Monday, April 2, 2012

SoTF Take a Road Trip

This weekend long battle report was written by Lock Out from my corp. I thought it was worth a share from the FHC forum where it was posted. Words by Lock Out (with a little tidy) and pictures by yours truly. You may wonder why I didn't write a report myself. All I'll say is I held a dinner party that night and the GMT +4 time difference meant I could join fleet after everyone had gone home even though I really, really shouldn't have given my state. I was the one in the Huggin (that will be explained later). For now, over to Lock Out......

Because our regular hunting grounds in Black Rise grew a bit stale due to all the actors knowing each other and what they can field, -FU- alliance, together with our friends for GMVA and SLAPD decided to take a roadtrip.

We chose a low-sec system adjacent to Geminate and we were quickly rewarded with the sight of Brick Squad, one of the most pew-pew happy alliances that we've met in our perils across New Eden. Small gang skirmishes erupt, with both sides winning some and losing some throughout the week.

As the weekend approaches, we realise that we are gonna have good numbers so we start looking at opportunities for larger scale fights. Together with our esteemed opponents/titan killing brosefs/ex alliance mates (it is a VERY complicated relationship) from W-BR we decide to poke at -A- on Friday. Our form up is delayed by a couple of dreads with a death wish. A Naglfar gets it's wish granted ( while a Rev has a change of heart and jumps out as our Zu uncloaks.

After this small detour, we formup with "arti nados" and recons and move to Curse where we merge with the W-BR fleet, not before losing a Huggin to alcohol (It was NOT my fault - Drack) and a Scimi to a disconnect. Once we merge gangs, we boldly proceed into Catch, where -A- waste no time in forming up a response fleet and rapecaging us in our temporary staging POS. The derp is strong with us, so we decide to exit the shields on the opposite side to their gang. About 3 minutes and 5 derps later our fleet turns in to a bunch of wrecks ( and we say our gf's in local, wondering if we just broke the Guinness world record in bad decisions per minute. To reiterate the idea that when you are having a bad day you should just logoff, later we also lose to a Rote Kapelle gang (, and although a random PL drop saves our efficiency by melting the Rote triage archon that we shot at earlier, all-in-all we are not feeling that hot.

Meanwhile, in Geminate, our Brick Squad foes aren't doing great either. The Geminate/Vale napfest consisting of Pinked, Broken Toys, GIANTSBANE. and co decides to make a push for the BWF pocket and although Bricks seem to deal with it pretty well initially, some Geminate coalition dreads make short work of the Brick Abaddons ( As the sight of caps works better than an improved blue pill for us, we get a major erection and instantly convo Bricks asking if they would agree a temp blue and if they could get another fight out of Gem coalition on the Saturday. Upon reciving a positive answer to both questions, we call it a day and go get some rest.

The Op:
From previous scouting we know Gem coalition usually form up around 18-19 hrs server time, so as I log in on Saturday after dt, I send an alliance mail asking people to be online at 18:00 hrs. I also poke First General, asking if Wolfsbrigade want in on the action. And man, they do! At 18:00 server time, W-BR and their Dewa Brotherhood friends are moving towards us, and I realise that with their 15 dps fit abaddons, 3 neuting baddons and 6 guardians they actually have more than we do. Fortunately this is the time when our guys get past the mandatory hangover and start loggin in. At about 18:30 we finally merge fleets and our fleet looks like this : 14-15 guardians, 4-5 neuting BS, 2 smartbombing BS, a HIC and about 25-30 DPS BS (mostly Abaddons). Also, our temp blues from Brick Squad form a 30+ man fleet with Abaddons and 6-7 Guardians and start trying to provoke a new fight with Gem coalition. As the hangover is still strong with most of us, we decide to keep our 2 scout/cyno alts in a covops and a Pilgrim with the brick fleet in case things kick off, and rely on Bricks for intel about the movements of Gem coalition. Initial intel reports a 80+ man Gem coalition fleet formed on a titan in TZL, so the prospects are good. We park our fleet next to the 'Bus and proceed to wait. And wait. And wait some more.

