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The work in Delve goes on.

Even without opposition on timers or any real attempt to defend any given system, the conquest of Delve is taking some time. The call went out a bit more than a week ago to move down to 1DH-SX, at which point almost every TEST system had been SBU’d, and the map is still covered with TEST sovereignty.

Delve - Sept. 5, 2013

Delve – Sept. 5, 2013

It isn’t as bad as it looks when glancing at the thumbnail above.

For whatever reason, the otherwise awesome EVE Maps at DOTLAN chose to use slightly different shades of yellow for TEST, GSF (CONDI), and Paisti Syndicate (PSY), the latter being in the “where did they come from?” category. So, when systems change hands and the map updates the system color from #FFEE66 to #FEFF7F, it isn’t always obvious.

But there are still a lot of TEST systems holding on in Delve. This is because sovereignty warfare is a grind. Take a look at Poetic Stanziel’s post about Fweddit, a “small” alliance composed of about a thousand pilots and their struggle to capture just four systems in Delve unopposed. It takes a pile of time even when nobody is contesting the timers. (And lead to a request for some improvements.) Remember that next time somebody says, “Not winning fast enough.”

Meanwhile, when I say that there is no opposition, I mean from TEST. They are not defending their sovereignty. However, Pandemic Legion has deployed into the neighborhood looking for fights, as they were last Saturday night, so there is danger out there. More danger than there would be with just the typical null sec “drag bubble and gate camp” crowd. And PL would love nothing more than to catch some capital ships, so the dreadnought fleet has been somewhat scarce of late.

Which leaves us with Siege Fleet as the primary doctrine for the sov grind.

Siege Fleet is built around the stealth bomber, which is a fragile little frigate that can carry a few battleship sized weapons. Each faction has their own version, but the Caldari Manticore and the Minmatar Hound seem to be the favored models.

Manticore

Stealth bombers are cheap, have decent firepower, and can mount, then move and warp with a covert ops cloak. In Siege Fleet the traditional bomb launcher can be removed since you have to stuff your cargo hold with as many torpedoes as you can, since for sov ops, you fire, reload, fire, reload, and so on for long stretches.

You add in a couple of blockade runners as ammo trucks to carry reloads for the bombers, a couple of black ops battleships like a Redeemer or a Sin, which can mount covert cynos and a covert jump portal generators, and you are ready to go. You have a fleet that can jump around at will, shoot structures when nobody is around, and stealth up and fade away when hostiles show up.

As pretty as Sin

I have a Manticore fit for such a fleet, though I have never taken it out on an op. It is still sitting up in 4-EP waiting for me to drive it on down to Delve. And I haven’t done that yet because… I am lazy. I’ve been down the pipe with a Megathron (Baltech Fleet was deemed a priority when we were told to move) and a Harpy (because this seems to be the current favored defense fleet) and haven’t been really keen to make the run again. Lazy.

Fortunately, the logistical and/or ISK driven arm of the CFC is starting to catch up. Siege Fleet fit stealth bombers have been showing up on contract in 1DH-SX, so I was able to grab a Hound the other night. So while Potshot has been trying his hand at the supply side of things, not being trained up for a stealth bomber yet, I was able to join my first Siege Fleet op last night.

Siege Fleet ops get called all the time. Last night they ran almost continuously over an 8 hour stretch of time that covered late Euro prime time to late US prime time. And they might have run before and after that. That was just when I happened to have Jabber up.

The fleet follows a lot of the standard patterns. There is the usual form up in the POS, though unlike with a titan bridged fleet, we’re allowed into the POS and nobody is too concerned about bumping the titan. (I MWD’d right into the Redeemer black ops at full speed because I was worried I might miss the bridge, which earned me a “Nice tackle on the Blops!” in coms. Yeah, yeah, keep at range, do not approach. I was in a hurry.)

Assembly in the POS

Assembly in the POS

Then there is the bridge out which, if nothing else, consists of a different range of colors.

Black Ops jump is blue!

Then it is a matter of moving to the target and shooting. And shooting. And shooting some more.

And then you run out of ammo and head to the can that the ammo truck drops off in order to refill your hold.

The ammo truck drops a can

And then it is back to shooting.

