An Unequal Engagement

A very cost-efficient Thrasher-gang was camping the gate between 1DQ and T5Z. For the ones who do not keep up with the current wars in nullsec: That is the at the moment very hot war front in Delve. Imperium staged in 1DQ and PAPI forces in T5Z.

Relevant for this engagement were three of our nano-gang:

Two Minmatar Vagabond class Heavy Assault Cruisers and me in a Caldari Cerberus, also a HAC. So in tech-level and ship-class we were outmatching the gate-camping T1 Destroyers.

Vagabond one was already on-grid. He had jumped from 1DQ into T5Z. Vagabond one held his gate cloak and gave a status report of the situation: Gate bubbled, ~15 Thrashers, a bunch of wrecks, abandoned drones, and debris of previous victims, not much else.

Since we had little time until Vagabond one’s gate-cloak would run out, the plan we came up with was quick and dirty: Vagabond one would crash the gate and hopefully attract the Thrasher-Gangs attention & aggression, resulting in most of them sitting vulnerable inside the bubble, and unable to jump out via gate. This would set the stage. Vagabond two and Cerberus would meanwhile jump into the system and warp towards the 1DQ-gate to engage in the DPS-race that would likely follow on foot: Who would kill who first.

If we were lucky, the rest of our gang would arrive in time and provide us with logistical support as well, as we had a Logi-T3 Cruiser a couple of jumps away.

The chance of failure was there, but we wanted to try.

The stage for the fight. Map by

Vagabond two made it into warp faster than my Cerberus and by that landed a few seconds earlier than me. The gate had meanwhile been bubbled and we landed at this bubbles edge at a bit of range. The Thrashers who were still lurking around the gate from chasing Vagabond one immediately rushed towards him. Since Vagabonds are pretty quick, my companion made it out to a safe distance while my Cerberus was still slowing down from warp. And as a result, I landed in perfect weapons range of the Destroyers. Well, s__t! Not a spot anyone would like to be in.

I preheated my MWD and got half a cycle off before a warp scrambler shut it down. Multiple webs and scrams landed on me when the first Destroyer got literally deleted from a first volley of medium artillery cannons which Vagabond two was fitted with. But I’m not going anywhere anytime soon. And the DPS-Race is on.

If we could kill them quick enough – and we had the means to do so – before my ancillary shield booster would run out of charges, I had a chance to survive this.

I frenetically initiate the locking-process on anything that is close to me and in scrambler-range to free myself and be able to increase distance with another cycle of a heated micro warp drive. The first three cycles of my rapid light missile launchers reduce the second Minmatar Destroyer’s structural integrity to zero. Then the second goes up in flames. My shields are at 50%. I active the shield booster. Despite a good repair boost, my shield drop to about 30% it’s just too much damage.

Meanwhile, Vagabond one had come back through the gate and starts to haze hostiles as well.

The shield-alarm goes off as another volley from the remaining Thrashers cannons hit me. Luckily for me, two or three seem to be busy chasing my friend in Vagabond two. I keep cycling my shield booster. Missiles and projectiles light up the short distance between our ships. My Booster has four charges left. Warrior II drones and Missiles make an end of another Thrasher.

Before I take hull-damage, I play my ace and activate the Assault Damage Control. And the Cerberus’ defenses stabilize for a moment. Caldari ships are not known to tank well with their structure.

We reduced the gate camping gang from ~15 to 5 within less than 30 seconds. Able to free myself of the last warp scrambling Destroyer, I activate my MWD and gain safe distance while using up my last charge of the ancillary shield booster.

With the last missiles in my launcher-clip and a few more shells from the Vagabonds projectile turrets, we make work of the last opponents. As the rest of our gang arrives on-site, we are already reloading our modules, repair heat and check the killmails.

Space is littered with the glowing remains of former vessels and a covert ops would have a challenging time to navigate through all of it without getting decloaked.


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