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Rolling a wormhole creates a capital engagement

There’s activity on scan as I log in. I’m alone in the alliance channel, yet an Ares and combat probes light my directional scan. Interesting.  There’s an inbound C5 a few hours old, so I kick the warp drive into gear and head over to check it out. I’m met with a fight.

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Two other alliances are currently engaged in combat. In my home! The cheeky gits. It looks like Sleeper Social Club are engaging another force of ships belonging to The Laughing Men. Unable to intervene in any meaningful way, I sit and watch for a few minutes. I do not know the source of either fleet, but my playtime is limited and I am content to watch them fight. I see just one ship (of Laughing Men) die during my time here before a larger SSC force jumps through and they all warp off. A few SSC ships return to loot the wrecks and drones before departing, leaving my home as quiet as before.  I choose this moment to safe up and log out.

—-

Some hours later, Silent Terror and Firefly log in. Upon seeing the inbound, they decide to be done with it. I’m told Firefly asked “ST, help me roll this wormhole”.

A quick scout revealed nothing unusual, and they began the rolling process, dropping a Thanatos to close the wormhole for good, leading to a nice quiet system.

Or so we thought.

As our Thanatos jumped home, a new contact appeared on d-scan. A Vigilant had just landed on grid with our Carrier. ST promptly found himself pointed. As it turns out, we had missed an inbound. This mistake could cost us dearly.

As ST begins maneuvering and applying ECM drones, multiple hostile ships land on grid. It’s The Laughing Men, and they fully intend to do away with their prey. A trio of Guardians with various Tech 3 and Recon support lands and completes the ambush. The battle is on.

Not content to watch his friend die, Firefly commits a Loki and a Tengu into the fight, using the Carrier’s remote repairs to try to pressure the opposition away from the Carrier. Meanwhile, ST is busy gathering our forces. I get a message. It has two words. “PvP. Now”

Dropping the PS3 controller (Battlefield 3, yo) I log in alongside Mick, Splut, Lykwidian and Barrak. Our initial plan involves ECM. Lots of ECM. We’re going to jam out the hostile tackle and extract the carrier – we have no eyes or scan of the enemy wormhole and their fleet is increasing by a ship a minute, so we’d like to avoid losing it. We launch 4 Falcons into warp and await a good opportunity to strike. Unfortunately, a Mistake Was Made and 2 of the Falcons miswarped, decloaking early. One Falcon goes down whilst the others bail off field. Plan A is marked as a failure.

Fortunately, we have a plan B – we commit a second Thanatos onto the field and hit them with armour dps, using a Scorpion as an ECM platform to try and break the Guardian chain. Lacking my Absolution (I lost another one) I grab an old Myrmidon for myself. We gear up and send in the second Thanatos first, with our fleet not far behind.

Landing onto the battlefield

I am aware my overview is a clusterfuck. I like it like that.

First up? The Curse. We landed about 14km away and promptly blow it up before his repairs land. The pod escapes, likely to reship, and we choose a Guardian as the next primary. Our own Scorpion is primaried and explodes before we can repair it. The Guardian dips into low armour before repairs catch on. Dammit. Our two Carriers are keeping ourselves up nicely now, but the enemy have made no move to disengage. They must have an ace up their sleeve. Disregarding the first Guardian, we swap targets to the Oneiros only to get it to 75% structure before the reps land. Moving quick, we swap all DPS to the original Guardian. The swap catches them off guard (hah) and the first Guardian explodes. We burn down the second Guardian and take it down too. The third Guardian warps off as the Oneiros meets his end.

We begin chewing into a Legion as a Bhaalgorn lands and starts neuting out one of our carriers. Firefly gets a point as we continue on the Legion, finally finishing it off. The Vigilant follows,

A silence falls over Mumble as we move towards the next target. A new hostile has landed. “Dreadnaught on grid”. A Phoenix has just landed and began his Siege cycle. This is their ace.

As we start plinking at the Tempest Fleet Issue, a lone Guardian also lands on grid. D-Scan reveals three more. We burn our guns to finish the Tempest and the Loki as the Guardians land. 2 of them burn to range but 2 remain close and we pull the same trick as before, alternating targets to catch one out. We succeed in killing the first. As we start on the second new Guardian, the other remaining two warp, as does the Bhaalgorn – some ECM drones successfully allowing it to evade.

Yes, the drone flight is sub-optimal. In my defence, I grabbed this in a hurry.

Yes, the drone flight is sub-optimal. In my defence, I grabbed this in a hurry.

