Monday 10 March 2014

A HEROic Deployment

Moving day

Moving is a pain. The logistics of moving a bunch of stuff in EVE can be awkward but has been an interesting learning experience. I'd stockpiled too many ships in Barleguet which I somehow hadn't managed to tactically disassemble yet (blow up). Not for lack of trying either! One of my Scythes has lasted at least 6 fairly large scale fleet fights without popping. That included a major fight with an RvB Ganked roam. For ships I use on a regular basis, such as the Scythe, I had been keeping 3 in stock at any one time. That way if I lost 1 or 2 in quick succession there was always at least 1 standing by so I didn't have to scramble to refit another ship. It also meant that I could plan ahead a bit and bring in my own modules during a hauling run. However, this has made shifting assets a bit of a nuisance. I had ~15 fit and rigged ships stockpiled in Barleguet which I didn't really want to disassemble as it would destroy the rigs. During the move I overheard a nice piece of advice. They described the "1 carrier rule". Basically, in EVE if you aren't packing light then you are doing it wrong. Only keep 1 suitcase (aka Carrier) worth of fitted ships in 1 system at a time. This makes sense and will be something I try and keep to whilst deployments and moves are always on the horizon.

Although I had mismanaged my ship stockpile, I had dealt with my market operation quite well, letting it slowly empty out without bringing in any more goods after the deployment was announced. I think I did a lot better than those who choose to firesale at the last minute. By the moving date I only had ~1 billion worth of sell orders left which I was able to fit into a blockade runner and move to the new system. In the end I just shifted a few of cruisers with the convoy fleets then moved an interceptor and then a bomber solo. I think in future I won't stockpile so many ships. Overall I've done alright with the move and been able to cut losses. Having to leave ships behind is a little irritating, though I think that's just a minor case of ocd. There is also a chance we will be back there at some point. I only left a couple of cruisers behind and the rest were frigates. So I can always jump back and get them blown up in some solo PvP. I'm not yet ready to give up the fight on having a clean and organised assets menu though. Better planning in future will help with that. In 2 weeks I will also have my own Jump Freighter, so moving lots of assets in future will be much less painful.


I'm now working on building up my market again in the new home system. A lot of items were heavily overpriced so I've been steadily ferrying in doctrine modules and listing at Jita + 20% to start driving down prices and make them more reasonable for the alliance. Whether 20% is reasonable or not I don't know. I've not had many complaints but it seems much fairer than the 50%+ that I've seen on a lot of the other key modules that we use. Moving hulls is also an area I'm looking into. I've put off moving them via alliance courier contracts currently as our haulers are dealing with a heavy backlog of other contracts. There have been complaints about hull prices relative to what they were previously in Barleguet. However, my understanding is that Barleguet relied a lot on local production for smaller ships, which isn't possible in Sendayah as there are no manufacturing lines. This means that breaking even on common frigates, such as the Atron, requires a hefty markup after considering courier costs. Even if everything were to be hauled personally from Jita the cheapest I could conceivably get an Atron down to was ~700k just to break even after factoring in the cost of jump fuel. This makes provision of <1million ISK fast tackle frigates for newbies a bit difficult. However, In 2-3 weeks when I'm running my own Jump Freighter I'll look into this a bit more. I'm planning a nice side project involving a foray into manufacturing. My goal is to get Atrons, and other low profit per m3 hulls, down to ~15-20% markup on Jita sell prices while still maintaining a slim profit margin.


Although I find the logistics stuff somewhat enjoyable, I know most people enjoy the pew pew. Well, there's been plenty of that. I had a bit of an EVE bender this recent weekend so all the content blurred into 1 culminating in a huge subcap fight in Sendaya on Sunday. The main objective of the deployment, as far as I am aware, is to mess with sovereignty. Actually taking sovereignty doesn't seem to be a priority but I guess only time will tell. Over the weekend I got into a couple of siege bombing fleets targeting sov structures. Looking at my killboard I seem to have lost a bomber, though I can't remember it so it can't have been a notable loss. However, flying the bomber has been a lot of fun. I've learned a lot about the importance of tacticals and essentially strafing a target by aligning out back and forth to celestials to escape when things get hairy. I think mastering this is something I need to work on and will be important when I start actually bombing stuff. Also, being able to cloak up and essentially spectate a battle, such as our support fleet landing, is also quite fun and interesting. I like the idea of being a cloaky scout and scanning down targets so it might be time that I whipped out a buzzard from time to time.

