As many no doubt have already heard, the system of Arshat in Domain was the first system successfully pulled out of liminality and I feel an account of the events should be retold so people have an insight on how it was done. It is important that those trying to save a system from Triglavian control don’t give up in liminality, because it’s not the end of the fight. Armed with knowledge on how it was done, I’m hoping others can better help fight against the Triglavian menace.
The fleet, initially led by Commander Debes Sparre, consisted primarily of the forces of Electus Matari (EM) and Phoenix Naval Systems (PNS). Over the course of the night the fleet was joined by several members of Khimi Harar (LUMEN) as well as a good number of the more experienced EDENCOM supporting pilots from a multitude of nationalities, political alignments, corporations, and alliances. People who have been enemies for a long time worked together for hours in that fleet. Many pilots worked hard all night, only resting after receiving reinforcements from fully rested pilots with earlier sleep schedules. A few didn’t even rest in the morning.
Around 01:00 when Arshat was on the verge of entering liminality, we began to form next door in Sadye, waiting for everyone to gather on a gate due to there being no stations in the system. We formed a little slowly because PNS, who had forgone a planned operation in lieu of coming to aid with the defense of the system, very understandably still had a ways to travel to meet up with us. The composition we went with was an armor battlecruiser fleet with a focus on Harbingers with Guardian support. We had eyes on the Triglavian loyalists as the system approached liminality with the hopes of being able to jump on them the second it flipped, but we were slightly delayed and the Triglavian supporting capsuleers just locked the flashpoints and left the system directly after liminality.
It was disappointing that they left. Our biggest desire was to send them home, either in their pods or through death. But we shrugged our shoulders, jumped into the system, and began massacring the Triglavian invaders. The main crux of our plan for system control was to protect the Imperial Fleets and allow for their numbers to build up as reinforcements arrived in the system. We had several scouts constantly on the lookout for Imperial fleets so we could intervene and ensure their victory when they engaged Triglavian forces. We were also proactive about clearing out Werposts, Superextractors, and roaming Triglavian fleets. While we had a couple pilots clearing out emerging conduits, we didn’t really focus on the anomalies; they’re just not what win system control. Removing the Liminality Locus from the Stellar Fleet site however were deemed worth it. PNS put in a particularly great amount of effort to move a cruiser fleet into system so we could destroy the Triglavians’ little beacon.
Progress is very slow at the start. It seemed like we were making very little in the way of gains in system control for the first few hours. While it was no doubt made much easier by the Triglavian supporters completely abandoning out of hubris, the push for control with just the Triglavians took determination. Determination that we didn’t even expect to have at first. Within the first few hours, there were murmurings of pushing the system all the way back, but it wasn’t until around 05:00 that we would commit to doing so.
Around 05:00, the Triglavian supporters in Stribog Clade tried to re-enter the system in hopes of stopping us. We had just cleared a Triglavian fleet from the Sadye gate when I saw a bunch of gate flashes and several red names enter local. Commander Sparre had however initiated a fleet warp, so I canceled my own warp and screamed for others to do the same. About five of us, including myself did. I believe it was three Harbingers and two Guardians. I engaged the Stribog Leshak-centered kitchen sink fleet of 13 while Commander Sparre brought the rest of the fleet back to the gate. Despite me shooting first and taking gate guns, the Stribog fleet was unable to down any ships before the rest of our battlecruiser fleet landed and made short work of the enemies, quickly dropping four Leshaks and an Ashimmu and causing the rest of the pilots to jump back out of the system, tail between their legs.
The small battle itself was by no means significant in terms of ISK, quantity of ships, or difficulty of the fight. But we tasted victory and it lit a fire in our hearts. We decided then and there that Arshat was to be our victory and that they could try and stop us if they dared. The previously weary demeanor of many faded away as we were filled with enthusiasm and conviction.
We continued to push in very much the same fashion throughout the night. In total from Liminality to Redoubt took from roughly 01:30 to roughly 18:00. Pushing a system from Liminality back to Redoubt is a massive commitment. At the very least, you need to protect the local navy, keep down the Werposts, and be ready and able to destroy anyone who would push against you. With the immense amount of effort required to save a liminal system, you cannot play patty cake with the Kybernauts. If there’s opposition in system attacking the navy, the already extremely long time it takes to flip the system would take far too long. Nothing but overwhelming force will save a system once it goes into liminality.