Turning the tables
Firstly, I’d like to say I am a bad person. I indicated in my previous post not 4 days ago that I had decided to stop writing this blog, citing waning enthusiasm for playing EVE and even less enthusiasm for writing about it. That post was the first in a month, in a series of multi-week breaks. It seemed like putting the blog into stasis was the thing to do. An official confirmation of what was already happening on this website.
However, there are two events on which I have the desperate need to write about. One is Ganked 100 in just over a week’s time (for which I hope to have a full blown battle report). The other occurred yesterday night. So I apologise for writing this post, but the itch had to be scratched. May as well make it readable by others.
Let’s set the scene.
Imagine, if you will, a w-space system. This particular wormhole system is a Class 5. The residents are my own corp. Imagine that this corp does many things and one of them includes escalating anomalies using capital ships.
Essentially, the presence of capital ships in a Sleeper Site in a wormhole will cause a wave of 6-8 Sleeper battleships to spawn. A wave spawns per capital, up to 2 Carriers and 2 Dreadnaughts. The new arrivals provide a tonne of ISK from salvage and loot, but are the hardest hitting NPCs around. Heavy neuts, tough tanks and massive DPS will strain some of the best ships out there. One of the more popular solutions is to pair up a Carrier, Dreadnaught and a armour tanked web-loki to slow the targets down for the Dreadnaught’s massive guns. A second carrier and dreadnaught can warp in later to spawn the remaining escalation waves. Easy.
These sites are usually done efficiently and with as low risk as possible. To avoid dying, the ships involved are usually expensively fit. This is wormhole space after all. As such, the involved ships are also extremely vulnerable to being ganked. A Triage’d carrier and Siege’d dread are easy pickings for a large hostile gang, so most corps running these sites will close any connecting wormholes and watch both probe results and directional scan for advance warning of hostiles to attempt an escape.
So imagine one day that this isn’t done.
Onto the fun last night.
Ganked 100 testing is in progress on the Singularity Test server, of which I am a participant. However I also log in my Tranquility main character to keep an eye on things. I log in, cloak up, and watch as my directional scan lights up with many Sleeper wrecks alongside a Moros, Archon and Loki. My corpmates are running sites, with 5 of us online in total.
Alt-tab into Singularity. Bubble titan. Broadcast for reps. Bubble titan. Routine stuff on the test server.
Alt tab into Tranquility. The following exchange is taking place.
[ 2014.01.08 21:48:55 ] tgl3 > site running?
[ 2014.01.08 21:49:12 ] silent terror > ye
[ 2014.01.08 21:50:01 ] silent terror > phobos
[ 2014.01.08 21:50:10 ] silent terror > mick
[ 2014.01.08 21:50:16 ] Mick Straih > what
[ 2014.01.08 21:50:21 ] Mick Straih > shit
Hit “Scan” on d-scan. Shit indeed. My scan list just doubled in size. 6 Guardians, 5 Proteus, 2 Lokis, 7 Legions, a Phobos and a Tengu are all new. They’re also all on top of our Moros and Archon, the Loki bailing quickly as we’d want it to.
Where’d they come from? No idea. perhaps the C2 inbound wormhole or the C6 inbound which were left open. Shit shit shit. There’s over 7 billion ISK worth of Capitals sat in that site, hopelessly outnumbered. The Moros is tanking the hostile fleet but the Legions are fit with energy-neutralizers. It won’t hold for long.
Close Singularity. Mumble is launched. Launch second client. Open Jabber and send a ping to all.
Log in everything. Carriers ambushed in site.
I send tgl3 to a safespot and stay cloaked. He’s no good for what I’m about to do. My alt, Shmoo, is my weapon of choice for this. Time to drop the Capitals in. The Chimera is boarded, fuel stocks are checked and warp is initiated. My corp is not far behind me. The 5 online has just spiked to over 18. Mumble has filled up and we’re going in hot. An early subcap reinforcement in the form of our Stratios is vapourised before the Archon can even lock him, due to the pilot being rather distracted on his other loading EVE clients.
