18:30 – 05.10.2016 – X-M2LR, Z-6NQ6 Constellation, Syndicate Region
An Initiative. fleet of almost 120 pilots takes flight from their staging Fortizar, the bulk of their fleet, 61 to be precise, in ‘Rattlesnake’ class Battleships. They take to the skies via Titan bridge, their destination the Cloud Ring region. With them, 3 ‘Minokawa’ class Force Auxiliaries, the backbone of their logistics wing. Their intention: to capture an R64 moon owned by WAFFLES. alliance in the system of F7C-H0.
18:50 – 05.10.2016 – F7C-H0, Balenne Constellation Cloud Ring Region
Coming from the low security region of Placid, WAFFLES.’ alliance in a similar ‘Rattlesnake’ -based fleet enter the system and prepare to defend their POS. With their fleet numbering just over 50, they are woefully outnumbered; they will need to rely on assistance from trusted allies to win this fight. Such requests had been made and Snuffed Out. and Project.Mayhem were underway to assist with similar sized fleets of their own – a sizeable force of Dreadnoughts in tow. WAFFLES. take position just outside the force field of their POS, awaiting the arrival of their foes.
INIT. had reinforced the R64 deep in USTZ, hoping to gain a favourable timer for the EUTZ. WAFFLES. were kind enough to oblige with a perfect timer for a EU-evening brawl. The last few WAFFLES. towers had been taken unopposed in EUTZ: why, we did not know. Nonetheless, since WAFFLES. had chosen this reinforcement timer, we were hopeful to get a fight out of this one.
Instead of entering the grid via Titan bridge, we opted to enter system by gate and warp onto grid. Scouts had reported the formation of fleets and their departure in the staging system of Snuffed Out and Project.Mayhem, including the deployment of a Dreadnought wing numbering over a dozen. It was their arrival that we were anticipating after we had landed on WAFFLES.’ tower and begun putting DPS on it.
To encourage Project Waffle.Box to show their hand, we brought in 3 Phoenixes to accelerate their decision-making process. It was suggested by a fleet member to bring more Dreads; surely hostiles must know we would have more Dreads on standby. The suggestion was followed by sniggers: the old hands in fleet knew what the FC team counted on – everyone involved knew those 3 Phoenixes were bait. We knew it; Project Waffle.Box knew it. It was an open secret, but it did show we meant business.
With the gauntlet thrown thusly, the two fleets waiting in the wings entered the fray as WAFFLES.’ left the safety of their forcefield behind to kick off the engagement properly. Sentries and missiles alike took to the air, the sheer amount of DPS from the combined fleets putting our Rattlesnakes under intense pressure. One, two, three, six were lost in quick succession, but we recovered and started giving as well as we were receiving. Snuffed Out Minokawas entered the field and overcoming their reps became a chore.
Another local spike – The Culture! More Rattlesnakes! Another fleet of almost 70 Culture landed on grid shortly afterwards.
Unbeknownst to most INIT. pilots, mere minutes earlier, a terse but decisive conversation between FCs had taken place. The Culture, a neighboring alliance with whom INIT. leads a on/off relationship fraught with bouts of domestic violence, enquired about the forces of Project Waffle.Box bound for a head-to-head with ours. Not wanting to intrude, they’d asked if we would allow their assistance, citing ‘unsportsmanlike behaviour’ and wanting to ‘even the odds, teach those lowsec dwellers a lesson’ (not a quote, inferred). The Initiative. had agreed.
Knowing the Force Auxiliaries ability to tank huge amounts of DPS, we opted to bring in another wave of five Dreadnoughts. As a palpable sigh of relief went through the INIT. fleet as the order was given to not shoot Culture and instead focus on the hostile Minokawas, Snuffed Out deployed their Dreadnoughts.
Unperturbed, we mustered the remainder of our Dreadnoughts in our forward staging and jumped them into the battle. Culture, not wanting to be outdone by INIT., dropped their own wing of Dreadnoughts., and together we focused our firepower on the hostile capitals. Outnumbered more than 2:1, the Snuffed Out Dreads stood little chance, only bringing down two Dreadnoughts for the loss of their 14.
One INIT. Dread pilot, known within the alliance as a leading expert in losing Dreads, reports dropping into the fight with the second wave in his Naglfar, finding himself targeted by the entire hostile Dreadnought wing and opting not to enter Siege, saving his ship and soaking inordinate amounts of damage before the enemy capitals finally chose another target.
With Project Waffle.Box’s remaining Minokawa also falling to the Rattlesnakes and thus all hostile caps destroyed, the three enemy fleets were now open to fire from both Culture and Initiative. Systematically, first WAFFLES.’ and then Snuffed Out’s Rattlesnakes were annihilated, Project.Mayhem escaping relatively unharmed as they had stayed at range from the engagement.
Soon enough, the three hostile parties bowed out of the fight, WAFFLES. having lost all 30 Rattlesnakes, Snuffed Out 19 of 30 Rattlesnakes and 14 of 14 Dreads, and Project.Mayhem opting to cut their losses at 2 Rattlesnakes. With heartfelt “GF’s” to Project Waffle.Box and “o7’s” to the Culture as they left system, INIT. stayed on the field to take possession of their latest R64. All that remained was to clean up a drone-strewn battlefield and account for losses.