With the Gallente Militia working together to take the entire warzone, I logged in last night to run my weekly fleet and found only nearby Heydieles and Ladistier systems the last holdouts. I organized the fleet starting with Algos destroyers supported by Navitas logistic frigates, and we headed out. There were many engagements but I'm going to cover the big fights.
#1 - UHurt fleet in Assault Frigates
We were in Heydieles and checking things out in Old Man Star when a scout reported fighting by other GalMil pilots in the large complex in Heydieless against Assault Frigates, apparently part of a UHURT fleet run by famous streamer SirSqueebles. I turned the fleet around and we warped to the plex only to find a metric crap-tonne of hostiles. In the ensuing fracas our fleet was overwhelmed and while we took down two Enyos, we lost 11 Algoses and a number of Navitas and Atrons.
Lesson Learned: Get a proper scout report before jumping into a fight.
#2 - Eve University Fleet in Cruisers
We reshipped into Algos and Exequorors and tried to engage that assault frigate once more but they had moved on. We had several near engagements with various other entities but then an Eve Uni fleet was spotted with a decent number of cruisers and logistic support of their own, so we upshipped to Vexors really quick and moved to engage them. With our allies in system piling on we completely smashed the fleet, killing 14 cruisers of the enemy while only losing an interceptor of our own (to the villianous Kelon Darklight none the less!). It was a perfect execution of our Rogue Squadron doctrine and the power of a practiced fleet execution. Props to Eve Uni for taking the fight in a system full of blood thirsty GalMil pilots.
#3 - Soul Takers in Battleships, Battlecruisers, and Cruisers
So things quieted down after Eve Uni was sent packing and we were back on the Old Man Star gate in Heydieles considering our next move. We were going to check out a Ghost site in Old Man Star so we jumped through .... only to have a Soul Taker gang land forty klicks away. Soul Takers, for the unawares, are the local serious pirate group that live in Old Man Star and though they have low numbers compared to other groups they compensate with blingy ships and excellent tactics.
This time was no exception as their fleet included Tech II cruiser logistics, about 4 or 5 battleships, 3 battlecruisers, and a number of other ships. After getting my bearing and letting our allies know there was a fight happening, we engaged and focused our firepower on their first Guardian in an effort to remove their logistics. Then the smartbombs started and our drones, our main DPS, started to whither and die.
Sadly, I froze like a deer in headlights.
I've had lots of practice in small gangs and small fleets, but battleships with smartbombs? I didn't know what to do and the current action of banging on the Guardian was not working. Fortunately, Marcel was in fleet and overseeing the adventure and realized something needed to be done. He took over and gave the order to recall drones and start bumping the battleships away from the logi. Relieved that someone knew what to do I watched as the plan worked and we were able to send our remaining drones on the Guardian with the battleships out of the way and finally worked out a victory. We lost 2 Vexors, 2 Algoses, and 5 frigates (and an obscene number of pods) but we killed 2 battleships, 1 battlecruiser, and 2 Tech II Guardians and held the field.
Lesson learned: bump smartbombing battleships out of the way of the targets we want our drones to kill.
#4 - Templis CALSF in Cruisers
We went back to Fliet and repaired damage and reshipped as needed. There were reports of a rare Caldari militia fleet in system so we went back in and played cat and mouse with them for a bit. Finally we were at the Abune gate waiting for our scouts to find them when they landed about 80 kilometers from us, a Caracal fleet with logistics support from Scythes and some Moas.
Now we've engaged similar fleets before with our Rogue squadron cruiser doctrine and came away clean so I got a little overconfident and had the fleet charge at the enemy to get some tackle. I watched the kilometers flip by and I aimed at a juicy Moa, got the scram and ... "Kirith, you are out of range of our reps!"
In my bloodlust, I forgot that our logistics could be outrun and put myself into a sticky situation that ended with my Ishtar exploding. I had Marcel take over the fleet while I ran back to Fliet and reshipped to a Vexor. I made it back with the fight still in progress. We lost 8 cruisers (7 Vexors and my Ishtar), 3 Algos, and 4 frigates and in return we killed 16 cruisers including a Cerberus. Good fight and props to Templis for bringing it.
Lesson Learned: Don't outrun your own logistics. Curb the bloodlust.
* * * * * *
After that we tried to get into a fight with a Black Legion fleet with Augoror Navy Issues and logsitics, but they were hesitant to engage our larger fleet and lost an Onerios while trying to evade us.
Despite getting in on a lot of kills for one night, it was not my best outing as a Fleet Commander. I'm getting better, but still need work in some areas.
Later that evening Heydieles fell to the GalMil forces. For the Federation!