I don't do a lot of BRs unless they're entertaining in some way and this one definitely turned out to be that.(1)
Our FC Cassius Longinus called for cruise missile Typhoons because come Tuesday they're going to be fairly painful to roam in ("shakes" for 25 seconds). So this was one of our last chances to play with agile relatively quick roaming battleships. I have one but Cass asked me to fly a Rapier. I do love Rapiers and every time I sit in one I think of one of the nicest things Jayarr Altol ever said to me: "Jester, I hated seeing you in a Rapier because ever time I did, it meant I was gonna die." I suddenly realize with pleasure that now that Jayarr is no longer in Rote he can resume his climb up the list of people I've killed the most times.
Final fleet is 8 Phoons, Raven, 2 Rapiers, Lachesis, Scimi, Onyx, dictor, Cynabal (and later, Vaga) for close tackle/anti-tackle, and a Claymore for links.
The evening starts almost immediately with a pair of BNI caught in 5-F. Then we receive intel about BNI hitting a POS in LSC4 with a mixed medium size group of cruisers, BCs, and a couple of battleships. We start rolling in that direction but it's kind of hard to hide a group of Typhoons. As we approach, they scatter. BNI, risk averse? This clearly will not stand and we need to remind them of their modus operandi so we roll the Phoons back toward TXW while arranging for a sacrificial cyno ship. A Rote titan logging in usually means the sphincters of everyone in Syndicate slam shut but BNI apparently haven't gotten the memo 'cause they keep doing what they do. Decloak, cyno goes up, and our dictor goes through but it's actually the Onyx bubble that's most effective.
The final group actually turns out to be a mixed group of BNI and Of Sound Mind who have moved into the area. We kill seven then restart our roam from there. To their credit, they immediately form back up and go back to what they were doing once we're gone, but we're content to let them.
On our way out of that pocket we catch a lone FIGL Caracal, then poke our noses into FD- to see what's up there. What's up turns out to be Goons farming a little cluster of bubbles using long-range gank ships and a SFI for tackle. A Stiletto has joined us and catches an unwary Oracle while we bait the SFI in with the Cynabal and both go down.
We continue east into the maze and get intel of a mixed cruiser gang guarding another set of bubbles in 6-C so we make our way over. Cass does a terrific job of hiding our numbers and sending in a bait group, made up of all our expensive ships (including me). We fall obligingly into the bubble trap laid by a mixed KRYSISdot armor cruiser gang with strong logi support. To their credit they stay in the fight once local spikes with our main DPS, trying to justify their fleet with an expensive kill. But the special teams do a good job of protecting each other with our one Scimi and tactical webs (he said modestly) keeping their Thoraxes at arm's length. By the time KRYSIS realizes they've been outplayed, they're down seven ships including most of their logi.
We wander the maze for a bit longer but not finding anything happening turn toward our low-sec route home.
On the way, Apathetic Brent pings someone in our gang offering to skirmish with us, saying he has nine. We're rolling in his direction but don't intend to fight them since it seems unlikely they'd want to fight us -- we're quite a bit heavier than they are. Their nine later turns out to be a mixed group of Ishtars and Cerberuses. You can watch the replay from Brent's perspective. At around the 30 minute mark in that replay, one of Brent's Ishtars gets a little confused about instructions to warp "there." He doesn't know where "there" is but he warps and it turns out for him, "there" is the middle of our fleet. We tackle and kill one Ishtar.
As we head closer to home, we also learn about a Goon BC fleet in the area (they announce themselves and their location in local). This sounds like something worthy of our attention and turns out to be an honest-to-goodness asteroid belt fight just like the old days, in Barleguet. We confirm the intel with our own Stiletto scout. It turns out Brent's gang is already engaged with them but we slowly trickle our group in and eventually take over, killing four of the BCs (losing our Stiletto in the process) before turning our attention to the Exodus group. You can hear this fight from Exodus's perspective at the 40-45 minute mark of the recording. Some of Exodus don't want to fight us saying it would just be a stalemate. Brent responds "Why don't we fight a stalemate and then say 'our pilot skill is better!'? Why don't we do that?" These turn out to be prophetic words.
But they prompt a long argument on Exodus comms about what they should do which goes on for about the next ten minutes. For our part, our fleet occasionally and very rudely interrupts their argument by killing four more of their ships, an Ishtar, Omen, and two inties. My favorite quote of the recording: "This is Exodus. We don't have a single FC.", sotto vocce at about 43:00. Second favorite? Voice 1: "Where the hell is Ripard going?" Voice 2, two seconds later: "Oh fuck, I'm webbed." Props to them for staying on field and trying. Once we get a solid warp in on them, they warp off and we head home.
All in all, much battleship fun was had! Final score: 28 ship kills, various pod kills, 1 loss.
(1) The title of this blog post is a reference to accusations on Failheap Challenge that Rote Kapelle must be a dying alliance because the AdversityDOT corp recently chose to leave us.