We formed up again in Venal last night to put pressure on the locals. There were several citadel timers in play around Deklein, so we formed up in Venal to be a force for which GotG would at least have to account. If the fought us that would draw them away from the timers, which other groups were planning to contest. If they let us be then we could get up to mischief of our own.
Ishtars were the doctrine for the night and we were given a bridge after we undocked to get us to the locals.
That got us to WLF-D3, the gateway system to Deklein via DKUK-G and the GotG staging system to counter out move to Venal.
We moved around the system, visited next door, came back and decided that the locals were going to stay away to deal with the timers deeper in Deklein, so we went looking for targets of our own. The first on the list was an Athanor that was mid frack, a giant hunk of moon being drawn slowly towards it.
We were not going to be able to stop the frack, which would require us getting it down to the structure timer, but the Athanor was in the process of being unanchored. All we had to do was get the first timer set and the unanchoring process would be halted and would need to be resumed again after the timer passed. So we pulled up to shoot it.
A gunner got going on the Athanor and began lobbing bombs at us, so the small stuff had to warp off and logi had to wake up for a bit and cover anybody who caught the brunt of a couple of bombs, but otherwise we carried on. The wind up for a bomb was such that when the Ishtars were stopped and had sentry drones deployed they could pull the drones, take the blast, then drop them again to carry on shooting. We succeeding in putting the Athanor into its first timer, scuttling the unachoring.
We then spent some time shooting at a POS, deactivating a few modules. Shooting a well armed POS is a bit different as the weaponry will start shooting even is nobody is gunning the POS. As we did that the news came down the line that the GotG had successfully defended its timers and it seemed like we might be headed home at that point. We started moving back towards our staging.
However Asher stopped us a few systems into the trip then turned us around and back to DKUK-G. We were going to see if GotG would take a fight when they returned home. In DKUK-G it seemed like we were being setup for a capital drop. Asher said they were trying to draw us in, bubble us, and drop carriers on us. We bounced around the system a bit, then went through to WLF-D3 again where we ended up facing off against GotG’s Eagle fleet on the far side of the gate. Things went well for us there, the Ishtars chewing up their logi and then burning down Eagles until they started moving off. Logi had some work to do, but we kept most everybody alive.
NCDot had some Jackdaws around as well and we managed to pick off a couple of those including the ship of LadyScarlet, the CEO of Destructive Influence, a corp whose alliance history shows it being in Band of Brothers, KenZoku, and IT Alliance, all past foes of the Goons, so every time she is on grid she is the first target called and there is a cheer when he ship goes up. Blasting an old foe is always a morale booster.
We also blew up another of Hendrink Collie’s Monitor FC ships. Expensive ships are always fun to blow up, though they are getting cheaper as production of them ramps up.
We ended up in control of the grid around the gate, in sight of their Keepstar, not too far off from where Sort Dragon lost his titan on Saturday. (See this Reddit post for a screen shot.)
Overall GotG won their objective, but we managed to extract a cost and give them a few minor headaches. The battle report from both fronts showed the ISK war well in our favor.
Things were tilted more in our favor if we exclude the other front and just look at the battle report for the Venal end of the engagements.
That was the sort of fight we’ll take every night if we can get it.
Afterwards we went back to our staging and stood down. There was an AUTZ timer coming up in a couple of hours, but staying up until 07:00 EVE Online time on a weeknight is well beyond my capability. And so it goes, we continue plinking away at GotG.