Rain

 

Nerve-wracking. These things were creeping the hell out of her. It was as if her skin would peel off her bones the instant she’d set her eyes on that wretched spacescape. She cloaked up in a hurry and spammed the directional scanner. The Freaks in the wormholes might have already spotted her and the thought was enough to send shivers run down her spine. She double-checked the cloak. It was as if heaps of covert ships were staring right at her through that bloody alleged invisibility device. Or it was the immaterial eyes of a sentient space. What the hell Sleepers? She had to wonder which one she’d prefer. And that was without counting the nut bars who camped in random force fields within these hell holes.

For Scriptures’ sake! What the hell are you doing, Rain?

 

She pulled herself together and checked the directional once again. That damn Asty! One day she’d make her swallow her bossy tongue. That girl had the mental agility of a soap dish and yet she was the best at pissing her off. Why did she always ask her, out of everyone else? She treated her ship to a pathetic little pout and that made her cringe even more. Her desperately gloomy temper had driven Asty to ticket her ‘Rain’ and the diminutive now stuck to her skin like spikes to Sansha ships. Damnit. She’d deliver the package and get the hell out of there.

Four nightmares to slip through. Shudders again. Rain initiated warp towards the coordinates Asty had sent over. The place seemed to be deserted, and yet echoes of presence resounded around like far cries. A plaintive requiem for the lost; an unbearable shriek for passers-by. Never had she wished so hard to see the next hole materialize before her eyes. One behind was one crossed safely, but one behind was also her world torn away from her reach. The howling acceleration wormhole  space kept delivering in that horrible slow motion finally dropped her ship 4,000 meters off the hole, thankfully still cloaked. She automatically ran the scanner again, her mind hesitating as always. In the front, the ephemeral skylight of the wormhole was sending back to her an obscene reflection of shivers, and yet, strangely enough, she found herself attracted to the gentle opal swirls. She felt like she should abandon herself to the calling waves, beyond the confined space that held infinity coiled up within. Holding infinity… alluring indifference, isn’t it. Fucking monster. Her blood was running cold; she bade it to flow faster. You are out of my league, I know that. Don’t talk to me. She fled through and closed her eyes while one world distorted and combined with another.

 

Clear. She dashed through the second wormhole, a bright ‘Cataclysmic Variable C3’ whatever that meant. She noticed a few structures on the way somewhere in-between. She’d never understand how people could live there. About just everything felt hostile, from the sinister shroud the air was pressing against intruders to the creepy form of ‘life’ that crawled in there. When she was still a kid, she used to imagine the wormhole settlers as great adventurers who’d discover new ores, develop techniques, unveil mysteries. But that was when she was a kid. Now was different; to her, the settlers had merged into the shroud of mystery and become like the ghoulish souls of some atrocious wormhole gods. Now they were the nut bars that came in with the hell hole package. And she, Rain, had to deal with it because Asty was demanding her to. She gritted her teeth and jumped through to the next system.

 

As the ‘C3’ vanished when dimensions intersected, her glance lingered on the after-image of a luminous fringe behind. Wait… what was that? A ship? Her heart sank together with matter, and when mended back with the spacescape of what seemed to be a ‘C5’, it had shrunk so much she could barely breathe. Especially when she saw the battleship-class Abaddon sitting nearby. She instinctively hustled the heavy Bustard away from the wormhole, away from the Abaddon, activated the cloak and began scanning the system, the ship slowly cruising away as if really nothing was happening. Faster you retard! The device reported a Sabre and a Loki inbound. What do I do… This is so freaking scary. Come on, faster! This was worse than a nightmare and she was reacting like a hysterical kid. A cloak… I have a cloak…. What am I saying in times like these! This is the real thing, Rain! She thought about turning around but there had been that fringe of light on the other side and she was way too slow. Fuck that, I’m running away! She tried to take a deep breath, maneuvering to align the outer coordinates and entered warp just as the wormhole’s magnetic moan resounded too loud behind.  Too loud. Rain turned to see the vortex flicker and disappear: that’s so not happening… her way out had just been collapsed with the return of ‘fringe of light’ dude.

