Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Ranger's Siege at 6VDT-H

I was sitting in station waiting for The Mitanni to begin his speech, just chilling in my Wolf. Figured he would have something to say that might be interesting but wasn’t sure what to expect. You see, I had just moved out from empire about a week before and joined Ordos Humanitas which is part of the Fatal Ascension alliance. I had heard rumors of a big operation to occur after his speech, but because of prior commitments, I wasn’t sure if I was going to be able to participate. Anyways, The Mitanni comes on and says that there are so many of us that the communications system has to be restarted and expanded with additional power, which is kind of cool I guess. 

After about 15 or 20 minutes he begins speaking; nothing much to it really...basic stuff. I thought it was a better speech than what Sir Molle (IT) had given a couple days before; it was shorter for sure and that is always nice. 

The Mitanni began speaking about the new assault that would strike at the heart of IT alliances staging base in the Fountain region (6VDT). This attack would take place following the approximately 30 min Q&A that he had promised everyone would occur at the end of his speech.
Well, that Q&A never happened as intel came down that the IT members The Mitanni had allowed into the channel to listen had sent out frantic messages to IT personnel to begin a massive evac of the 6VDT system before we arrived. Orders came down to form fleets and leave right away and not wait. 

So I figured 'hell why not?' I added some extra ammo to the bay of the ship and I was racing off to the rendezvous point (J5A). Because I was flying in a Wolf class assault ship, my role was fast tackle, to pin the targets so the heavy warships could kill them. This put me into one of the support fleets that was headed to the target system. Everyone was going crazy trying to get out to 6VDT in time to catch the enemy before they managed to evacuate their assets. Even now, intelligence on what was/is still remaining in the system at the time of the invasion is unreliable. Some are saying it was nothing some are saying a lot still remains. 

What we know for sure is that several super-capital ships got trapped and managed to escape later during the siege. In the end nearly 1000 allied pilots participated in the initial attack into the system.

Anyways, I digress. We got to J5A and the FC ordered us to wait while the heavy ships jumped ahead to avoid causing traffic control problems in the systems between us and the target. Very little hostile presence was encountered during the jumps. One enemy interdictor did manage to trap us between stargates on the way at just the right position to prevent us from easily realigning and completing our jump. He escaped before the group I was with could kill him. Our FC warped us to a nearby belt and we warped back onto the stargate just in time to watch that interdictor do it again, only this time the guys managed to kill his ship before he escaped. As far as I know this was the first kill of the 6VDT operation: a lone interdictor that sacrificed himself to buy his friends a little more time to evacuate their assets. Although we didn’t encounter a single camp, later fleets did report much heavier gate camps by hostile forces attempting to restrict our resupply and reinforcements. We were relegated to sitting on jump gates waiting for the order to jump into the next system.

We get word that the heavy guys are into the system and the FC orders us to jump in. We come out and we all hold our jump transit cloaks while watching for hostiles on the gate. A lone enemy stealth bomber attempts to strike the fleet on the gate but causes no casualties. I was much closer to the blast and lost about 50% shields, but they recharged quickly enough. 

Just after the bomb attack, the fleet warps to the station, which by this point was already under fire, and we begin attacking the station services along with our battlecruiser and battleship fleet. As a Wolf, it was kind of pointless for me to shoot a station ,so I did a little bit but mostly I was looking for hostile ships to attack. Given the size of our fleets, none appeared at the station. 

After a few minutes a cyno goes up approximately 60 km from me. I see it but no one is saying anything about it. Right as I get ready to report it to the FC, a huge fleet of capital and super-capital ships jumps in, including several titans. My heart stops, they are all showing up as yellow, red or neutral. Not a single blue among them. For a second my mind just stops, then I believe that the enemy has managed to get a fleet here to stop us and we are all about to die, and our FC orders us to move to engage and pin the capitals for our own ships to kill. We knew that friendly capitals were on the way. I had just started to move towards the enemy when the FC comes frantically on the comms yelling “BLUE CAPITALS. BLUE CAPITALS. DO NOT ENGAGE”. It was the most interesting 10 seconds of the day. We all reverse course and come back after the station, while the capitals just crush it.

