Wednesday, 26 November 2014

Birds of a Feather

"What is it? Content Day again?" 

Things had been pretty lively throughout the day, but I couldn't agree with Galmas that it was once more what USYSC had lovingly dubbed "Content Day". For a frenetic few hours, Content Day was non-stop PvP. Today, we had opportunities in between the action to catch our collective breath. Plus, it had been an hour and a half since the fight with Unsettled and I had returned to the keyboard to find some scouts hunting down an Astero in order to provoke a fight with some people we'd never heard of

Eventually, the scouts decided that nothing was happening and the fleet was stood down and moved back through the connecting C5. Disappointed at the turn of events, a couple of guys logged off. I was more optimistic and not moving with any particular urgency, I loitered in the system before I jumped home, knowing that it wouldn't be long before Protean Concept’s own scouts discovered where we were moving around from. It wasn't long at all and soon I saw a Helios decloak at the wormhole I was waiting on and I jumped through, hopeful that I had left the impression that the Legion was piloted by some tardy straggler who had become separated from the fleet.

I had plenty of time to warp away from the hole before a second or two later, a subsequent activation signalled that the Helios had followed me through, and all but confirming my suspicions that the Helios was set up for more than just scanning. I used the time to light the micro-warpdrive and put some distance between the hole and myself as I aligned to my POS, but in the fashion of true hero-tackle, the Helios ignored this, perhaps thinking the Legion was slow to align and burned in to get scram. Anticipating this outcome, I had pre-loaded Navy HAMs and no doubt aided by the signature bloom of the Helios’ own MWD (along with the target painter and webs on the Legion), made short work of the intrepid tackler. Once again, I loitered. This time, as if scooping loot from the Helios wreckage which was at close to 30km from the K162. Seconds later, a brace of WH activations triggered my exultation; Protean Concept had bought it hook, line and sinker.

The trap may have lacked any real finesse, but it was elegant in its simplicity and the jaws were about to close on a Vigilant and a Proteus. I began to re-align to feign a willingness to escape and soon found myself pointed again. I was still moving away from the WH but the two ships sped after in the confidence that the 90% velocity web from Vigilant and the scram from the Proteus would seal my Legion’s fate, so far off the WH. As the web landed, I signalled our remaining pilots to warp to me and primary the Vigilant that my Legion was already spitting missiles at. On my second screen, I warped my Loki into the fight and was joined by Myst’s Loki and Tuscor’s Stratios. Protean Concept were also calling in reinforcements and an Arazu had joined in the skirmish by the time my backup had arrived on grid. Thanks to the efforts of the Legion, there wasn’t much left of the Vigilant and the Arazu pilot soon followed the Vigilant pilot in warping their pods to safety.

What I would have given to have been a fly on the wall of Protean Concept’s comms at this point. The rest of their fleet rushed into our home system to the aid of the stranded Proteus in what would have brought shame to a disorganised clusterfuck. We were further reinforced by Galmas, Seung and Fiesty in Proteus’ and some hastily dual-boxed logi, so, had all their ships arrived together, it would have been a reasonably balanced fight. As things were, it was a shooting gallery. The Proteus was soon dispatched, and was soon joined by a Legion, another Proteus and one of their Guardians. A few ships managed to retreat, seemingly with greater fervour and organisation than they had used to join the fight in the first place. As they did, one of their pilots left an ominous message in local:

Malcom Bilge > we will be back'


Galmas announced that he had to log in such a way that it left no doubt whatsoever. This changed things ever so slightly. We were down to 6 actual players, with Oddic returning to keyboard. A quick background check on Protean Concept showed that despite being of somewhat comparable size to USYSC (or at least not significantly larger), they tended to be more active. That only meant that our preparation needed to be better. Given how well they conducted themselves in the first skirmish, that wasn’t going to be too difficult. We placed a scout in the connecting C5 to give us warning of their fleet composition. As expected, they brought numbers. Not only that, carrier support landed 30km off the WH and they jumped a Dominix and a Megathron into our home to bait. Jumping smaller numbers into a Magnetar where they had an Archon waiting just wasn’t going to happen. As up for another fight as we were, we aren’t stupid – although chatter in local led me to believe that Protean Concept might well be.

