Testing our strength.

Today a wardec went active against our alliance. I was mildly surprised because I had never heard of the corporation before. Initially I felt somewhat… smug? Happy? Slightly amused? Anyway, I had a look at the killboard of the attacking corporation, and nothing seemed to point to them having a reason for wardeccing us, so I simply assumed it was an alt corp of someone we had managed to annoy. From the perspective of a pirate alliance, I suppose it’s an indication we’re doing well to have created enough ripples to cause something like this to happen.

However, research is your best friend when engaging wardec targets. And since it’s so easy to move around corporations, killmails and lossmails can be lost in a web that can only be traced by painstakingly following someone’s employment history; even then, the full picture isn’t always painted. You need to know who their friends are, first and foremost. You need to know the ships they bring to bear, the kinds of fights they get into. My research was inadequate, it seems.

Our previous wardecs (since we had Marmite’s help) has rendered us soft, I think. Those were mostly uneventful, and even without Marmites, I don’t think we would have struggled with them. Not playing down the role Marmites had in squashing the threat completely, though. I was hauling stuff between hubs during those wardecs.

Anyway, we’re now complacent. We underestimate the understanding wardeccers actually have of using the war mechanics to their advantage. Here’s what happened today.

We were getting ready to go on a frigate roam and shoot some things when a war target was reported to be around our home system. Naturally, since we were all confident due to the relatively easy nature of our previous wardecs, we scrambled to combat the lone intruder.

We discovered he was in a Tengu; a quick look at his hull revealed he was using Heavy Assault Missiles. With enough numbers, I would’ve scrambled a frigate fleet with logistics. We only had 3 at the time, and one who couldn’t fight in high-sec due to security status.

We reshipped into a Sacrilege, Gnosis and neut Maller. We had our low-sec guy get into a Blackbird. All in all, more than enough to fight a lone Tengu.

The chase begins

Used a locator agent for the first time, very inconvenient when your target is moving, that’s for sure. I called him at Hek when he was already back in Teonusude. Whatever. Our low-sec man was egging us on to bring the fight into low so he could join in. I had my doubts; low-sec means danger from people other that the war target. But I assumed at that hour, not much would be lurking around. The situation hit critical point when we found ourselves on a high-sec/low-sec gate. He jumped in, and that sealed the deal. I already knew he wanted to fight in low-sec, and that spelt trouble.

However, a couple of factors clouded my vision.

Blinded

Firstly, our low-sec pirate. We are not afraid to engage in ‘illegal’ activities in the New Eden universe, and without the huge boost to sec status incursions give me, I’d also be largely crippled when moving or fighting in high-sec.

This one guy was encouraging us to bring the fight to low-sec so he could lend his assistance. I hate leaving people out. Solitude is something I know only too well, and whilst I do embrace it more than normal it isn’t something I’d willingly impose on others, especially when they’re on comms and listening to the action, unable to provide any help. So I decided we’d take the fight at least NEAR low-sec, so that he could hop in and maybe fire a round or two in passing.

Secondly, one of our guys also started a conversation with the war target. A war target who proceeded to call us something along the lines of ‘risk-averse frigate pvpers’. I don’t like admitting I’m human sometimes, but that cut deep. It was his intention, of course, to goad us into a fight. He got his fight.

Cowardice

We weren’t going to engage him 1v1, and he knew that.

He called us risk-averse, and whilst he didn’t mean it, whilst it may not be true, it settled the deal. I knew low-sec was probably the wrong way to go, I knew I was about to die, but suddenly one of our guys hopped through and engaged the war target, and I made the call to send ourselves through. Needless to say, we were outnumbered in a few seconds. In addition to the Arbitrator and Sleipnir that showed up on the killmails, they had a single Osprey providing logistics support (I initially didn’t expect it to do anything but the armour-tanked Arbitrator’s shields rose at levels beyond what an armour-tanked Arbitrator’s shields should rise when taking my DPS with gate guns). Furthermore, our Blackbird arrived late and was unable to provide assistance.

After the fight, I told the guys we had nothing we could do against that force, but that’s probably untrue. It took the Sleipnir and Osprey a while to arrive on-grid; I should have got my pilots to anchor on me and pull range as the gate guns continued to harass the pirates that lent their assistance to the Tengu. Unfortunately I was too angry to give any good commands. Angry at myself for falling for his bait, mere words through a conversation.

Slightly relieved, too, though. The fight turned out to be

  • Sleipnir, Tengu, Osprey, Arbitrator

vs.

  • Sacrilege, Gnosis, Maller (+ gate guns on the Arbitrator, Sleipnir, Osprey)

My relief stems from the fact that we were essentially called cowards by a hypocrite. The stupid (stupid) pride inside of me deems this to be a worthy exchange, because I can say that he can’t say that we are risk-averse without looking the fool.

My logic for taking the fight in low-sec, therefore, was:

1. If we win, we get a Tengu kill.

2. If we lose, we gave him the fight he said we couldn’t.

Of course, after the fight he went for a little more tear extraction with a final jabbing comment; that he thought it was a pretty fair fight. I happily ignored that, though, because I believe in actions, not words. The war target had acted, and I understand his nature now. He does not care for fairness, simply victory. An admirable goal but one I’m too stubborn to succumb to. It’s something I should’ve assumed given I’m playing EVE Online, but then again, simply assuming everyone is a <favourite personal rude insult> would not have gotten me where I am in EVE today.

Resolution

We talked afterwards about how to fight him on our terms. Engagements in high-sec seem to be an option, however that leaves the question of neutrals. We’re now uncertain about how many people outside of the attacking corporation they actually have to bring to bear. Neutral logistics who, when attacked by us after going suspect, could abuse the limited engagement timers and bring different ships back to attack us in high-sec was a possibility we considered.

However, this is just the fear the attackers want us to monger amongst ourselves. I’ll have none of it. Morale is a powerful force; I’ve come to realise that I may not think much of myself but the positivity I try to keep in my outlook does affect our members. I spent a few days doing incursions, thinking our pilots could fend for themselves, but it seems that I actually do contribute some life and that things might just be a little duller without me around.

Ugh… If it wasn’t for the sake of knowing I might read that paragraph again and laugh about it, the narcissism in there makes me shudder. Never again. And if I do write something obviously vain again, please point me back to this post, so I can slap myself.

Anyway, the attackers got me good. I will try my best not to fall for their silly taunting again, though. Otherwise, it might appear that this wardec will be a good initial test of our integrity, now that we’re past the extreme early stages of the alliance. Bring it on!

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