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1P-WGB system, Catch region. On the 21st of September at 19:00 EVE Standard Time, The Volition Cult [VOLT] and its allies met League of Unaligned Master Pilots [LUMPY] and Test Alliance Please Ignore [TEST] in series of battles over the fate of the JZV-O6 constellation.

The fierce fighting ensued after League of Unaligned Master Pilots reinforced several systems in the constellation, including 2 infrastructure hubs in the 6-MM99 and G-7WUF systems, which were set to exit their invulnerability phase that night. With much on the line, The Volition Cult organized a 90 pilot Dominix battleship fleet while calling allies in Stain Wagon (SW) coalition and Providence Bloc for assistance. Both responded, with SW assembling a 120 pilot Proteus strategic cruiser fleet with 2 capital squadrons, mainly dreadnoughts, while Providence Bloc mustered an 80 pilot Nightmare battleship fleet.

Against this, League of Unaligned Master Pilots had gathered a 90 pilot Rattlesnake fleet with several force auxiliaries in tow, and Test Alliance Please Ignore pulled a 120 pilot Loki strategic cruiser fleet, which made its way towards the region.

First Engagement

The two sides first met in the 1P-WGB system, with The Volition Cult arriving first and setting up on a League of Unaligned Master Pilots tower, attempting to reinforce it. This was done in order to draw the confrontation into the system, allowing SW forces to stage their forces in range, including their capitals. The plan partially worked, as the Dominix fleet deployed its sentry drones and started hammering the tower’s shields, alerting League of Unaligned Master Pilots to its presence. League of Unaligned Master Pilots quickly sent its scouts out to gather information while undocking its own fleet and getting it to a titan in range of the system.

Confirming the location of the Dominix force, the Rattlesnake fleet hastily sent interdictors in order to hold it down while securing a cynosural beacon. As the vanguard of the League of Unaligned Master Pilots entered the system, the Dominix fleet gathered its drones and aligned towards the F4R2-Q gate, the most probable point of entry for its enemies. As it warped to the gate, the Dominix fleet soon discovered it had been stranded 20 kilometers away thanks to well placed interdiction probes by the League of Unaligned Master Pilots’ interdictors. As the ships kept landing, a cynosural beacon 40 kilometers away lit up and the Rattlesnake fleet bridged into the system.

The two fleets anchored up, with the Rattlesnake fleet increasing the distance between the two fleets to around 70 kilometers. The two sides launched their sentry drones and opened fire, starting the battle itself.

The opening salvos were devastating, with scores of cruise missiles impacted Dominixes, tearing through armor plates and detonating inside the fragile hulls. In return, sentry drone fire rained hell upon the Rattlesnakes, overwhelming shield generators and tearing through the soft underbelly of the now-exposed ships. The battle raged on, claiming more lives as wreckage was strewn across the field of battle, drifting around and between the warring fleets. However, most of it belonged to the Dominix fleet. It was being massacred mercilessly by the Rattlesnake fleet, pinned down by its interdictor squadron away from the gate and without support.

The Rattlesnake fleet had the upper hand, its own logistics wing bolstered by the presence of Minokawa force auxiliaries. The capital ships with their triage modules and capital remote shield transfers made the difference, saving many battleships in low shields and even armor. Only on occasion did their pilots falter, accounting for the few causalities the Rattlesnake fleet sustained.

The Volition Cult had simply engaged too early, with most of its allies still either mustering or getting into position. Regardless, upon hearing of the Dominix fleet’s plight, the SW fleet set out without delay, making best speed to the system. With its capitals still out of range, the SW fleet hurried to a titan in range and a cynosural beacon was hastily secured and lit on the 1P-GBW gate in F4R2-Q system. The Proteus fleet bridged in without hesitation and jumped in, intending to help turn the tide.

It simply arrived too late, the Dominix fleet was in ruin, its remaining ships attempting to escape what had become a slaughter. With their capitals still en route to get in range of the system and reports of the inbound Loki fleet, SW forces declined to engage, burning out of the interdiction probe cover on the gate and perching above it before warping off. Extracting from the system, the SW fleet made course to the ZXIC-7 system to wait for its allies to re-group before engaging the Rattlesnake fleet again.

