GLOR FINDEL ADESTUR
Returning from a short break I return to my office chair, only to find Mitch and Judas in Oblivion. As anyone does when the Top Brass rolls in I try to at least look busy and hope for the best! With an overwhelming number of connections to Oblivion, we began rolling our High Sec and C3 Static with Battleships to force them to close in the hope that we can find content via either hole. We'd already taken a fair amount of mass off the C3 during the day and so rolling it without knowing all the figures is going to be more of an art than a science. I make two passes in my Rolling Mega while Gravonree did what I was certain (or more hopeful) would be the last pass and would (or probably maybe) close once he was home safely. Gravonree was hesitant but only because the last time we were in this position and I’d assured him "You'll be fine", he ended up stranded 55 jumps into Null Sec. He did get home safe though, so I am still confused why he doubts me! Grav bravely went through on his own accord (I basically force him through at gun point) and lands on the hostile side of the Wormhole. Frankly I was as amazed as Grav was that the hole didn’t collapse behind him. As such he starts burning back to it as quickly as possible to ensure it closes as he comes back through to Oblivion.
A few moments later ………
Grav suddenly reports that a Heretic has landed on grid with him and has deployed a bubble. This is always the most vulnerable time when rolling a Wormhole. We've taken so much mass off the thing that jumping through reinforcements to save him might cut our fleet in half meaning that we fight outgunned and all die rather than letting the one guy die while rolling. (Oh, the joys of being FC, having to make that call!) Its for this reason that people wait till you're on the final pass to attack you while rolling. Grav was already too close to the hole when they began landing though and manages to jump back to Oblivion. The hole doesn't close. It’s still open but must be on the verge of collapse.
Grav is safe. There’s not way they'll follow him through.
The Hole activates and the Heretic jumps through and deploys another bubble. This is quickly followed by more rumbling and more hostiles flooding into our system.
While all this has been going on the rest of us had not been idle. I'd ordered everyone to dock up, grab combat ships and Logistics and warp to our Form Up Bookmark. We are a little scattered at the time with some people in High Sec and others scouting, so the form up unfortunately happens too slow for Grav's tank and he starts to take damage. I had to make the call and warp what was available from the fleet to Grav and let the others warp to us when we land. As our initial fleet arrived on grid, this is what awaited us. Two Hecates, Heretic, Moa and a Leshak. Grav's Apocalypse explodes just before we land but he manages to warp off his pod and gets ready for the fight to come. Our Fleet lands almost on top of the Invaders as they burn back towards the Hole that has led them through. An unseen ship with them jumps through first and......BOOOM the hole closes behind him, trapping the rest of their fleet with us. Points are spread out and we go to work. My Bhaalgorn begins defanging our enemies whose weapons almost entirely rely on their Cap reserves. Our Logi locks up targets and begins delivering reps to their brothers and the DPS begin to avenge Grav's loss. Elaris, ever the unlucky is primaried by the enemy and has to warp away to reship.
The Hecates are targeting our Logi now. Nribor calls out that he is under attack and I retarget the Hecates with the Bhaalgorn. I web and neut them and together with Grav (who has reshipped and joined the fight to avenge his initial loss) throw our Alt's DPS onto them to ensure that the Logi survives. If it goes down the Leshak may start to wear us down one by one until we are unable to break its tank. The Hecates almost stop dead in space with the combined might of Ewar that was hurled against them and almost immediately go down in flames. Seconds later the Heretic, that had caused this entire fight to take place, is reduced to ashes under the weight of our combined damage.
The fighting briefly abates, and I take stock of what’s happening. My Bhaalgorn is close to death and only Nribor's quick thinking has kept it from dying. I begin pulling range on the Leshak while spreading Neuts between it and the one remaining Moa. I already feel like we have won. My Armour is being repped. We'd still only lost the Apoc and the T1 Logi. Victory was near!!! I could smell it!
This moment is shattered when Grav's VNI is burst open like a water melon at a Gallagher comedy show. With my Bhaalgorn now out of the range of its Disintegrator it had turned its attention to our DPS pilots and with the intense power of the Leshak’s DPS, Nribor doesn’t stand a chance. The Fight is back on. The Moa now all but a dead brick floating in space is called primary and we rip through it with ease.
And so we face the beast down.
This new ship, with its advanced and complicated technology, is something that none of us have faced in a small gang fight before. We’ve been given a very sharp lesson on how much raw damage this thing could pump out and how much it could take during the fight. We may have cut down its pack, but the creature still has claws of its own and we'd backed it into a corner. And we all know that an injured animal is when it is at its most deadly. I set the full power of the Bhaalgorn on it and hope to drain its cap quickly so that the fleet can tear it apart. We break into its Armor, yet amazingly this thing continues to repair. A tingle of fear passes over the back of my neck as I wonder if we have the ability to break its tank before it could break and scatter our fleet. As an FC, you feel responsible when your orders lead to the deaths of your friends and comrades and I was expecting to have more than a few Kill Mails on my conscience by the time this thing went down. It continues to rep... the doubt creeps in. It continues to rep... doubt turns to fear!
Finally, and almost in slow motion, the Vampiric embraces of my Bhaalgorn finally overcome the fragile cap of the Leshak and our DPS is now scouring deep marks on its hull. The most beautiful explosion I have ever seen starts to form and where the beast has been only seconds before, all that is left is the strewn wreckage of a great ship.
