Good afternoon capsuleers,
For the full thread and previous articles relating to this topic please click here. The following is a copy of the post by our alliance diplomat Captator, in summary DT and PIRAT have been engaging in some good fun (for the most part) high sec content. Some of our members put together this short vid in summary for your viewing pleasure
A piece of previous information not mentioned in the previous AARs is that this is not our first run-in with PIRAT over the last couple of months. The conclusion of the previous conflict was that they agreed to retract their wars, and we agreed not to complete the structure timers we had setup. We had understood this to be an ongoing agreement, so were not best pleased when we found ourselves dragged back into highsec to resolve another war.
I will do a more comprehensive writeup detailing all of the loopholes in war declaration mechanics that have been used against us (some of which we have used in return) in another post, but a few are directly relevant to this AAR, so will be mentioned in the course of the narrative.
We had taken two more PIRAT Astrahus to structure timers - one in Perimeter on Friday, which was the war HQ for their war with us, and the one in Aokannitoh that was killed on Saturday. The timers for these wars ended up being 26 hours apart. This interval is important:
- Ordinarily, when a war ends, there is a 24 hour cooldown timer.
- A war assist takes 4 hours to go active.
This meant that we had to make a choice - hit the structure timer of the Astrahus that was the war HQ for PIRAT’s war with us, and then be unable to close out the other Astrahus’ structure timer, or leave the war HQ of PIRAT’s war with us to repair, to complete the kill on the second Astrahus which served as HQ for 60 of their 84 active wars.
We opted to go for the second timer in order to make clear our unhappiness with being back in HS once more, and hopefully dissuade another repeat. However, once their Astrahus in Perimeter had repaired, PIRAT used another trick: The Astrahus was owned by a 1 man corp in their alliance, which they kicked out. As wars are centered on a war HQ structure, our wars followed. This left us no longer at war with PIRAT, but a 1-man alt corp, and unable to attack the timer on Saturday.
Thinking fast, we contacted some friends we’d made through the course of defending our Fortizar timer, and subsequently failing to defend their Sotiyo structure timer - Space Ants. We were unable to defend that timer due to PIRAT all dropping corp and joining a pre-setup alt corp that was also at war with Space Ants. This was truly galling, but gave us part of the puzzle we would need later…
After some quick conspiration, we welcomed the newest corp into Dead Terrorists - Space Ants! With an hour or so spare after the 24 hour delay for them to join, this put us back in the game, and back on track to hit the big timer, but it did not come without a cost…
We had managed to secure the help of another wormhole group, Inner Hell, to act as the third, and hopefully final, hammer to our anvil (a tactic outlined in previous writeups). They had helped us secure the armor timers of both of the Astrahus mentioned, and ran interference on PIRAT’s attempts to pick us off in a Tornado fleet. Unfortunately, the war they had assisted us with was now against a 1-man corp.
NC were ineligible to help out again as PIRAT had dropped the war with them after their Oracles tore into them in Myyhera. This meant unless we secured another partner within 24 hours, we were on our own…
Peeking Behind the Curtain
Mechanics were not the only lever PIRAT would pull on to try to block us from completing the timer: at approximately 18:40 EVE on Friday, TEST, Horde and Siege Green all declared war on Dead Terrorists and Inner Hell.
This left us very confused - we hadn’t engaged in combat with these parties outside nullsec. After asking around to try and connect the dots, we thought it might be due to some misapprehension relating to the Tranquility Trading Tower structure in Perimeter, and the profit sharing scheme centered on it. We didn’t think it had anything to do with our war with PIRAT because:
- The structure we were about to hit had only just ceased to be the war HQ for PIRAT vs NC (as a direct consequence of them fighting PIRAT with us) who are allied with Horde.
- The structure was actively the war HQ for BRAVE, FEDUP, Requiem Eternal and VINDICTIVE, all members of Legacy Coalition with TEST.
Bloc diplomacy being a far cry from wormhole diplomacy, I put my big boy boots on, and started pestering friends. After bothering seemingly countless people (sorry) and getting a crash course in points of contact for the big boys, I had completely failed to get hold of a Horde diplo (but darkened the DMs of many a Horde director) and the TEST diplos that did respond knew nothing.
So I went for a big cheese and messaged Gobbins. After a bit of back and forth between Gobbins, IChooseYou and myself, it seemed like PIRAT had spun a line about us attacking ICY market structures, and given time sensitivity (and his lack of free time), Gobbins just greenlit the wardec.
I tried to extract some assurances that at least Horde would not form to defend PIRAT’s Astrahus, but with wheels being in motion, Gobbins otherwise occupied, and noone in TEST diplo knowing why they had declared war in the first place, none were available. We could only hope that they wouldn’t form to spoil the timer.
Staring down the barrel of a PIRAT fleet that not only outnumbered us, but had demonstrated deep coffers and the bowhead alts needed to reship during the fight, entrenched on their own structure grid, as well as a possible bloc response on top, it was not looking likely we could complete this timer. Inner Hell would not be able to shoot PIRAT or the structure, but could shoot at TEST and Horde, albeit likely heavily outnumbered, if they showed.
