With Retribution came ship re balancing. The biggest benefactor to these changes were by far the T1 cruisers. Long before the expansion launched our theory crafters buckled down and spent some time exploring the possibilities these changes would bring. The day Retribution went live we had ships in place and a fleet doctrine ready for trial by fire. That fire came quickly. The SFI blob was in for a surprise.
The first test of our new doctrine did not come in a medium plex as I expected it to but on a gate. Our cruiser fleet with T1 logi met a Minmatar fleet in Huola. The time spent in EFT was well rewarded. Even though the Minmatar brought Guardians we quickly dispatched them. They tried again with more guardians, cruisers, ahacs, BC, and even BS but our fleet held. Both fights we took little to no losses.
We then punished UK for their lack of foresight. More brawls where our cruisers and T1 logi decimated the field.
I knew that the Minmatar would quickly catch on and around day three they did. At the same time UK and LNA overcame some of their differences and decided that we were a bigger threat. It just so happens that took place in Isbrabata, one of the new gate systems. It's nice to see they really did make a big difference. The Minmatar pinched our fleet on a gate and we had to disengage, very well played by them.
We have had many cruiser fights in the last week or so. We have won many but also lost a few as the Minmatar brought more numbers, coordination, and caught up on fits. Even though these fights are T1 hull cruisers there is much more depth and strategy to them then most would realize. What happened last night in Kourm should have made it clear to anyone who was on field that Faction War plex fighting has changed forever.
The first engagement of the night was in Ezzara. We were set up in a medium plex. LNA/UK/Defiant Legacy and to come into us. Primaries were called and ships started dieing. Both sides had substantial amount of Logi. The Minmatar had 7 and Amarr had 6, all T1. We had the advantage of being set up with a few Black Birds at range and a few more tricks up our sleeves so we won the fight pretty handily. 27 ships destroyed to 9 lost. From there we went back to Kamela and got ready for round two.
A medium plex opened in Kourm and both sides made their moves for it. What followed was the longest fight I have ever been part of. Almost an hour and a half of constant fighting. The Minmatar forces did not skimp on the Logi. I believe they had brought 10 and we had also brought our fair share. After both sides took some initial losses Logi chains were set up and reps were almost impossible to break for both sides.
I found myself calling rifters primary just to have something to kill. Both sides tried to Alpha ships before reps could land. Some times it work but mostly it didn’t. Both sides used damps to slow the lock time of logi but with so much on field it was damn near impossible to damp it all out. The Minmatar even brought in a ECM burst super tanked vexor to break our Logi's lock. To top this all off there was a group of awoxing/pirating caldari militia killing both sides as they tried to reship. They got rewarded by a War Dec from Fweddit and I.Law for their actions.
The point finally came where I could no longer break any targets. I asked if we had anything else, anyone else to bring on field but the answer was no. I made the choice to break off and regroup. Only one or two people were pointed and left to die.
After the fight many of us sat around on comms and chatted about what will probably go down in Amarr/Minmatar history books as one of the greatest fights ever. Ideas were tossed around about what we could have done and what we can do next time. I mostly sat there with a smile on my face listening to the chatter. It's not often you get to FC a fight like that.