What started out as content and a means to shoot Frostians at stations and gates in Ishomilken, turned out to be a dark and drama-full affair. Tempers flared and things got out of hand over the last few weeks, drama brewed and that started to take the fun out of the original intentions.
Despite this, we ploughed on and wanted to walk away with a clear undeniable victory for our efforts. This has now been achieved and this post will tell my side of the story.
Once war was declared we fought in low numbers against ABA troops rallied to the cause from all over new Eden. Our low numbers were due to the size of our corp and some of our pilots being on RL duties. Not the greatest timing to start a war I guess but we still did well. Micheal Pancake and Ithica Hawk scoring about 20 kills for 3 losses.
Our low attendance resulted in ABA alliance members trickling out and returning to their prospective homes the day before our corp returned from RL. I am sure this was deflating for both sides, as fights where now sporadic. Fighting continued however and statistically we kept up with the kill/death ratio set in the first week.
Declaring war costs isk, in this case 120 million a week but this has never been an issue as with donations from corp members our war chest is well stacked.
With BSTRD being pirates we had no intention to search out ABA's high-sec assets or transports at any point in this campaign. The only other option to 'win' and end this war would be to find their assets in null or WH space. With considerable efforts being pushed into this by stalking and scout networks I awoke to an eve mail explaining J105433 'Phoenix' had been found.
Some active corp members jumped on the chance to siege a WH and possibly end this war. And between a few bodies we quickly moved in a few spare probers and started hauling in a POS in my cloaky hauler. All seemed to go smoothly until I jumped into an ABA welcome party in Phoenix, bubbles went up and for some miraculous reason I got the hauler back out and to safety. There goes the element of surprise… By accident a corp member linking ABA members, invited an ABA director into our director channel to boot and this entire operation started out as a complete shambles.
We had been made, ABA knew they were found and knew we were coming…
Scouting out Phoenix, the ABA WH system, it was clear a decent amount of towers had been setup and overall it looked pretty professional. Despite a push to get people to re-sub or dedicate the coming week or even weeks to this siege it was clear we could not field the numbers to tackle this job. SUPREME MATHEMATICS alone outnumber us and appeared to have activity over most time-zones, something we cannot commit to.
Discussing the situation with my good friend Bei Artjay he volunteered to join the project as he has extensive experience in this type of combat and is a brilliant tactician. Within a few hours he had already managed to get a scout into the wormhole and prepared a fleet comp to do this with the low numbers we could produce; Shield Ishtars. In the meantime I kept pushing for numbers and ruffled Gavin2505 from the Tuskers to join in as well.
Small fights erupted over the passing day with a few losses on both sides. For a brief moment we had control of the entrance and managed to get 2 orcas with spare towers and more supplies in. Our first tower went up and we settled in for what would be a tough few days.
On return the next morning we already found our POS had been sieged and was on a timer to come out the following night, nothing we hadn’t expected and the reason we brought more staging POS’s.
The first fight of the evening was a clean win for no losses, expertly FC’d by Bei. One of the things we found was that our logistic boats could not keep up and with most pilots duel boxing this became problematic in the fight that followed. The next fight made it clear ABA was not alone, and not only would we be fighting ABA but also a fellow WH group called Low-Class. We took the fight, of course, and did ok for a few minutes until our 3 logis caved under the pressure and blew up. A few of our Ishtars dropped and enemy bombers expertly started taking out our drones. With no less than 50 vs out 10 this fight was too much and we had to bail. We killed some stuff and lost some stuff, our losses hurt more however as ships and drones depleted and getting new supplies in became hard.
ABA had better around the clock coverage and more WH control, allowing them to ferry out their valuable assets and bring in more supplies to bolster up their POS’s and stacks of ships.
We planted a second POS to move our assets to before settling in for the night but a brief slip in concentration meant our orca pilot that planted the first POS bumped himself of the second POS. Different characters from different corporations had anchored them and thus the POS password was never entered. ABA wasted no time; their cloakies provided a warp in for a small gang to take out the Orca and its contents. A painful loss as we were already low on gear but this fight was not over yet.
It was clear that ABA would come to kill our first tower the next evening and they would bring everything they could amass. We knew ABA came to Ishomilken to fight in lowsec with about 25 pilots, we had already seen at least 20 active pilots in Phoenix and they had Low-class on their side. This would prove to be too much, to boot we ran into several pilots from Lazerhawks and they also appeared to be on ABA’s side.
If they bat-phone then so can we. The following day was spent trying to get help and more people online to fight the good fight. A desperate plea went out to Shadow Cartel to come and have a scrap in J105433. Not a call I like to make, unless we have a capital tackled there is usually no point ringing groups like this. With no guarantee of a fight against unknown numbers Paquito reluctantly moved in a scout but could give no certainty of their attendance.
With 30 minutes on the clock it was clear ABA and friends did bring the numbers and I carefully poked Paquito again, his temper is not to be messed with and I had no intention of upsetting my generally good relationship with SC. Paquito had 30 members in Ishtars but no entrance and we had no control, so he was losing interest and patience by the minute.
Dog, a close friend of Bei had moved in with us and his excellent probing skills proved invaluable here. Despite Low-Class controlling the holes and collapsing them as soon as they came up, Dog found an entrance close enough for SC to burn to. With literally seconds to spare SC made it into the WH chain and shit was on! A scrap at the wormhole entrance delivered a few kills before we gave chase to the ABA fleet holed up in their primary POS. The added firepower of the SC fleet allowed us to take out key modules and defences of the POS with relative ease with the ABA fleet holed up inside it.
