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Sunday, January 3, 2010

More lessons in POS warfare

Note to everyone in EVE: Any control tower defended with nothing but cruise missile batteries = utter and absolute FAIL!

Backing up for the story behind this one. So a little less than a week ago I'm playing some other game but in Skype contact with a couple of alliance pilots. That burnout thing. Word comes along the grape vine that someone (who will remain nameless to protect the guilty) had summarily plunked a POS down in one of our settled systems without a by-your-leave. So after a bit of back and forth communication (me with my alliance pilots and CEOs - still no direct contact from the intruders to myself), a pilot steps forward to handle the task of evicting the intruders.

Now, just to be clear: This is EVE just because someone does not attack you right away does not mean that they are friendly. If you do not bother establishing formal NAP/Friendly diplomatic relations (all alliances have a contact indicated on their description for crying out loud), then you can't complain when they come down on you like a ton of bricks in 0.0 space...

So the campaign to evict the offending POS was scheduled for this Saturday. Even though I'm not on much atm, I keep a stable of combat capable ships at my main base ready to rock. Early on the day of the engagement I started the logistical move of two of my ships: My Maelstrom and my Rapier. The enemy having gotten comfortable in the last few days does not even bother with a wormhole watch. I'm finding that whenever there is a delay between an incident and a response there seems to be a nice re-establishment of the element of surprise. It also helps to calm the more "we must do something now" types down and point out that it's better to fight organized than piece meal.

As I'm approaching on the last leg of my logistical move (in the Rapier as it happens) word gets out that the enemy is actually going to run a site. Well unless it's giant bait time, OPSEC seems to be holding and they have not twigged to our slow forces build up. At any rate in goes an Arazu to keep an eye on them. A Nighthawk and a drake... I'll give you a minute to wipe up the drool... The shindig almost kicks off without me but as another spawn of sleepers comes in I manage to get in system soon enough. As the Arazu gets the initial tackle the rest of us stream in. Soon enough I have the nighthawk immobilized and our DPS is laying the hurt. The only issue of course is the sleepers as they cause our pilots to have to bail from time to time. BTW a PVE fit Nighthawk has a serious tank. At any rate I'm able to keep the nighthawk immobilized for most of the fight. The Arazu pilot waits just a little too long before warping out and gets nailed. As does a Flycatcher. I manage to get warp out once I become primary of the sleepers and the nighthawk (not as panicky as it sounds I was there for quite a while before I had to bail under the fire of 4 sleepers, the nighthawk and the drake). On my way back however the nighthawk is killed and the drake gets away. So we trade an Arazu (belonging to one of the BS pilots) and a Flycatcher (again not the pilots main ship for the main event) for the Nighthawk (loosing those seriously hurts regardless of your hull availability - and the Nighthawk pilot only re-apearing in an Anathema would suggest he did not have much PvP ship depth at the POS after his Nighthawk.). I'm a little disappointed we didnt' get the Drake but then again with the need to occasionally warp out I wasn't about to ask anyone to spread points and risk loosing the Nighthawk.

Then it was the matter of formally investing the wormhole and building up the forces for the POS bash itself. I keep an eye out on the POS in my Rapier for most of this. We'll be split into two forces for this operation. The BS only POS attack force and the BC and lower wormhole force. We bubbled the wormhole and waited for our forces to gather, and at the apointed time we rolled on the POS. At this point due to the planned FC's mic going dead I had to take over the FC'ing of the POS bash itself. We went in in good order expecting some close calls until we degraded the firepower against ourselves...

Well that was actually disappointing. For the curious (or morbid) here was the tower defenses:

Caldari Control Tower Medium
Warp Scram Battery
Sensor Damp Battery
2 x ECM battery
9 x Cruise Missile Battery
2 x hardeners to plug both 0% holes.

I can feel the experienced POS tacticians cringe from thousands of miles away. Now I have personal experience of why. People if you read this blog and are at any time planning a to own a POS, Never ever ever do that. The level of FAIL of that layout has to be experienced to be understood. But take my word, it is FAIL (and I don't say that often).

