Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Battle of J162047

After Action Report.

Last night was the biggest and most epic fight, our corp has ever been a part of or started for that matter. I would be remiss in my duties as a blogger to not cover it.

The night started off just like many other with me jumping into our static exit (C3) named “Sally”. I warped around before dropping probes to see if anyone was alive in the hole first. Found a Nidhoggur at the farthest planet and confirmed it was unpiloted. During this, one of the other scouts said, he saw a Proteus on scan. It had the tags “VETO” in crooked letters.

Let me explain right now, how stupid corp/alliance ship tags are. They fucking dumb for the following reasons.
1.       Even if you change the ID of the tag every so often you are clearly showing everyone who can push D scan that you are with a target/attacking force. IE. I have 4 ships on scan, 3 are named “BLA BLAH” one is named “SOMETHING ELSE”. You are giving out free Intel that there are 2 different groups of people. This makes people act differently, it gives out valuable Intel for no other reason, than some lazy ass FC wants to see all his ships on a D-scan and not pay attention to who and what is in his fleet.
2.       Those tags are not your own. They can be copied (thanks CCP) from the D-scan window. Simply left click on the ship name on the D scan window, Ctrl +C, then Ctrl +V into a chat window. Great, now anyone who can D-scan you can steal your tags. Reason you would want to do this? To further confuse said lazy ass FC from reason 1.
3.       If you are like these guys we ran into last night, VETO. There maybe someone who remembers your ship tags from the last time they crossed your path. They know what to expect, they can check your kill board, make more reasonable assumptions as to what you are doing, where you are going and why you are where you are. All before you are even on grid with them.

The VETO tag I remember from back in my Narwhals ate my duck days. They had the same tag then, and they still have it now. I then checked and saw they were now part of a Null sec alliance, Nulli Secunda. They just suffered a split from TL and were not going to receive as much support as they would in the past. Good news for us, because we are tiny little pvp corp and people closer to our size won’t result in an instant kick to the nuts.
 We were able to watch the C3(sally) they were using and get a gage on how many pilots they had online and what kinds of ships they would bring to a fight. All from the Tags.  See how dumb they are now? Unless your idea for a ship naming policy is to imitate a larger/small group or spread misinformation, fix it.. !

We put together a fleet, a few battle cruisers and waited for the reaction of us  to drop probes. What we expected: The typical reaction to a new nuet  ship dropping probes in a hostile hole is for the people who were there first to come snooping in all the previous scanned holes and see where you came from, and what you could bring to a fight.  That reaction never came.

We scanned out all connecting holes. 2 high sec, 1 dangerous, 1 Deadly  and our hole Jim. Sally was quite the little minx tonight. First ships we saw on scan were a proteus, then a rapier, then a loki, all with the same VETO tags. They were all moving through the chain one by one with limited support that we saw. We expected them to have at least eyes in the Sally (C3) so putting out fleet on their hole was out of the question. We thought maybe a bait setup would work, but when baiting we wanted to at least have a clue to how many more ships would be joining.

Enter Jhimmy. Jhimmy face checks holes for us, he seems to get a thrill off it. We told him to check the deadly first. Nothing. Empty, we waited a bit expecting them to be using the C6 as a transition hole. Nothing. So we checked the dangerous. Bingo! More POSes than he could describe over coms. Also a few ships with the same VETO tags. Jhimmy then scanned down a POS with some ships in it and confirmed what we already knew. Still with me on how dumb corp tags are?

He noted with pure happiness. “Wrecks on Scan!” God I love hearing those words on coms. Jhimmy tried to get more info on what had killed the sleepers. In doing so, he stumbled on what he described as “the capital POS”. He shouted “Nid, nid, nid, Rev, Gila, Gila, Gila on scan, but that’s strange, no tower”. Weird. He went to work getting eyes on the capitols, doing this, he shouted. “FIGHTERS OUT!” Then he landed on grid with what he described as 3 carriers with fighters out, a Rev and some Gila, with drones out.

