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PNQY-Y system, Fountain region. On the 26th of October at 19:00 EVE Standard Time a major battle unfolded in the system between The-Culture [-T C-] and Goonswarm Federation [CONDI] involving their various allies.

The battle was fought over a LowSechnaya Sholupen [-LSH-] Fortizar citadel. The citadel, which serves as LowSechnaya Sholupen main staging in the region, was successfully reinforced by The-Culture repeatedly, with the 26th representing its final invulnerability phase. If The-Culture managed to destroy it, a fatal blow would be struck against the already faltering campaign of the alliance in the region.

Knowing this, both sides geared up for a major battle, calling allies from every corner of the cluster. The-Culture formed a Machariel battleship fleet and was supported by a Vanguard Coalition (VG) Tengu strategic cruiser fleet and a Guardians of the Galaxy (GotG) Proteus strategic cruiser fleet. Against them Goonswarm Federation led the citadel’s defense with a Proteus fleet, augmented by a Stain Wagon (SW) coalition Proteus fleet of its own and a LowSechnaya Sholupen\Red Menace Coalition (RMC) joint Tempest Fleet Issue battleship fleet.

The two sides converged on the system, the different fleets making their way from their respective staging systems and regions via gates, titan bridges and wormhole space. Things went awry from the start for The-Culture, as one of their reinforcements fleets – The VG Tengu fleet, had its path blocked by a Snuffed Out [B B C]\Project.Mayhem. [16-13] joint Nightmare battleship fleet. The Nightmare fleet was en-route to reinforce LowSechnaya Sholupen on behest of RMC, when its path intersected that of the VG fleet. The two opposing fleets came to a halt, on either side of a gate and an uneasy standoff ensued.

Finally, The-Culture and its allies came to break out the VG fleet, forcing the Nightmare fleet to withdraw and allowing the Tengu fleet to continue on its way. With The-Culture and its allies blocking its path, the Snuffed Out\Project.Mayhem. force had no choice but to retreat and later disperse. This would inevitably lead to the Melmaniel battle where Snuffed Out would lose 7 super carriers. However, this cost The-Culture time, time that it was quickly running out of.

While The-Culture was busy extricating the VG fleet, the Fortizar was exiting its reinforced mode. Once out of its invulnerability period, the structure was slowly commencing repairs. If uninterrupted, it would take the citadel only 15 minutes to repair all the damage, thus resetting the timer and granting LowSechnaya Sholupen the strategic victory.

Whats more, another ally of The-Culture, Northern Coalition. [NC] had been forced to stand down. The alliance had drawn a Proteus fleet of its own and made best speed to the region from its staging in Tribute when some of its support Apostle force auxiliaries were caught traveling by a passing Test Alliance Please Ignore [TEST] gang. Before Northern Coalition. could do anything, Test Alliance Please Ignore and Circle-Of-Two [CO2] rage formed fleets and burnt to the UMI-KK system in Tribute where they swiftly engaged the tackled force auxiliaries and other stragglers. The two alliances then managed to easily destroy the tackled force auxiliaries. This forced Northern Coalition. to backtrack, only to see its enemies gone and the wrecks of its force auxiliaries left behind, drifting forlornly in space. By then it was too late for the alliance to join the fight.

View of the Northern Coalition. Apostle Force Auxiliaries Caught and Destroyed by Test Alliance Please Ignore and Circle-Of-Two

By the time The-Culture and its allies bridged into the system, the Fortizar had already finished repairs, resetting all the timers. The Tempest Fleet Issue force and the Goonswarm Federation Proteus fleet had set up on the structure itself while the SW Proteus fleet remained at range of the structure, the three of them waiting for The-Culture to make its move.

Deciding to attack regardless of losing the objective, the VG and The-Culture fleets warped to the Fortizar. The VG Tengu fleet landed at medium range of the SW fleet, while The-Culture’s Machariel fleet warped to a perch above the field, putting it at long range of the SW fleet and the Fortizar itself. The two fleets opened fire immediately, starting the fight.

The opening volleys saw the SW and VG fleets exchange heavy fire as the Machariels added their firepower to the mix, raining explosive shells from their position above the ensuing battle. As the two strategic cruiser fleets maneuvered on the grid, the Goonswarm Federation Proteus fleet warped off the Fortizar to a ping below the field, and warped back in near the Tengu fleet and engaged it alongside its SW allies. The two Proteus fleets though had difficulty keeping up with the much more agile Tengus, who quickly burnt away from the two fleets.

The Vanguard Coalition Tengu Fleet Exchanging Fire with the Two Proteus Fleets in PNQY-Y

The Vanguard Coalition Tengu Fleet Exchanging Fire with the Two Proteus Fleets in PNQY-Y

With the battle unfolding below, Goonswarm Federation stealth bomber squadrons de-cloaked and started bombing runs on the Machariels, who had anchored above the fray and presented an easy target. Time and again waves of bombs were hurled in the direction of the battleships, yet many of them never reached their targets as smartbomb pulses served to destroy them mid-flight.

