with carriers and faxes in it on the same grid, though about 900km off the citadel. The capital ships were sitting off in the POS with fighters deployed, and were the juicer target. So Thomas led us to the POS to see if we could catch a capital kill.
Our foes in HTP were no fools, as their carriers and support were close to the POS shields. In order to get a kill we were going to have to bump one of the carriers away from the shields and fax support. That takes a bit of skill, a department in which we proved lacking for a bit. We failed on a Nyx and a couple more before we managed to get a Nidhoggur away from the pack.
We managed to kill that, which gave us a warm feeling, until we realized that we had lost a couple of Sleipners along the way. Sleips are expensive ships and we don’t have to lose too many in order to balance out the ISK value of a carrier.
We took a run at another target, but it didn’t look like it was going to happen, so Thomas had us pull range on the POS and we contented ourselves with killing their fighters. That was what we ended up doing for a stretch.
We warped over to the Astrahus and put drones on that to keep it ticking down to destruction, then continued working on fighters. We did warp back to try and get another carrier that looked like it was straying from the POS bubble, but that did not pan out. Then it was back to work on fighters and the Astrahus kill.
All in all a decent little fight which yielded a “we all had fun” thread on Reddit which seemed to have gotten ignore by the usual hate crowd. Or maybe I’ve just blocked all the Rob Kaichin’s there finally. The battle report is a little wonky… fighters get counted as kills, but only if you take out a whole squadron of them… but it was generally a pretty even outcome and both sides got to kill a few expensive thinks without taking huge relative losses.
Null sec working as designed.
Of course, then we had to go home.
Thomas said that anybody who cared to could zip back to the wormhole, but it was not at all clear if it would stay up long enough to allow the whole fleet to pass, even with some losses, so he was going to lead people home the long way. He had us set our destination to Keberz and let us off the leash to free burn. I must have heard him first because when the fleet got tangled with some locals in ERVK-P, I was already at the gate two jumps down the road. After some “stay where you are” and “jump back in” over coms, I decided to just wander on down the line, stopping in HED-GP.
HED-GP is one of those border system, this one representing a direct transition from high sec to null sec, which are natural choke points if you want to set up a gate camp to zap passers by. The system, as expected, had a small crowd. After trying to bounce off of a celestial… no corp tactical bookmarks in the system… and finding that blocked by a drag bubble, I warped off and safed up to wait for the fleet to catch up.
I wasn’t really watching local… I tend to have it as narrow as possible so I can just see a total number and a compact list of names… so I didn’t notice that the people in the system were asking after me. I eventually got two private convo request from what turned out to be the tow groups squaring off around the gate.
One was from MIC Improvise, who was with the group who had just been at the Astrahus fight earlier and who kindly gave me a celestial to bounce off to get cleanly through the gate. I assume it was legit, though you never know, and our temp truce for the fight was over. But the fleet had unstuck itself from whatever it had been doing back in ERVK-P and was closing in on the system, so I opted just to move with them.
The other was from Madmatt Otsito, a local give his corp name (HED Hunters) who seemed to want me to join up with his group to fight the other group around the gate. I think. Voice coms were busy. I let him know that the gate would probably be hot in a bit as a couple dozen more Sleipners were on their way.
The I warped to our in gate in HED-GP and rejoined the fleet as they jumped into the system. I am sure everybody could see local more than double and when we warped to a perch over the Keberz gate, most of the people on grid thought it was about the right time to get the hell out of the way and warped. As we landed on the gate, somebody called a Harpy that was in range and that got quickly blapped. Then somebody pointed out that there was a Cormorant at the extreme edge of lock range. I happened to already have long range ammo loaded, so I locked him up and took a shot.
And that is how I got on Madmatt Otsito’s kill mail. Ah well. I didn’t even hit him, but I had projectiles down range for him.
From there we were off to Queious and the route back to Delve and the jump bridge network. The route was quiet so aside from a side trip to kill an ESS, we made our way back to staging and called it a night. Another small op, no tidi, no drama, just a good clean fight.
Some screen shots from the op: