Friday, August 26, 2011

The Bloodbath

Last night saw one of the largest and bloody battles of Minmatar/Amarr recent history. It was not planned, and our side included some major leroying. 

How it all began: The night started like any other night: usually with a few people running around looking for fights or things to gank. We rarely have organized fleets, or an fc calling the shots at this time. We were somewhat annoyed because we could hardly find a single Amarr to shoot at. It was like they had packed up and moved out of the region.

I asked one of the primary Amarr FCs about it. “Where are you guys? Ya’ll asleep or something?”
At first, he didn’t respond, and we continued to poke our heads in systems looking for anything that moved and wasn’t blue.

He finally responded, and his answer was somewhat cryptic. 
You’ll see.” 
That’s it. I knew he had something up his sleeve because when he gets all quiet and secretive it usually means he’s busy with something.

Finally, we began to see some Amarr movement. We were outnumbered, but we also had a few battleships to their mostly battlecruisers. This made them a little skittish. Also, unfortunately, there were a lot of scrubs and AFK people out and about making our numbers look a lot larger than they actually were.

After some cat and mouse, the engagement turned into a full fledge brawl on the Huola gate in Auga. This in and of itself is usually rare, as the Amarr have been generally doing ganky hit and runs lately and rarely warp into the middle of something to fight it out with us.

Again, I remind you that we were mostly unorganized. We had a few of our main FCs online who kept things together, and we had a fleet that had been going for a while, but we had nothing planned. Someone asked for a primary more than once, and occasionally there was some confusion as to whether we were staying or bailing. (They had a crap load!)

All of a sudden, in the middle of the fight, a friendly Minmatar dropped a triage carrier. Yes it was all of a sudden, and no he didn’t actually tell us he was doing it. It just sort of happened. And that’s when it all hit the fan.

The Amarr continued to fight, but eventually began to bail when they realized they couldn’t break the reps the carrier was giving us. When they were completely gone from the field…(unknown to us they were going to reship and come back) a neutral gang warped in to attack the carrier. 
Carriers on gate in low-sec means a lot of attention from surrounding corporations and alliances. There are a few around who like to gank into such situations.

What do we do? We’re spread out, and limping a little from the recent Amarr attack. These neutrals are fresh and organized.

What the heck! Let’s Leroy.” Generally, this is something you don’t want to hear from your FC. Lucky for us, it’s something we hear quite often.

Due to losing my hurricane in the first engagement, I was busy trying to decide what to ship to and get back while the secondary fight with the neutrals began. I was trying to determine from their numbers and the situation if a nano shield cane was in order again, or if I should go all out and bring in the ganky armor battleship. When I heard the intensity of the fight, I decided to run to Auga and get my battleship.

We killed the neutrals to the man. Every last one of them, losing very few, if any. Their attempts to gank our vulnerable carrier (who was still in triage on field) failed. As the last neutral popped…everyone sighed with relief, for it had been extremely intense.

The reprieve lasted for about thirty seconds when local spiked again and the Amarr came back in full and overwhelming force. They had armor battleships with a minimum of SIX guardians. We were in tatters, with a few people having gone to get stuff in station, reships, etc, and still others trying to pull things together. One guy was even running out of ammunition, which was a serious problem that doesn’t happen too often.

They were out for blood. They would not leave until they had killed our capital and they were doing a good job at getting there. The carrier was completely neuted out, and was close to being dead in the water. We were losing our logistics if he died, and they had firepower and organization on their side. We had just warded off a neutral fleet and were exhausted.

After some intense shouting back and forth on coms, a secondary capital pilot ran to station to jump in his Archon. When there is a friendly capital on field, it is all in for us. You fight until you have no more ships in your hangar and you do what you have to do.

 It only took a minute or two and we had a secondary capital on the field, filling in for reps and trying to give the flailing capital some capacitor so he could get back on his feet. It also gave us some needed logistics so that we could concentrate on countering the 6 hostile guardians.

Surprisingly, even with their guardians they started dropping. I’d say ‘dropping like flies’ but that’s not really an accurate picture. It was more like a bunch of hooting and hollering Indians waving their bows and arrows (us) downing a big sluggish buffalo.(the Amarr)

As the heat of the battle cranked up, they began to try to lure us away from the range of our carriers by burning away to some extent. It worked a little and they got a battleship kill from it. The fcs on our end saw what was happening and immediately called everyone to come back into range. 

No one in range of the Archon died from the moment it landed on the field.

We started picking them off, battleship after battleship, slowly working our way through their guardian reps. On several occasion we forced some of the guardians away, making our job a little easier. Our primary goal of protecting the capital on the field quickly turned into an alternate goal of killing them all where they stood.

Finally, after nearly an hour of non stop fighting on our end, we held the field. And a bloody field it was. If you had a ‘loot’ tab on your overview, you had scroll down quite a ways to get through the entire mess. There were hundreds of abandoned drones littering space for a 150km radius. 

We immediately began to loot and salvage the field. Due to our recent experience of being dropped on by neutrals, we wanted to get things cleaned up before someone else decided to try their hand!

It took a long time to sort out all the killmails. In the end, we killed 45 vessels with around 14 losses. A true bloodbath of epic proportions for the Amarr and Minmatar militias.

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