At 0110 server time on November 7th, a Pandemic Horde fleet led by Atomic Pancake successfully destroyed the Carlos Warrens Holiday Home Astrahus-class citadel in Perimeter. Ever since we launched Operation Kalevala Storm and ramped up our attacks on Horde industrial infrastructure, we have observed an increase in retaliatory aggression from the 12,000 player strong alliance, and the War HQ astrahus in Perimeter was an obvious target for the Horde to go after.
The initial attack on the citadel occurred when Scorpius Major, our Head Citadel Gunner was online and keeping watch. By far our most capable citadel gunner, he immediately engaged the hostiles and quickly took down an enemy Drekavac-class battlecruiser piloted by Volp Elysian who was leading the initial fleet. The decapitation strike against their FC sent the remainder of the fleet into chaos and fearful of losing more ships, they quickly retreated to a neutral structure on grid. From there, they waited for their FC who soon arrived back in a new ship (no doubt paid for by Horde’s exploitative taxation of the line members to fund the FC’s and directors luxuries!) and more numbers. After this point they were able to win the shield timer, although losing around 100 tech2 drones in the process and us very nearly breaking the logi/cap chain.
The armour timer saw a similar battle, with the citadel EWAR putting pressure on the cap chain, and our Standup Fighters engaging in the “shoot and scoot” doctrine of launching, firing a few salvos at the enemy, and quickly returning to dock, to slow down the rate at which they could be killed by the enemy fleets drones. This strategy helped preserve the Standup Fighters for most of the engagement although they were all eventually killed. This is to be expected in a major citadel engagement, shoot and scoot is simply a delaying action rather than a foolproof way of preserving the fighters.
The hull timer was slightly different. Because of RL commitments, none of our citadel gunners could be active at the time the citadel went to hull. If Horde Intelligence had known this they could have been very lazy and just brought a couple of stealth bombers or catalysts. We decided to at least make them work for their victory, and carried out another deception operation. Scorpius was at work during the hull timer but had logged his character in and docked up at the Astrahus several hours previously. Horde’s cloaky neutral eyes in Perimeter observing the citadel believed he was logged in and ready to actively defend the hull timer, and a later look at their fleet pings confirm they were nervous enough to call for a big fleet with lots more logi than normal. All of which was a completely wasted effort, but we would not have let them know that! 😀
While the destruction of the War HQ means the TSOTH corp cannot wardec Horde for 2 weeks, TSOTH B Team has already anchored Carlos Warrens Holiday Home 2.0 and wardecced them, so Operation Kalevala Storm will continue unhindered by this setback. Despite the in-game animosity, the Battle Of Perimeter was rather enjoyable. And I feel confident in saying Horde feel similar. They don’t often face an Astrahus that fights back so while it may have been a frightening concept for the F1 pushers, I suspect a lot of the elite players within Horde will have relished the opportunity to fight toe-to-toe with a worthy adversary who gives them a good fight and makes them work for the win.