With peace concluded between The Volition Cult [VOLT] and League of Unaligned Master Pilots [LUMPY], SW forces were freed to turn their attention to other parts of Catch where dispossessed alliances from the Delve region have carved footholds. Thus SW and Dangerous Voltage [DV] supported by Tactical Supremacy have clashed in the last few days over the U-JTBT constellation without any real gains. On the 1st of October though, SW stepped up its attacks, reinforcing the constellation and even venturing deeper yet, attacking the CNC-4V system for the first time.
The battle itself was prompted after Tactical Supremacy forces spotted an SW Machariel battleship fleet, estimated at 70 pilots, making its way to the CZK-ZQ system. The force itself had an Apostle force auxiliary with it, as well as more backup in the form of a mixed capital squadron waiting in range of the area. The fleet arrived to the CZK-ZQ system itself and set up on the station, sending ships to nearby systems in order to reinforce their infrastructure.
Tactical Supremacy decided to engage the fleet, and formed a 50 pilot Gila cruiser fleet. The force traveled to the system and quickly warped to within a 100 kilometers of the Machariel fleet, unleashing its swarm of drones. The two fleets exchanged fire, the Machariels firing artillery salvos at the nimble cruisers who retaliated with descending clouds of drones. However both sides failed to inflict any major casualties on each other, as the Gilas remained to far from the optimal range of the artillery cannons, which could only graze the cruisers. As for the Gilas, their drones failed to do much thanks to the presence of the Apostle and the smartbombs fitted by the Machariels, which forced Tactical Supremacy to recall its fleet’s drones time and again or lose them.
When one of the SW entosis ships in the CNC-4V system came under attack, the Machariel fleet hastily disengaged, warping to the CNC-4V gate and jumping in. After chasing the hostile ships away, the Machariel fleet returned to the CZK-ZQ gate, in time to catch the Gila fleet jumping in, having decided to re-ship due to the literal stalemate which occurred on the CZK-ZQ station. Caught flat footed, the Gila fleet was forced to burn away from the gate as the Machariels pampered it with fire. Several cruisers were unlucky, the artillery salvos ripping them to shreds as they tried to reach safety. Knowing it would be futile to engage the Machariel fleet on the gate, the Tactical Supremacy fleet commander had the fleet warp back to the citadel in the system to re-ship, allowing the Machariel fleet to re-position as well, setting up on the infrastructure hub it was trying to reinforce.
Re-shipping to a Rattlesnake battleship fleet and organizing a capital squadron of its own, Tactical Supremacy took to the field again. Its fleet warped on top of the Machariel fleet, heralded by a lone interdictor which landed first and covered the Machariel fleet in warp disruption probes, pinning it on the structure. Thus, the Rattlesnakes managed to land on the Machariels themselves, the two fleets opening fire and re-starting the fight.
The battle itself proved to be a savage exchange. Both sides had force auxiliaries with them, yet the sheer firepower each fleet possessed was enough to overwhelm ships. Artillery cannons fired devastation barrages which were answered with great salvos of missiles all fired at literal point blank range as the two fleets tangled on the infrastructure hub. With the Rattlesnake fleet supported by 2 Minokawa force auxiliary ships, SW forces focused their on them swiftly in order to remove Tactical Supremacy’s logistics backbone. To do just that, SW forces lit a cynosural beacon in their midst, bringing forth their capital support, including more force auxiliaries and dreadnoughts.
The new arrivals focused on the Minokawas, bombarding them with capital munitions and squadrons of fighters. Tactical Supremacy though, was not deterred by this development. Lighting its own cynosural beacon 40 kilometers away from the center of the melee, it brought its own capital force to the field. Carriers and dreadnoughts jumped through and deployed to counter SW’s capitals. The Rattlesnakes as well, fighting so close to the SW dreadnoughts, used their formidable heavy energy neutralizers and started to put pressure on the capital ships, draining their capacitor and making it hard for them to cycle their guns or tank the incoming damage.
Among the capital reinforcements of the SW fleet was also a Wyvern super carrier, which attempted to help its lesser brethren by unleashing its fighter squadrons. Tactical Supremacy directed two of its carriers to counter it, sending fighter squadrons to battle it. The two formation of fighters collided, and were soon involved in a bitter fight of their own. Reinforcing squadrons were continuously sent out by both sides, but finally the Wyvern had lost most if not all of its fighters and was forced to withdraw, Tactical Supremacy too busy in the melee unfolding on the infrastructure hub to attempt and tackle it, thus allowing it to safely extract.
The battle soon became a desperate race between the two sides to clear the opposing capital support. SW was putting all of its formidable firepower on the force auxiliaries, while Tactical Supremacy was targeting the opposing dreadnoughts. In the end though, the race was won by Tactical Supremacy. SW managed to get one of the Minokawa into low armor, but by then all of its dreadnoughts had perished. Without the added pressure of the capital ships, the Minokawas were able to recover, managing to tank the SW sub-capital fleet without any further issue.
By then, the SW capital force was destroyed, including its Apostle force auxiliaries. With the force auxiliaries gone, the mainstay of the SW logistics wing was lost, putting its sub capital fleet in grave peril. To continue to fight with hostile dreadnoughts and the remaining Rattlesnakes would invite inevitable defeat and total annihilation. Thus, the SW fleet commander had no choice but to concede, retreating from the field and hastily extracting his forces.
This left Tactical Supremacy in command of the field. Looting the wrecks before safely extracting their capitals and remaining battleships. Thus, having repelled SW forces and saved its infrastructure hub, Tactical Supremacy claimed victory and brought the battle to its end.
Battle report for the CNC-4V system can be found here.
All told the battle lasted 15 minutes, with the system hosting an estimated 150 pilots at the height of the fighting and Time Dilation not reported by any of the combatants.
Tactical Supremacy lost 19 ships in the engagement, including 8 battleships and 4 cruisers for a total of 5.78 billion ISK damage.
Stain Wagon coalition lost 33 ships including 4 dreadnoughts, 3 force auxiliary, 1 carrier and 14 battleships for a total of 24.18 billion ISK damage.
Salivan Harddin is a member of V0LTA, WE FORM V0LTA, and covers battles across New Eden.