I managed to sit down at the computer last night just in time to have a Jabber alert pop up calling for a fleet. Black Legion was in our new Deklein staging system at YA0-XJ. I guess those change of address cards worked.
The alert said that more than 100 ships were in YA0 looking for a fight, so I logged right in. I was in my high sec training clone, so I jumped back to my clone in YA0, got into my Baltec Apocalypse, and got onto voice coms to listen to the usual operetta of a fleet form up. The fleet commander, the tenor, must sing his sad tale of not having enough logistics (and too many interceptors) and how we won’t even undock if we do not get enough. I sit in my Apoc and rationalize by saying to myself that it is a new month so I need a couple of kill mails, and in any case I am in my Apoc clone, the one with the EG-603 implant, which is required to fly our fit, so if I am going to get podded and lose it I am damn well going to do it in the ship that requires it. I’ll fly logistics next time, I swear.
Eventually Red Crown cajoled enough people to swap so that we meet the minimum doctrine requirements. The logistics theme is not done yet though. That motif will continue through the fight. But we are able to start undocking, which turns on the time dilation.
Red Crown had us align to the 2R-CRW gate in YA0, where Black Legion was reported to be lingering. That is when we started to prove again that we can be very bad at EVE Online. On of the squad commanders warped his squad to the gate rather than aligning, sending most of his squad to a quick and early death. On person was able to cancel warp, the rest were blown up on landing, being served up for Black Legion like hors d’oeuvres. The rest of us managed to align without warping to a fiery death.
Once we had a safe warp in, Red Crown warped the fleet and we landed on grid with Black Legion and the shooting could begin. Black Legion was out in Tengus with a fleet of over 120 ships, a quarter of which were logistics. As has been discussed elsewhere, logistics is a very powerful aspect of fleet composition. This is why the FC is always shouting for more logi. Black Legion was going to be a tough nut to crack with all that support.
The first thing on the agenda was to clear off a Mobile Cynosural Inhibitor that was on grid, so that we could bring in some more firepower in the form of some carriers and their sentry drones. This led to a moment of comedy where everybody locked up the inhibitor, shot it into structure, then moved on to the next target. When you are shooting ships, and you see one out of shields, out of armor, and taking damage to its hull, it is time to think about moving onto the next target. But with structures, the hull actually makes up the bulk of the hit points. The inhibitor only has 20K hit points armor and shields combined, but 150K in the hull.
So everybody shot it into hull and moved on, leaving it still alive. So the FC had to get us all to go back and finish it off so some carriers could land on grid with us and add their fire to the mix.
With that finally accomplished, we started trying to whittle down the enemy logistics, which were on the far side of the battle from us. Baltec fleet in general, and Apocs in particular, are good and picking off ships at range. With the right crystals loaded, I can engage targets out past 150km. So the FC began calling Scimitars as targets. We even managed to pop the first one, but then the hostiles were alerted and each subsequent target got reps before we could get it into armor.
On our side though, casualties began to mount. We had half as much in the way of logistics, and a third of it was being flown my one guy who was multi-boxing. Add in the fact that armor reps apply at the end of the module cycle, as opposed to the beginning of the cycle with shield reps, and there was a lot less margin for error on our side. Even TiDi, which usually makes logistics easier, as your reaction time remains the same while the world around you slows down, wasn’t enough to help us out.
We swapped to other target types, and managed to knock down a couple, but once the hostile logi was wise to our plan, reps thwarted further kills.
At some point Red Crown went down and Reagalan took over the FC slot. He aligned us away from the hostiles so we could engage at range and then tried a few tricks to see if we could alpha ships before reps kicked in. He would have us all hold fire until we were ready to go, then give us a target to lock up and shoot. When this worked, it worked quickly, but for the most part Black Legion seemed to be on the ball and calling for reps as soon as we started locking somebody up. Anybody who was slow died, the rest got reps in time to thwart our damage.
There were a couple calls to get more logistics in our fleet and a small Celestis fleet went up to try and damp the hostile logistics, though they were targeted and destroyed in pretty short order. After a while of mounting losses for little gain, we left the field and headed back to the station. Black Legion won the day, with more kills and more ISK destroyed.
The battle report from which that graph was drawn is available here.
Some screen shots from the fight. There are a couple of shots where you can, thanks to colors, spot people using the wrong crystals for their lasers.