Northern Coalition (NC.) and the Initiative (INIT.) squared off Friday in TXW-EI and 1-NW2G in Syndicate and Cloud Ring respectively. The campaign to relieve INIT of its moon holdings in the area is progressing, sometimes slowly, but the crusty veterans of NC surprised themselves. All except FC Vince Draken, who has built a reputation on being the ballsiest FC in the game.
Early morning AUTZ, DICE member, CLEISTHENES2, stumbled out of bed grabbing at his noisy phone. PING!
Vince Draken Broadcast: “Machs, my channel ASAP.”
CLEISTHENES2 started EVE in 2004, FC’d for BoB in 2006, and lived through the age of alarm-clock CTA’s. EVE players are never further than a broadcast away, and CLEISTHENES2 logged in at an unusual late EUtz, early UStz time. On the other side of the world, it was early morning.
An INIT Fortizar in TXW-EI was about to exit its armor timer, uncontested. If it were allowed to, it would mean NC would have to start the siege over at a later time.
Vince assembled a gang of 50 NC Machariels and with practically no logistic support, and raced them to the system to apply damage to the Fort, effectively stopping the countdown to freedom. Time 2:43
The Fortizar fought back with Void bombs that drained the NC gang’s capacitors. Fortunately, Artillery Machariels don’t require a capacitor to function, but the supporting electronics to enhance range and targeting do. NC had to keep turning modules on that were turned off by capacitor shortages. This was inconsistent and allowed the Fortizar to periodically tick closer to safety. Time 2:27
Meanwhile, in 1-NW2G, Cloud Ring region, Pandemic Horde was losing a head-to-head Machariel fight over a POS to INIT. Horde strengthened their hand with carriers and dreadnaughts. INIT was aware that NC was awake and had Supers within jump range, but they would lose the fight if the did not call in carriers of their own. Fifteen carriers moved in, matching Horde’s firepower. The question for INIT was: is this too tempting a target for NC to pass up? On NC’s side, if Horde were to lose, would those same INIT carriers jump into the Fortizar battle?
Vince Draken Broadcast: “We need more shit, get into fleet.”
NC pilots are required to have capital ships ready at all times; many have Titans or Supercarriers within reach. The signal was sent to log them in. A cyno lit up in the middle of the Horde-INIT fight, and in came NC Titans. Doomsday weapons crackled as they spooled up, targeting the trapped INIT carriers.
Back in TXW-EI, NC Machariels, most dual boxed by the same players with supers in 1-NW2G, were neglected. The ship’s systems were shut down and out of range. The DPS fell off and the Fortizar timer ticked away.
With INIT’s carriers beyond help, the FC withdrew the Machariels. Crackling Doomsday blasts ripped the carriers apart. The battle swung decisively in Hordes favor.
INIT jumped their Machariels to TXW-EI and hovered over the Fortizar, tethered. They brought in command destroyers and sent them to snatch NC’s boosting ship. Vince’s attention split between a deployed super capital fleet and the Macharial gang. He needed to keep the Machariels in DPS range or lose the timer fight, but the command destroyers were closing in like birds of prey. If Vince were going to lose ships, he would exact a price from INIT. He called for tackle to approach the Fortizar. If INIT Machariels engaged, their tether would drop, making them vulnerable to counter-attack. The NC tackler’s job was to lock them to keep them from tethering.
FC Poison Kevin (PK) asked Vince if he could cyno in his Ragnarok Titan. FC Makalu, of Against All Authorities fame, now a member of NC, navigated his Proteus towards INIT’s fleet.
The command destroyers executed perfectly and plucked NC’s boosting ship and a few Machariels out of their crowd, dropping them in front of INIT Machariels. They opened fire, easily annihilating the NC ships within range. INIT called an immediate halt to wait out their weapon’s timer. If Vince got in closer to avenge his losses, he would take more losses, and without good logistical support, INIT would win that fight.
The Fortizar timer was ticking away, now under one 90 seconds and the damage to it, although substantial, would be meaningless if it reached zero.
Makalu reached the Machariel fleet and lit a cyno. In came PK’s Ragnarok, and Makulu’s Erebus. Vince yelled at tackle to get out of the way, but it was too late. Makalu and PK Doomsdayed the Machariel fleet and NC tackle along with it.
Vince ordered his Machariels to fire on the remaining INIT Machariels. Some Initiative ships were able to tether again. Both Titans took evasive action. The Fortizar targeted the Erebus draining its capacitor and working down its shields. INIT ordered in Dictors to tackle the Titans. The timer ticked down to less than one minute. Vince ordered PK to turn his Titan’s guns on the Fortizar to stop the timer, while the Machariels were moved closer to work on the Dictors.
The Fortizar changed its target to the much closer Titan, PK’s Rag. INIT tackle needed distance from the Macherials. Vince pulled the fleet closer to help free up PK. The race against time was on, with the Fort’s timer in the balance. INIT sent in wave after wave of tackle while the Fortizar kept up Cap drain pressure. The bubbled Rag drifted into a tackle like a submarine in a narrow, deep water canyon. NC Machariels shot everything that got near it. The Rag was still shooting the Fort, keeping the timer frozen.
NC scout Judy was in a stealth bomber and deployed bombs at the Rag to destroy the bubbles. It partially worked, and PK drifted free of the tackle and warped away. Makalu, once PK was free, warped away too. Vince ordered the Machariels to finish off the Fortizar. Time: 24 seconds.
Later, after the fighting was over and the Supercaps were safe, PK joked that he needed to change his pants and excused himself. Vince confirmed every ship was in, then apologized to the tackle caught in the crossfire, before saying farewell: “Gentlemen, it’s been a ball.”
Across the world, CLEISTHENES2 checked the clock, scratched his head, and started a pot of coffee.