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[SERAPH] Battle of Sazre

Author
Alizabeth Vea
Doomheim
#1 - 2016-10-23 01:34:08 UTC  |  Edited by: Alizabeth Vea
At approximately 0015 on YC118.10.22 capsuleers under the unified command SERAPH (Special Empire Response for the Assault and Penetration of Hives) began OPERATION MORNING GLORY. This led to the Battle of Sazre.

The losses suffered in the Defense of the Throne Worlds campaign do not seem to have diminished the capability of the Drifters to wage war. SERAPH formally issues a warning that the Drifters remain a high level threat.

Commander’s intent for this operation was the infliction of mass casualties upon Drifter assets in Imperial space.

Since the withdrawal of the Drifter invasion of the Throne Worlds, capsuleer counter attack has been limited to hive penetrations. These operations, conducted by ARC, were extremely successful in fully mapping the Hive complexes and acquiring Drifter Elements. However, these operations faced only a minimal amount of resistance. Penetration operations nominally encounter no more than ten (10) or so Drifter battleships. It was unknown if the Drifter forces had been depleted or if these hives were simply not heavily defended. Additionally, despite the end of the invasion, Drifter wormholes continue to appear around New Eden, including Imperial space. Drifter battleships continue to operate within systems containing a Jove Observatory. The Holy Amarr Empire remains at war with the Drifters, making these legitimate war targets.

Friendly forces for this operation consisted of twelve pilots, plus command support.
Alizabeth (Fleet Commander)
Lady Morwen Lagann (Squad 1 Commander)
Aria Jenneth
Arsia Elkin
Kaaeliaa
Lady Mitara Newelle
Arrendis (Squad 2 Commander)
darkezero
Kaylie Jenn
Pieter Tuulinen
Thulla Icin
Varcutii Renalard

The exact fleet composition is being withheld, though some details can be shared. This was the first use of a new doctrine: Righteous Weasels. In the Righteous Weasels doctrine, Guardian-class logistics cruisers support recon, heavy assault, and special role cruisers and tactical destroyers.

Enemy forces consisted of Drifter battleships and Circadian Seeker cruisers. No new classes were spotted in this operation. Enemy ships appeared to behave according to their doctrine as SERAPH command understands it.

The mission of the operation was two-fold. The primary objective was to interdict Drifter ships entering Imperial space and measure Drifter response times to assault on Drifter assets (ships) in Imperial space. The secondary objective was a battlefield test of the Righteous Weasels doctrine. The mission was considered successful in both objectives.

The Drifters had been seen in Sazre before the operation commenced in the vicinity of the Jove Observatory. Some days before the operation, Morwen Lagann had placed a citadel ‘on grid’ with the observatory for the purpose of monitoring Drifter activity. It is presumed that the Drifter presence in the system just a day later was a response to the actual commissioning of the citadel

The day of the operation, the citadel’s gunners noted Drifter battleships operating in groups of three and Circadian Seeker cruisers operating in groups of four or five. Prior to the operation’s commencement, the citadel had engaged and destroyed a number of Circadian Seeker cruisers and three (3) Drifter battleships. With a known presence, the fleet undocked and set up position on the Jove Observatory.

Initially the fleet engaged both Circadian Seeker cruisers and Drifter battleships in the vicinity of both the Jove Observatory and the unidentified wormhole. In certain cases we had identified a Drifter patrol that was able to warp away from the wormhole before the fleet was able to engage. Tactical destroyers were sent across the system to scout. A Circadian Seeker patrol was engaged in an asteroid belt. A Drifter battleship that warped into support the Circadian Seerkers was also killed.

It was in this scouting and fleet maneuvers that the first and only loss occurred. A tactical destroyer was sent to scout the wormhole and destroyed by Drifter Battleships before the fleet could move to support. Sadly, no crew survived.

After a brief break to rearm and repair modules damaged from overheating, the fleet once again moved to the Unidentified Wormhole to interdict. For the last two hours, the fleet engaged targets only at the wormhole and observatory. SERAPH pilots represented themselves well in these maneuvers that required precision and speed. The Righteous Weasel doctrine has little to no margin for error and every pilot in the fleet performed their role flawlessly.

Drifter forces seemed to be scattered throughout the system and would respond to an attack on one patrol. During the course of the battle, both Circadian Seeker cruisers and Drifter battleships would seek to reinforce their comrades under attack. At one point, the SERAPH fleet was under attack from seven (7) Circadian Seeker cruisers and three (3) Drifter battleships.

