Thursday, August 11, 2011

On the Losing Side

Entry: four hundred seventy.

Yesterday was one of the rare instances where, in an alliance operation, I've been on the run and caged. Prior to that operation, I'd only been involved in a small number that ended the way this one did: with us cowering in a POS forcefield. 

It was the smart tactical decision. With the enemy overwhelming us, and the escape routes cut off, the POS forcefield is the right decision. The only problem is that it instills a sense of cowardice, of being beaten bloody and black when you are forced to retreat and hole up.

Yesterday, there was an alliance operation. Main fleet was the Hellgeddon and Guardian combination, Support fleet was everything else. After about an hour long formup, we bridged into HED-GP via titan in GE-8JV. After both fleets were bridged in, the allied blob warped to some sovereignty structure near some planet...the details escape me.

Upon landing, the blob engaged the enemy subcap fleet, primarily artillery abaddons, known to Cascade Imminent as FailDongs. Guardians orbited on their logistics anchor and got to about fifty kilometers away from the main fleet. Perhaps two to three minutes after the engagement began, the DRF jumped in their capital fleet.

By capital fleet, I refer to thirty titans and forty plus super carriers, with some small number of carriers.
Once the enemy capital fleet joined the fray, our fleet was being decimated. Our side simply did not have the capital fleet to deal with this. Titans were destroying battleships left and right with their guns, Supers were destroying our ships every which way with fighters and fighter bombers. To say we were blobbed is a bit of an understatement. To be fair though, if we'd had that option, we would have blobbed them.

With us Logistics unable to keep up with the damage hitting the main fleet, Makalu ordered both fleets to withdraw. After a few minutes of burning out of the bubbles, the fleet warped into a POS and hid under the forcefield. Perhaps five minutes later, the enemy subcap fleet and a few capitals warped in on the POS and began incapacitating every module anchored on it. About an hour later, they managed to reinforce the POS.

Their immediate objectives complete, not just with winning their first timer on the sovereignty structure, but also pushing back our fleets and reinforcing our tower, they initiated their secondary objective: boosting their morale while hurting ours.

After figuring out the POS password with the help of spies, they began attempting to bump pilots out from under the forcefield. It was, unfortunately, somewhat successful, as quite a few pilots had decided to take naps in cabin quarters while waiting out the siege. Their ships were bumped out and destroyed.

While the DRF engaged in this psychological warfare, RAZOR and Morsus Mihi attempted a bombing run on the DRF FailDong fleet, getting surprisingly few kills. I remember having a spark of happiness at seeing it, and then realizing how bad the situation was that RAZOR and Morsus Mihi trying to help us, even indirectly, was a high point.

Shortly after this point, I followed the suit of quite a few others, and warped off to a deep safe spot to log out for a break. My choices were that or bear with another hour or two of the DRF trying to bump me out of the forcefield, and possibly succeeding.

Exiting warp, I set my comms to passive receive only, and disconnected from the Neocom network. My ship went silent except for basic life support functions, basic lighting, and passive systems.

Roughly two hours later, the DRF was announced as leaving system. I waited a few minutes longer, in case it was a trap, then logged back in, reconnecting to the Neocom and warping back to the POS.

I waited for another ten minutes, to find out what was going on, if the routes back to GE- were clear. The route through Efa was pretty clear, but it was also twenty plus jumps, and my pride wouldn't let me run through hi-sec.
Someone with me in the POS asked if we could get cyno'd out. The FC, Makalu, who promised such a thing when we had to hide under the forcefield, said, "Yea I guess."

Ten minutes later, nothing was happening on that front. After some discussion with the pilots with me, I threw up a fleet advert for a burn to GE-8JV with what was in system. After another fifteen minutes of waiting, and still no news on the bridge home, I made the call to burn to GE-8JV. We had approximately twelve in fleet, a few with us that were out of out fleet, consisting of mostly Armageddons and two Guardians. We had one Rifter in fleet, and I asked him to scout us. I was surprised that so many still in the POS were away, because I saw at least twenty other ships still orbiting the tower that weren't coming with us.
The trip was uneventful, but I didn't let down my guard on the trip. I made sure everyone aligned before warping, so that the fleet would warp together and we wouldn't leave the odd straggler behind to die to small roaming bands of enemies. The trip home took maybe ten minutes.

After the fact, I found myself wondering how it all went wrong. Aside from being outgunned at every angle, there was, apparently, no backup FC after Makalu. It's my thought that for large-scale conflicts such as yesterdays, backup FCsMakalu promising a bridge home, but coming across as though he couldn't give a damn about it. It's not inspiring to pilots.

On a bright note, it's apparently taken the DRF two weeks to win this first timer, and while it's unclear if they need to win two or three more timers to take HED-GP and start the assault on GE-8JV, taking the first timer as an example, it'll take the DRF another month at minimum to take HED-GP.

I think we need to stop simply defending, and make raids into enemy territory more often. I haven't seen many of those since the start of the war, and I think those raids are largely what allowed us to keep HED-GP ours. I have this feeling that if we don't sortie more against the enemy instead of simply scrambling defenses, we're going to lose HED-GP.

But it's not over yet. Things can still change.
Computer: terminate recording.

1 comment:

  1. HED-GP is a lovely system, brings back memories. :)