Last night I was lucky. We were hitting some timers that actually finished off an infrastructure hub, which generated a kill mail. Go me. Often times you go out and shoot things into reinforce and then just move on to the next target. Structure kill mails aren’t golden, but at least you feel like you got some credit somewhere.

I Hub Explodes

We shot that. We shot a station. PL showed up with their own fleet and we faded away to pop up in another system to shoot another target. At some point along the way I cloaked up, moved off, and went and had dinner. Then I managed to rejoin the fleet for a bit more shooting.

It is not a thrilling time. The FC has to keep reminding people to keep shooting, as the temptation is to alt-tab out of EVE and do something else. But your launchers won’t start shooting again after an automatic reload until you press the magic button. Even coms reflect the reality of the situation. It tends to be quiet as we’re all off in another window and only peeking in once in a while.

But the powers that be appear to be well aware of that. A new participation link gets generated every so often so that the you, your corp, and you alliance get additional credit for helping if you stay with the fleet for a long stretch. And the whole op is run in an “easy in, easy out” way. Calls to join go out regularly on Jabber. When you log in, if the fleet is already out, you just go sit on the black ops battleship in the local POS until some people pile up, at which point they will bridge you out to join the fleet. Every once in a while they will bridge people back who need to leave with the black ops battleship that travels with the fleet. If you need to step away, you are in the perfect ship to do it. You can just move away, stealth up, and be about as safe as you are anywhere in space when it comes to EVE. And if worse comes to worst, you are in a stealth bomber, you can fly back home on your own with about as high a chance of survival as any ship, if you take care.

And there are plenty more targets for Siege Fleet, so I expect the call will be out for stealth bombers for some time to come.

The joy of null sec sovereignty.

You can head to my blog and see the rest of the screenshots from my time out with Siege Fleet.

- Wilhelm Arcturus

Wilhelm Arcturus, he’s played internet spaceship related games since the early days of MegaWars III, and expects to get the hang of things any day now. He reports on EVE from an individual capsuleer’s point of view at TAGN.

52 Comments

  1. chuck snorris

    Siege fleet is TERRIBLE-y effective :)

    September 5, 2013 at 6:55 pm Reply
  2. WTB: Ship

    If only they made a large ship with a module that when activated gave its extra large guns a damage bonus. We could name it a siege module perhaps. Then you could kill the structures in 5 minutes and not have to run for the hills the moment 1 pizza alt comes into local after shooting an SBU for an hour to only just break into its armor.

    September 5, 2013 at 7:01 pm Reply
    1. rofl at flaming for using SBs

      And yet, if goons dropped dreads, and PL counter dropped them (along with every other blook that has a capital and a cyno) which you know would happen, as it has already happened once….. You would be one of the individuals that would flame them for being noobs and dropping dreads with PL/NC. around..

      Yes they are slow boat taking delve. Is it slow… yes, how ever is it effective??…. it looks like it to me

      September 5, 2013 at 8:12 pm Reply
      1. Internet Lawyer

        So really – your problem is that you’re scared of PL.

        Man up, and stop bitching about this being the fault of CCP and Sov warfare.

        September 5, 2013 at 11:01 pm Reply
        1. Sieveboy

          Actually the use of stealth bombers means PL ends up being blue balled and they bitch and whine about it in local it is comical. The elite of eve can’t catch us.

          September 6, 2013 at 12:13 am Reply
          1. Internet Lawyer

            Right… You’ve got so many pilots that you can blueball PL, but you’re still scared to undock dreads. Even though PL is blueballed.

            I’d be more prepared to believe that PL weren’t killing bombers if your killboards weren’t full of dead bombers.

            September 6, 2013 at 2:53 am
          2. Sieveboy

            Two months since I last lost a SB in fountain. I think you underestimate how many bomber fleets are out and about.

            September 6, 2013 at 6:43 am
        2. Matt Flood

          I have heard -A- is blue balling PL and using there bigger ships to grind at least a BC if not bigger……. i also heard it was only taking mins not hours. Sad that a DEAD ALLIANCE and that is SHIT is doing a better job than the CFC. guess the moon moneys in someones pocket……..

          September 6, 2013 at 5:22 am Reply
  3. Ming Tso

    Working as intended.

