In the meantime, my posting rate is down lately because I've been spending a lot more time playing EVE, which leaves me with less time to write about it. Some of that time is on Tranquility, and some on Singularity for AT practice. So again, I apologize for that. I'll do my best to keep writing.
But that does bring me to an amusing story. I don't often write battle reports here unless they're interesting in some way. And this one certainly qualifies there.
Rote Kapelle's first AT match is against PERCUSSIVE PIZZA TIME DIPLOMACY on 1 July. This is a small alliance associated with the Gallente Faction War. Traditionally, Rote does a Friday night fleet every week at 0330 EVE time, and traditionally, this is a close-range armor brawling sort of fleet. It's a fleet comp designed to produce lots and lots of explosions, both for us and most likely, for whomever will fight us. We're in close tackling with Deimoses and Zealots and Sacs, with a Proteus or two and a Loki or two for additional heavy tackle, plus a minimum of logi. Our feeling is that we'd rather have three more DPS than three logi. ;-)
So, this past Friday night we're out in that exact comp. Our Logistics were two Guardians. I was flying a Damnation for the very first time. I've done shield Command Ships a lot but this was my first time in an armor one. We were rolling through low-sec when we encountered some PIZZA guys apparently looking for a Caldari FW fleet that was in the area. Not finding a fight, we rolled on, only to have a PIZZA guy contact one of our fleet members. "Don't leave!" we were asked, with the promise of a fight. Just then, our scout picked up something else that was potentially interesting so we said we were going to check it out and would be back to fight then in five or ten minutes. We checked out the report -- which came to nothing -- then came back.
By that time, our back scout reported that PIZZA had put together a tech1 BC heavy fleet of Drakes, Hurricanes, and a couple of Tornadoes, supported by five Scimitars, a decent size tackle Interceptor wing, plus a Lachesis and a Huginn. Their fleet outnumbered ours slightly. We braced ourselves for what we expected would be a really good, close fight. We picked them up moving about a half-jump in front of us as we headed back toward them... but they wouldn't stop at a gate or engage. We quickly came to the conclusion that we were being led back to either their home system, an even larger fleet, or both.
"Both" turned out to be accurate.
Our scout soon reported that their number of Drakes had doubled, and had been supplemented by four Tengus, additional random BCs, and six Blackbirds. Needless to say we weren't happy, weren't at all interested in engaging that, and we turned to leave. However, we were assured that some of the ships we were picking up on scan were a Caldari FW fleet and sure enough, the Blackbirds, many of the Drakes, and some of the other ships left. But we were still faced with a fleet that now doubled ours in both ships and logi, and scan showed that it was sitting in the direction of a FW complex (a Caldari Minor Outpost). Visual scan from our scout revealed the Tengus, BCs, Scimis, and some of the tacklers. Directional revealed the rest of their gang was scanning just off-grid.
Having played grid-games on a FW gate a few weeks ago with The Tuskers, we weren't interested in this fight, either. It was reasonably clear that their Lach, for instance, was probably sitting just outside of the grid line. It would likely duck onto grid to point something, but duck back behind the grid if it was threatened. You can imagine our comments on Teamspeak at this point. ;-) We were sitting in this system, after all, because they "wanted to fight us."
But we were in a short-range brawling fleet facing a long-range skirmishing fleet of double our numbers and double our logi, and they wanted to play grid games with us, too! No thanks.
We warped to our in-gate and made it clear that the fight was happening near a gate or a station or not at all. And that's how things went for five or ten minutes, while the PIZZA fleet continued to pick up additional stragglers. They were now threatening to crack triple our numbers.
So we started chatting with the Caldari FW fleet: would they be interested in temporary blue status to catch and kill this Gallente FW fleet? They were open to the idea and started heading back. It wouldn't even the odds but it would at least give us a sporting chance.
It never got to that point, though. Our scout soon reported that they'd warped off the minor outpost toward one of the other star gates in system. We gave chase to the same gate. We landed at 0. They landed at 70...
...and then they started burning off from there! They were never even close to skirmishing range and by the time most of our fleet landed, theirs was already at 85km from us and opening. Needless to say, we didn't bother chasing them in our armor brawlers. In due course, their fleet aligned and warped to a second FW site, a Caldari Major Outpost. We warped after them to find them landing on the acceleration gate. By the time we landed, all of them were through it.
This left us facing a FW complex gate that about half of the ships in our fleet wouldn't be allowed to activate. As our FC put it, we were looking at a "space cheese grater" that would only allow ships of certain shapes and sizes through. Their plan was obviously to trick some of us into warping into the site to get killed. The whole thing was just a massive troll.
Needless to say, we turned around and left. They "wanted to fight us"... but only if they could triple our numbers, double our logi, and play silly little FW games with us. This is our first Alliance Tournament opponent. As I put it on Twitter that night (edited slightly):
Dear PIZZA. See you on July 1, when you can't out-ship us 3-1, out-logi us 2-1, and use silly FW gate games. Love, Rote Kapelle.Should be a fun fight when they can't run away. I'm looking forward to it.
(1) Not "if". ;-)