This cap fleet was blowing up pos models, and the tower was gone. Our meager 8 man fleet couldn’t possibly take on that many capitols supported by sub caps. VETO guys are no stranger to PVP, I’m sure they saw the rapier jump into them and simply didn’t give a fuck. We posed no threat to them what so ever. In fact they may even welcome our half assed attempt to attack them.  What made the situation tense was they were bashing POS models without a pos, this meant they wouldn’t be on the field for very long at all. We had to move fast.

In WHs you gain friends, now when I say “friends” I’m using the term as loosely as possible. We have people who we talk to sometimes but shoot at more often. Because of our WH podcast we get to know people from interviews, but that’s about it.  The only thing we really have in common with each other is our love of the WH hunt, and the desire to explode stuff.

We did what is called a “Bat Phone” where we have targets of a greater force than us, and we ask if they want to join us under a mutual nonaggression pact. Well, time was of the essence because the cap fleet was quickly going through the POS mods. They wouldn’t be on field much longer than about 5 to 10 minutes. We didn’t just Bat Phone, we broke into the fucking switch room and connected all the lines! We first tried Two-step, he and AHARM have always been big supporters of our podcast. Two Step wasn’t online. Then Bronya tried to get some help from one of his secret channels. He said only a couple people answered our call  they weren’t sure if they could commit much.

I then went into our DTP Podcast channel and started opening up convos with Sleeper Social Club guys. Our connection with these guys is really one of fear driven respect. We fear them, we respect them and they let us live. I met one of their members in real life at a Sacramento CA meet up, he seemed cool enough and when we have talked with them in the past they seemed to have a similar “No fucks given” outlook on WH life. 

SSC, let me say came through with a quickness. Within 30 seconds of telling one of these guys we had caps to kill, he said “We are forming a fleet”. I said “FK YA!”

We had 2 high sec connections so we could definitely get them into the chain. The next trick would be making sure they had something (other than us) to shoot when they go to our chain. In the past if you Bat Phoned people, you sure as hell better have something for them to engage. The caps were finishing up on the POS mods as we were speaking. So we had to move fast, the clock was ticking.

Bronya had his own luck with different elements of the WH community, more Exhale (Wormhole Mercs), Surely You’re Joking (WH Mercs), Existential Agony (WH Mercs). Dangerous fucking people! Groups who have good and bad sides, and trust me, you don’t want to be on their bad sides.  Good way to get on their bad side is calling them in without anything to actually shoot. They may just shoot you, to justify their time.

We gave out our TS info to SSC, Exhale, Surely You’re joking, Existential Agony. As they showed up in TS, we explained we had invited others, and to please not kill us or one another. They laughed. Not really sure if that was a good thing.

Our fleet was in battle cruisers mainly, these were good if you just had small numbers, but this was a C5/C3 and had a 1 billion mass limit. With the amount of people we were inviting, we didn’t want to put unnecessary mass on the hole. We decided to field the best cruiser based fleet we could. 

2 Proteus – T3 armor cruiser
2 Thorax – Tech 1 close range armor cruiser
2 Ruptures – Tech 1 close range armor cruiser
2 Blackbirds – Tech 1 ECM cruisers.
1 Rapier – Long range Web cloaking ship already on the field with the caps.
2 Guardians – Tech 2 Armor Logi ships


This was us pulling the stops out, and multi boxing. By the way for those of you who don’t know multiboxing in pvp is a super bad idea. We renamed all our ships to match the VETO tags, in hopes that it would confuse  an absent minded scout.

Jhimmy reported that 2 of the caps had warped off. We needed to put the fleet on grid and engage before our targets left. No time to wait. We moved out.

Let me paint a picture for you. Fighting people in their own hole is usually a bad idea, because if you don’t pod them, they can simply fly back to the POS and reship. Coming right back into the fight. Not only that, but a small 40 man (mostly alts) corp picking a fight in the home WH of a much larger alliance/corp, is a god damn death sentence!  Not only will they be able to reship, but mass limits on entrances means jack to them. But fuck it, we didn’t all dressed up for nothing! 

