Another night, another victory (followed by crushing defeat).
The nice thing about our most recent war-dec / war-shield shenanigans is that we know on exactly what night we will be able to fight, which makes organizing the Corp and having people online a little easier, and also eliminates the whole cloaked-and-afk thing. Last night was another such night, and it was a hell of a time.
Intel revealed that when outnumbered, our enemies would bring out battleships to try and over-power what they would expect to be lesser ships (either due to cost or simply our pilots being new and not skilled enough to fly anything that big). Our plan was to lure them into thinking we would at best field a few battlecruisers, and once they had committed to the fight, spring our trap.
Sure enough two enemies in battleships engaged our bait Drake, and stayed on the field when we sent in a few other BCs and frigates (first month pilots). As the tank of our Drake was breaking, we undocked our battleships. I was in an ECM Scorpion, and we also had an Armageddon and a Dominix. Though it took a few cycles, my ECM eventually jammed both enemies, allowing our Drake to warp away and avoid destruction. At the same time, everyone began raining death on the enemy Megathron, and before long he was in deep armor.
Both of their ships stopped firing in an attempt to dock back into the station once the aggression timer was off. The order to overheat guns was given, and the Mega popped just in time. I don’t believe we even got a single volley off on the second battleship before his timer was up and he docked inside the station, revealing just how close we came to missing out on the kill. Along with scoring the wreck, we learned the valuable lesson of bumping a target off the station, and how things might go when fighting around a station or gate.
After this fight I was pretty sure our enemies would not engage us again, having seen our force and knowing they could not match it. Two others were at a different station (I had expected them to join in on the earlier fight), and would occasionally undock, take some fire, and dock back up (again, bumping would have helped here). As this waste of ammo was going down, I got a convo invite from the CEO of another Corp who was also at war with our enemies. Seems they also had a fleet of about 8-9 pilots in the system looking for a fight. We merged fleets, although now it was certain our common enemies were done for the night.
But we had 16 or so pilots all in a fleet, all in PvP ships, so why not find some trouble, right? That pirate system with the carrier was nearby, and we had nothing better to do.
We repeated our bait strategy from last time, with all but three members of the fleet on the other side of a gate. And just like last time, the pirates responded quickly. Four ships were on the gate almost immediately, and before our fleet could even jump in, one bait ship went down. In response, our fleet managed to blow up a Megathron battleship. After this however things got ugly.
As expected, a carrier soon arrived. And then unexpectedly, a second. Along with some logistics ships and a few more battleships, all in less than a minute since our initial arrival into the system.
It was at this point that I started semi-panicking (read: total panic), calling out one target while I actually shot at something else, and completely losing track of how we were doing. Our overall focus fire was horrible, and this allowed the enemies to easily repair anyone who took too much damage. And since our new friends were not in Vent with us, when they all jumped back through the gate, it took us a few seconds to realize it, resulting in a few extra ships lost.
I always laugh when people describe the PvP in EVE as ‘boring’ or ‘simple’. Sure, targeting someone and firing your weapons on them is indeed simple, but that has almost nothing to do with the skill it takes to do well. This fight made it very, very clear I have a LONG way to go to even be a remotely competent FC, and the night overall was a series of lessons in tactics, mechanics, and fleet composition.
And along with being education, it was a hell of an adrenaline rush.
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