Other than structure bashing stuff over the weekend I also got out in my Scythe a few times. We broke up a few gate camps here and there and generally tried to clean up Sendaya a bit. I also got myself into a bit of a predicament. Some sort of a sov timer was coming out and we were disorganized. So pings went out and we formed up as fast as possible and made best speed to the location. Being disorganised myself, I forgot that I only had a a couple of hours before I would have to leave. Logging out in nullsec mid fight isn't exactly conductive to survivability. However, I decided to go anyway and mark up the expected loss to the benefit of the operation. 20 or so minuted after beginning the structure bash a Harpy fleet landed about 150km off and we started bouncing. It was clear we couldn't outrun them forever and eventually their fleet caught us in a bubble. This was about as late as I could possibly stay. I managed to get out of the bubble and had to close game and run. At the time I'd written off my Scythe and 20M pod (silly implants).

2 hours later I return and the operation is over. However, I'm also not dead. Success! Though I must admit, at this point I was kinda hoping I was dead as it was 18 jumps back to Sendaya. Since I'd already written off the ship and pop I decided just to YOLO (cringe) it back to home. I start jumping and notice a friendly in local. They strike up a private conversation with me and offer to scout ahead in their interceptor. Most of the way home is clear until 2 jumps from home where we find a gatecamp. Drat, what to do now? I'd reached a system with stations, so the option available was to log off. However, I had come so far already, I was determined to get home. So I log on mumble and check the fleet finder. Turns out there is a fleet forming up in the doctrine I'm flying. Perfect timing. So I join the fleet and find out where they are heading. Turns out they are on their way to clear the gate camp before looking for content. After breaking the camp I decide to stick it out in the fleet.

This where shit starts to get real. I can't remember all the players involved as I was pretty tired at this point, though there were roughly 3 groups and almost 1000 ships involved. I'll probably get this horribly wrong but lets try. The engagement started with an organised fight with a large caracal gang. I think this is the gang that also brought Archons, which were disposed of rather quickly, but I'm not 100% sure*. All I know is that we killed Archons in record speed at some point in the beginning of this series of engagements. The stream of missiles from the Caracals was pretty incredible, though it seemed like waiting for missiles to land before each target switch allowed us to chew through them rather quickly with our Thoraxes. This was only the beginning though. Shortly after that a Tengu fleet and a Tornado fleet landed and we had a bit of a Mexican stand off. Eventually our fleet sided with the Tornados and we began trying to engage the Tengu fleet. However, we were having trouble getting them into our desired range. They were also using a frigate as a warp out point in order to maintain range on us. I believe the FC referred to this as a tow line, a pretty cool tactic which I hadn't seen before. During this engagement we ended up with another local spike. A 100 strong Navy Apocalypse gang who also brought Archons as support. I have no idea who ended up shooting who to be honest. In the end we had killed the majority of the Apoc's and added a few more Archons to the tally, killed a ton of Tengus and held the field overall. I don't think I've seen a wreck field that big before. I also don't think I've seen a wreck field looted and salvaged that fast before!

So far I'm fairly positive about this deployment. The content seems readily available and so far the structure grinding hasn't been dull as it has brought fights. I've also learned a lot and am much more comfortable operating in null sec. I'm also wondering how long I can hold on to this Scythe. Did I mention that it's the same Scythe from the start of this post? I've certainly got my moneys worth out of it. It's a good thing CCP are adding new paint jobs to ships because this Scythe definitely needs a new one. I feel like it has graduated beyond it's rust and duct tape roots.

*Update after reading about the fight elsewhere. The Archons were part of an AHAC and BS gang which we were fighting prior to the Caracals. The Caracals didn't stick around for long after the Tengu and Tornado fleets got involved. Next time I'll try and pay attention to write a proper AAR rather than going off my hazy memory.

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