By September 3rd at 5:00 EVE Time and following a disastrous weekend for the Amarr, nine Amarrian systems had been flipped by the combined efforts of Gallente farmers and Minmatar bashers. Their push, seemingly relentless, continued into the system of Arayar, which fell quickly. Once taken, like a storm of righteous freedom, their efficient bash fleet bled into Tararan.
The Minmatar bash fleet was composed of numerous bombers, attack battlecruisers, and cruisers. However, several astute Amarrian pilots saw that Einherji were deployed on the I-HUB. The presence of fighters on an I-Hub piqued the interest of Fluffy Puppy Fight Club [FUPY] pilot Kevin Tersch. Equipping himself with a Helios while the Minmatar continued to bash the hub, he began to scout for the ambitious capital ship. Recounting his harrowing tale, Kevin Tersch indicated that he began with a simple D-Scan of the system to get a general sense of where the the carrier was located. The carrier turned out to be a Nidhoggur, tucked away in a deep safe aligned to the Asghed gate, assisting its fighters to a Vexor. Admitting that it took two probe sweeps before he located the carrier, Kevin was worried that the pilots could have seen the probes and, subsequently, could have warped off. Nonetheless, he managed to get on grid with the carrier and Vexor duo, alerting his corporation and Amarrian FCs whilst recalling his scanning probes.
Retreating to an on-grid point of observation, he brought in corpmate Ouverture, who provided a Pilgrim outfitted with a cynosural field generator. Despite the carrier attempting to cloak – a scary moment for the hunters – Ouverture had managed to see what the carrier was aligned to, allowing him to ram the carrier and thus decloak it. At that point, they contacted Pandemic Legion and the rest of the story can be told by this killmail. With the carrier destroyed and an opposing Amarrian fleet storming the I-HUB, the Minmatar bash fleet opted to disperse.
Minmatar command had requested that the carrier pilot not deploy his capital ship to Tararan, but he nonetheless continued to do so despite their misgivings. The following statement was provided by the Minmatar FC Suun Ablehart of The Periphery’s Parallax Shift on the carrier loss and its impact on the Auga Campaign:
“There is just not much to say really about the carrier specifically.
1) We took 9 systems in the last 48 hours to draw out a fight. Tararan would’ve been no different.
2) We are in this for GFs, exemplified by multiple attempts by D6 and others in Tararan that were soundly dunked. If you think we care about FW sov control, as mentioned many times before the system is broken and thus we don’t care about it.
3) I FC’d the Tararan fleet
4) We attempted to kill the hub before the known WT fleets came, obviously that didn’t work due to our lower numbers by that time (it was late evening). We had maybe 15 people tops compared to the Amarr fleet of 30-40. Amarrs lighting a cyno for PL was unnecessary. Shame on you guys; you could’ve killed the Nidhoggur by yourselves.
http://evf-eve.com/services/brcat/?s=2979&b=6138990&e=30&t=sGkOOH (obviously not accurate due to not all Amarrs being on the BR)
5) We did not call for carriers. Niddy pilot was told by myself, and multiple experienced pilots in our fleet to put away his toy. He refused to, so therefore the loss is his own fault. In fact the entire time his fighter drones were not even hitting the hub 😛
This does not affect our morale going into Burn Auga, since as you can see no one really [gives] two fucks about that carrier dying.”
However, Uar Narkis of Ushra’Khan’s Minmatar Brotherhood, the carrier pilot, sees the situation differently and contests some of Suun Ablehart’s viewpoints:
“A lot of conjecture is going into this right now so I don’t mind setting the record straight even though I am sure people will choose to ignore it and believe whatever ridiculous notion they want and ignore facts. Know that I speak only for myself and no one else.
Nothing went into the decision to deploy my carrier since my carrier had been stationed there for 2 to 3 weeks without incident. I was using it to provide support in terms of storing ships, increase repair ability, and resupply for a select few. Anyone with the ability to think and plan ahead can slip in a capital sized ship into the area with no one noticing. It was completely independant of the attack on the infrastructure hub so there was no plan at all to use it that way. The damage we were able to bring to bear at the time was relatively low so I supplied fighters to increase it. That was my decision, no one else’s. I could easily have remained cloaked at the time and no one would have been the wiser.
The person commanding the fleet voiced no objection to the carrier or fighter presence. There was not much that could really be done about it since, as I said, I had been there for 2-3 weeks already. Was he going to tell me to stop contributing?
The question may be asked if I would I do anything differently. Not really. There are perhaps some minor changes I may make in the future. But what is life without risk? Why play it safe all the time? If you have a useful asset, what good does it do sitting around doing nothing? It is cowardly and selfish. I am not going to let fear and paranoia dictate what I do. We learn more from our mistakes than from our successes.”
Minmatar morale seemed undaunted by the carrier loss. The system of Auga was in a state of near-perpetual Minmatar occupation since before 16:00 on September 3. Minmatar forces in the EU TZ easily brushed aside Amarrian cruiser fleets of roughly 30 pilots or more, ultimately resulting in organized militia resistance disbanding. Indeed, in their fervor the Minmatar propaganda machine produced this logo to rally their brethren as Auga burned. Unfortunately, their comrades were less than enthusiastic. Regardless, Minmatar propaganda reflected the difficulties that EUTZ Amarrian forces faced in Auga, and the impressive control established by Minmatar militia groups:
The Minmatar presence in Auga continued strong until roughly 3:00 EVE Time on September 4. At that time, the system had risen to above 20% contested, the Minmatar victories earlier in the day effectively demoralizing Amarrian resistance. At around 3:00 EVE Time, however, an Imperial Outlaws-led fleet, utilizing a “Ghetto Merlins” setup, began contesting plexes against the Minmatar rearguard. Initial engagements did not lead to plex control but nonetheless resulted in high isk exchanges. The showdown eventually became that of logi-supported “Ghetto Merlins” versus unsupported “Derptrons.” The latter of course, serving as the ubiquitous–and infamous–weapon of choice of the Huola Defense Coalition in July. However, disposable fleets were not the only ships available to the Amarrians, with Shiva Makoto of Imperial Outlaws’ In Exile leading a “Harpy Fleet” once the Minmatar began to regroup into Kestrels and Tristans. Between these two doctrines and the weakening of Minmatar timezone control, by 10:20 EVE Time, the 24th Imperial Crusade had successfully de-plexed the system to 6.6%. The defensive plexing effort, handed off to local Auga residents such as Terpene Conglomerate, ultimately went on to leave the system at stable: