The battle unfolded as if in slow motion. The random wormhole chains of AdHocracy, Inc. and Quantum Explosion were both joined to one another through the Outer Ring Sleeper Collective’s (Otters) home wormhole, and the tensions were escalating between the large W-space entities. It was clear a battle royale was brewing. Scout ships popped on and off d-scan like fireflies in the blackness of space. Our scouts reported capital ships aligning and staging to fight one another, with our home looking more and more like it would become the chosen battlefield.
However, with only a few players online and well outside our prime time, the Otters reacted somewhat predictably to the threatened violence: with curiousity and hopes that we might grab one of these juicy clams and smash it with a rock.
We have a little bit of history with Quantum Explosion. A few months ago, we attempted to help defend The Honey Badger from Blood Union and Quantum Explosion evicting them. Blood Union and Allies destroyed over forty billion worth of ships in about 48 hours, suffering zero losses. Splatus gave a great write up, which I won’t repeat here: https://splatus.wordpress.com/2013/10/27/charge-of-the-light-brigade/ . Their superior tactics and long practice at invasions and capital ganks makes them unmatched in that particular skill. This inspires fear of either eviction or the loss of many expensive assets in most corporations facing them. The reaction on email and comms was pretty predictable: we pissed ourselves and played dead.
Because of this history — and vastly outnumbered by combatants on both sides — we quietly contacted Adhocracy to discern if we could temporarily ally against the intimidating foes who had spanked us so thorougly, and get some payback. No sooner had we opened the diplomatic channel to Adhocracry, then Quantum Explosion follows their usual modus operandi (which I’ve documented before in this blog), jumping through three capitals, rolling their own connection behind them, and cloaking up near the former wormhole to be brought into combat when they felt the time was right.
The Otters don’t have much — if any — of a reputation in W-space. Anybody digging through the kills in our home system would surely come to the conclusion we’re pretty much a failure at PvP, and deserve eviction.
- 43 kills and 125 losses at home.
- Our typical fights are 3 ships or less.
- We mostly fly battleships, cruisers, and battlecruisers.
- We’ve used a Chimera in PvP (that alone is probably reason enough to gank us).
- We clearly had run escalations on a visible schedule the last few nights.
If you believe the stats, we appear to be a failure of a corporation: trying and failing at PvP, trying and failing at farming in w-space, frequently and easily ganked. QEX obviously came to the same conclusion, setting a logoff trap and then… logging off. Leaving just the cloaky Tengu scout in system.
Now, there’s an alternate explanation for this behavior, too. The Otters’ home system doesn’t have a static exit that will allow a capital ship through. The Adhocracy chain inbound into our system probably looked like a tasty exit for Quantum Explosion pilots to pass through. But when QEX jumped several of their subcaps through the Adhocracy hole, it nearly collapsed, sending them scrambling back as they realized their capital ships were now trapped in a Class 5 wormhole with a Class 3 static and their chance to engage Adhocracy was lost. Similarly, the Adhocracy folks pulled back their sub-capital fleet; While a solo or small-group PvP artist might gladly hop through such a wormhole, any fleet capable of taking down capital ships attempting to use a wormhole in such a condition is likely to leave some people behind, compromising their fleet integrity and failing their mission. Adhocracy tactfully bowed out of the engagement, promising future fights — either with us or against us, depending on the circumstances — in the future.
The Otters are alone. With Quantum Explosion — well-known and widely respected for their successful capital-ganking fleets — cloaked up in our hole. Watching us.
The QEX capital pilots log off, leaving a cloaky probing scout behind, and the subcap fleet quietly departs through our static subcap-only wormhole. It’s a sensible decision; without any inbound or roaming capital-capable wormholes in the OTRSC home system, there’s nothing those capitals can really do except be targets, or possibly await word from their scout that our capitals have again begun escalating PvE sites in our home system and are rich for the ganking.
That’s really the major problem with QEX’s core PvP tactic of jumping several capitals through a wormhole and rolling it behind them: they have a little trouble doing so successfully if the target system doesn’t have a static exit with a mass limit sufficient for capitals to use. Imagine, if you will, jumping a capital fleet into such a system, beating up the locals, then realizing there is simply no way out for a few days until a random connection allows it. It’s much like a stereotypical bully shoving a skinny, nerdy kid into a locker, then finding himself shoved uncomfortably into that same locker, stuck in “I can smell your breath” range until a charitable explorer lets them both out.
Awkward. To say the least.
We did our best to keep up a “business as usual” appearance. We ran small subcap fleets through our static for PvE and PvP. We ran PI. We did a little hauling. We did our best to give the appearance of being blissfully unaware that three multi-billion-ISK capitals were seeded in our home system. But in that time, we gathered our Otter courage. Because really, we had no Otter option than to make the best of it. And we kept an Otter cloaked up at the site of QEX’s former static connection where their capitals had logged off, watching, waiting. Their scout dropped probes when new sigs appeared in system. Our scouts kept up their quiet vigil. Watching. Waiting.
Downtime came. Downtime went. Still we waited. The Adhocracy wormhole finally sputtered away into nothingness. Our static Class 3 offered no refuge for their capitals. They were well and truly trapped with us. Uneasily and silently sharing the same system, awaiting the opportunity for escape or combat. We scouted our chain thoroughly, aware that if the seeded capitals found an escape, we’d need a ready way to engage them because the likelihood of the hole being rolled away that they used was very high… near certain.
Blink on scan.
Probes. Friendly and hostile.
Lowsec roaming wormhole. Only 1 guy from our side online.
It was go time.
To be continued in https://splatus.wordpress.com/2014/03/16/quantum-explosions-part-2/