So I waved farewell to 6VDT-H and took the titan bridge home.
The siege which had started with an enthusiastic rush to the enemy system, steadily became a tedious affair as the days dragged by. But at least we had the satisfaction of being informed that our enemy's ability to project force was seriously crippled by the aptly named 'Hell Camp'.
Those of you read the various EVE Online forums will already be aware of the controversy surrounding the first day of the siege, when immediately following down-time a number of IT super-capitals logged on and were able to escape. This was due to the mobile warp-disruptors that had been deployed to entrap them, inexplicably going offline when the server came back up.
Whether this was merely a bug, or something more sinister is being investigated by CCP, but in light of previous incidents of certain CCP employees 'helping' IT Alliance in it's former incarnation as Band of Brothers, it is understandable that many cried, “foul.”
The first day also saw an initial break-out attempt by IT, which was struck down with such savage losses, that no further attempts were made. There were additional reports that Pandemic Legion were on their way to help break the siege, but in the end the infamous mercenaries declined to show up.
By the third day every enemy POS in the system had been destroyed, with only the cages of our warp-disruptors signifying that there had once been anything there. These cages were manned around the clock by covert scouts in case any IT capital pilot was foolish enough to log back in.
By the fourth day, things were getting seriously dull. By now enemy resistance was limited to a roving band of stealth bombers which would pick off lone pilots that had become separated from the main camps. This steady harassment provided our opponents with a great deal of in-the-field-training, and towards the end they were even beginning to show signs of competency. Though truth be told, they were probably having more fun than we were.
Still we only had to endure boredom in the rank and file, and ultimately could just log off and do something else for a while. It was the fleet commanders who were hit the hardest. By the fifth day DaBigRedBoat was sounding delirious from sleep deprivation, and it was to everyone's great relief that we finally gathered at the enemy outpost and pounded it into submission. However cheers turned to groans when we realised we still had to guard an onlining Territorial Control Unit for another eight hours.
Sovereignty mechanics, loathe them or ignore them, you can't like them.
It should be noted that coalition leadership made the effort to keep the troops entertained through out the lock-down of 6VDT-H, and regularly kept us in the loop as to what was happening. Further distraction was provided by capturing the additional system next door of 7BX-6F. Two for the price of one so to speak, though the focus was always on keeping the IT forces trapped in 6VDT-H. I would also like to thank the pilots of Scrapheap Challenge for turning up out of the blue one day and giving us an enjoyable fight. In the monotony of siege warfare, every little helps.
Were we successful in the end?
The enemy taunted us in local that the joke was on us, claiming that IT had already evacuated it's pilots and that we were futilely guarding an empty prison. Coalition leadership naturally claimed otherwise, pointing out that Stain-Block was assaulting Querious while we kept IT forces trapped here. Objectively speaking, we took two station systems from our opponents while they helplessly looked on, and in the end that can only be construed as a victory. Whether IT Alliance has been broken by this remains to been seen, though with Destructive Influence and Nulli Seconda parting ways with their former comrades, the future looks increasingly bleak for IT.
Finally the 'Hell Camp' wound up. By now I had lost count of the days, and even The Mittani sounded jaded as he announced it was time to get out of Dodge. While some remained behind, most of us rushed to the titan bridge and jumped out with no small relief.
Yet already the call has gone out for the final stage of the Fountain Invasion, in which we begin the task of mopping up remaining resistance. After starring at empty warp-disruptor cages for days on end, even POS shooting begins to look good, so I imagine there will be a high turn out, as each repective alliance eagerly takes possession of their assigned constellations.
In the meantime, this is Rebecca Aventine somewhere in Fountain, signing off.