The Oijanen system refuses to leave the headlines as Project.Mayhem. [16-13] and the DRF continue to battle over the few valuable moons and citadels it contains. This time, the two sides met over a DRF citadel which was reinforced earlier by Project.Mayhem. and was set to exit reinforced mode that night. With the example of the last few days, the two sides prepared for another bloody confrontation.
Project.Mayhem. alongside its allies Snuffed Out and WAFFLES. [N0MAD] formed a large Rattlesnake battleship fleet, numbering 170 pilots. The fleet was accompanied by 2 Minokawa force auxiliaries and bridged to the system on a safe citadel. Once in, the fleet warped to the hostile citadel and set up on it, waiting for the enemy to show up.
The DRF entered the system, having brought a full (256 pilot) Machariel battleship fleet. The fleet warped first to a ping on the grid before aligning towards the Rattlesnake fleet and warping again. This time, it landed close to the Rattlesnakes and opened fire, starting the fight.
The two fleets maneuvered on the grid, the Rattlesnakes attempting to keep some distance between them and the pursuing Machariels who burnt in to close the gap. The Machariels wasted no time in blasting the Rattlesnakes with a torrent of explosive rounds, their auto cannons’ muzzles flashing constantly as they discharged their deadly 800mm rounds. The explosive rounds slammed into the robust shields of the Rattlesnakes, detonating in great numbers and quickly pushed their shield generators to their maximum. A few overloaded and shut down, leaving their ships exposed to the hail of bullets that continued to pour in. One after the other, Rattlesnakes were torn apart from the devastating auto cannon fire laid on them, leaving only twisted wreckage to drift in space.
The Rattlesnakes retaliated, drone fire and swarms of cruise missiles were unleashed on the advancing Machariels. Hundreds of warheads detonated with great force against the thick armor plating, tearing great chunks off it and exposing the more vulnerable structure beneath. The missile salvos did not relent, causing many Machariels to be swallowed whole in a storm of fire that incinerated their hulls, leaving nothing behind.
As the battle progressed, the Rattlesnake fleet managed to stabilize, its Minokawas instrumental in keeping many of its battleships going in the face of the devastating enemy fire. The DRF on the other hand, kept sustaining losses, with more Machariels disappearing in great fire balls which illuminated the grid momentarily before dissipating completely. As casualties mounted, the DRF switched its focus to the force auxiliaries, aiming to remove them from the field and change the course of the battle.
The hail of auto cannon rounds smashed with great force against one of the Minokawa’s shields. The non stop barrage lit up the ship’s shields, their yellowish hue growing all the while as they soaked the force of the incoming slugs. Shield generators protested all the while as they worked to compensate and maintain the cohesion of the field against the onslaught. The Machariels continued to pour their wrath on the force auxiliary which resisted admirably. Yet, the outcome was never in doubt. Slowly, the Minokawa’s shields weakened, their generators overheating and shutting down one by one. Finally, the shield dissipated, leaving the vulnerable hull below exposed. It didn’t take long for the auto cannon rounds to break through the ship’s meager armor plating and pierce through the structure, tearing apart entire segments of the ship. Within moments, the giant grew silent before a series of explosions ripped it apart from the inside out.
The Rattlesnakes could do very little to halt their Minokawa’s demise. They kept volleying Machariels but the DRF had far more than they could dispose of in time, and as their first force auxiliary went down, things took a turn for the worse.
Realizing the amount of time it would take to dispose of the second Minokawa, the DRF fleet commanders decided to expedite matters, lighting a cynosural beacon on the grid and ushering in no less than 24 dreadnoughts. These newcomers materialized on the grid in great flashes of light before orientating themselves and locking on their target – The last remaining Snuffed Out\Project.Mayhem.\WAFFLES. force auxiliary. Entering their siege cycles, the dreadnoughts opened fire on the last Minokawa, capital munitions hurled against its robust shields with impunity.
Against the devastating firepower of the dreadnoughts, the Minokawa could not hope to hold up as long as its sister did. Within moments, the DRF’s immense firepower stripped it of its shields and crashed through its hull, tearing it apart in savage fury. In what seemed like a blink of an eye, a second wreck occupied the space where the second Minokawa used to be, leaving the Rattlesnake fleet quite vulnerable.
Losing its Minokawa support and having to contend with more than 2 dreadnought squadrons was already too much for the Rattlesnake fleet, but things continued to worsen. A second DRF Machariel fleet, estimated at 100 pilots, arrived on the grid. This fleet was set up in a long range configuration – Armed with artillery cannons. The fleet kept a long distance from the Rattlesnakes and started coordinating fire barrages, its hundreds of artillery cannons flashing in unison as they propelled a similar amount of shells into the ranks of the Rattlesnake fleet.
In rapid succession, Rattlesnakes and Basilisk logistics cruisers were torn apart in the ensuing crossfire as the two Machariel fleets and the dreadnought squadrons spread their fire. The Rattlesnakes’ logistics wing having suffered the loss of its 2 Minokawas, was stretched beyond its limit and could not cope with the immense firepower thrown its way. The Rattlesnakes tried their best to return fire, managing to score a few kills but losing far more in return. The rate of losses had shifted drastically, reaching at times 3-4 ships for each of the DRF’s.
Realizing that staying on the grid would spell disaster, the Rattlesnake fleet warped out, returning to the safety of its citadel. The DRF did its best to catch as many stragglers as it could, dispatching them with ease as it worked to clear the grid of hostiles.
Yet, the Rattlesnake fleet did not give up. Once safe and sound, the Rattlesnake fleet refitted its ships for a long range engagement and returned to the field, warping at 100 kilometers of the main DRF Machariel fleet. With the Rattlesnake fleet on the grid again, the battle resumed as both sides committed once more to the grind.
Again the grid lit with the dying breaths of ships as the opposing sides slugged it out with artillery shells, auto cannon rounds and missile salvos. The Rattlesnake fleet tried to keep its distance from the main DRF fleet, attempting to snipe from a relative safe distance but before long its enemies perched above the grid and warped down on top of it, resuming the close quarters brawl.
The fight went back and forth as the two sides traded mainline ships equally. Yet with the DRF having a great numerical advantage and the Rattlesnake fleet partially depleted from the previous fight, the outcome of the battle became clear to its fleet commanders. Preferring to concede the field rather than lose the entire fleet, the joint commanders made the decision to withdraw, warping the fleet to safety. The DRF attempted to hold down as many of its fleeing enemies as it could, annihilating them with haste.
In the end, the Rattlesnake fleet managed to escape, withdrawing from the system and allowing the DRF’s citadel to repair itself. With the last remnants of the enemy dispatched, the DRF extracted its own forces safely, having achieved a complete victory and brought the battle to a close.
The Battle from the Perspective of the Rattlesnake Fleet Logistics Wing
The Battle from the Perspective of the Drone Regions Federation Main Machariel Fleet
Battle report for the Oijanen system can be found here.
All told the battle lasted 32 minutes with Time Dilation being ever present, reaching 20% at one point and remaining around 50% for most of the fight. The system hosted approximately 630 pilots at the height of the fighting.
All told Snuffed Out, Project.Mayhem., WAFFLES. and allies lost a combined total of 58 ships including 2 force auxiliary and 45 battleships for a total of 38.34 billion ISK damage.
DRF lost a total of 64 ships including 54 battleships for a sum of 26.85 billion ISK damage.
Salivan Harddin is a member of V0LTA, WE FORM V0LTA, and covers battles across New Eden