It’s a start

We sat off the stargate awaiting instructions. Quickly checking the boards saw that everything was fine. No, better than fine. The new components added when we were docking connected us to the whole squad. I could see the position and capacity of every ship. No communications delays, that should help if we find combat.

I checked again. Ah, there was the link to the wing commander. He must have a similar view but containing all of the ships in the fleet. I heard that he’d had a wetware implant fitted to help process the information. Perhaps that’s something to investigate in the future.

“Squad 1. Jump then warp to the RMOC-W gate”

I relayed the order to the squad and we entered the gate.

“Hostiles engaging friendlies on the gate. Best speed gentlemen”

I’d spent a week or so in serious carebear mode generating the ISK to fund new ships. My recently acquired Command Ships skill was no use without something to fly. The Deimos served well to eliminate Guristas. The high resists and low sig radius being perfect against their missile based offense. The only issue was blipping the MWD to get in range of my blasters. Still within a few days I’d amassed enough ISK for an Orca trip to Jita and came back with two fully fitted Astarte Command Ships.

I tested one of them on the Guristas using a standard Gallente style armour fitting. The additional repair capabilities gave in the damage resistance of the Deimos with greatly enhanced firepower. This was now my primary ISK generator.

The other ship was configured with a less common shield tank. Unusual for Gallente, but necessary to be able to cover possible fleet compositions. An operation was scheduled calling for shield buffered battlecruisers. This would be the ideal test.

The fleet assembled in Akora. In total we had four command ships; a Vulture, a Claymore, and an Eos, all providing 3 gang links, and my Astarte configured for pure DPS. Added to this were two Interdictors, four Basilisk class logistics ships, and around sixteen assorted battlecruisers and shield HACs. This would be an interesting roam, the only issue being that potential targets might flee once they were alerted to our strength.

The aim was to head through Paala and into null-sec, wander around the Great Wildlands, before heading to Curse, seeking targets of opportunity along the way. No real objective other than a show of force and to practice our fleet maneovers.

The roam started well, our scouts coming across a Maelstrom just off the gate in the next system. The fleet jumped and engaged the unfortunate capsuleer. Unable to warp off, or burn to the gate, the battleship went down with surprising ease. We re-grouped in orbit around a planet waiting for the lax CONCORD patrol to pass and swap out identifiers to allow us to pass through the next gate heading for null-sec.

Leaving Empire space from Paala we entered a system controlled by Red Alliance. We expected, indeed hoped, to find a little resistance to our travel in this system. Especially as they have a station in system. In the end this wasn’t the case, the few pilots they had seemed to be holed up in the station, with a large fleet of our allies laying blockade units on the gates. We moved on deeper into hostile space.

As we feared, moving our entire fleet into a system, caused the locals to run and hide. They did try and taunt us over the airwaves, but the signal was too weak for us to pin-point them and engage. We changed tactics. Squad one would continue just behind our scout, the remainder of the fleet would stay a further system back. This would hide our true strength and hopefully persuade people to engage us. Though we still had two command ships, two logistics, and a number of battlecruisers.

A few systems on the scout found a pilot in a Gila ratting in a belt. By the time he realised that he was in trouble he was surrounded by a bubble and unable to warp. Our squad entered, closed on him, and shutdown his microwarp drive. The FC told us to hold our fire. We would negotiate whilst the rest of the fleet arrived. The Gila pilot wasn’t interested and started attacking us with his drones, we set our own drones on him. To prolong the fun the logistic pilots decided to bolster his shields.

You can imagine his pleasure at his ship being able to hold off ten enemies. Once the rest of the fleet arrived a countdown was given and the fleet unleashed its power. I got off three volleys, including the last one. It took a matter of seconds but the expensive faction cruiser was down.

The roam continued towards Doril with one squad staying ahead of the main fleet. We picked off a couple of a couple of unfortunate frigate pilots that got bubbled by our scout, but for the most part the nearest we got to combat was smack talk in local. Then the scout reported a fleet that seemed to be waiting for us.

The Cursed Alliance fleet was deploy on both sides of the RMOC-W gate in YKE4-3. They had a fair number of ships with logistics, in the form of Guardian class ships, and they lay between us and Doril. The FC directed our squad to the YKE4-3 gate in K-Q and the rest of the fleet to the RMOC-4 gate. We would try and pincer them on their gate.

The scout dropped a bubble on the enemy fleet and the first squad jumped in and warped to the RMOC gate. The rest of the fleet jumped into RMOC and headed for the YKE-4 gate. The scout jumped through and dropped another bubble. We now had their fleet bubbled on both sides of the gate.

They all jumped into YKE4, chosing the smaller fleet fragment to engage. We landed and started to pick targets. We primaried the Guardians as the rest of our fleet jumped in. The logistics didn’t seem to be repping each other as first one, then the other, entered structure. Sadly they were close enough to the gate and jumped through.

The fire turned next to a Vengance which exploded quickly, followed by a Devoter. The HIC was well tanked so took a while to kill, in the meantime the enemy fleet was trying to bail so points were spread to catch as many as we could. The Devoter went down, followed by a couple of Harbingers. One of the Guardian pilots, who had been holding cloak on the other side to try and escape our Sabre pilot, jumped back into YKE4. That was a mistake, he couldn’t escape the points and died.

The rest of their fleet escaped to safe spots. A gf in local from us was mocked, they didn’t consider it a fight. Well, in truth it wasn’t, we hadn’t taken a loss. It was more of a massacre. It seemed that once faced with our true strength they’d decided to try and evade but had failed at it.

The roam continued to Doril and then into the nearest low-sec station system where our FC logged. I docked up and logged as well, it was getting late with work in the morning, and went to bed happy with the first action seen by shield tanked Astarte.

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