(Editor's Note: This battle report is penned by Elise Randolph of Pandemic Legion, the victors of the FB-B1H ambush. We thank him for sending it over despite being exhausted from four hours of 10% TiDi.)
In recent months, Black Legion have slowly emerged as the next great capital powerhouse. Typically using Dreads to make plays, BL quickly became the FoTM low-sec hotdrop alliance; whenever caps were tackled, people would reach out to BL first. This was a role that BL were happy to have, and in fact they grew into. The 30 man BL Dread fleets slowly, but surely, became 80 man BL Dread fleets. This role does, however, come with a cost - once you flirt with relevancy, alliances begin to take note. And take note is exactly what Pandemic Legion did. For quite awhile PL have been, unsuccessfully, trying to bait out BL caps for a "hubrisdunk". It typically resulted in hours wasted, or occasionally a handful of bait-caps lost. Until, that is, today.
About a week ago Perseus Kallistratos came up with a plan to bait out some BL capitals. The plan involved using a spy to tackle a PL titan and batphone BL on a spy, hoping they would show up. To prepare for the bait, PK worked with several PL members and prepared the bait system. A tower was dropped, PL was given docking rights and offices in the station, 50 Sabres were moved in, and a dozen dictors were logged off on grid. And then the waiting game began. BL had an op planned for 01:30, so it seemed the perfect time to ensure that BL would, in fact, answer the batphone. The spy - Psycho Groupie (a member of a DD renting alliance) - feigned a gank gone horribly wrong at a tower he had setup. Makalu Zarya took his Titan and sent it into the system, where he was "tackled" by Psycho Groupie's spy character. The spy then pasted in various intel channels than he had a PL titan "I'm Harmless" tackled, and shortly he was invited to a private convo by an -A- FC with Elo Knight, who was batphoned for the occasion. The provenance of the gank was shown with a hastily made screenshot, which actually had the PL mumble overlay show.
Luckily, nobody (except Shadoo) noticed. As BL began to form, PL formed as well to "save" their Titan - with only about a dozen supers and keeping the rest on login screen. Seeing the tepid PL response, BL opted for the max-hubris option of SCs instead of their customary Dreads. This was a happy surprise for the PL bait fleet, who had anticipated 40 or so Dreads. The hook was set deep, now it was just a matter of implementation.
"Keep calm, we'll win"
As the BL fleet entered the system, the full PL fleet logged on. And then the NCdot fleet logged on (including a Revenant). And then Nulli. And then EMP. Sala Cameron, the brainchild behind Asakai, logged in his dictor in FR- as BL Cyno'd in and got the initial tackle. Followed by the other dozen dictors who had logged off on grid. Maka's Titan, the prized bait, then slowly moonwalked into the 'hostile' POS at 59% Armor, sending BL into a tizzy. "Where did the Titan go?!", Elo exclaimed. From the highest of highs to the lowest of lows, the cold reality of the situation quickly came crashing onto BL. Bubbles went up, cynos went up, and N3 Supercaps and Dreads began to login en masse. Nulli and EMP both supplied support fleets to keep the tackle alive, and within minutes local filled up with PL and N3. To BL's credit, they did in fact try to fight their way out of the situation. BL panic formed Muninns, as did Razor, to try and kill dictors. CFC also sent out a ping trying to get in on the action, but most had already moved out of the area. But ultimately it amounted to nothing more than Muninn lossmails mixed in with the Nyxes and Aeons.
Five hours and fifty Sabres later, the BL fleet of 30 SCs and 40 Carriers was finally converted to wreckage. Along with the dozen or so Razor Dreads that thought it was a grand idea to drop on the PL move convoy (1 mid from 200 N3 SCs). At the end of the day Perseus Kallistratos got to see his plan imagined, Makalu got to FC a supercap dunking, and MrBlue and Sala Cameron got to help orchestrate the second great Supercap slaughter.
Apart from the posting implications, this ~800 bil welp from BL won't really have a large impact. BL rarely use Supers as is, and their partnership with CFC and Solar will see their losses reimbursed sooner rather than later. It will likely cement BL into the anti-N3/PL camp for the foreseeable future, though, so it will be interesting to see what sort of knee-jerk reaction it will send them into. The "give no fucks" alliance will, likely, cut their figurative noses to spite their faces and further a relationship with the CFC, SOLAR, -A-, and DD. Thus is the life-cycle of semi-bitter alliance trying to make waves in New Eden. Either way, a very well orchestrated plan by PK, Maka, Pscyho Groupie, Sala, and the rest. PL and N3 have shown Eve once again that they are, in fact, the dominant Supercap force in Eve.
BL Comms (as recorded by one of Grath's 12 spies):