Monday, May 15, 2017

Crumbling Alliance?

The battle for J120455 rages on despite an early victory for the group calling themselves Wormhole NATO. Despite publicaly declaring on Reddit that they had halted an eviction, the truth was quite far from the claim. Holesale, as the invasion force, had already secured the destruction of two Astrahus Citadels before the loss of their own Fortizar and whilst that was a grievous loss, the mission remains unchanged and assets remain in system.

Our target, perhaps confident in their new friends, proceeded to reinforce the Astrahus and two Raitaru Citadels Holesale still had in system. However, there would be no mistakes with the reinforcement timer this time. With a strong turnout present, some thirty pilots converged on the Astrahus to defend the timer. Learning from mistakes made in the past the fleet had moved from the HAM Armour doctrine that was overwhelmed last time around for a more mobile, high alpha damage fleet consisting of Gilas, Hurricane Fleet Issue Battlecruisers, a handful of Basilisk Logisitics cruisers and four Sleipnir Command ships. The hope was that the high alpha damage output of the fleet would be able to overcome a fleet of greater numbers by destroying ships before their logistics cruisers could save them.

Inviting the fight, we left an entrance wide open in system. It was watched, of course, and we had prior knowledge of what was heading our way. As it turns out, what was heading our way was a pretty decent counter to what we were fielding. A fleet of HAM Cerberus Heavy Assault Cruisers backed up by a seven strong wing of Scimitar Logisitics cruisers and a couple of Bifrost Command Destroyers. Those destroyers were there to split our logistics wing from our fleet and would be a high priority when they landed on the field of battle.

Surprisingly, the 130 - odd man fleet that engaged us last time was not to be seen. I don't know if it's because this fledgling alliance is already falling apart, but only Of Sound Mind made it to the party. As they entered system they immediately kited off the NullSec connection to around 80 km's range and dropped a bubble on the connection. Their hope was that we would warp to the Wormhole at range and get dragged into their bubble and their optimal range. It would be a catastrophic error to fall for such an obvious ploy and our FC was equal to the task, using a cloaked scout to get a more favourable warp in on the enemy fleet. What followed can be seen below.

The Battle report doesn't show about five of the Scimitars and three of the four Nightmare Battleships that took their place in the battle and even though we were slightly outnumbered, it was ultimately a pretty evenly matched contest. Our logistics chain deserve most of the credit with our fleet only losing the webbing Huginn, but not before he had sustained over 200,000 damage. The Of Sound Mind fleet probably lost the fight chiefly because they were unable to maintain the range required to avoid the incoming damage, had they been able to it may have been a very different result. At Holesale it has lifted spirits and steeled the resolve of all of those involved, any time you can inflict five billion ISK of damage for the loss of just one ship is a boost for morale. So the battle rages on and there will no doubt be more to report in the very near future.

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