The Cookies join Northern Coalition.

Yes, the big news I was talking about last week is that our EVE Online corporation Holy Cookie has joined Northern Coalition., or NC. (pronounced “N C Dot”) for short.

EVE_NCdot
The dot is even in the logo, so it’s important

It turned out that our directors had been in talks with Killah Bee, a prolific, long-time fleet commander of NC., for quite some time. To my surprise he’s also German and joined our corp meeting to discuss things with us and answer our questions. All attendees were pretty enthusiastic about the move, rejecting the invite was never even a considereration.

Personally, I was extremely excited about it and still am.

The main reason is that I haven’t been in a proper nullsec alliance for quite a while, and I kinda missed it. Sure, there are boring aspects to living out there, but anyplace else in New Eden can be equally boring while not providing the freedom and great opportunities for epic fights that basically only nullsec provides.

Another reason I’m happy to have joined NC. is that they and their allies are kind of the arch enemies of Goonswarm. While I have fought alongside Goons a very long time ago – more about that in part three of my EVE history series – since Mittani is in charge they have pretty much become the very thing they were once opposed to, at least to my mind. Getting another chance to kick their butts after Lakisa and I fought them during World War Bee back when we were in Mercenary Coalition is awesome.

The timing couldn’t have been better either, because Mittens has just decided to attack NC.-space in force. Not to take it for the Goons, but only to see it burn. They started moving their war machinery on Saturday. Let them come, I say.

But first things first. Before heading out to nullsec we had a lot of preparation to do since we had amassed quite a lot of stuff in and around our lowsec-home Kehjari by now. Ships, clones and other assets had to either be brought to highsec, be it for safekeeping or for sale, or hauled quite a distance out to our new home.

We also had to consider what to do about our security status, which was at or close to -10 due to our pirating ways. While that isn’t a problem in nullsec per se I know from experience that nullsec fleets, since they often need to cover large distances, use any shortcut they can get, so trips through highsec are always a possibility.

Lakisa and I decided ‘repairing’ our sec status before the move to be the prudent thing to do. We bought the needed tags from the market and took them to the nearest CONCORD office.

EVE_NC1
Tags aren’t enough, you charge an additional fee? What is this, the German government?

Getting our status to above -2.0 set us back about 280 million each. Yikes. At least we can now move around freely anywhere in New Eden again.

Hauling everything we needed to get rid of to highsec took a while, but we did so without losing anything and have already liquidated most of it. Alliance doctrine ships can be bought locally, so we didn’t really have to bring a lot of stuff with us. One trip in my carrier was all it took, and we were ready to go.

Which was fortunate, because a fleet op was about to start the moment we arrived. We quickly bought a pair of Eagles off contracts, set up voice comms and joined the fleet.

EVE_NC2
Eagles and support landing on a stargate

Unfortunately we didn’t get a fight that day. We reinforced a hostile Fortizar, but no one came to defend it.

The day after things looked more promising. A Goon Ferox fleet was reported to roam around M-OEE8, the entry system into Tribute (nullsec currently owned by NC. and allies) from Lonetrek (high- and lowsec). We formed Eagles again and made our way there.

We arrived at the perfect moment. Their fleet had become entangled in an array of warp disruption bubbles around the E-O gate. Killah warped us into position and the slugfest began.

EVE_NC3
A red overview is a good overview – at the start of a battle anyway

To be honest, it wasn’t a fair fight since we outnumbered them quite a bit, but of course that’s what you’re always looking for in EVE – or in any PvP game, really. Who wants a fair fight when you can just obliterate the enemy without casualties of your own, right? So we seized the opportunity and made short work of them.

EVE_NC4
Lots of wrecks on the field, none of them ours

Now this was the kind of action I’d hoped for.

A day or two later I was treated to a sight that’s old news for many nullsec veterans, but made my jaw drop a bit despite having seen it on screenshots numerous times. Turns out being there and seeing it for yourself is much more awe-inspiring.

EVE_NC5
A whole bunch of Titans sitting between a Keepstar’s uprights

My highlight by far was yesterday though, when Killah took a Muninn fleet deep into Delve, Goonswarm’s home region. With the bulk of their forces deployed in the north but seemingly not quite ready to attack us in earnest yet we now have a window of opportunity to hit them where it hurts without getting caps and supers dropped onto us.

A stealth bomber fleet of Pandemic Horde was to attack and reinforce some Goon Ansiblex jump gates, thereby disrupting their means of travelling to and fro quickly, and we provided cover for the bombers.

That cover was much needed, too. When fighting an alliance almost 35k characters strong their deployment elsewhere doesn’t mean that nobody’s home. As far as I could tell they had three sizeable fleets to oppose us; Jackdaws, Harpies and bombers. Local count climbed as high as 800 at times, with just around 300 of those fighting on our side.

Once Horde’s bombers attacked the first jump gate the hostile fleets started to zip around the grid, looking for an angle to shoot them from without being in our Muninn’s range, while we tried to counter just that.

EVE_NC7
Come and get some

Our Interdictors dropped bubbles constantly to deny their fleets the best warp-in angles. Every now and then a lone Interceptor looking to provide a good warp-in came too close and immediately felt the firepower of a couple dozen artillery platforms shooting in unison.

Then, we couldn’t quite believe our eyes, an enemy Phoenix class Dreadnought suddenly appeared on grid, right beside the jump gate. Obviously the pilot hadn’t gotten the memo of that gate being under attack and had blindly jumped through from the other side. I’ve never seen a Dread go down this quickly with only subcaps shooting it, but it wasn’t even fitted for fleet combat, so…yeah.

We all kept dancing around the gate without the enemy fully committing their fleets to defend. Eventually it was reinforced und thus rendered non-functional for at least the next ~23 hours while giving us a chance to come back and finish it for good after that time period.

We then moved on to the next such gate two systems away and repeated the process. I don’t know if this one was more important to them or if they’d just had enough of us at that point, but they now engaged us head on. Well, they tried.

EVE_NC8
The game is on

It was a slaughter. I could hardly lock the targets fast enough before they exploded. They admittedly killed a bunch of ships in return, mainly bombers, but the battle report still shows a pretty one-sided affair.

EVE_NC9
Mopping up while the remaining enemies retreat

The second jump gate had also been reinforced by then, so the op was a resounding success. For me and my corpmates it also was a massive adrenaline rush the likes of which we hadn’t experienced very often before, at least not on this scale. Extremely satisfied we made our way home.

Hopefully this was just the beginning.

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