EN24 discord
sov map

Submission: Circle-Of-Two Sky Marshal responds

March 29, 2016

Disclaimer: The following article was submitted to us by Sebastien Saintfrusquin. All opinions in this article are his and do not reflect those of EN24!


To those that don’t know me, I am Sebastien Saintfrusquin, SkyMarshal (a title I hate) of Circle-Of-Two. A few hours ago, I was also the primary day-to-day military contact between CO2 and the CFC, a CFC Capital/Supercapital FC, as well as a semi-retired CFC Recon member.

I woke up this morning expecting the anger and hurt from the CFC to target CO2 after our betrayal. That’s the normal reaction. I expected gigX, Da Winci, The Judge, and myself, to all be subjected to a reasonable amount of smearing. Nothing unusual, you know, propaganda doesn’t grow on trees, it needs daily care and attention. Hell, our own Reddit post to announce the reset certainly does not tell the entire story, if only because the entire story would take an LOT of time to cover both sides properly; CO2 and Goons drove each others nuts quite often, there are a ton of political considerations involved (the metagame… bleurgh), there are even bigger tons of egos also involved, with a strong dose of multilingual shouting/caps typing. I’m told Star Wars features quite some drama, but I doubt it can top that.

Anyway, what I did NOT expect was to read in TMC that I had personally been plotting to trap the Bastion and Get Off My Lawn Supercapitals, and by extension the entire CFC supercapital fleet!

Reading that article and the comments from the author, I now am in a position to see the Endie and Blawrf stories in a slightly different light.

But let’s start addressing this article points from my perspective as one of the people directly named. I feel like picking me as the evil mastermind of a Machiavellian trap is a poor choice, as my accent is not really made for evil gloating, but TMC didn’t ask for my advice on that selection.

« On the attacking side, TEST fielded two fleets, one a classic Maelstrom alphafleet, and the other a large contingent of stealth bombers. NCdot was on-field in armor T3s of their own, while Darkness and their coalition members brought a Cerberus fleet, and Pandemic Legion came in Rattlesnakes. »

That is slightly misleading because it doesn’t account for a LowSecVoltron Proteus fleet, an OOS Cerberus fleet, a Spectre Cormorant fleet, a Vanguard Tengu fleet, a WalkingDrones something fleet (I can’t remember what they were in), and a ProviBloc Battlecruiser fleet. These fleets may not have all been involved in the heavy fighting under extreme TiDi, but they definitely had an influence on the end result. More on that later.

« Fielding over 2100 pilots to the Imperium’s 1200 (300 of which were in CO2) »

Taking into account all the constellation, the various reinforcements, etc… one ends up with about 3500 against 1500.

Incidentally, this was by no means a weak show from the CFC! Bastion and Lawn were still in the process of setting up shop in a new staging, so them not being able to bring the great numbers we are used to is understandable. FCON and RZR forced TRIco to take a detour to the fight. CONDI itself committed everything they could get their hands on to this fight as well.

I have heard that people in CO2 blame the CFC for not making a good show to defend our sov. They are wrong. For this timer, we had been promised everything, and the CFC did bring everything they could, but it just was not enough, through no fault of their FCS or line members, though.

« Though the Imperium forces spent several hours attempting to contest the IHUB, with assurances that CO2 hackers were working hard to regain momentum, a swing of 40% – from 70% saved down to 30% – in under ten minutes, certainly appears suspicious in hindsight. »

I was personally in charge of the entosis efforts on CO2 side, a necessary duty, but a horrible experience that I wish to no human being. The problem we had was keeping entosis ships alive against all the spare fleets mentioned above! With so many enemy fleets around, there was always one ready to land on whichever node we attempted to contest.

Esildra reinforcement Machfleet and Laz reinforcement Canefleet (as well as a destroyer fleet of some sort whose FC I cannot remember, sorry) both made an awesome job at keeping at least some nodes under CFC control and the progress to 70% is in large part thanks to their effort.

The rapid fall to 40% however was I believe the results a big set of uncontested nodes in FY0W-N and maybe elsewhere (maybe some MJI3-E nodes too? By that time I was loosing track) falling roughly at the same time, while I was trying to get replacement entosis ships for our continuous losses through a station camp and several gate camps.

Could it have been handled better on CO2 side? Definitely. Was it deliberately sabotaged? Absolutely not. I hate losing for one, but that was my first actual entosis fight, so I was literally figuring things out as I went along.

