Less than a day in our new home at 4-EP12 and we are already out exploring our new neighborhood.
Actually, somebody had already been out and about in the neighborhood, as we had a tower in one of the systems, G95F-H. On the DOTLAN map that system looks fairly distant, being 8 jumps away and in another constellation. But in the actual shape of space within the game, it is much closer, within range of a titan bridge from 4-EP12.
It is hard to tell with the thumbnail, but expanded you can see the two system. Along the top of the map are the familiar string of systems leading back to the edge of the region and the J5A system. (Edit: Here is a much better jump map from DOTLAN’s navigation planner.)
Anyway, the tower in G95F-H had been put into reinforce and intel had it that TEST was going to come out to try and finish the job. So the call went out for Baltec fleet.
We ended up with two fleets, one under Vily and one under Mister Vee. Gaff and I and a couple of other corp mates actually ended up in Mister Vee’s fleet together.
As has become the natural order of things, just the strain of the two fleets undocking put the system in 10% time dilation. If I were to write my friendly and helpful CSM representative about something, it would be the way that such transitions drag the system down. It is one thing when we are fighting in a huge battle and there is a lot of flying hardware to track. But a couple hundred people undocking ought not to push the system to its limits. Null sec issues, I know.
Mister Vee got us all on the titan and, except for a couple of people who brought Tempest Fleet Issue battleships to the party… and who were asked to trade them out for something more appropriate, which included The Mittani coming into coms to say that such ships would not be reimbursed as they were not part of the doctrine… we seemed to have our act together.
We bridged out and warped to the tower, where Mister Vee had us spread out and orbit it just outside of the range of the shield, so we looked like we were sailing around on a crystal sphere. The timer on the tower showed just a few minutes left.
Spread out and waiting, the word came that the elusive Prophecy fleet, which left us waiting just the other day, was on its way. As the timer neared zero, a cyno was lit and hostiles began filling up local. The timer finished, the tower came out of reinforce, and Mister Vee said, “Here they come.”
They landed on grid. They were bubbled up. And they were murdered.
Take a look at the battle summary over at dog-net.org. (Edit: Battle Summary is back, but you can still see the raw data at this report at eve-kill.net.) Here is the key table. Blue is TEST and ally loses, red is CFC losses, capsules are not included in the ship total at the top.
We outnumbered them, 470 to 284. We out gunned them, with a large battleship force facing battlecruisers and bombers. And, frankly, we out fought them. They laid alongside us to duke it out, got bubbled, and paid the price. Their attempts to use the crazy drone capabilities of the Prophecy (drone link augmentors and drone damage amplifiers were part of their standard fit, so I assume they were going to assign all drones to assist the FC ala Jester’s Techno Chicken fit description) did not come to fruition. Meanwhile the Megathrons were chewing them up to the point that I turned auto repeat off on my guns, as one broadside per target was generally enough. Of course, if the odds are against you, your fleet doctrine might not be your problem.
If you look at the full report, you will see that it was pretty much just TEST and Tribal Band facing us. If that is how they manage without their allies, I am going to have to go along with Kirith Kodachi’s estimate that TEST is screwed. We filled up two fleets and had to turn people away. Getting participation isn’t an issue for us at the moment. My main problem during the battle was locking and firing at targets before the were destroyed. Even Mister Vee sounded a bit nonplussed about the ease of our victory.
102 Prophecy and 24 Hurricane battlecruisers destroyed. Mister Vee had us “fofofo” in local.
The “fofofo” tradition goes back to the days of Ultima Online according to the Goon wiki, from which I stole these pictures.
Why we actually do it is still a bit murky, but who am I to gainsay such a tradition?
And then, as the enemy that remained withdrew, several carriers jumped in to rep the tower. Finally, a titan jumped in to bridge us back to 4-EP. All in all, a great event for padding kill totals for us, but what must have been something of a morale breaker for TEST.
We shall see. While one battle does not make a war, TEST’s performance without its allies does not bode well for them.
As per usual, some pictures of the operation taken along the way.