Editor's Note: Elise Randolph of Pandemic Legion offered us this excellent battle report of the action in 1-SMEB. Enjoy!
For the last week, Delve has offered more fun than any region in Eve has for a very long time. Some of the biggest players are all shoved within 4 jumps of one another offering daily ~goodfites~, and if you are so inclined there’s a fairly major sovwar just two regions over. It’s an FCs dream. To keep the fun flowing, NCdot has been gently prodding the entry to Delve in 1-SMEB; living in Sakht necessitates a Titan in SMEB in order to effectively move around. Adamant not to let NCdot get a foothold into the region, the Test defense of 1-SMEB started very stout. Every day a single tower was put into RF and it was typically the site of a very scrappy fight, until eventually Test slipped up and let a coveted tower fall into enemy hands. After the first tower fell, Test seemed less inclined to keep the defense up and fell onto their laurels a bit allowing 2 more towers to fall with no formup. Sensing an escalation was in order, NCdot took it upon themselves to push a bit harder and SBU’d 1-SMEB. NCdot were allowed to do this completely unharassed. The timer came out Thursday at 23:00 – a fantastic timer for both EU and US time zones. The stage was set for ~fitenite~
Showdown at the 1-SMEB Corral
The lead up to the 1-SMEB timer was huge from the Test side. Test’s narrative was that 1-SMEB would be an all-or-nothing fight for the fate of Delve. To be honest I was a bit disspointed by the “invasion” shtick; two Goon squads and an SC-less NCdot and PL does not an invasion force make. Heck, Test line members and leadership have been involved in CFC, NCdot and PL-style invasions (including one in Delve not too long ago), so flagging this as an invasion could not be further from the truth. That withstanding, I was personally expecting ~500 Test and ~150 Tribe – something I deemed to be an impressive showing. When it came down to it Test, as always, surpassed my expectations. They doubled the turnout.
As PL began to form in AHACs, TEST had a full Rokh fleet, a full AHAC fleet, ~120 instacanes, ~50 bombers, and to everyone’s surprise one hundred Slowcats that were cyno’d into 1-SMEB as the jammer went up. Oh, and Tribe were burning down in a full AHAC fleet of their own. PL, NCdot, and Goons began chatting to one another to see what we all had. PL had 120 (AHACs), Goons 90 (Tengus), and NCdot ~160 (AHACs), with hero Waffle bombers, Pizza bombers, and I think NCdot and Goon bombers took. There were approximately 250 bombers in system. Our plan was simple: pounce on an ill-prepared fleet and quickly decimate it, hope Test Rokhs get bombed to shit by someone, then pile into 1-SMEB and figure out a way to keep 100 Slowcats and 500 dudes at bay. The full Tribe AHAC fleet was the only one traveling by itself, so the eye of 0wndor turned to them first. Also they called me cowards the other day so I was pretty elated they were the fleet to dunk. We setup a pretty sweet dragbubble on them and all was looking good, and then about 15 seconds before lighting the cyno Sala pointed out the system was not in range. Oppsie. Frantically we trashed that good plan, jumped to the other side and tried to materialize and 0wn before Tribe could materialize and warp out. Yea not the best plan but whatever we had to make the best of a bad situation. It didn’t work out, of course, and Tribe reapproached the gate and tried to spacejuke us. Lady luck was on our side (sort of), and Tribe were forced into action as we managed to nab half their fleet in a bubble. The brawl started in earnest, but we managed to pick the one cynojammed system in Delve so our Triage wasn’t able to come in. The start of the fight looked a bit grim, a 120 man AHAC fleet vs a 250 man AHAC fleet, and we exchanged losses evenly for the first few minutes of the fight. Tribe went after our Logistics while we just went straight into the DPS and began to flat-out ravage some Zealots. Manny was able to position our fleet just right and the losses began to level out for us. Full on fist-raping was in effect. Tribe began to waiver in their convictions, but just as they motioned to disengage Goonbro Tengus showed up on the other side of the gate. Tribe were forced into action and began slugging it out, tough a fair few decided to run straight into the Goon fleet on the other side. After Tribe were sufficiently off gate thanks to Manny trickeration, Goonbros came in to clean up what was left. Tribe fleet down.
