All the Foreplay, None of the Action: UQ9-3CDysphonia Fera
After several strong defeats, and the loss of CO2 as an ally, it was time for The Mitanni to hold a State of the Goonion. Traditionally after this occurs, the Imperium numbers are monstrous, and it signals the swing of momentum towards the Imperium after any earlier losses. It lays out the public side of the plans for whatever war is being waged
“…prioritise the defence of UQ9- over the defence of the strategically worthless, but symbolically interesting VFK”
This was a brief SoTG, with the backdrop of the UQ9-3C iHub and station timers due to come out soon after. Publically announcing that they would prioritise the defence of UQ9- over the defence of the strategically worthless, but symbolically interesting VFK, to assist their allies. They also said they would “stop feeding”, to headshot FCs and ruin fleets ASAP when they have superior numbers, and when they do not have the numbers they would bring torp bombers, and combat interceptors. In addition to this, it also announced the return of baltec fleet (Megathrons) to the fore, as a more easily replaceable battleship doctrine to bring. The Mitanni also spoke about their new allies of Stainwagon alliances who would assist with the war effort, and that they had once again hired Elo Knight and his White Legion (not black, this time) to bolster their defences. Importantly, he also announced the changing of vulnerability timers on their systems to a less favourable timezone.
The site for the vast majority of the action was UQ9-. This is the staging system in Branch for FCON; a station where assets are kept, where many line members have their doctrine ships staged. The defence of this system was important, both from the perspective of being seen to defend an important system, and to maintain FCON participation numbers in the immediate future of the campaign. If they could not access their assets and doctrine ships, seeing a decrease in fleet participation would not be at all unexpected. It would cost their line members considerable amounts of ISK to repurchase hardware and anyone doing logistics would find themselves wanting to fellate the business end of a shotgun at the thought of moving enough hulls to replace them. There was also the matter of VFK timers; VFK being a symbolic system that both sides had publicly said they would ignore in favour of the much more strategically important UQ9. For those of you who are confused about the symbolism of VFK, it was for many years the capital & home system of the CFC as they were then. This was then moved to nearby YA0, and most recently Saranen, in order for GSF to be able to reach more allies easier, as well as taking their fight to lowsec.
Both sides formed early. With the Imperium forces massing while the SoTG was ongoing with the MBC forming at the same time. Both sides amassed significant numbers in these early stages. The night was started with an easy victory over the iHub for Imperium forces. Leaving slightly late, and underestimating the TiDi that would be faced on the travel to the destination system allowed for the iHub timer to be all but over before the attacking forces reached the constellation. However, once the fight was taken, the defensive forces were heavily outnumbered, and within minutes of real time fighting, they were forced off the in gate grid, taking around 40b losses, and inflicting around 30b on the attacking forces. A fairly reasonable trade, however, the more than double the numbers they faced is what forced them to disengage very early in what could have been a very large brawl. Here is a BRcat screenshot of those involved, however, not pictured are all the various smaller alliances and people who showed up with the frankly disgusting-sized Spectre Fleet.
After this the action was minimal at best; TEST and NC. spent some time bumping Hurricanes out of an FCON POS, who then just stopped that by safe logging, and the station was camped by the small roaming gang of one thousand dudes. The command nodes were hacked quickly once they sprung up, and everyone went home after waiting around for two hours. Many of us spent the time watching Netflix or playing other games while listening to comms. The VFK timers were saved easily by the defending force, keeping the few people who went up into Deklein well under control
Honestly, I think for both sides this was more of a let-down than anything, despite spin you may hear from some sources. Strategic timers were a solid draw: a nice victory for the iHub timer for the defensive side, and an easy but tedious victory for the attackers on the station. Various other timers were won by the attacking forces, but not an overwhelming number. As has been the case for the war thus far, many systems around the north were reinforced by MBC forces, which will provide more timers to be contested in the coming days.
“The only real talking point about last night was the low GSF participation numbers.”
The only real talking point about last night was the low GSF participation numbers. Traditionally, they see upwards of 500 in fleets after a SoTG; they often almost run out of available FCs to lead the fleets, it is a sight to behold. On the battle report we can only see a total of 229 GSF members; almost half of FCON’s frankly impressive 399. Both sides did have more logged on and in fleet I will admit. Local scans initially showed 500+ FCON, and around 300 GSF. Even with that in mind however, it is still a lot lower than would usually be expected. Aside from the easy (and fun) conclusion of the Goons being a dead alliance, we could point to the timezone as being a factor; 1700 eve for a form up is early Friday evening for Europe, and the middle of the working day for the US. At a more favourable time I have no doubts more could be formed, but looking at these numbers and the circumstances surrounding them, the question is how much more?
Just before these timers, The Initiative managed to massacre a small dread fleet in Syndicate with essentially no losses. In DUV-5Y they were able to counter drop a Cynosural Field Theory dread fleet, and subcaps, destroying 10 dreads, and a reasonable number of subcapital ships, with the loss of only three interdictors and one interceptor; what you might want to call being dumpstered. A nice Imperium victory which they started the night off with.
At the end of the day, this was a disappointment for many parties involved. The lack of a significant fight, as well as issues that weren’t planned for relating to TiDi left many players feeling slightly cheated. This will not be the only time this happens in this war; both sides will have to factor that into their planning. The Freeport timer for the same system is on Sunday evening EVE time, we will quite likely see another significant form up from both sides, hopefully with a more entertaining outcome.