I was once important in Eve. I had titles. I led strategic fleets to victory. I sat in chat channels with coalition leaders. I ordered hundreds of players to fly a certain fleet doctrine. I was an EVE addict. But real life hit me hard. I stopped logging on for years.
So why am I back? EVE is still the only game that interests me. Everything else I played, was just a pale shadow, boring after a few hours. So I stopped playing computer games entirely.
A decision was made. I will play EVE again, but I cannot fall into addiction again, by taking responsibilities for other people. This time it will just be me. Then of course, I meet some old friends and we play together for a while. I noticed they want more. I don't. So we part ways and I play solo again, of course meeting more old friends on my way. But this time to my surprise, they are doing the same as me, Shooting Citadels.
They are casuals. So fucking casual, they even out casual me! After a few chats I join Wrecking Machine. There are some strict (to ensure we remain casual) rules in Wrecking Machine, I am in love with: no mercenary work, we decide what we shoot and what we leave alone. Fleets are on time and almost never last more than an hour and 5 minutes.
Wrecking Machine even does a full month of summer holidays, can you believe that?
I can be FC or just a F1 drone if i want, no pressure. I have a new home in EVE. But the most important single thing is, I would rather be a casual addict than ever becoming addicted to EVE again.
On the 12th of June, Wrecking Machine. (WRECK) declared war on North Dominion Industries (NDI). Roughly 24 hours later, WRECK rallied up a small fleet and headed out. Their target: “Chasnaye Solutions”, an Azbel-class Engineering Complex in the Torvi-system of the Everyshore region.
The Azbel had several services running because it appeared in full power mode, meaning it would take 3 attempts to grind the structure down, first its shield layer, then its armor, and finally the bare hull. The first evening WRECK met the Azbel unopposed and its shield layer was quickly removed. Two days later WRECK formed up again to take down its armor, but this time a small number of defenders stood their ground. Several pilots from NDI appeared in local, as well as a number of neutral pilots. As the Azbel dispatched a flight of Standup Fighter drones, NDI lost a pair of Battlecruisers and a jamming Blackbird. At the end of the evening the Azbel had lost its armor layer. The die was cast: the final structure timer would be 21st of June.
A mercenary outfit called R I O T had been assisting in wars against Wrecking Machine. for several months, since the beginning of 2018. Despite one or two incidents, they had never disrupted our operations in all these months. However, this time Torvi would be less than 10 jumps from Dodixie, their prime base of operations. North Dominion Industries rallied up three more groups to stand by their side: Rabble Alliance, The Thirteen Provinces, and Armilies Independent Operations. They, along with R I O T, could potentially outnumber WRECK and form a threat on the final evening of the Azbel siege.
21st of June came and Wrecking Machine. spread out its web of scouts. Indeed; all four groups formed more numbers combined than WRECK had, most of them in or around the target destination of Torvi. R I O T however hung back several jumps. Their common tactic had been to form up in Dodixie and stay behind, only to jump in when the battle was underway. R I O T brought numerous Bhaalgorns, an ideal counter ship to battle WRECK’s Nightmare fleet. North Dominion and their allies formed in mostly T1 Armor battleships and Logistics.
Outnumbered, Wrecking Machine’s fleet started to move towards Torvi, and all the pawns moved along with it: R I O T undocked from Dodixie, having sent close to a dozen neutral Logistics forward and North Dominion and their allies splashed into Torvi.
Wrecking Machine jumped into Torvi. If all were lined up, the defending entities would outnumber the aggressors, however at this moment the grid was still clear and WRECK proceeded to engage the Azbel Engineering Complex. A few of NDI’s allies undocked from it but stayed tethered, rendering them invulnerable for the time being. Meanwhile, scout reports came dribbling in: R I O T was on the move, coming closer and closer toward Torvi. By this time the Azbel was half way through its structure.
The defenders were about to strike back.
But there was one oversight that no one had accounted for. R I O T had been pestering the main trade routes through Empire for months on end, and had active wars with more than 50 other entities at any given moment. Any of those other entities could join in and take pot shots at R I O T at any moment. Among those were P I R A T and Holesale Operations, two rival mercenary groups.
Suddenly WRECK noticed the defending allies moving their Battleships out of Torvi. Were they extracting? Why? Unbeknown to anyone, WRECK’s Fleet Commander had opened a communication link with P I R A T and Holesale Operations. No one, not even Wrecking Machine’s main fleet were aware of this. P I R A T and Holesale Operations had rallied up a skirmish fleet and secretly positioned itself between Dodixie and Torvi, stopping R I O T in their tracks. Two jumps from Torvi, in the system of Hareget, they engaged R I O T with a small Sleipnir fleet, shredding R I O T’s Bhaalgorns. North Dominion’s allies raced towards Hareget only to find themselves unable to aid the fight: only R I O T had an active war dec with them. And while Bhaalgorns vaporized, the Azbel’s hull was nearly out. North Dominion Industries knew that with R I O T off the table they could not stand up against Wrecking Machine. and withdrew from Torvi. Within moments, “Chasnaye Solutions” was no more. In all this, Wrecking Machine. and R I O T never exchanged a single shot. Despite their initial superior fleet composition, logistics and overall numbers, North Dominion Industries, R I O T & its allies had been seriously outwitted.
As the dust settled, among the wreckage, the spoils were accounted: a mere 3bn ISK loot. But Wrecking Machine’s victory: priceless.