The tempo of operations has picked up a bit in Deklein. The rumor on coms is that The Mittani has returned from some press junket and is getting all the veterans of foreign wars, now loafing about the region, warmed up and engaged so that we are ready to go when all eyes turn towards Jita.
As noted in the recent CEO update, the enemy is Triumvirate and Mordus Angels, who live in some of the NPC space in Pure Blind, because… well… because! They like to shoot us, we like to shoot them. They have towers in that space. Attacking those towers forces them to come to their defense, giving us fights now and again. It is the nature of the game. It is the reason they are out there in NPC null sec.
So there was a fleet op called last night and I actually had time to go. We had some towers to shoot and expected opposition from our foes. I joined fleet as soon as it went up, jumped into my shiny new Apocalypse, undocked, realized I had forgot to insure it, docked back up again, got myself paid up, then undocked, ready to go.
DingoGS, the FC, herded us all towards the jump bridge to start our journey out to the first target.
We got a titan to bridge us out and made our way to the first tower in KLY-CO.
We spread out and started knocking down the defense module around the POS, at which point Triumvirate and Mordu’s Angels showed up, bringing along Black Legion to support them.
No, wait. Looking at the battle summary, the previous sentence obviously isn’t correct. Black Legion showed up with 60 ships, while Triumvirate and Mordus Angels could only scrape up 30 pilots between them to defend their own tower. Let me fix that.
We spread out and started knocking down the defense module around the POS, at which point Black Legion showed up, bringing along some pilots from Triumvirate and Mordus Angels. We’re back to fighting Black Legion again. They were blue to us for a bit, when that gave them the sort of fights they were looking for. That time has passed and now we give them the sort of fights they are looking for.
Anyway, there we were in our Apoc heavy Baltec fleet, ready to face the Ishtar menace that cause the switch from Megathrons, and the foe showed up in Zealots. Lasers all around I guess. So we went at them, bubbles went up, and we started in on a short, sharp skirmish that nabbed us a few quick kills, though we were unable to take down Elo Knight in his Damnation. Not for lack of trying though…
That seemed to end in our favor, as the other side retired. We went back to shooting POS modules for a bit, then they dropped on us for a second round. They went after our logistics while we started picking off Zealots about as fast as we could target them. Their tactics proved to be quite effective, as went they went after our DingoGS, our FC, there was nobody left to rep him and he went down. J Black then picked up the ball and began frenetically (though effectively) calling targets as though he was trying to will their destruction through sheer repetition.
Eventually Black Legion pegged on who was calling targets and J Black went down as well. Things could have gone very badly for us about then, but other things were happening on the field.
A series of triage carriers arrived to support us with reps, and DBRB showed up with a bomber fleet just in time to kill all of our deployed drones in a couple passes. I swear, I deployed drones when DingoGS called for them, they died within a minute, and when I deployed my backup drones, they were toast almost immediately. Lots of bombs going off.
Okay, DBRB’s fleet got in some good hits, and such is the life of drones, but at the moment I was wondering what I had done to deserve that routine.
But the arrival of additional fleet units tipped the odds enough in our favor. What started as a very even match turned heavily in our favor, so Black Legion extracted from the fight and we were left to put the tower into reinforce, with dreadnought support, unmolested. You can see from the battle report that we paid a heavy price in Oneiros logistics support.
We were then able to move to then next few towers and put them in reinforce or knock them down at our leisure. Then it was time to return home, our mission having been accomplished. (I found it amusing that Circle of Two had, appropriately enough, exactly two people in fleet, one of whom was J Black.)
I got to take my new Apoc out for the first time on a fleet op and shoot my lasers in what passes for anger in such situations. And while I was happy that ammunition supply wasn’t a problem… you just need a long lasting frequency crystal for each laser… I did find out that capacitor management can be an issue. With the right/wrong set of crystals, you can empty your capacitor pretty fast. We had some capacitor logistics support, but it was on the order of six ships supporting a few dozen Apocs, so I ended up having to turn off some modules, ungroup my lasers to shoot with less than the full battery of eight, and swap to more efficient crystals to keep power constant. It makes me nostalgic for the glory days of the cap-stable Drake fleet, just running my MWD at all times and spewing missiles like no other.
This fleet op also put me on the kill boards for the first time since January. While I have been on a couple of fleets this month, I have either flown logistics or just sat on a titan until we were stood down. Up to this point I had only been on six kill mails in 2014. Granted, those six were titans at B-R5RB… but still, I have been slacking some this year.
Finally, I have a gallery of screen shots from the op after the cut. Tourist Wilhelm abides.