CATCH Us If You Can


Before the formation of the HERO coalition, Brave Newbies had slowly been taking steps into expanding their Eve experience by establishing a nullsec campus in Y-W6GF in Syndicate just a few jumps away from their home in Barleguet. From there, the war against Usurper took its toll, but eventually BRAVE came out more focused and seasoned. At that time, many people were already speculating about BRAVE’s motivations and next steps in its evolution.

Although, BRAVE had it’s own intentions of moving towards new content, none of us on the line were aware of the upcoming announcement of the HERO coalition with us, TEST, Nexus, and Spaceship Samurai. Whether the deployment was the precursor to the coalition establishment, I couldn’t tell you but I speculate that was the case. HERO was going to move and had it’s eyes directly on exactly the kind of weakened alliance who could provide us with that content before the mass sovereignty drop. There wasn’t a huge sense of urgency in getting down to Sendaya as BRAVE members were busy lining up courier contracts and establishing semi-hourly fleets from Barleguet. Once the announcement of the HERO coalition came down, things kicked into high gear. BRAVE was about to enter the battle for sovereignty, and comms were a buzz with excitement.

With most of us only having a couple of ships in Sendaya, the events of the dissolution of Darkness of Despair caught everyone off guard. We suddenly went from “get down here as soon as possible” to “GET HERE NOW!” There was a mass land grab underway and HERO was about to go and put our measly stake in the ground while the rest of Catch was still reeling from the effects of the sovereignty drops. There was clamoring throughout comms and alliance chat. When I finally logged in, we had everything we could thrown at the station in ERVK-P. Orders were to get the hell on the titan bridge and bring whatever you had. Individual fleets by doctrines were already established and hitting targets with the intention of providing security. There was precious little time. My pocket rocket Caracal was still minus a couple of fittings, so my trusty brawling Incursus would have to do. F9E-KX was already in full swing on-lining TCUs with two others dropped in ERVK-P. That station and those TCUs that were in ERVK-P were of more strategic importance, so I decided to focus my efforts there.

I quickly joined up with our roaming security fleet of mostly Talwars and smaller tackle frigates. We roamed from HED-GP to E-YJ8G fending off possible interlopers in different systems so that the Caracal and Thorax fleets would be free to support the Megathrons and TEST dreads bashing the station. If there was a threat that required more than what we brought, the pocket rockets were only a couple jumps away. Every once in awhile, the command channels would update us on the time left on the TCUs and the current station status. All of us were excited and hoping this effort would not be in vain.


Characterizing everyone’s reactions, I could only compare it to the anticipation and nerves of birth of your first child. I had been in many sov-holding alliances before, but this one was special. The taste of what was happening for HERO, BRAVE in particular, was palatable. Most of the people who were taking part in this massive short-notice operation had never known what it was like to take sovereignty. One  critical night, they were bridged by titans, running security, shooting POSs, taking over stations and dropping TCUs. I heard quite a few people exclaim, “Are you kidding me?” as they couldn’t believe what was happening. Minutes later, the station in ERVK-P dropped and Noobtropolis was renamed.

A critical call came across the comms. “Black Legion is in the area! Everyone get to ER! If you’re in F9, hold there! Prepare for possible cynos!” My heart literally froze. To me, this had become more than just any sov grind. This one was for the Newbies. All of these guys had their sights set on doing this ONE thing; this one impossibly insurmountable task that BNI had never accomplished… and it was about to get squashed by the superior numbers and firepower of BL. I remember thinking how much bitterness I’d have to try to quell in order to keep from holding any resentment towards Black Legion if they screwed this up for us. If they came in like schoolyard bullies and kicked us down I probably would’ve literally screamed at my computer. Thankfully, we didn’t get the big boot we were expecting. Elo Knight and his band came in with a large Naga fleet supported by a few Tengus and interceptors. The fleets were still somewhat scattered and our fleet was forced to take refuge in the station until the cavalry arrived. The Thorax and Caracal fleets showed up shortly and the battle was glorious with HERO holding the field and Elo’s corpse as a trophy.

Repairs continued to the station while the timer on the TCUs continued to tick down slowly. Roughly three hours to go for the first TCU and over six on the backup. Security roams started up once again for about an hour until our fleet got the attention of a gang of at least forty -A- Crow interceptors pursuing us. Although they had the speed advantage, we balled together and picked off targets with the Talwar’s rocket barrage as individual pilots either tried to engage our fleet, or simply fell off anchor. This tactic worked beautifully. I watched them encircle us in formation about from 100 to 250 kilometers from us like vultures encircling their next meal. Eventually, we destroyed enough of them to make the Crows ineffective and susceptible to HERO tackle.

Shortly after this engagement, the flash notification that F9E-KX had been claimed for BNI came across the screen. I tried not to laugh over comms when quite a few people asked, “What was that? What did it say?” I simply keyed up and said, “It means we’re winning, y’all. Let’s get this TCU then we can celebrate.” But in the air there was an uneasy tension. Could Black Legion and -A- really let this go? There’s no way we were in the clear…

“I need perches made at the TCU and station!” our FC shouted. Apparently, there was chatter of more threats incoming and we were about to have our biggest battle yet. Cynos and movement had been sighted and we all thought Black Legion was going to make a hammer and anvil attack on the TCUs.

One hour to go…

Quickly, the frigates made bookmarks at varying directions and distances from all of the strategic targets in the system including the station, TCUs, and jumpgates. We braced ourselves for the impending doom. The speculation was that Black Legion wasn’t done yet…

Thirty minutes to go…

No further hostiles. It was entirely possible that someone could bring in a large number of dreads to pop our TCU in a matter of minutes. Where were they? Doesn’t BL or -A- know that now is the time to strike? What’s keeping them?

Ten minutes to go…

Hope is regained now as fleets warp on top of the TCU, prepared to defend it with every last ship the coalition had available in the area. Every pilot on edge both hoping for the best, but preparing for the worst. This was it. BRAVE was finally going to be a player in nullsec, if only for a day. We did it.


(Cue Wrecking Horn Music)


Tags: BNI, brave, catch, hero, proto

About the author


Proto began his career in Eve in 2007 and is a current member of Brave Newbies. He spends a great deal of his time blogging and contributing content for Eve related podcasts. When he can put a few sentences together, he's usually worth a read.