We have reached a pretty large milestone, our motherfucking 5th Anniversary, bitch!
Preparation for LulzIf it hadn't been for Selina and Salid pointing out that it was almost here, I probably would have let it past with little to no fanfare, to be completely honest. Thankfully they kept prodding me for ideas for what we should do for it.
Since Shadow Cartel had celebrated their 5th with a Venture-bridging, I figured we couldn't "just" do that, too, but I also wanted to do something out of the ordinary. We went with an INDUSTRY THEME!
Fleet membership was restricted to Exhumers, Mining Barges, Blockade Runners, Industrials, the Venture for those that couldn't fly anything else, and we even had Salid volunteer to play the noble role of fleet booster in his Orca.
Shadow Cartel were kind enough to offer us use of their Titan for our anniversary, so we gladly accepted this gift and parked our fleet on their POS. Meanwhile Selina scouted in his bait ship. He was flying a Gnosis because everyone apparently stopped falling for his Procurer, so he didn't quite fit in with the theme, but it was a necessary evil. The wait was a tad long, about 15 minutes or so, with all our ships parked on a technically-hostile tower. I made sure I was in empty pods on both my toons in the event that SC decided it would be more fun for them to warp a smartbombing battleships gang onto our fleet.
The Bridge of IndustryAs I hit d-scan for about the 1000th time, Selina finally piped up on Vent:
"Okay... you guys ready? Cyno up! Bridge!"
In a flash, our gang of 20+ Industry ships launched through the warp tunnel onto a gate in Resbroko. There were several suspects engaging Selina's bait ship, with two Ospreys providing logistics support. Huntin4Cloud9 was in a logistics ship of his own: A Noctis, which boasted the most high slots in the fleet. We made very short work of the hostiles, and despite the powerful repping power of the Noctis, Selina's Gnosis fell, as did Charles, but no surprises there. While we looted the field, a curious Hurricane warped in at range, then made the mistake of warping to the star, which was tens of AU away from the battlefield. Since our warp speed was faster than that of his Battlecruiser, I commanded the fleet to warp at various ranges to the star, and most of the fleet was on field before he even exited warp. He was barraged with drones and fireworks until his hull could not handle the festivities any longer and exploded in ecstasy... or rage. We can't really be sure.
All in all we killed the Hurricane, two Ospreys, a Rupture, a Thorax, a Stabber, a Rifter, while only losing the Gnosis and a Nereus.
A Little Help, Here?We went to station to dock, where everyone was given a chance for a piss break and to trade loot across. I told everyone to remain docked until we were all set to roll out again. Tricanis, being Tricanis, of course undocked and relayed intel that a Machariel was on the undock and was actively aggressing him. Someone did a quick check and discovered that this character has an Archon alt that he uses to bail himself out of tight spots when engaging on station (my favorite - station games!). So we all made a mad dash to undock and save Tricanis, and notified SC that there was potential for an Archon kill in additon to the Pirate Faction Battleship. Eventually the Archon did undock, but the Mach ceased fire and allowed himself to rep up, so the Archon would not inherit the full 60-second weapons lock timer. SC was on standby one jump out and waited for word that the Mach was aggressed WHILE the Archon was repping him. It took several minutes, but eventually that sequence occurred. SC jumped into system with a bunch of Attack Battlecruisers and blasted clear through the Archon reps and aided us in the murder of the Mach. We switched targets to the Archon, but only managed to get it to 20% structure before it was able to dock. Had we started with teh Archon, we might have killed the Carrier, but hindsight is what it is...
Aimless Wandering to Our Demise
We moved on from Resbroko and headed deeper through lowsec in search of fights. Eventually we ran across a system that appeared active, with a Megathron and several tech 1 cruisers on scan out and about. We tried baiting them in top belt of the system just myself in my Skiff and Salid in his Orca. They didn't bite. A scout came up from behind the rest of the fleet and must have relayed word that there was a mess of Industry pain awaiting them!
But, instead of just docking or shit talking in local, they rallied a fleet of Severance guys in various cruiser hulls and warped into the gate. There was a small mexican stand off between our fleet and theirs on one side of a gate until I made the call to "Just fucking jump through and be scattered, we aren't here to survive!"
And we most certainly did not. Survive, that is, of course we jumped. The hostiles pursued and immediately tackled the Orca. They had a bunch of Scythes so I made the call to start chewing through them. It was about this time that Shadow Cartel decided to drop the both of us with their Prophecy gang (augmented with a trio of Guardians) and all hell pretty much broke lose from there.
The Severance fleet slugged it out for a bit, and managed to drop the Orca. I avoided calling any SC pilots primary, and they were kind to avoid killing Tso's guys for a bit, so at least we had that going for us.
I commanded the Tso's members to tackle "as much shit as you can that isn't SC" and chewed apart whatever hadn't warped off. As the stragglers were consumed, their fleet mates came back onto grid at range. I had our fleet rush out to scram whatever we could before they warped off again. It was at this point that I finally started calling the Guardians in the SC fleet primary, swapping from ship to ship, until they managed to slaughter all of us. I guess our ~200 combined DPS wasn't enough to break through their rep cycles quite enough.
All in all, it was a resounding success, and we killed much more that I though the fleet would be capable of. I was pretty disappointed that CCP fixed the corpse-spew that used to occur when a ship was killed that contained corpses. Every ship was loaded with a hundred or so corpses that dated back to the foundation of SMERG in 2007, and I expected them to launch into space in a glorious cloud of cadavers... but CCP must have changed that shit at some point. Lame.