Ilaister > come on pussies
Tuscor > bring your archon in
Ilaister > suck my veiny dick

Now, I’m all for a bit of smacktalk as a means to an end, but more as a battle of wits – something that most people who partake in smacktalk have a lamentable lack of. Ilaister was certainly no exception. Now, I have a feeling that he might try and mitigate his stupidity with some sort of comment like “I was very drunk”, which I would understand if I even had the slightest interest to ask. But I don’t. I confess that at this time of night, I myself had imbibed not an insignificant amount of rum, however the difference was I could still think coherently. Besides, I fly better when I've had a few!

Ilaister > you aint got shit :D
Jay Joringer > Kill: Ilaister (Vigilant) Got that ;)
Ilaister > 7-v-2 yarp
Ilaister > congrats

Let’s do a little recap. There were 4 guys on his killmail (two of which were me) and 4 guys on the Arazu a minute later (one of which was me, making 5) – The Arazu who jumped after the Proteus (making 3 of them at the time). I’m not disputing his numbers. After all:

Ilaister > I imagine that was the US public school system's fault. Producing retards like you is all they're good at I'm afraid.

Possibly drunk, but definitely casually racist, absurdly presumptuous and undoubtedly a little sore from the stupidity of the Vigilant loss. I had a good laugh about that one - probably for all the wrong reasons, though (but you'll have to do a lot better to get into my bio). I was desperately hoping this guy wasn't a fellow Brit when Tuscor announced that he was actually Australian (he is) which just seemed to blow his mind.

Ilaister > AUSSIES

As Ilaister carried on with a persistence of an old Jack Russell (for those ignorant of cynology, a Jack Russell is a small terrier, often characterised for its over-aggressive barking in proportion to the size of its teeth), I left them to it as I scanned Protean Concept’s killboards. Ilaister was actually their killboard leader in the month so far and I felt a slight pang of pity for them. It was then I noticed that D3m0n Sam had settled with them for the moment.

In all likelihood, he’s probably unaware that we've spoken before, but rewind a year or so, I was becoming disillusioned with Disavowed and was looking for a way out of Blackstar. I had a couple of possibilities on the radar, one of which was End-of-Line, which D3m0n Sam was recruiter for and who I spoke to via an alt. After a brief-ish chat on Teamspeak with them, I was able to comprehensively rule them out. He’d invited 3 potential recruits on after checking API’s and instead of giving the usual recruitment spiel, got distracted by a corpmate asking about POS rights. For over an hour, the other potentials and I had to listen to Sam struggle with some very simple POS management. It wasn’t that part that put me off so much, but wasting people’s time for that long is just plain retarded. And now he was flying alongside Ilaister. Well, as they say; birds of a feather flock together.

Galdur> What do you reckon about that, Jay?
Jay> ...Huh?

While I’d been distracted, the guys had been formulating a plan to counter Protean Concept. We’d been trying strafing runs in a Machariel on the bait ships, but these had been pointless with just one Mach and no Scimitar to offset the sentry drones the Dominix was dropping. It would have been two, but I asked for a bomber to deal with the drones. Galdur went through the plan again, and I have to be honest, I didn’t listen that time either. I interrupted to say “Yeah, just do it” in the hope that something would happen. What did happen was that Galdur warped his alt at range to the WH with a Moros. True to form, the Proteans didn't jump their Battleships out, despite the threat of Siege Blasters. Infact, they jumped their fleet in.

Knowing we couldn't field as many ships as them, we had our own Archon ready to go. As for myself, I had swapped out the Legion for a Vindicator. After the Moros finished off the Megathron and the Dominix, we set to work on the Absolution, hoping to take it out before the Protean Archon had a chance to warp back to zero on the hole and jump through to their fleet. 

From then, it was slow going and it seemed it was our turn to make mistakes. Two dreadnoughts were called for to get rid of their Archon. Oddic volunteered his Moros before I volunteered a Naglfar, but with Seung on grid in his Moros, the Nag wouldn’t be needed. That suited me fine as I had noticed after Rising Sun’s first outing in the fight against Provi-bloc’s Nidhoggur I’d somehow only managed to train capital shield operation to level one. At this point it was on the training queue to get this embarrassing situation fixed, but not for another couple of days. What I hadn't noticed, was that Seung had warped off. The scout reported two Protean Concept Moros’ warping through the connecting C5. The K162 collapsed behind the first Moros (piloted by the aforementioned D3m0n sam), which levelled its guns at our Archon. Protean Concept were not allowing Myst to deploy any mobile depots, which forced us to field another carrier so Myst could refit and not die. While distracted, we lost a Bhaalgorn and an Armageddon, but the Moros hadn't even yellowboxed my Vindicator from 42km away.

