Using the home field advantage
Following yesterday’s Rorqual kill, I am anticipating today to be rather slow. Logging on shows a C5 inbound to home, along with a Nullsec outbound. A quick scout of the C5 reveals an empty system with only an end-of-life null inside it, so I choose to scout the Nullsec in home. Firefly is out scouting the main chain, so I’ll leave him to it.
I manage to find a ratting Macharial in Nullsec and tackle it, only to have his 5 ECM drones get a lucky jam off and allow him to escape my Proteus. Not a good start to the day.
Some time later, Firefly reports a Highsec down the wormhole chain leading to a system 4 jumps from Jita. In addition, our static C4a has some pilots in their tower, though they’re not doing much right now. Silent Terror logs in and runs an Orca out to the high, only to have a Proteus jump into highsec directly behind it. There’s a corp hunting in the C2 leading to the highsec. Oh good. Meanwhile, the C4a pilots have jumped a probing covert ops frigate into our home system. So they could be hunting us shortly too. Oh good.
Finally, as we assemble a standing PvP force at a tower, a Loki decloaks 150km away before recloaking quickly. Talocan United are in our wormhole. That Loki didn’t decloak by accident. I launch a probe but there’s no new inbounds – they came in from the earlier C5. I warp to it at range to check, merely to see a Sleipnir Command Ship sat on the wormhole. Talocan United.
“Bait” says I. “Trying to provoke a fight”
“OK” says Silent, as he warps a Proteus straight at the Sleipnir and engages. Wait, what?
The wormhole flares. Once. Twice. Three times. More. A second Sleip has jumped in, as has a Devoter and multiple Tech 3 cruisers. ST jumps away and evades them on the far side. Trap sprung – we counted about 11 total.
Time to take stock. We have myself, Silent, Firefly, Mick and Josh online. We’re fighting a larger enemy force with an unknown force awaiting elsewhere in their connection.
We do, however, have the home advantage.
The plan involves us commiting an Archon. We warp it and an armour fleet to the wormhole and attempt a jump, engaging on the far side. If we need to, we simply jump our fleet and Archon back, collapsing the wormhole due to mass. Probably. Josh jumps in his Archon, which causes the Devoter to re-appear and bubble up on the wormhole, thoroughly gutting our plan. We can’t jump a ship if it can’t reach the wormhole.
This raises another query – if they know we have an Archon and willingly bubbled up, what else could they have waiting? They’re obviously willing to fight. Local confirms our suspicions.
[ 2013.01.25 21:25:17 ] Sith1s Spectre > Going to fight today or just pos spin?
[ 2013.01.25 21:25:43 ] tgl3 > Can I go 50/50?
[ 2013.01.25 21:25:53 ] tgl3 > Perhaps phone a friend?
[ 2013.01.25 21:25:53 ] Sith1s Spectre > nosir
[ 2013.01.25 21:28:39 ] tgl3 > Y’all know if that null in that c5 is gone by now?
[ 2013.01.25 21:28:48 ] tgl3 > I need to update our bookmarks, yo.
[ 2013.01.25 21:28:55 ] xZardoZx > Yup
[ 2013.01.25 21:29:04 ] tgl3 > <3
[ 2013.01.25 21:29:17 ] xZardoZx > oh shucks
Meanwhile, I’m watching for their bubble to drop. They currently have the Devoter and 2 Sleipnirs – one Loki confirmed cloaked in system and everything else is next door, being watched by Silent. We can’t afford to throw the carrier at the bubble and if we go for Guardians we then lack the DPS to break the Sleipnirs. Tricky situation.
Suddenly, the bubble drops.
“Bubble down. Fleet go. Warp.”
Our initial Archon, Loki and Absolution warps to the wormhole. I warp away for my own Absolution as Mick warps his Typhoon in. Both Mick and I get caught on the now re-deployed bubble. The wormhole flares repeatedly as we engage.
Mick comes under heavy fire – the slow Battleship off the wormhole making it an easy target. The Archon keeps him alive and Firefly decloaks a Falcon alt to relieve the DPS, causing the Falcon to come under fire. Each ship we primary jumps away, but there’s nothing we can do about chasing them right now. We’ll chase whatever is left – the early leavers do not matter. Both Sleips are forced through the wormhole, as are several of their Tech 3 ships. A hostile Falcon jumps in and is volleyed to armour before he jumps away. Our Falcon is ping-ponging armour as one of the Sleipnirs jumps back in, now polarised. Works for us.
We go for their Devoter next, expecting them to fall back alongside it when it runs low since we’d be able to warp reinforcements in freely (if we had them).
Most of their fleet has jumped away and as the Devoter falls, so do the rest. We follow with what we can of our fleet and tackle a few before they can run. The Devoter is first.
Most of their Tech 3s are away, but we also grab the Sleipnir and try to grab the Loki.
The problem is that this is a Black Hole – meaning 85% increased speed, but also a decrease to agility. The Loki, which is webbing, is flying off far faster than we can be bothered to chase. In the mean time, a Falcon is hampering our efforts to catch the Loki anyway.
The Loki does indeed escape, but I manage to tackle the Falcon. I get him to half armour before he gets a Jam on me and warps away. Argh!
That’s that. We throw “gf”s into local and jump home, collapsing the wormhole behind us.
Not exactly a record breaking amount of kills, but we’re happy to take what we could! Kudos for the Talocan guys for staying around, too!