Sometimes, everything goes to plan. Sometimes you find yourself inside a supercarrier sat in front of an operational hostile Keepstar. On January 17, in true Goon fashion, the latter happened.
For those who were not present, an Aeon found itself parked in front of the PH Keepstar in 9-4RP2, and was quickly pinned down by interdictors and bubbles.
Quick thinking from a jackdaw fleet commander and the commander of a bomber wing led to the destruction of the interdictors and bubbles allowing the aeon to fly away safely. Reports are that the Keepstar fired its doomsday weapon twice, with the second shot missing the target as the Aeon entered warp.
I got a chance to interview a few people involved.
First up is Sothrasil, FC for the Bomber fleet:
Mistwarden: Hello, I hear you had something to do with saving a super who had a deathwish?
Sothrasil: I don’t know exactly how it happened. Someone threw a bubble up between our Fortizar and PH’s Keepstar. One of our Aeons warped into the bubble for some reason, and naturally, they tried to keep it tackled by throwing lots of ‘dictors on it. We warped our Jackdaw fleet in to kill the Sabres, but that wasn’t enough because they could still throw out a bubble or two before they die. We also had my bomber fleet around, not a whole lot just around 10, but it was enough to eventually destroy all the bubbles by bombing them after multiple tries (and kill some blues in the process).
M: At this stage, did you know about if the Aeon had taken much damage?
S: It was in half armor. I know the jackdaw fleet tried to throw shield reps at it, but frigate logi isn’t really good at repping supers.
M: I see. It was getting close then, well, every bit does help. Did you hear if there was any plan to move the capital fleet or was the Aeon dead in the water without your help?
S: I’m not a cap FC, so I can only guess but I doubt we would’ve jumped in more shit just to save a single super.
M: That makes sense, well, I’m sure he was happy your bombers were there.
S: Don’t forget the jackdaws!
Next, I spoke to Arenthor Doran, FC for the Jackdaw fleet:
Mistwarden: When did you first hear of the aeon on the keepstar?
Arenthor Doran: We were still one jump out in MJYW-3 when I was told there was an aeon tackled on the keepstar.
M: Was an order given for you to move in and support, or was this something you decided yourself?
AD: We were asked to help save it and clear dictors off the grid. I also had logi in the fleet to rep it, to what little effect frigate reps have on a super.
M: I’m sure every little helps in saving the super. Was it tense at all, knowing how much this loss would be used by PH as propaganda?
AD: The only time I was tense was our initial warp in being in range of the keep stars Point Defense System. I was expecting the fleet to get vaporized, but once we burnt out it was more just fun killing dictors.
M: It sounds like PH dropped the ball again with that one. Some people have said that with all their dictors killed, it was easier for fighters to attack.
AD: I’m not sure about easier to attack, I’m personally not a super pilot myself.
M: Thank you for your time, is there anything else you wish to add?
AD: PH needs to learn how to bait and use smartbombing battleships effectively and not lose them to jackdaws. [For the next fight] I’m expecting both sides to be fielding significant cap fleets, whether they decide to engage in a capital brawl remains to be seen, personally I’d hope so.
Last, but definitely not least, I caught up with the pilot of the Aeon, Whitehalo117.
Mistwarden: Hello, it’s my understanding that you where the pilot who’s aeon landed on the KS. I’m a reporter for INN and would like to ask some questions
Whitehalo117: Well, I guess I’ll give the real story since the ruse cruise has pretty much died down. After jumping into the system on the Fortizar, I deployed my fighters bombers and had them selected. I then selected my aeon and told it to move in a direction in space towards instadock AMOK had on the Fort. After that I selected all my fighter-bombers again and hit Ff2 and MJD’d them toward the keepstar. Shortly after their MJD’s finished cycling down I found myself in warp to the Horde KS. I was confused about how I got into warp, to be honest. But I decided to make the most of it, tank a DD like a champ, and bbq some dictors. I was truly hoping that I would be a catalyst though to an escalation. To add, I also checked the game logs and there was nothing from the time I jumped into the time I got tackled on the KS.
M: That is interesting, what was your first thought when you landed right on the KS, did you think you were going to die?
WH: The first thought that went through my mind was indeed panic, then a sober reminder that you shouldn’t undock in something unless you can replace it. After that I wrote the Aeon off, I had another Aeon hull in Delve that came out of the oven that day. So it would have actually been already replaced.
M: It is always a bonus when you can replace it like that. Bombers and jackdaws came to save you, when did you see you had a chance to warp out?
WH: It was interesting, the jackdaw fleet really did some work. At the point they came in I knew I was in a way better spot. The only real threat at that point was the Keepstar. But then the only two bubbles holding me dropped and I started spamming warp. This happened to be right as a second doomsday was going off from the KS so perfect timing.
M: I heard the second one missed if it connected would it have killed you?
WH: No, it would have probably put me into 35% ish armor. At that point, I’d assume Panfam would have sent in suicide dreads. However, my aeon was full tank fit so its fate would have then been decided by how many dreads they would have been willing to commit to killing it.
M: That would have escalated the fighting, with the Imperium fleet targeting the dreads afterwards.
WH: All in all the only thing I regret is not being able to let other people know exactly how my Aeon entered warp so I can share lessons learned with other pilots in our coalition.
M: Perhaps worth sending in a ticket to CCP?
WH: Absolutely, it’s very worth it. I’ll be writing a ticket when I get the opportunity tomorrow.
M: Is there anything else you would like to add?
WH: I’d like to add that AmokDot AKA the supercap backbone of GSF, AKA the #1 corp in GSF is recruiting.
M: Thank you for your time and we’ll see you again for the final timer.
WH: Thanks to you as well!