If your enemy is secure at all points, be prepared for him. If he is in superior strength, evade him. If your opponent is temperamental, seek to irritate him. Pretend to be weak, that he may grow arrogant. If he is taking his ease, give him no rest. If his forces are united, separate them. Attack him where he is unprepared, appear where you are not expected.
Sun Tzu, The Art of War
Deklein is gone. I have a Harpy, a Burst, and a Scimitar left in a couple of stations up there, ships I dropped off in out of the way places. But that does not mean that things have been quiet.
If you have been listening to The Mittani on The Meta Show, and given the rage in chat some of you just can’t help yourselves I guess, you have heard that The Imperium is picking its battles, fighting where it can win. The target for that has been Fade, where Pandemic Horde has set up shop. If they have came to the North seeking fights, we have obliged them. In addition, we have also taken back a few systems in the region.
Fade, once entirely conquered by the Moneybadgers, has eight systems controlled by The Imperium as of this point. We may not hold them for long, but now they have to come back and retake them.
A large part of this attack on PH has been led by Dabigredboat who has been leading fleets of bombers and coordinating with interceptor gangs to keep the horde busy while racking up a large number of kills, putting GSF at the top of the list over at zKillboard.
While I have been hearing about the exploits of Dabigredboat, or Boat, or DBRB, I wasn’t able to get into one of his fleets until Sunday. The ping showed up announcing that he wanted to try something new. Leaving behind his stealth bombers and interceptors, Cormorants were the ship of the day and he would be handing out 100 for free to those who joined his fleet.
Free ships got a response and he actually had to get 30 more together to hand out and, once the pre-op nonsense and confusion was resolved, we undocked our fleet. No logi, no links, a couple of support ships, and a whole lot of Cormorants.
I actually splurged and bought a skin for my Cormorant, the Guristas 30-Day version, which somebody thoughtfully stocked in our staging system.
Then it was off to the usual destination for DBRB this past week, O1Y-ED in Fade.
It was another fine example of DBRB in action. He is loud and excitable. He gets frustrated quickly when people makes mistakes, but that passes as quickly as it shows up. And clearly enjoys taking advantage of the enemy when they make a mistake. We rolled up on our target, the staging station for PH.
DBRB has the area around the station well bookmarked, so we began what would become a routine over the next two hours of warping, aligning, and warping off again while looking for a tactical advantage.
The horde however, wasn’t sure what to do about us for a bit. We were able to knock off a few ships around the station, the best probably being a Vargur that apparently felt he could tank a bunch of Cormorants. That loss alone was probably worth more than our entire fleet.
We did get a couple of small surges where the pattern for the afternoon seemed to get set. Horde seemed set to headshot DBRB at every opportunity, and he ended up losing four Cormorants during our time in system. However they never managed to pod him and so he was able to re-ship… somebody in fleet would jump out of their Cormorant and DBRB would take it and continue to lead us in the fight.
Eventually PH got together a Ferox fleet and started to chase us around in that. That was not a winning proposition for us, so we warped around them for a while… occasionally hitting a lone Ferox that wandered off from the pack… until they tired of that. We remained trailing our coats within site of their station.
Then it was time to come after us with frigates and destroyers, which is when the kill mails began to pour in for us. There were a couple of points where we landed in amongst a PH formation and took down targets as fast as we could lock and shoot. The battle report I was looking at after the fight showed we had racked up more than 500 kills during our visit. However, it kept updating after that and the total now appears to be beyond 600 kills.
Not all of those kills were ours. There was another group zipping around hitting PH. But not all of those deaths were ours either. Still, out time there added greatly to the total of kills in the system over the preceding 24 hour period.
The most effective response to us came from a few intrepid stealth bomber pilots who managed to score hits now and again. For a while there we were able to catch bombers or warp away in time… except for people who were not aligned as instructed. Towards the end though we got caught a couple of times. When we finally turned for home I had taken a few hits and was about halfway through my armor.
So my ship was looking a bit chewed up when I arrived back in Saranen.
Of course, my ship had some additional markings as well.
I think those are two “5 kill” round-up marks on the ship, though I am a little confused on the whole count, as I only got 7 final blows during the fight. This was a handout ship however, so maybe it had three kills on it already? I didn’t check before the fight and I *think* I can see marks on the side in one of the screen shots above that might be the same marks… so I might be looking in the wrong spot.
Anyway, I got home safe with the remains of the fleet and repaired the ship for next time. DBRB let us keep the ships for now. We shall see if I can get out with it again and add to its kills.
Overall though it was one of the best fleets I have been on in a while and a prime example of what happens when Boat is let loose in the right situation.