The last Guardian dies and we start clearing up the remaining subcaps. Our first Thanatos is now dipping into structure, but the remaining enemy subcaps no longer have it pointed, so it simply warps away. Op success?

Only a few enemy ships remain and the Phoenix is firmly in Siege, so we eliminate the remaining Proteus and Onyx. Our remaining Carrier is starting to buckle and the tank is failing, so we warp it out too.

Finally, only the Phoenix remains. He exits Siege and tries to warp but is pointed, so he re-sieges. Confident he is not going anywhere, we warp a few people out to prepare some new ships. I grab my Proteus and start scanning for that possible inbound as we ready *our* ace in the hole. Our ace is 4 of our own Dreadnaughts.

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Image courtesy of our Rev pilot

Image courtesy of our Rev pilot

The last of the hostile ships explodes, taking his pod with it. We offer “gf”‘s to any of them still in local and proceed to clean up the field.

The EVE-Kill Battle Report is here but does not include our original Falcons, nor 2 of the hostile Guardians we killed (because they were the same pilots). You can check our alliance kills and losses for a better picture.

All in all, a really fun fight. I’ve never been prouder of our alliance. I honestly thought we were going to end the night down a Carrier. Props to The Laughing Men as well for having the balls to commit such a fleet into an enemy-controlled system.

Using the home field advantage

Following yesterday’s Rorqual kill, I am anticipating today to be rather slow. Logging on shows a C5 inbound to home, along with a Nullsec outbound. A quick scout of the C5 reveals an empty system with only an end-of-life null inside it, so I choose to scout the Nullsec in home. Firefly is out scouting the main chain, so I’ll leave him to it.

I manage to find a ratting Macharial in Nullsec and tackle it, only to have his 5 ECM drones get a lucky jam off and allow him to escape my Proteus. Not a good start to the day.

—-

Some time later, Firefly reports a Highsec down the wormhole chain leading to a system 4 jumps from Jita. In addition, our static C4a has some pilots in their tower, though they’re not doing much right now. Silent Terror logs in and runs an Orca out to the high, only to have a Proteus jump into highsec directly behind it. There’s a corp hunting in the C2 leading to the highsec. Oh good. Meanwhile, the C4a pilots have jumped a probing covert ops frigate into our home system. So they could be hunting us shortly too. Oh good.

Finally, as we assemble a standing PvP force at a tower, a Loki decloaks 150km away before recloaking quickly. Talocan United are in our wormhole. That Loki didn’t decloak by accident. I launch a probe but there’s no new inbounds – they came in from the earlier C5. I warp to it at range to check, merely to see a Sleipnir Command Ship sat on the wormhole. Talocan United.

“Bait” says I. “Trying to provoke a fight”

“OK” says Silent, as he warps a Proteus straight at the Sleipnir and engages. Wait, what?

The wormhole flares. Once. Twice. Three times. More. A second Sleip has jumped in, as has a Devoter and multiple Tech 3 cruisers. ST jumps away and evades them on the far side. Trap sprung – we counted about 11 total.

Time to take stock. We have myself, Silent, Firefly, Mick and Josh online. We’re fighting a larger enemy force with an unknown force awaiting elsewhere in their connection.

We do, however, have the home advantage.

The plan involves us commiting an Archon. We warp it and an armour fleet to the wormhole and attempt a jump, engaging on the far side. If we need to, we simply jump our fleet and Archon back, collapsing the wormhole due to mass. Probably. Josh jumps in his Archon, which causes the Devoter to re-appear and bubble up on the wormhole, thoroughly gutting our plan. We can’t jump a ship if it can’t reach the wormhole.

This raises another query – if they know we have an Archon and willingly bubbled up, what else could they have waiting? They’re obviously willing to fight. Local confirms our suspicions.

[ 2013.01.25 21:25:17 ] Sith1s Spectre > Going to fight today or just pos spin?
[ 2013.01.25 21:25:43 ] tgl3 > Can I go 50/50?
[ 2013.01.25 21:25:53 ] tgl3 > Perhaps phone a friend?
[ 2013.01.25 21:25:53 ] Sith1s Spectre > nosir 🙂

[ 2013.01.25 21:28:39 ] tgl3 > Y’all know if that null in that c5 is gone by now?
[ 2013.01.25 21:28:48 ] tgl3 > I need to update our bookmarks, yo.
[ 2013.01.25 21:28:55 ] xZardoZx > Yup
[ 2013.01.25 21:29:04 ] tgl3 > ❤
[ 2013.01.25 21:29:17 ] xZardoZx > oh shucks

Meanwhile, I’m watching for their bubble to drop. They currently have the Devoter and 2 Sleipnirs – one Loki confirmed cloaked in system and everything else is next door, being watched by Silent. We can’t afford to throw the carrier at the bubble and if we go for Guardians we then lack the DPS to break the Sleipnirs. Tricky situation.

