Expecting another run with Nagas again, I logged into EVE Online early to grab two off of the contracts available in Saranen. There seemed to be plenty available, so somebody had worked to restock the market over night. Pick your favorite quote about logistics and war.
But when the ping went out to form up for the 02:00 op, the call was for Hurricanes alone. No Nagas would undock, so I had to grab a Hurricane off contracts in order to go along. Plenty of those were available as well. Thomas Lear was the FC and, by way of indicating what we might be up to, the message of the day in the fleet window asked that we bring extra T1 ammo.
We were going to shoot a structure.
Thomas would neither confirm nor deny this allegation, just telling people to bring extra ammo. I had shipped out plenty of cheap ammo for Hurricanes, so I was covered, but people who went to the market in Saranen were faced with some very expensive choices. Somebody had bought up the T1 ammo and priced it way above market, making faction ammo cheaper by comparison. A bit of economic warfare. So people bought faction ammo instead. I listed some of my T1 ammo and mentioned it in fleet chat, however nobody seemed to notice and I wasn’t wearing my headset with a mic, so couldn’t shout about it in voice coms. Ah well, somebody will buy it at some point… it was still listed last I checked.
After boosters were setup the fleet, approximately 100 people, undocked through the cloud of Abaddons sitting on the undock and warped off to a gate. A couple people got tagged and had to dock back up, but most of us had no problem.
We traveled a few jumps to pick up a titan that bridged us up into Pure Blind where we did indeed setup and start shooting a tower. It was an NCdot money moon in U-INPD in a MOA owned system. So we went into orbit of the tower and started shooting it while sending drones after the offensive modules to incapacitate them.
We had a couple of hostiles in system scouting us, but things were quiet for a while until a group of hostiles showed up in local. NCDot had put together a small bomber fleet to disrupt our POS shot, and disrupt us they did.
When the NCDot bomber force uncloaked and launched against us, the call went out to overheat hardeners. That I did overheat saved my ship, as I was square in the middle of where they had aimed. I saw my shields stripped away, then my armor burned off, and finally the very structure of my ship began absorbing the incoming explosions. I thought I was done for, but the damage stopped with 8% of my structure remaining. A couple of Hurricanes went down in that run, but most survived. However, like my ship, the survivors were still heavily damaged.
Meanwhile, reinforcements were coming in to help our foes. NCDot had put out the call to the other members of the We-Are-Not-A-Coalition Coalition and they were showing up in system. Thomas warped us off, then brought us to a GSF POS in the system.
However, the POS password wasn’t the standard one you can find by googling “Goon POS password” and he did not know what the actual password was. So anybody who was in GSF, which was most of the fleet, could safely hole up in the POS while those of us in other alliances had to go make safe spots and bounce around.
While Thomas was trying to get somebody from GSOL maintenance out to reset the POS PIN to let us in, a Guardians of the Galaxy T3 fleet showed up at the POS and started shooting our tower.
Meanwhile, somebody woke up MOA and told them they had an Imperium POS in one of their systems, so they dragged out a couple of Revelation dreadnoughts to join in the shoot. Things had turned around and our own tower was the focus.
Pandemic Horde also filtered into the system with a mixed frigate and interceptor fleet. All sorts of people were showing up.
In the mean time, the GSOL service tech had made it out to the POS and had set a temporary password so those of us warping between safe spots could rejoin the fleet. Soon we were all huddled together, orbiting the stick at 500m, and wondering how long it would take our foes to get bored and go away.
At that point we were out numbered and out gunned, but in addition to that we were all still heavily damaged. Ships orbiting the POS tower all showed visible armor damage. We looked like a fleet of the undead shambling about the stick, giant patches of burned armor exposed.
We were a shield tanked fleet, and shields do regenerate. However, we still often count on armor and hull to act as a buffer while we hope that logi can get to us and start repping our shields. And, for me, that secondary buffer was mighty thin indeed.
So we sat in orbit for a while inside the POS shields and waited.
Then Thomas told us all to wake up. Asher Elias had pinged for a reinforcement fleet and was going to be arriving shortly. At that point we were going to leave the POS shields and engage the enemy.
We stopped orbiting the stick on our own and anchored up on Thomas. He made a few turns back and forth as we waited, then headed for the edge of the shields, then end of safety, and started calling targets.
I had managed to lock up and hit a Guardian before it exploded, then moved on to a Devoter where I scored the final blow, giving my Hurricane a temporary kill mark. Very temporary indeed, as the NCDot bomber fleet had uncloaked already and bombs were on their way.
I overheated my hardeners again, annoyed that my ship hadn’t come with any nanite repair paste and that I hadn’t bothered to check and grab some before we left, and waited for the hammer to fall as I started shooting the next target. My shields went down by leaps as each bomb hit. There was a short pause in the pulses of the attack as my shields lingered at the hairy end of being gone. I thought for a brief second that maybe I might survive a bit longer. And then another bomb pulsed and the ship disintegrated around me and I was in my pod.
I am sure I was not alone. Those who did not go with me on that round no doubt went soon thereafter, as the bombs were not done hitting and my pod was destroyed with the next explosion, putting me back in the station in Saranen.
There were calls on coms to reship and be ready to return, but I doubted that we were going to go back. The bulk of our fleet, damaged earlier by a well aimed bomb run, had been finished off by the same bombers.
The battle report shows that we lost almost all of our ships in the engagement, totaling up to 15.3 billion ISK while only inflicting 4.43 billion ISK in damage on our foe, a ratio of almost 3.5 to 1.
Not a good day for the USTZ 02:00 op. And the daily Astrahus in Saranen was destroyed as well.
We shall see what tomorrow brings.