The weekend has seen Amarrian spirits waning as the Minmatar, supported by various opportunistic pirates and Gallente pilots far from home, easily repelled plexing fleet after plexing fleet. There were rumors among Amarrian militia of pulling out of Huola, a sentiment seemingly shared by the vast majority of Minmatar pilots and Huola residents in the local channel, taunting their crusader counterparts on the low contested percentage or the system’s stability.
After a US TZ late hours plexing effort on Sunday, however, Monday July 14 has demonstrated that the Amarrian pilots are far from ready to break. Adjusting tactics to the realities of being outnumbered in various timezones, Amarrian fleets have consolidated around several major plexing doctrines–Armored frigates with frigate logistics for novice plexes, an I Whip My Slaves Back and Forth [J4LP] Harpy/Bantam doctrine, and a Rail Cormorant/Talwar doctrine favored by WINMATAR. and Amarrian Vengeance. Ironically, this latter doctrine, although recognized for its strength before it was adopted, was ultimately decided upon to counter the Minmatar Rail Cormorant and Light Missile Kestrel fleets that have been plaguing Amarrian Talwar fleets. Regardless of the incorporations, however, pro-Amarrian forces were faced with numerous setbacks during the EU TZ. The main issue was the number of pilots that the Huola Defense Force could muster, which gave them a major advantage over Amarrian pilots. Amarrian tactics quickly morphed into hit-and-run, with stragglers picked off during a game of attritional “cat and mouse.”
Aside from the plexing in the trenches, July 14 also saw a war conference hosted by WINMATAR., in which leaders from Amarrian and Caldari entities involved in Burn Huola took part. Odysseus Olacar of WINMATAR. Biohazard [-BIO-] had this to say about the conference:
“After the conference with the FCs and leadership of all the groups involved in Burn Huola we left more confident than before. We all got on the same page, identified the issues we’d been having, and came up with solutions. Some of those solutions are obvious, some more subtle.”
As the day wore on, Amarrian forces were bolstered by the combined efforts of J4LP and WINMATAR./Amarrian Vengeance.The two independent fleets were able to quickly manifest its numerical superiority against Huola Defense Force resistance, otherwise allowing the Amarrian forces to capture more than one complex at a time. Although J4LP was not present in the small plex (fights tend to blur over time in the meatgrinder of Huola), Minmatar forces attempted to take a WINMATAR. destroyer fleet despite being outnumbered in the following fight:
That trend skyrocketed when a Caldari militia fleet made up of pilots from Bohica Empire, responding to calls from their distant allies in the 24th Imperial Crusade, arrived in system with an Ishtar/Scimitar doctrine. The shield fleet immediately established dominance in Huola over the now heavily outnumbered defenders, sparking a cruiser engagement. After the initial blows, however, the Minmatar–supported by their Gallente and pirate allies–reshipped to stand against the combined Amarrian and Caldari onslaught. The following videos, captured by a pilot flying within the WINMATAR. fleet, give a brief overview of the confusion reigning on the battlefield as three separate yet allied fleets engaged a Minmatar Guardian/Ishtar/Vexor Navy Issue force supported by various cruisers supplied by their own allies. In addition to the aforementioned Bohica Empire fleet, J4LP brought their Harpy/Bantam doctrine to bear, while WINMATAR. scrambled to reship to ECM and Sensor Dampening ships to limit the capabilities of Minmatar Guardian logistics.
The fight resulted in the destruction of nearly ten billion isk and even attracted a Pandemic Legion T3/Assault Frigate gang. Minmatar losses were heavy, at a recorded 6.4 billion isk lost to Caldari/Amarr casualties amounting to 1.285 billion isk. After the fight, I chanced an interview with one of the leaders from the Caldari fleet Rots Mijnwerker of Bohica Empire’s Into the Ether [CH0L0].
Reginald Sakakibara: I understand that Bohica Empire is new to the Caldari Militia. Would you mind talking a little about that and how you’ve managed to get involved in the Amarr-Minmatar siege of Huola?
Rots Mijnwerker: Yeah, well as you probably heard we were staunchly 0.0 up until earlier this week where we joined Bohica and have started trying our hand at FW. We have a wider range of skillpoints and therefore fit a myriad of roles and have helped to fill the gaps in the Amarr offensive. There was once an alliance between the Caldari and the Amarr we are here to honor this alliance!
Reginald Sakakibara: Why shield Ishtars and Scimitars for the doctrine? Did you know ahead of time that the Minmatar would bring Armored ships?
Rots Mijnwerker: Ishtars adapt well, and the shield variant hits very hard despite a fleet size. We carry most damage type drones with us and run a perma MWD fit to perform the “Drop and Squirrel” technique.
Reginald Sakakibara: What do you mean by “Drop and Squirrel” technique?
Rots Mijnwerker: We will drop drones based on the area we feel they will land, and then burn to the edge of our locking range and aggress drones in safety, whilst maintaining distance.
Reginald Sakakibara: Ah I see. Will Bohica Empire be deploying to Huola to plex the system up to vulnerable?
Rots Mijnwerker: For the time being that is a negatory ghost rider, however I stress this to all our Amarr comrades… The Mijnwerker phone is never silent and the Caldari are rising!
Reginald Sakakibara: Excellent to know! Do you have anything you would like to add?
Rots Mijnwerker: Into the Ether is recruiting! Join “Ether bunnies” in-game for details 🙂
TeaEarlGray HOT, of Late Night Alliance’s Ice Fire Warriors [IFW] had this to add:
“The Minmatar and Gallente fought gallantly and bravely but could not remove enough interceptor class vessels from the field of battle quick enough to control range. Our valiant logistics class vessels could not withstand the impressive firepower of the enemy heavy assault cruiser class Ishtar vessels, equipped with long range sentry class drone weaponry. Our range control wing was also cut down at which point our Ishtars were left with no support. Although cunning and daring WARRIORS did manage to kill several of the enemy, many were lost, may they rust in pieces.”
Some Minmatar pilots had other reactions to the fight, for example characterized by this twitter post.
Amarrian reactions in the aftermath of the battle were largely positive. Dog0fWaRR, a member of WINMATAR. Biohazard shared this statement with FactionWarfare.com, “”Minnies, you are [expletive], you are absolutely kerblonkered. We will send you back to the stone age. Also, Bahamut420 is only useful for titan boosts and should be [expletive]. All hail the Empress.”
After the battle, a number of carriers were seen jumping out of system. To ecstatic Amarrian pilots, this signaled the first signs of evacuation. But to those not swept up in the fervor of the moment, it presaged the possibility of more ships jumping into the burning system of Huola, the Minmatar and Gallente soon to return with a vengeance.
Special thanks to Rots Mijnwerker of Bohica Empire’s Into the Ether [CH0L0] for agreeing to an interview. Additional thanks to TeaEarlGray Hot of Late Night Alliance’s Ice Fire Warriors [IFW], and Odysseus Olacar and Dog0fWaRR of WINMATAR. Biohazard [-BIO-] for providing statements.