0400 fleet started out in a sort of limited-goodfight gang which basicly amounted to (pair of scimis, scout, light dictor, BCs). Except lots of people had HACs, and I threw Carth in a HIC cuz we had dinged 18 at formup time. We still did the RSB/backtackle thing, though got no jump-in's outside of lowsec. 18 is more than I like, but whatevs.
Anyhoo, first stop was PF/FD, though I was sad to see the local numbers slowly decreasing around syndicate during formup. No surprises there, Lithia made a play for our scout on PF-. Probably would have gotten him (and died for the attempt) due to super-long-webs, but chose to falcon/run instead. Sniping Mach killed our light dictor because-of-lag ("Hey, sniper mach, dictor jump", "ok", :dead
. v0v, turns out bringing the HIC WASNT stupid like I thought.
Next trip was to Pelil, in lowsec, which had a bubble on the map. Turns out, that is where SF is harassing Jules. Some local smack is traded. Jules came through a gate in a zu (l2 not cloak and die like a man), SF is docked or cloaked or whatever it is they do now, so the next bubble is Y9G/97X.
I best speed us over there (or as near as I can get to it), which was pretty suboptimal. People REALLY need to listen to the FC... things like "This is a split, warp to the JH- gate" are kinda important. Anyways, we got there, people just need to make sure they remember the basics.
SO: Scout into 97X, fleet trickling onto the 97X gate in M-2... 97X local at 15, hostile fleet bubble camping Y9G gate(*). Inbound sling bubbled, Outbound sling bubbled, 50AU between M-2 and Y9G, with 5-TOPS gate being sister gate to Y9G. Hostile fleet refuses to be pulled to the M-2 gate at zero. That is correct, it is time for SPACE NAPOLEON!
So, most of you guys have been flying with me for a while, and know my opinion on space napoleon, which is that it's always better to just go balls deep and have a fight. Still, you gotta TRY to shape a fight that looks like it has no way of happening. I mean, the chances of Raven Federation taking us on even numbers are abysmally low, even if they APPEAR to be well comped. In any event, the next section takes probably 10 minutes.
First, we try to drag them to us, but they won't leave tac's on the M-2 gate, eventually they go back to Y9G tacs, or bouncing off 5-tops tacs. I order Carth/Bubble in and up on M-2 gate, and Brent/Drake to jump in and start being dumb (shooting bubbles, etc). We try bouncing over to the 5-TOPS gate... nothing. Prox/Scout starts looping around into Y9G backdoor to confirm that they don't have like 50 (not that it matters, we are taking about any fight at this time, I'm turgid). Turns out just a neut domi
on the other side. I decided to up the profile by jumping in all our canes, and having them hold our inbound bubble... unfortunately, no response from hostile fleet.
So, at this point, I'm a little <_< on the engagement, insofar as that they seem really fucking well comped. Lots of ECM, lots of utility, lots of DPS. They have a Curse who can lock down 2-3 of our canes
, that neut domi for the logi. Ashimuu to lock down our cynabal
. I mean like I said, we are taking the fight, but at this point, I'm nothing but impressed by their gangcomp (aside from lack of Logi, but I'll be damned if I complain about people fleetcomping away from logi, which I think is the bane of the fucking GF).
Regardless, my space napoleon patience has just run it's course, and it's time to shape the fight on their terms: I order bubble down, canes and drake aligned, and once clear, both groups warp. Drake lands on gate at zero (from 5-tops), Canes land in a bubble at 50ish, with our HIC. Drake calls redboxes, I order canes to close/engage, bubble to close and bubble, and main fleet to jump and bounce 5-tops->Y9g. At this point, we have about 1/3 of them aggressed and bubbled in 97X, 2/3 of them jumped Y9G, where prox is, reporting them reapproaching. Fleet lands, and we call a pest primary.
I start calling split targets on important primaries... ashimmu/curse, as real threats-light tanks, then move to the aggressed tengu since we are already up something like 5-0 and my watchlist isn't showing jack shit red... And about here, we are simply done, and the rest is just mop up. A cynabal got away by burning his ass right out to 100 and staying there for the duration. Similarly, a Rapier cloaked before I could lock and never decloaked. Otherwise, I think we cleared grid except for a Drake which warped out. Prox decloaked their falcon like 3 fucking times, and the 3rd time, it stayed decloaked long enough to lock, except not by me :BecaseOfZealot:.
Overall it was a great fucking fight, and TOTALLY indicative of how failfitting turns fights. Their falcon pilot was badz, trying to run instead of burning to range and jamming. Their curse was literally useless, instead of being able to lock down 2-3 of our ships, it did NOTHING. Their neut domi turned out to be a RR domi. o\ o\ o\ o\ o\ Otherwise, it would have been almost a literal 1to1 matchup in terms of numbers and comp. v0v
(*) Yes, ~20 man bubblecamp fleet in the backend of nowhere.