Monday, April 03, 2017

It Was a Quiet Night When Suddenly It Was Quite a Night

Lately the Sunday Night Fleet I fleet command for has been an informal affair where doctrine is not strictly adhered to and people can pretty much bring whatever ship suits their fancy. This is primarily because the organized opposition we typically face has been largely absent last couple months since Caldari ran out of steam in their push and we pushed back hard in the South of the warzone.

Some weeks I call for frigates and inevitably see a cruiser heavy fleet we need to avoid, other weeks I call for cruisers and/or battlecruisers and try in vain to catch frigates and destroyers. This week I called for armour destroyers in hopes that I could get the best of both worlds: fast enough to catch smaller stuff and big enough to engage smaller numbers of bigger stuff.

So there we were, halfway through our roam in Aubenall in Placid region, we only a blobbed Black Shark Cult Thorax on our killboard when the scout calls out:

"There is brutix navy, hyperion, ferox, ferox, cerb, cynabal and chimera on gate."

Whoa. That was unexpected.

Our fleet was tickling the underside of 20 pilots with about 8 tech I destroyers (Algos for the win!) and my Hecate, with 3 or 4 tech I logistics frigates and a smattering of frigates. Even discounting the Caldari carrier we would be very hard pressed to engage those heavy ships and come out with even one kill if they were well tanked.

But our foes, an alliance called "The Glory Holers", had stumbled into an unfortunate occurrence of a perfect storm for them.

Before I could decide what to do, a pilot in my fleet pipes up "hey, I have a dread in this system I'm willing to throw at them". After checking its able to hit sub cap targets it seemed we had more DPS, but I was still skeptical...until a handful of Pen Is Out pilots, another Gal Mil alliance and long time friends of Aideron Robotics, we nearby and coming to the fleet bringing a Megathron with 4 days left on its insurance policy and a smattering of cruisers. On top of all that, we quickly pinged Gal Mil intel channels and reinforcements began to form in Black Rise. That gave me hope that we could engage and hold on to some targets while we mustered the DPS from these sources to contest the fight.

I sent my scout in to see what was going on in Renarelle.

"They are all zero on the gate."

"Even the carrier?" I ask.

"Yep."

At that point the Navy Brutix jumped in. He re-approached gate and I stalled for time by not engaging him since he was neutral and I didn't feel like dealing with sentry guns. Would he advise the rest to warp off? Or are they coming in...?

"They're jumping in."

And the fight was on. They brought the last piece of the Perfect Storm, a driving desire to fight.

They decided to engage a Comet and Algos first, but those pilots were not pirate sec status so that the enemy took suspect flags. That was an unexpected bonus and makes me suspect these guys are not normally from low sec; any low sec denizen would have known to attack the flashies like me first to avoid the suspect flag. This allowed us to pile on our first target, a Ferox, without worrying about gate guns. Indeed, the gate guns helped our cause a lot in the opening salvos.

We then traded four of our destroyers and a few frigates for killing a Vexor and Caracal. Our DPS was dwindling. Our destroyers killed another Ferox and the Phoenix dreadnought killed the Hyperion and the situation started to turn around. We lost another Algos but in exchange nuked the Brutix Navy Issue, Cerberus, and Osprey Navy Issue as the dreadnought continued to make its presence known and the reinforcements began to arrive.

We killed the last sub-cap enemy ship and tore into the tackled carrier and its fighter squadrons. It was well tanked and fought to the bitter end but it could not resist the fully armed and operational Phoenix and soon exploded.

There was a moment of panic as an unrelated Tengu appeared and scrammed our dreadnought before it could warp back to safety of a station, someone crying out that it was part of Northern Coalition come to get a capital kill themselves, but a desperation play by a Drake with only one module fit, a handy ECM module, got the jam and the dreadnought slipped into the cold safe embrace of the tunnel.

We lost a lot of ships in the fight, but killed far more than our ISK worth and earned some glorious kills. Its not often a random encounter works out so beautifully for us.

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