« This decision may have been a pivotal factor in the battle, as no cynojammers were online in any of the systems in the target constellation. Taking advantage of this, PL and NCdot used triage carriers to win IHUB command nodes while the Imperium fleets were pinned down in the combination of Time Dilation and interdictor bubbles. »

Ah, the cynojammers. While not as crucial as before Phoebe, they are still quite important. I’m not a big fan myself of these things, probably because I’m an old school capital pilot (cyno for life). In that particular fight, though, would they have won us the objective? That’s a difficult question.Forcing the enemy to take the fight to the Taisy gate in M-OEE8 would have been interesting from a tactical point of view (even if, as a gigantic gate, it would be impractical for bombing purposes), but then again there were plenty of hostiles also coming up from the other end of the constellation

Also, the last fight in 2DWM-N also demonstrated how one could deal with cynojammers : simply form earlier than your opponent, come before they are even ready to contest your presence, and incapacitate the thing.

But that’s all hindsight talk anyway. In short, would cynojamming the entire constellation have helped CFC? Quite probably, maybe enough to even win the objective. Did CO2 end up deliberately not jamming the entire constellation to give a tactical edge to the GrrGoon side? No. Why did we end up not cynojamming the constellation then? Well, that one is going to sound incredibly lame, but honestly, we kind of forgot about it in the mess. With a staging system reinforced, a non-trivial amount of SRP requests to fulfill before the main fight, and plenty of worried members asking to be reassured that the sky was not falling when it was, in fact, looking not exactly sure on its feet, hauling in the upgrades and installing them was just put behind all the short term issues we had to deal with and forgotten.

« This also explains the sudden disappearance of the jump bridges in the constellation. »

Ah ah! Now we are leaving reality altogether and starting to enter the wonderful world of FICTION. The entire cynojammer thing makes CO2 look pretty bad, to be honest, and as the guy that’s supposed to remind gigX of such things that’s mostly on me. Luckily, the CFC Propaganda Bureau couldn’t resist and started turning up the overheat on the spinning machine.

Anyway, that constellation had, before the fight, a total of 3 Jump Bridge links, as had been the case for the past several months. It had, during the fight, the same three links active and fuelled. I should know, I used the M-OEE8 JB to grab spare bubbles in a D7-ZAC office and bring them back in my blockade runner to anchor them on gates.

What happened was that the CFC had entirely forgotten about another timer in M-OEE8: a tower, the Jump Bridge tower to be precise, that came out of reinforcement nearly at the same time than the iHub. Even better, people that are in the_war_room will remember that two days before the fight, CO2 asked Razor to remove an old anchored tower in M-OEE8 to make room for a new Jump Bridge tower! So not only all the Jump Bridges links were still active, but CFC was well aware of them. Hell, I’m sure the GrrGoons scouts have screenshots of the CO2 fleet resting in the new JB tower between the Station and iHub timers, as we took it as a forming point to avoid a station hellcamp.

So to sum up, a single Jump Bridge module that had to change moons because its parent tower had been reinforced somehow became an entire constellation of removed Jump Bridges for some nebulous reason.

« Had the Imperium committed supercapitals to the fight, Circle-of-Two’s supers would have come into the battle as a fifth column, and engaged the Imperium from behind. »

No, but on that one, I’m not really expecting the CFC leaders to believe my word for it. Had there been even a remote chance for an actual Supercap fight to happen, I would have insisted that CO2 didn’t make any deal whatsoever before that happened, so I could have a proper Supercapital fight again (one of my dearest wish). Sadly, the balance of power made that impossible.

« However, Bastion and Lawn did keep CO2 in the loop regarding the change of plans, and CO2 was involved in the planning for the LAWN/Bastion supercapital move that took place over the last forty-eight hours. The plans were detailed enough that Sebastien Saintfrusquin insisted only hours before that the Lawn/Bastion supercapitals would have to cyno through MJI3-8 – a system in the constellation being actively contested.

In fact, only hours before the planned move scouts moving into position to oversee the supercapital move found a large number of CO2 Interdictors setting up perches near the towers – towers CO2 themselves had insisted upon using. While curious, no alarms were raised at the time, and only a lucky decision by Imperium Capital FC Kcolor to take an alternate route in order to avoid any potential pitfalls involving forces surrounding the IHUB defense averted complete disaster. »

Aaaaannnnddd back to FICTION time.
CO2 was involved in the planning only insofar as we were told the Station timer that looked to be able to go uncontested would serve as a cover for the Supercap move. Frankly, we had other things to do.

