One evening last week, upon returning from a meeting, I heard chatter erupting from my laptop earphone - a sure sign something was going on on TeamSpeak. Usually my alliance or corp mates leisurely talk about happenings in New Eden, but now there was a lot of excitement and urgency in the voices emanating from TS.
Instead of going to bed, I quickly logged in and switched my Drake Battlecruiser to the requested PVP alliance fit. Our fleet appeared to have gathered at an entry gate to our solar system so I swiftly headed over and positioned myself for a fight.
And a fight is what we got! The first enemy ship to jump in was a Broadsword; a heavy interdictor capable of warp scrambling other ships, preventing them to warp away. We tried to put as much damage on him as possible, but his tank held and soon he trapped several of our ships - amongst them one of our carriers, and my Drake. Our FC ordered a retreat to the station as other enemies arrived on the field. Unable to warp out I burned away from the Broadsword as fast as I could; I started taking damage from other incoming enemy ships and my shield started falling, slowly but steadily. With my shields 50% down, I got out of the Broadswords' warp scrambling range and without hesitation I warped to safety. The carrier got out as well, but a few other ships were lost.
At that moment, with our fleet in disarray and having lost several ships, I wasn't quite sure how to proceed. Our FC, however, did! He rallied the troops, explained the new strategy, quickly had several pilots switch into ships needed to execute the strategy - and as soon as we could we all warped back to the gate.
This time, the roles were reversed. As the correct primary and secondary targets were called and destroyed, the enemy swiftly lost most of their fleet: their destroyed wrecks (and bodies..) littered the area around the gate. I got two of the kill mails, meaning I delivered the final blow that destroyed the ship; the Broadsword and a Hurricane battlecruiser are formally my kills.
With the last enemy either destroyed or chased out of our space, we stood down battlecomms - and celebrated a nice victory. A few weeks ago this enemy might have picked us apart, but no more.
Yet, in Eve Online's New Eden, a battle is only rarely just that - a single battle. Defeat often leads to rancor, hatred and a thirst for vengeance, and so most of the gang we destroyed last week, returned yesterday evening for another brawl. We knew they were coming, and when their first pilot entered our system, he was attacked from all sides. Missiles, lasers and drones hammered his Myrmidon battlecruiser and he jumped out again as fast as he could - unfortunately we were too late to stop him from exiting. After some deliberation and intelligence work, the fleet followed him on the way out; a few jumps from our home system, our fleet overtook the enemy and once again all of their ships were destroyed - again with minimal losses on our side. Unfortunately I missed that fight: I missed the FC's command to pursue, and by the time I got near the battlefield, it was already over. Next time..