Monday, December 2, 2013

Blog Banter 51 - ITS A TARP!

Welcome to the continuing monthly EVE Blog Banters and our 51st edition! For more details about what the blog banters are visit the Blog Banter page.

EVE Online can be a game of heart-pounding, palm-sweating, adrenaline-fuelled ecstasy or agony. Sometimes over the years those reactions dim and what was once a panic inducing situation becomes commonplace routine. For some, the shakes never go away.

From Druur Monakh (Twitter: @DruurMonakh) we get the topic of this banter: what was your most nail-biting experience in EVE Online so far? It could be PvP in a 1v1 or 1000v1000, your first fight or your latest one, a scam so close to being uncovered too soon, a trap almost sprung on an unsuspecting victim or the roles reversed and you desperately try to escape.

So many nail-biting moments.... which one to choose? There have been so many in my Eve-O life. Well, I think I'll go for the "a trap almost sprung on an unsuspecting victim" option.

It was March 2012, a week or two before Fanfest. I was sat in my Moros class dreadnought with the rest of my team of ten. Three more similar teams of dreadnoughts were grouped together in other systems. A supporting sub-cap fleet waited on a Titan. We listened as the five cloaked cyno ships slowly counted range as they advanced slowly towards their target. It had taken an entire week of planning and moving around to get to this point. Were we actually going to do this? Hotdrop PL.... in their home system?

For many weeks PL pilot Odda had been sticking his smart-bombing Titan on the gates in Amamake. He had a few friends and they'd spend their Friday evenings blapping hapless soles on the gate. Odda didn't seem to worry about this behaviour being so predictable, and why should he? He was in PL's home system. Who would drop PL and why would they? To most it would make no sense to risk a huge attack fleet to drop one titan in low-sec.

Obviously this behaviour had upset a lot of people. A plan had been hatched by the militia's to try and get 400 people in stealth bombers to kill him. This would have been all but impossible. PL has one of the best spy networks in the game. If anyone thinks they could get 400 pilots together without PL getting wind of it they are dreaming. However, talk of this plan got members of Shadows of the Federation and their friends Wolfsbrigade talking. Yes the stealth bomber plan is a utter non-starter.... but was there anyway we could kill it? The calculators and spreadsheets came out!

The answer? 40!

OK it's not as interesting as 42, but 40 was the number of "sieged" dreadnoughts that should take down a Titan in one five minute siege cycle. That was the only way it could be done. Hotdrop, one cycle of siege, pop the Titan, warp off and dock up in a hurry before PL could formulate a response to having such a fleet land on top of their heads.

So after a week of planning everything was ready. Less than a dozen people people knew the actual target. We simply told everyone there would be an awesome fight. Thankfully we got enough people in fleet. The dreadnought pilots were told it was highly risky but the kills would be vastly more than what they might lose. The non-dreadnought pilots were told to pod to a system where there were ships waiting for them. Yes, we'd even bought subcaps and moved them to a appropriate station to prevent spooking PL by moving a large BS fleet with HICs in jump range of Amamake.

Five cloaky cyno ships with massive tanks were positioned in system and the pilots all had different approaches. Splitting the dreadnought fleet into four had two motives. First we'd not spike the map showing PL that there was a decent sized fleet in jump range of their titan and secondly, it would limit bumping when we jumped in.

So everything was set. We waited. People moaned they were bored, some logged. We couldn't say what we were waiting for and this did upset a few the next day when they found out what the plan had been! Finally Odda logged in and a minute later our cloaky eyes reported he was at his usual gate in his Erebus. The trap was set.

Slowly the cyno ships approached. We held our collective breaths. The four dreadnought cynos positioning at optimals with the sub cap fleet cyno in the middle. Would this work? Or would our 150bn ISK fleet (no small number for Militia in those days) get utterly kerbstomped by PL? It was a nervous few minutes as the cloaked cyno ships slow-boated towards the titan.

Finally the call was made. The sub-cap cyno went up and the BS and HICs bridged in! Odda was probably fairly surprised to see a cyno light next to him and a battleship fleet bridge on top of him. He was probably not overly worried at this point. Yes, there were multiple heavy interdictors but a couple of dozen battleships could not scratch a titan that already had carrier reps. And it wouldn't take long before his PL bro's could gather up and kerbstomp them.

I assume that mood changed when, 10 seconds later as the heavy interdictors called point, another four cyno's popped and 40+ dreadnoughts surrounded him.

It was on like Donkey Kong!

We primaried the carriers on field to take the reps out. They went down fast. Then PL supers started landing. The quickness of the response amazed us. How???? We learnt the next day they had their superfleet out already and had a bait capital with cyno 'fishing' for targets. We'd picked the worst possible time. At that point it was balls to the wall! As swarms of deadly fighter-bombers appeared the FC called Odda's titan primary. 40 seiged dreadnoughts do a LOT of damage. Even with PL carriers appearing on field to rep the titan, our DPS was too much and in a massive boom the titan went down. I personally was stuck in siege with the PL supercap fleet sat on top of my dreadnought. As the swarm of fighter-bombers headed my way all I could do was smile and wave. I didn't care, we'd achieved our goal. All the preparations, all that nervous waiting, all the tension in the last five minutes, that was all over. The shakes were subsiding. Yes I was about to lose my dreadnought but I didn't care. We'd done it!

No comments:

Post a Comment