FC tells us that friendly POS’s are going to be placed in the system, one for each alliance with pilots to allow for safe locations for repair and refit as needed. The rest of the night goes like that, our fleet attempts to kill the stealth bombers and other covert operations ships that are trying to harass our guys, with limited success on our part. Our logistics guys assemble the POS’s for our coalition while others put up large t2 warp disruptor bubbles on the enemy station, all hostile POS’s, and the gates.

I spend most of my time orbiting the station or a stargate waiting with my scrambler to trap hostiles, or jumping with the quick reaction fleet to those being attacked. The siege thus enters into the stage of waiting and watching. 

For nearly 5 days we have very little contact with the enemy. They try some breakouts and are meet with heavy resistance. About 12 hours before the final reinforcement timer on the station is set to end I get a call from my friend and corpmate Truen1ght. He has been attacked at one of the gates and his ship heavily damaged. A major enemy fleet has come through the gate he was watching. He has managed to jump away to a friendly POS, I frantically sound the general quarters alarm on the ship and bring the systems to full combat readiness. By the time I have gotten everything ready he has repaired his armor and has jumped back into the action. I join up with the main fleet and the fight is on. 

We jump around after the enemy managing to engage and catch a few each time. The failure to crush the fleet comes mostly at the hands of our own interdictor pilots who launch their spheres no matter how far from the enemy they actually, which traps the majority of our pilots in the fields and not the enemy. After 3 incidences the overall combat commander orders the interdictors not to bubble anything unless specifically ordered to. We get better at taking them and than the enemy makes a mistake and jumps to one of the gates in the wrong position, interdictors this time manage to trap the enemy fleet and they take heavy losses.

Almost immediately following that engagement, another gate in the system reports they are under attack, a new group of hostiles has jumped into the system and engaged one of our camps. The entire fleet warps to the target gate and manages to catch most of the enemy fleet still in bubbles, our interdictors performed excellently here. The 2nd enemy fleet is virtually wiped out. 

We spend the next several hours flying around trying to catch the covert operations people they have inserted into the system, again to limited success. Their covert operations people are generally doing very well, mostly due to the incompetence of our own pilots. Ship commanders are not paying attention to what they are doing and allowing their ships to move hundreds of kilometers from our camps, and thus presenting themselves as a viable and convenient targets for isolated attacks. I don’t know how many ships we lose, but the FC’s and the rest of us are getting pissed off at the stupidity of these pilots. Battleship after battleship and battlecruiser after battlecruiser are blown apart by these surprise attacks. No ship was attacked that was in the company of fellow pilots only the isolated ones were.

Given the enemy's success in attacking these stupid pilots, the FC made the call to start using them as bait for the enemy. Our entire fleet of fast tackle ships pulled back into a central location and began to fly toward the station were we had a ship volunteer to sit by itself and pretend to be asleep. We had a cloaked interdictor sit near him to trap the covert operations people when they came to attack. We messed up the first attempt by being late, but the 2nd try worked like a charm and several enemy stealth bombers were blown apart. Our pilots gave no quarter and every evacuation pod that could be found was targeted and destroyed. 

Following the successful bait, the enemy did not attempt another attack for at least 90 minutes. Before they were averaging one attack every 15 – 30 minutes. Due to this apparent stand down of their forces, I returned to my alliance's POS, and ordered my crew to stand down for several hours and get some rest.

The following morning, having seen no additional attempts by the enemy to attack or evacuate the system, our forces succeeded in taking the system and the fleets formed up to attack the neighboring system of 7BX and take it as well. I again formed up with the fleet in my Wolf and was place on security duty at one of the stargates waiting for an attack that would never come.

The following day after the TCU’s had come online for both systems, they were declared safe, and this phase of the operation in the Fountain region has come to an end. Following one final afternoon in the 6VDT system, the coalition high command arranged titan bridges for much of the fleet to return to PNQY. We now await the next phase in this conquest. 

It is believed by many that the Fountain region will fall more rapidly now that these systems have been taken and the enemy has lost their primary offensive striking power.
However, in war nothing is ever certain and we cannot underestimate them. They may have evacuated the majority of their assets, as some have claimed, or they may still be trapped in the depths of the system waiting for the chance to escape. Only time will tell. For myself I am returning with my crew to FA home space to begin working up and helping to secure industrial operations in our heartland. 

Our next major operations into Fountain should begin soon and we must all be ready.

Ranger Gama
Ordos Humanitas
Fatal Ascension

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