Friday, 8 August 2014

With friends like these...

As some of you who know me, or read this blog regularly might know, I'm part of a small-ish corp which forms one half of a small wormhole alliance called Odin's Call.

We're both PVP centric corps but we aren't big enough to compete with the T3 wielding mega alliances that also dwell in the mysterious space of wormholes.

Apparently though, we do have friends.

A few days ago, one of our members was contacted by a friend, who had a friend who was in a corp who had joined a carebear C5 alliance. (Read that again, just to make sure you know how tenous our link is to this story).

After moving in to the Alliance wormhole, there was some drama and they were reset, had their tower reinforced, some stuff stolen and an almost-awox on a Moros. The static was being camped, so they couldn't even extract quietly and get on with their lives.

The friend of a friend of our guy asked if we wouldn't mind coming along to help them out. We, never ones to miss some PVP no matter what the course, said yes.

Last night, we formed up an untried doctrine designed to counter the likely fleet that the hostiles would field. Our Alliance partners Space came along as did a few more friends of friends. The form up was in Amarr and suddenly we had 30+ pilots in fleet. I was flying a command ship (due to my awesome boosting skills) and was in the fleet command position and during the form up I was consistenly being asked to invite this guy to fleet, and then this guy, oh, and these two guys. By the time we actually rolled about we were at about fifty pilots. Suprisingly, most of them were flying the fleet comp that we had asked for.

Due to some black smoke and mirrors, we located an entrance into the target wormhole despite the locals having been rage rolling all day, at one point even rolling in the 0ne Percent home wormhole itself (we were thoroughly unprepared to exploit it at that point). We moved quickly and jumped through. On the hole were a couple of T3s, an Onyx and a Garmur.

I was flying a shield Heretic (in an armor fleet) on an alt and quickly bubbled the bad guys. I then made a mad dash for the Garmur, landing a scram and unloading my rapid light missiles into him. The rest of the fleet took a Legion as their primary and took it down. I was pretty smug as the Garmur exploded, thinking I'd got a solo kill (which is very rare for me) until I looked at the killmail and found that over half the fleet has whored on it, or had been ignoring the primary completely. I still got top damage though.

With control of the hole, we debated what to do. We hadn't expected such an easy fight and with the speed that the hostiles ran away, we could safely conclude they wouldn't even attempt to fight us.

One of the primary reasons for us being there was so that the corp we were helping could extract their assets and a couple of dreadnaughts. One of whom, was only half fit until their POS came out of reinforce. The other dread said he would willingly use it in anger and so pur plan was formed.

We warped to one of the hostile POS and started the unfanging grind (by which I mean incapacitating all of the offensive modules). Our CEO, Berolt - a lawyer by profession - started negotiations.

Our normal tactic for this is to make an initial low to mid ranging offer, with the threat that the price increases for after the first tower is reinforced and increasing further for every subsequent tower. It's a tactic that works quite well for us, as within minutes, ISK was safely deposited in our account and our fleet withdrew. The first, however, asked how much it would cost for us to change our allegience and help evict the corp we were helping. The price was high.

As an aside, we had a reasonable number of logistics on grid with us, who were twitching their fingers ready to rep against the damage the POS would put out. As it happens, they weren't needed in the slightest as for the whole 20-30 minutes we were there, the POS didn't aggress us at all.

After paying us to leave them alone, the hostiles even asked if we had a mercenary post  on the forums where they could post their experiance with us and give feedback on how honorable we are.

We don't. Maybe we should...

At this point, some of re-shipped into POSrepys (a witty take on the T1 logistics ship, the Osprey, fit for pure repping power) and started to repair the shields of the friendly POS that had now come out reinforce. This took a while, but eventually, the HP ticked to over 50% and things were able to be re-onlined and the evactuation/extraction started.

I have to comment on this process and say that they made the extraction incredibly hard. The connection they had was pretty favourable; out to a lowsec system one jump away from high sec. Instead of doing what most people would have done and fill an indy to the brim, shuttle it out to a station, return to POS and repeat, they fiddled around with expensive modules and tried to do the whole thing in one run. I got quite impatient several times and pointed this out, but was apparently ignored.

Eventually, however, they were eventually ready. One of the dreadnaughts jumped through the afore mentioned chain, collapsing it and the other went out of a direct NS that had spawned while we had control of the system. We scanned out the new static, which lucky had a C1 connection itself, which luckily had a HS static itself, which luckily was four jumps from Jita.

After ensuring that all the corps had all the bookmarks, we went home.

At some point in all the above (probably just before we went to defang), I was sat on a connecting hole in my Interdictor, uncloaked and pretending to scout. I glanced over to that screen and was suprised to see myself being shot at by a Flycatcher and a Tengu. I informed the rest of the fleet and fleet warped them to myself (with the other character sat in the FC position). I let myself get to low shields before jumping through the wormhole. I immediatly burnt back to 0 and waited. Sure enough, the hostiles followed and I bubbled them. I'd re-gened a bit of shield in this time and safely took a couple of volleys before jumping back through to my original side.

The hostiles, however, were now stuck in my bubble and were polarised and I had cleverly given my fleet enough time to burn through the hostile bubble on the original side and jump through the wormhole to tackle the bad guys. The Flycatcher got away, but the Tengu was tackled and was vainly attempting to burn out of tackle range (versus a Stiletto I might add). The fleet killed him fairly promptly. I was pretty proud of my interdictor tactics.

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