At any moment I expected that to change and see volleys of extra-large hybrid ammo tear into the hull, but it wasn't to be. With the Vindicator free to fly around the battlefield with impunity, I scanned around for soft targets. As the mainstay of Protean Concepts fleet closed the distance to our Dreadnought, I spotted a Rook between the two groups of capital ships. I warned the fleet I was closing on it and we lit it up as soon as I was in web range. Now halfway across the field, I manoeuvred the Vindicator to the relative safety of a close orbit with Sam’s Moros while I (belatedly) warped the Loki away to bring in a second Dreadnought. While this was going on, I spotted a Protean Ishtar drift close to their Dread and decided to take a couple of potshots, which paid off quicker than I expected.

Communication among our own fleet was a bit of a mess and we were riding our luck. If Protean Concept had been any good, they’d have stayed focused on our first Archon (which we would have lost) and I’d be short a Vindicator. As it was, they were all over the shop. I was having an easy ride as my Naglfar was set up to tank the kinetic and thermal damage of the Moros and the Legions they had neuting me barely made an impression. For some reason, more of the fleet reshipped to Dreadnoughts as Vince logged in. Then he decided to bring one as well. This didn't leave much tackle around for when the Moros and then the Archon were destroyed, although we did catch one of the Legions as the rest of their fleet decided they’d had enough. At least they took it well:

Ilaister > we pwn better corps than yours

Well, sort of.
But then again, there's nothing better than a good old fashioned tear-harvest to make you feel smug.

Tuesday, 25 November 2014

The Bringer of Dawn

The guys were up to their usual tricks when I logged in. They’d spotted some movement in a C4 and asked me to bring some dps in case it kicked off. And kick off it did. Oddic and Gab had caught an Unsettled Oracle and in response, they were massing a fleet while I moved a Loki and Legion down the chain. I was glad it was Unsettled. We’d happened across them a week or so before in a C4 chain, but one of the connections was a 1bil hole that was well into stage 2 mass, so we couldn’t meet them with a fleet. That, and the fact that Unsettled was Roime’s new home.

Before he quit Jay-Space, he made quite a lot of noise on the forums. Plus, I always took notice of corporations that bumped their recruitment ads at similar times as I did, and Shiva Furnace not only did that, but also had a particularly pretentious advert to boot. So, I happened to sneak an alt into his corp to see if they were any good. It didn’t take long to find out that they weren’t and the last straw was blaming a bad fleet loss on the lack of support from the now defunct Dead on Arrival alliance. He signed off from WH’s by cursing it on the forums as “cloaky proteus” online and boring, which predictably provoked much derision. Now he’s back, he cleverly posts on his alt, King Fu Hostile (a family friendly reference to Pantera’s classic - “Fucking Hostile”) instead.

Anyway, the fight was on, but it was looking like our fleet was on the small side and not fantastically balanced in terms of reps and EWAR. Halfway through the chain, I turned the Legion back for home. To their credit, Unsettled had formed up very quickly and in decent numbers. Our own guys were eager to get brawling with them. Perhaps a little too eager, though. We jumped in, with a few reinforcements still moving through the chain. Unsettled didn’t have too much in the way of logistics on grid. A couple of Onieros’ out at 60km from the hole, but what they did have was too much for our logi to handle. The jams and neuts told early and before we could drop any of their ships, our own logi was forced to jump out while we lost Utari’s Legion and Gab’s Stratios. The rest of the fleet executed a tactical withdrawal to the other side of the WH, where we were doubtful they would follow immediately since their logi were so far off the hole, giving us time to bring in the rest of the fleet.

I have always considered that you can break down PvP engagements into simple one-upmanship. In the most basic terms, if your enemy brings a frigate, bring a destroyer. If he brings two ships, bring three. Applying this literally is often impractical – and I tend not to look at things in the most basic terms anyway! In a fair, balance fight between two ships, the one-upmanship will likely manifest in a bit of module overheating or clever manoeuvring.

