December 19, 2022

"Contract" Update: Make Hallenen a Helipad

Noir. continues its offensive with Gallente Militia Faction Warfare even after the paid contract expired a couple of months ago. The corp wanted to stay here because the Uprising update really has been super fun. I wasn't playing yet when we were actively on contract for Galmil, so I don't know the details. Post-contract, Alek created a new goal for us focusing on Hallenen.

At the time, Hallenen was a Rearguard system. From Calmil's perspective, it was an out of the way, relatively pointless system. Traffic didn't pass through it due to its geographic location and pilots wouldn't spend their time inside it because the rewards were too low for plexing due to being a rearguard system. For all intents and purposes, Hallenen is not worth any effort. 

Except for one thing: it's a mid point for Gallente capital ships. 

As a rearguard system, Gallente pilots can't dock in the station and that was the only problem. So the goal was simple: flip Hallenen. We were hoping to do it under the noses of Caldari. As I mentioned, traffic rarely passed through Hallenen on the way to frontline systems or trade hubs so we were hopeful that few wandering eyes would notice us, and the ones that did perhaps wouldn't realize what was happening.

The Uprising patch brought a few changes with it. I've already mentioned the terms 'rearguard' and 'frontline' which relate to where on the battlefield a certain system is. Additionally, there are new structures that effect the 'advantage' of a system. The more advantage your side has, the more points each plex gives you, allowing you to flip a system faster.

We started our campaign by raising the advantage in the system using the new propaganda structures. Quickly we had reached 10% advantage for Galmil. We also placed a large tower in the system so we could more easily reship and store our ships upon logging off since the station was closed to us. 

One of the new changes from Uprising is that rearguard systems spawn a specific site called Operation Centers. Opposing factions can scan these sites down and receive an item which can be turned in with LP to receive a propaganda structure or listening outpost which effects the advantage of the system. While we did our normal plexing to increase the contested state, we also would regularly check for Operation Centers to help us raise the advantage too.

The work was fairly boring over the next few weeks. Caldari Militia rarely entered the system and when they did it was usually just to pass through. We kept raising the advantage, eventually reaching 50% and were able to raise the contested state to the high 40%. Things were progressing according to plan, until something we hadn't anticipated occurred! Pynekastoh was flipped from Caldari control to Gallente. Pynekastoh is two jumps away from Hallenen with one Caldari system in between. That means Pynekastoh remains a frontline system, the neighboring Hikkoken system in between Hallenen and Pynekastoh turns into a frontline system, and Hallen turns into a Command Operations system from a Rearguard system. 

This was a bit of a problem because attention was suddenly more likely. But a bigger problem presented itself before we really needed to worry about Calmil. A member of Snuffed Out was apparently using the system as his industrial center and was worried about losing the bonuses he had paid into the iHub when we flipped the system. To help prevent that, Snuff decided to hit our tower with two Revelations, a Revelation Navy, a Naglfar, a Hel, and two Zirnitras alongside a few other structures in the area. We offered to pay the LP back into the iHub once flipped, but he wasn't interested.

The timer was pretty good, 8pm EST on a Saturday night. We knew we wouldn't be able to prevent the tower from dying but we hoped to make Snuff bleed and kill one of the dreadnaughts. The batphone went out but remained un-answered. Which is sad, because if just a few more people had shown up we likely would have been able to kill the Naglfar that showed up on Saturday.

We formed up in attack battle cruisers (reminding me how pretty the Oracle is) and bombers. The ABCs waited in the POS while the bombers were a few systems over ready to bridge in. The Naglfar landed and went into siege, which signaled the attack. We had the Naglfar to half shields and we were feeling pretty optimistic, but we didn't expect for the active tank! The Naglfar began to rep itself back up while his allies jumped in, consisting of three Zirnitras, a Revelation, four Machariels, and a Barghest. After that, we knew it was hopeless and began to disengage.

The tower died, of course, along with three Oracles (all flown by long-time Noir. members Ikeo, Greif Haken, and myself. Greif and I are both recently back to the game after a break of many years) and a handful of bombers. Sadly the tower shot at some of the blues, killing a few of the friendly bombers.

Nevertheless, the fight continues. The Snuff member is trying to deplex the system and drop listening outpost to reduce the advantage. He's in the Chinese TZ so it happens when most of us are asleep. We wake up and remove his work and add a bit more of our own. So far, he's losing the battle which is all that matters.

It's been a really fun campaign to flip this system, one that we'll continue until we complete. I'll finish this blog with some really great stats collated by Viz Talvanen. 

Fly dangerous o7