ALDRAT, METROPOLIS – July 10/11th – An Eve University fleet of 163 students returned victorious from “Dragonslayer VI” an anti-capital low sec op, which began in the late hours of the tenth of July, having destroyed an Amarr Archon class carrier.
EUNN Reporter Zer0 Lantern tells the story:
It was happening again, the regular silence becoming an almost predictable affair – I myself was going over my ship this last week, checking and re-checking. I prepared a spare ship, just in case. Another ‘Dragon Slayer’ operation was going to
happen tonight, this time the pressure was on – the even numbered Dragon Slayer Ops were rumoured to be cursed with failure.
Many Unistas having missed out on epic adventures of past glory showed up in numbers this time, most obvious in the final line-up – the fleet was numbered over 163 pilots. All armed to the teeth and hungry for some dragons.
From Drat we headed out to the target system. We took the safer routes and were careful not to alert pirates in the nearby low sec systems. The Fleet Commander (FC) clearly explained our objectives were as we travelled.
Meanwhile, we moved out a smaller squad as bait, who did their best to get us some action. A report from one of our scouts showed five dragons sitting in a POS just waiting to be destroyed – a dream find! But the curse of the even numbered operations struck again and we arrived to find our once juicy targets nowhere to be found.
So instead we moved towards Eystur – Dragons had been sighted in the notorious choke point of Rancer. Here we waited…. and waited. Our FC and bait squad were preparing to lure the dragon in, positioning him for the kill. The tricky thing about the Rancer inhabitants is they have eyes and ears several jumps in every direction. This meant our main fleet would have to hide several jumps away, and our bait team would have to hold on for several jumps.
There didn’t come any response and our hope was slowly slipping away. Then suddenly, there it was, a response from our opponents – “where are you?” They wanted to fight. Our FC named our location and we all waited for some sort of action by our Dragon.
“We brought some shiny ships and pirates do fancy shiny ships, so they should take the bait.”, our FC assured us, as the seconds ticked away.
That’s exactly what they did – 10 ships jumped in on our bait squad – battleships mainly and one Archon class carrier – our Dragon. As the rest of the fleet jumped in, the pirates realised their mistake and attempted to scatter. A good few of them got away, however their carrier was in Triage, so he went nowhere, leaving him to melt under our guns.
We brought down our dragon; it wasn’t the big catch we were hoping for, but a dragon none the less. We also took out several battleships, and only lost one Blackbird – another successful operation.
The dragon rider was none too pleased with his misfortune, promising “We’ll get you ten times over next time!” That may be a hard promise to keep.
As we travelled back, our scouts reported some possible targets in the Resbroko system. Our FC responded immediately, sending in the fleet tacklers to intercept. I also belonged to that group. We were making best speed on the targets, holding them down while the rest of the fleet came in at a slower pace. Bigger ships do tend to be a bit slower than us frigates.
Unfortunately, our fleet arrived before the pilot had activated Triage, leaving him free to warp away and our enemies quickly fled. Some targets tried to play docking games – giving us another few ships to add to our list of kills. Sadly we lost a Merlin, but it is safe to say our success avenged his death.
With this, we broke the curse of the even numbered Dragon Slayer Ops. We got our Dragon and our losses were minimal.
After the Operation I had the privilege to quickly speak with the Fleet Commander and to ask him a few questions:
Q: First off, are you glad that you broke the curse of the even numbered Dragon Slayer Operations?
A: Yes, very happy about it. I am aware that the main reason for this is a change in our bait tactic and I hope we’ll be able to repeat this on future ops.
Q: Fleet Commander, this was the 6th Dragon Slayer OP, what were your general thoughts on it?
A: We were lucky to get to kill a carrier at all. The main target for this operation was a different system but we didn’t get any action there. So at first I thought the curse got us again. But then we were lucky and got the carrier in Rancer..
Q: What do you think can/should go better next time?
A: My intel wasn’t perfect. I didn’t realize that our main targets had all gone away before we got there. Apart from that there wasn’t much to screw up really.
Q: Do you have any advice for people who want to join the next Dragon Slayer?
A: Be patient. It takes a long time to set up a big fleet like that, move it into position and then bait some targets. Apart from that you should have Communications set up properly and if possible have some experience with other fleets already. Or at least read up on basic fleet guides which can be found on the University Network
Q: What was your personal best moment of the Operation?
A: The pirates asking us where we are. Even though we were in their home system and not exactly trying to hide at all since we were just sitting at planet 1.