    September 5, 2013 at 7:14 pm Reply
  4. Forgive__Me

    Not winning fast enough …

    September 5, 2013 at 7:19 pm Reply
  5. Some guy at work bcuz work sux

    I felt like I was bashing an I-Hub reading this…. zzzz

    September 5, 2013 at 7:42 pm Reply
  6. Just Checkin'

    So… You are using frigates with 3 torpedo launchers and you think that the i-hub should go down as if you were using capital ships?
    Don’t you think that it would make the SB a bit OP then?
    Or don’t you think that any corp/alliance that has a few members with free time they would be able to reinforce a few i-hubs per day?
    Come on now. Structures are supposed to be hit by capital ships or big BS ships (you know, those ships that can fit more than 3 battleship class weapons) not by frigates or such.
    The problem is not the Sov war mechanics. The problem is that you are not willing to use anything else than frigates. You are not even willing to use Tier 3 BC. You just want to go cheap and I don’t see why CCP should change Sov war mechanics just because you want it to be “cheaper” and “safer”…

    September 5, 2013 at 7:55 pm Reply
    1. Mad_Fanny

      Im sorry what part of 200 bombers all doing 500dps dont you understand?

      September 5, 2013 at 11:03 pm Reply
      1. Just Checkin'

        Lets see… 200 bombers doing 500 dps each = 100.000 dps
        Then… 200 tier 3 BC doing about 1000 dps each = 200.000 dps
        hmmmm… I don’t know why but if I had all that isk for srp I would use 200 tier 3 BC fitted for POS bashing. On the other hand when you want something cheap then why does CFC ask for a change at mechanics?

        Do we all have to suffer so that CFC can have their cheap bombers doing well in sov warfare?

        P.S. I don’t mean to say that you want those changes, I’m just wondering why should mechanics change so they can fit the needs of one single group and not the rest of eve (like those Titan changes that made titans a nice bridging space coffin.)

        September 6, 2013 at 2:29 am Reply
        1. Afraid of using supers

          I agree with you.

          Furthermore, it is pretty interesting that all the cfc guys who are complaining all the time that NC. or any other N3 Member are not willing to drop supers if they got easiliy smashed by more then twice of their super fleet now say:
          “What is wrong of using stealthbombers for reinforcing. They do a lot of dps.”
          The answer is that you cfc guys can only do what you great Mitten say to you and that your leaders are more freighten of use your super fleet than any other entity. Don’t blame about others if you are not even think about using supers.
          You have the biggest coalition in the game !

          September 6, 2013 at 9:38 am Reply
          1. some german guy

            we need our supers for ratting.

            September 6, 2013 at 2:30 pm
        2. some german guy

          200 Tier 3’s fitted for structure grinding = GIANT BLOB OF SHIPS WITH A HUGE SIGN “BOMB OR HOT DROP ME PLEASE”

          September 6, 2013 at 2:29 pm Reply
          1. Just Checkin'

            So stick with the SB, take and spend more time to take down the POS, I-hubs and stations.
            Once again, I really don’t see why those things should change just to fit the needs of CFC like (yes I know that I have said it many times but oh well) Titan nerf.

            September 6, 2013 at 4:29 pm
  7. Lawful-Insanity

    But dont worry cfc’s srp is doing fine. Lol grow a sack log in some big boy toys. But oh yeah cfc only wins by numbers not skill. And that will be evident when fa is harrassed nonstop in the south. Oh yeah thats right each cfc entity can operate on there own. All i gotta say is those pesky russians are amassing close by. Let the content begin.

    September 5, 2013 at 8:14 pm Reply
    1. Trolololo

      Nice region. We’ll take it!

      September 5, 2013 at 11:35 pm Reply
      1. Lawful-Insanity

        Lmfao, Hmmmm, you mean they LET you have it……

        September 6, 2013 at 1:44 am Reply
  8. DubbaYooArr

    This is about right. Grinding structures in Stealth Bombers should be a highly annoying, boring and drawn out process as stealth bombers are not ideal for the job; Capitals and BS fleets are. Stop complaining. Sov structures are built to be blown up by big ships – if you want to do it fast use such ships. Eve is about risk/reward. Can’t be assed to risk they dont expect fast rewards.

    September 5, 2013 at 8:21 pm Reply
  9. JG

    I honestly dont get it. Why the siege fleets? I know you dont use capitals for good measure. but its not like anyone cares at this point. So why not make tier 3 fleets?? why the bombers? what are you afraid of?

