Monday, January 16, 2017

Lucky Rabbit's Foot

Last night I led the Sunday Night Aideron Fleet into the warzone and I must have brought my lucky rabbit's foot in the cargo hold of my Hecate Tactical Destroyer because we had an unusual run of good luck.

First up we were in the occupied system of Vlillirier with a couple bait/scout ships trying to lure some of the Caldari Militia occupiers out to play. We got a report of two ships attacking our two pilots and requiring some assistance in a large plex so I ordered the fleet to jump in and warp to the plex. One of the enemy ships warped off though so it looked like a wasted trap sprung.

But, to my surprise, we came out of warp just as a significant Cal Mil fleet dropped out of warp right on top of us. We have numerical superiority so I started calling targets and  we killed at least three tech 3 tacical destroyers, one Thalia logistics frigate, and a Hyena EAF.

Later on while searching for targets in adjacent systems, we had a Maller cruiser and Drake Battlecruiser jump into our fleet and die quite quickly.

Near the end of the fleet, we were chasing a Cal Mil T3D fleet that had more of the advanced destroyers but we had more logi and pilots. We found them in Oinasiken engaging a couple of Hyperion battleships that went suspect on a gate, so we landed, chased the Cal Mil fleet off, and proceeded to kill the two battleships. Afterwards we got regrouped and were about the engage the Cal Mil fleet that seemed to decide they wanted to fight us, only cross jump the destoryers to see that they brought reinforcements in the form of 2 Scimitar logistics cruisers with some Machariel battleships and a smattering of battlecruisers. Well I had the fleet moonwalk away from that fight with only two Algos and a Maulus losses and go home to call it a night.

All in all, a good lucky night for Aideron and friends.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Second Time's The Charm

A few days past Aideron made a second attempt to anchor and online an Azbel Engineering Complex (once again produced by your humble author) and this time we were successful.

Aideron's Azbel
This structure is part of a larger plan to turn the system of Fliet into a bulwark for the warzone in the south against the waves of Caldari Militia pilots. Combined with the Fortizar citadel laid down by our militia allies Mecha Enterprises Fleet (XMETA) we have made great strides to turn our home system into Fortress Fliet. We are hoping that this solid base can be a rally point for the militia to regroup from the fall of Vlillier and push back against the Caldari offensive.

If all goes according to plan, I hope to move some of my production for Ninveah Enterprises to Fliet to make use of low sec production bonuses for more $$$.

Friday, January 06, 2017

Project Vulcan - State of the Corporation

I figured it would be a good idea to do a quick review of the state of the corporation and see how we are doing in terms of profit margins for our shareholders in a few months. NOTE: this is a rough estimate, not exact audit.

The Nov 2016 audit placed the value of the corporation around 50 billion ISK after shareholders had invested.

Currently for sale on market: ~2 billion
Value of items being built: ~15.3 billion
Value of blueprints: 41.1 billion
Liquid ISK: 22 billion
Deployed Raitaru: ~1 billion
Total: 81.4 billion

So roughly speak I've increased the value by 31 billion ISK which amounts to about 7.75 million ISK per share, i.e. a little over 50% increase in value per share for the phase IV investors. With May still about 4 months away there is time to increase that some more.

Wednesday, January 04, 2017

Game of (Citadel) Thrones

In September we saw the Battle of Aivonen where Gallente Militia spent a week of hard fighting to take the capital system from Caldari Militia. Recovering from that setback CalMil quickly retook Aivonen and proceeded to launch a counter-offensive on the warzone, taking a large number systems and highlighted by a 3 week long assault on the Gallente capital system of Vlillrier in Placid region that ended on Dec 23rd with the system's 7 year streak of being held by Gallente coming to an end.

Throughout these sieges one thing has become readily apparent: the home field advantage for defenders has been greatly diminished by the rise of Citadels.

* * * * *

Picture this: its before the release of citadels and you are in faction warfare trying to launch an assault to take an enemy home capital system. One of the big points of faction warfare is that the controlling defending faction can dock at the NPC stations there while the opposing attacking faction is locked out. Sure, one can use neutral alts to gain access to the station to retrieve assets and such but the members of an attacking militia cannot make use of the hangers, repair facilities, and safety of the station.