 

There was only ahead left. Ahead and one way. But she’d get some help to find a new exit. It would be okay, wouldn’t it? If she didn’t get herself killed before… She felt shameful having forgotten the basics of wormhole navigation like that. Her body and mind were just so reluctant to be there she couldn’t get a clear idea of what she had to do. She would have cried if she had had the time and space for it, but warp engulfed her tears together with the receding stars. And that feeling of eternity warping alongside her and her ship… She focused on the elusive end of the warp tunnel, her staring eyes building up phantasmal colours into wormholes’ characteristic whirlpools. When warp stabilized and dropped them immobile, she looked around in a fog. She couldn’t see any wormhole. The crack in her gaze widened. There was no wormhole here. No way out. How can it not be here? She double-checked the coordinates. She couldn’t probe. She was trapped. She would die here.

 

Asty! Ray of hope as she tries to establish contact feverishly.

Calm hazel eyes met her despair without a word.

“Miss Astydameia, I’m… sorry to bother you.” She winced. “I encountered trouble on my way.”

She waited a little for a reaction, a word or a frown, anything, but Asty kept looking at her in silence. She had never been able to read her mind, probably nor to reach it either, no matter how hard she had tried to see through the unblinking face. She swallowed her pride again and went on.

“I followed your directions and it seems there was a mistake concerning the ‘C5’’s exit. There’s nothing here and some nut… wormhole dwellers have just collapsed my entrance. Could you send me the coordinates again please?”

Even silence might have felt for her, but Asty would not.

“There is no mistake, Rain. There never are for me.” She paused, as stoned-faced as before. “Really Rain, I feel most upset about the delivery. It seems I’ll have to do without my sweet Ni-Kunni delicacies tonight.”

Asty carelessly cut the communications and furor distorted Rain’s features. Delicacies? Sweet Ni-Kunni delicacies? Are you fucking kidding me?

Her broken, muffled voice died out fast but its own echoes resounded deep in her mind and body.

“Asty, I hate you.”

 

It took her a moment to focus back on her current situation. She tried to gather information. The console notified her that the ‘C5’ was a so-called ‘C5 static with a Black hole effect’. Oh really? More holes? And then she saw it. And she understood. She was trembling uncontrollably. It was the first time she had felt such creeping horror run up and down her body. The blind eye darted its black iris at her, spinning madly its deformed vortex of insight around.

She self-destructed.

 

Kirsa

Attila VI

Expectancy especially is delightful. However… that was before that morning, the morning when place had overcome destination and absence ebbed from the tides of collapses. The hounds of fate had already been unleashed into J151909. Had our gambit prevailed?

Guarding the vaporous windows to the Pulsar C5 Exiled nest were unweary capsuleers from the Pole constellation, constantly foiling our invasion with the apparently safe and methodical innocence unawareness provides. Each time our covert ops pilots nested their swift probes on the promised entrance, the wormhole would be blacked out soon afterwards. Were they aware of our schemes or was it mere coincidence? At this point, they had become the stalkers.

 

The last few weeks had been busy, cold with anticipation, warm with exaltation. Her fingers tapped away at the hangar’s digital lock. Today, Attila VI was unfurling its sharp slick on J151909. The airlock opened up onto the capsuleers’ sinister shroud in a muffled hiss. Kirsa stepped in. As always, the station‘s docking bays were thriving on tumult, bedazzled by myriad flashes of light against gigantic shadows. Ships and crews, worn out by the ruthlessness of space, endlessly patching up to taste once more the bittersweet call of nihility. Her eyes fondled the quiescent carcass gently gliding in levitation, away from her touch, away from intent.

 

Adaptation was essential, therefore we reorganised ourselves. Soon, watchtowers were anchored beneath the realms of our target venue in a deserted C5 with a C5 static, in the hope chain collapsing would end up directly linking our ad hoc stage to the Exiled wormhole. With restless probes we started excavating dormant holes, patiently delving into chance so that our dedicated stealth ships would burrow their blabbering hulls under J151909’s red nebulae.

