The tower in question was previously reinforced by The Initiative. [INIT.] and coming out of its invulnerability mode that night. The Initiative. formed a 100 pilot Rattlesnake fleet in order to tear down the tower, with a squadron of dreadnoughts held in reserve. Against this WAFFLES. managed to form its own Rattlesnake fleet, amounting to approximately 50 pilots in total. The fleet made it to the system, setting up on the tower in question and waiting for The Initiative. forces to arrive. At the same time, it contacted Project. Mayhem. [16-13] and Snuffed Out [B B C] for reinforcements.
Snuffed Out and Project.Mayhem. had their own joint Rattlesnake fleet out at the same time, defending a Fortizar citadel anchoring in low security space. Hearing of the impending fight, the two alliances agreed to help. With the Fortizar secured, the joint fleet traveled to reach a titan in range of the system while preparing dreadnoughts for the engagement. The joint fleet had also merged with the WAFFLES. fleet, bringing the total number of pilots to 150.
This drew the attention of The-Culture [-T C-], which had knowledge of the timer. Seeing the movement of Snuffed Out and Project.Mayhem. dreadnoughts and battleships in the vicinity of Cloud Ring, The-Culture contacted The Initiative. and passed on the information about the amassing hostiles, as well as offering its help. The two alliances agreed to collaborate, and a plan of action was formulated as The-Culture hastily gathered an 80 pilot fleet of its own, mostly Rattlesnakes but a quarter of it comprised of dreadnoughts, which it moved into range of the F7C-H0 system.
By then, The Initiative. reached the system in question and warped to the tower and the waiting WAFFLE. forces which quickly retreated into the tower’s shields, allowing The Initiative. to set up on the tower. With the fleet in place, The Initiative. lit a cynosural beacon on the grid and brought forth several of its dreadnoughts. The capital ships hit the grid, engaged their siege modules and started bombarding the tower’s weakened shields. This was the moment Snuffed Out and Project.Mayhem. were waiting for. Bridging to the adjacent system of Alsavoinon in the Placid region, the reinforcement fleet jumped in through the F7C-H0 gate and warped to the tower. Simultaneously, the WAFFLES. portion of the fleet exited the tower’s shields, hurtling towards The Initiative. fleet and its dreadnoughts, their interdictors racing in to deploy warp disruption probes to pin the hostile fleet to the grid.
The joint Rattlesnake fleet landed near The Initiative. Rattlesnakes, both sides opening fire. Missile salvos and drone fire quickly filled the space between the two sides as the two fleets maneuvered close to each other, fighting at near point blank range. The new arrivals lit a cynosural beacon on the field, ushering in a couple of Minokawa force auxiliaries to bolster their logistics wing while focusing on the hostile battleships and their support.
The missile barrages that followed proved to be devastating. One after another, The Initiative.’s Rattlesnakes were simply torn apart by the combined firepower of the joint fleet. Even with the aid of The Initiative.’s 2 Minokawas on grid, the rest of the fleet was unable to tank the incoming damage. Regardless, The Initiative. returned fire, managing to inflict some losses on the enemy.
If the battle had proceeded this way, WAFFLES. and its allies might have won the day, but unfortunately, this was the moment The-Culture was waiting for. Watching the progression of the fight and seeing the hostile Rattlesnake fleet fully committed, The-Culture lit its own cynosural beacon on the grid at a ping above the tower itself and the battle unfolding at the edge of its shields. Into the grid bridged The-Culture’s Rattlesnake fleet which wasted no time aligning down in the direction of the fight before warping into the maelstrom.
The fleet landed 30 kilometers from the combatants, but that was enough. Hastily, it lit a second cynosural beacon where it landed, and brought to the field 2 Minokawas of its own to help it tank. Joining the fray, The-Culture added its own considerable firepower to the mix, coming to the aid of The Initiative.. Within moments though, things further escalated.
