Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Target Acquired (not saying who yet)

TLDR: Found a worthy target, 2 attempts to penetrate hole, 2 failures.

Quick update on Spears space/real life.

Since the release of TARP I have been preparing my little gang of alts and securing loose ends. It’s been a couple weeks since my last entry and I’m sorry for that. My multi account logistics set up isn’t that great to try and blog about.

I’ll break it down on a time line. 

1.       Sicks, my H0NEY BADGER CEO needed to be notified of my intentions. I sent him a mail explaining exactly what I was going to do and gave him some options to choose from on how to deal with them.  I explained to Sicks in my mail that I wouldn’t fault him for asking me to leave his corp. What I was about to do to a much larger corp/alliance, would piss them off to the point they would want to get even for sure. I offered to wait on executing TARP till THB could replace its home capital fleet once over, he agreed. He didn't ask me to leave and honestly I think he likes my idea of wacking the shit out of a bees nest for no reason. 

THE H0NEY BADGER had a rough eviction several months back and was making consistent efforts to recoup lost assets.  Sicks idea for this was to run home sites till we could literally replicate all capitals in the home hole. Our target goal was a bit over 25 billion. This number wasn’t unreasonable but day after day of running sites was beginning to wear on corp. Many of the corps bears would who would normally participate for split cash fleets, coincidentally had real life commitments and couldn’t help with this effort as frequently as before. I put forward a time line and explained he had my AXE without question but I would be moved out of the H0NEY BADGER Hole goal reached or not, at the proposed date.

2.       The date has come and past. I have removed all my assets from THB hole, and deactivated my POS. I didn’t remove the POS because I still intend to return to home hole life later down the road, also it’s a pain the ass.

3.       I’m happy to say HB has replaced its cap fleet, and I have full permission from Sicks to begin my plan

4.       I just got back from an annual trip to KUBLA CON (gaming convention in San Francisco) and I feel refreshed. Sorry about the RL crap… but even I need breaks.

Target Acquired.

The only person who knows my target as of today is Sicks. I’m keeping this private till I get a couple scouts in their hole so their alliance doesn’t attempt to elude me, rolling holes or dragging my alts around the universe while I search for their home. Also, this is EVE and trusting people is hard.

These are the steps I have taken:

1.       I cleared off every single contact/watchlist from every single one of my characters. I’m going into this 100% and I don’t need any distractions. 

2.       On every single one of my characters I set my targets alliance to neutral.

3.       I created a folder on my computer to contain all conversations I had regarding this issue (for my blog readers).

4.       I took screen shots of their current alliance membership as some kind reference as to the effect of my actions on their group as a hole. My goal isn’t to reduce their members, but I would like to know my effects on my target, in some way other than just isk/kill mails. 

5.       I joined their public channel with an out of corp alt (I have also since removed myself from that channel upon posting this). I do this for a few reasons. The main reason, people for whatever reason feel they need to have everyone in their public channel in case someone says something relevant in it. /Shug I dono. Its also a great way to finding out who’s currently online. On a 300+ person alliance this is harder than it seems. Everyone and their brother has alts, and some of them are on and off, or just trader alts. Few people join their corps public channel with a trader alt.. just sayin. I added everyone in public channel to a single characters watch list/contacts. 

6.       Check kill boards. People play consistently during their preferred time zone. Very few people play 24/7 and most only play a few hours a night. Since its super hard to kill someone afk, my targets kill board will tell me the activity cycles of pilots I need to watch out for during my desired time block.  Since my target is an active pvper group kills are all over the place with characters attached to them. Not only that, but the type of ships flown, how many in their gang and the type of space that group flies in.

Interesting thing about large wormhole alliances; Not everyone in the alliance is in the target wormhole. A friend of a friend usually gets in and may never live in the wormhole with the main group. They could just really like fighting in low sec as a pirate or some shit. But when it comes to finding an entrance to a hole tracking down that small group of guys who never goes into the hole would be a waste of time. Again, kill boards will sort this out. The pilots assisting in that kill will also quickly remove someone from a potential lead into the hole. If there are other corps outside of the alliance on the kill board with that one pilot, they didn’t form up from within the target hole. Remember only a single alliance lives in a typical wormhole at a time (usually). A consistent behavior of teaming up with an another alliance/corp shows that guy isn’t living in  a wormhole with the main group.