Meanwhile, floating unconscious astream the pulse of those nebulae, four Moros and two Chimeras were struck with torpor. The lullaby of looming war would soon be shaking our capitals into a buoyant trance after a few weeks’ sleep, but now was not the time for awakening. Not yet. Their dream lingered for a little longer while our probers still sustained their silent skirmish in J151909 in order to settle a bridgehead into the Exiled wormhole. Against all odds, an opportunity arose the very morning after our major endeavour to penetrate the hostile skies, aborted by the usual Exiled collapse. A fore-fleet of three Vindicators, two Sleipnirs and two Astartes forced their way through as an enemy small collapse team had set about nullifying our invasion again. This time though, they were too late: hostile Dominix and Orca fell on our decisive advance. Times for stealth and secrecy were over. They knew little, but they knew we were there; Rooks had appeared on their chessboard, the battle for Kings was about to begin.

 

She was humming an improvised litany to the tune of a cheerful nursery rhyme, her head gently swaying, oblivious of human time and place as she reached communion with the ship.

“Child Devourer,

embrace my will, ignite your bloodlust,

transmogrify their Autumns into dry Summers,

reify me into our cognizant alchemy… “

The flesh of her ship rustled against her metallic corpse; they shivered. The Bhaalgorn entity had awoken.

 

The day after, we set for the door of no return_ an entrance to J151909 had rent the skies of Reblier. The fleet gathered at the wormhole: at last, it had come, or rather, we had come to it. The jump command was given, and eternities of quantum foam spewed out their stray eclipse. Time dilated, space died for the ravaged aberration to swallow our fleet and J151909 appeared. Here would be Rooks & Kings’ Guillotine’s hearth, and the insanity our directional scanners and weeks of silent observation cried out would not break our resolve. We were Home and now the Exiled Ones would abide by their name. That was what we wanted to believe.

She sank into the feel of space, slipping away from the starlit cage. Behind, streaming veins of copper light seemed to stretch and meet the abandoned stars, and yet, the vault of heavens precipitated darkness as swiftly as the self-consuming trails expanded. An everlasting war for space and significance.

The Devourer howled as warp rushed its tunnels alongside.

She reached out for a pill of Mindflood, a smile cracking her lips.

“…transmogrify their Autumns…”

#

No one came to greet us.

How rude.

He switched on to the command ships’ sub-comms and jested “Good day my sacrificial lambs, it’s Trooper H! I’ve come to put my Tower in where your Tower was.” His mates’ laughter rang in his ears. The usual Troop’ for you.

The whimsical Gods of wormholes had subverted us into the displaced ones. With no additional resources or ships on our side, the enemy strategic staging points were to be crippled and desecrated for us to stand a chance: invasions are ultimately defined by actions, but these actions feed a crucial psychological warfare. One by one, POS were blasted into structural paralysis. Yet, the bruised sanctuaries were left unattended, as much as our eagerness to have to struggle for the right to scar and offend. The day passed.

The support ships plunged towards the few anchored modules of the last POS left to afflict on the next day, carving through a too ripe flesh that no skin had bothered to cover. Expectation was eddying, but doubt was hovering on our fleet about our targets’ intentions.

Troop’ poked at his directional. What the hell are these dudes doing? We’re here ripping them off everything and they’re just watching? He twitched nervously when he heard his comms crackle. One of their scouts was reporting; it would be for the best, or for the worst, depending on the viewpoint, “Exiled fleet gathering at the sun! I repeat, their fleet is gathering at the sun! They’re heading our way.”

 

Embarrassing.  An embarrassing silence swept over comms as yearning reached the ambiguous point of fulfillment, and unexpectedness rubbed the salt of wavering in. Readiness is all, and soon, the fleet converged on the command hive mind. On the far side of the POS, a cortege of antagonistic capital ships and its trail of sub-exponents came ashore the force field. Odds had been pushed to an iffy degree, the Exiled fleet comfortably exceeding ours in numbers, capacity and resources. We were ready.

 

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He raised an eyebrow as a bunch of enemy battleships and battlecruisers burnt through the POS shields towards them, leaving most of their fleet standing there. So they were going for close range? It seems they were.

Immediately, the blue shuffle of webs and the crimson rattle of energy neutralizers streaked the skies, bedecking the electro-magnetic ocean beyond with ribbons of fire. He sent the Astarte slicing through woeful space and summoned destruction.

 

Sheltering liminality was crossed and death was met, brisk and cold, for all of trespassers.

When suddenly a friendly Sleipnir went down; our first loss. The enemy dreadnought-class ships were attacking, joined in by downpours of missiles. Our fleet was not designed for range; the situation clearly weakened the synergy between ships that tied our fleet together by disabling our subcapitals. We had to get closer to wage our war and free our command ships from deadly attention. We had no room for losses.

