Friday night our pipe was terrible. It was the Static system to a C5 to a static C6. We just stopped there. There were no other WH signatures in any of the systems. There were no good Ladar sites. There were no other WH denizens active – or what the alliance likes to call targets. It was looking to be a very boring night. So, we decided to roll the static.
The only issue was none of us were ever in charge of rolling the static before. There was a bit of trepidation about doing it. Especially in ships that might get stranded in the Static should we miscalculate. And by we, I mean the other alliance members because Mabrick wasn’t about to volunteer to run that “just pod me know” assignment. However, we got some tutoring and the hole closure went without a hitch and we quickly forgot about the bad pipe.
Probes went out and quickly identified a new static… and a new K162. Where’d that come from? It’s never a good thing when you are as deep into Anoikis as we are to have an unannounced K162. A scout quickly ascertained it came from another C6 belonging to none other than our good friends AHARM. Normally AHARM and our prime times are too offset to really get things going. However, diplomatic entreaties were made, some gunboat diplomacy enacted (in that “here we are, come play” sort of way) and soon we had firmly established rules of engagement (RoE:) no podding, no capitals and no bubbles on the hole in the home system (but okay in the hostile hole.)
Let the games begin SYJ went first. It was an interesting encounter that involved a neuting Domi that was brick tanked to hell. We lost no ships in the initial skirmish. However, several of our ships had to jump back. I’ll not give away the reason (to respect the operation security of AHARM’s system,) but damn, that’s a great home defense fleet. When it was abundantly clear that we could not get the upper hand, we withdrew to our side of the WH. There we waited.
We did not have to wait long. They reshipped and brought it. This time we had the upper hand. We were close to the hole and our DPS was daunting at that range. With some great fleet coordination between neuts and jams and some good FC calls, we managed to tip the scales in our favor, though we popped no ships. They jumped back when it became clear we were “winning,” just as SYJ had done minutes earlier.
At that point, we decided to get off the hole. They knew our fleet composition and we were sure they would bring a counter. And, as soon as we hit warp, they were back. They led with a HIC, bubbled the hole, and brought a Vindicator along to supplement their previous logistically well supported T3 fleet.
There was no way we were going to just warp into that. THe FC called for a cloaky scout to get beyond the pull of the bubble. He then positioned the fleet opposite the scout’s position and we warped to the scout. Of course our FC called the Vindicator primary as we landed.
But it was an Anoikis stand-off. We closed to just outside bubble range but that was still a hell of a shot with Null ammo and three mag-stabs. Other’s had longer range fits but about all we managed to do was kill some Ogre I drones they threw our way. At one point, AHARM tried moving an Anathema behind our logistics for a warp in. Not sure how that pilot made the mistake of getting decloaked but it probably saved us from a nasty surprise. We countered by burning to a different position making the warp-in unusable. Then the fleet caught the scout and put an end to that tactic.
We had continued to primary the Vindicator all the while and evidently something was about to give. Either that or they figured we might reconsider the RoE. Regardless, they soon began jumping back into their home system. But of course, that hole had already seen our T3 fleet go through and back, then our fleet again with prop mods on and then back the same way (hey, the RoE said nothing about not stressing the hole. *wicked grin*) And then their fleet went through it three times total. It was a crap shoot at this point on how much more mass the hole could take.
Not quite enough it turns out. It really sucks to be the rear guard. The hole collapsed just before the HIC was able to drop his bubble and jump himself. His sacrifice earned him a one way ticket to high-sec. Oh, and yeah, I was on that kill mail. I wasn’t in blaster range, but a long point is good enough. That’s another first for Mabrick.
Good fight AHARM. It was a hoot. Thanks for coming out to play.