With their enemies either broken or in retreat, the Rattlesnake fleet proceeded to the MB-NKE system in order to set up a blockade to give cover to its entosis operations in the JZV-O6 constellation.

Battle report for the 1P-WGB system can be found here.

Skirmish in ZXIC-7

With news of its allies’ victory, the Test Alliance Please Ignore Loki fleet quickly diverted to pursue the SW Proteus fleet. With the intention of testing its new doctrine, especially against a Proteus fleet, Test Alliance Please Ignore raced to the ZXIC-7 system where scouts reported on the whereabouts of the SW force. SW itself had positioned its fleet on the station as it waited for its allies to re-ship and head out once more.

The Loki fleet entered the system and without delay warped to the station, setting up on a perch before warping to one of the moons in the system, following a wing of SW Proteus which accidentally warped off in that direction following its links. Once landed, the Lokis picked off a few of the ships there before the rest could return to the station and re-link with the main fleet. With the last stragglers were dispatched, the Loki fleet warped again, this time on top of the Proteus fleet itself and immediately opened fire. The SW fleet decided to take the fight rather than dock up, and the two sides tangled in a brutal fire exchange.

The battle itself was another bloody affair, with the two sides fighting at point blank range. The Lokis’ artillery cannons assailed the Proteus and Legion strategic cruisers, breaking through the thick armor with brute strength alone. In response, super heated plasma and laser fire focused in powerful salvos, finding and pulverizing the much weaker but vital Scimitar logistics cruisers which served as the backbone of the Loki fleet’s logistics wing.

The Scimitars were unable to pull greater range from the fight, as the Lokis themselves were locked in a close range brawl, thus putting them in the range of the SW strategic cruisers, who relished the opportunity to thin, and ultimately destroy, the logistics wing of the Loki fleet. The main reason for the inability of the Loki fleet to break away was due to its main anchor being webbed by the SW fleet, forcing the rest of the fleet to remain in such close confinement.

The Lokis themselves were not silent, and fought back hard, managing to volley several strategic cruisers in violent coordinated fire strikes. However as the battle progressed, their logistics wing became ever weaker as Scimitars were simply destroyed left and right. Within a few minutes, most of the logistics cruisers had succumbed to the enemy fire, rendering the logistics wing defunct.

With their logistics wing neutralized, the Lokis proved far easier to break, and the Proteus fleet took joy in decimating it. Yet as the tide of the battle changed in favor of SW, the Loki fleet disengaged, warping out and extracting from the system in order to regroup with the Rattlesnake fleet in MB-NKE, leaving SW to claim the field.

Battle report for the ZXIC-7 system can be found here.

Second Engagement

The third and last battle was fought in the MB-NKE system. The Rattlesnake fleet had situated itself 70 kilometers away from the WLAR-J gate, the only point of entry for The Volition Cult and its allies while the Loki fleet waited on a perch, organizing reinforcements to bridge in. For its part the Loki fleet had secured several replacements for its logistics cruisers, but was forced to borrow a couple of the Minokawa force auxiliary ships to supplement its logistics wing.

By now, the allies were prepared, with dreadnoughts in position to jump in and the three fleets gathered on the MB-NKE gate. The Volition Cult had substituted its Dominix fleet for a Proteus fleet of its own though its numbers remained the same. First in were the SW and The Volition Cult fleets. The two quickly anchored up and burnt towards the Rattlesnakes, with the Providence Bloc fleet jumping in a half minute later to join the fray.

In response, the Rattlesnake fleet opened fire, greeting the rushing strategic cruisers with a firestorm of missiles. One by one, strategic cruisers were felled by the missile barrage, exploding in bright fireballs that were quickly extinguished in the vacuum of space, leaving smoldering wrecks in their wake. The Volition Cult and SW fleets were unfazed by the attack and continued to rush forward into the cluster of Rattlesnakes. The Loki fleet at the same time lit a cynosural beacon and bridged in its reinforcements before pinging on the grid to get in range of the fight. Burning in to get in range of its allies and enemies. As it drew closer, the Lokis opened fire, blasting at the strategic cruisers and adding their firepower to the mix.

