The War Against Super Capitals at Q-VTWJ

That was how the fight was billed from the CFC side of things.

We were going to kill a super capital, rumored to be an Erebus, in its CSAA (capital ship assembly array) before it was born.  That this particular CSAA belonged to Intrepid Crossing (IRC), with whom we are neither at war nor at peace I gather, seemed irrelevant.  It was within our range and we were going to try and blow it up.  We have been down this path before.

A CSAA in its natural habitat

Razor put the POS into reinforce and we were coming back to take it out and the CSAA with it.

This fight was pretty well advertised.    The CFC had been put on alert and told to expect a fight, while intel reported that IRC had issued their highest level call to arms and was going to bring in as many allies as they could muster.

The only people who didn’t seem to get notified was CCP, since they clearly did not reinforce the node where we were fighting.  Or maybe they did.  It is hard to tell, but things got bad.

So it was last night.  The call went out that the fleets were forming.  DBRB was leading the Alpha Fleet, which filled up very quickly.  Zagdul was leading an armor tanked fleet, so we had Abaddons flying with us.  And finally there was Lazarus Telraven leading the third fleet, the Drake Fleet.

For reasons unknown, the Drake Fleet ended up in operations channel 2 because Zagdul took channel 3.  This seemed to confuse Laz and he kept telling people we were in channel 3 for long past the time it should have taken him to get his brain around it.  For Logical Laz, the third fleet should be in channel 3 dammit!

I joined Laz in a Drake, determined to shoot something fun before the month ended.

More after the cut.

And the fleets filled.

As these things tend to go, the Alpha Fleet, the first to go up, attracted the lion’s share of the logistics pilots.  They would have a lot of shield repair power with them.  By the time it came to Drake Fleet, there were few pilots willing or able to jump into Scimitars.  I was able, I just wasn’t willing.  I was there to blow stuff up.  So while Drake Fleet set sail with about 150 ships, we only had 8 Scimitars with us.  Doctrine says we should have 20+.

But what the hell.  The logic was, with all those battleships about, who is going to want to shoot Drakes?

The battle was 15 jumps from our normal staging system.  I was told that, due to the shape of space in our area, it would take as many as five titan bridges to get us to our destination.  As it turned out, due to bad planning, we were not even going to get one.  We jumped from gate to gate for 15 systems.

Which doesn’t sound all that bad.  Except, of course, when you are pushing about 600 ships through that pipe and Time Dilation (TiDi) starts to kick in and slows everything down.  Then 15 jumps can seem like a long haul.  Still, we did it, and pushed forward without any sight of the enemy until we were on the gate to jump into Q-VTWJ, the home of our target CSAA.

Then we jumped into chaos.  And TiDi.  And Lag.

Local showed about 1100 people in system, and almost all of them were right there on the gate.

The battle on the far side of gate was the deciding point of the engagement, and it did not start off at all well for us.

At the gate in Q-VTWJ

They had capital ships and AHACs and stealth bombers and a pile of battleships waiting for us.  A hostile stealth bomber run took out a huge chunk of Alpha Fleet early on.  My own shields were down by 50% after the bombers and our logis were too busy trying to keep Laz alive to focus on anybody else.

Meanwhile, TiDi went to 10%, which means that everything was moving at one tenth normal speed.  For reasons unclear to me, this also means that the game UI moves at 10% speed, even when you are just opening a window that has nothing to do with combat.  And the EVE client doesn’t really like that.  It starts to get erratic if you try to do too much in heavy TiDi.

But at the start we seemed to be okay.  Laz picked the AHACs and we started to target them, killing one Zealot after another, slowly but surely.  The idea that nobody would want to shoot Drakes seemed to be panning out.  We slowly soared around the battle engaging and shooting single volleys at the targets called, a single volley being enough to destroy most of our targets.

The field began to thin.  We moved on to battleships, closing with the Maelstroms and Rokhs and piling on them with mass missile salvos.

Rokh gets primaried by Drake Fleet

At this point we started seeing the same names recur as the hostiles reshipped and returned to the battle.  For example, I think we saw a pilot going by the name of LynyrdSkynyrd in three different ships over the course of the fight.  The enemy was quick to reship, while our own reinforcements had to take the TiDi heavy 15 jump pipe back to the battle, hindered by a camp along the way. (And did I hear right, was it HBC peeps shooting us at these camps? Riverini is all over that!)

The turning point came for us when we managed to bubble up a pile of their carriers.  This was over an hour into the battle, but we had broken through and were taking out capital ships.  As we started in on the carriers, a group of 70 returning pilots showed up and joined our fleet just in time to help out on the kills.  Everybody loves to get on a capital ship kill mail.

By this time my EVE client was starting to come apart.  I did not get on all of the carrier kills because my client simply refused to acknowledge that certain ships were even online.  Laz would broadcast a target and my fleet history would show “Target” with a blank next to it.  He would call out the name and no such ship or pilot would be in my overview.

But I hung in there, shooting at what I could until we were all out of targets, which left us alone on the field.

We then warped to the POS that held the CSAA we were after.  But we were too late.  It had been refueled and repaired.  We shot it back into reinforce mode, at which point my EVE client gave up the ghost and just shut down.  I do not have any pictures of the carriers or the actual POS and CSAA (the picture at the top is a CSAA from another op) because the client stopped saving screen shots at some point during the fight.