Unfortunately, we had little experience in POS warfare strategy, so a warp-in on their core fleet had to be improvised in a rush while our four dreadnoughts and one of the Chimeras retreated to the nearby planet. In order to lure their diligence, our Chimera came back alone amid the hostile nest. Torrents of rage immediately cascaded on our triaged carrier. Now the dreadnoughts could invade the field.

 

“To all supports! Follow me, we’re joining up with the dreads now!”

 

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The Astarte frayed the firmament as it fired up towards the capital islet that stood erect alone in the grip of the Exiled storm. Basically, Troop’s job was to make way for the dreads; they were the support that brought corrosive hell to their hostile counterpart. His pan-mind cast a glance at the gigantic frame of an adverse Naglfar detonating into red glowing shafts of mourning. The vision trembled, and hung motionless. The first dreadnought was down.

 

Yet we got in trouble. In deep trouble. Our second Chimera had fallen into the clutches of a stray Sabre while ending its triage cycle, back at the initial staging point, and the first one was suffering brutal damage from virtually the whole Exiled fleet. Triage carriers were the substratum that nurtured and treasured; losing one was grievous, losing both was excruciating and a definite sentence of death. Just as the Chimera breathed out its last ray of salvation onto our ships, hostile Moros and Phoenix inflamed the skies, but that would not atone for our critical loss. With our vital principle consumed, the Exiled Ones had harmed our fleet badly. There would be sacrifices_ the bastilled Chimera had to be saved, no matter what. Once more, supports burnt back to defy the one that had reversed the situation dramatically.

  

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And so, they fell. The one after the other. Flailed and turning into dust.

Our three Bhaalgorns instantly disintegrated under the blasters and missiles of the outrageous Deus Exiled Machina. The price was high and painful, but over there the Chimera had been freed and was flying back to our POS with all the support, leaving dreadnoughts on their own again. It was a mess.

The fickle Gods of wormholes must have been longing for us… haven’t they?

#

It was a mess, but a controlled mess.

The comms voiced the therapy of determination and composure.

“We’re going back; align.”

Eelm cast a glance at the other three dreadnoughts’ statuses. Those damned Rokhs were draining them dry. Alenca would not come to see the battle’s finale. He winced and focused harder on his damage output, enduring fragmentation and absence with unrestful patience. The Exiled Ones were fighting with spirit, drawing on endless arrays and resources; our own orphan pilots knitting fog out of a few stealth bombers, our only spare ships. The battle was definitely a challenging confrontation as it turned out.

 

Exiled capitals were falling like leaves of gravity, mending the fragile bones of structure into shallow wrecks. However… we were spatially dispersed, four against fifty, extending margins to the breaking point, where even the sturdiest hull could not soothe the wailing plight of shields under the defenders’ severe onslaught: one of the dreadnoughts was steadily going down.

At last, our Sleipnirs, Astartes and Vindicators popped up on grid next to our juggernauts back from the POS. Once our ships would be regrouped, we would be able to resume the fight as a fleet.

And yet, the unpredictable lines of battle twisted our schemes again: the Chimera bounced against the force field upon leaving fleet warp, landing on the exact same spot where it had been trapped for the whole battle… It was as if a surge of vital force had been liberated by the hostile POS in order to protect the ones who had attended to her for so long, a tribute to friends and foes in the loneliness of wormholes. The Chimera managed to warp out to the nearby opposite planet before the Exiled Ones reacted, leaving the dreadnoughts bleeding behind. Back to our POS for the second time flew the rosary of support, leaving the dreadnoughts raging behind.

 

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Grains of space filling the interval, ticking away Alenca’s Moros. It was just three of us now and Sarrii was falling.

Eelm felt relieved when their Chimera finally obfuscated the left side of his ship. The triage would not save Sarrii in time due to the warp-in latency, but the last two dreadnoughts had a chance to survive. He saw the Sleipnirs cast an ECCM barrier on the Vindicators; he saw the Vindicators mesmerise languidness on the dreadnoughts’ targets and he saw the massive carcasses strewn around the dreadnoughts. Meanwhile, riding the flux of wrath, he heard the hive dart their lethal hostility at subcapital targets. Turnarounds definitely were best when you didn’t know when to expect them. His eyes embraced the fleet with the amusement only hindsight could provide. What a battle it had been…

 

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After almost an hour’s fight, no one was left alive, not even the Tower: the force field vanished and the azure electro-magnetic radiance shun no longer in J151909. It was all wrecks … and us.