This still applies to fighting outnumbered – which I love to do. The trick if you’re outnumbered is not to be outgunned. There’s a reason some ships are known as force-multipliers, but adding these to a fleet is a real balancing act. Too many Logistics ships in lieu of dps will keep your fleet up, but you won’t be able to break anything either. My favoured force-multiplier for our WH engagements is the on-grid links Eos. Not only does the armour links boost the staying power of the fleet but can be set up to be as versatile as a Swiss army knife while still being able to apply a decent amount of damage.

I won’t rant on Greek mythology, but I think it’s quite apt that the Command Ship is named after the Titaness daughter of Hyperion, the Goddess of Dawn. A quick check of my killboard will show I lost something like this a little while back:    

[Eos – Bringer of Dawn]

Armored Warfare Link – Passive Defence II
Armored Warfare Link – Rapid Repair II
Skirmish Warfare Link – Interdiction Maneuvers II
Medium Unstable Power Fluctuator I
Medium Unstable Power Fluctuator I

Experimental 10MN Microwarpdrive I
Phased Muon Sensor Disruptor I
Phased Muon Sensor Disruptor I
Small Capacitor Booster II

Damage Control II
Armor Explosive Hardener II
Drone Damage Amplifier II
Energized Adaptive Nano Membrane II
Energized Adaptive Nano Membrane II
1600mm Reinforced Steel Plates II

Medium Anti-Explosive Pump II
Medium Trimark Armor Pump I

Gecko x2
Valkyrie x2
Warrior x1
579 dps,

108k EHP, EM 75.1%/THERM 83.8%/KIN 91.9%/EXP 80.9%

I don’t think that’s too bad for something that doesn’t cost the Earth. Modules can be juggled around to suit. I initially flew this with a point and web, but as I pretty much always fly this on a second screen, those became largely redundant. My attention would be mainly focused on my Loki, so switching over to the second screen to point something afterwards was often slower than leaving it to other fleet members. The sensor dampeners are a handy, low maintenance alternative and has proved extremely useful as our fleets are generally light on this kind of EWAR. Switching in a second DDA brings it to 694dps and you can spend more money on the tank, if you like shiny.

I’ll usually have this orbiting a WH or anchored on a fleet member, with drones on assist. This way, the ship can make a huge difference to an engagement with very little piloting input. And in this instance, it’s what I had my Legion pilot fly home to get.

With extra logi and links on grid with the rest of the fleet, we ought to have had enough staying power for round 2. Galmas ordered the fleet to jump and called primary on a Vexor. Targetting the both of the Oneiros’ with the Eos, I set a damp on each while putting neuts on a nearby Proteus and setting the drones onto the Vexor, which just didn’t stand a chance. As Unsettled’s logi burned in closer, I dropped the damp I had on Roime’s Oneiros to put both on Squelch, forcing him to burn further in. With their logi impotent, we continued to down the softer targets, which in hindsight may have not been the best choice. A Brutix navy popped before I made the fleet aware the second Oneiros had burned in to point blank with the fleet. Galmas directed our fleets’ firepower in his direction before he could realize his mistake. Despite taking out those ships, as well as a cheap-ass Loki, we hardly seemed to be making a dent in their fleet.

Glancing around the field, I could see Unsettled still had a significant number of their own force multipliers on grid in the form of neuts and ECM. I may have neglected to mention that this was Unsettled’s home system. They were throwing everything they had at us. The guys who we popped reshipped as quick as they could and rejoined the fight. They even had a squad from Dracos Dozen (the fellas who helped give Barny a good sendoff - FYI a dozen is only meant to be 12) landed 100 clicks away in sniping Oracles and laying down additional fire – too far for the Eos to target and damp out.

Still, I had spotted another mistake from an Armageddon pilot who had drifted into close range. I knew ECM was directed towards our Guardians as well as my Eos and I knew we couldn’t hold under the combination of that EWAR and energy neuts. I recommended we hit the Geddon next as a second appeared on grid. By now, Roime’s Oneiros had approached close enough for us to apply damage. Not many people fight on once their logistics have been neutralized, but fair play to Unsettled. They stood their ground while their pilots went to get replacement ships, even if they were losing more ships in the process. A Prophecy and a Hurricane went down before they could field more logi, even if it was an Exequror and not an Oneiros.

