The battle was prompted by Evictus, who was celebrating its second anniversary of attaining sovereignty in the area and becoming a Providence Bloc holder (Main member alliance). To commemorate the occasion, Evictus assembled a 45 pilot fleet of various ships, including carriers and dreadnoughts. The force made its way from Evictus territory down to The Volition Cult space, where its fleet commanders believed a fight could be found.
Roaming through the area, the fleet arrived at the A-VILQ system without an incident. Planning on going deeper into the Catch region, the fleet moved back to the N-8BZ6 system, where scouts reported a possible sighting of The Volition Cult capitals. As the fleet’s capital squadron jumped into the system, a Broadsword heavy interdictor landed on their in-gate, activated its heavy interdiction field, lit a cynosural beacon, and into the system then jumped The Volition Cult’s mixed capital squadron.
Without delay, the Evictus fleet set up on the gate, engaging The Volition Cult’s capitals at point blank range. Dreadnoughts on both sides entered siege cycles and opened fire as carriers unleashed their fighter squadrons on one another. The first target of the Evictus fleet was the Apostle force auxiliary brought to the field by The Volition Cult. Energy neutralizers started draining its capacitor as fighter squadrons and capital munitions pounded against its thick armor.
Barrage after barrage broke against its hull, pounding the thick cover of armor plates into dust and finally breaking through and causing havoc on the structure beneath. Volley after volley penetrated through, damaging internal sections and destroying vital systems. Within moments, the wounded beast caved in to the relentless fire, its reactors melting down in a devastating chain reaction that unleashed its terrible power throughout the ship. The explosion appeared in an instant, radiating outwardly as pieces of the structure were hurled along in a great sphere that vanished as quickly as it appeared, leaving only a cloud of debris in its wake.
And yet, it was too early for Evictus to celebrate. Removing the Apostle may have deprived the enemy capitals of their support, but this did not make them any less dangerous. In retaliation, The Volition Cult targeted and subsequently destroyed one of the Naglfar dreadnoughts of the Evictus fleet, exacting revenge for their fallen comrade. At the same time, The Volition Cult reinforcements arrived on the field, a 20 pilot Caracal cruiser fleet which started engaging the sub capital force of the Evictus fleet.
All the while, The Volition Cult continued to pour in capital reinforcements as more of its dreadnoughts and carriers warped to the gate to contribute to the fight. The field quickly devolved into a score of scattered fights as the capitals rumbled on, while the sub capitals freely engaged each other in half a dozen smaller fights. Dreadnoughts and carriers exchanged fire in increasingly violent barrages as capitals on both sides gave in to the onslaught.
To this melee joined League of Unaligned Master Pilots [LUMPY], who had been roaming the area in a 25 pilot Talwar destroyer fleet. Chancing upon the exchange, the Talwar fleet quickly warped to the fray, landing at range and unleashing its swarm of missiles on the two opposing sides, further adding to the chaos. Salvo after salvo of light missiles crossed the void of space to detonate against the hulls of unsuspecting ships, who simply vanished in sudden explosions.
As the battle raged on, it became clear to the Evictus fleet commanders that the tide was turning against them. The Volition Cult was able to keep reinforcing its capital force, replacing losses and increasing its presence on the field. In contrast, the Evictus fleet was swiftly losing ships, not aided by the presence of the Talwar fleet on the grid. Realizing the impossible odds they were facing, the Evictus fleet commanders made the decision for the surviving capitals to burn to the gate and jump out once their aggression timers cleared.
The Volition Cult was having none of it. More and more capitals piled in, unleashing devastating fire barrages and swarms of fighter squadrons on their retreating brethren. One by one Evictus’ remaining carriers were brought down, their twisted wrecks adding to the increasing cloud of debris that was forming around the A-VILQ gate. Their sub capital escorts attempted their best to apply remote repairs to help but to no avail. Only one Chimera carrier managed to escape the slaughter, jumping in with its shield generators blown and managing to execute an emergency jump to safety.
With their capitals either destroyed or safe, the Evictus sub capital fleet beat a hasty retreat, conceding the field to The Volition Cult. The Volition Cult for its part chose not to pursue the fleeing Evictus fleet, allowing it to safely extract. Instead, it looted the field and extracted its remaining capitals, harassed by the Talwar fleet which hung around the gate, diving in and out to unleash its missile payload on the vulnerable haulers and their sub capital escorts.
Finally, with the field cleared, The Volition Cult retreated, bringing the fight to its end.
The Battle from the Perspective of the Evictus. Fleet Sub-Capital Fleet
Battle report for the N-8BZ6 system can be found here.
All told the battle lasted 30 minutes with the system hosting approximately 100 pilots at the peak of the fighting and Time Dilation not reported by any of the combatants.
Evictus. lost 29 ships in the fighting, including but not limited to 2 dreadnoughts, 6 carriers and 1 battleship for a total sum of 22.28 billion ISK.
The Volition Cult lost 42 ships in the fighting, including but not limited to 3 dreadnoughts, 1 force auxiliary, 1 carrier, 2 battleships and 13 cruisers for a total of 19.98 billion ISK.
League of Unaligned Master Pilots suffered only negligible losses.
Salivan Harddin is a member of V0LTA, WE FORM V0LTA, and covers battles across New Eden