As the battle continued to unfold, the GotG Proteus fleet joined the battle, warping above the Fortizar as well and engaging the Tempest Fleet Issue force which stood anchored on it. After a few coordinated barrages, it became clear that the battleships were unwilling to engage, instead preferring to be tethered to the citadel and thus remain invulnerable to the enemy fire. Realizing this, the GotG instead warped in to help the VG Tengu fleet, warping close to it and joining the melee.

At this point the fire exchanges between the different fleets had taken a toll on all involved. Strategic cruisers on both sides melted away in volleys of super heated plasma and concentrated light beams. Machariels continued to lob artillery shells at the Proteus and Legion strategic cruisers which maneuvered below them, claiming a ship with every coordinated volley. The Tempest Fleet Issues fired answering volleys, targeting the Machariels and exacting revenge for their allies with their own artillery barrages. Slowly, the grid was filling with the wrecks of the victims of the fight.

By then, smaller skirmishes erupted throughout the system, as more fleets joined the battle. A Pandemic Horde [REKTD] Svipul tactical destroyer fleet, a The Initiative. [INIT.] Magus command destroyer fleet and a Therabois Tengu fleet in a “Slippery Pete” configuration all showed up in the periphery of the main battle, contributing to chaos.

The battle continued in earnest, the VG Tengu fleet burning above the fray as the GotG Proteus fleet collided with the Goonswarm Federation Proteus fleet which had chased the Tengus. The SW fleet remained buoyed near its original position, mostly firing at long range at the Machariels and retreating Tengus. All the while the Tempest Fleet Issue force continued to stay mostly tethered on the Fortizar firing from the safety of the citadel.

One of the Proteus Fleets Exchanging Fire, Three Proteus Fleets Were Present in PNQY-Y

One of the Proteus Fleets Exchanging Fire, Three Proteus Fleets Were Present in PNQY-Y

At this point things started to go badly for The-Culture and its allies. The fire exchange had been rather even between the two, but with the GotG and the Goonswarm Federation fleets intersecting each other, things became dire. The GotG Proteus fleet was trapped, pursued by the Goonswarm Federation strategic cruisers. The Tengu fleet, having pulled range above, tried to aid its tackled allies but was unable to do much. Swiftly, the fight became a frantic exchange as the GotG fleet sought to burn away from its Goonswarm Federation counterpart, not aided by the many interdictors which kept its path covered in a thick layer of warp disruption probes.

Things got worse, as the Goonswarm Federation fleet lit a cynosural beacon in the midst of its fleet and brought in several Apostle force auxiliaries in order to help it tank the in-coming damage and thus allow it to keep tackle on the GotG fleet. With the tide of the battle changing to its favor, the Tempest Fleet Issue force finally aligned away from the Fortizar and started moving in the direction of the fight.

Feeling secure in their position, Goonswarm Federation fleet commanders decided to further escalate, lighting a cynosural beacon near the Fortizar itself and ushering in an entire capital wing. Dreadnoughts, carriers and a host of force auxiliaries jumped into the system, materializing on the field and adding their firepower to the mix. Dreadnoughts began hurling capital munitions at their enemies as squadrons of fighters burnt across the void of space to swarm the fleeing GotG strategic cruisers.

The Goonswarm Federation Capital Wing Jumping into the Fight

The Goonswarm Federation Capital Wing Jumping into the Fight

Unable to counter this, and with the added danger of the Magus fleet present on the field, The-Culture and its allies realized quickly that the battle was lost. The order was given for the different fleets to withdraw. One by one, the VG and The-Culture fleets warped off the grid to safety, leaving the GotG fleet to desperately attempt to outrun its pursuers and escape. Strategic cruisers fired in desperation at the host of interceptors and interdictors which swarmed them, keeping them tackled while their main fleets continued the job of systematically annihilating them.

As this was going on, the Tempest Fleet Issue force warps off grid, in order to warp back in and join its allies in the fight. But before it could come back and help hammer the final nail in the GotG’s coffin, the majority of the remaining GotG strategic cruisers managed to break through the cover of warp disruption probes and warp off, escaping total annihilation.

As the Tempest Fleet Issue battleships landed at the edge of the warp disruption probes which littered the field, the last stragglers of the GotG fleet were destroyed, leaving the grid in the control of LowSechnaya Sholupen and its allies.

With their enemies withdrawing, LowSechnaya Sholupen and its allies looted the grid, having won both the objective and the fight. Thus, they safely extracted their forces before finally bringing the battle to a close.

The Entire Battle as Streamed by DaOpa, With Blue Representing Defenders and Red Attackers

Battle report for the PNQY-Y system can be found here.

The battle raged for 50 minutes with Time Dilation being ever present in the fight, fluctuating between 10-11% at times but staying mostly around the 50% mark. The system itself hosted 1230 players at the height of the fighting.

LowSechnaya Sholupen and its allies lost a total of 105 ships in the battle, including 31 strategic cruisers for a total of 27.78 billion ISK.
The-Culture and its allies lost 128 ships, including 5 battleships and 37 strategic cruisers for a total of 41.83 billion ISK damage.

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