Hanging in there paid off for them. Our Teamspeak had a minor hiccup, kicking half the fleet, but crucially, Utari. This meant no one understood how badly the cap chain was failing and that he had to warp away because polarization meant he couldn’t jump out. An incredulous Myst lost his own Guardian as a result, forcing the rest of the fleet to jump out. Utari rejoined comms to appraise us of the situation. And that his Guardian was in warp back to the hole. And that it was still polarized for another 30 seconds. 20 seconds. Down.

Surely a pod can’t last for 20 seconds amidst a hostile gang. Actually, if they are all trying to whore on the killmail, it can. He managed to jump out and head back home with the rest of the fleet. On the way back, Sherpa mentioned that he’d received a convo from one of them, thanking us for the fight. What did leave me with a certain feeling of self-satisfaction was their mention in particular of the EWAR that messed them up. Electronic warfare is a broad term in eve and does encompass things like target painting, weapon disruption and of course, sensor damping – which is why I chose to ignore the fact we had two Tengu’s in the fleet. That way, I was smug enough to ignore my annoyance at accidentally leaving my Geckos behind.

Thanks for the content, Unsettled.

Thursday, 13 November 2014

Neither A Borrower, Nor a Lender Be

It had been a quiet weekend, and as one good idiom deserves another, the tranquillity had indeed proved that the devil makes work for idle hands. Having the time to reflect, I had invested heavily into some new industry projects to occupy my time during the quiet periods. Late on Sunday night, the plans started to come into fruition as I brought a fully laden Rhea into our C5 home and started unpacking like it was Christmas Day.

Monday looked like it was going to be another laid back evening with some sites on their final escalations and a brief look at siggy showed that the static had either not been opened, or had already been rolled as I logged in. The one discrepancy in that (ignoring the connection to a C2 via a Fozzie-hole) was a direct connection to Providence. My first thought was that it might well be a decent exit for the jump-freighter, which I corroborated shortly afterwards with a little assistance from dotlan.

My cohorts had different ideas. Given that there is always content in Providence, there wasn't a whole lot of arm twisting involved for them to convince me to bring a Cynabal out with them. First catches of the day were a Garmur, Dominix and a Loki. After that, it was slim pickings so we decided on trying a few riskier systems to pique the interest of the locals. Careful what you wish for...

Our 5 man fleet happened across a pair of Vargurs. We knew that even if they were fit for ratting, we'd have more than a handful but we were there to shoot stuff after all. The idea was to keep range and be ready to disengage if need be. If they were, as we suspected, and were there to bait us, we'd have no problem disengaging and getting clear, but the best laid plans of mice and men often go awry. As their support started to arrive, both Odi and myself in  our eagerness to tackle the newcomers drifted too close the one of the Vargurs and we ended up exchanging a Cynabal and a Vagabond for a couple of destroyers - not a good trade.

Those of us that could got clear and headed back home to try and pretend nothing happened. Gina's Sleipnir was the only other ship to not make it home and the typical pod camping he was bemoaning of nullseccers beforehand prevented him from getting all the way back, and was held bouncing safes 2 jumps out.

On getting back to the hole, a quick d-scan showed that one of the locals had probes out. It looked like we had indeed piqued their interest. Jumping into my Stratios, I jumped back into null to see where this was all going. It didn't take them long at all and I was wary of my polarisation as a provi Loki and Proteus landed at 0 on the hole. Gina reported a much larger fleet from his unique vantage point, the mainstay of which was more Proteus'. This prompted Utari to ask if we could take them over comms. I answered him with a lackadaisical "Yeah, maybe", referring more to the two ships, now jumping into our home system, rather than the 20 man gang 2 jumps out. Sadly, that was all the affirmation he needed and without him realising, the 7 guys we had on comms did not translate to 7 pilots in-game

Utari> OK, I've got them tackled.
Myst> Hang on, I'm not even logged in yet.

