Another round of fighting between the Imperium and allied forces had produced several new developments in the war, including the first Imperium system to fall to allied hands.
The Vale of the Silent region saw further escalation in allied operations, as League of Unaligned Master Pilots [LUMPY] joined the allies in their assault of the eastern region of Imperium space. The alliance, renowned for its small and medium scale warfare, attacked the XV-8JQ system, in particular the infrastructure hub located there in order to draw the attention of the defenders.
Circle-Of-Two [CO2], which owns the system, obliged and a small Svipul tactical destroyer fleet was dispatched to deal with the attackers who were at the time in Imperial Navy Slicer frigates. Unknown to Circle-Of-Two though, was the fact League of Unaligned Master Pilots had a Svipul fleet of its own hiding in wormhole space. As the Circle-Of-Two Svipul fleet attempted to engage the intruders, the League of Unaligned Master Pilots Svipul fleet quickly descended on top of it, destroying them in a quick fire exchange.
Circle-Of-Two did not despair, and sent a new fleet in, this time of Eagle heavy assault cruisers. League of Unaligned Master Pilots saw this and re-shipped, bringing its signature Gila cruiser fleet. The two sides clashed once more over the infrastructure hub, with the Circle-Of-Two Eagle fleet unable to tank the Gila drone swarms, losing ships fast and finally forced to disengage.
With Circle-Of-Two forces retreating, League of Unaligned Master Pilots decided against pushing the infrastructure hub into reinforced mode and extracted safely from the system, putting an end to the fighting.
Battle report for the XV-8JQ system can be found here.
In the early hours of the 18th of March, Imperium and allied forces clashed in the E9KD-N system of the Fade region over several timers in the area.
The fight was over three particular timers in the C-OK0R, YKSC-A and WQY-IQ systems, including two territorial claim units and one infrastructure hub.
Allied forces, led by Northern Coalition. [NC] assembled a 95 pilot Machariel battleship fleet, moving it to the FIO1-8 system as reports came of an Imperium Machariel fleet of a similar size supported by a large super capital wing sat on the other side of the gate in the E9KD-N system.
Before the two forces could engage each other, as Northern Coalition. was attempting to assemble a super capital fleet of its own, the Imperium forces retreated to the station, spooked by the number of interdictors that trickled into the FIO1-8 system, clearing the path for the attackers to claim nodes and destroy the infrastructure hub of the C-OK0R system.
However, Imperium fleet commanders were not idle, and continued to ping for reinforcements, managing to swell the size of their fleet to a 110, including 5 triage carriers. The attackers on the other hand, were hemorrhaging numbers, the fleet reduced to only 80 pilots, including 1 triage carrier.
Regardless, with reports of Imperium reinforcements attempting to link with the main fleet in E9KD-N, allied forces attempted to intercept them on the 6RCQ-V gate in the system. Catching the Imperium reinforcements flat footed, the allies started a close range fight, destroying a few of the battleships caught. However Imperium forces rallied together, the main fleet landing on the gate and swiftly engaging the allied fleet, both forces brawling on the gate at close range.
The first exchanges went badly for the allies, as the Imperium had a greater number of battleships and triage carriers on the field, able for the most part to tank the incoming damage while volleying enemy battleships one after the other. The triage carrier for the allied fleet went down quickly, having been shut down by the abundance of energy neutralizing battleships present on the field.
With their logistics wing broken and mounting losses, the allies swiftly disengaged, burning away from the hostile fleet and retreating to the FIO1-8 system. Imperium forces however, declined to pursue, remaining in the E9KD-N system. This allowed allied forces to continue their entosis operations, capturing nodes throughout the constellation and destroying the two territorial claim units of the Imperium.
However, Imperium forces managed to re-claim those systems, winning both the strategic and tactical objectives in the end.
While the Imperium fleets stood down, the allied fleet was able to extract, putting an end to large fleet warfare between the two sides for the night.
Battle report for the E9KD-N system can be found here.
Following on the heels of the night’s events, allied forces spearheaded by Exodus. [LOLGF] managed to take control of the 7D-0SQ system in the Pure Blind region. The system was taken without resistance, and has little strategic value of itself. However it does mark the first system to fall into allied hands since the start of the campaign, in the face of Imperium propaganda which claimed such an event would never occur.
A tower containing a Supercapital Construction Assembly Array (SCAA) belonging to Get Off My Lawn [LAWN] which was previously reinforced by allied forces was saved by the Imperium. The Imperium attempted to form in order to save the tower, but was unable to gather enough pilots to contest the allied forces who managed to pull 400 pilots in 5 separate fleets.
Instead, taking advantage of the fact the allies had quite a distance to travel in order to reach the tower, Imperium forces quickly repaired it using several triage carriers. Managing to restore its shields above the 51% mark which allowed them to refuel its Strontium bay, The Imperium guaranteed a second reinforcement timer for the tower.
The allies finally reached the system and shot the tower again, pushing it once more into its reinforcement mode. With the Imperium offering no resistance, the allies continued on to another timer in the same region.
Allied forces continued their operations in the Vale of the Silent region, moving to the XSQ-TF system where a tower sitting on a valuable moon was previously reinforced by them. The tower, belonging to Get Off My Lawn, exited its reinforced mode as allied forces entered the system and was dispatched without resistance. The moon was then claimed by allied forces, marking the loss of another strategic objective by the Imperium.
The other thing of note was the appearance of a Providence Bloc Maelstrom battleship fleet in the proceedings. Though not engaging the tower nor the allied forces, the fleet of approximately 50 pilots was a peculiar sight. Though having often clashed in the past with both Northern Coalition. and Pandemic Legion [-10.0] who are part of the allied forces, it seems Providence Bloc came to assist the allies.
With the memory of the Imperium assault on Providence Bloc sovereignty still fresh in the eyes of some pilots, it seems enough bad blood was incurred by the invasion attempt to bring volunteers to the north to assist coalition forces in their assault of Imperium sovereignty.
Though sources in Providence Bloc confirm that members of the coalition have deployed to the north of New Eden, no official authorization was given for joint operations with allied forces or to assault Imperium sovereignty, making Providence Bloc, in effect, a third party in the conflict.
EVE News 24 will keep you up to date with current events, as the fighting between the two sides continues.
Salivan Harddin is a member of Reikoku, Pandemic Legion, and covers battles across New Eden