Operation Etherium Reach-Around

Not often does one see AAA’s coalition, The Cluster-fuck Coalition (CFC), and tons of random people from all over New Eden cooperating spontaneously.

Tonight, something magical happened in Etherium Reach. In AAA, we will forever remember this day fondly as “Operation Etherium Reach-Around.” It will come as a shock to no one that this name was chosen by eccentric Maverick Navy CEO Avicenna Sarfaraz.

At the outset, let me tip my hat to Mukk Barovian, Perseus Kallistratos, Makalu Zarya, and James Kordent. These four FCs really pulled a rabbit out of a hat tonight, in more ways than one.

Things started off with a relatively small-scale conflict between the DRF and AAA/Nulli in LXQ2-T, with XxDeathXx forming a dread and carrier fleet to kill a Stain Empire POS that was coming out of reinforced mode.

XxdeathXx added two titans to their POS-killing fleet, something that caused AAA spies to raise an eyebrow. Presumably, the XxDeathxX FC was eager to add more muscle to their rather unimpressive fleet of about a dozen carriers, half a dozen dreads, and a small support fleet hitting the Stain Empire PoS.

An Avatar and Erebus were on field when AAA showed up solo, with only 60 sub-caps, but the Avatar cyno’d out at the first sign of trouble. The Erebus was not so fortunate. Once he was tackled by AAA’s Oracle gang, Nulli rushed to support their allies with a swiftly-traveling Naga fleet.

XxDeathXx and Controlled Chaos warped in some additional carriers to repair the imperiled titan, but a very smart order by the AAA FC team lead to the placement of defensive bubbles that caused the carriers to land outside of repair range. This allowed a relatively small battle-cruiser fleet to wear down a titan with minimal interference by hostile remote repair.

The Erebus exploded too quickly for PL or NCdot to arrive. This was due in part to the fact that he was not fully tank fit. Approximately one minute after the titan died, the pro-DRF mercenaries showed up to save the day — or so they thought.

PL and NCdot had around 30 supers on the initial jump-in, with no support to speak of on field. This might seem like hubris to some, but PL’s reputation is often enough to protect them from serious challenges to their super-cap fleet.

Tonight, AAA decided NOT to leave the field when hostile supers landed. Instead, a small number of dictors did their best to hold down PL and NCdot super-caps, while calls for help went out across New Eden.

Some of the first AAA pilots on-field burned to a nearby low-system to trade their current ships for additional DICs and HICs. There was a tense atmosphere, but everyone realized the potential for something special to unfold here. Everyone moved with a sense of urgency.

At one point, PL and NCdot were able to free up the majority of their super-cap fleet. They took this chance to warp out. However, a well-timed bubble by AAA FC James Kordent caught a single Aeon seconds before it entered warp.

To their credit, PL and NCdot decided to come back for their stranded comrade, but this decision would eventually cost them dearly. From the moment that the XxDeathXx titan was tackled, forces across the galaxy had been massing.

Reinforcements from every AAA ally were on the way, not to mention the hordes of neutral alliances who just wanted a chance to appear on the kill-mails.

It took some rather dynamic bubbling by AAA dictors to keep the supers bubbled. In particular, MVN FCs James Kordent and Perseus Kallistratos pulled off some impressive feats in the domain of interdiction. Together they used a combined 160 bubbles before help arrived.

Our brave dictor pilots nearly died on multiple occasions. The AAA, Nulli, and  CONDI logistics pilots deserve a huge amount of credit for saving them both repeatedly.

When I personally landed on-field in my Heretic, along with other reinforcements, the situation was still in flux. No one knew for sure which neutrals were going to help PL and which had come merely to pile-on the tackled supers.

Neutrals from dozens of alliances were showing up. Many were bombing the field indiscriminately. TEST’s tornado fleet was firing at both sides of the conflict, while most of the other Clusterfuck members seemed to be focusing primarily on PL and NCdot (though by no means exclusively so).

However, despite the chaos. NCdot and PL supers were now completely covered in bubbles, and they started dieing one-by-one. They deserve recognition for choosing to go down fighting instead of initiating self-destruct. PL and NCdot have a good tradition in this respect, and I wish more people would follow their example until CCP fixes the mechanic so that a kill-mail is produced.

There was only one other moment where PL and NCdot had a chance to escape. The grid was badly contorted, and their supers were able to cross from one grid to another. We spotted this phenomenon early, and had dictors on both grids to prevent any escape.

This is what the end result looked like from my perspective in the AAA fleet.

Some are pointing to this battle a great example of the weakness of an unsupported super-capital fleet. In my opinion, the fact there there were no PL or NCdot titans on field to blap things was a major factor. Even without titans, the super-carriers nearly escaped on multiple occasions.

Super carriers were already neutered to an extent when they lost the ability to launch anything other than fighters or bombers, but titans remain very capable of killing support ships. Perhaps the lesson from the battle in LXQ2-T is that titans are what are imbalanced right now, not super carriers.

In any case, it’s food for thought, and I’m sure CCP is taking everything that happens on Tranquility into account when working on future balancing. If Titan tracking does get a nerf, fights like this – where a small sub-cap fleet holds down many supers until help can arrive – might be far more common.

This victory was preceded by PL losing 2 other super carriers to AAA, and morale among the Southern bloc is improving at a time when XxDeathxX and RA are both holding high-level meetings about the future of their coalition.

Ultimately, super-capitals can be replaced, especially by rich alliances like PL and NCdot. What can’t be paid for is the psychological impact of a super-capital being destroyed. Whether or not this harms the DRF, PL, or NCdot – it will definitely positively impact on everyone else involved.

Battle Summary: http://dog-net.org/brdoc/?brid=5104

Capital Kills —

Ship Class Total
CARRIERS 9
DREAD

6

SUPER-CARRIERS 6
TITANS 1
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4 Responses to “Operation Etherium Reach-Around”

  1. As I have been saying supercarriers are fine as they are now, it is very easy to kill a super if you can tie them down long enough for reinforcements to arrive.

    Zandramus

    • I totally agree. Crucible did a good job balancing super-carriers. It’s titans that I still find disgustingly capable of crushing support.

      Once we get that titan tracking nerf things will be better-balanced, I feel, in 0.0 warfare.

  2. WAFERZANKKO Says:

    good write up, thx for us that could not be their.

  3. Teckos Pech Says:

    Hey Easley nice write up, and nice shooting shit with you guys again…

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