It has been a while since I have been in a fight in the was that was worth a post, but last night we had quite the time. It was time to get Munnins out to shoot things.
It started with an innocuous ping from Asher calling for a Muninn fleet. It was only about 10:30pm local time for me, not too late to join in on something on a Saturday night.
There were about 100 people in fleet when I joined, which swelled up past 150 before we undocked.
When we did undock, we warped over to a titan that bridged us into NOL-M9 in Delve, a system with some history, both old and recent. In fact, it had been the focus of a clash earlier in the day when PAPI forces tried and failed to kill an Imperium Astrahus in the system. That structure, now safe, was where we landed. Once assembled, we moved over to a PAPI Fortizar which we started shooting. The plan was to try and reinforce and to see if we could draw a response.
Asher kept us appraised of PAPI’s ping status, the joke now being that they have to ping multiple times to get enough pilots into a fleet in order to come fight us. On our side pings went out with links to The Count from Sesame Street to indicate how many pings they needed.
Eventually that number would far exceed how high The Count usually takes his numbers on the show.
They put a Falcon on the Fortizar, on tether but as far from us as they could, which seemed to indicate that they would be bridging in an opposing fleet soon. As the likelihood of its arrival grew, Asher had us split out one gun from out stack to keep on the Fortizar while the rest would be for the battle.
A Ferox fleet joined us, along with some bombers, and PAPI eventually dropped Muninns of their own along with carriers and fax support. It became a fairly even exchange between the Muninn fleets, but we still managed to set the armor timer for the Fortizar.
And then, with the timer set and no need to split guns any further, Asher noticed that one of the faxes was off tether. So we loaded up short range, high damage ammo and he brought us in very close, inside the PDS range of the structure, where we took a shot and one of the faxes… and managed a kill.
That turned what was already a bit of smug… we managed to ref one of their structures while in combat when they had capitals on the field… into a very smug moment for us. Asher warped us off the Fortizar and back to our Astrahus, the job done.
The battle report fell in our favor, helped along by those four faxes. We got the objective and won the ISK war.
Asher pointed us back towards home in 1DQ1-A and the Muninns and Feroxes started gating back. But before we got too far, Asher asked us to respond in fleet whether we would like to just go home and stand down or if we wanted to try and reinforce another structure on the way. We voted to reinforce.
Mind1, who was doing the Saturday night show, got in our fleet and joined in the fun, streaming our progress and laying down a motivational beat. Did you know that the Imperium has its own official DJ? It is a glorious thing. You should check out his stream.
So we stopped one system short of home, in T5ZI-S, the home staging system in Delve for the PAPI coalition, the place where all of their members are supposed to be and where all their ships and supplies are stored. We were going to hang out in the lion’s den and shoot a structure. We would see how awake the lion really was.
After a while shooting the Fortizar without a response, Asher moved the Muninn fleet over to their main Sotiyo engineering complex, pretentiously named “Forge of Heroes,” in order to see if that would provoke PAPI to action.
You can see in that screen shot, below the Sotiyo, their Keepstar in the system. That is their main base. We were that close to the heart of enemy and for a long stretch the only opposition we faced was the gunner in the structure shooting bombs at us.
I have trouble visualizing something like this happening one gate over in 1DQ1-A, our home, where the presence of bads tends to draw an eager response from people looking for combat.
The first response from PAPI was to get out carriers and HAW dreads to make sure we didn’t take out any of their cyno jammers. Fighters were sent to cover those as that is all that stands between them and the looming menace of our titans and supers. Progodlegend, the leader with Vily or TEST, got out on the Sotiyo to assess the situation, but didn’t do much otherwise.
The Fortizar was reffed by the Feroxes, who then came over to join us on the Sotiyo. The hostiles eventually joined us as well. Asher had us strip a single gun out of our stack yet again to keep on the Sotiyo and then we started going after the hostiles. They brought a Ferox fleet of their own and it was on.
Time dilation hit 10% at points and there were nearly 1,200 people in the system, but the biggest frustration was that my guns would cycle fast enough so I ended up only getting on every second or third kill mail, the hostile Feroxes were blowing up so fast.
We stayed in range of the Sotiyo and kept one gun on it while blapping hostiles as quickly as our guns would cycle. The Muninns went relatively unscathed as the hostiles were more focused on support ships and the easier to kill Feroxes.
The Sotiyo was reffed, the armor timer set, after which we saw ourselves out, warping to the gate to 1DQ1-A and jumping through.
The battle report was more even this time. In the scale of the war, these losses were pretty minor.
Strategically this did not change anything about the war. It was a Saturday night lark and the enemy is likely to get their act together and form up to defend the armor timers of the structures we reinforced. There is little danger of any of them being blown up.
When it comes to demonstrating morale and responses however, this was another stark illustration as to how low things seem to have sunk for PAPI. We did something on a whim in their main staging system that they haven’t been able to manage in our home next door in all the months since they set down that Keepstar in T5ZI back in November.
Even the Reddit thread about the whole thing was mild.
PAPI, as a coalition, theoretically out numbers us by a ratio of three to one. But even in their home they could barely get together equal numbers after sending out nearly 50 pings to get people into fleets. (The Imperium ping count for the same time was 23, at least half of which were images of The Count or The Mittani smugging and sending out battle reports.)
I am reminded of the tale of why the cheetah doesn’t catch the gazelle nearly as often as you might suspect. The cheetah is just running for his lunch, the gazelle is running for its life.
The Imperium remains motivated despite the odds because we’re fighting for our survival. I am not sure what PAPI is really fighting for at this point, but if it is for their lunch then they don’t seem to be very hungry.