The Trap

“Warp to D-I! Jump on contact!”

The orders from the FC came loud and clear across the void. The enemy had been waiting for us and were now springing the trap. I turned the lumbering command ship towards our way home and engaged warp.

As we left I noticed a number of small enemy ships heading in the same direction. Would we escape …

After our massacre in N-RAEL we hung around in the nearby systems for a while trying to pick off stragglers, or catch a rescue fleet heading our way. Nothing came our way but the intel channels were buzzing about a gate camp on our way home. From the reports it was a decent size fleet, but nothing that we couldn’t handle. The FC reassembled the fleet and we set our destination back to D-I.

We sent a couple of scouts ahead, when they got to K-I they reported a few reds in local but nothing on scan. This was a nervous time, we know that these particular reds have a jump bridge in I6- so we are always nervous of a sudden spike from there. A ship was sent to observe the L6- gate just in case.

The scout entered Atioth. “Red Fleet is in Atioth. The K-I gate is clear”

We jumped into K-I and warped to the Atioth gate. The scout, in a cloaked covert ops ship, warped around Atioth.

“Reds on the D-I gate.”, he reported their strength. It was more than we’d been led to believe from the intel. In particular they out-numbered us, had BS to our BCs, more logistics, and more ECM. The problem was that they were between us and home.

“Let’s see if we can split their fleet. Jump Atioth”

We all entered and burned back towards the gate. Our logistics pilots locking the most likely targets, my Astarte being one of them.

“They are warping towards you.”

“Don’t aggress. Orbit but stay in jump distance.” We knew the drill, but it does no harm for the FC to remind people. We wanted to get some aggress on this side then jump through and pick off those that jumped after us. Obvious though it is this tactic works with shocking frequency.

The enemy fleet dropped out of warp at range and began to lock us up. The splitting the fleet wouldn’t work. They needed to be on the gate for that. At range they could snipe us and we’d not be able to do much back.

“Warp to the D-I gate. Jump on contact”

We swung out of our orbits and aligned to the gate. Entering warp at different times dependent on the position of our orbit. We were racing for home…

The bad news started when we dropped out of the 150AU warp. On the gate with us were two Interceptors and a Sabre. They’d obviously outstripped us in the warp. I hit the jump button.

The jump lagged. Our entire fleet was warping in and the stargate didn’t like it. The jump happened but then there was a delay loading grid. The sabre had jumped as well and as soon as I started aligning out a bubble went up. I hit the MWD to get out of the bubble.

There was a little confusion about the direction we should be heading. I continued with the original direction. I had a slightly closer edge of the bubble but reasoned that with MWD on it would take longer to turn and get to that edge than continue in the direction I was facing. Local climbed as the red fleet jumped in.

Hoping for them to be lagged I took aim at the Sabre in the bubble. I was heading to a POS so aggro wouldn’t be a problem.

I slowed as first I was scrambled, the MWD switching off, then a couple of Webifiers got me down to a crawl. The edge of the bubble was close but at this speed it might as well have been the other side of the system. The enemy decloaked and my shields began to take damage.

The Sabre warped off. Time to work on the ships scrambling me. Too late. Most of the battleships were in range and had the tell-tale icon on overview. I wasn’t going to make it. Perhaps if we’d fought I might have had a chance, but without logistics support I was a hefty glass cannon. I poured antimatter at the nearest ship, overloading the guns to do maximum damage, but before they could have too much of an impact I lost the fight.

I had managed to get out of the bubble though and warped my pod safe.

In the aftermath there was a little bit of a snipe from the FC for bringing the Astarte to a shield gang, but this appeared to be based on a misunderstanding of the cost of the ship. Fully fitted it costs no more than a decently fitted logistics, recon, or HAC. Yes its more expensive than a Drake, but I can’t fit a decent Drake. I’ve minimal missile skills, just enough to fly a stealth bomber and have no intention to improve them any time soon.

Was I upset with the loss? Not really, I knew I’d be primary if we got in a fight. It would have been nice to have been in a fight rather than getting snagged on a gate running, again.

Could anything have been done differently? I think so. With the log warps between the D-I and K-I gates the red tackle was always going to beat us to the gate and we were going to lose a few ships. Given that the reds were off the gate at the start it would have been better to have warped safe or jumped back into K-I and got safe there. That’s not a criticism of the FC, they made what they thought was the right decision at the time, its just something I’ll file away for the future in case I’m in that position in the future.

There’s one more post to come from this evenings session. Hopefully its entertaining enough.

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