A few cheeky warp-outs tricked us to follow ABA, only to be bubbled and delaying us. Enraged Paquito continued the siege on the POS hoping for ABA to exit it and fight. ‘BOMB BOMB BOMB’ and just like that half of the fleets firing power disappeared, more than 150 sentry drones wiped off the field, a tactic well used by ABA bombers. This was the tipping point and SC prepared to make their leave.
Whilst waiting for probers to get a suitable connection BSTRD’s made preparations to restock and several haulers rushed out of the WH to get more supplies in. This could be the one and only time we had the chance so we had to make the most of it.
D-scan filled up quick as the enemy hordes arrived on field, a mix of cruisers, Ishtars, battleships and battlecruisers filled the overview. This is where SC excel and calling them seemed worth it. Ships exploded all over, blue flashes filling my monitor as we desperately tried to tackle ships before they could get away. Not only Low-Class had joined the ABA ranks but also members of Viperfleet [VFI], another WH dwelling corp. Lazerhawks indeed indicated they would have shown up had their scout not found a WH with several capitals, Lazerhawks later destroyed 38 billion isk of ships further down the chain.
The field was held and ABA spirits seemed broken, enemy combatants that did not get podded started logging off. Despite SC leaving, no more fights where had that night and we were free to haul in what we needed to complete our siege. I contacted the VFI CEO as I know him well (I stole from him a few years ago) and we ended up chatting for a while. Although their allegiance lay with ABA that evening, we agreed they would no longer be involved on either side if the opportunity would come around.
Another convo came in shortly after from a Low-Class representative. They also had no further interest to protect ABA, providing we would promise not to evict ABA fully. This was a deal easily made, we could manage ABA, but any further resistance made this campaign significantly harder.
This left Lazerhawks, still with a presence in Phoenix but not seen on field for some time. Their representative informed this war was of no interest and they had no interest in blobbing either ABA or BSTRD.
So there we were, now three towers active and well stocked in ships and supplies with only ABA to protect themselves.
Despite our low numbers we could now easily hold the field, the skilled ABA bombers sniped drones here and there but we got increasingly skilled in saving them. The POS we were hitting and the others in system where further armed and more shield hardeners added. ABA clearly was not going to give up and made it clear they would fight to the bitter end.
Over the course of the day I had spoken with Rixx at his request to see if there were alternative ways of settling this war and end the feud. To come this far and to have fought so hard over so many hours, with our close band of brothers having put in so much effort to get to this point we would not settle before destroying assets. That plus the combined spin of the ABA media wing would have made us out to be defeated and cowards if we left now. I set out the terms of our victory and the directors of the ABA did not like what I had to say, their response was clear, they preferred to lose everything before giving in to my terms. So be it.
I disconnected during the POS bash and before I managed to relog, my Ishtar had been probed out and killed along with my pod, the single most expensive loss on our side as I was still fitted with mid-grade snakes. In that single moment of bad luck I doubled the amount of isk we had lost in the war to this point.
Joffy, one of ABA’s finest, poked me to try once more to strike up a deal for ABA to surrender but unfortunately we could not come to an agreement, I offered for our fleet to pack up if Rixx Javix could be ransomed into singing for us but Joffy did not want to entertain that idea to the leadership. Joffy has been good natured during the entirety of this campaign and i highly commend him for his efforts off and on the battlefield, a true credit to his alliance.
Hard work and with the help of one-man-army Chorido we finally managed to get the first POS into reinforced mode and prepared a full bubble cage to trap as many assets inside as possible. We had control of the wormhole, we had stable PO’s and supplies. This war would be won.
It appeared one of their towers had vanished over the course of the week so there was two more to go, but with the added defences this would be a long haul and we were tired, tired of fighting, tired of bickering. Shooting towers does not constitute PVP, at least not in the sense that we enjoy it.
I requested an audience with Rixx and his directors and offered our new terms. The tower we fought for will die, Rixx will publicly state the war has ended and the outcome is BSTRD victory, a beer at Fanfest.
And so with the encouraging words from Skir Skor the terms where accepted, hands were shaken and the deal done. No resistance was offered today when we destroyed the ABA tower, its destruction the symbol of our victory.
I want to take this moment to thank all the honourable pilots in the ABA alliance that came to aid their brethrens, special mentions go to Joffy and Skir, their best and most valuable assets.
I want to thank my Alliance for all the effort and time they put into this project, Freya, Eito, Bracer, Derothar, Lazy, Ithica, Micheal, Dwaigon, Spax and Known. Either through providing a logistical backbone, bringing the fire-power or probing skills these guys provided whatever was required.
I want to thank our WH friends and alt alliance IoS led by Oreamnos and Bracer, 5 of their guys formed our backbone until we managed to get established, Orea stuck with us until the bitter end. Gavin joined us for the full duration and provided much needed DPS and chuckles, great to fly with you buddy.
Special thanks to Bei, Chori and Dog, their experience was invaluable for this endeavour. True professionals with skill, determination and grit. I hope to do more stuff with you guys at some point in the future!
Final report for the war;
Rixx’s slightly bitter post on defeat;http://eveoganda.blogspot.co.uk/2015/03/war-what-is-it-good-for.html?spref=tw