For once circumstances lined up properly and I was able to participate in the CTA to protect D-GTMI yesterday. Sadly it did not go as well as I had hoped; in the end we were not able to hold the system as we battled a superior force and incredible lag.
As our forces gathered in the staging area spirits were generally high throughout the fleet. We had large numbers and I found myself in a battlecruiser sub-fleet of more than 200 pilots. I had hoped to get a battleship to the fight but timing was just not on my side with that. After staging was prolonged by a server reboot we were able to titan-bridge into D-GTMI and I loaded the POS grid surprisingly quickly. In forming up for battle I felt as if, by some miracle, the node would be able to do this; boy was I wrong.
As the battle began I got word from a corp-mate flying in the capital fleet that they were under attack. It seems that the newer capital pilots were struggling to properly fly their ships and losses began to mount unnecessarily. As the lag hit many in the capital fleet were disconnected; unable to login again most of them only learned about the fate of their ships through the killboards.
We got the order to warp to the FSW gate and take out the anchored warp disruption bubbles before turning to the SBU. As we arrived some pilots began to load the grid but during the whole fight I was never able to fully load all of the enemy pilots. After removing some pilots from the field we focused on the warp disruption generators and took them out. With our dreadnaughts still on the field we turned to the SBU but at this point the lag was truly becoming a problem. Personally I was able to get off a grand total of 3 more shots over the next half hour, even with my settings designed strictly for lag reduction. Despite the complete inability to actually fire at the SBU we continued our effort to destroy it untill Atlas reinforcements arrived and our own dreadnoughts were removed. I finally loaded the enemy dreadnoughts as they were already warping away from the battle, then we got the heads up that 100-150 sniping battleships were jumping in. As we began to load those battleships our fleet was ordered to retreat as the fight was largely lost by now.
Our force was outnumbered and in some cases outflown. In combination with the horrible lag we experienced there was little to be done but fight to the bitter end. The combined enemy fleet did an excellent job in this engagement and won the day. I did see Wensley of Rifter Drifter fame fighting in red fleet so I look forward to his report.
As we received the after action update from command the station fell and I commited ritual suicide in my despair (actually just to get home but that sounds much more grand).
I would like to note that our fleet commander (CVA Battlecruiser Fleet) did an exceptional job of managing a group that included many pilots participating in their first true fleet action. I would like to commend his patience and leadership.