    September 5, 2013 at 8:22 pm Reply
    1. Mark

      It is pretty simple. With the SB you can bridge your entire fleet to exactly where they need to be. They are pretty effective with 80+ on the field. Granted not as effective at 80+ BS’s. However because they cost nothing to field, they don’t require a Titan to bridge, don’t have to worry about gate camps, with proper skills do 500+ DPS, and have the ability to cloak and disengage really quickly. All of this equates to longer sov grinding, but one that can be done with very minimal ISK exposure, with low SP pilots, and people can come and go very casually in the fleets. Have 15-20 minutes to spare? Get on the BLOPS, bridge in, shoot a ship full of torps and log off in space.

      IMO it is just smart SOV grinding. It also is very frustrating for an opposing fleet to counter as well.

      September 5, 2013 at 8:46 pm Reply
      1. WTS: Testicular Fortitude

        You want to know what else you can bridge right in? Dreads.

        September 5, 2013 at 10:23 pm Reply
        1. Sieveboy

          That would be jump in, as a capital ship dreads have their own jump drive.

          September 6, 2013 at 12:11 am Reply
  10. a

    Stay tuned for the sequel, how to moose hunt with a B-B gun.

    September 5, 2013 at 8:27 pm Reply
    1. Wiu Ming

      but…but… what if you want to kill several meeses?

      September 6, 2013 at 8:57 pm Reply
  11. JaseEVE

    Lately we have had more than 200 SB’s on the ops I have been on, and SoV mods and even station timers melt faster than you would think. And I can disengage, get a drink or whatever while cloaked with no worries. I think it’s a good use of resources and more people are engaged in the process. Not to mention the crazy shit on comms. It’s all good

    September 5, 2013 at 10:12 pm Reply
  12. Yawn

    Did a teen write this for a school essay? D+

    September 5, 2013 at 10:29 pm Reply
  13. Internet Lawyer

    Its pretty laughable really …

    Everybody bitches and moans about Sov warfare – then tries to shoot sov structures in Bombers. Somehow this is CCP’s fault.

    September 5, 2013 at 10:57 pm Reply
  14. Devore

    “This is because sovereignty warfare is a grind. Take a look at Poetic Stanziel’s post
    about Fweddit, a “small” alliance composed of about a thousand pilots
    and their struggle to capture just four systems in Delve unopposed.”

    Because you are doing it in stealth bombers. Sov and structures are supposed to be attacked and taken by big ships. CFC has lots of big ships. Bring them. Use them. If you don’t want to, you’re using sub-optimal tools, and you should expect suboptimal results. Stop whining.

    September 5, 2013 at 11:02 pm Reply
    1. suddenly cyno

      They wont use them because of what happens every time boat gets put in charge of the big ships

      September 6, 2013 at 3:01 am Reply
  15. war anyone?

    Sov warfare is supposed to be a conflict driver. However, as seen in Fountain, many alliances have discovered that sov warfare can be conducted with impunity using stealth bombers.

    The goons might be able to throw a hundred pilots into this form of PVE sov warfare, but they did no invent this tactic. -A- was doing this to harass PL during the war last year, and I suspect the use of bombers will become common place.

    Whether or not it will become common place depends on whether or not pilots keep showing up for these kinds of fleets. As long as these fleets get numbers every alliance has an incentive to use them because they are low risk, and achieve large strategic goals.

    The CFC uses this tactic instead of battleship fleets, caps, and etc.. because they can be led by unskilled FC’s, and there is little risk of loss because the fleet can cloak. If the fleet is lost it is very easy to SRP.

    The more interesting question for me is whether or not pilots will keep logging in to do something which the author of this article described as boring(paraphrase).

    September 5, 2013 at 11:09 pm Reply
    1. Kraiklyn Asatru

      Fweddit come from FW.. this is exciting compared to buttons. Theyll manage

      September 6, 2013 at 12:16 am Reply
    2. Old -A- dude

      I was in -A- during that war and while we did use oracles for grinding… SBs werent used. We ofc used bombers for bombing and ganking though.

