I logged in midday Sunday my time to find that Mittaningrad, the station in VFK-IV, was being camped by a fleet of hostiles from Occupational Hazard.
You know when you undock and your overview looks like this, there is a situation.
I was just in time too. Just in time to get the warning NOT to undock and just in time to join the Homeland Defense Fleet that was forming up to deal with the threat. We were going to see off this incursion!
Unfortunately, due to a misunderstanding of where the Occupational Hazard fleet was, the first run at them was something less than a victory. We got smoked. The guy calling the fleet composition thought that they were standing ~100km off the station and ordered up a Hurricane welpfleet.
I had considered actually just going out in a Drake, that being the ship I am most comfortable with at the moment, but decided I had better follow the plan. I got into my shiny new Hurricane and when the word came to undock, out I went.
At that point it became clear that the the Occupational Hazard fleet was standing in a little closer that 100km. That and general disorganization from the quickly thrown together fleet meant we started taking losses right away.
The order to de-aggress and re-dock came fairly quickly. I wasn’t sure how to de-aggress… you can’t dock if you are fighting… so I warped out to a POS, turned around and warped back to dock.
I did not get targeted during the fight, so sustained no damage. I did, however, managed to get a kill, which turned out to be a double first. It was my first kill with a Hurricane and the first kill in which I got in the final blow, which meant that I got the kill mail. (Kill mail is actually an anachronistic term now. You get an entry on your character sheet, but back in the day it used to come via in-game mail.)
We were back in the station where the order came across to switch to Drake Fleet doctrine. And most of us did, though I saw a few Hurricanes on the kill mails. We also picked up some ECM support along the way.
The next time the order came to undock, we did much better. Our logistics crew had gotten organized and had people covered as soon as they called for support.
The battle at that point went our way. The Occupational Hazard fleet began opening the range with us then started warping away after when it became clear that the larger fleet of cheap ships was getting the upper hand.
Then the chase was on. We formed up at out POS while waiting for intel on where we might find the enemy.
Then it came through that the OH fleet was at one of the gates. We aligned and warped in and the fight was joined again.
Like the second fight outside of the station, this one seemed to be clearly going our way. Warp bubbles were up. Targets called were going down. The OH team began opening the distance again.
Then, to the amazement of our side, a carrier jumped in right in front of us. There was a blood lust in the orders to switch the carrier to primary target and kill it. And kill it we did. Another first for me that day, my first involvement in a capital ship kill.
The battle report, which Occupational Hazard supplied to EVE News24, said that they dropped in the carrier to cover the retreat of the rest of their fleet. If that was the case, we were happy to oblige.
Along the way I also got another final blow, and my final first for the day, I managed to get top damage dealer on one of the kills. I freely admit this was likely because I had targeted the wrong person and then they came up as primary so I was already a few salvos ahead of the fleet.
After the carrier kill, OH managed to break contact with us again.
We got a report of them jumping into another system and went off to camp the far side of that gate for a bit. We popped one of them coming through the gate while another slipped past.
And then it was quiet. We had no location on the OH fleet and another op was forming up, so the Homeland Defense Fleet was stood down and we all headed back to Mittaningrad.
Quiet held… for a little bit. I logged off for a while, but noticed that the Jabber alerts said that there was a return to VFK and further fights later on. Though, as I understand it from the Jabber timeline, this happened just as another fleet op was forming up in VFK, so there were plenty of people on hand to drive off the invaders.
The report for the day shows that we killed 87 ships for a loss of 132 in VFK. A lot of that imbalance came from that first, rushed sortie out of the station. The ISK cost was in our favor though, with us destroying 15 billion ISK in ships for a loss of 5 billion.
I did not get a chance to take any video during this fight. However, OH put together a video of the fight from their end of things.
Aside from a different accent, this reflects what it was like on our side of the fight as well. The FC calling primary and secondary targets, constant reminders to call for logi support as soon as you get locked, and a bunch of stuff flashing around in your peripheral vision. They focus a lot on the first fight at the station, where were getting owned, but it was the other way around for later parts of the fight.
Well, it reflects what it was like on our end after the first undock. During that we were more chaotic and there were a lot of questions and recriminations and swearing. But once we got our act together, it was a lot like that.
And you can see in that video why I probably survived that first sortie out of the station. His overview is sorted alphabetically. For once, being down at the end of the list does me some good.
All in all, a fun afternoon diversion.