V-3YG7 system, Catch region. On the 17th of November at 20:25 EVE Standard Time, a battle unfolded in the system involving no less than 1,600 players.
Vanguard Coalition (VG) forces have been waging a brutal campaign against The Volition Cult [VOLT], taking systems, destroying infrastructure and reinforcing assets such as Fortizar citadels. One of these citadels was suppose to exit its invulnerability period in the F9E-KX system. With the fate of the Fortizar on the line, The Volition Cult called every possible ally while mustering a desperate defense fleet. The Volition Cult managed to form a 100 pilot Machariel battleship fleet and set up on the Fortizar ahead of time. It was soon joined by a Goonswarm Federation [CONDI] 200 pilot Proteus strategic fleet and a Red Menace Coalition (RMC) 90 pilot Tempest battleship fleet.
More allies streamed into the system, including a Project.Mayhem. [16-13] 60 pilot Tengu strategic cruiser fleet and a League of Unaligned Master Pilots [LUMPY] 60 pilot Gila cruiser fleet. By then the system hosted nearly 700 pilots, with more fleets making their way to reinforce the defenders. Seeing this, VG fleet commanders and their allies in the Pheonix Federation (PF) and Guardians of the Galaxy (GotG), which were assembling for the timer, chose to avoid a headlong confrontation, realizing the enemy had them severely outnumbered and outgunned, with reports of Goonswarm Federation super capitals en route to quell any capital escalations.
Yet, the attackers were not about to leave empty handed. Deciding to use the enemies’ numbers against them, the GotG Proteus fleet, numbering approximately 160 pilots, chose to tackle the Stain Wagon (SW) coalition Machariel fleet which was waiting on a friendly titan in the V-3YG7 system. The titan was located in a safe tower, but the full fleet (256 pilots) itself was locked outside the shields, a sitting duck. The GotG noticed this and warped on top of the Machariels, tackling them and starting the fight.
The two fleets quickly burned away from the tower, the Machariel fleet trying to increase its distance from the pursuing strategic cruisers and allow its hundreds of artillery cannons to better track the nimbler ships. The strategic cruisers were not going to give SW the advantage and kept pace, all the while exchanging fire. Artillery shells and super heated plasma crossed the void between the two fleets, finding their marks and crashing against armor plates. Within seconds of the engagement beginning, mainline ships on both sides were overcome by the devastating barrages and exploded in great flashes that briefly illuminated the grid.
By then, GotG reinforcement arrived in the system. VG had bridged its own 220 pilot Machariel fleet into the system. The fleet landed at a ping on the grid before warping into the fray. As the battleships landed, hundreds of artillery cannons slowly took aim and flashed, discharging a storm of shells into the midst of the SW Machariels. They were soon joined by a full PF Machariel fleet of the same configuration. The PF fleet had traveled to the system through gates, having already been en route when plans changed. It warped in at long range of the SW fleet and started sniping before pinging on the grid once more and landing at medium range of the SW Machariels. Within minutes, the SW fleet found itself besieged on all sides.
More and more Machariels on both sides were felled as the different fleets maneuvered on grid, unloading their munitions without pause. First to arrive to help SW was The Volition Cult. Its Machariel fleet warped in, landing near the VG fleet. Within seconds, the new arrivals found themselves within VG’s warp disruption fields, its Machariels switching targets and focusing on The Volition Cult’s battleships. In rapid succession artillery shells crashed against the armor of the Machariels, detonating with great force. Entire segments of armor simply evaporated in the opening salvos, exposing the hull to the continued onslaught. With each volley another The Volition Cult Machariel was destroyed.
The Volition Cult quickly burnt away, warping off and re-positioning on the grid again, away from the VG fleet. With The Volition Cult pushed out momentarily, all guns turned once more on the SW fleet, which had sustained many losses by then. Yet before the attackers could finish it off, more of its allies entered the system. VG interdictors did their best to stall the enemy fleets, which included among others the RMC Tempest fleet, the Project Mayhem Tengu fleet, the Goonswarm Federation Proteus fleet and a Providence Bloc 140 pilot Nightmare battleship fleet which was still en route to F9E-KX when informed of the change in venue. The interdictors deployed dozens of warp disruption probes (Also called “Bubbles”) on the B-3QPD gate, trying to trap the hostiles for as long as they could. Yet all the interdictors could do was delay the inevitable. The defenders tore through the scores of interdictors, burning out of the cover of the bubbles and started warping to the tower.
