Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Old friends, new wrecks

Perhaps the hardest fight a person can come up against is with former allies. Sure, you know their tendencies, however it's just as likely they learned as much from you. This is especially true facing the alliance who were the underdog favorites in the last alliance tournament, and for good reason (check day five, Notoriety Alliance vs Green Alliance).

Having led a medium sized gang through northern Syndicate to bust a gate camp in MHC-R3, I decided to continue the gang through to southern Syndicate, into No Trademark territory. No Trademark (NOTR, principle corporation behind Notoriety Alliance) had recently reformed and had taken to terrorizing Syndicate and Solitude regions, accumulating monstrous tallies on their killboard as they drove off many of the weaker entities in both regions. Due to issues with killmail happy NOTR gangs, we had recently removed blue status with them, and I decided it was about time we came looking for a fight.

The gang I was leading was moderately heavy, composed of three battlecruisers, assorted T2 cruisers, a Scimitar, two Falcons and light tacklers. We jumped into their home system Y9G-KS, and set up shop on the Conomette gate, Falcons at combat ranges, and gave NOTR the next move. A few minutes pass, NOTR numbers trickling in from adjacent systems, and I finally ask in local whether we're going to see a fight.

Our Rapier scouting the station reports several battleships undocking, along with an Onyx and Sacrilege, all of which begin aligning for the Conomette gate. A NOTR Hyperion warps to the gate, and I curse the new regional entrance gates for the difficulty in covering them with an interdiction bubble. The Hyperion jumps through, and I have my HIC pilot reposition to better cover warp ins from the station. Minutes again tick by, when the Rapier reports the entire NOTR gang on station has entered warp towards our position. It was game on, and we were more than willing to deliver.

When the NOTR Hyperion had warped to our gate, I had one of our Falcons uncloak, and another stay hidden. It was an attempt to fool them into thinking we had only one piece of ECM to bring to the fight. Once the entire NOTR gang had warped into our HIC bubble, I called for both Falcons to decloak and coordinate jams. I call a Maelstrom primary target, secondary target an Armageddon.

As I start my MWD to send my Hurricane battlecruiser hurtling towards the primary target, I realize an error in how I positioned my gang. The HIC was several dozen kilometers away from the rest of us on top of the stargate, and it took us precious time to reach our target. In the mean time, NOTR was able to deliver brutal damage to our HIC as we made our way to destroy his attackers. NOTR had also decloaked a Falcon of their own, and with my HIC pilot reporting his armor melting, I began to wonder if this engagement was such a good idea after all.

Friendly Falcons assert themselves, putting both the enemy Falcon and majority of battleships temporarily out of the fight. The Scimitar is able to make his way into range of our HIC pilot, and soon has him under repairs. Damage is finally being applied to the primary, and I call for our Vagabond pilot to burn out and harass the enemy Falcon. It's a task he excels at.

Seconds pass, and the Maelstrom is showing itself to have a masterful active shield tank, holding up extremely well under the full brunt of our combined firepower. The NOTR gang has locks returning, and with pilots calling out damage, I decide to switch primary to the NOTR Sacrilege. More pilots seemed to be in optimal range this time, and the Sacrilege explodes soon after my target call.

I quickly asses the situation, and make the Armageddon our new primary. The heavy buffer tank on the battleship slowly melts away, but not before he wrecks fatal damage to a friendly Harbinger. The Harbinger becomes our only casualty, and both the Armageddon and a Typhoon meet their collective ends attempting to deaggress into Conomette.

It proved to be a decisive victory, and both entities were happy to have had the fight. We in STUGH are waiting for the day NOTR decides to show up in our doorstep and request a fight. We'll be happy to oblige!

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