Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Heydieles Vulnerable Defense Part 17 of Eleventy Hundred

Fighting the Many-Headed Caldari Dragon

From any point, on any world it is possible to look into multitudes of galaxies and find an arrangement of stars which reads "F*ck you" in whatever language you care to name. This means something important, but buggered if I know what.
  -- Roland "Soup" Nozl, Street Astronomer

This blog entry covers my activity from about November 29th to December 4th. I was on vacation and was either deeply immersed in playing Eve or couldn't actually get the time to play it. But boy howdy, what an exciting time!

This surge in Caldari militia activity in Heydieles may have started with a plea from Old Man Gang in the public Eve forums on November 26th asking for help in taking Heydieles. (Side note: when I bring a lot of pilots to an engagement it's "making good use of available resources". When you do it, it's "a blob.")

The post was met with relief and laughter, of course, from our side, especially since the response in the forums seemed very weak. We assumed this meant they were on their last legs, that their morale was broken and they'd soon be leaving the area. Wrong! The attacks from OMG and their allies stepped us in the next few days, pushing the contested status to 60%...70%...80%...90%...

On 11/29 Heydieles went vulnerable again as our allies in Dust lost ground. Our immediate concern was to defend the iHub while getting the system out of vulnerable. We ran a couple of plexes but the status didn't change as the Dust percentage continued to drop. We called for help and received some (thanks Wise Human Swords!), though, frustratingly, we got no help from forces in Eha. Our fleet numbered around 50.

The Caldari militia (mostly OMG? Not sure) set up an ihub bashing fleet and began hitting their attack. This was it! We saw up to 109 people in Local. It took us a while but we managed to assemble a strong force and we hit their fleet hard. We were so focused on the attack that our FC didn't seem to notice that Heyd actually drop OUT of vulnerable before we warped to the hub! There was a second skirmish at the hub too and then we hit back at some of their infrastructure. Enemy-controlled POCOs were attacked and sent into reinforcement timers. Our allies in Prima Gallicus set their Dust players the task of taking Heyd back to 12.5% and within a few hours they had done so. Heydieles was now out of immediate danger, but still at 95% or higher. No time to relax.

With this much blood in the water it no surprise that the sharks came out. There were two pirate fleets in system: one was know to be working with OMG, but the others were the real deal. They set up at the ihub and, according to our scouts, killed a lot of OMG ships that continued to trickle into the hub in small groups, seemingly unaware that they were being chomped as they arrived.

Our FC (was it Crosi?) noticed a battleship fleet outside a plex and upon scouting it it turned out to be Goonswarm. We flew at it hard and cut it to pieces...that was a fun fight :) I survived long enough in my Atron to get on five kills, though my security status took a hit. I'm only at -1.5 right now, but I can see how easily you fall and how hard it is to raise it up again.

There was a strange incident where six condors, ostensibly flown by GalMil pilots, entered our plex and started attacking us! All six had similar names "RugedBanana", "RigidBanana" etc. Our FC paused a few seconds to make sure this wasn't an "overview-screwup" and gave clearance to attack. We did so, confused as to what the hell this was about...the conclusion was it was some kind of scam to sell kill rights, or just awoxers having fun.

Once more great credit falls to our ship-wranglers, especially lockefox, who kept up a steady supply of ready-to-fly ships on contract. He also brought new POCOs in when we destroyed the two we had attacked earlier.

Heydieles was, for two days, the most dangerous system in Eve, with over 800 ship kills registered. Our corp killed 809 ships in November, almost double our previous record of 440 kills just the previous month. We have 111 in just the first four days of December too.

Defensive plexing has continued for the last few days and Heyd is currently in the range of 40-50% contested....well, that was true for a while. Now, on Dec 4th, it is nearly 90%. This is hard, repetitive work and we need to get more Militia pilots in space during the hours we in the US evening time zone are not available. We have some European allies, but need even more coverage.

In non-combat news I'm refining my Planetary Interaction setup, with four factories at work. I sold my first batch of Chiral Structures for 10M ISK, which pays for much of the infrastructure in one fell swoop. I've done a little belt-ratting in Indregulle, which has dozens of asteroid belts, and ran a couple of data sites, which seem to be getting harder to find. I also sold another batch of data cores and have finally achieved a wallet balance of one BILLION isk!