      September 6, 2013 at 6:02 am Reply
      1. also old -A- guy

        Sorry to say but for a couple of weeks there was a few bomber grind fleets not many tho and one ended up getting wtfpwned by something like 4 hacs flying home under dexter <3

        September 6, 2013 at 11:01 am Reply
        1. even older -A- guy

          I would have trolled whoever called that fleet. Its not like we had a 1000 dudes to make that viable.

          September 6, 2013 at 11:43 am Reply
    3. Min Hevn

      I do not know who invented that fleet comp. Manks Girl and PhelanJKell called that fleet often when FCON first moved from Provi after -A- pretty much raped them to the warming embrace of their original Northern Coalition bedmates. Back before the anom nerf, everywhere was good ratting, we were all bros and there were rainbows erday.

      September 7, 2013 at 2:14 pm Reply
  16. Dennis the Dreamer

    I was there, I am now a goonions. EVE is real. I welcome myself to the darkside. BTW, my nemesis can carry a lot of ammos better than manticore or hound.

    September 6, 2013 at 6:37 am Reply
    1. some german guy

      Hi Dennis

      September 6, 2013 at 2:27 pm Reply
  17. Drama Dalai Lama

    While siege fleet is indeed very effective at grind when caps can’t be deployed due to counter drops they are still extremely long and boring. Tell me, what does and ordinary grunt get from spending hours grinding structures because Mittani said to?

    “Oh, Lama, you silly goose, of course they help their alliance and coalition to conquer space and get more money for srp so that a common grunt can pew pew for free and have funz and lolz”.

    Let’s be fair, you can make enough isk to srp yourself by spending that time on ratting/exploration/trade/industry and get at least twice more isk than you would get from srp funds (more if there is at least a bit of brain nerve between your ears and you know how to survive in large fleets).

    Don’t blame Mittens for not allowing to drop dreads on those structures because of big bad pandas in the neighborhood, blame the common goon, FAg etc. for being brainless sheep and not demanding cap fleets to do the grind work.

    September 6, 2013 at 6:49 am Reply
    1. GrrrGoons

      I love it how no one ever mentions any other null sec alliance when it comes to grinding structures. Grrrgoons.

      Every Sov holding alliance has the ‘ordinary grunt’ who shoots structures. But please, your tears sustain me.

      September 6, 2013 at 10:37 am Reply
      1. Drama Dalai Lama

        Maybe that’s because every other major nullsec alliance uses caps to grind sov structures or at least tier3 battlecruisers. I wonder how people in NC. would react if Vince told them to shoot goon i-hubs with bombers. I’ve been in CFC for almost a year and siege fleet was one of the main reasons why I left it.

        September 6, 2013 at 3:59 pm Reply
  18. Kern

    Sov structures and POS’s should only be shootable by Capital weapons… this is so lame..CFC really shows its strength….NOT… then you would have to invest and really want to deploy a full fleet…. is this what you want CCP?? is this the design? this is what it has come down too now….

    September 6, 2013 at 8:50 am Reply
    1. RA dude

      “Sov structures and POS’s should only be shootable by Capital weapons…”

      Then low-class wormholes and cynojammed systems would become impenetrable fortresses, and small independent alliances would be even less relevant than now.

      September 6, 2013 at 11:46 am Reply
  19. Observer

    Hey, I can not kill an IHUB with my T1 guns Riffter!

    CCP you suck!

    September 6, 2013 at 8:57 am Reply
  20. Random CFC Grunt

    To quote CCP Greyscale “Making something tedious will not stop players doing it if it’s very clearly the best option. They’ll do it, and they’ll hate it”. This applies to sov grind and siege fleets very well, I however utterly hate siege fleets and won’t ever go on one again, even if it means getting kicked to the kerb. Sorry, but this is a game – not work, I login to have fun, I go to work to … well, work.

    September 6, 2013 at 11:29 am Reply
  21. some german guy

    Hi Mittens ,

    can we fit lasers on siegefleet please. No more “circle your guns”

    Covert Legions maybe ?

    September 6, 2013 at 2:26 pm Reply
    1. CyberSarge

      Laser would be so cool and we could even go T1 cruisers.

      September 6, 2013 at 4:41 pm Reply
      1. some german guy

        PILGRIMS !!!!

        September 10, 2013 at 7:34 am Reply
  22. Anom

    Everyone knows reffing structures with sbs is for scary casts

    September 6, 2013 at 5:07 pm Reply

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