As I figure this out, I’m editing the contact information in EVE, figuring out who is relevant to follow and who isn’t.

7.       Shipping up to follow – Each of my characters with scanning skills are now in a scanning ship. With 5 accounts I can put each one in a relevant location.

1 Character in a locator agent heavy area.

1 Character in Amarr (we all know all wormholes lead to Amarr for some reason)  with local stretched across my screen.

1 Character Niraja(sp) because it’s a pipe system. If you want to travel from point A to point B in K-space, you need to go through this system.

1 Character in Hek/Rens it’s a large enough trade hub that going to it for ships/fuel isn’t always a bad idea.

1 Character in Dodi local is small enough making it easy to watch.

I don’t bother with Jita because that system has like 1400 people in it all the time, with multiple exits. It’s simply too large to watch effectively. I may change that later but not right now.

First Hole penetration attempt.

On Thursday 5/22 I saw a battle ship of my target crossing through  Niraja(sp).  The chase was on!

Side note:  I would like to point out that I got the PVP jitters again. This has been lost to me for some time. I used to get them during pvp, or even desperate fights but for a while they have been gone. Replaced with experience or just numb to them now, I don’t get that charge like I did. One of the things that keeps me in the game is that charge that adrenaline rush that only EVE can give me. This is the exact reason why I’m doing what I’m doing with TARP, to get that rush back.

My target is on grid, but I’m in the wrong ship. I actually found this guy on accident by just moving to get my scanning ship, but I didn’t want to lose him, so I followed him in my interceptor. He slowly turns to warp, I attempt to zoom in and look at him with the “watch target” button. I click it, nothing. The button does nothing (later I found out there is some kind of bug on this, THNX CCP <3 U and your spaghetti programing and piss poor regression testing) O well, I zoom in as best I can and watch for which gate he warps to. 

He warps, I follow and pass him in warp. I jump on contact and hold cloak. In the 30 seconds of me holding cloak the battleship aligns and warps. I warp to his gate, jump through and wait. This continues for about 10 jumps over half through low sec. I thought he might be doing a solo BS roam but when he jumped into a smallish LS gate camp and doesn’t fight I knew he was up to something else, like going into a wormhole. 

I get 5 low sec jumps deep and lose him, the gates were stacked on my overview, without the target eye button working correctly, there was no way to follow him well. I jumped into the wrong one, waited and he never appeared. I jumped back, and he was gone. I went to the other gate and he wasn’t their either. He either went into a hole in the system I lost him, or he went into a hole in the system I missed him in.

Time to start scanning.

I moved over my scout gang and go to work. 4 sigs… after scanning 4 wormholes. 3 of which are dangerous and 1 is a Low to Null. What’s worse, each of the dangerous holes is EOL. GRR, going to need to risk it. I jump my scan gang into each of the EOL holes and start scanning and looking for the ship tags on D of the battleship. I resolved all 3 dangerous holes and didn’t find the correct target hole, and found 7 other connections to the EOL dangerous holes. I didn’t bother with the Null hole because that could lead me way too many directions.

Since the holes were EOL (end of life) they were going to close behind me soon. Without firm knowledge of which sig number he warped to, I didn’t feel it was prudent to commit my scanning gang to a 1 way trip. Also, it was getting late.

Failure. O well, Bob will provide.

2nd Hole Penetration attempt.

                Last night I set up my alt network and went to work trying to find out who of my target alliance was in K-space and who wasn’t. I start my locator up, and boom, hit in Rens. This could be a trade alt, or it could be someone making a fuel run.  I send over one of my alts and find out he isn’t there. That’s good, because that rules out if he was a trade alt. Typically trade alts sit still all day don’t move often.  
I run another locate on the same guy and get a hit on him being in a system 7 jumps away. I haul ass from Rens looking for him, not there, no sigs in system. I jump to all systems near that one, nope nobody. He must have been passing through when the locator hit.
I run yet another locate on him, by the time the locator goes off and I get another mail from the agent, he is in another High sec system in a trade route. Yea he isn’t going to some obscure connection to a wormhole, he is just moving around.
O well, more intel to add to the intel list.

Failure.  I’m not giving up, this is part of the process.