Jhimmy called out only 1 Nidhoggur on the field now and some Gilas, our small fleet entered the C3 and warped to their C5. Our tag switch must not have worked, because the second we were in warp, the Nid started gaining speed. Jhimmy uncloaked at 20k and called out that he had point. The Gilas, must have either been in warp already or panicked at the call of a bunch of ships coming to their doorstep, but they warped off. But it only left our rapier, alone with a single gila and the now pointed Nid.  Had those other Gila not warped out that time, stayed and shot the rapier, we would have ourselves a dead rapier and no fun story to tell.

We entered VETO home hole and warped to our rapier at 0. By the time we landed, the Gila and Carrier had almost destroyed our hero tackle rapier. Jhimmy said in coms “I think I pooped a little”. 

Our fleet called out points on the Nidhoggur, but missed the Gila.

Now here we were, our small gang vs a single Nidhoggur with a WH full of people who were probably saying “Wtf?!? Did these guys just attack us with T1 and no Nuets?” We started dropping drones, and shooting at the lone Nidhoggur. Who proceeded to fry our drones with his smart bomb. We set up our cap chain between the guardians, and hunkered down waiting for the response from VETO.

The call of “Capital tackled” must have lit a fire under the asses of all our supporters, because shit came absolutely UNGLUED!!! Convo’s opened up, people poured into our TeamSpeak… Everyone asking a different question. The entire time we are trying to tank the DPS of a Nidhoggur and its fighters.

The first responder for the VETO side was a Domi. Who landed at 10k from us. Our Blackbird pilots and Logi were on point so it didn’t even really have an impact. We switched targets from the Nid to the Domi. Which we promptly brought down.

Landing next at 100k was a VETO falcon. This was going to be a problem. I immediately called out for the Thoraxs to burn to it and engage it point blank range. In the past we have dealt with falcons and they have made us sad. Our Thoraxs knew to overhead the microwarps, and bring the pain ASAP. Props to that falcon pilot btw, he was able to alternate his ECM between the thorax’s, and the other Blackbirds. He lasted a while, but the twin thorax burned him down.

This entire time, our SSC guys had crashed their high sec hole trying to get out to assist us. Their hole was crit, and they pushed through nuet ships and like 6 guardians, before it collapsed. Their plan was to support our meager DPS till their second fleet (DPS fleet) could arrive from another exit.  The problem was, when we tried to give them a fleet to join, it kept giving them a “not eligible” error message. Because we (me mainly) were retarded, we didn’t know how to fix this quickly. Remember I’m piloting 2 characters, 1 a scout and the other calling targets in PVP in my proteus. Not going to screw around with whatever it took to fix this.

This was a problem because when the SSC first fleet got to the high sec entrance there wasn’t a way to get them bookmarks for the chain. Looking back I could have meet them at a planet and jettison some BMs but I wasn’t thinking clearly and a VETO Bhaalgorn just landed on the pointed Nidhoggur.  My scout left the embattled SUSU fleet and joined the SSC fleet and told them to warp to the scout. 

The Bhaalgorn was a serious problem for us, with the reps and cap transfers from the Nidhoggur, we couldn’t kill the Bhaal, and it could just neut out our Logi. It would nuet us to shit, which it did. 

My scout now provided the SSC first fleet with the C3 entrance but not the next warp in. I proceeded to warp my scout to the next hole(VETO HOME SYSTEM) in the C3. Then came the next challenge. How get the fleet a warp in on the Nidhoggur. A Veto Scorpion landed on the Bhaalgorn.

VETO thinking they had check mated us with the Scorpion and Baalgorn, committed another Nidhoggur, then another…. Then an Archon!  I told my guys to spread points! This alone would have pistol whipped our little T1 gang but SSC was right at the door!!. 

