Disclaimer: EN24’s reporter, Muffin Paladin, is a member of the Iron Armada, one of the alliances featured in this conflict. That being said, every effort to remove bias is being made.
KZFV-4, Scalding Pass region. On the 16th of November at approximately 0330 Eve Standard Time, the latest in a series of conflicts occurred between the Heathen Coalition, comprised of Iron Armada [FLEEP] and Feign Disorder [FEIGN], and another coalition involving Manifesto. [.M.] and The Bastard Cartel [TBC].
The region has recently been set ablaze by the ongoing conflict between these two groups, as Manifesto and the Bastard Cartel have been hard-pressed to take assets belonging to the Heathens. The Heathens, having just defeated the Black Sheep Coalition, have been holding firm.
This particular battle was originally supposed to take place over a citadel that Manifesto and the Bastard Cartel had reinforced in the K7-LDX system. However, the engagement ended up taking place in KZFV-4, just a few jumps away. In anticipation for the coming battle, the Heathen fleet stood in their staging system in Wicked Creek with a 40 man Tengu fleet. Meanwhile, Manifesto undocked a Cerberus fleet from their home station in DUO-51, and proceeded to link up with the Bastard Cartel in H-ADOC. The Manifesto/Bastard Cartel/Prothean fleet then moved north, but did not attack the citadel in K7-LDX, as the Heathens had expected. Instead, they linked up with a Prothean Alliance [PROT] Cerberus fleet in KZFV-4, and began attacking the Infrastructure Hub of an ally of the Heathens, Salt the Earth [NA-CL].
The Heathens, who had been tracking their enemies’ movements for a while by this point, saw that the enemy fleet had moved itself into a pipe. They lit a cynosural beacon and bridged in behind the Manifesto/Bastard Cartel, holding on the KZFV-4 gate in 2-KPW6, effectively shutting the door to protect the citadel. At this point the Heathen’s fleet grew slightly as they were joined by a small Madhouse [PSYCH] Oracle gang. Eventually, after coordinating with Salt the Earth, the Heathens jumped in and came face to face with the combined Cerberus fleet.
The fireworks went off immediately, as both fleets anchored and went to work. The fight quickly turned into a stalemate, with the Heathens only barely managing to destroy a few logistics cruisers, and the Manifest/Bastard Cartel/Prothean fleet killing a few support ships. As flurries of missiles crossed the skies, yet another entity joined the fray. Gentlemen’s.Club [GCLUB] warped on grid in a Confessor fleet, and began attacking the Heathens. This forced the Tengus to switch targets, as the potential tackle coming from the Confessors was a significant threat at such short range. As the Heathens were occupied, the Prothean Cerberus fleet warped off to a ping, ready to re-engage at a moments notice. The Manifesto/Bastard Cartel Cerberus fleet turned up the heat on the Madhouse Oracles. Their tackle dove in and pinned the Oracles, the stricken battlecruiser squad was torn apart by the Cerberus’ missiles in short order. The Heathens, having pushed the Confessors away for the moment, tried desperately to free the Oracles before it was too late, however the confessor sacrifice ensured the destruction of the Madhouse squad.
Unable to break the impressive tank of the Cerberus’ and Logistics Cruisers, the Heathens instead focused on removing hostile recon ship support, managing to fell a few with missile volleys of their own. Seeing that their allies were beginning to lose ships, the Prothean Cerberus fleet warped back into the fight. The Heathens quickly honoured the threat and charged directly into the gap, isolating the Prothean Cerberus fleet once more and began destroying ship after ship, their enemies’ hulls unable to withstand the constant barrage of ordinance being thrown their way.
At this point local spiked up a bit more as a DARKNESS. and Solaris Chtonium bomber fleet bridged in. The bombers tried to get warp ins and lob errant bombs into the fight, having trouble dealing with many warp disrupt probes scattering the grid and a Confessor fleet ready to swat them off field. The Confessors were denied their rightful meal, however, as the bombers perfected a case study on bomber fratricide, taking themselves out of the fight.
Gentlemen’s Club, having lost a sizable portion of their fleet, began to extract from the field as they were quickly left in the wake’s of the fast moving Heathen Tengus. The Protheans began their extraction as well, unable to hold after losing much of their logistics wing. The Manifesto/Bastard Cartel fleet, seeing their allies leaving the grid, also retreated towards H-ADOC.
The Heathens were not done yet. They rallied their forces and began chasing the Cerberus fleet towards H-ADOC. In a turn of questionable decisions, the TBC/.M. fleet commander decided to stop off in K7 and shoot the citadel which was now repaired and fully armed. This allowed the Heathens tengu fleet to catch up. On entering K7-LDX the Heathens aligned their ships up to the cerb fleet, who promptly warped to the sun. Anticipating a fight the Heathens aligned and warped in as a group, only to land on the remaining stragglers of the Cerberus fleet who had warped to the S-E6ES gate. Tengu’s giving closer pursuit landed on the gate with the Cerberus fleet, and together both fleets jumped. The Bastard Cartel and Manifesto fleet extracted while the Heathens tried to tackle everything they could, settling for the capture of 3 tech two cruisers and an interdictor destroyer.
Seeing the conflict complete, the SALT fleet commander relayed information that the Protheans had reshipped into a small Rattlesnake fleet and was continuing to try and entosis KZFV-4 structures. The Heathens turned around and quickly flew back towards the Rattlesnake fleet hoping to trigger whatever escalation could be waiting behind a cynosural beacon. On the way in the reformed Gentlemen’s.Club confessor fleet jumped into the Tengu fleet as it was landing on a gate. In another turn of questionable decisions the confessors bubbled themselves and tried to burn back to gate instead of warping away. Acting quickly, Heathen jumpers made the confessors’ trek to the gate a few kilometres longer, allowing the Tengus to lob some missiles out and finish the ships trapped in the distance.
After waiting agression timers, the Heathens entered KZFV-4 and the Prothean Rattlesnake fleet that had no logistics to note, immediately warped away to safe spots in the system, leaving a straggler and their entosis mallers to die. After a few minutes of attempting to probe down Rattlesnakes the Prothean commander ordered his fleet to safelog. The heathens then went home.
All told the battle saw almost 200 pilots in local, with no time dilation. Total ISK lost was 6.6 billion ISK.
The Heathens lost 42 ships, amounting to 1.73 billion ISK.
The Manifesto/Bastard Cartel/Prothean/Gentlemens Club fleets lost a combined 49 ships, amounting to 4.03 billion ISK.
A full battlereport of the fight can be found here.
Muffin Paladin is EN24’s resident grammar hound. When he isn’t flying with the Iron Armada, he drinks too much coffee and makes fun of Salivan’s use of commas.