As this was going on, the 1-SMEB IHUB timer was nearly out of reinforced. NCdot were alone against unrelenting hordes of Test eager to fight for their space. I told Vince, pretty much verbatim, “brb 5 minutes gotta dunk this Tribe fleet” but, nonshockingly, killing 150 dudes took a bit longer than expected. NCdot gave no fucks and went in to keep Test from blapping a TCU and moonwalking out. Mind you at this point Test had 30 more Slowcats than NCdot had DPS ships, in addition to the 500 subcaps. Pretty dangerzone maneuvers. It worked, somehow, and even when the Test Rokhs came in they were promptly bombed to shit. -1 Rokhfleet to bombers. Thanks to heavy TiDi, my 5 minute estimation was pretty much spot on – I just never clarified 5 tidi minutes or 5 real minutes. No need to point fingers, we got in quick and began to brawl outrageous with NCdot. A good 40 minutes of slugging it out, with Test CONSTANTLY reshipping (another Rokh fleet showed up, another Tribe AHAC fleet, and a constant stream of new EVERYTHING), and we finally held the field. The IHUB was saved with the help of 5 suicide Triage carriers. We promptly made “suicide” an apt classification for the carriers, and they were gone.
Finally a chance to breathe after about 2h of fighting. Right? WRONG! That is not how Test rolls – they had 5 fleets up with new bodies, in new ships, ready to own. While we tried to cut-off a Tribe gang next door, Test started round 2 in 1-SMEB dropping everything on the Goon Tengu gang. We rushed back into system and the fight, again, was on like Kong of clan Donkey. The Rokhs were substantially smarter this time – or at least more cautious – and avoided the bombers pretty well. Another good hour of solid fighting, we were going for DPS ships and Test were going mostly for Logis. PL tends to go with the bare minimum of Logis to begin with, focusing the bulk of our fleet into DPS ships, so we pretty quickly came into dangerzone. We had killed a good 100 DPS ships after our Logis were down, but fuck me if Test didn’t have another 400 DPS ships. NCdot still had plenty of Logi, though, so we dropped gang and merged into their fleet as the fight was going on. Let me tell you, doing this as you’re getting shot, trying to shoot, and in 10% tidi is a bit of a challenge. Fleets merged we went back into the own. Another wave of Test reinforcements landed, nullifying basically all the headway we made. We continued on the path set before us, and now that we had no dictors left there was nothing to keep the 100 Test Slowcats from coming right on us and ripping us to shreds. Nothing but hope, belief, and courage, which as luck would have it we had in good supply. I think the Slowcats were afraid to leave the jammer, which was a bit of an odd decision since there would be no need to take a jammer down when there are no Carriers on the field. We must have just been believing that hard.
Another hour of actual fighting later and Test were feeling the pressure of a four-hour-long slugfest. All the Huggins were down, web Lokis were manageable, and the PL+NCdot AHACs were sitting pretty. A little light on Logis, but NCdot living 1 jump away saved our bacon on that front. Also Goons, who were having a hard time keeping up with reps, had swapped to bombers and were threatening the sanctity of any non-AHAC fleet Test+Co could field. Test+Bros disengaged, and we cautiously breathed a sigh of relief. Before the crazy Test could decide to shove another 700 dudes on grid for round ??, we swung by the IHUB shoved it back into RF and then moonwalked home.
What a fight that was. Test had more bodies in fleet than I have ever seen from a single alliance – perhaps my memory is raddled by alcohol, but the combined battlereport (which isn’t done updating) is showing 1227 Test. TWELVE HUNDRED DUDES plus the 100 Slowcats that (thankfully) didn't make it onto the field. The post-fight atmosphere in Test is currently a bit mixed – some are happy at the showing, while others were a bit disappointed and :spacemad: at CFC. Test brawled outrageous, saved the system, and were at the heart of one of the best fights of 2013. There’s no shame there.
- Shadoo moved from Amamake to Delve and got into 1-SMEB in time to poke fun at Carbonfury’s target calling
- Goons killed half the PL link Lokis (including mine)
- Jogyn cannot fly Legions
- Nickfuzzeh kept us entertained by playing various songs overlaid with FC snippets via soundboard during the fight (Dangerzone, Safetydance, Spacejam, and more)
- About a hundred bombers died in system, there were still about a hundred-and-fifty that lived