One of the ‘secret’ Ops that I’ve alluded to here before has finally come to fruition, and I can now finally blog about it.
As most WH Corps/Alliances do, HAHA has been sending pilots out to scout other holes and see what the residence are up to. In one such hole, a C6 no less, our scout noticed that the residents always ran their sites at around the same time, and always used the same mix of Dreads and Carriers. They were very routine about this, and so a plan was hatched to get ships inside the C6, log out, and log in when the capitals were in the middle of a Sleeper site, hopefully resulting in some dead caps and some nice kill mails.
Early last Friday, our scout reported some very favorable entrances into the C6, and so our alliance mobilized and we got people ready to jump inside and log out. I was one of the first ships to make it in and log, as I had dinner plans. As I was out eating anniversary dinner with my wife, I get a text that the plan is off, as some third party had already run the sites inside the C6, and so the locals would not be doing their normal routine. Such is WH life.
About 30 minutes later, still at dinner (I believe I was a few bites into a cheesecake), I get another text informing me that the plan is back on, only it’s been escalated. Turns out, an even more favorable entrance had opened, one that would allow us to get a few of our own capital ships inside. Rather than waiting for the current owners to log on, we were going to siege the POS and loot whatever was inside.
As I got home and logged into Mumble, the alliance was still working the logistics of getting everything inside the C6. This went on for quite some time, but eventually we had two dreads and a large support fleet ready to go. Then a very fortunate, and funny, thing happened.
The owner of the POS had not configured his defenses correctly, and all his shiny faction guns and ewar did not attack us as we opened fire. Most likely, the POS was left in the default settings; attacking anyone with a standing less than 0. As we had no standing with this alliance (0), the POS did not consider us a threat. This made disabling everything nice and easy, although not all that quick.
At about 4am or so early Saturday morning, the POS went into reinforced mode. Our assumption was that the POS had full stront, so it would come out of reinforce at our primetime Sunday. As luck would have it, the owner had the stront bay less than full, and the tower was actually set to come out at 8am Sunday morning (EST). Alarm clock raid!
Our alliance camped the hole all day Saturday, making sure no evac was possible and that all incoming holes were accounted for and handled properly. For the most part, Saturday was quiet.
At just before 8am Sunday, the real action started.
The defenders had four (visible) dreads and two carriers inside the POS, along with a few sub-caps. Also, at some point they had managed to repair and online some defenses. As our two dreads and the support fleet started hammering the POS and disabling the defenses again, the enemy moved four dreads and a carrier just outside the POS shield, and a massive brawl broke out.
Our two dreads were of course the targets, and while they hero tanked for as long as they could, they eventually went down in a blaze of glory. However they did not die in vain, as they survived long enough, and dished out enough DPS, to also allow us to take down two enemy dreads (both shiny fit compared to ours), and to put the carrier into structure before it and the two remaining dreads made it back inside the POS. (Note: I was not online at this point, but that was the summary I was given. Anyone at that fight feel free to provide more detail).
With our dreads gone, grinding down the POS became… well a grind. To further slow things down, the defenders would occasionally move a dread just outside the POS to attempt to blap a sup-cap. In response, we had two Bhaalgorns that would warp to anything that left the POS and start neuting, along with a few other ships to attempt to bump the capital further out and allow us to kill it. The neut/bump plan did not yield a kill here however, and the dreads did manage to blap two ships due to pilot error and not keeping traversal up.
While all of this was happening (3-4 hours’ worth), we had a scout scanning the C6 always looking for new sigs, and just as the POS shields hit 25%, he announced a new WH opening. As we warped our fleet to a safe spot just in case, the scout further reported that the connecting WH had a connection to low-sec. This was very fortunate news for us.
Due to the length and complexity of the siege, we were running low on ammo, and so the new connection to known space meant we could resupply. It also meant more ships could get inside, and those who had lost ships could rejoin the fight as well.
But best of all, it meant we could, theoretically, get more dreads inside. I say theoretically because the low-sec was nowhere near our current home C5 exit, so bringing our existing capital ships would not be possible. A quick check of the market revealed some good news however; there were two dreads for sale on contracts nearby. For 5 billion each. Someone liked their dreads shiny. After some quick consideration, Alliance leadership dropped the ISK and started working on getting the dreads inside the C6. This was again a logistics puzzle both in terms of fuel and fittings, and of dodging a very active section of low-sec during euro primetime. More than one scouts and indy was lost to a gate camp, but ultimately our big new toys were inside and we were ready to finish what we started.
In another turn of fortune, our new dreads were rail fit rather than blaster, meaning they could sit 100km off the POS and still hit their targets. This would lead to a new and interesting combat scenario.
Due to the enemy dreads being blaster fit, they could not effectively poke their heads out of the POS and shoot at our dreads. But since our dreads were shooting at the center of the POS itself (25km inside the shield), and they were aiming at our ships, they could still do some damage. Enough to pose a threat anyway, which forced our sub-caps into action. This would trigger the final and most epic battle of the siege.
The first threat was a smartbomb-loaded carrier moving out of the POS shield along with two dreads. Thankfully, our skilled logistics pilots were able to keep everyone alive despite the heavy bombing, and we managed to get a solid bump on the carrier, moving it away from the POS. At this point our two Bhaalgorns where heavily neuting, while our 30 or so sub-cap fleet was hammering away. Inch by inch the carrier’s shields and armor was being shred, all while a few hero pilots also managed to bump and web down a dread. Our full commitment came at a cost however, as one of our Bhaalgorns went down in a billion+ ISK blaze from the combined siege-mode dreadnaught fire.
As we finished burning down the carrier, we turned our attention to the trapped dread. Our swarm of sub-cap piranhas repeatedly bumped the giant ship to ensure it stayed out of the POS, and in short order it too went down, leaving behind a ruined husk of a wreck. The final dread managed to slip back inside the POS at this time. As the rush of battle subsided on coms, congrats went out and everyone was pumped.
Having failed in their final stand, the defenders could be seen packing up ships and preparing to escape as we hammered on the POS. Despite a great effort to scan down the escaping capital ships, their long distance safe spots proved effective, and they managed to sneak out and (for now) avoid destruction.
With the POS now empty of defenders, we finished off the tower and moved inside to loot the spoils of victory. Still floating inside the POS was an Orca and two Abaddons, and an additional dozen or so ships of various sizes (though no capitals) were found among the many ship hangers we destroyed. When we destroyed the Corporate hanger, a half-dozen jetcans of loot popped out, containing more than 10bil in total value.
Despite the long hours, and the near-total lack of sleep for some alliance members, the Op was a huge success, and got me my first two capital kills in EVE. As a Corp member said towards the end, this is exactly why we play EVE.
Christmas came early for HAHA.
Edit: Some screenshots will be posted later tonight.