[Note: Besides the initial Caldari fleet, I don’t really have any numbers for how large/small each group was in each individual engagement. I know Cal Mil started with ~60 pilots, and that the first clash was against a numerically inferior Gallente fleet. Beyond that, because people were constantly reshipping on both sides of the several-hour-long engagement, I don’t have anything other than impressions based off of in-game scans. Please feel free to provide an accurate accounting of your fleet sizes in the comments, if you’re so inclined.]
Cal Mil made a push for Oicx last night. I logged in to calls from Templis/The Bloc asking for all parties from all allied groups to join in fleet with a T1 frigate. I joined at roughly 01:00, as the frigate plexing was finishing. The frigate plexing concluded at 01:28 and Cal Mil pilots were ordered back to Innia to reship into gank cruisers.
Approximate start time for iHub bash. With about sixty pilots in fleet, the overwhelming majority in gank cruisers, the stated expectation was for a quick burn through shields and armor, before the Gallente could mount a proper response. Indeed, the fleet burned through about 5% of the shields every 20-30 seconds for the first several minutes of the bash.
[ 2014.03.04 01:49:02 ] It’s at 80% shields.
[ 2014.03.04 01:49:25 ] 75%
[ 2014.03.04 01:49:52 ] 70%
[ 2014.03.04 01:50:38 ] 60%
[ 2014.03.04 01:51:30 ] 55%
[ 2014.03.04 01:52:54 ] 40% now
Gallente landed on field at the iHub. Various numbers were thrown around, and conflicting Dingo scans linked in fleet. Best guess is a fleet of inferior numbers, but one that had an overwhelming Logistics advantage. Cal Mil warped off, having dropped the iHub to roughly 33% shields.
Cal Mil warp back in at the iHub to engage the Gallente. Most of the Gallente are not on-field. Caldari volley down a lone Kestrel and an unfortunate Hurricane that seemingly warped to the iHub by himself.
The main Gal Mil force lands on the iHub en masse again and the Caldari stay to engage. Important to note, the numbers had not changed in any appreciable fashion, on either side, from Gal Mil’s initial warp in.
First engagement at the iHub ended. Cal Mil pilots were ordered to warp themselves off the field, either to the POS in system, or back to Innia for a relatively quick reship. Cal Mil pilots having lost ships returned to Innia for another go. I put together a couple of charts to illustrate how the engagement went. The first shows total numerical losses by each side:
Next we illustrate the numerical losses for each minute of this initial engagement:
Finally, let’s break those losses out by ship type:
Caldari ISK lost = 1.33B
Gallente ISK lost = 1.15B
Total ISK lost in first iHub fight = 2.48B
Second main engagement at the iHub involved SniggWaffe. They had a large sniping Cormorant fleet in-system, likely attracted by the ginormous red dot that we’d placed on the EVE map. Meanwhile, TEST was doing their very best to drive a determined group of Gal Mil deplexers out of the Novice in-system. Lots of frigs were lost. Lots. The engagement in the Novice is what swung the fight toward the Gallente’s favor, but more on that later.
Suffice to say, things did not go well for Cal Mil while at the iHub. While DPS was appropriately applied on the structure, Snigg gleefully volleyed our relatively thin gank cruisers off the field with abandon.
Caldari ISK lost = 478M
Gallente ISK lost = 31M
Total ISK lost in second iHub fight = 503M
The Gal Mil frig fleet inside the Novice caps the plex, removing the vulnerable status from the system. At that time, the iHub was at 11% armor. Cue rage on comms. The objective of the fleet, stated categorically numerous times, was to capture Oicx. Nothing else was given consideration. Given the amount of DPS that we had on the field, despite Snigg harassment, Cal Mil only needed another two minutes at the most to flip the objective. Two minutes, hmm? Let’s take a look back at the timestamps above.
The Gallente first warped to the iHub at 01:53. Cal Mil immediately warped off to the friendly POS in system. We warped to the Medium plex at 01:57, after the Gallente had left the iHub. We warp back to the iHub at 02:03 and re-apply DPS. The Gallente re-arrive at 02:08. It should be noted that this is the same fleet as before. The numbers have not changed on either side. The tactical situation hasn’t changed either. Both times enemy Logi landed within 8km of my ship, so it is not as if we warped off and warped back in for a better engagement range, or for a warp-in on their Logis…their Logi were right on top of us in both instances. We fought and we lost, but most critically, we wasted a fair amount of time in the losing. As an Armchair FC speaking from a position of 20/20 hindsight, that’s a full ten wasted minutes. Ten wasted minutes when we lost the objective by two at most. There were several other instances of “sit at the PoS…because…”, but this one stood out the most.
Secondarily, no real attempt was made to push the Gallente frigates out of the Novice, despite the ominous countdowns coming from our cloaked scout inside. TEST made their own valiant effort, it is true. But they weren’t part of the fleet. They were loosely coordinated by Pandi (who did an excellent job on the communicating) with us, but one of the first rules of FCing is to not rely on fleets outside of your control to perform critical tasks. TEST was simply outnumbered by the Gallente inside. When attempts were made to coordinate with Brave Newbies or other third parties, the writing was on the wall. Do the important, critical tasks with your fleet. Do not rely on third parties to get those jobs done.
Don’t get me wrong, the fights were fun. I went through four ships throughout the evening, and enjoyed losing each and every one. The “fun quotient” was certainly there. And if we measure winning and losing in FW by how much fun we have, and how many good fights we get, then let’s consider last night a rousing success. People fleeted up. People fought. People killed and people died. Wrecks were looted. Third parties injected themselves into the action regularly, and not simply on the side of the Gallente (despite accusations of such on comms).
Final large fight of the night. We already had the right ships in the system, and Gal Mil had come back with cruisers of their own. Perhaps the Gallente had gotten overconfident based off of their previous victory(ies). Maybe the Caldari were just “fighting mad”, having lost the stated fleet objective. Whatever the case, Cal Mil brought the kills, deaths, and ISK numbers back toward respectability in the final large-scale engagement.
Caldari ISK lost = 333M
Gallente ISK lost = 732M
Total ISK lost in third iHub fight = 1.10B isk
A couple of charts to illustrate all three engagements, summed together:
To the FC’s credit, after a few moments of venting and winning the final iHub fight, he drew everyone back together again for another attempt. The order came for everyone to hop out of their gank cruisers in the friendly POS, pod back to Innia, get in T1 frigates again, and re-achieve system vulnerability.
Cal Mil T1 frigs arrive back in Oicx and head to the Small Plex already containing the Gallente. Inside, Gal Mil fielded sniping Kestrels. My own Kestrel was volleyed off the field almost immediately, which is where my direct involvement ended. Docked in Innia, I listened to the final few minutes of the op.
A general level of frustration could be felt throughout the fleet. An attempt to flip the system had been made, and it had failed. Worse, people discovered a few minutes later that someone had stolen a sizable portion of the cruisers that had been left in the POS bubble. The POS owner stored the remainder in the Ship Maintenance Array to prevent further theft. With people logging, the FC called the op, intent to make another push another day.
Gal Mil made their own push for systems during the day, successfully capturing Odamia, Alsavoinon, and Tama.