Friday, May 10, 2013

To Kill A Nyx

The call goes out to form up and get ready for action…..while not unusual to have an FC call for a fleet what makes this one interesting is that the FC is calling for a loki fleet.  Given how expensive these fleets are, if we lost one, they are not called all that often, so I figured there must be something big going on to justify this.  I head to the staging system and prepare to get into my loki and join the fleet.  I arrive and transfer my pod from my hound class stealth bomber to the loki and double check all the offensive and defensive systems.  The FC calls for a small fitting change and I refit the loki changing out one module for another and back into space I go heading for the titan that is preparing to bridge us to who knows where.

We have a nice little fleet formed up for this operation over 100 capsuleers have come to the fleet including, 27 logistics pilots.  It is the first time I have flown with the loki fleet but it seems to me that nearly 25% of the fleet being logistics pilots is a lot and probably overkill but no one asked me.  I arrive at the titan and the bridge is up and the fleet is heading into the system.  We arrive at some no name system in the next region and I still don’t know what the final target actually is or where we are going.

The FC orders the fleet to warp to a fleet member and prepare to jump through the wormhole…ah we are going to go and attack someone in a wormhole and crush them….this should be good.  They probably will not expect 100 loki’s with logistics support to come in out of no where and crush them.  It must be a really good target to have this many of us in and ready to go.

We go into the wh and end not in a wormhole system but actually in low sec within minmatar space.  I am now somewhat confused as to why we are here and what the target is going to be, we bridged out to a wh to go into low sec.  Still there is nothing in the system or nearby that I know of that would be of any threat to justify this large of an expensive fleet….I would shortly find out that there was something of value nearby.

We set our destination into the navigation computers for a system about 5 jumps away and begin to head to the target.  As we get nearby we encounter a number of neutral ships heading either in the same direction we are or away from us, because we are trying to move the FC gives orders to not engage anyone on the gates and proceed to the target system.

We are one jump out from the target system when we arrive at the jump in gate we find that the gates are having trouble keeping up with capsuleers attempting to jump into the system and the safeties have locked preventing us or anyone else from jumping in.  ((CCP had a hard cap on the system of 2000 or so I was told))

We sit on the gate attempting to get into the system but the gate controls will not respond and several other capsuleers arrive at the gate, some are neutral to us, some are friends.  No one is able to make the jump into the target system.  Several of our pilots request permission to engage hostiles on the gate while we wait for traffic control to clear the fleet and the FC gives the go ahead to open fire on anyone on the gate that we can get a lock on.  ((TiDi was at 10% in the whole area, making this a horrible process to see whom we could lock and actually fire on))

Neutral capsuleers who had been trying to get into the system or escape the system find themselves under the guns of over 100 loki’s, along with a friendly naga gang that had arrived.  Between us we are clearing the hostiles off the gate without any real trouble.  I feel somewhat bad for the neutral capsuleers having risked their ships and crews to come out into low sec and finding two fleets of ships with tight fleet compositions along with logistics support and intact command & control….all they can do is die under our fire.  With so many of our ships the gate guns guarding the area are no threat to us and we ignore their fire.

After what seems like hours we are finally able to jump into the target system and warp to a station.  As we land at the station we can see the target approximately 60 kilometers from us….a Nyx Class Super-Carrier.  This Nyx is under heavy fire from ships ranging from frigates to battleships, all attempting to kill it before it can escape from the system.  ((The pilot of the nyx had told everyone in advance that he wouldn’t attempt to flee and that he would be staying in the system.  CCP also allowed him to dock at the station and to do so in an incursion system so no heavy capital ships could be jumped in to finish him quickly))

We lock up the nyx and the fleet fires several salvos into the target, after a few moments the nyx is destroyed.  Knowing that he could not escape and with more and more hostiles arriving the nyx pilot initiated the self-destruct shortly before we arrived at the station.  ((he would later say that he did this because of PL’s logistics repping his nyx and preventing it from being destroyed))

Once the nyx is destroyed, there is a small pause in the battle that lasts for just a moment and everyone begins to turn on everyone else, it becomes a massive free fire zone between well over 1000 capsuleers.  The FC begins to call targets and we put stasis webifiers, sensor dampeners, and of course our artillery cannons onto the targets and they begin going down under our fire.

All of the organized fleets begin doing this and the number of unaligned capsuleers in the area begin to drop rapidly as their ships are destroyed, some are podded but for us we aren’t interested in the pods and simply shift to the next ship when the primary target goes down.  The FC decides that priority targets are the tech 2 or 3 ships first, followed by pirate or navy faction modified ships that are in our range.

As we are killing them the other fleets are targeting our logistics ships and we begin loosing them at a steady rate.  They report this to the FC but it doesn’t seem like they are making a very big deal about these losses and the FC acknowledges but doesn’t make any real change to the operation of the fleet.  As we continue to engage targets they continue to explode under our fire and the next status report the FC asks the logistics guys report that 10 of our logistics ships have died under enemy fire.  Nearly half the fleets logistics ships have been shot down, this isn’t good.  With so much of our logistics ships lost the FC orders everyone to hold fire and approach the station, we are going to dock and stand down for the time being.  Soon the enemy fleets will be turning on our loki’s and without so many of our logistics ships destroyed we may no longer have the ability to repair the damage.

The fleet ceases fire and we all approach the station and prepare to dock, while ships are still being attacked all around us, but as we get into docking range of the station we are all able to dock up and our ships are safe.  The fleet stands down for a few minutes while we continue to observe local and see what is going on in the area outside.  Our cloaked scouts continue to observe the area and report to the FC what is happening outside the station.

After a short period of time local begins dropping as capsuleers leave the system, either from being podded or jumping out on their way home.  Once the scout reports that the undock of the station is mostly clear of hostile craft we undock and head back out.  There are a few hostiles on the undock that try to engage the fleet, not sure why but not too many make the attempt.  When you have a few frigates and 100 loki’s undock their isn’t much you can do against that kind of firepower.

We set course back to the system that had our entry wormhole and prepare to return to our space.  The journey is without any real incident as most of the capsuleers have left the area and those that remain aren’t interested in trying to engage us.

As we head home I take stock of our success and check my own statistics, I have engaged and been part of the destruction of over 20 enemy ships in the last few hours.  Our alliance has destroyed over 40, these kills occurred in two different systems in three different locations.  On the gates, and at the stations were the combat was occurring.  Over all getting to the location of the nyx ended up being a running firefight for most capsuleers as people converged from all over.

Ranger Gama



In the end the 10th anniversary event was a big success in my opinion.  Losses in the system show over 1000 ships destroyed in just a couple hours with over 2000 different toons on the nyx killmail.  Here is the video someone made of the fight. (Starts at about the 2:00 mark)

TiDi was at 10% for pretty much the whole time that I described the action above, which made our 12 second cycle time on our guns take two real life minutes to complete.  It was horrible but TiDi is so much better than the old black screen of death that used to occur with big fleet fights.  It didn’t really drop until the system population had been reduced to less than 1000.  At the peak I was told that 2000 people were in the system, we got in when it dropped to around 1800.

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