The Initiative. brought the rest of its capital support to the field, landing more dreadnoughts on the grid and targeting and subsequently dispatching the hostile Minokawas. As The Initiative.’s dreadnoughts poured in, Snuffed Out and Project.Mayhem. brought their own capital fleet to bear, jumping them into its already lit cynosural beacon on the field. Landing in the center of the melee, the Snuffed Out and Project.Mayhem. capitals trained their guns not on the hostile capitals, but rather on The Initiative.’s Rattlesnakes. Capital munitions were suddenly hurled into the midst of the hostile fleet, inflicting many casualties.
The Initiative., having finished ridding the field of the hostile force auxiliaries, trained the guns of its dreadnoughts on their brethren, its sub-capital fleet adding its own formidable firepower to the mix. One by one, Snuffed Out and Project.Mayhem. dreadnoughts were felled, swarms of missiles and capital munitions slamming against their hulls, tearing them apart with brute force alone. This process was further hastened by The-Culture, who added its own considerable capital fleet to the equation, jumping its many dreadnoughts into the fight just as Snuffed Out brought in their own reinforcements.
While Snuffed Out and Project.Mayhem. knew of The-Culture’s upcoming involvement in the fight, and even suspected a capital drop, they were nonetheless staggered by the number of dreadnoughts brought by the two alliances. No less than 20 dreadnoughts landed 30 kilometers away from the center of the melee, adding to the 20 dreadnoughts present by The Initiative.. More than a hundred capital turrets lined up and locked on targets, unleashing wave after wave of munitions into the ranks of the joint fleet’s capitals. With these reinforcements, the fight swung sharply in The Initiative.’s favor. In just a few minutes of entering the system, 14 of the Snuffed Out dreadnoughts were gone, a vast field of debris marking the space their once imposing masses occupied.
Its dreadnoughts gone and its force auxiliaries among the first causalities, the joint Rattlesnake fleet scrambled for range, attempting to gain distance from the hostile dreadnoughts that were now opening fire on its mainline ships. Barrage after barrage from the dreadnoughts, accompanied by flights of missiles were hurled into the fleeing Rattlesnakes. Losses began to mount as lights flashed across the grid, signaling another battleship destroyed by the immeasurable firepower unleashed by The Initiative. and its allies. Yet the joint fleet fought back, firing on the hostile Rattlesnakes and managing to inflict losses of its own.
Though continuing to fight, as time wore on it became apparent that the damage output of the joint Rattlesnake fleet was rapidly diminishing as more of its mainline ships were lost in the exchange. For The Initiative. and The-Culture, this meant their fleets could soak up the incoming damage with greater ease, and the losses they incurred were lessening in direct inversion to their enemies.
Realizing retreat was the only option, the joint Rattlesnake fleet turned its attention to hostile interdictors, destroying several of them and clearing a path for its remaining ships to warp out. Ceding the field, the remains of the joint fleet managed to warp to a ping above the Alsavoinon gate before warping to the gate itself and jumping out to the relative safety of low security space. The Initiative. and The-Culture declined to pursue their enemies, preferring instead to clear the remaining stragglers on field before removing the WAFFLES.’ tower and claiming it for The Initiative..
Thus, with the battle won and the objective claimed, both fleets extracted their remaining capitals from the system, followed suit by their sub capitals, bringing an end to the fight.
The Battle from the Perspective of the Joint Rattlesnake Mainline Ship
The Battle from the Perspective of The-Culture Rattlesnake Fleet and Capital Wing
Battle report for the F7C-H0 system can be found here.
All told the battle raged for 21 minutes, with the system hosting more than 360 pilots at the peak of the fighting. Time Dilation peaked at nearly 50% at one point in the fight but quickly subsided.
WAFFLES., Snuffed Out and Project.Mayhem. lost 80 ships in the battle, including 14 dreadnoughts, 2 force auxiliaries and 52 battleships for a total of 82.96 billion ISK damage.
The Initiative. and The-Culture lost 50 ships in total, including 1 dreadnought and 38 battleships for a total of 26.69 billion ISK damage.
Salivan Harddin is a member of V0LTA, WE FORM V0LTA, and covers battles across New Eden