As it seems nothing is kicking off, Brick fleet decides to move from BND towards Gem coalition staging system of LR-2XT, hoping that proximity to the enemy fleet will kickstart a fight. En route they also encounter 2 other 10+ nano gangs friendly to them, so now they have around 55-60 in the area. Still less than the 80 of Gem coalition, but apparently too much to encourage Pinked and co in to a fight. However, we get word of Gem coalition fleet getting within 2km of their bus, so something might happen soon. At that moment, I try and put myself in the mindset of the 0.0 sov bear and I call it in our command chat :

[ 2012.03.31 20:04:52 ] Lock out > inb4 they go in to your systems to grind ehp

And within the minute, Pinked and co. bridge out, we check the map for cynos and indeed IOO has a cyno up. At this moment everything is reversed. Bricks are in Pinked home pocket trying to get a fight and Pinked try and dodge the fight and go to Brick home pocked to grind EHP.  Brick fleet does a u-turn and starts burning back to IOO, so do our scouts/cynos. Few minutes later, things get really interesting :

[ 2012.03.31 20:10:02 ] Harvey Skywarker > caps are in !!

Bricks have managed to get eyes in IOO and report 5 Thanny, 3 Rev, 6 Phoenix, 1 Nid, 4 Moros, 2 Chimmy shooting the I-HUB while the support fleet of around 80 is on the BND gate trying to cut Brick Squads route. We decide to go for it asap, with the brick fleet making best speed and joining the fight as soon as they get to IOO.

[ 2012.03.31 20:12:27 ] Lock out > if our cyno gets there first
[ 2012.03.31 20:12:31 ] Lock out > we'll just go for it
[ 2012.03.31 20:13:02 ] Harvey Skywarker > they are on BND gate atm
[ 2012.03.31 20:13:07 ] Tekitha > the caps?
[ 2012.03.31 20:13:45 ] Harvey Skywarker > sub caps on bnd gate , dreads on IOO I-Hub

At about this exact time, Tekitha's scout in a Helios manages to jump in to IOO and taking advantage of the fact that there is no support next to the caps to instapop the helios, we decide to use that for the bridge cyno instead of the well tanked but slower dual plated Pilgrim that was about 1 jump behind. Tek's alt uncloaks and lights on top of the Gem coalition cap fleet, and none of us seems to realise that we're about to jump with only 50 subcaps in to a fleet of 21 caps and 80+ subcaps.

Cyno up ! Bridge up ! Bubble up ! And finally it all kicks off.

As there is no support on field I call the Nidhoggur primary, First General is coordinating the neuts and is doing a great job neuting the heavy cap reliant Revs and Moroses so they can't land a couple of lucky volleys on our BS. We're all AB fit so we're happly orbiting the dreads without getting hit , the Niddy melts and our ship scanners report one moros as being dry, so we proceed to primary it. With the moros in low armor, their support finally lands on field. We decide to finish the Moros first and then go for the support. Doesn't take long till we melt him and then we start working some pesky scorps that were jamming our guardians. As I am trying to broadcast the targets I make a boo boo and hit "remove battleships form overview" instead of "broadcast target" . Nonetheless, Tekitha is providential as always and starts broadcasting Scorps, Megas, Pests and such. Since we have the scorch advantage I ask everyone to orbit me and I take us at a bit of range till the Megas and other short range support is dead. The Gem coalition make an unlucky call and primary one of our smartbombing BS, their drones head towards him and he clears 10-15 % of their dps by simply pressing F1-F8. Our other smartbombing BS flies right in to the fighter swarm and takes out another good chunk of dps from carriers, giving our Guardians some space to breathe. We lost a Guardian and a couple BS in the initial moments after their support fleet landed, but now our reps have stabilised and are holding decently. Our energy guardians are feeding both neuters and our cap hungry dps Abaddons and to make it even better, Brick Squad and friends land on the field and start melting stuff too. By this time it's clear we're winning and Gem Coalition initiate Plan B : every man for himself.

Sharaar is doing a great job in his HIC keeping as many caps as possible bubbled, but a fair few are at distance and manage to regain cap and jump out while what's still alive of their support warps out. We manage to hold on to another 6 dreads and 1 thanny and killing them is a matter of time. The last 2 Phoenixs initiate self-destruct, but with them having no tank and no resists due to heavy neuting, melting them within 2 minutes is child's play. The total body count is 9 caps and 50+ support killed and under 10 support lost.

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