Over the weekend several of the PAPI alliances had meetings where it was announced that those expecting a huge capital slug fest were set to be disappointed as the coalition would be attacking the remaining Imperium held space in Delve, the O-EIMK constellation, with sub caps alone.
Yesterday in late EU/early US prime time the sub cap attacks began in earnest with an attempt to bring down the Ansiblex jump bridge and the cyno jammer in 3-DMQT, which sits at the southern end of the constellation, and which is the only way into the jammed systems if attackers do not wish to come in straight through 1DQ1-A, the Imperium staging system.
The Imperium still has a small jump bridge network spanning the constellation to facilitate moving forces around, with the key one being the 1DQ1-A to 3-DMQT route that lets us quickly move between the two routes into the area.
As the attack commenced pings went out for more and more fleets on our side. In addition, as an early defense, anti-sub cap dreads were dropped into the fight along with a Baltec fleet as the first line of defense, followed on by more Baltecs, Feroxes, Jackdaws, and bombers.
Time dilation was down to 10% as more than 2,500 capsuleers began a two hour brawl over the Ansiblex.
I joined one of the Ferox fleets as I ate my lunch and was able to jump straight into the fight to start shooting targets. The grid was crowded and there were many targets in range. Our progress in shooting was slowed down by the tidi, though we did not seem to be pushing the server too far beyond its limits. I had the calls diagnostic window open and nothing was lingering for minutes on end the way they were during the M2-XFE fights.
From my perspective it was just lock, shoot, then move to the next target. We mowed down logi in the hostile Ferox fleet that was close to us, then began to burn down the Feroxes as well. It felt one-sided enough that the FC eventually just called for us to sort by distance and shoot from closest to furthest as targets became available.
Things went well enough that by the time we were told to de-aggress and warped to the E-VKJV to see the hostiles off I had managed to get on 70 kill mails, including getting the final blow on three different ship including the one flown by Lady Scarlet. It is always fun to get the kill mail on enemy leaders and other notables.
Actually getting the kill mail in a huge brawl with a couple thousand players is a pretty rare thing and tends to go to the people closest to the data center, so getting three was kind of neat.
However, looking at the battle report, we were having such a free time because the hostiles were concentrating their fire on the capitals we brought along, knocking out 19 dreadnoughts and 2 faxes. That focus tilted the ISK war well in their favor.
That arguably understates the losses on the Imperium side as, with the industry updates that were pushed with yesterdays patch, capital are now much more expensive to build and replace.
In in the end though, we won the objective and were able to take satisfaction in destroying a mass of hostile subcaps. We hung around to shepherd the Ansiblex until it was fully repaired.
After it was done we were able to take it straight back to 1DQ and stand down.
We survived the first major attack on the constellation and pushed the hostiles back. But that was only the first attack. I expect we will be battling again before too long.