I did suggest a route in the_war_room the day before when they were discussing it. Here is the log :

22:44:37 Sebastien Saintfrusquin: http://evemaps.dotlan.net/jump/Aeon,544/TVN-FM:SH1-6P:F-749O:C8VC-S:Iitanmadan:Saranen
22:44:47 Sebastien Saintfrusquin: I would do a triple jump, no wait on the first day
22:45:03 Sebastien Saintfrusquin: gives 1,5 day of fatigue, gets you to western tribute, one mid away from saranen
22:45:34 Sebastien Saintfrusquin: there is some leeway on the midpoints, C8V is also not mandatory, nearly that entire pocket is good as an endpoint

You will notice that this is the exact opposite of what the TMC article is suggesting, actually, my suggested route only goal is to circle as far away as possible from the contested pocket, because, well, guess what, IT’S FUCKING CONTESTED, so it’s crawling with enemy with eyes. Nobody in their right mind would even consider going in it for a supercapital convoy for extremely obvious reasons, and anyone suggesting it would be asked to take the day off and cure whatever his ailment happened to be.

Also, I apparently insisted that the supercapital convoy would have to cyno through MJI3-8? A few hours before the fight, I was too busy getting everything ready on time to even think about that convoy that other people were working on anyway. The ONLY mention of MJI3-8 I can remember was when asked why the pocket was not cynojammed ; I answered then that it would prevent Goons from jumping in, which referred to the subcaps coming from Saranen to take a titan bridge in Daras, as they did all evening and had done before on similar operations. How it became an insistence on jumping the Supercap convoy, there is a secret on par with the philosopher stone recipe.

Next, towers that CO2 insisted upon using? That is pure, undiluted bullshitium of the highest order. Bastion/Lawn asked and received permission to plant their towers wherever they wanted for the move, why would CO2 towers even begin to be involved is frankly mind-boggling. Hey, let’s move two alliances worth of Supercapitals at the same time, and to make things simpler, let’s use safe towers from another alliance that will have nobody in the actual moving fleet to set up passwords!

Last, CO2 Interdictors making perches on said towers? Since the tower themselves are an invention, I can only assume the Interdictors are equally mythical. Thinking about it there is no doubt in my mind that, had there been even a single CO2 Interdictor making perches on any location intended for the supercap move, I would have been contacted right away to be notified of the suspicious individual as I would have been the go-to person for such an issue. No such occurrence reached me, so this most likely never happened and is a fabrication.

Despite Sebastien’s statement, the decision to set a trap for the Imperium supercapital fleet was likely set up, at least, week in advance »

Again, no. No such plan could have been made because the decision regarding Bastion and Lawn moving out of Vale had yet actually to happen. Unless the trap was intended for the entire CFC Supercapital fleet… but then there is a problem. It was pretty clear the CFC Supercapital Fleet would not be engaged in such proximity to so many hostile stagings filled to the brims with ships specifically for such a contingency. Being one of the FCS for the CFC Supercapital Fleet, I was of course quite aware of that fact, and despite my wish to see a Supercap fight again, the hard reality of the balance of forces was firmly against it happening.

« Sebastien Saintfrusquin, when asked, confirmed that CO2 was, in fact, paid in advance for this reversal, though he declined to reveal an amount. He insisted he had no idea how large the payment had been.»

That one initially surprised me; I thought I certainly did not say that, but the person to whom I talked wouldn’t just make stuff up. Upon checking my log, I did say that, but that is a mistake from my part.

No, CO2 has not been paid in advance. And that is not me backtracking for the sake of backtracking, because it will make no difference in the end; the IWI war model is to pay people fighting the CFC, and let’s be honest there, CO2 and CFC will end up shooting each other, today, tomorrow, in a week maybe, but it will happen very soon [update : already happened ! ITAI of TNT unsurprisingly opened the hostilities, and CO2 is responding in kind in TNT space]. So that will make CO2 effectively part of the GrrGoon coalition, and the IWI bankers will be right there with a quite likely sizeable check that will go straight into the SRP wallet. Somehow, I don’t expect fights between the biggest alliance leading the biggest coalition in the game and the one alliance that betrayed them to be anything less than complete extermination events. For whom will the SRP Requests/Killmarks ratio be favorable?