Kirsa

R&K, Norcorp & WH Gods

 

By the last day of August, we had an odd meeting with unexpected ramifications.

Lucky day. The first collapse of the evening leads us to a Wolf-Rayet system: J211353. The dashboard shows activity in that system, known to belong to Hydra Reloaded. Our scout immediately reports a strong presence of Norcorp at a farther tower and a Hydra reinforced POS. They have more DPS, more neuts and more Capitals. There is no time to waste.

 

A quick scan of the system unveils a wormhole connected to Norcorp’s home system. they can bring much more in through that entrance, especially a carrier. We have 10 pilots and they seem to have about twice our numbers… fair enough.

Without a moment’s hesitation, our scout is ordered to tackle one of their T3s on their wormhole. both fleets meet there and finally, Norcorp collapse their exit by jumping an the expected Triage Archon. We are now in the middle of nowhere, in an unknown and hostile system.

 

 

Our priority is clear. We have to win the energy battle, again, and sink their Revelation who just entered siege. While we are shooting at their Dread, the energy battle rages. Our triage stabilizes his energy around 20% and 30%, just enough to do his job and handle the enemy neutralizing power. Their dread and four Bhaalgorns are out of cap. But with armor resistances doubled in this system, our theoretical DPS drops from 4.000 to 2.000. Not enough to crush that Revelation who gets repaired on structure. We switch from the Revelation to focus the neuts on their Triage. Their Archon is running out of cap, the battle is under control and it’s now a matter of seconds until we can kill them one by one.

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The Key to win this fight

In this kind of engagement, the Triage is the King of the chessboard. When you lose it, you lose the battle as the fleet can’t be repaired anylonger. In WH, it’s rare to have enough DPS to bypass its self-repairing capability. Especially in this WH where each carrier can tank more than 25k DPS, and I let you imagine the numbers on a T3.

There are a few strategies to counter a Triage, and one of the best (in WH Space) is to lower its capacitor to 0, in other words to make it impotent. So the fight is not about DPS, the fight is about capacitor. The holy goal is here, each side has to be the first one to get the enemy Archon at 0% cap.

 

Learn from the Past

The previous time we fought Norcorp, we had 2x Bhaalgorns (they had 3x) and our strategy was to focus all our neutralizers on their Triage, while our own Bhaalgorns were neutralized by theirs. It finished with their Triage capped out quickly and us winning the fight.

Norcorp learnt from that. This time, they decided to do what we did last time. They neutralized our carrier while we decided to do the contrary! We did exactly what made them lose. But every fight is different, and you have to take all new parameters into account.

We couldn’t let them neutralize our carrier with 3 or 4 Bhaalgorns. Our carrier would have been down within a minute. And as they had more DPS and more neutralizers, we would have lost everything after 5 minutes. Bad option.

 

And the Fight Begins

The situation was complex, but we decided to neutralize their Bhaalgorns first, to slow down the draining of our own carrier. Then, with the remaining neutralizing power and DPS, we focused their Dread to slow down their DPS (and reduce the capacitor needed by our Archon to self-repair). And it worked properly. We managed to keep our Triage stable between 20% and 30% capacitor for more than 15 minutes (before the disconnection).

Unfortunately we did not have enough DPS to sink their Dread within 10 minutes, even with overloading. We didn’t have the DPS to kill him and that Dread was a threat to our Archon. As he might have entered siege again, we had to keep a few neutralizers on him. Then we started to neutralize and focus their Archon.

A few minutes later, the situation looks pretty good:

  • Their Revelation is out of capacitor
  • Their 4x Bhaalgorns are out of capacitor
  • The capacitor of their Archon is going down incredibly fast (10%*)
  • Our 3x Bhaalgorns are full in capacitor and effective
  • Our Archon is still stable (21%*) and they don’t succeed in breaking his regen

At this point, we are about to win this fight. But whatever the reasons, there is always an unexpected thing happening. Our Archon, our Damnation, our Fleet Commanders and one Bhaalgorn disconnect for 3 minutes 30 (due to a real thunderstorm that caused a general power failure).

