On the 6th of February 2021, a Caedes belonging to a French Goonswarm director was brought down in 1DQ1-A, the stronghold of the Imperium coalition. Whilst the owner had used the Caedes twice before, it had been sitting in their hangar gathering dust for quite some time. After three days and six kills, his time was cut short; he would only get a total of 8 recorded kills. Word soon spread across the community – “Vonhole struck again”. 17 days before, an Utu was brought down by Fredrick Vonhole and his friends.
What is surprising about this kill was its location; 1DQ1-A, the very heart of the Goonswarm Federation. The main stronghold of their coalition which frequently houses well over 1,000 online members, especially during this time of war.
The pilot Kiyoka Kobayashi is a director of Goonswarm’s premiere Francophone corporation Les chevaliers de l’ordre/The Knights of Order [Ticker: ODN]. During a 100% loot drop event in late 2019, ODN directors flexed their wealth by smartbombing a Taipan (a limited Corvette) with a faction Titan using an officer level smartbomb. Inside the corvette was a wealth of officer level modules and over $1,200 dollars worth of PLEX. On the killmail included two AT ships – a Hydra and a Tiamat – worth well over 150bn and 400bn respectively, each showing off Officer level modules.
The loss of this Caedes was entirely preventable. This is a unique case for AT ships, as the bait was extremely obvious and the director (if properly informed) had plenty of opportunity to avoid being killed.
Kiyoka Kobayashi was spotted in Delve three days ago, piloting his Caedes to kill a Stiletto. One day later he utilizes it to kill several Ares, then the next day a Sabre. All of these kills happened in 1DQ1-A, which was soon spotted by Vonhole. They prepared an ambush. Fredrick’s alt, RusL Zamayid left his corp and joined an open recruitment Russian corp in TEST, and set up the trap.
It was a sloppy ambush. In a video later released by Vonhole, the team discussed the plan. The meeting and plan was delayed, as a member of the team was busy playing Dota 2.
The Ares was chosen because they sic “don’t want to overload his brain”. Any other bait ship might have confused and disorientated the director and gave them cold feet. The Caedes pilot appeared to literally hit approach on anything he was killing. An elaborate setup clearly wasn’t necessary. Another member of his team wasn’t confident this would work. “This must be a joke”, he replied. It couldn’t be that easy he thought.
In a video recorded by a third party, the Caedes pilot appeared to literally ram the sabre at point blank range completely unaware of the danger he placed himself in. The plan was set, and behind the shroud of over 600 people in local, nobody would notice Vonhole setting up the accounts in system. Kiyoka took the bait, in a Dramiel, and killed Vonhole’s travel fit Ares.
Fifteen minutes later, Vonhole’s alt was struck again by Kiyoka. This time, it wasn’t travel fit. It was the sloppy fit that Vonhole put together on a whim.
The Ares was fit with a 400mm plate and heavily armored. Landing a scram, Vonhole and his friends pounced on the Caedes. Multiple Astero decloaked and scrambled Kiyoka along with other cloaky ships that were ready to strike. Vonhole’s Ares and Astero would go down, but not in vain; Kiyoka’s Caedes was killed in the heart of Imperium space.
But this Vonhole bait was incredibly obvious to the trained and observant eye.
Those familiar with Vonhole know his discord tag; RusL. The same RusL in RusL Zamayid. His friends include Nyan Katzu, Kidein Orlenard, and the 0ffline Corporation who have frequently killed other AT ships. Even the first page of RusL Zamayid’s killboard should scream danger and indicate Vonhole and friends.
Of course, not everyone is aware of these things. Had the Caedes pilot been more aware then this would have failed entirely. And had the Caedes pilot not consistently flown it in the same system, perhaps Vonhole would have wasted his time on a target that wouldn’t undock. The Astero was a disposable alt. However one with a storied history. RusL was not a disposable alt.
And whilst there is no doubt that the directors of ODN are fabulously wealthy and own more AT ships, there is one fewer Caedes left in New Eden and one fewer AT ship in the collection of the Imperium.
Due to the inherent danger of striking in 1DQ1-A, several members of Vonhole’s team failed to extract and were killed.
[Editor’s Note: This next part is a little hard to understand if you’re not an EVE player familiar with ship fitting.]
Vonhole’s Loki was fit with a sensor booster, two stasis webifiers, two target painters, five 720mm artillery cannons, a warp disruptor, two rapid light missile launchers, a cloak, and a microwarpdrive.
Micky Nox’s Loki was fitted with three hyperspatial rigs in order to warp faster, along with cloaking and interdiction nullification. It fielded two sensor boosters and rigs for webbing, and a 30km point in order to point and web as soon as possible. Micky’s pod fielded a full set of low-grade Jackal implants to make it incredibly difficult to jam off and save the Caedes.
Neloth Anthar used an Anathema fitted with a covert cyno. It featured a scrambler, a web, heavily armored against EM and thermal damage, and a small cap boosters. Everything designed to withstand lasers and energy neutralizers – signature weapons of the Caedes. redfer’s Proteus featured nothing special or extraordinary.
Lotta Solette is a known alt account of Vonhole’s group. The Astero interestingly fitted three rigs designed to minimize cloak targeting delay. Otherwise, the Astero resembles the standard scram double web tanky Astero.
Maybe their fittings offer an idea into the preparations and considerations Vonhole and his team take.