With the Stratios still polarised, I logged in another toon and opted for the HAM/Neut Legion I'd used to successfully embarrass 3 BNI Proteus' a few days earlier over the usual links Eos - something I would come to regret later. Slowly, our ships arrived to back up Utari's intrepid Devoter and the Provi pilots were forced to jump back to null, where my Stratios was waiting to prevent their escape. Intel was reporting that the bulk of their fleet was now moving to reinforce and our low numbers meant we would need as much damage on the field as we could muster, so we called for a carrier. Utari was quick to volunteer dual-boxing his Archon and the Provi fleet was held on the null side as the carrier made the warp. I jumped the Stratios home in as low armour as I was willing to risk and warped clear to reship to a Loki as the Provi fleet poured into the WH. 

As they decloaked, I called primary on their Guardians and made sure they were webbed and neuted before they could pull range. The Armageddon and the Legion allowed us to make short work of the logi, which we anticipated would make the provi fleet quit the field. As their ships started to jump out, our own ships began to follow so that we might catch a few of them before it was over. Several of their ships stayed with our Archon, though and therefore some of our own ships remained also. Those in null started to notice their fleet was swelling to numbers you might consider to not be advantageous to us, as if fighting with the fleet on different sides on the hole wasn't disadvantage enough. 

The damage I was taking to the Loki was enough to convince me the fleet ought to be reunited, or at least, I ought to jump back to where the reps where. I held cloak and gave Utari fair warning I'd need the reps ASAP and when I decloaked to re-engage, it was evident he was not in triage any more. The Loki's already battered armour was fast approaching hull and I wasn't seeing any rep graphic coming from the carrier. I mentally prepared myself for the second lossmail of the evening but the Archon went back into triage and heroically kept me in the fight. This was bad news for Utari, as this directed the attention back into his carrier and the sheer number of ships jumping through the WH to join the fight brought it to the verge of collapse. 

As the fight went on, we managed to pick off a few cruisers and several interceptors who were reckless enough to get into range of my Loki's dual webs. All the while, we were unaware of the Archon's plight until Myst asked how it was holding up.

Utari> Erm..... 60% structure

They say the best teams can anticipate one another - yeah, I'll just leave that one there. 

Then the wormhole collapsed. At first glance, this seemed to be a good thing. Although the provi fleet outnumbered us several times over, they had no logi - until we realised what closed the hole. A Nidhoggur decloaked and joined the fight. Quickly, Myst volunteered a Dreadnought and disengaged to reship. It now because apparent that Utari's instructions to 'overheat all the things' would no longer cut the mustard as he announced he was going down. We all knew this meant things would be very grim for the subcaps we still had on the field. 40+ enemy ships vs 11 of ours with no logi didn't bear thinking about. Myst abandoned the dreadnought and grabbed the nearest Archon to hand. Gab offered a second but it still meant we would have to deal with the Nidhoggur, so I volunteered my dread - there was just the small matter of getting to it. My Loki was pointed by one of the Provi Proteus' but luckily, not scrammed. I burned the MWD out of the bubble, then out of point range and was clear.

That was when we lost the Archon. Myst announced he had taken warp and the next few seconds were agonising. Provi were bringing the prodigious dps of their fleet to bear on our stricken ships one after the other after the other. Each one watching the armour melting away but not ceasing the attack in hope of the carrier landing just in time. As the ships went down one by one, I started to wonder if what was left would be enough to continue the fight. The bubble meant a couple of pilots lost their pods and were out of the fight entirely, but Odi and Gina managed to get clear to reship. I'd lost my Legion on my second screen moments before we once again had Archon support. With a significant portion of our dps taken off the field, the carrier was under the same pressure as its predecessor, while our capability of relieving that pressure was lessened. Myst seemed to be able to hold the damage while applying heat to the reppers, but it meant that getting the dread on grid to neutralise the opposing carrier was critical for what was left of our fleet... if only POS modules allowed you right of way when you want to warp somewhere. Still, absence makes the heart grow fonder!

Arriving fashionably late, 'Rising Sun' did eventually join the party and Provi-bloc did not seem oblivious to a Naglfar on grid meant the death-knell for their Nidhoggur. In a last throw of the dice from their fleet, I once again found their attentions, in the form of all the neuts and dps they could command, switched back to me. We were still outnumbered by over 3 to 1 but all the Provi fleet's hopes rested on their carrier, now capped out and being donated ammunition from all of what our fleet had left. As they continued to test the Naglfar's shields, it was obvious that the 2500mm autocannons would win the race, and by some distance. The Provi FC cleverly switched to damage limitation and put everything they had onto our devoter. Both the Nidhoggur and the brave Devoter that started it all went down. Without the bubble, Provi had a means of escape and our pilots had to point what they could. With the siege cycle finished, I once again reshipped to a Loki to help finish off the stragglers, of which there wasn't enough to to claim an ISK victory, but with 7 real players multi-boxing for 15 ships against 47, you'll be damn sure I'll be claiming a moral one!

