Great Fights! In Spite of Horrible Lag…

It was 14:00 hours on May 2nd (Eve Time) and a 120-strong IT fleet composed principally of battleships had just finished capturing a high-end moon in BDV3-T and reinforcing two CSAA (capital ship assembly arrays) in J-GAMP (Tribute). The head FC for this op was none other then Sir Molle himself.

We had intel on a NC fleet of at least 200 in primarily BC (battle-cruisers) and miscellaneous light support (meaning sub-BC hulls) headed to intercept us on our way home.

We decided that, along with our allies, we were more than capable of engaging what the NC had formed up . More importantly, having not been attacked on any of the posses we hit, I think we were all hoping for a fight at that point anyway.

We saw the first action in M-OEE8 on the E-OGL4 gate, where the NC jumped into our fleet just as we landed at zero. Unfortunately for them, a majority of their pilots never loaded grid, and there were serious losses on their side. I myself never loaded the majority of the hostile ships on my own overview. Thew few that did appear were sadly not lockable for me, but many of my comrades had no such issues and proceeded to blast away helpless NC pilots. Note that that report includes some losses and kills from a later engagement when we re-entered the system after fighting in E-O.

After the NC stopped jumping into M-O, we decided it was our turn to jump to them. After loading grid, all hell broke loose. The fighting began at 14:48 and didn’t end until 16:02. That’s over an hour of constant slug-fests in heavy lag. I had to un-group and manually cycle all of the guns on my Megathron, and even then I was lucky to get one shot per 30 seconds. My drones also had a bad habit of completely disappearing from my control instantly after being launched. I couldn’t recall them and they didn’t appear on grid.

The IT fleet and our allies spent most of the fight orbiting near the gate with the NC mixing their fleet between close-range targets on top of us and long-range targets sniping. Numerous times, a single close-range battleship would warp directly on top of us and would be immediately called primary.

Our heaviest category of losses in this fight were the interdictor pilots, who worked heroically to keep the NC fleet bubbled. If we had more tacklers, the kills would have been even more numerous, but this was a pos-bashing fleet where most pilots were told to bring a BS or logistic if possible. There was a support-heavy reinforcement fleet that formed up in x-7 during the fighting, but it was ordered to return home before they ever arrived.

After grueling fighting in E-O and M-O we eventually left the area feeling victorious. We could have continued fighting, and there were significant reinforcements formed up in X-7, but I believe Sir Molle made the right call. The NC pilots were simply re-shipping endlessly and it was only a matter of time until they escalated the fight with carriers or super-carriers.

The lag was also hampering our ability to effectively remote-rep and the NC had put out the call for every available pilot to head out for the engagement. I do not know if we could have eventually held the field, but my suspicion is that the NC would have simply kept coming for hours if needed. We had to leave sometime, so we left during a moment when we were not bubbled, and thus no one would be left behind to die.

In this particular operation, our battleships were heavily tanked and fit with RR. We also had a great number of logistics in fleet. This allowed us to tank the hostiles for an extremely long time, even while being bombed and sniped. If we were not setup this way, our losses would have come quickly and the NC would have forced us off-field in short order.

It is my opinion that large groups of lightly-tanked sniper BS will be seen less often as IT Alliance rethinks its fleet composition. The Initiative and Red Overlord primarily fly RR BS, not 200km+ snipers, and these alliances have been our most frequent allies in major ops thus-far.

Furthermore, the prevalence of bomber-runs and the need to engage capital ships in the U.S. timezone (where we are less likely to drop capitals due to the NC’s timezone advantage) requires us to form-up fleets that can go toe-to-toe with carriers.

As our fleet traveled home through Taisy to meet-up with a friendly titan (who bridged us home) everyone in fleet seemed to be in excellent spirits. I imagine that the NC had just as much fun (save for the ones who never loaded grid) and it was one of the most enjoyable fights I have had up north thus far.

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