A bump off our POS tower delays my Chimera, but others have gone forward. An Archon, Moros and a Naglfar have just started warping in for us. Our Moros on the field is still holding. It’s been less than 4 minutes since our ping went out.
We identify the hostile fleet’s origin – they came via the Class 6 wormhole. As my Chimera goes into warp, our second Naglfar warps there with an Orca and promptly closes it by over-extending it’s mass limit, cutting off the hostile fleet’s immediate escape.
As the C6 is reported as shut, I finally land on field.
Not to be outdone, our newer recruits show up in sub-capital support alongside a couple of our alts. Two Webbing Lokis land alongside a pair of Brutixes, a Typhoon, a Legion and a Tengu. Together we try to pin the Phobos down, but we’ve hit a snag. We can’t break 6 Guardians with subcaps and the Dreadnaughts aren’t hitting. Why? Because the ECM Tengu is jamming the two Lokis, preventing them from slowing our targets down. Well fuck that.
Our second Naglfar has arrived and announces it’s arrival by annihilating the Tengu for us. In the same instant one of our Brutixes comes under heavy fire and explodes before any of the (now non-triaged) carriers can lock him. My remote shield rep doesn’t help him much. He’s quickly followed by our other Brutix. Dammit, guys. How does that even happen?
“Balls to this” says our Dreadnaughts and promptly wipe out the Phobos. A Proteus is also getting on our nerves, so a Naglfar volleys it off field. Next up, the Legion. Which Legion? That Legion. Wrong one? Fine, that one. Still not the right one? Learn to aim guys, shoot that one.
The enemy fleet then decide that perhaps they should leave now. Before they do they take out one final act of revenge for their failed gank. They shoot and loot our Mobile Tractor unit which had been pulling in all of our Sleeper loot up until now. The bastards.
The enemy managed to figure out their C6 was closed during the fight, when one of their Capsules warped to it to find it “not there”. They flee to the C2. We give chase, but a Loki, Dread and Carrier are pinned in the site by the remaining Sleepers. We also cannot follow into a C2 with capitals, so we grab 3 Guardians and a mix of remaining subcaps and chase into the C2. It goes very wrong. Sat at 0 with 6 Guardians, nothing we can do will break the enemy fleet. The remaining 3 neuting legions also wipe out the Capacitor on our own Guardians so we retreat home, but not before getting one our our Absolutions caught off the wormhole and killed. Oh well. One of our Guardians then misclicks and jumps back into the hostile fleet, unable to come home due to polarisation. He also dies. Whoops.
We jump the survivors home and pick the battlefield clean of valuable remains. Overall we lost about 100mil after salvage/loot. Not too bad for getting jumped whilst site running. Capitals saved. Op success. Pilots reimbursed. Job done.
Battle Report. Good fight to Cerberus Unleashed. Maybe next time, gents.
As an afterthought, we had a think about “what went wrong”. Quite a few things could have been improved, as always.
- Login response was fantastic. Our numbers quadrupled. We only recently introduced Jabber to the corp. It seems to work.
- The capitals tanked well against the enemy fleet. The fits we have are solid.
- The loki/dread coordination won us the fight. 10/10
- The Capitals didn’t bloody die. Aww yes.
- Poor warpins to the fight with regards to subcaps. The Stratios died before the main WHEN fleet was in play. More organisation is needed. This can be attributed to the sheer desperation of the incident.
- The Brutixes died because of the inability of the Carrier pilots to respond in time. The two Archons were dualboxing whilst my Chimera was unable to repair armour at the range I landed at due to the bubble.
- Whilst it was at no point a concern mid-fight, the Mobile Tractor Unit could have been pre-locked by our Carriers for defensive purposes.
- Our subcap showing on the second engagement in the C2 was poor. Not much to suggest. We were simply outnumbered in there, against 6 Guardians.
- Why we were site running with an open wormhole? I’ll never know. Sure this time it worked out well for us, but wspace is a shifting landscape. Next time we may not be so lucky.
So ends the largest burst of EVE excitement I’ve had in weeks. That, as they say, is that.