We breathed a sigh of relief. Our small fleet had managed to see off a much stronger one and escape with minor losses. The comms channels were a-buzz with congratulatory messages. Then …

“Hostiles in warp. On grid in 3-2-1”

For the past few of weeks, following the spectacular collapse of adjacent alliances, we have been on a defensive stance. We have seen large incursions by multiple enemies apparently intent on wresting away control of our space. This cumulated in the large scale battles earlier this week, but that was just the first stage.

As part of the greater war we have been carrying out system camps along some of the supply routes. We’ve made a choice to just fly small, quick, ships. This reduces our overall firepower but, with careful selection of targets and fleet make up, has enabled us to have a lot of success. Last night was one of those fleets.

I should have expected the worst when each of the 8 or so jumps to meet up with the fleet was met with lag, despite the fact that there were 4-5 in each system at most. Still, I pressed on in my newly painted Keres and joined the fleet in their camping spot.

We managed to snag a few lone ships as they passed through but along came a shield HAC gang. Configured for range and with plenty of logistics. Our frigates were no match for them, so we setup a couple of rolling safes and decided to wait them out. Eventually they got bored and moved to the next system. Then came the call …

“Atlas  have a Munin tackled on the gate. The fleet has aggroed”. We burned for the gate and jumped through. We held cloak to see what the situation was. The HAC gang was engaged and were trying to burn off to range. We joined the fray, scrambling a couple of HACs and disabling their microwarp drives. The rest of their fleet burnt away leaving them.

Our frigates descended on the trapped ships and bit by bit depleted their shields. The red fleet’s Scimitars kept burning into range and repping shields, but warping off again as they got locked. The Keres worked well here, locking at range and damping the Scimitar forcing it to have to come closer to rep.

At this point I started to be shot at by the HACs who were now at range. My orbit of their striken comrades, now into armour, helped to reduce the damage done, but I was forced to warp off to a nearby safe. I waited for my shields to recover then rejoined the combat in time for the Munin to go down. Everything was now turned on a Cerberus.

Again we had the same battle with the Scimitars getting close enough for a few rep cycles before being forced off. It took time, and I had to warp off and back again, but the Cerberus fell and with that the red fleet warped off. We re-grouped on the gate, the combat had drawn us over 250km off it, and looked to recover drones and loot wrecks.

As we were doing this the reds appeared on the scanner again and began dropping on the gate at 0. I was targetted so, being a little way off the gate and at speed, hit warp. Aurora announced the warp, I saw the speed go full, and then was hit. No warp. I was hit again, and again. Still no warp. Finally the ‘Ship out of Control’ message was displayed as structure boiled away. I started spamming warp to escape in my pod…

Hang on. I was still in my ship. The modules were greyed out, and I had insurance, but I was still in the ship. The shields repaired. I sat there for around 5 minutes, watching my ship gradually get healthier and heathlier, before it exploded and I appeared in my pod. I managed to escape and get back home without further incident, apart from the lagged jumps.

What seems to have happened is that the red fleet appearing on the gate generated lag for those of us sitting on it. We lost 4 ships to the lag, the rest of them managing to jump through the gate. With large fleet battles, lag is just going to be something we are going to have to live with. The more lag is cured, the more ships people will bring. We shouldn’t have to put up with lag on 20 v 30 battles though.


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