Monday, December 15, 2014

Riding the Unicycle on the Cliff-side Trail of Doom

Last night was crazy in a good way.

I decided I wanted to fly and probably lose an old Abaddon battleship I had in the hanger from my Paxton Federation days. Specifically, an armour buffered Large Pulse Laser behemoth whose purpose is to kick ass and chew capacitor... which is not a great fit for Aideron where doctrines are light on cap transfer logistics. But I was out for insurance fraud so that was OK.

Usually when I start the Aideron Sunday Night Fleet we get about 7 pilots at first and build up slowly over the next hour to our normal size around 22-24. Last night we started at 14 pilots and peaked later at 32. I guess people were excited at the thought of watching my battleship go boom.
So we immediately shipped into Vexors and Exequrors with supporting frigates and my Abaddon Mace and went looking for trouble in all the right places. Specifically, we started with Tama.

The Nourvukaiken gate (aka Nourv because spelling is hard) had a small group camping so Bait Abaddon is Best Abaddon and in I went. It was nice being in something with heft to it, no fear of being blapped off the field by 7... no wait, 10... no... 14 hostiles... OH SHIT! "Jump and warp to Kirith now!"

What enfolded was a crazy fight between us and possibly multiple groups of hostiles in a variety of ships including frigates, cruisers, logi, recons, stealth bombers, and at one point I swear I saw a Redeemer. Calling targets was tricky due to ranges and security status as I wanted to kill some things but didn't want to stress our logistics wing with gate guns until it was necessary, then we turned on the weapons on some neutral recons and stealth bombers to clear the area. We held the field with minor losses and scoring some nice kills including a Navy Omen, Rapier, and Armageddon, scooped loot, and headed home to drop it off and let some pilot reship.

The next hour was quiet excepting a scuffle in a medium plex I could not fit in so Marcel took over that fight. We heard rumblings that frequent sparring partner Templis CALSF of the Caldari Militia so we ran some plexes down in Sujarento while keeping eyes on the Templis home system of Hasmijaala where their numbers slowly increased. We moved into Nagamanen and waited for reports on the enemy fleet. When they showed up, they did not disappoint so we set up in a Large complex and prepared to fight.

We had about 24 cruisers including my battleship, with 7 of them being Exequrors, one blackbird, and the rest Vexors and Vexor Navy Issues. The Templis fleet was more of a mixed bag of Thoraxes, Vexors, Vexor Navy Issues, a couple Ashimmus, a Sacrilege, a Rupture, 2 Blackbirds, and supported by some Exequrors and Oneiroses (I think 2 of each to start), a total of 23 cruisers. Both sides had a smattering of frigates and there might have been a Destroyer here and there.

The Blackbirds were a serious threat to our logi wing and nice and squishy so they were primaried early to remove the jamming. Our ECM pilot met the same fate as the Templis FC had the same concerns apparently. I ordered our DPS to start into the hostile Exequrors and we took one down in what felt like an eternity but was probably closer to 2 minutes. Then our Logi anchor reported an Ashmmu was on them and neuting hard so we diverted attention to it but it could not break with the CalMil logi firing on all cylinders. I ordered switching primary to one of the Oneiros pilots but Marcel wisely suggested we keep blasters on the Ashimmu and only send the drones after the logi pilot. I agreed so we split our damage and this seemed to work by unsettling their reps enough for one, then the other Ashimmu to be worn down before the Onerios pilot died. We went after the other Onerios pilot to remove their reps (or so I thought as I missed one of the Exes #FCfail) and once it was gone taking out a third Ashimmu before concentrating on the last Exe someone finally pointed out to me.

Now, we were losing ships in this process over the 5 minutes since the fight started, and our logi commander was reporting that reps were not holding. I asked what was hitting them and they said "drones!" HEY! That's our shtick! So with enemy logistics and neutralizers removed we started into the high DPS and drone cruisers taking down the Sacrilege followed by 2 Vexors and 2 VNIs and then tearing into the vulnerable trio of Thoraxes. Templis, seeing the tide turning against them as their DPS failed ordered the retreat and we held the field, battered and bloody.

Not 100% accurate but close.
The end tally showed that both sides caused a lot of damage with Aideron losing 17 cruisers and Templis losing 17 cruisers plus 3 Tech 2 cruisers. However, the faction and Tech II ships' costs gave us the ISK advantage, plus holding the field means we declared this a victory. Hard fought and won, but victory nonetheless.

Great Fight Templis CALSF, you guys bring the fight and its always a pleasure.

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