But it was a pretty safe time to fall out of the game and log back in.  I was able to get back into the fleet in time for him to bring us out to loot the field.  It was littered with wrecks.  A smart player in a Noctis could have made bank on abandoned drones and fighters alone.

The field of abandoned drones

I got in there and tried to loot some and ended up grabbing wrecks full of Scourge missiles, which happened to be what I was shooting.  So I basically replenished my ammo and them some.  I didn’t even lose any drones in the fight so couldn’t scoop up any from the field.  But it was a big battle.  Here is a late fight map update.  The system was a big red blotch when measuring destroyed ships.

We then turned for home, which was trial only because TiDi chased us most of the way back.  Again, push a big pile of ships through a series of gates and guess what happens.

There was one gate camp on the way, but their bubble was placed off-center and I wandered past it with barely a glance.

And how did we do in the end?

Well, we didn’t kill the CSAA.  Mission failed on that front.

On the other hand, we killed a lot of other stuff, including a pile of capital ships.  Here are the results from the Dog-Net battle summary right now.

CFC Kills are Blue, CFC Loses are Red

The kill counts were pretty close.  I think the CFC won on the ISK count.  We lost a lot of battleships, but we put down a lot of expensive capital ships as well.  Both sides will no doubt declare victory.

There is a battle summary up at The Mittani that has a better view of the overall battle, including the situation at the “Gate of Death.”

All in all it was a heck of a fight, and a nice way to end the month.  And it put me on another 65 kill mails for the month, including 14 carriers and a dreadnought.

No idea if we are going back for another run at the CSAA.

Addendum: Jester says I am suffering from Cognitive Dissonance with this post… but is kind enough to suggest that all real EVE players suffer similarly.

Addendum 2: Looks like the CSAA went down with its titan in the end.

6 thoughts on “The War Against Super Capitals at Q-VTWJ

  1. HarbingerZero

    That seems to be an awfully varied kill list. I assumed that fleet doctrine was more doctrine and less suggestion. Does that mean that a Drake Fleet may not actually be comprised mostly of Drakes?


  2. Wilhelm Arcturus Post author

    @HZ – I am not sure which kill list you are looking at. The CFC side was flying at least three different fleet doctrines, and the other side has their own set of preferred setups.

    For the CFC, this is how it works in general. A fleet is called for a certain doctrine, like Alpha Fleet. There are some specific ships and fits for Alpha Fleet that you must fly if you want to be reimbursed if you get blown up.

    But otherwise you can bring any old ship you want, if you don’t care about the ISK.

    I have said on several occasions, a CFC fleet without at least one completely inappropriate ship in it is no CFC fleet.

    And then there are newbie ships, which just get handed out in some alliances, but which are welcome in most fleets. We had a five day old pilot in our fleet last night in a noob fit Vigil. He died, but not before he saw a thousand ship battle on his fifth day in EVE.

    Some FCs will ask you to leave if you are in something odd and the fleet is full or if he thinks you’ll compromise the mission. Bad fits always get kicked for things like Scimitars when push comes to shove, and nobody gets to take Drakes along with a stealth bomber fleet.

    Our Drake Fleet last night had 100 empty slots, so we were taking anything, including Maelstroms that got kicked by DBRB so he could get all his alts into Alpha Fleet. And I went out of my way to shoot a Megathron that showed up in the middle of IRC’s Maelstroms last night. So it happens all over.


  3. HarbingerZero

    I was looking at the Dog-Net battle summary. I guess I was just thinking if two thirds of your force of ~700 (assuming the numbers were even) were (supposed to be) in Drakes and Abaddons, it was weird that you lost a grand total of 2 Drakes and 0 Abaddons, while losing 56 (!) Zealots and 18 Stabbers. I gathered that it might not be a uniform ship selection throughout, but just going by the summary there, I would have never known a Drake Fleet was involved in the battle. Does that make sense?


  4. Wilhelm Arcturus Post author

    @HZ – Yeah, I posted just a screen shot of the kills, not the very long list of participants that gets generated below. Or at least it does if is working. It is still having issues.

    We went in as three fleets, which each acted according to its doctrine. Drakes were the least powerful of our three fleet doctrines, and actually represented less than a third of the force, so got left alone.

    Alpha Fleet, Maelstroms and Rokhs, were the most powerful arm, and you can see we lost a lot of those, as that was where the enemy chose to focus. You can sort of see, in the picture from the gate (and it is in better detail at the post at The Mittani), that we were segmented out in our fleet blobs. MWD Drakes move at about a km a second, so we were all over the field during the battle, while Maelstroms are very slow and tend to just sit in a blob firing.

    And the numbers in blue are the ships we killed, the ones in red are the ones we lost. So we lost 55 Maelstroms and 25 Rokhs from Alpha Fleet (but only two Drakes from Drake Fleet, and one was Laz in like the first seconds of the fight, though he had an alt to command from after that), and killed 56 Zealots, the AHACs, and 18 Stabbers. I have no idea what the composition of our armor/laser fleet was. I saw Abaddons and at least one Apoc (which I saw blow up).

    But yes, it can be difficult to tell what the hell is going on in a big battle like that, even when you are there. Until the enemy faded from the field and we started in on their carriers, I couldn’t have told you if we were winning or losing. I was just servicing targets, as they say.


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