* At 12:20 on the video, right after we leave, Norcorp have a capacitor check (17.000/81.000). Their Archon has a bigger capacitor pool (120.000, probably due to the rigs), but his regen is very bad with 10% remaining.

 

The 3’30 Willpower Challenge

The story could have ended there, but the Wormhole Gods decided to interfere and refine the challenge. The skies tore open and a lightning bolt fell (IRL). Eelm and Curufin got disconnected from EvE, leaving the fleet without FCs, Triage, Damnation and Bhaalgorn.

It was a tremendous test for our fleet. Pilots were confronted to their collective autonomy, suddenly having to switch instantly from an organized fleet behaviour to a situational remapping both in terms of roles and balance of power. The leadership blackout felt like eternity, with our comms unusually calm. Everything seemed lost but everything seemed fine.

After a 3’30-trial time, the WH Gods chose who deserved to be blessed and who deserved to be sentenced to defeat.

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However, the battlefield didn’t disappear during the blackout. Both sides were still shooting each other… As the situation was bad for Norcorp, they had to do something to reverse the energy battle. And they did, managing to bring in an Energy Guardian to feed their Bhaalgorns. They also noticed that some of us had deserted the field, thinking that we were bailing out. “Spread points!” But in fact it was just a safety warp due to the disconnection.Draining their carrier’s capacitor was no longer a priority for our Bhaalgorn pilots and leaving the field was not an option. While continuing to neutralize the other Bhaalgorns to protect our carrier, they also slightly neutralized their fleet to damp the DPS down.

Our fleet managed to survive, without rep or bonuses, against a strong T3 fleet. Even though everything was going awry, they kept their nerve.

 

Back from the Unknown

When Eelm and Curufin are at last authorized to carry on the contest, the situation on the field is really bad.Our Triage is damaged and capped-out (useless rep modules remained activated) while a couple of Bhaalgorns and T3s are entering structure. We urgently decide to engage another triage to secure our dying fleet, while the first Archon’s task is to maintain the fleet alive for a few minutes although he has no capacitor left.

The entrance of our second Archon on the field marks a milestone in the fight. Our fleet is quickly repaired and the enemy Archon is drained to 0 capacitor. The Norcorp fleet, completely capless, loses the determination to go on after a 45 minute fierce battle. With probably a lack of understanding (why this promised victory turned wrong), they start running for their lives or self-destruct.

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When we log back on, Eelm & I are amazed not to see any wrecks floating in space. But the situation is not so good.

Our Archon is 10% cap (due to some modules which remained activated) and our fleet is dying. Our Archon has to repair the fleet (entering structure), compromising greatly the micro-management of his capacitor which aims at reaching the best recharge rate. We know that we can’t come back to a sound situation. The fight is going to be lost.
So we decide to engage a second Archon. Bringing in an additional capital is something we all want to avoid. Our WH Exit will collapse, leaving us very far from home, with a lot of logistics to do.

But there is no cynosural system in WH Space. The second Archon has to warp to the WH, jump and warp to the field. Our fleet is still dying, our Triage is now capped out, leaving our fleet at Norcorp’s mercy until reinforcements arrive. We have to survive two more minutes.
Fortunately, our Bhaalgorns are still doing a good job, neutralizing Norcorp’s entire fleet, even their guardian. Our Archon has a few graceful capacitor upsurges, immediately spent to repair the fleet.

When the second Archon arrives on the Field, it undermines Norcorp’s morale. We quickly repair everything, and the capacitor of their Archon goes down really fast. The traditional order “Spread points guys, spread points!” is given. The fight is over.

With our 5x points, we tackled 2x Bhaalgorns, 1x Loki and 1x Legion and the Guardian that we are focusing. While we are melting them, they start to neutralize and jam our fleet to break the points. And it works very well. A Legion and a Bhaalgorn succeed in warping out.
After blowing up everything we can, their carrier only remains. While we are focusing him, he starts to jam our fleet not one by one, but three by three successfully. Most of us get their point back on him after the jam, but some are busy shooting the ECM-Drones and an unfortunate covert ops. As surprising for us as for their Archon Pilot, he manages to leave the field. Norcorp definitely have good pilots and each mistake has a price.

