When it comes to defending Sov in New Eden, the biggest Alliances usually take immense skill and time to successfully fly against. However, the space of Pandemic Horde has widely been used by others as a way to learn to PvP. It has become an area known for easy kills and good training grounds.
The biggest targets of these gate camps and roam fleets are newbros. These new capsuleers are the most susceptible to constant losses at the hands of camps, and more experienced players tend to do more of the killing. The obvious reasons for the disparity are simply time and SP—better trained pilots with better skills do better in fights. However, as of recent these norms have begun to change.
Pandemic Horde’s space has begun to shift away from being hospitable to campers, toward being a dangerous place for less-skilled roams. In recent days, Horde newbros die less and less often, which is a good sign—they are learning how to properly act in null. However, it would seem something new has awakened in Horde. Two weeks ago, hostile FC’s would take newbie fleets into Horde space to give their newbies practice on easy targets. But the last few hostile fleets died to Horde’s standing fleet. The victory of the standing fleet can be attributed to one simple Pandemic rule: Anyone can call a fleet. While this doesn’t mean that anyone has to answer your fleet ping, usually if it’s a well known FC calling it together, numbers won’t be an issue. On at least one occasion, a Darkness fleet in Geminate met with only a small response, but the fits that were brought made up for the lack of numbers. A fleet of 10 caracals and 4 tackle atrons wiped the newbie fleet with no losses.
Since then, most fleets have been war targets and neutral roam fleets. Fewer newbies, and more experienced fleets have arrived. These fleets had early success, but soon found an even match in Horde’s ability to fleet up quickly and respond accurately. The success of the standing fleet doesn’t come from organization though, but rather from disorganization. A 21-ship strong fleet roamed through Geminate in Cormorants, Caracals, Drakes, and as much logistics as any FC could dream for. What was the response? The standing fleet could only be described as a ‘kitchen sink’. It fielded ships from all races, and from frigates to battlecruisers.
The standing fleet brought together 29 pilots, a mistake on the enemy fleet’s end dooming them to their defeat. The enemy FC was “flying blind”, according to the Horde FC. The defense fleet chased the invaders through 11 systems, starting from the Pandemic capital. Eventually, the larger fleet found themselves stuck in a system with no exits except for the way they came in. After some waiting and 4 warp bubbles later, they came back through. The ensuing fight lasted around 5 minutes, with 2 losses to Pandemic and the hostile fleet losing most all of their ships and the majority of their capsules.
After reviewing the fight most participants agree that the inconsistency of the fleet was the strength of it. With so many different types of ships to deal with, the enemy couldn’t properly deal with the mismatched fleet. Since then, the standing fleet has been fiercely defending Geminate, with most fleets consisting of whatever ship capsuleers are flying at the time.
In the wake of these types of defenses, large enemy fleets have avoided Geminate. Developments like these haven’t been seen in Pandemic since I’ve been there. Only a few weeks ago, Pandemic Horde seemed threatened by a lack of advancements and improvement. This change could mark the end of stagnation for Horde.