A large battle went down last night in 49-U6U, with over 3,000 pilots in system and a trillion ISK in losses.
It was a fight over an armor timer on an Imperium Fortizar, one of the structures we still have in that system in Querious. I joined up with Lazarus Telraven’s Rokh fleet to go out and help defend the timer.
The invaders had been sending out pings to rally the troops for this fight, no doubt feeling a bit stung when, last Friday, they declined to contest the armor timer on this very same structure even though they outnumbered us. Their advantage then was insufficient.
Last night they got the numbers, outgunning us on the field by about a 2 to 1 margin.
The fight started when the timer finished its count down. We had subcap fleets on the Fortizar with fax support for reps. They had subcaps on hand as well, but started dropping dreadnoughts near us almost right away, the first group landing pretty much on top of the Fort.
The Rokh fleet started shooting a TEST nightmare fleet and managed some kills but, as the fight escalated and people kept piling in, the server began to stagger under the weight of commands. And a struggling server can be a capricious factor. Back at the KVN-36 fight, the node went down and won us the timer. This time around the node stayed up, but balked at our super carriers jumping in, with a bunch failing to jump and those that made it getting disconnected.
That stopped the battle escalation in its tracks. Titans were not deployed and the supers started getting pulled back. The fight devolved to an attempt to kill as many attacking dreadnoughts as possible. We were told to stop fighting, tether up, and to get to our Keepstar in system to grab an interdictor to hold down enemy dreads.
That was easier said that done. I sat for about 20 minutes trying to get my drones taken care of… somebody’s smart bomb managed that for me in the end… my guns to cycle down and for tethering to finally grab me. And it was a near run thing too. As I was watching the aggression timer count down the last 20 seconds… at 10% speed due to tidi… a hostile Munnin fleet that was rolling through the scrum decided to target me. I could see their yellow boxes turn to red as their damage started to land on me. I overheated my hardeners and hoped for the best. The timer ended and there was a long wait as my shields dropped below half to almost one quarter before tether hit and I was invulnerable.
I’m going to say that tethering is pretty OP, even when it saves my ship.
Then it was just a matter of getting over to the Keepstar… through a field of warp interdiction bubbles.
I spent quite a while trying to motor off in a direction that would get me a clear line of warp to the Keepstar. I went and did the dishes while that was going on. When I was back it seemed like every time I seemed to be clear, the server would decide that a Sabre had launched its bubble before I had initiated warp and I would be back to trying to get clear again.
Meanwhile more and more Sabres were being bridged in as bubbles when up all over to hold down hostile dreads.
Eventually I managed to warp off and made it to the Keepstar, but by then it was getting late for me on a work night. The battle seemed to have reached its crescendo and was now wandering slowly to its conclusion. I decided to go to bed.
The Imperium lost, undoubtedly and without question.
We lost the objective. For all of our dread killing the enemy was able to keep applying damage to the Fortizar and it is now set for its final timer this weekend.
We also lost the ISK war by a two to one margin, with the battle report showing us having lost over 756 billion ISK in ships while the attackers lost shy of 380 billion ISK.
Two thirds of our ISK loss can be chalked up to the 16 super carriers that we blown up after jumping in, a tally that includes a Vendetta faction super carrier. That Vendetta was 19% of our ISK loss in a single ship. Luckily the two other Vendettas that jumped in got away, or the count would have been much higher. But that is the risk you take when you allow your pilots to bring their expensive toys to the fight. The 300+ interdictors we sacrificed to hold down enemy dreads… we might have gone a bit overboard on that… added another 25 billion to the total.
The bulk of the enemy losses came from the 90 dreadnoughts that we managed to kill on the Fortizar, close to a quarter of the 375 they dropped into the battle.
And yet, even having suffered an undeniable defeat, things are not downcast on our side of the war.
Yes, people are pissed about how the servers decided to roll this time. The first post up about the battle was over at INN complaining about that. However, somebody is always pissed at the servers when tidi goes beyond 10% and things just stop working. Generally both sides are, as it leads to missed opportunities.
But there is also the knowledge that this fight is a sign of how hard the invaders are going to have to work to defeat us. This fight wasn’t even in Delve. This fight wasn’t even on a Keepstar. This fight didn’t even escalate to titans. This fight wasn’t even all that consequential. There is another timer to go.
But this fight was just a taste of what is to come. This was the first trillion ISK battle in what may end up being a series of them. The question is who is going to get sick of this sort of thing first?
Since Vily has declared this to be a war of extermination, I am guessing we’re good doing this at least a hundred more times. What other choice do we have?
Of course, that idea must weigh on him as well. If you look at who showed up to the fight you will see that, once again, PandaFam was there doing the heavy lifting, as they have throughout the war. If they get tired of this and go back home… which is what they did during the Fountain War, abandoning TEST to their fate… the invasion will be over.
That isn’t going to happen any time soon, but neither is the conquest of Delve. We’ll have to wait to see who can last the longest.