Suddenly, the bubble drops.

“Bubble down. Fleet go. Warp.”

Our initial Archon, Loki and Absolution warps to the wormhole. I warp away for my own Absolution as Mick warps his Typhoon in. Both Mick and I get caught on the now re-deployed bubble. The wormhole flares repeatedly as we engage.

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Welcome to our home! Please leave your shoes by the door!

Mick comes under heavy fire – the slow Battleship off the wormhole making it an easy target. The Archon keeps him alive and Firefly decloaks a Falcon alt to relieve the DPS, causing the Falcon to come under fire. Each ship we primary jumps away, but there’s nothing we can do about chasing them right now. We’ll chase whatever is left – the early leavers do not matter. Both Sleips are forced through the wormhole, as are several of their Tech 3 ships. A hostile Falcon jumps in and is volleyed to armour before he jumps away. Our Falcon is ping-ponging armour as one of the Sleipnirs jumps back in, now polarised. Works for us.

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We go for their Devoter next, expecting them to fall back alongside it when it runs low since we’d be able to warp reinforcements in freely (if we had them).

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Josh’s Archon providing glorious repairs

Most of their fleet has jumped away and as the Devoter falls, so do the rest. We follow with what we can of our fleet and tackle a few before they can run. The Devoter is first.

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Most of their Tech 3s are away, but we also grab the Sleipnir and try to grab the Loki.

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The problem is that this is a Black Hole – meaning 85% increased speed, but also a decrease to agility. The Loki, which is webbing, is flying off far faster than we can be bothered to chase. In the mean time, a Falcon is hampering our efforts to catch the Loki anyway.

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The Loki does indeed escape, but I manage to tackle the Falcon. I get him to half armour before he gets a Jam on me and warps away. Argh!

Just before the jam, obviously

Just before the jam, obviously

That’s that. We throw “gf”s into local and jump home, collapsing the wormhole behind us.

First Sleipnir (Pod)

Second Sleipnir

Devoter

Not exactly a record breaking amount of kills, but we’re happy to take what we could! Kudos for the  Talocan guys for staying around, too!

 

 

 

 

Jumping a Rorqual

The static Class 4 wormhole is half mass. It appears my corp were sieging a POS whilst I was at work. Gits. Regardless, I best get scouting.

C4a leads to a C2 with a lot of connections – a High, C2b and C4b connect to it. On jumping back from the C2b, I am greeted with a surprise – there’s 14 Sister’s Core Probes on my scans. A new inbound?

I launch my own probes to confirm and find an inbound C5z. I jump in to see a Proteus awaiting on the wormhole. I pulse my MWD away from the wormhole and cloak just in time to see two Legions jump in behind me. Guess I found their scanners.

I set up a 200km watch point and sit them out. Josh logs on and watches their camp for me. They don’t move, so I setup an off-scan safe and log out. They jump home and warp away minutes later, so I log back in and jump to safety. Crisis averted.

We roll the C4a and log out for some Planetside.

That is until Silent Terror appears in our Mumble channel. During our furious defence of the Crown against the TR airforce, Silent has scanned 8 jumps down the chain and found us something to shoot.

“3 Hulks mining in a Grav” he reports. “12 cans out and a Rorqual in their POS”

3 Hulks are a good kill alone and a smart Rorqual never leaves a POS. Silent is in a Class 2 that is 7 jumps down from our Home, so we log on a few cloaky T3s and start heading down the chain one by one. As we do, Silent reports some movement.

“Rorqual is moving”

We log on an emergency neuting Battleship and start jumping it down the chain. Myself and Firefly are 2 jumps out when comms lights up.

“Rorqual warped to Grav”

Acting quick, Silent scans the Grav on his first try and warps to it as we scramble over. Silent manages to kill a Hulk before the other 2 warp away and has the Rorqual locked down. Fire lands just before me and we establish secondary tackles.

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A Hulk swaps for a Chimera in the POS but never so much as twitches back to save his Corpmate. A shame. We land the rest of our cloakies and proceed to tear the Rorqual a new one.

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Unsurprisingly he does not take our local offer and promptly explodes. His fit is terrible. Seriously. But oh well. His pod was also over a Billion. First w-space Rorqual kill!

Mad props to Silent Terror for finding and catching this thing. Makes a nice change!