Upon the conclusion of the operation, the SERAPH fleet had engaged and destroyed a number (greater than twenty [20]) Circadian Seeker cruisers and fifty-one (51) Drifter battleships. The citadel had destroyed a number of Circadian Seeker cruisers and three (3) Drifter battleships.

For SERAPH fleets, ships are provided by SERAPH. All ships provided were properly fitted and loaded with ordnance.

The fleet commander for this operation was Alizabeth. Plans for command devolution are being withheld for security reasons.

Retainer of Lady Newelle and House Sarum.

"Those who step into the light shall be redeemed, the sins of their past cleansed, so that they may know salvation." -Empress Jamyl Sarum I

Virtue. Valor. Victory.

Alizabeth Vea
Doomheim
#2 - 2016-10-23 01:34:30 UTC  |  Edited by: Alizabeth Vea
Given the significant Drifter response to attacks on Drifter ships in Imperial space it can be surmised that Drifter forces are not depleted. The lack of Drifter battleships seen in their hives compared to the influxes seen in the Defense of Throne Worlds campaign does not indicate a weakening of their forces. That over fifty Drifter battleships—a force roughly half of the attack wing that destroyed EF Seraph and killed Empress Jamyl—were operating with impunity in sovereign Imperial space is particularly troubling. More troubling is that despite the heavy losses inflicted upon the Drifters, they did not retreat. The operation was concluded with an orderly retrograde by the SERAPH fleet, not a Drifter retreat.

SERAPH operations against the Drifters will remain ongoing.

Commander’s statement:

I would like to extend my thanks and admiration to all the pilots that flew on this operation. It was difficult flying, and every single one of them acquitted themselves well. They fought like lions in the largest single engagement against the Drifters since the Defense of the Throne Worlds campaign and emerged victorious. I am proud to fly with such magnificent pilots.

A special medal has been issued for the pilots that were there, and I am working with the leadership of each pilot’s respective organization to ensure it is issued. It bears the mission statement of SERAPH:

“No matter how long
No matter what cost
We will fight this war to the end
In Her Name.”


Questions will be answered in this thread as possible.

Retainer of Lady Newelle and House Sarum.

"Those who step into the light shall be redeemed, the sins of their past cleansed, so that they may know salvation." -Empress Jamyl Sarum I

Virtue. Valor. Victory.

Kaaeliaa
Tyrannos Sunset
#3 - 2016-10-23 01:42:04 UTC
Alizabeth Vea wrote:
That over fifty Drifter battleships—a force roughly half of the attack wing that destroyed EF Seraph and killed Empress Jamyl—were operating with impunity in sovereign Imperial space is particularly troubling.


Not anymore.

"Do not lift the veil. Do not show the door. Do not split the dream."

Pieter Tuulinen
Societas Imperialis Sceptri Coronaeque
Khimi Harar
#4 - 2016-10-23 02:44:08 UTC
Analysis:

  1. Drifter Battleships remain eminently beatable with little to no losses by regular capsuleer fleet assets. Some of our ships were expensive, but none of them were ridiculously or prohibitively so.
  2. Drifter Battleship classes Artemis and Apollo have done little to alter their tactics to forestall these losses. Sleeper assets coming on field during the engagement of a Drifter triplet seems to affect the balance of power negligibly.
  3. Drifter fleets deployed Fifty-Three (53) Battleship class vessels within a four hour engagement window. (This is actually skewed low, because only after two hours did we crack their deployment pattern and interdict their movement through Sazre completely.) Despite the complete destruction of all 53 Battleship class vessels, Drifter 'command' never turned off the tap. They kept coming. They kept dying. In the end fatigue drove SERAPH forces from the field.


Conclusions:

  1. Minimal Drifter tactical evolution.
  2. Zero Drifter materiel evolution.
  3. Fifty-three (53) Battleships does not represent the bottom of the bucket.


Despite a sound thrashing meted out to Johnny Drifter, my fears are not assuaged. If anything we have to step up the scale of the killing until we can, at least, convince them to stop pushing sausage into their end of the machine.

For the first time since I started the conversation, he looks me dead in the eye. In his gaze are steel jackhammers, quiet vengeance, a hundred thousand orbital bombs frozen in still life.

Arrendis
GoonWaffe
Goonswarm Federation
#5 - 2016-10-23 07:10:05 UTC
I'm still not thrilled with the names. However, I shall mollify myself with my continued work with the Drifter Apocalypse Team, Applied Sciences Section.

Seriously, though, Righteous Weasels? I can't even begin to explain the mental image that summons.
Valerie Valate
Church of The Crimson Saviour
#6 - 2016-10-23 07:12:48 UTC
Arrendis wrote:
Seriously, though, Righteous Weasels? I can't even begin to explain the mental image that summons.


