Our summer, like clockwork, was very quiet even with our newly anchored Citadels providing us an opportunity to recruit again. For my own part, I had lost some of the fire for logging in and spent what little time I had in keeping my industry alts going. During the summer, I generally have less time to play since my gaming time comes at the end of the day after most of my house has gone to bed. With school out and everyone sleeping in, that time was crunched as everyone stayed up later than I cared to, having to get up for work the next day. Then towards the end of summer, No Man's Sky hit my PC and while it provided me some good single player fun and a reason to upgrade the video card in my PC, it also took away what little time I had for playing EVE. But, like most other games, it did not hold my interest like EVE does and with school starting and my evenings back, I'm getting back into the swing of things as are others in the corp.
So it happened that a few of us had decided to log on late last Friday night and see what trouble we could get into. Being the holiday weekend, I had off work early and had some afternoon time to take care of some EVE busyworking including hauling some fuel after scouting our connections. There was a decent high-sec connection via our C5 static but we had a C2 roll into us which ejected members of Jaded., a corp we had encountered before and known for PvP. Being just myself and I think one other pilot, I used an alt to observe their connection but otherwise left them be. It wasn't long, however, before a number of them were streaming into our hole and headed for one of our moons. It turned out that one of our friends, in our alliance, whose corp was a personal corp for his characters, had his POS tower go offline. We hadn't seen him in game most of the summer so it was no surprise. I was a little surprised though when the killboard lit up with about 6B ISK worth of stuff. I had assumed he had moved out all his gear into our Citadels but apparently not. Good day for Jaded. though.
The evening wore on and as it was drawing near the time for us to gather, reports were been fed from those logged on before me that Jaded. was still active, no surprise given their size and disposition, but doing things in a decent sized fleet (12 man) in another hole off their home. Our discussion turned to how we might be able to engage them in some way with our smaller 3 or 4 guys or somehow get a good fight out of them. I remarked that earlier in the day after the tower destruction, I had tried to catch a random daytripper on the C5 in my interdictor and also ended up taking a shot at a Jaded. scout who happened to also pass through immediately after. Jaded.'s response was quick with 4 or 5 T3TD. I suspected that if we could find a similar target, we might get a similar response which would be a decent engagement.
Not long after though, that Jaded. fleet came back into their home and then into our hole. It was nearing the time of our Citadel vulnerability and it seemed obvious what was going to happen next. It was go time.
Star House 2: Electric Boogaloo was under attack
One of our other members was already in the citadel and started firing some bombs at the fleet which was composed of about 8 Oracles and Nagas plus 3 logistics Basilisks and I believe one Rapier. Definitely not something we were about to engage with our 3 or 4 guys but I was excited to put our Astrahus to the test. I took over control but the first thing that I noticed was that our bomb launcher was cycling red and could not fire. Definitely some kind of bug, probably related to taking control from the other player, but I didn't feel I had time to mess around with it so I started to engage the fleet.
For those not familiar with Citadels, we basically have five options for weapons:
- There are also webs and target painters
Missiles have two varieties, subcap and capital. We only need subcap because we are in C4 space. Subcap missiles have different sizes depending on their target. Large for battleship, medium for cruisers, and small for frigates. Here, I think I had the right type loaded for our opponents but as you'll see below, who knows.
Neuts and ECM and straightforward though as I'm writing this I realize that I had not been using the proper scripts in our ECM during the fight. I completely forgot about them until now. Elite PvPer here, folks.
There is a lot of variety in fighters between light and support but we had basic light combat fighters loaded so in this fight, it was simple.
I knew that taking care of the logistics ships was going to be a priority. I locked them up and jammed two of them. This should have had the effect of disabling their cap chains and putting their third logistics ship at risk when DPS was applied as they would not be able to effectively repair him. I launched fighters, though I struggled with the interface for a couple minutes early in the fight, and then put the missile DPS on the third Basilisk as well. It wasn't long before he was visibly taking damage and not being repaired enough and warped off. He was quickly followed by the other two leaving only the DPS ships on the field. Now I could focus my fire on them, as they lacked any kind of repairs. Being probably fit for DPS, they started to burn down quickly and they also warped off. Here it was obvious that the tackle mechanic on the Citadel was not working as expected and I had no scramble module on the citadel and could not change the fit now anyways.
So began our dance. Me shooting logi then DPS. Them warping in and out and killing my fighters. Corpmates helped by hauling fighters from our other Citadel over so I could keep up the pressure. In between warp ins and warp outs, our repair timer was slowly ticking down to zero from the 15 minutes it starts with. They eventually tried to bring a fourth logi but by then I had released control and retaken control of the citadel to get our bomb launcher working.
Void bombs from a Citadel are massively effective. 4,000 GJ every 20 seconds in a 40km radius (80km sphere). That is equivalent to about 200GJ/s drained to every ship in the range of the bomb. This is twice as effective as the single Neut we had on the citadel without costing any cap. Once we got this online, the Oracles and Basilisks were powerless to either shoot or repair with their cap drained. With the repair timer winding down, this was the end of the fight and they retreated having lost no ships but giving us a great fight and test of our Citadel's capabilities.
There have been a lot of complaints about Citadels, especially the medium Astrahus, being too weak and ineffective especially against subcaps. After this fight, I don't think this is the case necessarily, at least for wormhole space where we have the bomb launcher. I can see ways that the Jaded. fleet could have been more effective. I'm sure the exercise was a good test for them as well. Afterwards we were also able to discuss was that our small 3 or 4 men could have contributed to the defense without being slaughtered by the fleet. Citadel combat is a very interesting new part of our game and it was very exciting to be able to engage in and not completely fall on our face.