I shouted in fleet coms, “What Moon are you at??!” Jhimmy without missing a beat, called out “P12, M1”.  That at least gave us a place to warp to, but when the support fleet warped it landed 100k from the fight. The supporting fleet burned to the capitols. Now we had 8 guardians, and I think a couple nuet legions from SSC. We didn’t have enough DPS to out damage 4 capitols worth of reps. So it was a stalemate.  VETO then brought in a proteus, to try and remove some of our smaller T1 cruisers who were pointing all the capitols now.

Then a SSC bubble went up. At this point, I think VETO knew shit just got real for them. 

We get a shout out on coms, that a 3rd fleet needs to get bookmarks. This is the 3rd fleet containing Exhale.

You ever see those mob movies where there is a mob meet of different families and each group of guys is eyeing the other? Our coms were like that. Random pilots from other corps and alliances start asking in coms. “Umm there is an Exhale guy here, are we shooting them?” and “There are SSC guy on this WH, are we shooting them?” The leaders of both fleets told their guys, “if it doesn’t shoot you don’t shoot it, we are working on setting Temp blue status”. Someone then pipes in, “Make sure you remember to take it off, “ then makes a kind of forced laugh. All in all the leadership of all groups, showed absolute professionalism, they followed direction well, they synced up well, they all seemed to know what to do, without too much bull shit. I was in awe of their efficiency.

The 2nd fleet from SSC was filtering into the VETO home system, when the C5 worm hole went crit. I triple boxing characters, brought in my Falcon and my scout to find us an exit if we needed one. The C5 collapsed locking about 10 pilots from Exhale, SSC and support. We were locked in there with them, or should we say, they were locked in with us!

The first target of the fleet to take out was Bhaalgorn which, because of all the reps was super hard to kill. Then the Scorpion went down, followed by the shield Nidhoggur, since the ship was shield fit, the other carriers would have trouble armor reping it. Stuff dropped fairly quickly once the entire DPS of the three combined fleets were applied. With 3 fleets on grid, every single pilot with the exception of 1 managed to stay on target. AMAZING. If this was null sec there would have been Makalu(or whatever that DB’s name is) shouting “There are friendly ECM drones on me! WTF!?!”  

A second heavy interdiction bubble went up, we swapped DPS to the doomed proteus, and took apart the remaining carriers. The final carrier, was Xermish, who I was told was the VETO CEO. Once his carrier went down, everyone in coms was told to stop firing, so every single person in the fleet could whore on the KM. We got a fair amount on it. The pod began to self-destruct, and SSC made the call to have SUSU try and kill the final pod. Which being repped by 8 guardians was hard to kill. Never seen a pod go slowly into structure, with so many ships firing on it.

After the final ship was down, an exit was already found by the invaders. We all separated and GFs in local were exchanged. 

Most loot was scooped by the guys we bat phoned. Which was cool by us, we were just happy to see big ships exploding. Some of us were lucky enough to pick up some faction loot, which was Jhimmy’s. We have a rule in our corp. Scouts get paid. People who don’t scout don’t get shit. All loot from pvp targets killed, goes to the guy who found it. Jhimmy netted about 400m worth of drones, and mods.

Upon finding the new exit, we came across a PVE drake who we assume was going to run sites in the C3. He sat on the high sec side of the new exit and watch fleet after fleet jump out of the hole and go their separate ways. After the 20th some T3 exited the hole he was about to run sites in, he just said.. “Nope” and warped off.

All in all, I have never been more impressed by my fellow wormhole player. Major props to VETO for trying to rescue its carrier. They could have written it off and not fought at all. Thank you to our victims, without you, EVE would be boring, thank you for your sacrifice. I always like to give respect to people no matter if they win or lose. At least they fought and played the game. To our supporters, you guys amaze us little people with your actions and I want to point out it doesn’t go unnoticed. Thank you.

 We even go mentioned on EVE News 24.

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