A weasel, wearing an Amarr hood, riding a surfboard, catching an impressive tubular wave.

Doctor V. Valate, Professor of Archaeology at Kaztropolis Imperial University.

Arrendis
GoonWaffe
Goonswarm Federation
#7 - 2016-10-23 07:40:26 UTC
Close.

I was actually thinking of a mongoose in Max Singularity's robes and one of those big pointy ovoid religious hats, diving down a set of stairs in a Caldari Teahouse, firing a pair of obnoxiously large revolvers belching out divine plasma while white doves fly through the scene.
Alizabeth Vea
Doomheim
#8 - 2016-10-23 07:49:17 UTC
And this is a bad image? We'll have to use robes from someone other than an Empress Jamyl hating heretic, though.

Retainer of Lady Newelle and House Sarum.

"Those who step into the light shall be redeemed, the sins of their past cleansed, so that they may know salvation." -Empress Jamyl Sarum I

Virtue. Valor. Victory.

Vollhov Jr
ANGELGARD.
Red Alliance
#9 - 2016-10-23 08:52:00 UTC
Blind Vengeance
People do not even know what is written in the testament Jamyl Sarum.
Imperial force is not attack Drifters. Maybe they know more of the truth than you.

Recently I watched the Imperial Navy Security Force were with Drifters. All cover those ships that participated in the attack Jamyl Sarum.

Ask at Catiz this normal ?
Elmund Egivand
Sebestacny Circle
#10 - 2016-10-23 09:19:10 UTC  |  Edited by: Elmund Egivand
Arrendis wrote:
Close.

I was actually thinking of a mongoose in Max Singularity's robes and one of those big pointy ovoid religious hats, diving down a set of stairs in a Caldari Teahouse, firing a pair of obnoxiously large revolvers belching out divine plasma while white doves fly through the scene.


This sounds like something straight out of a Brun Courtiser holo-reel. Just replace the Jin-Mei fellow with a weasel. You watched 'The Hard-Boiled Killer' very recently, didn't you?

A Minmatar warship is like a rusting Beetle with 500 horsepower Cardillac engines in the rear, armour plating bolted to chassis and a M2 Browning stuck on top.

Alizabeth Vea
Doomheim
#11 - 2016-10-23 17:41:35 UTC  |  Edited by: Alizabeth Vea
Pieter Tuulinen wrote:
Conclusions:

  1. Minimal Drifter tactical evolution.
  2. Zero Drifter materiel evolution.
  3. Fifty-three (53) Battleships does not represent the bottom of the bucket.
Doctrine and tactical evolution is actually a pretty complex process. Part of the reason SERAPH is kept so small is to facilitate a rapid doctrine change if needed. When I was flying with ARC, Priano-haani was pretty resistant to doctrine changes. It's hard to find fault with her reasoning: they had a doctrine that worked, and even if it was sub-optimal, it still worked. ARC also has to ensure that any change can be handled by all their pilots, which is a significant number across many skill levels. For SERAPH's switch to Righteous Weasels, it was just a matter of SERAPH buying the new ships and issuing them to the pilots.

And we had other classes and designs of ships to switch to. If the Drifters are having to design a new class, or worse a new hull, from scratch, it will likely take them a significant amount of time. Their tactical options are limited by them really only have one class of combat ship. I am sure there is an argument taking place with the Strategos about doctrine, but when it comes down to it, the Drifters' doctrine works in most cases. It's just a few of us that are really giving the Drifters issues. They are likely to want to make sure any doctrine change doesn't break everything.

The Drifters only have one ship and one doctrine that has to be used for every situation. SERAPH's doctrine only has to be effective against the Drifters. For other missions, we can reship and change tactics as needed.

Your third conclusion is correct. And that is what keeps me awake at night.

Retainer of Lady Newelle and House Sarum.

"Those who step into the light shall be redeemed, the sins of their past cleansed, so that they may know salvation." -Empress Jamyl Sarum I

Virtue. Valor. Victory.

Arrendis
GoonWaffe
Goonswarm Federation
#12 - 2016-10-23 17:42:20 UTC
Elmund Egivand wrote:
Arrendis wrote:
Close.

I was actually thinking of a mongoose in Max Singularity's robes and one of those big pointy ovoid religious hats, diving down a set of stairs in a Caldari Teahouse, firing a pair of obnoxiously large revolvers belching out divine plasma while white doves fly through the scene.


This sounds like something straight out of a Brun Courtiser holo-reel. Just replace the Jin-Mei fellow with a weasel. You watched 'The Hard-Boiled Killer' very recently, didn't you?