Monday, May 5, 2014

AAR: It’s all fun and games till the scorpion lands at 100.

War is mainly a catalog of blunders. ---WINSTON CHURCHILL

Its Sunday afternoon and I’m sneaking onto EVE while my wife takes a nap. I log on some of my accounts and begin the process of getting them all on siggy. One of our forward scouts pipes up with “I have a flycatcher and Damnation on D without a pos”. To translate what that sentence means in W-space, its means that not only are those two ships piloted, but they are not in the protective forcefield of a POS, AKA – Killable. ACTION!

The scout then explains he has some RL shit going down and Foedus steps up to take over as our eyes in system. The rest of us ship up/log in and get ready to throw down.  Foetus says, there are now two sets of probes in the system and the Flycatcher/Damnation are no longer on scan. I ship into an assault frig, mainly to deal with a pesky flycatcher and some other people prep on the static hole of our home system.

I move my assault frig ontop of the hole these probes are flying around in and wait. The support fleet preps on the hole one jump back.

Hole flash:  A cheetah jumps into the hole where my Enyo is sitting waiting. I do my best to grab it, but it cloaks/warps. We assume the cheetah scout is with the damnation/flycatcher, and he jumped into me, checks D- and sees only an assault frig. I’m essentially baiting with just a frig. Pro, I know.. but anything to get a fight.

I wait, let the cheetah get a good look at me and wait for them to bite the bait. Nothing.

We theorize that perhaps he isn’t with the flycatcher/damnation and perhaps they were trying to get him. Foedus drops probes and resolves the system trying to find where the flycatcher/damnation went. He finds a C4 and bravely jumps in.

On the C4 side of  the target C2 waiting for Foetus.

Foetus reads off what he finds waiting for him.

Damnation x5

“awwwww yeaaa! Someone is going to throw down with us”

Our support fleet we formed for the 2 ship fight isn’t even close to dealing with that bull shit, and the Enyo sure as hell won’t be able to bring any level of pain. I say to Foedus to hold out as long as possible and try not to die, we are reshipping.

I warp my Enyo back and we form up.

3 Auguors (2 of which are being dual boxed by the same guy)
2 Vigilants
1 Hyperion
1 Mrym (damps fit in mids) – Flown by me – Yes I’m triple boxing
2 Drakes (ECM armor drakes) – Flown by me – Yes I’m triple boxing
1 Proteus
EDIT: Forgot: 1 Hurricane. too

Seemed like a great match up imo… On paper…

We decide we wanted to fight them in our C2 static not their c2 static because it was a cataclysmic variable. (great for RR/cap transfer). Now we just need to lure them to us. We know they have eyes in the C2 and I volunteer to move my trio up and jump in. When they came to me, I would jump back into the waiting arms of our fleet. There Onerious wouldn't be able to pull range fast enough and we might be able to alpha them off the field.

What happened was people not paying fucking attention to the discussion. I jump my trio into our static c2 and people fucking lemming behind me. *face palm* we could have hidden our numbers if people just fucking listened. The enemy scout now can see what we have if they bite the Mrym/drake/drake bait. O well, might as well move up to the C2.

Not everyone lemminged behind me.. so only half our fleet was exposed, so the bait might work. I jump in the C2 with my trio and begin to orbit the hole at 500.

“Damnation on scan.. Damnation… Damnation.. Damnation.. Damnation.. Legion.. Devoter.. Oneros… Mega.. Here they come!”  The remainder of the fleet moves up to the other side of the c2. Their fleet lands, thinking we are surprising them with more than they thought we had, we jump into them.

I lock up the Onerios who is point blank on the wormhole with us!! (big mistake in normal situations Single logi surrounded by DPS) and begin to damp him out, expecting him to pull range. Infact their entire fleet is at 0. The Onerios doesn’t pull range… The Onerios should have been alpha’ed off the field. Nope. Armor didn’t budge. WTF?!? Are we jammed? What the shit? The Onerios was bait!

We don’t realize it at the time, but the Legion and all 5 Damnations are faction RR fit and repping the piss out of the Onerios!!  We can’t break it, we switch to mega… Nope, not breaking that.

