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.
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.
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.
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.
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