The Battle Report (thanks to the Provi fellas for providing this)

Thing is, whatever way you look at it, neither side denied it was a good, fun fight. The Provi guys had superior numbers, but they brought they fight to our home system, where we were always going to have the advantage of being able to tailor our fleet composition as required. The aftermath saw GF's cordially exchanged, they were Thanked for Content and I found a few convo's coming my way.

Atom Captain > GJ

Atom Captain > ii had no time to refit D=
Jay Joringer > Cheers. Thanks for a good fight
Atom Captain > XD wish yall handt warped a dread in
Atom Captain > my tank was holding fine vs them but holy hell 25k dmg on shield and 5k on armor
Atom Captain > kinda hurts with no self repps, and being nuted
Jay Joringer > If we had fought on the other side, we couldn't have done that
Atom Captain > WH collapsed when i went through

Jay Joringer > Shame that collapsed. I wanted to move my JF out through there :D


Fardendur > rly nice tanking

Fardendur > epic
Fardendur > now we need to get out somehow
Jay Joringer > It's a good ship for that
Jay Joringer > We've not opened the static yet, but we'll scan you guys a way out. It's only fair
Fardendur > thanks
Fardendur > would be epic
Fardendur > we found a wh that leads to j space again
Jay Joringer > There's a frigate hole, asides from the H296

Jay Joringer > Highsec through there, but no good for half your fleet

Truth be told, we were reluctant to open the static while we looted the spoils from the field. There was plenty there that could go into replacing Utari's Archon and the last thing we needed was from hostiles from the static chain to jump us while we cleaned it up. As that went on, I showed the pods and frigates out through the Fozzie-hole and Sherpa got onto scanning the rest of them out through the static, but being as slow and useless as he is at scanning, they found their way out to Fountain through the static without his help (only kidding Sherpa, you're not useless at scanning. Slow, for sure, but not useless).

In typical USYSC fashion, our pilots started to log in after that action was dead and gone.

Galmas > 'lo

Jay> Galmas! Don't look at the killboard
Galmas > What?.... Oh, that's a lot of red.
O'nira > It's OK. Your Bhaalgorn did well.
Galmas > You guys need to stop borrowing my ships.
Myst > Jay's Archon did ok as well

It was my turn to be incredulous. Myst's Archon is usually kept in the same hangar as mine, so I didn't mind him borrowing it so much. Especially as it was returned in more or less one piece, but he did mention that I might want to look at some of the heat damaged modules. I got into the carrier with a similar feeling to whenever I get into the car after my wife tells me "I think I hit something and now the steering doesn't feel right". 86% damage to the Capital Armor Repairers showed exactly how that fight was balanced on a knife edge. Thanks to Jin'taan and his fleet for the content. 

Lastly, I'll give mention to a couple of other sources for this one. Salivan Harrdin mentions this in his Eve Scribe Providence news and USYSC's very own Utari wrote this up on the forums, but I feel I have to mention one of realape's reddit posts that I think is very fair and brief summary of what happened (and does have a line that makes me feel slightly smug): 

"Story: a little provi hacs/t3 fleet was roaming in provi. They found a WH with some people in it who wanted to fight. Provi pinged for more people(this is how it went kitchensink). The fight started in 0.0 but moved to j-space. The wormholers brought an archon and we also tried to get an triage carrier but all we got was a shit fitted nidhogguer. When the nidoggur jumped into the wormhole it colapsed and we were all prepared to upgrade our clons. While we killed their archon they brought 2 others and a nag that killed our nidhoggur. We killed their bubbler and warped away. In the won iskwar but just because they wormholers were very honorable and let us go and didn't chased us. They even scanned a hs exit for our pods and frigates. But for some reason we needed to take another exit and they nearest we found was in Fountain.

Couldn't agree more.