PURE BLIND – ROIR-Y: A battle over Imperium citadels in NPC Pure Blind on January 10 stacked up a total bill of over 200b ISK. The story of this quite notable fight begins with one of the Imperium’s northernmost outpost-citadels in Pure Blind. Consecutive attacks by Pandemic Horde and the Guardians of the Galaxy put the Astrahus into its third and last reinforcement timer. Over the last weeks, Imperium forces have used the citadels as staging platforms. From ROIR, they’ve conducted operations that took them deep into Panfam territory. Many a song can be sung of their adventures. Whispered rumors tell of dropped supers, distressed miners and even the heroic confiscation of an unguarded enemy dreadnought. Some day, these tales may be woven into the fabric of Imperial legends.
According to line members, the first call came relatively early. Members formed an 100 man Ishtar fleet under the command of Asher Elias in order to defend the outpost. However, they were unable to undock. Their enemies had already assembled and were preparing for the siege. The Ishtars waited, trapped in a NPC station by warp disruption bubbles and a 200-man Pandemic Horde Tempest fleet, along with carrier support. As intel reached them of several PL Titans (12 Erebus supported by 50 Apostles) starting to attack the vulnerable structure, they knew it was too late for the Astrahus. In another one of those strange whims of fate, the citadel also appeared to have a “defective reloading system.”
But Imperial reinforcements were already on the way.
A 230-man Machariel fleet under Dirk Stetille, backed up by his second in command PlexedLive and notorious Logibro Arrendis (shoutout intended) was burning their way towards Pure Blind. Also flying with them; Daniel Westelius leading a 150-man Jackdaw support fleet and Thomas Lear in command of 60 Dreadnoughts. Unlike most Imperium Machariel FCs, Dirk was not flying a Legion. Instead, he was piloting a Loki. As he put it, ‘I’ll buy a Legion when this thing blows up. Hopefully, that’s tonight.’
They departed Delve around 2:00, approximately half an hour after the first citadel died to the Titans. Upon their arrival, they found the system already camped by several sub-capital fleets of different alliances. In total, 1700 players piled into the system, resulting in massive time dilation.
Some minor skirmishes have already taken place, such as a small brawl between two Ferox fleets (NC. Versus The Initiative). NC and PL also used a fleet of cloaked and nullified smart-bombing Lokis. Adding to that were the obligatory bomber squads and interceptor fleets from various parties.
The Bloodshed Begins
When the Machariel fleet arrived in the system, it went to the first of the two remaining citadels, where it tethered. After a short pause of consideration, they moved to the station. The plan: distract the enemy and buy Asher’s Ishtar fleet an escape. They succeeded, in part because an attack by TEST bombers severely damaged the Tempest fleet. With the Ishtars close to being free to move and no enemy Titan anywhere on grid, things began to brighten up. However, Guardians of the Galaxy chose that moment to join the fray on the station grid with their super-capital fleet. Their arrival and immediate launch of fighters into the fray caused severe damage to the Machariels and added to the massive tidi.
Meanwhile, both citadels entered their window of vulnerability and were under fire. PL bombers attacked one, but where quickly taken care of by the Imperium’s T3 destroyers. At the other, the Machariels tethered up while a small group of capitals (2 Dreads,2 Carriers and one Force Auxillary) continued their own attack.
Thomas Lear dispatched five Imperium dreadnoughts to test the waters. Unsurprisingly Guardians answered with an additional 25 dreads. Thomasthen ordered 25 more Goon dreads to jump in an attempt to level the odds, and so the brawl around the second citadel began.
The Machariels engaged, dropping tether, and re-positioned. In short order, they were struggling under the assault of motherships, carriers, Tempests and, to make things worse, an additional Loki fleet. With server dilation making time their enemy, the Imperium commanders knew they had to act. After fighting off the Lokis, Dirk Stetille extracted his Yachts from the fight and sent them against the dreadbomb.
All the Bubbles
Right away, things began going wrong. They landed right in the center of a chain of stop-bubbles, and an enemy command destroyer booshed half of the fleet away. Even though the timing and execution of the maneuver were close to being perfect, the casualties caused to the Machariels was comparably low, and the fleet quickly regrouped. With approximately 160 ships left, the fleet was still at fighting strength.
After re-positioning, they opened fire on the dreads, but soon realized that the Imperial Capitals were losing the brawl. To make things even worse, blue interdictors panicled, bubbling the space around them. After 4-5 seemingly endless minutes spent trying to distract the Machariels, they were close to break free when, for the last time of the night, shit was about to hit the fan. Shortly before giving the command to warp out, the fleet was hit by a Warp Disruption Burst Projector, as the super-carriers had also moved onto the grid of the 2nd station.
The Slow Crawl…
As dreads burned, the smaller, more maneuverable Imperium fleets began extracting. Jackdaws and Feroxes escaped the field, but GotG super-carriers used Warp Disruption Projectors to keep the Machariels pinned down. Their fighters, however, remained focused on the dreadnoughts, as did the Horde battleships on grid. Taking advantage of the enemy’s split attention, Dirk got the fleet aligned, and kept fighting. Soon, word came from scouts on the station grid that had been dreaded: Guardians’ titans were entering warp.
Titans are immense and powerful ships. They have at their disposal a number of very effective weapon options. Against sub-capital fleets, one of the most popular and entertaining options is the Bosonic Field Generator, or BFG. For anyone who doesn’t know, the BFG is named after the original BFG of Doom, the classic FPS game that sees a lone space marine (He’s a marine, he’s in space. Shut up.) fighting demons in a Martian research station. In Doom, the BFG’s initials stand simply for ‘Big Fucking Gun’. Its purpose is pretty simple. When you fire it, everything in front of it dies. You can imagine why this is a popular idea in EVE. Just one BFG can wreak havoc. Two or three can annihilate an opposing force.
What happened next changed the entire complexion of the fight for many of the participants.
As the GotG titans came out of warp, the bubbles dropped. Maybe the super-capital pilots simply didn’t think they needed another round of bubbles. Maybe the Tempest fleet’s Apostle screwed up the camera angle for one or two crucial moments, and someone mis-clicked. Without confirmation from members of GotG, it’s impossible to say. What can be said is that the bubbles that did appear were entirely out of position.
Before the first of the GotG Avatars could fully decelerate out of warp, the Machariels were loose. A moment later, the message ‘WARP DRIVE: ACTIVE’ appeared on nearly two hundred screens, and the fleet slid off-grid and out of the fight. Silent comms, tensely resigned to dying, broke out in laughter. On the other side, there have been reports of rage and frustration on the part of the titan pilots. A fight that went entirely their way ended on a sour note.
In addition, the Imperium onlined two new citadels during the fight. Their timers started roughly an hour after the vulnerability of the original target structure. And Dirk even wound up using that Loki to entosis the new IHUB in 9-4RP2 later that night.