Beware the Ides of Welp…
It’s March 1, and Stevinz is hungry. He’s always hungry. Hungry to kill. He contemplates PUBG, he opts for Eve, and Pandemic Horde’s day is about to get a whole lot worse than usual. They just don’t know it yet.
A call to arms is made. A Welp Squad ping to all. It’s early in the Eve morning. 8.34am to be precise. Twenty-three brave souls heed the call to action and they set out from 1DQ with murder in their hearts. In the GME pocket, the krabs are out, basking in the sunlight as they feast in the anoms. The sunlight dulls the senses, dulls the mind, and apparently dulls the ability to look at an intel channel.
Fade is reached and the squad start to meander round the systems. Ships start to die, a lot of ships. Then, Stevinz has a revelation. No, not like an epiphany sort of revelation, but a real revelation; a revelation! Obviously, the thing to do is to go and hassle a dread with twenty-three interceptors, because they are bound to kill it – by April – maybe.
Stevinz knows this, but Welp Squad (Best Squad) didn’t get that name by being worried about losing a ship or three. They wade in; Pandemic Horde reacts. “Save the Rev” calls must have gone out because the standing fleet started to arrive. Nothing concerted at first, so they were dealt with and summarily dispatched back to whence they came. A more organised response follows. It died in an organised manner. Time passes. Eventually, Welp Squad is reduced to 11 ships. Time to move on. Twelve Imperium vessels have bitten the dust. Efficiency is 90% at a cost of 363m isk. Seventy-two Pandemic Horde vessels have taken the long walk off the short plank. Efficiency is 9.8% at a cost of 3.35b isk. Oh dear… It might have been cheaper to just write off the Rev.
Back in 1DQ, Stevinz decides he quite liked his morning meal. In fact, he liked it so much he fancies a little something on the side. It’s 11.58am, and Pandemic Horde’s day is about to get a whole lot worse. News of the success of the early morning fleet has spread and more people are now awake. This time, fifty respond to Stevinz’ call. The journey to the north starts again.
In the north, all is quiet. A good time for a move op, therefore. So one is formed. One that contains Machariels. Quite a lot of Machariels, but what seems to have been only one Guardian. Still, it was quiet. What could possibly go wrong? To be fair, move ops are akin to herding cats. Mental cats. Slow cats. Fast cats. Cats that share a brain cell but don’t ever use it. Cats that… Well, I’m sure you know the kind.
Unfortunately for the Horde FC, Stevinz has arrived and he sees his side-order of Machs streaming past. Not all together, however, so three bite the dust in lonely death throes unseen by their friends—but not unheard. Definitely too late though.
Now, there’s a thing about jump on contact that suggests that you should really jump on contact, like, straight away. Of course, this rarely happens in any fleet, and the FC can get stuck urging people on. Not a good place to be stuck on a gate urging people on. An awful place to be when Clavo Oxidado is flying a Bifrost. Boosh. Oh dear… Three more Machs are collected. Three more die.
Horde comms are somewhat noisy at this point; yeah, yeah, spais—get over it. The FC orders the fleet to scatter. This didn’t work with convoys in the war, and it wasn’t about to get any better here. Ships died. By the time the Welp Squad fleet departed, with an efficiency of 99.1% and 3 ships lost at a cost of 54m isk, Pandemic Horde had shed another 5.65b isk worth of ships into the Welp Squad meat grinder, ok, one or two MTUs as well.
It’s 5.30pm Eve time and Welp Squad are not done. Clavo Oxidado is still feeling peckish. 54 respond to the call this time and a mixed bag of interceptors and fast frigates set out… for the north. Pandemic Horde respond as do SE7EN SINS, the latter discovering the true meaning of the word nightmare as they feed 3 and a Sleipnir to the hungry Welp Squad fleet. Not to be outdone, Horde feed a further 40 odd plus pods. 92% efficiency versus 8% efficiency. 160m / 1.84b. Nom, nom, nom. Finally sated, Welp Squad head home.
I talked to Stevinz after the second fleet had returned home. He felt that luck had played a part in the victories that day, but I felt that in my experience, you make a lot of your own luck. The striker who arrives at the right point to score the goal wasn’t lucky. He’d worked at that. The golfer who sinks the great shot from the bunker isn’t lucky. He has ten thousand hours of practice behind him to make sure he is ‘lucky’ more often than not.
A bad day for Pandemic Horde, but they will recover. They are a good adversary. One that always forms and always fites the gud fite. We shall miss them when they are gone. Still, fret not our Horde friends! Welp Squad will definitely be coming down to see your new home and we’ll be looking forward to a very warm welcome!
If you want to be part of this fun, why not come and join us in Welp Squad? Be prepared to lose ships – we don’t always get to fly home. Be prepared to fly a long way to get a fight. Be prepared to listen to Havish as we fly a long way. Be prepared to enjoy yourself. That’s the main thing really. We have fun.
Welp Squad – Best Squad. Just saying.