FYI - Chucky is a shared Wormhole between Voodoo Children and Lucifer's Hammer, two of the corporations that make up A Band Apart along with Stay Frosty and Artemis Underground. This wormhole has a long and storied history which I won't get into today, but suffice to say a lot of blood, sweat, and tears have gone into this space over the years.
Late last week several of the structures inside Chucky were put into reinforcement by a roving gang of Goons and their loyalist allies*. We didn't believe that this action was a full-scale eviction based on the make up of the forces that showed up, but nevertheless we took it seriously. Over the next few days an incredible amount of work went into preparing Chucky for defense, our Alliance sprung into action with many people putting in long hours getting ships, mods, and other assets ready for the timers which came up on Saturday. Not all of our structures were in reinforced, so that helped. It also seemed to indicate this wasn't an eviction.
Things can get complicated when trying to explain a long, three-day event like this. It isn't as simple as trying to convey a single fleet fight. This wasn't simple. 3 Structures were at risk. The enemy had popped up a POS inside of Chucky and added some guns and other protection to that POS. On our side we had Bold, Thane, and Watson running as FC at various times, with Thane manning the Fortizar defenses when it was under attack. Our position from the beginning was to implement a "guerrilla"style defense and use our home to our advantage, striking from our bases and moving in and out quickly. So that was essentially the lay of the land.
Friday we harassed the POS and put its defenses into reinforcement. Mostly the enemy stayed inside the shields, but we managed to trade ships here and there during the day. Meanwhile our FC Watson and others worked hard to turn what we had available to us into a working comp, in fact by the end we managed to put together three main comps with support of various wings into action. It was a solid plan for what we knew of the enemies strengths.
And initially everything went according to plan. Our first major engagement went like clockwork and we managed to remove the enemy from the HS entrance and regain control of the hole. You can see from this Battle Report that we came away from that engagement with a clear victory. That early victory wouldn't last long however, as the enemy continued rolling entrances all day. At last count I remember at least seven or eight entrances being closed on us, which made reinforcement extremely difficult on our HS supply lines. Just ask Tovanis, who was heroically trying to get supplies to us inside.
Eventually the enemy re-took control of the hole and after several "fly-by" engagements we decided to put our first comp all-in and force them off the Hole. We managed to force them off the hole once more and take down the bubbles they had been using to protect it. Battle Reports are often confusing things, and in this instance it is impossible to pull the next two engagements apart. But we certainly started off on the right foot. As everyone was looting and grabbing drones, I noticed that the hole no longer had bubbles up. I told Watson I would return to base and grab a Sabre to put up some. Just as I turned to warp away I heard the hole going nuts. Immediately everyone on comms started saying crazy things. The enemy reinforcements had arrived in force. About 40 or so Harpies, Loki, Triglavian ships, Scapels, and other ships poured into Chucky. The fight suddenly went in the other direction and we were forced to retreat.
Up until that point I had personally gotten on 13 kills, and I know overall our win/loss ratio was very good. But now our goal was simple, we couldn't win this fight with what we had inside the hole, but we might be able to still save the Structures. Or at least some of them. Our plan went into "distraction" mode, if we could distract them long enough during the timers - they wouldn't be able to take down the structures.
Three Hero Rorquals were sacrificed to this operation. And even against those odds I was surprised at how well they stood up to the onslaught. In the meantime most of us jumped into long-range Nagas to try and pop enemy ships from range. (I will say here that I do not like Nagas, I much prefer Oracles or Nados for this type of thing. The tracking on Nagas is horrible and I rarely manage to hit anything with one.) And for me, that was the end of the effort. My Naga died without hitting a single enemy ship and I was podded back to Ouelletta. After about eight hours I wasn't able to make the 27 jumps back and called it a day.
Out of the three Structures we did manage to save one. One of the enemy Commanders called the distraction offense of the timers "Epic" in our public channel. The enemy was obviously well practiced at hole control and did an excellent job of rolling, protecting, and keeping hole control during the last day. But eventually we were outgunned and while we did a decent job of putting together doctrines on the fly, and our FCs did a great job with what we had, it simply wasn't enough in the end. Thane and Tovanis manned the Fortizar to the bitter end all while continuing to blow up enemy ships.
In the end the enemy blew up a lot of unmanned ships popping out from the structures demise and our killboard suffered because of it. That, combined with our heavy losses in the last stand, combined to make our Alliance kb rather red over the weekend.
I think I speak for all us when I say we enjoyed the Hell out of those days. We put up a solid defense against a determined and practiced foe, and while we eventually did lose two structures and a lot of ships, we also gave good fights. In the end all that matters is that we stood together as an Alliance and proved to ourselves what we are made of.
To everyone in ABA and to those Allies who came to help us, I say thank you. It is moments like this that you will always remember and look back on as some of the finest moments in your Eve Online career. Well done. And well fought.
*PS: As it turns out this was primarily a House of Boom operation and the other "allies" were friends along for the ride. I've had several conversations during the course of the day with various members of the enemy operation and I can safely say that both sides enjoyed the engagements and the good fights. So kudos to the opposition, well played.