The following killmail shows fifteen ships against one Tengu in some system that really doesn't matter. The first reaction of anyone not involved in that kill is probably, "He got blobbed." If you dig a little deeper into the battle report, and you're again on the outside of that fight, your first reaction is mostly, "They got blobbed."
The killmails and battle reports really only show a sliver of the story. It's like compressing the entire battle down into one snapshot instant where everything is jumbled in together.
Of course we won, there were twenty-two of us versus five. Of course they lost, they met real resistance. But it does a really awful job of describing what happened. This isn't to say that I can give a full account, but I can lay out what happened far better than "x friendly ships were destroyed and y enemy ships escaped."
So what did happen, you might ask.
[23:06:16] ACF Cadelanne > need help YHN gate
I debated for a moment if I would have time to change ships, but I realized I didn't. I had just docked in one of my Shield rifters and found myself undocking to go help ACF. I've seen him around quite a bit, he's a pretty active pilot and fairly decent from what little I know of him.
I dropped out of warp and found ACF in a Drake, engaged on the gate by a Cynabal and Vigilant. I didn't question why he hadn't deaggressed and jumped; my guess was that some of the fleet was waiting on the other side for him in the attempted gank.
I was practically on top of the Cynabal, so I opened up on him, scrambler and one twenty-fives. The Vigilant took exception to this and wiped the stargate with me. I found myself redocking for the nano-arty Hurricane I'd been setting up, telling ACF that I was sorry, and that I didn't think it was gonna work out. I got a smile in local in return.
After docking, boarding, undocking, warping, and finally landing on the YHN- gate, I found the field cleared of reds, yellows, and neutrals. It seemed there were another few wrecks, but I didn't know what they were or whose they were.
At this point, my memory fails me. I seriously don't remember anything until I was undocking and warping to the V-3 gate in my arty Hurricane. Someone had called for help at that gate, and when I landed I found a neutral Tengu and Cynabal about one hundred off the gate.
They did a lot of kiting, aggressing, pulling away. We did a lot of holding position, aggressing, and chasing them off. A hero in a Crow got himself killed in the process. I had to warp away just thirty to forty seconds before the final engagement, the Tengu having whittled my shields down sufficiently at that point while I myself had done little in the way of damage to the Tengu. I was warping back from the station when I heard the news of the Tengu and Cynabal having been destroyed. Sometimes you get a raw deal, but at least I only lost a Rifter in the process.
Killmails and battle report mails simply don't tell enough of the story to be worthwhile. Everything gets lost in translation.
Computer: terminate recording.