Not in about.... uhm...

Wow, it's been a long time. I wasn't even an egger then.
Matar Ronin
#13 - 2016-10-23 22:29:41 UTC  |  Edited by: Matar Ronin
Impressive numbers.

Kudos to the participants and to all those whose previous flights have helped to establish such efficient methods of engagement.

‘Vain flame burns fast/and its lick is light/Modest flame lasts long/and burns to the bone.’

" We lost a war we chose not to fight." Without a doubt this is the best way to lose any war and the worst excuse to explain the beating afterwards.

Lord Kailethre
Oruze Cruise
White Stag Exit Bag
#14 - 2016-10-24 09:33:50 UTC
Matar Ronin wrote:
Impressive numbers.

Kudos to the participants and to all those whose previous flights have helped to establish such efficient methods of engagement.


It's quite unlike you to be so unilaterally positive.
What's happened?
Veikitamo Gesakaarin
Black Advent
#15 - 2016-10-24 10:24:10 UTC
A real scary thought would be if, ever since the wormhole crisis six years ago all that the Drifters have been doing is building an endless Armada of ships using Jovian derived materials technology in their hives and what we are seeing now is nothing more than the small vanguard to test our defenses prior to the deployment of the Drifter capital and supercapital fleets.

Even spookier is if what we classify as "Battleships" due to their firepower and size the Drifters only consider, "Frigates" due to their firepower and size.

Kurilaivonen|Concern

Matar Ronin
#16 - 2016-10-24 10:24:42 UTC
Lord Kailethre wrote:
Matar Ronin wrote:
Impressive numbers.

Kudos to the participants and to all those whose previous flights have helped to establish such efficient methods of engagement.


It's quite unlike you to be so unilaterally positive.
What's happened?
Simple, they posted a 71 to 1 kill to death ratio. (Probably a tad higher than 71 in fact)
These pilots are the first to seriously kick Drifter asses.

Drifters have shown up all over New Eden like they own the place. Today for perhaps the first time in a long time people all over New Eden can have hope that humans will prevail against the Drifters. Mark your Calendars and remember their names because this might be a date that is historic. The day humanity stopped just fighting back and started winning.

So yes I am damn pleased about the excellent actions of these brave few pilots. All New Eden should be.

‘Vain flame burns fast/and its lick is light/Modest flame lasts long/and burns to the bone.’

" We lost a war we chose not to fight." Without a doubt this is the best way to lose any war and the worst excuse to explain the beating afterwards.

Vollhov Jr
ANGELGARD.
Red Alliance
#17 - 2016-10-24 11:28:04 UTC
This will lead to a retaliatory strike on the part of Drifters.
Do not wake the beast while he sleeps. Roll
Elmund Egivand
Sebestacny Circle
#18 - 2016-10-24 12:30:09 UTC
Vollhov Jr wrote:
This will lead to a retaliatory strike on the part of Drifters.
Do not wake the beast while he sleeps. Roll


The Beast is already awake for a long while now. What, you think them taking out the late Jamyl Sarum isn't a clear enough message?

A Minmatar warship is like a rusting Beetle with 500 horsepower Cardillac engines in the rear, armour plating bolted to chassis and a M2 Browning stuck on top.

Pieter Tuulinen
Societas Imperialis Sceptri Coronaeque
Khimi Harar
#19 - 2016-10-24 19:59:22 UTC
Vollhov Jr wrote:
This will lead to a retaliatory strike on the part of Drifters.
Do not wake the beast while he sleeps. Roll


The State is an ally of the Empire, but if the Caldari Navy drove 53 Battleships through Amarrian space without at least notifying the Empire beforehand, I'm willing to bet that the Imperial Navy would have things to say about it.

The Drifters are an enemy. They absolutely do not have permission to pass through Imperial space and we decided to raise the price of admission this weekend.

For the first time since I started the conversation, he looks me dead in the eye. In his gaze are steel jackhammers, quiet vengeance, a hundred thousand orbital bombs frozen in still life.

Alizabeth Vea
Doomheim
#20 - 2016-10-25 22:41:13 UTC
We will fight the Drifters wherever they are. We will kill them where we find them.

We Amarr do not cower in fear. We Amarr do not retreat. We Amarr do not give up. The line is drawn here. This far and no further!

I respect the Drifter's power, but I do not fear them. If they strike back, SERAPH will be ready for them.

Retainer of Lady Newelle and House Sarum.

"Those who step into the light shall be redeemed, the sins of their past cleansed, so that they may know salvation." -Empress Jamyl Sarum I

Virtue. Valor. Victory.

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