Image by Redline.
Many words have been written about the fighting in X47L-Q. But X47 was not the only action going on. At the same time, fighting took place in the Imperium’s mid-point system of O-N8XZ. Both reinforcements moving toward the battle, and weary pilots jumping out after a disconnect, faced additional enemy forces. The response fleets were led by Alice Homoloes, Plexedlive, and Thomas Lear. INN caught up with Thomas to discuss this sometimes-overlooked facet of the larger battle.
INN: So before we get to the rescue ops in O-N, were you in the X47 fight? What were you flying?
Thomas Lear: Yes, I was in the X47 fight for the end of it. I was working for most of the fight and getting updates from a group of folks on my phone. When I got home I jumped into a Baltec fleet to go help the reinforcement fleets move through O-N
INN: So what led to you leading a fleet into O-N?
TL: Well when I got home I jumped into command and asked what needed to be done and Asher asked me to form up a Baltec fleet to help combat the Muninns deployed by Elo and Black Legion that were disrupting our forces moving from 6rcq to O-N and then finally into the fight.
INN: If you were in X47, were your attentions divided between the two systems and fleets?
TL: From the start of the Baltec fight I had one of my titans in the battle. During the first engagement with Elo up until we managed to save the Erebus he had tackled in O-N I really did not pay attention to my titan. My focus was on saving the Erebus and making sure if the fight continues we could get more people into the fight as they logged in.
INN: Did the situation in O-N escalate once you arrived?
TL: Yes. Originally I believe Alice went in to assist the reinforcement fleet with Feroxes which were countered by the Muninns. Since we were rushing I made the error of not checking my comp as thoroughly as I usually do and I did not assess the grid as well as I usually do. This meant we ended up jumping in with only 1 web Loki. While my Bhaalgorns had webs, it was not really enough to hold Elo down since they are such short range. After we arrived BL decided to deploy dreads to counter my battleship fleet. They jumped in at ranged and warped down to us at the same time as I called over global command for some kind of dread or super support to come in to help my fleet deal with the dreads. We ended up bring in dreads which was a bit of a slow process but in the end we were able to achieve the critical mass of dreads we needed to win the day. With the dreads and hics dead the Erebus warped out and I extracted my fleet as well.
INN: Were there any other FCs or standout performers that assisted you?
TL: From the start Plexedlive and Alice Homoloes were in my command channel relaying me information and making sure I was sorta up to speed on the situation. When we jumped in, Plexed took over calling targets and I focused on moving the fleet around and working with our triage. Jay Amazingness also came in too with some fax support to help rep the tackled titan and I think got the dreads into help kill the hostile dreads. Big thanks to all of them.
INN: These big fights are all about coordination and sometimes comms can dissolve into chaos. With that in mind, do you have any criticisms or comments on teamwork and hierarchy within the command structure during these large engagements?
TL: I find big fights are the worst best thing for an organization. They are great because they get everyone together and get people working together and gelling well. On the other hand, you can find that the fact that you have so many egos and opinions clashing can actually hinder the fight. When I was running a large operation I always tried to stress making sure people respected each other. If people disagreed, that was okay. There was no need to argue over it. During these times we need to put all opinions and options down on the table for the person in charge to make the decision. Since I was not present for the entire fight, I cannot speak to what happened in the early stages but by the time I jumped in everyone was on the same page for the most part and we were gelling very well. If I were running the fight, would I have done some things differently, probably would have. However, I think the team really pulled together under Asher’s direction and performed well. There are things to fix of course in any large fight even if you win and it will just make us stronger for the next fight.
INN: Heading into the final timer of the X47 Keepstar, any predictions or insights?
TL: My gut feeling is things will go one of two ways, first the hostiles will form up see their numbers and look at our numbers and either blueball or try to “cheese” the timer by killing small ships or different tactics to disrupt the timer. Second, I think they could try and pull us into another fight where they then have PL/TRU/FRT move up to have a combined fleet of somewhere around 500 titans to our 350. It will be an interesting timer and I think it will be very obvious to everyone which way it is going to go within the first 30 minutes to an hour of the timer.