 

The Time for Answers

This fight was recorded by Norcorp. At the end, they are asking themselves: “How did we lose that fight!?”.

The answer is quite simple. The ones that deal with the villains get punished in return, with the help of providence. Trying to surpass the power of the WH Gods leads to damnation.

In the end, the bad guys and their followers have to be defeated.

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Well, we really lost a Damnation, but not on the battlefield. While we were melting what remained on the field, they found our Damnation, alone in space, and started to engage him. When we noticed it, one of our Archon immediately warped to him, entered triage, activated his rep modules… But it was 1 second too late: the Damnation exploded.

After looting the wrecks, we started to extract our fleet to empire space. We also noticed that Aperture were collapsing their static. Hard to say if it was to help Norcorp while we were fighting them. AHARM finally succeeded in joining the Norcorp system. They arrived too late and didn’t participate to the party, but they blew up another tower in WH Space.

The fight started a few minutes before the beginning of the Norcorp Video. Thanks to them for having shared it.

 

Curufin & Eelm

R&K versus NorCorp

 

Yesterday our dashboard was showing a nice activity in C6s. There were more than 10% active C6 systems, involving kills or massive jumps. Collapsing our C6 static WH every 5 minutes would give us a very strong chance to find something interesting.

Half an hour after we start, our scout jumps into J122249, a C6 Red Giant giving strong bonus to overheat and smartbombs. One POS on scan, few jumps in the last hour, nothing else… While the collapse team is about to do their job, our scout shouts on TS:

“Hold on! 2x Hurricanes. Not at the Tower. Norcorp!”

Well, our scout doesn’t have super-powers allowing him to know the corporation of a ship with the directional scanner only. Many corporations use a tag on their ship names. Since Norcorp tried to invade us a few months earlier (helped by Aperture Harmonics), we immediatly recognize them thanks to their characteristic “flower”.

 

Who is baiting who?

Norcorp probably have their home system close to this one. We know that they don’t hesitate to fight and they can be very strong opponents (they defeated an Aperture Fleet a few days ago).

The Hurricanes are probed down quickly and our cloaky Proteus warps to them. They are mining Gas (a very juicy activity in WH space). Both get tackled and we also bring in a “Disgruntled Ninja” Phobos on the field. We start shooting them slowly, waiting for something more to happen.

After a few minutes only, the scan swells up … Archon, 2x Legion, 2x Bhaalgorn, 2x Absolution, Tengu, few BC … They formed up very quickly.

“Here we go, everybody Jump, warp to Curufin!”

By the time we jump, they are already on the field shooting at our Proteus. The warp is not so long, but it takes more than a minute for an Archon to align/warp/land. With more than 15 of them on the field, our Proteus is taking a lot of damage. Removing the drones’ DPS with his smartbombs while overloading his hardeners, the ship should be able to make it (especially since the WH gives bonus on that).

 

Both sides enter the fray with drums beating and flags flying

And so it was. Our entire fleet lands on the field and the Triage Archon starts repping our Proteus at 20% armor.

First, we try to put their Tengu down quickly. But they also have a Triage Archon doing his job very well. We immediately switch to him. With 2x Bhaalgorn on our side, we are pretty confident. But the task is not so easy and more reinforcements are arriving on their side.

They now have 3x Bhaalgorn, 2x Energy Guardian to feed them, a Scorpion and a Jamming Tengu, with many jamming drones … They know that energy is the key to win this fight and they immediately start to neutralize/jam our Bhaalgorns, and then our Triage.

Without our Bhaalgorns, we don’t have the DPS to put their Triage down and it’s just a matter of time until we lose everything. The situation is bad. They are outnumbering us (around 15vs20), they have more neutra and they have jam. We have to adapt ourselves … quickly.

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A Battle of Energy
 
Using the Refitting Services of the carrier, our fleet goes for more cap boosters and eccm, while our Bhaalgorns are sending energy to each other. Our carrier capacitor is going down but with a fine capacitor management, he is able to feed the Bhaalgorns and most of the fleet. We also have a neutralizing Legion who appears to be a very nice joker to harass their Bhaalgorns.

The energy battle is turning out very well. Their Archon is now at 0% capacitor, while our own is at around 35%. All DPS modules and every single drone are pointed at the Archon. Even if we now have the energy advantage, we are burning all our cap boosters while dealing with the jam. We have no time, we can’t hold eternally.