Finding New Friends
All this past week various members of DT had been in ongoing dialogue with leadership/FCs from some of the smaller groups at war with PIRAT. Most had been following the story on reddit and were interested in clearing their wars, maybe killing some PIRAT in the process. We had told most of them about the TEST/Horde wardecs and the likelihood that we would be unable to field a fleet against even a casual form by those groups, but had asked them to form in case we managed to resolve that diplomatically.
My diplomatic efforts proving unsuccessful, even with my big boy diplo boots on, I had also started reaching out to FCs and leadership in larger groups that PIRAT had declared war on with the target structure as HQ. I hoped to find a group, or combination of groups, big enough to survive on the structure grid against PIRAT’s fleet and close out the timer even without our help.
Most of these calls for help went unanswered. A few did not: among the FCs I had reached out to was Pandoralica from the Initiative. They were doing something else a little earlier in the evening, but if we could find him some workable wormhole connections, they might be able to make the timer. He would confirm about an hour beforehand.
Galvanised by the possibility of a big boy fleet on our side of the fray, from around 12:00 EVE on Saturday, our scanners channeled the collective autism for which wormholers are renowned, revered and reviled, and got to work. Our Pathfinder rapidly descended into a hideously beautiful Lovecraftian hybrid of elder god, spaghetti and wickerwork. I attempted to distill the insanity into something usable, but was defeated. I settled for pasting screenshots while mentioning particularly choice routes.
We were in luck, there was something usable! Now we just had to wait to see if Initiative were able to come…
Feeling that I had now exhaused all formal avenues that presented themselves, I put out a call for aid on reddit.
Down to the Wire
25 minutes or so before the timer, Initiative were getting into position, they could come! That jubilation was rapidly tempered when we learned TEST were on their way with an estimated 100 people in fleet. Shortly afterwards, we learned Horde were also forming. At this point, I’m preparing to try and coordinate between friendly parties in order to ensure the kill, while being unable to hit grid ourselves. This despite one of our strongest forms in recent memory with 60 in fleet.
Just at the moment where frustration started to boil over to despair, our beloved leader (who had been largely embroiled in real world concerns, and out of contact over Friday and Saturday) revealed his ace in the hole: we would do to PIRAT what they had done to us in Myyhera. He had found another group at war with PIRAT who would take us in to fight the timer: after some angst on comms about pristine corp histories, over the next 10 minutes, 60 characters left their corps in Dead Terrorists, and Canadian Forces Corp grew a lot of extra teeth.
We hit grid in the final few seconds before the timer started, now able to field our Zarmazd-based fleet, but due to communication breakdowns between directorship after uncertainty of allies, and the issues we’d had with ECM in Myyhera, they had lost their tackle for ECCM, to ensure we could hold out as long as possible and kill the structure while enduring the PIRAT fleet.
Formed for PIRAT:
- 92 PIRAT (35 Apocalypse Navy Issue, 18 Nestors, 9 Leshaks, 9 Vindicators, 7 Guardians, 8 Zarmazd + 2 DST for cap boosters)
- 70 TEST (Ferox with Basilisk, Osprey support)
- 146 Horde (Ferox with Basilisk, Osprey support)
- 12 Wrecking Machine (Bumping Machariels)
Formed against PIRAT:
- 70 United 4 Nations, 60 formerly of Dead Terrorists (41 Zarmazd, 25 Leshaks)
- 152 Initiative/Init Associates (Kikimoras with bomber, Kirin and AF support)
- 9 Federated Alliance of Mafias (Hecates, Catalysts)
- 38 Apocalyse Now (Hurricane Fleet Issues, Caracals)
- 26 Warped Intentions (Tornadoes)
- 10 VINDICTIVE (Tornadoes)
- 6 FedUP (T3D, bombers)
- 4 Sixth Empire (Cruisers, bombers)
Formed against TEST/Horde on the nearby gate:
- 25+ Inner Hell (Loki fleet) - absolute madlads )))
Shortly after we opened fire on the structure, TEST and Horde Ferox fleets landed on grid, but were mostly left without a target to shoot at (their only eligible target being INHE). After some presumable confusion on their end, PIRAT opened fire on us. Having broken tether, they were now free game, and INIT pounced.
After bleeding to the tune of 20b isk or so, PIRAT managed to extract, with TEST and Horde leaving grid shortly thereafter. Our invitation on reddit seemed to have borne fruit - fleets from Apocalypse Now, Warped Intentions, VINDICTIVE, FedUP and Sixth Empire all showed up to help close out the timer, which was completed without further incident. Many groups will now be able to enjoy a two week respite from PIRAT’s predations.
Big thanks to everyone who helped us over the last couple of weeks, be they longstanding allies, old friends, new friends, or just those with a common goal. Particular shout-outs to Trigger Happy, NC, Inner Hell and INIT for bringing the noise that enabled us to go toe-to-toe with PIRAT on their home field.
For our own part, we aim for this to mark an end to our highsec misadventures for a long while, and will be resuming our usual marauding wormhole ways. We look forward to shooting stuff with (or against) everyone in nullsec once more sometime soon!