One of my ECM drakes is being primaried and doing its best to jam out all the DPS from it… But the majority of their dps isn’t coming from what we thought would be missile boat fit Damnations. It’s coming from the huge drone ball assigned to one of their pilots. Our logi can’t keep up.  The ECM drake explodes in a fireball, but luckily I’m not podded and I jump that pilot back through the hole. I send him home to reship and return.

Our logi are forced to jump back through the hole. My other ECM drake gets low and is forced to jump back. Foteus gives the command for the fleet to jump back and bug out. They won this round.

We get out what we can, sadly our Hyperion gets scrammed and stays on field.

Not wanting to give up, and leave him behind, I’m screaming on coms for people to reship and come back. The logi pilot who was dual boxing the Augours starts having connection issues and can’t return.

We then realize all the Damnations are RR fit and SOLID fits.

They say “GF” in local. O it’s not over yet !

We reship.

2 Neut fit Armageddons. (I’m flying 1 of them)
1 Mrym (same Mrym as before me flying it)
1 Proteus
1 Augour
1 N. Harbinger (I’m flying this)
1 Vigilant

We form up on our static connection and amazingly the Hyperion is still alive, playing hole games.  I say to him, "we might not be able to save you but we will avenge you".

I would like to take this opportunity to point out, Foedus is in chat with their FC, and he is actually talking shit to us while we die to his ships. Reading off in millions of ISK who was winning the fight, and bragging if we are going to bring more or not. This is important to remember.

Our fleet jumps and we warp to the C2. We land and their fleet is on grid. We jump past them thinking the Hyperion we were trying to save was trapped in the aggressors C2. The Hyperion dies… He amazingly is able to get his pod away.

We catch a Damnation that wandered to far from the C2.. he melts. Score one for the home team.

We wait on their side,  with their fleet on our static side... neither side wanting to give up the advantage of being able to jump through again and polarize the other.

The fleet agrees that we should just got for it. Caution be damned!  “Fleet jump”!

Turns out the c2 to c2 hole was REALLY reduced and collapses only 1 of the geddons got through. I traffic controlled two of my ships a N. Harbinger and 1 Neut. Armageddon. All that made it through and on grid was Foedus in a Proteus and my damn mrym. Sicks in the other geddon was launched across the system due to a dying wormhole effect (no fucking clue why this bug still happens, but it sucks)

Seeing our fleet cut in half, and fucking doomed, I warp my Mrym back to our home hole. Foedus is left in his proteus vs their entire fleet. He holds out as long as possible but right as he is about to die, the Hyperion pilot who was able to get his pod away arrives in a scorpion. Another of our Vigilants arrives and Sicks lands with his geddon. Shit starts getting real for the aggressors.  

I’m down to one pilot, my other two are trapped in the C2 with the hostile C4 attached, I haul ass to the lowsec we had scanned won and jump through.

What can I bring that has the biggest punch… hmmm KRONOS!

I warp my Kronos onto the field and start laying into the the jammed/neuted fleet. The Onerios is called primary, I faction point the legion. 400… 420… 430.. WTF?!? Why am I doing like NO damage to this shit.  Void..Ammo… grrr…  I’m shooting a fucking logi crusier with large Void ammo in my large guns. Swap ammo… to faction antimatter 989… 756… 850… 902… That’s more like it !Hybrid cycle after cycle  The Onerios drops… we spread points. Legion dies.. Mega dies… Their fleet runs.

Victory is ours.

Ahh but that’s not where this story ends.

We say GF in local… “BF” was returned. Turns out us using the exact counter to their fleet was viewed as a battle foe-pah and we essentially stepped in shit by bringing out the scorpion. Needless to say, their FC was SUPER MAD bro… said things like “we were starting to like you”

Well yea, it’s easy to like people when you put it in their butts.  

There were nasty comments about us bring ECM… blab la bla.. but they brought a fucking RR ball!

I said in local “I know you’re mad now, but seriously thank you for the fight”

They left 2 scouts in our home system and promised to ‘be back’. This maybe a prelude post to an invasion. (because we brought ECM)

Here is to hopping they bring some ECCM.


EDIT: Ok. I forgot about Foedus returning in a VEXOR... but for the most part my combat recollection was correct.. O yea, and that Hurricane in the first engagement... But other than that.. I was spot on!

 Here is the AWESOME video Foedus made:

Here is another video of the same fight, cause we like making videos!  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IqHU41Nl0uY&feature=youtu.be