Once their Archon reached structure, NorCorp knew it was over and prepared to leave. Their Bhaalgorn started to neutralize our entire fleet to break the webs and points. Half of them succeeded in taking distance and warped out, while others fell under our guns.

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With no more Cap Boosters in our cargoholds, we now have a lot of space to loot the field, hoping for some nanite repair paste to fix our outdamaged modules.
 
 

Curufin
 
 

0.0-WH Games

Wormholes are becoming a nice place where to get some good battles. Their main strength is not to find juicy targets through ganking and eviction, but rather to provide access to the entire EvE Universe.
You can be 2 Jumps away from Jita and 3 Jumps away from Cache at the same time.This is what happened to us last Wednesday … nothing really exceptional but this is how WH mechanics work.

 

The Usual Business

After buying some stuff in EvE’s main Hub, 4 of us went roaming around Great Wildlands and Cache.
Some Solar Fleet gangs are quickly spotted but each gang largely outnumbers us and a frontal engagement is not possible. For the next 30 minutes, it turns into a real “cat and mouse” game.
A few kills are grabbed until we decide to go further as they are starting to show nice stuff.

 

Prelude : The Escalation

We keep playing with them, setting bubbles and escaping their traps. Slowly, we draw them to the system leading to the “Unknown space”.
At this point we switch to 3x DPS T3s, waiting for them in the 0.0 at the wormhole entrance, with a Thanatos ready for back up.
Whatever their number, we are now able to fight them with on our terms, on our own field. When WH Space crosses Empire Space, the known rules don’t apply anymore.
As expected, they finally probe our 3 guys after a few minutes.

 

2.15: Round 1 – First Blood

A dozen BC/BS warp at 0 to us in the 0.0 at the wormhole entrance. Our thanatos also warps to the wormhole on the other side but does not jump.
The fight starts and we manage to kill a Cynabal and a Vagabond. As some of us are 10% armor and other fully neutralized, we jump back to get repaired by the Thanatos. The Solar Fleet doesn’t follow, giving us a short break.
This is where I join the fleet with a Proteus, while other T3s quickly refit for cap injectors.

 

2.40: Round 2 – The Jumping Dance

It’s time to come back to the battle. We have 4x DPS T3s and the Solar Fleet has around 15 pilots.
Two kills of Hurricane later, we jump back into the “Unknown” once more. The Solar Fleet realize they can’t kill anything that way so they decide to follow us, trying to do the same thing. We are now fighting in WH space. A Machariel and a few of them immediatly take range, but fall under our guns.
We are holding their DPS. It doesn’t work for them. They jump back and affect the wormhole mass significantly. Without losing time, we follow them into the 0.0 and kill another Hurricane. Their number has doubled to reach around 30 Pilots, with 4 Scimitars.
We can’t kill much and their DPS is more significant. As usual we jump back one by one when we hit 10% armor.

 

3.00: Round 3 – The “Collapse Trap”

With 3 times our numbers, they are determined to finish us.
Their entire fleet jumps through behind us, putting the WH into a critical stage. Awesome. Not so nice in fact: with this WH bonus (C5 Cataclysmic), their 4 scimitars gain 85% strength on their remote repairs, while our carrier gets a -41% malus on his self-repair. Our Triage Thanatos is slowly going down to 50% armor.

Fortunately, smelling them coming, one of our Legion has switched to a Bhaalgorn and 2 Jamming Tengu pilots join us on the field. The Scimitars are now neutralized or jammed and their fleet is left with no repairs.
But they learnt from last round, and like we previously did, they jump back one by one on structure, to avoid losses. Realizing that, after their last Scimitar jumps back, we switch to their Tempest to affect the WH mass as much as possible.
We also notice on TS that we don’t have many points and regret the lack of bubble … At this exact time, a Solar Fleet Sabre jumps into the WH and bubbles it up. It seems the Wormhole Gods listened to our prayers.
As expected, one by one, 3 of their focused BS jump back and end up collapsing the WH.

The link is broken and they are now trapped with us into the “Unknown” without any repairs. Helped by the bubble, we get some more kills while most of their fleet manage to warp out in safes.

 

Eelm