It was a red letter day in K-8SQS. On January 12, Verge of Collapse was out with a normal shield roaming fleet, popping out of nullsec exits and catching the locals with their pants down. Having collected some heads in Providence, Catch, Fountain, Pure Blind, and Immensea, they scanned out an entrance deep in Branch, two jumps from the home system of Fidelas Constans. Eager for a proper fight but realizing that the locals would be too many for their current numbers and fleet composition, they reshipped into heavy armor T3s with Guardian support and sat on the C-4ZOS gate in K-8 to wait for the locals to form up.
For their part, the pilots of FCON recognized that this wasn't your average roaming gang but failed to understand in advance just how outclassed they would be. The FCON FC explained:
We knew that this would be a difficult fight, but difficult things do not deter us and fighting pilots with such a good reputation for PvP is the best way for less experienced pilots to gain those vital skills, plus, only in 0.0 do you get the opportunity to have fights of this caliber.
Carrier pilots were requesting to join the fight in the knowledge that srp would not be available. I relented to their requests and allowed it.
We warped in on the hostile fleet, and proceeded to call targets. The reality of the situation was bleak of course, the hostile ships fittings alone could probably purchase a fitted Super, but I was fairly confident that we could get rid of enough of their logi and proceed to kill off the T3's as we had managed that before. Not this time, unfortunately.
And once DPS was landing on primary targets I noticed the damage they were taking was less than before, which must have meant they up'ed their previous fitting from last time. Unfortunatley the carriers arrived not long after this point and once that happened our choice of just bailing from the fight had gone. We all tightened our boots and did our best to murder every single one of them.
There were, of course, a few problems with warping 90-100 non-doctrine ships on top of a well-prepared force from one of the premier PvP alliances in New Eden. The major issue, aside from lack of organization, was apparently that the FCON carriers and logistics simply coudn't manage to land reps on their friendlies. VoC reported that their pilots "had to change targets like 2 times in the entire fight due to reps....they had 2 command ships that were being perma repped. Prolly fcs or something." When the fight started, up to nine FCON ships were going down per minute but the rate slowed to about five per minute as the gate became a less target-rich environment.
FCON did manage to kill the enemy Sabre and a cyno Velator, which enabled them to save an Archon and the Chimera, but with their fleet members exploding like cowards all around them it wasn't long until only the carriers remained on field. With four carriers pinned, FCON pilots continued to reship and warp in, but this proved suicidal and they pulled back to what seemed like a safe distance between "70-150km away." To speed things up and pad the KB further, VoC proceeded to jump a Moros in to mop up the carriers while their support fleet burned out to the enemy pilots sitting at range. Catching them with long-range points and webs, the slaughter of subcaps would go on even after the final Thanatos succumbed.
It was obviously a very one-sided fight, but the FCON FC didn't let this trouble him too much. To hear him tell it, "it's not a great feeling as an FC to see your fleet not come out on the winning side, but you can't win every time. Not a single FCON pilot was unhappy about losing to Verge of Collapse, a great fight is a great fight win or lose. And when you live in 0.0 sometimes great fights are hard to get."