Last night was the return match. After Monday’s fight another Fortizar was put down in the same spot in Hakonen.
There was a Fireside chat scheduled before operations were supposed to begin, which was marred by network issues that dropped a large portion of the audience off the server. “Something, something, fleets will be going up…” was about all I got.
Fleets did go up. There was a ping for two Typhoon fleets and a Jackdaw fleet as well as a call for capital ships to be ready. And there were a few special fleets forming up, including another small ECM Burst fleet, which I joined.
We were in the same Atrons with the same plan. Since the Fortizar had been dropped in the same position as the previous one, our perch bookmarks were all still viable as well, though I went out beforehand and burned out to make a few more.
We formed up, Atrons were handed out to the people who hadn’t been on the Monday op, and went over the “how to” of the fleet.
It looked like our bookmarks might be troublesome. The new ones I burned were a little closer in than the originals and there was a gang of five Raptors zipping around the area, not too far from one of my perches. They got close enough to another pilot in our fleet to decloak and blow him up. As they edged towards me I weighed the option of decloaking and warping off versus just sitting tight. I chose the latter, which turned out okay.
The timer was counting down on the Fortizar, our fleets were undocking, and the enemy subcap fleets started landing on grid. There looked to be two Machariel fleets and an Abaddon fleet, supported by Apostles. Once on grid they lit a cyno and more Apostles jumped in along with a fleet of super carriers with four titans for support. The arrival of these fleets and their supporting ships drove the roving third parties off and my perch was never in peril after that.
As the timer hit zero there were about 2,600 people in system and the time dilation was very light. And then everybody, launched fighters, dropped drones, or otherwise opened fire and tidi quickly got down to 10%.
Our little ECM Burst contingent did not have as much to do this time around. The battleship fleets ended up a toe-to-toe slugging match, running smart bombs to clear drones and fighters. In this situation we had to take care where we dropped lest we end up annoying our side as much as our foes.
So there were runs on the periphery and runs where we had to warp off without running our busts. We tagged a few people, though some runs were pretty minimal in effect.
The outcome of the Fortizar itself did not seem at all in doubt. The repair timer was paused by damage just seven seconds into its fifteen minute count down and stayed fixed at that point throughout the fight.
So for a while I was mostly sitting on a perch, cloaked up, and able to watch the fight unfold. Not a bad view.
TEST showed up again with their Nightmare fleet and joined in shooting NCDot, PL, and their assorted allies. There was a sore temptation to take a shot at one of the Nightmares in the fleet, but we focused on the enemy at hand, leaving other scores to be settled later.
Then somebody noticed a couple of enemy super carriers warping off in somewhat random directions. In a battle like this there are always lots of disconnects, and when you get disconnected your ship automatically warps off to a distant spot in space. However, the ship is still in the game and can be probed down. Azure and Argent, our FC, had us change fitting to add a warp scrambler and set us off to join in hunting these missing super carriers.
The first was a Nyx. A Broadsword heavy interdictor had landed on it already and started to tackle it.
He then lit off a cyno and soon some friendly dreadnoughts started landing on grid with the Nyx. The pilot had reconnected by then and was trying to get himself turned about and back to the relative safety of his fleet. However, the dreadnoughts neuted out his capacitor as they oped their attack on him.
I managed to get in close enough to get in a few hits… and take a few hits from the smartbomb the Nyx was running… so was on the kill mail.
We went after a second Nyx, but it was down before I arrived on scene, while a third Nyx just managed enter warp to escape as dreadnoughts were landing on it.
That seemed to be about the extent of the disconnect super kills to be had and we headed back to refit and then went to our perches to join back in the main fight.
The situation had changed some since we left. While the Fortizar still seemed as unlikely to survive as ever, TEST had dropped a ball of dreadnoughts on grid at range to try to long distance volley faxes and super carriers. Thi caused NCDot and PL to cyno in titans, who turned their doomsday weapons on the dreadnoughts. The big guns were out and anybody who had not previously seen a doomsday in action got their chance as they shot dread after dread. TEST ended up sustaining a third of the losses on our side of the battle, about 94 billion ISK, due to dreads being popped.
We only made one more run in to fire our ECM Burst projectors before we were told we could dock up. I stayed on grid, cloaked up again at one of my perches, so see the Fort explode. It had been a long fight for a week night, passing the three hour mark, and people were clearly ready to be done. The hostiles were jumping out of the system even as explosions began to erupt on the doomed citadel.
The battle itself had about the same exchange rate as Monday night, favoring the foes in about a 70/30 split. However, looking at the battle report, the total destruction was much greater, with almost three times the ISK destroyed, though only about 300 more ships were blown up. Throwing in dreads and killing some super carriers no doubt added to the growing ISK total.
There also were not as many random third parties showing up. The alliance list on Monday was much longer.
And so the battle was over. I somehow missed getting a PAP link, but I imagine that I will get enough while we’re deployed to not sorely miss one.
The post-battle bit of “story time” where we head a bit about what happened indicated that we had dropped small citadels in Tribute set to come out at the same time as the Fortizar, so the enemy would have to choose. They chose to kill the Fort, which would have been a major strategic asset to us, but now we have places to hole up in the middle of their territory, places where fleets can linger and dreadnoughts can safe up and wait to drop on targets.
Now we’re building replacements for many of the hulls we lost thanks to the Raitaru and Abzel we have in Hakonen, while the Jita market is booming because of the resupply efforts of both sides. Now would be a very lucrative time to have a researched Tyhpoon BPO.
That is my own limited view of the battle. Other reports I have seen so far:
And, of course, sitting on a perch, watching the fight, means I have plenty of screen shots. We shall see when round three comes up.