9:22 PM email@example.com: Why do you spell pandemic legion with all lowercase? Cause they can’t use any caps!
~~~ This was a broadcast from asher_elias to opt-all at 2016-05-25 04:22:07.447156 EVE ~~~
I was having one of those weeks where, on Sunday night, I wondered what I would write about. I had finished the post for Monday, knew Overwatch would cover me for Tuesday, and and item from Tuesday’s EVE Online patch for Wednesday, if I could make something out of it. But after that, it seemed to be a quiet week. We’d lost all our sovereignty and were sitting in our soda warehouse in Saranen fiddling with citadels and towers.
But war will bring opportunity. We took back a bit of sovereignty last night. And then, just as I posted that tidbit and was finishing up a post about recurring opportunities, a Jabber ping showed up saying that there were hostiles in system and we needed more Hurricane’s on Thomas Lear.
I almost didn’t go, but the standing defense fleet tends to be easy come, easy go, so I figured I could run off soon enough if nothing was going on.
And it didn’t seem like things were going to go on. I joined the fleet in my Hurricane, undocked, and anchored up, because the fleet was hanging about the station. On our overviews we could see the enemy forming up around Pandemic Legion’s Fozitar citadel on grid with the station.
They were bringing Abaddons, the Amarr battleship which is supposed to be the cure for the artillery fit Hurricane menace that The Imperium has been bringing to bear over the last week. Meanwhile, we were still stumbling around, trying to get people in fleet, trying to get some boosters, and warping around to find an angle on our foes.
The enemy got off the citadel and we tried to close, got chewed up a bit, looked at the numbers, and warped back to the station where we docked up even as more hostiles were being cyno’d into system. We were not going to take the fight.
But people were still showing up in fleet and clearly something was going on in the intel channel, as we did not stand down, but undocked and sat on the station for a bit as the fleet filled in more. Other forces were around to work with us. White Legion was about, I even saw Talvorian Dex, who still hates us but joined WL to get in on the kills, in local. Asher had a fleet of his own spun up and was supposed to be off doing something else, but the opportunity was right there in Saranen.
We started trying to take the enemy at the end of our range, warping in at about 70km and aligning out and trying to pick off what we could. It was a narrow envelope of engagement as we were still lacking boosts so our lock range was less than the falloff of our guns and we kept moving beyond that limit. We were able to volley off a couple of Abaddons, but we were losing Hurricanes pretty quickly as well. An Abaddon is worth a little more than two Hurricanes, so we couldn’t exchange too many of ours for theirs and come out ahead.
Meanwhile there were also some Hurricane Fleet Issues on the field and some Machariels being cyno’d in to the fight. We took a couple more runs and had some success. The arty-caine’s strength is in its high single shot damage. A sufficiently large fleet of them, all firing at once, can volley a ship off the field even if it is getting repair reps from its logi. After several miserable attempts to do this, we actually started almost firing as one, letting off ragged volleys into the hostiles that would often destroy a ship in one go, or at least leave them so deep in structure that the next volley would take care of them.
We were still trying to operate at range, warping in, aligning out, picking a few targets while losing some Hurricanes. We finally got our boosts setup and running after a while, and the fleet kept growing in size as people logged in, while those who lost ships were just warping back to the station to grab another Hurricane and rejoin the fight.
By that point the fight had moved to the tower we had on the station grid. The enemy was arrayed about it and had six force auxiliaries, fax machines, in support. By then though we had a full fleet of Hurricanes, other fleets in support, and things rapidly swung in our favor.
Thomas Lear had us load medium range ammunition at that point and we warped in much closer to the enemy and stood toe-to-toe and hit them with everything we had. Time dilation kicked in, and for a while it was a slow motion fight. A target would be called, locked up, volley’d off the field, and then the next one would be called. Abaddon, Machariels, Bhaalgorns were all popped in succession. We managed to knock off one of the fax machines, then continued killing off battleships.
I ended up on a lot of kill mails… looks like about 60 now that the kill board appears to have caught up… and I could barely keep up with the cycle of lock and shoot. I did get one final blow, which means that my Hurricane has a kill mark on it… somewhere… I forgot to look after the fight.
At that point the enemy started to bug out and it was a scramble to lock some of them down and hold them on the field to be destroyed. Most of their sub cap logi got away, but the five remaining fax machines were priority targets and were destroyed in turn.
And then it was over. Tidi had lifted towards the end as we raced to slaughter the remains. The tower had been saved and the enemy driven off.
We lost a lot of ships, 40 more than the enemy. But as noted, Hurricanes are cheaper than Abaddons, much cheaper than Machariels, and you can expend a lot of Hurricanes for each fax machine kill and still come out ahead on the ISK war, which we clearly did according to the battle report.
Curiously missing from the match was Pandemic Horde, which usually provides some bulk in Feroxes to help out. Of course, there is some speculation on Reddit as to what may have happened there.
As we lolled about on grid looting and laughing, Mittens showed up on coms wondering what was going on. He had missed the whole show. A bit of command chat was rebroadcast over Jabber for us, which included this:
(11:25:13 PM) the_mittani: i asked you to kill a tower asher_elias did you kill pl instead
(11:25:25 PM) asher_elias: sorry :(
Apparently Asher was neglecting his duties in order to destroy hostile capital ships.
I did not know it at the time, but this was the second batch of fax machines to go down in Saranen, as PL had lost five earlier in the day in exchange for a few Hurricanes. We do like bashing fax machines. At least somebody at TMC actually woke up and posted something about the war, though still no post about us losing all our sov.
Asher pinged for his tower busting op, and I was tempted to go along, but it was getting late for me so I passed, logged off, and headed to bed… though not before a flurry of writing. Asher got his tower kill without my help in any case. Another op success.
All in all, a pretty good day for The Imperium. The sort of day that keeps us logging in and joining fleets. And just before all this kicked off a B-24 from the Collings Foundation (this one), which is out at Moffett Field with a B-17, a B-25, and a P-51 for the week, flew low over our house as I stood on the front lawn. That certainly put me in the mood for a fight. A good day indeed.
And, as I noted previously, our prodigious appetite for Hurricanes is probably stimulating the market in Jita. I haven’t checked, but I wonder if prices are climbing or if production is ramping up, but it seems like an opportunity for a producer out there somewhere. If you look at some of our Hurricane kill mails (like this one), they will show you the modules we are using, which are also be in demand.
The Hurricane op was pretty busy, but I did managed to get a few screen shots along the way. I guess I can save that recurring opportunities post until tomorrow. The week seems to be filling up on its own.
Addendum: Talvorian Dex has a post up about effectively using volley damage to kill hostiles even when they are getting reps, if that aspect of the fight is of interest.