The battle was fought over a The Initiative. tower in the system which Shadow Cartel and Escalating Entropy previously reinforced. With the tower set to exit its invulnerability period that night, the two sides prepared for a fight.
Shadow Cartel and Escalating Entropy assembled an 80 pilot Machariel battleship fleet, supported by 2 dreadnoughts and traveled to the system, setting up on the tower and preparing to dispatch it. However, before they could raze the structure, a cynosural beacon lit up in the system, heralding the arrival of a 110 pilot The Initiative. Machariel fleet.
The Initiative. Machariel fleet bridged into the system at a safe spot, alongside an Apostle force auxiliary and warped to the edge of its tower, next to the 2 Shadow Cartel\Escalating Entropy dreadnoughts and at medium range of their Machariel fleet. Upon landing, it let loose a swarm of sentry drones and opened fire on the hostile fleet, signaling the start of the fight.
Artillery cannons on both sides lit up as they spat explosive shells across the void, hurtling towards opposing battleships. The hail of shells detonated with force, engulfing entire ships in storms of fire which ate away at the thick armor plates, leaving deep craters and scorch marks in their wake. One by one, Machariels caved in to the devastating barrages and were torn to shreds or simply exploded as internal systems sustained critical damage and gave in.
The two fleets maneuvered on the grid, the assaulting fleet keeping medium to long distance from its defending counterpart. All the while, battleships on both sides traded blows, the artillery cannons not resting for a moment. Initially, The Initiative. received the brunt of the damage, losing 2-3 mainline ships for each of its enemies. Yet before long it switched its focus to the two dreadnoughts which were still on the field, their siege mode slowly cycling down.
Barrage after artillery barrage hit the thick armor of the Moros dreadnought, carving entire segments of it as the detonations chewed through the thick defensive layers with increasing ferocity. Soon, the artillery shells pierced the outer skin of the giants, crashing through the few remaining layers of armor and detonating inside the defenseless structure. Within moments, explosions rocked the dreadnoughts from within as more shells found their mark. Finally, the beasts gave in, their reactors overloading and unleashing their stored energy throughout the riddled hull. One, then the other finally exploded in great conflagrations, showering all nearby with debris.
However, even with the dreadnoughts removed, the Shadow Cartel\Escalating Entropy fleet was still raining fire on The Initiative. without pause. Finally the latter burnt inside the tower’s shields, seemingly abandoning the fight. Yet before Shadow Cartel\Escalating Entropy could celebrate their victory, The Initiative. warped near the Machariel fleet, with only a few dozen kilometers separating the two fleets.
With the distance closed, the two fleets once again traded blows. This time the exchange was more even, as the Shadow Cartel\Escalating Entropy fleet sought to increase its distance from its enemy. The Initiative. chose to target both the Machariels and their Guardian logistics cruisers, switching fire between the two and attempting to catch their enemies’ logistics wing off guard. All the while, electronic warfare and energy neutralizers were applied to the Shadow Cartel\Escalating Entropy logistics cruisers, who found themselves too close to the enemy fleet.
The focused fire and electronic warfare succeeded, and soon logistics cruisers and battleships broke under the assault. Though under immense pressure, the Shadow Cartel\Escalating Entropy fleet did not bulk, but continued to fire on The Initiative.. It managed to pull range once again and stabilize, bringing the trade back to a more favorable 2-3 to 1 ratio.
It was at this point that the system showed a major spike in pilots, as a 100 pilot Goonswarm Federation [CONDI] Ishtar heavy assault cruiser fleet entered. The fleet had been called in by The Initiative. to support its defense of the tower and finally reached the system. With the addition of hostiles and having sustained considerable losses in the fight already, the Shadow Cartel\Escalating Entropy fleet had no intention of sticking around.
Orders were given for ships to align to a celestial and the fleet started to burn away. The Initiative. seeing this, decided to once again perch on the grid before warping again on top of the hostile Machariel fleet. Landing, it attempted to hold down as many of the battleships as it could. The Shadow Cartel\Escalating Entropy fleet commander saw this and quickly gave the order for the fleet to warp off, leaving only few stragglers behind to be caught by The Initiative..
Once off grid, the Shadow Cartel\Escalating Entropy fleet beat a hasty retreat, allowing The Initiative. to hold the field. The Initiative. for its part dispatched the few ships it managed to ensnare before securing its tower and extracting as well, thus bringing the battle to an end.
The Battle from the Shadow Cartel\Escalating Entropy Machariel Fleet Guardian Perspective
Battle report for the Arittant system can be found here.
All told the battle 26 minutes with Time Dilation not reported and the system hosting 300 pilots near the end of the fight.
The Initiative. lost 31 ships in the fight, including 18 battleships for a total of 10.81 billion ISK damage.
Shadow Cartel and Escalating Entropy lost 19 ships in the battle, including 2 dreadnoughts and 12 battleships for a total of 22.86 billion ISK damage.
Salivan Harddin is a member of V0LTA, WE FORM V0LTA, and covers battles across New Eden