Project Mayhem warped in at medium range of the VG fleet. The Machariels again turned their artillery cannons, this time on the strategic cruisers. A coordinated volley saw a Tengu shredded, its shields easily overwhelmed by the immense firepower and its hull pulverized by the remaining shell detonations. Another went down in a second barrage, forcing the Project.Mayhem. fleet to warp out, returning to the grid later on at a safe distance from the VG fleet.
Yet before the VG fleet could catch its breath, Providence Bloc entered the grid, warping at 75 kilometers with its Nightmare fleet from the VG Machariels. Hundreds of beam laser batteries heated up before they discharged their energy. Beams of light converged on the Machariels, boring into their armor and cutting through it like a hot knife through butter. Plates liquefied, distorted into grotesque shapes as the beams kept slicing through the hull, dismembering the ships. VG returned fire, and explosive shells detonated against the sturdy shields of the Nightmares, absorbing the impacts.
While this went on, the GotG fleet, which had lagged behind the SW fleet, re-positioned. It warped to a ping, gathering its scattered ships before re-joining the fight, warping close to the SW battleships and resuming its merciless barrage. Beam laser batteries and rail guns spat their deadly munitions at the large battleships, overwhelming the already stressed out SW logistics wing as it tried to hold its fleet together against the 2 hostile fleets. Machariels faltered as the fleet maneuvered on grid, shaking out of control before exploding in great fireballs which threw debris everywhere. Others were torn apart in continuous fire, nothing left of their hull but twisted wrecks. Yet SW continued to trade blows, its guns never remaining silent. Enemy strategic cruisers and battleships went out in a blaze of its remaining artillery cannons.
As this was taking place, the Goonswarm Federation force landed on grid as well. The fleet had landed on the PF Machariel fleet, and its strategic cruisers started swarming the larger ships, warp scramblers spread across to pin down as many of the brown battleships as possible. Interdictors added their warp disruption probes to the mix, making sure the PF fleet was truly trapped on the battlefield.
The weight of hostiles on the field had grown too great. With more and more fleets pouring in, the attackers had no illusion that defeat was imminent. With the PF fleet pinned on the grid and the many hostile fleets starting to focus on it, GotG and VG had no choice but to extract and leave their comrades behind. Both fleets had suffered many casualties and were exhausted from the long fight. PF, unable to retreat, made a last stand. Its Machariels continued to spit shells in defiance of their enemies, but its fleet commanders knew the fleet’s fate was sealed. With VG and GotG off the field, the many defending fleets burnt in, getting in optimal range of their guns and firing away. Explosive shells rained from all sides, beam lasers cut through hulls as super heated plasma charges melted armor plating. The PF logistics wing made a brave effort, but against nearly a thousand ships, it could do nothing to mitigate the damage. The Volition Cult, emboldened by the presence of its allies brought to the field a capital squadron to hasten the demise of the PF Machariels.
Finally, after an hour and a half of bloodshed, the last of the attackers was dispatched by the defending fleets. With the remaining hostiles long fled, the defending fleets dispersed, leaving behind them a field of wrecks for the scavengers to fight over. The Fortizar, long forgotten by the opposing sides, had come out of reinforced mode and initiated self repairs safely, adding the strategic victory to the defenders’ accomplishments.
Thus the battle of V-3YG7 came to a close.
The Entire Battle as Recorded by DaOpa
The Battle from the Perspective of the Goonswarm Federation Proteus Fleet
The Battle from the Perspective of the Phoenix Federation Machariel Fleet
Battle report for the V-3YG7 system can be found here.
All told the battle lasted 105 minutes, with Time Dilation being constantly at 10% throughout the fight.
VG, PF and GotG lost a total of 249 ships, including 137 battleships and 17 strategic cruisers for a total of 101.82 billion ISK of damage.
The defending fleets lost altogether 188 ships, including 102 battleships and 8 strategic cruisers for a sum total of 58.05 billion ISK of damage.
Salivan Harddin is a member of V0LTA, WE FORM V0LTA, and covers battles across New Eden