By now, both sides were suffering heavy losses, as the SW and The Volition Cult fleets, with the addition of the Nightmare fleet which skirted the fight at 80 kilometers, started focusing on the Rattlesnake fleet. Battleship after battleship caved in to the remorseless pounding, even against the best efforts of the Rattlesnake’s force auxiliaries. However, the battleships were only secondary targets, as the real target soon emerged – The mobile cynosural inhibitor set up by the Rattlesnakes. With it destroyed, SW lit a cynosural beacon in the midst of the the Rattlesnake fleet and ushered in its dreadnought squadron, bringing in 15 of them.

The SW Dreadnoughts on the Field in MB-NKE near the Wreckage of one of the League of Unaligned Master Pilots' Minokawa Force Auxiliary

The SW Dreadnoughts on the Field in MB-NKE near the Wreckage of one of the League of Unaligned Master Pilots’ Minokawa Force Auxiliary

The dreadnoughts entered siege mode immediately and targeted the force auxiliaries. The heavy fire of the capitals coupled with the strategic cruisers served to overwhelm the ships, vanquishing them one after the other. With their force auxiliaries gone, the Rattlesnake fleet started burning away, while the SW dreadnoughts regenerated their capacitor and jumped out. By now the Loki fleet had advanced, covering the retreat of the Rattlesnakes and situating itself between the two sides, though further to the side and below. The Rattlesnakes themselves had gained enough distance from the extracting dreadnoughts and brought in a second set of force auxiliaries, as well as setting up a new mobile cynosural inhibitor.

The fight continued in earnest with the two sides slugging it out in a battle that was becoming uglier by the minute. Wrecks littered the grid in a long chain that stretched all the way to the WLAR-J gate. Casualties continued to mount as the engagement drummed on. The Loki fleet which was mostly ignored through the first half of the fight started to come under heavy fire, as the Nightmares in particular zoomed in and concentrated their beam laser bursts on the strategic cruisers. One by one, the searing beams of light cut through the Lokis’ shields and eviscerated their hulls, costing them dearly. The Proteus fleets in the meanwhile drove into the Rattlesnakes once again, exchanging heavy fire as they closed the distance between the two.

The Rattlesnakes withdrew further, trying to gain distance from the charging strategic cruisers. However the query of the Proteus fleets was already at hand. The second cynosural inhibitor was taken down, and the second group of force auxiliaries, including the Loki fleets’, was in range. A second cynosural flared up, bringing a couple of The Volition Cult dreadnoughts. However, with only 2 dreadnoughts, later bolstered by 2 carriers, it would have proven impossible to break the force auxiliaries. SW dreadnoughts which had already extracted were called back in, and jumped to the cynosural beacon. With the combined firepower of the Proteus fleets and dreadnoughts, the second force auxiliary group was annihilated save but one, which managed to warp off in deep structure.

With their logistics wing annihilated, the Rattlesnake and Loki fleets had no other choice but to retreat. The Volition Cult and its allies attempted to hold down as many of their enemy’s ships as possible, catching a few more Rattlesnakes while the Loki fleet warped out immediately. The remains of the Rattlesnake fleet also managed to escape, conceding the field to The Volition Cult and its allies.

With the battle won, The Volition Cult was able to save all its timers, protecting its infrastructure while claiming the field with the help of its allies. With the strategic objectives secured as well, all the allied fleets safely extracted, ending the fight.

Battle report for the MB-NKE system can be found here.

The 1P-WGB and MB-NKE Battles from the Perspective of the League of Unaligned Master Pilots’ Minokawa

Combined battle report for the 1P-WGB, ZXIC-7 and MB-NKE systems can be found here.

All told, the battle lasted for 80 minutes, with 550 pilots present in the MB-NKE system at the height of the battle. Time Dilation was not reported by any of the combatants, while stealth bomber activity picked up during the second engagement.

The Volition Cult lost 130 ships including 56 battleships and 27 strategic cruisers for a total of 30.25 billion ISK, while Stain Wagon lost 87 ships including 39 strategic cruisers for a total of 26.13 billion ISK. Providence Bloc lost only 16 ships, including 4 battleships for 2.64 billion ISK.
League of Unaligned Master Pilots lost 61 ships, including 4 force auxiliary and 25 battleships for a total of 25.8 billion ISK damage. Test Alliance Please Ignore suffered 88 ship losses, including 29 strategic cruisers for a sum of 20.58 billion ISK.

Salivan Harddin is a member of V0LTA, of WE FORM V0LTA, and covers battles across New Eden.