Suppose right before an armor timer of a low sec Fortizar, the attackers see that docked in the structure the owners and it seems to be a comparable size to the attacking fleet. Fleet composition is unknown. But it is something that seems like it will be an interesting fight. Something like 160 attackers vs 140 defenders.
But there is a bit of activity from neutrals in the system. The defenders own 3 R32 Athanors. Two of them have 3 neutrals docked up in them. One of them has 7 neutrals docked up and 1 of the defender corps’ members docked up. Outside is a popped moon with an Orca, and 9 Procurers. The fleet is mixed with different corps. The barge pilots are having a conversation in local about off line events like a sports game or whatver. 10 Ventures and an Endurances are spread through 3 Asteroid Belts munching on Jaspet. 7 different neutral corps are through the system mining. There is a T1 frigate who appears to be hacking cans and probing anomalies. Someone brings up zKillboard of these neutrals and see the miners have done some PVP, however every single one of them have 75% or more of their kills solo. There is some through traffic of players, but then again there are 3 gates in the system. Someone is sitting in the NPC station. 7 gates, all 3 jumps away from the target system, have some gate camps of BCs with the same corp of some of the miners. When the attackers, besides the out-of-corp scouts, come into the system, the neutrals mostly seem unconcerned aside from the Endurance in the belt switching over to the Orca’s fleet.
What would most FCs think about the presence of more than a dozen neutrals who don’t seem to care about hundreds of people in local? Just some stuff to get free kill-mails once the battle is over? Would there be concern these are friendly to the defenders? If the defenders called for help and these neutrals were the help, wouldn’t they logically be on grid with the structure under attack instead of spread through the system and docked up in random places? Only the defending corp is showing up at the relevant structure. Everyone else seems to be off on their own thing completely oblivious to local. Of course these neutrals can’t be written off completely since you know “not blue, shoot it” but it doesn’t look like the miners and the random docked up people will even go to the right grid.
Not blue or read doesn’t mean they are neutral. There can be scouters, logi, bumpers, ammo and booster transporters. People use neutrals in wars in high-sec all the time. You’ll learn more about this as you progress in EVE.
It’s a story from one of my older corpmates in Genesis before he came to us. The end result was two fights, one on the main structure, and one around the miners when some of the attackers peeled off for some killmails on barges. Miners just docked up the barges and orca once something got on grid (must have been aligned). They came out in T1 BCs and kind of fought in a bit of a tie. Ventures also docked up and undocked in EWAR and BCs, Same amount of ISK lost on both sides at the moon, things went a bit better for the defenders around the Forizar. The miners were apparently not actually ignoring the hundreds of hostiles in local, but only kinda looked that way. Some of them tried to join the fortizar fight after the moon fight, but they had a mix of weapons with different optimal ranges that didn’t gel with the defenders at all.
I wonder what good an extra 30 guys do when not only their optimal range isn’t even the same as the defender’s doctrine, but they have 7 different optimal ranges because of the mixed fleet the miners were in when they swapped to PVP ships. My corpmate tried to contact his superiors when local flooded with hostiles who said that their blues didn’t ask for any help, but if he wanted to do something, go ahead. Once the moon fight was over, one of his corpmates who organized the safety of the Orca and the moon fight tried to get a defense going. This was difficult as he needed to get on comms with his corp and the other 6 who were mining, and their PVP ships were either solo PVP ships (no one uses local reps in a huge fight) or some random EWAR ships (Some Crusaders, but mostly Griffins). He then joined the comms of the defenders, but apparently he was allowed to join the comms but only the FC and the wing commanders were not muted, so he couldn’t say anything.
I agree there was some wasted potential on the defenders’ part. It sounded like the defense fleet itself was properly organized and that one was a win. The moon fight was a wash with wrecks of PVP ships of both sides and neither losing particularly anything valuable. If the defenders asked for help from the miners’ corps, they could get some extra firepower with matching optimal range. And maybe something could be organized better.
I then asked him what the perspective of the other side had. Both of us agreed it must been quite bizzare for the attackers. They saw a huge group of defenders docked up in the target, but they also saw a bunch of random corps littered around the system who apparently were oblivious to everything around them even as local went from the 100s to the 300s. They clearly weren’t part of the defense fleet. And they did look like easy meals, although they turned out to not be. But even if these defenseless miners were as defenseless as they appeared, maybe the attacking fleet shouldn’t have split up between going after the Orca and the Fortizar? I don’t have the perspective of the attackers but I imagine it looked wierd.
They would either realize that those neutrals wither were docked, were in a complex and invulnerable from t2 frigates and up, or knew exactly what was going on and were prepared. If they didn’t, they likely aren’t actually an FC, especially of a hundrend-man structure bashing fleet.