The battle station is heavily shielded and carries a firepower greater than half the star fleet. Its defenses are designed around a direct, large-scale assault. A small one-man fighter should be able to penetrate the outer defense.
General Dodonna, Star Wars Episode IV
The mythos of the early days of Goonswarm and the Great War in New Eden is centered on how Goons opted to fight by flying masses of cheap, T1 frigates into battle, heedless of losses or killboard stats, with an aim to choke the guns on their foes with their wrecks. This set them apart from Band of Brothers, which flew expensive fits and valued their green killboard.
The image of a Goon in his Rifter became almost iconic.
Things have changed. Not quickly… even back in late 2011 when I joined the then CFC the idea of a main fleet doctrine featuring anything besides T1 ships was crazy talk… but inevitably fits and doctrines got more expensive. Two of the main fleet doctrines are Machariels, faction battleships, and T3 strategic cruisers. There are always fits in each doctrine for new players, but you might be flying tackle, a target painter, or an ECM frigate fit. Vital to each fleet, but not the big shiny ships that make up the power of each doctrine.
So there was an extra special dimension to the win when the the Imperium reinforced the first ever Blood Raiders Shipyard down in Period Basis.
After trying capitals, supercaps, and battleships on the test server, the doctrine for the first full on reinforcement effort was based on T1 frigates with newbie friendly fits. The lowly, unloved Amarr Punisher formed the backbone of the operation, with a fit that ran just over a 1.3 million ISK. The Blood Raiders were assaulted in the spirit of the Great War, by a mass of cheap ships.
This, of course, made some people lose their heads as this fine thread on Reddit shows. But others cheered the fact that EVE Online is still a place where the stuff you are able to fit in the first week can be used in a high end event.
Unlike the old days however, there was no needed to choke the guns of the foe with wrecks. Instead, the Blood Raiders seemed as impotent in defending their Soityo as the Empire was in defending the Death Star. Rather than a mass of wrecks, there were only a few losses. As the shields went down, the Blood Raiders called in more and more ships, but to almost no effect.
The full tale of the event is covered by Moomin’s post over at INN.
This all happened while I was at work, but when I got home I logged in my alt, which I had left in system and saw that the shipyard was counting down its reinforcement timer.
There were still some Blood Raider ships bouncing around the structure, but otherwise the field was clear and the system mostly empty.
Unlike player own citadels, the Blood Raiders structure has only the one timer event. When that is done counting down, the structure will be vulnerable to destruction.
Of course, a replay of yesterday might not be possible.
To start with, news of the event has gone far and wide and the general timing is known, so other fleets may show up to either interfere with the second battle or to fight over whatever drops from the shipyard when it is destroyed.
And then there is CCP. As you will note if you read through CCP Fozzie’s Twitter thread, CCP was watching this event closely. With an intervening downtime, it is possible they may have tweaked the defenses of the shipyard to better respond to the T1 frigate menace.
We will only know for sure a few hours after this post goes live.