As promised, here’s the run-down on a rather costly misadventure.

It started as a simple neutral Anathema on our static inside the home hole. My own Anathema had no weapons on it, a reminder that I need to take the Festival Launcher off… Anyway, I sent the call out, but… nobody answered. People were in high sec, or testing their scanning skills in the c2, or in null ratting for giggles. So I did the next logical thing. I checked siggy, confirmed via bookmarks that there was an unmarked signature in our hole, and proceeded to drop probes.

Ah. We have a c4 open into us, and none of us seemed to have noticed. A few passes later and I’m in warp to the new hole, and Gallic warps his cloaky fast tackled Proteus to me, and sits off the hole as I jump through.

Neutral Atron orbiting at 6km. No way in Hell can I tackle that without being eaten alive. So I jump back through. My first tactical mistake: I did not link the name, or find anything out about the corporation. I decide I’m going to put the fear of Bob in him, so I head back to the tower and switch to my trusty Dragoon, and my hopes are that, since I don’t have tackle, he’ll get scared off, or, when I jump back through, he’ll follow and Gallic can drop the hammer. Well, when I land on the hole, a neutral Pilgrim lands, and sits there for a good ten seconds. Second tactical mistake: Gallic looks to me for the go ahead. I stutter. There’s just a Proteus and a Dragoon. What if he’s got a fleet coming through the static? What if he’s got a fleet sitting on the other side of the hole? Gallic makes the call for me and locks him up, and I do the same. Naturally, he jumps through. Gallic again asks for directions: do we chase? I give the negative. We don’t have eyes, we could be walking into a HUGE trap. Gallic recloaks, I warp off to reship again into something that can fight better, should the Pilgrim return. This is the first point where the order of events get a little blury. I believe it was Gallic who jumped into the c4 to see what was going on, at the same time Menshevicks was warping to the hole in a Drake. Gallic calls out “They’ve got a fleet here. Dominix, Dominix, Legion, Legion, Onyx, Blackbird! I’m coming back.” About the time he jumps, Menshevicks lands, and my third tactical mistake is made: Never, EVER assume a pair of Dominix are intended for hole closing. I made no call to retreat, and in the brief few seconds I TRIED to say “see if they want a friendly hole closing” Menshevicks is on the receiving end of that fleet. They jump in, bubble up, and melt him, and grab his pod.

Drake:
http://endofline.eve-kill.net/?a=kill_detail&kll_id=18957811
Pod:
http://endofline.eve-kill.net/?a=kill_detail&kll_id=18957810

I land moments into the engagement in my Curse, and of course, the bubble drags me closer than I wanted to be. The Drake pops shortly after, and they ignore his pod in exchange for my squishy Curse. Gallic manages to get out of the bubble cloaked, and maintains eyes. They’re fleet is in, minus the Blackbird.

The call goes out. HOSTILE FLEET IN HOLE. I don’t like abandoning people, but my Curse can’t handle what they’ve got, and I warp off as Menshevicks takes the pod express. At this point, Gallic takes command, because I’m naturally indecisive, I’ve NEVER been in charge of a combat fleet. He calls for available pilots to ship into dps vessels, and we TRY to get logi, but I’m the only one who can for sure fly Guardian with Logistics V. I know we had another logi pilot on comms, but he was extremely busy with real life, and that ALWAYS comes first. Since we can’t scrape together another Guardian, doctrine changes to pure dps. Maybe not the best choice, but it was what we had. I swap out Adventure Time (Guardian) for Fat Man Mk. I, an Abaddon with 900dps at point blank range. We had a Legion, my Abaddon, a Fleet Stabber, a Myrmidon, a Moa, Cloaky Proteus, and I believe a Falcon and Arazu to start the engagement with.
We were being called out in local. “Carebear faggots” and “You take sooooo long.” Maybe it wasn’t the best fight, but they wanted one, and we’d be glad to give it. We aligned to the hole as a fleet, but then Gallic made his first error: he did not clearly state to individually warp ourselves. We assumed that because of the align, there would be a squad warp involved. The fleet ended up landing staggered.

Primary was the Onyx. If we got blapped, the Onyx would make our pods a snack. Being a shield ship, it’s shields were understandably sturdy. That didn’t stop the Fat Man and friends from putting it into structure, where it naturally jumped out. Tactical mistake number two for Gallic, and for fleet: We SHOULD have jumped after it, but we didn’t. Argonis (on his alt, I believe) was forced to jump through in what I believe was a Myrmidon, and announced that the Onyx was bubbled on the other side. Gallic then called one of the Dominix as primary. The space potato began to burn. In comes a lonely Oneiros, and, having enough experience to know what was coming, the fleet was already on it when it was called primary. It went to DEEP structure before it jumped. Another chance to follow was passed. Gallic’s Falcon became the second casualty of the fight, as the enemy Blackbird landed jams on him, and without logi support, he was toasted.

Falcon:
http://endofline.eve-kill.net/?a=kill_detail&kll_id=18959487

In rides Chris Moon in his Falcon, although in hindsight, I’m not sure it did us any good. He announced “you’re going to lose the Falcon” fairly shortly after fleeting up, and I -KNOW- he got out. After the primary Dominix jumped back home, calls ceased coming through, so it was left to us to focus fire, which was pretty much a failure. Pasha in his neut Legion announced he had two ships capped out, but both of them were rather tanky ships, and with limited cap thanks to the OTHER Dominix, Fat Man was shortly becoming dead weight. My cap booster was doing zero good against that kind of drain. Z1lot was doing wonders in his Arazu, though. Being beyond their range, and still being able to ruin there lock times and range helped us last longer than normal. At this point, the fight was ending, we’re trying to GTFO, and Fat Man and the Legion are both tackled, and the rest of the fleet gets out. The Fat Man goes down in a blaze of glory, as I always intended, with Pasha following shortly after.

Abaddon:
http://endofline.eve-kill.net/?a=kill_detail&kll_id=18957809

Legion:
http://endofline.eve-kill.net/?a=kill_detail&kll_id=18959486

It was, by far, the worse loss I’ve been a part of since returning to wormhole space, but the “Good fight” and generally friendly banter in local afterwards truly makes it hard to be really down about it. We’re still learning, and we did what Rall and others have been hammering into our heads lately: even if you lose, putting up a fight means something. They thanked us for a good fight. They didn’t gloat. They thanked us. I believe it was Warbwaat (enemy pulse Legion) that said “We’ve been looking for a fight. Thank you.”

Kable summed up his and I’s feelings about it, although I’m not sure everyone else involved felt the same: “If you ask us for one, we’ll give it to you.”

It was a learning experience, whether everyone sees it that way or not. Our doctrine needs improving, and we need pilots capable of flying the Oneiros/Scimitar.

Until next time.

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