This means in a war of attrition while fighting over complexes in the system to drive contested level up (attackers) or down (defenders), the defenders can reship in system in the station very quickly while the attackers would have to find another source for their new combat ships. To get around this, the attacking force would make use of Player Owned Stations, aka POSes to stage out of. However a POS lacks a lot of the convenience of station hangers, permissions for allies not in the owning corporation are tricky and problematic, and restocking the hanger arrays is not as easy as jumping into a station with a jump freighter. 

The upshot of this dynamic was that mounting a successful assault on a home system of an enemy was very difficult if the enemy was well organized and had good pilot numbers.

* * * * * 

Fast forward to now. The first step in attacking an enemy home system now is to deploy an Astrahus, maybe even more than one. 

A citadel has many advantages over a POS for staging:
- permissions for access to allies is trivial using the access lists
- allies can rent an office and have their own organizational hangers
- jump freighters are virtually invulnerable jumping to and from a citadel
- handing out ships via trades or contracts is possible
- ship repair
- clone bays
- unlimited storage

But all of this convenience is dwarfed by the fact that while POS can be attacked any time, Citadels have owner determined vulnerability windows thus allowing them to dictate the timing of the initial battle. 

All of this means that if an attacking force gets a Citadel to stage from, all the home field advantages of the defending force are lost: the attackers have the same ease in restocking and reshipping for participating in the attrition warfare. Worse: the attackers have the luxury of making multiple pushes over any period of time that they can muster pilots and fleets for, while the defenders only need to slip up once to find themselves on the cusp of losing their home station.

* * * * * 

What this means is that NPC stations are quickly losing their cachet as homes for militia corporations and alliances, and they are being replaced by home Citadels that they cannot be locked out of by plexing enemy fleets. Furthermore, as faction warfare moves to concentrate on attacking and destroying enemy citadels, this provides upward pressure on fleet size and more frequent bat-phoning of capital heavy nearby entities top provide more firepower for destroying these large structures or counter-dropping firepower as deterrent for enemy fleets. No longer can a militia remain agnostic to the politics of the low sec entities that they share space with.

I am not sure this emerging gameplay is the in the best interests of faction warfare as a whole, but I see no immediate move or change to address the current issues. I only hope that CCP is observing the developing situation and making plans for faction warfare in the future to help it remain an independent and engaging game system in low sec that is not subservient to unaligned low sec entities. 

Friday, December 23, 2016

Holiday Break

I'm off work from today until January 3rd so there will be no blogging until then. In the meantime, hope you have happy holidays and keep warm and safe!

Except in game, where you should fly as reckless as possible.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Industrially Speaking

So last week Aideron tried to anchor an Azbel engineering complex in our home system of Fliet and were so close to succeeding but alas it was not meant to be, and it became the third Azbel in EVE's history to be destroyed.

It was doubly disappointing for me because not only did my corporation take a nasty blow to the face for the loss, but I made and sold that Azbel to them so I take personal offense at its demise.

On the up side, Project Vulcan has been proceeding at a much faster and comfortable pace for me since I don't need to worry about exact factory and mineral costs and the wallet balance has been increasing as time goes on so things seem to be proceeding according to plan. I took a portion of the profits to invest in a Raitaru rigged out for structure component manufacturing and I'm hoping it will drop a few hundred million off the production price of an Azbel and pay for itself in the long term.

In low sec, the capital business has been also proceeding well with 2 caps always in production and no backlog of hulls. The profit margin per hull is less than 10% for the capitals, and the margins are quickly dropping on the engineering complexes as expected and should soon be at the ~10% level like the Astrahus. As long as I'm making a profit and moving product, right? Start saving up for the drilling platforms structures...

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Board Game Night - Scythe

On Tuesday night I got together with four friends and played my second game of Scythe, a great resource management game (with some fighting) with awesome setting.

It was a good time but the two most experienced players were easily in the lead while me and two others who were having their first game did not do so well. I did better than my first game for sure, but underestimated how quickly the game would end and left some VPs unclaimed as a result. Oh well, next time!

Here are some pictures (I'm the Golden Horde by the way):

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