The battle was fought over a Test Alliance Please Ignore tower which VC reinforced before. As the invulnerability timer was set to expire, both sides geared up for a massive fight.
Test Alliance Please Ignore managed to assemble a 200 pilot Maelstrom battleship fleet, arriving to the system before its enemies and managing to even repair the tower as it exited reinforced mode uncontested.
Against this, VC managed to assemble a 140 Machariel battleship fleet. Due to a long form up time, the fleet was unable to arrive in time to the system to contest the tower, bridging to a safe tower in the system to start the fight regardless.
Besides these two fleets, a DARKNESS. [DARK] led Tengu strategic cruiser fleet, estimated at 50 pilots, was also present as well as a Northern Coalition. [NC] Proteus strategic cruiser fleet of similar size. The former was contacted by the VC fleet commanders and the two fleets collaborated against the Maelstrom and Proteus fleet, which had arrived to aide Test Alliance Please Ignore.
The two sides met on the Test Alliance Please Ignore tower, starting the battle.
The two sides exchanged mostly long range fire as the Proteus and Tengu fleets attempted at times to warp on top of the different battleship fleets, with mixed results. However both battleship fleets continued to engage each other at long range, pinging around the grid at times and keeping their distance.
As the different fleets maneuvered on the grid, the Test Alliance Please Ignore command destroyers managed to snag away one of the VC fleet commanders away from the main fleet and remove him. Yet, the two fleets continued to exchange heavy artillery barrages, volleying mainline ships while being harassed by the strategic cruiser fleets without pause.
Finally, the VC Machariel fleet was tackled by the Northern Coalition. Proteus fleet. This led Pandemic Legion [-10.0], which knew of the timer and kept eyes on the battle to light a cynosural beacon near the Machariel fleet and drop its fleet.
Pandemic Legion had a 50 pilot Proteus fleet of its own with several triage carriers which it bridged in as well as no less than 30 supercarriers.
The Proteus fleet quickly moved in to help the Northern Coalition. fleet to keep tackle on as many Machariels as possible while the supercarriers unleashed their swarm of fighters on the battleships. Against the supercarriers, the Machariel fleet could do little, instead focusing on the strategic cruisers while attempting to disengage.
The Maelstrom fleet continued to snipe from its position near the tower’s shields, but was reluctant to engage further, especially in the face of a Pandemic Legion supercarrier force. Thus, the remnants of the Machariel fleet quickly fled the field, pursued by Northern Coalition. forces.
With the Test Alliance Please Ignore fleet still hugging the shields of the tower, the Pandemic Legion force decided to withdraw, leaving the grid and attempting to extract in an orderly fashion. However, as the sub-capital fleet made its way home and the supercarriers extracted, one was snagged by a Broadsword heavy interdictor.
The supercarrier in question, an Aeon, remained behind to oversee the final extraction, as another supercarrier seemingly had trouble jumping out. By the time its sister ship got out, the Aeon was tackled by the heavy interdictor. Fighting it off, Test Alliance Please Ignore interdictors had already managed to tackle it, and the fleet had arrived.
Blasting at the supercarrier, the Test Alliance Please Ignore was unable to get cynosural inhibitors deployed in time, and the Aeon lit a cynosural beacon, ushering in the Pandemic Legion reserve fleet. With a large number of supercarriers once again present, the Test Alliance Please Ignore fleet retreated, allowing Pandemic Legion to extract again, this time with no incident.
Thus, the battle ended, with Test Alliance Please Ignore managing to hold the tower, and the field.
The Battle from the Perspective of the Maelstrom Fleet
The Battle from the Perspective of the Pandemic Legion Super Capital Fleet
Battle report for the GGE-5Q system can be found here.
All told the battle lasted 50 minutes from start to end, with Time Dilation reaching a peak of 16% at one point in the fight. The system reportedly held 500 pilots in total.
VC and DARKNESS. lost 47 ships in total, including 24 battleships and 6 strategic cruisers for 20.88 billion ISK damage.
Test Alliance Please Ignore and Northern Coalition. lost 50 ships in comparison, including 8 battleships and 13 strategic cruisers for 14.53 billion ISK damage.
Pandemic Legion losses were minimal, mainly interdictors.
Salivan Harddin is a member of Reikoku, Pandemic Legion, and covers battles across New Eden