The rest of the POS bash proceeded without problem with only 3 events of note to interfeer with the monotony.

1) some poor shmuck in a Helios jumped into our wormhole camp and then proceeded to panic. Call from the scout on high sec side: Neutral at the wormhole. All BS warp to the wormhole to reinforce the wormhole force. Helios jumps thru. Immediately heads for the gate. tackled. killed, podded. And we go back to the POS and continue killing things. In a convo with one of my pilots afterward he said he was going to petition CCP because he was killed by the lag - until we pointed out the session timer issue. Apparently he did a face palm at that moment. Woke up the wormhole force.

2) The CEO of the corp who owns the tower logs in and once he lands at his POS an "oh snap" is heard in local. Once again I must apologized for the spam in local following that. The pilots involved were given a stearn talking to. A conversation with said CEO was broached during the rest of the POS bash, but by the time you're in that position, diplomatic solutions are effectively over and it's object lesson time.

3) Said CEO attempts to flee in a Drake but fails to scout the wormhole that we had so conveniently bubbled and kept a cruiser force at. Once again the boys at the wormhole did their jobs of not being asleep. Hearty thanks to them for enduring the even more boring than a POS bash job of keeping an eye on the wormhole.

Then we get the "only 5h of stront"... and it's on for the next morning for phase 2. I'm not sure how to handle these short stront guys. Sure for weekdays it's probably fine but for weekends you shoot yourself in the foot. Ah well.

I actually miss getting on the KM of the pos death due to sleeping thru the alarm. But sufficient forces were there to finish it off and within 2h of downtime it was gone and the clean up had commenced.

Once again congratz guys on a successful POS bash.


Benoit CozmikR5 Gauthier said...

I want to thank the Coca-Cola company and Kaluha chocolates for keeping me alive during the less active parts of the wormhole camp. I also want to thank a particularly surprised (and fail faction fitted) Helios and a beyond stupid Drake for waking me up by warp straight into my waiting bubble :)

Anonymous said...

Great operation. My first POS bash & first Killmail.

Long periods of boredom punctuated with short bursts of adrenaline.

The only other things I would note are the faction fittings of the poor Helios pilot and the nearly 1 Billion ISK loss of the Drake pilot in cargo mods & BPO's.

Great times.

Letrange said...

Yes, but that Helios pilot was lesson 1 in "panic kills ships". If he had not panicked and waited 30 seconds he would have been fine - in need of clean pants but fine.

onecapwonder said...

A nice update, I've been reading your blog for a while and it encouraged me to look into WHs and the more nefarious opportunities that they offered my corpmates and I. So thankyou for all the informative and entertaining updates.

I know what you mean about the Helios pilot having been in that situation on both sides, jumping into a WH and seeing a camp always makes your heart flutter a little. Was the entrance from highsec, it may explain the reaction, a lot of highsec only pilots would never have considered being under fire while a session change occurs and hence not concern themselves too much with them.

Concerning the tackle on the nighthawk/drake, as you had an arazu pilot in there he/she really should have waited until they were down to one sleeper. Obviously it would still need to tank them while more robust points arrived but you could have avoided losing ships to sleepers in that engagement.

Letrange said...

The Flycatcher pilot comes from the more carebear side of things and has a reputation for being a bullet catcher so no real surprise there (the only way to get good in a ship class is to loose a few learning so neither of us were stressed by the loss).
I checked the KMs afterward and most of the damage on the Arazu was indeed the Nighthawk and Drake. I think it was simply too much focus on the kill and not enough on self preservation that did it in. Even experienced pilots can get over focused from time to time. I do know I heard "ok I'm out... damn" right before he went boom so he probably just left it too late before deciding to bail. In this case an experienced PvP'er so he probably beat himself up more over the mistake than we ever could.
My bail out involved hearing the ping of 25% shields just as I entered warp so I know I nailed the bail (long enough that other ships were able to get the kill, soon enough that I didn't loose the ship).