Oijanen system, The Forge region. On the 24th of November at 18:49 EVE Standard Time, a large scale battle unfolded in the system between the Drone Regions Federation (DRF) and low security space residents.
The Oijanen system continues to produce headlines, this time over a DRF tower. The tower in question was reinforced by Project.Mayhem. [16-13] and was exiting its invulnerability phase, forcing the DRF to muster its fleet to defend its assets. With the long and bloody history between the two groups, it was only natural for both sides to form great numbers for the timer.
The DRF prepared a full (256 pilots) Machariel battleship fleet, supported by an estimated 50 pilot Augoror Navy Issue cruiser fleet and no less than 4 full dreadnought squadrons waiting in reserve. This force assembled in the neighboring system of BWF-ZZ, Geminate.
Project.Mayhem. prepared its fleet, calling allies such as Snuffed Out [B B C], WAFFLES. [N0MAD] and Pen Is Out [WANGS] among others. Together, it managed to form a 220 pilot Rattlesnake battleship fleet with 2 force auxiliaries in tow and 2 dreadnought squadrons held in reserve. This force arrived to the system first, bridging on top of a citadel.
Once in system, the fleet set up on the citadel, deploying sentry drones and waiting for the hostiles to arrive. It didn’t take long for the DRF fleet to appear, jumping into the system and warping from the BWF-ZZ gate to the waiting Rattlesnakes. The Machariels landed 100 kilometers away from the main bulk of the Rattlesnake fleet and anchored up, keeping their range and opening fire.
The first barrages proved deadly. The Machariels were equipped with artillery cannons, more than a 1000 of them lighting up and unleashing a torrent of shells on the Rattlesnakes. The first targets were the command ships of the Rattlesnake fleet. The battlecruiser hulls proved no match to the devastating bombardment and were easily dispatched. With most of the fleet boosts of the Rattlesnake fleet taken care of, the Machariels turned their attention to the mainline ships. In rapid succession the Rattlesnakes were overwhelmed, their shields easily penetrated by the immense firepower at the DRF’s disposal.
The Rattlesnake fleet was unable to return fire. The battleships were fitted for a close range brawl based on past experience and couldn’t hit the Machariels which cruised out of the Rattlesnakes’ optimal range. Orders were given for the fleet to dock up in the citadel. Once in the safety of the structure, the battleships quickly re-fitted for a long range duel. With the adjustments done, the Rattlesnake fleet un-docked and resumed the fight, re-connecting to sentry drones and retaliating.
Salvos of missiles and drone fire finally found their marks and managed to destroy Machariels. The Machariels did not remain silent and targeted the Rattlesnakes once again, lobbing shell after shell into their ranks and overwhelming the ships. At the same time, the DRF’s Augoror Navy Issue fleet warped to the grid, landing at medium range of the Rattlesnake fleet and adding its meager firepower to the mix.
Yet the addition of the Augoror Navy Issue fleet to the fight was meaningless, as the two battleship fleets easily ignored each others’ logistics wings. The damage output both fleets fielded overwhelmed the toughest of shields and the thickest of armors, volleying mainline ships in an instant. This murderous exchange continued unabated.
Missiles and shells crossed the void between the two fleets, each volley finding its mark and detonating, bringing down another battleship. A Machariel would suddenly get thrown off course, its guns falling silent only for it to be blown up in a great explosion. A Rattlesnake would fail to fire, the hue of its shields disappearing before its hull twisted in a great conflagration.
This back and forth went on, but as the losses mounted on both sides it became quite clear that DRF was winning the engagement. For every Machariel loss, the DRF was able to inflict 2,3 sometimes 4 Rattlesnake losses in return. It seemed that in a few minutes the Rattlesnake fleet would be annihilated, granting the DRF a complete victory. However, a new arrival threatened to turn the tables.
Test Alliance Please Ignore [TEST] was contacted by Project.Mayhem. and brought an estimated 120 pilot Hurricane battlecruiser fleet to the system, bridging to a safe location within the system. Once in, the fleet warped at 100 kilometers of the Machariel fleet, landing near the Augoror Navy Issue fleet which promptly warped off.
Anchoring up, the fleet was too far to engage its bigger cousins. Whats more, the Machariels ignored its presence, preferring to focus on the Rattlesnake fleet which had been decimated by this point and kept losing mainline ships. With their allies seemingly ready to throw in the towel, the Test Alliance Please Ignore fleet remained on grid for a short while, warping off as the Augoror Navy Issue fleet warped back in near it.
As for the Rattlesnake fleet, it remained on grid for a few more moments, exchanging losses with the Machariels. Yet after taking heavy losses and with no hope of changing the flow of the battle, the Rattlesnake fleet commanders decided to withdraw, conceding the field to the DRF. The Rattlesnakes aligned to safety and warped off, very few getting caught by DRF interceptors and heavy interdictors. The DRF for its part dispatched the stragglers and decided to warp in on the citadel to engage the two force auxiliaries which remained on field.
The Rattlesnake fleet’s force auxiliaries, a Lif and a Minokawa, were still in their triage cycle and thus unable to move. Stranded on the citadel, they presented an easy target for the DRF fleets. The Machariels warped near the capitals and focused their firepower on the Lif. Volley after volley of artillery shells crashed against its shields, slowly but surely overcoming them.
Seeing this, the Rattlesnake and Hurricane fleets decided to resume the fight, cancelling their extraction and getting ready for a second round. First to return to the grid was the Hurricane fleet. It landed approximately 60 kilometers away from the Machariels. After landing on the grid, the battlecruisers locked their targets and opened fire, hundreds of artillery cannons lighting up.
Yet the Machariel fleet was able to easily shrug the assault of its smaller cousins. It answered the challenge of the Hurricanes, its battleships taking aim and unleashing a far more formidable barrage. Battlecruiser after battlecruiser was simply obliterated. Within a couple of minutes, 11 Hurricanes were turned into perforated wrecks.
By itself, the Hurricane fleet could do little. Reeling from the severity of the attack, it once again warped off. However it was replaced by the Rattlesnake fleet, which landed 20 kilometers from the Machariels. The Rattlesnake fleet, though crippled, was still willing to fight. With the fight becoming a brawl rather than a long distance exchange, its fleet commanders felt confident they could mitigate some of the Machariels’ damage, as their turrets would have a much harder time tracking at close proximity.
Again the grid was lit with the dying light of battleships. This time though, the exchange was more even, with the Rattlesnakes trading 2 mainline ships for each of the Machariels’. With the Rattlesnake fleet on the field again, the DRF was unable to focus on the remaining Minokawa. Deciding to escalate and remove the force auxiliary, the DRF lit a cynosural beacon near the ensuing fight and ushered in a dreadnought squadron.
This was quickly answered by the Rattlesnake fleet which responded in kind. Another cynosural beacon blazed on the grid, allowing a Project.Mayhem. dreadnought squadron to jump in. The two capital forces targeted each other, capital turrets powering up and unleashing their munitions on the opposition. Dreadnoughts traded blows, devastating barrages slamming against shields and armor plating.
The capital battle was soon joined by the sub capital fleets, each one adding its immense firepower to the mix. Capitals on both sides were taken down, their hulls rupturing in a series of explosions, washing the entire grid in their dying breath and threatening to blind onlookers.
The DRF chose to escalate once more, bringing in their reserves. More and more dreadnoughts materialized near the citadel in great flashes, the space around them seemingly expanding in an attempt to accommodate the sudden mass. The new arrivals wasted no time in entering their siege cycles and targeting the Project.Mayhem. dreadnoughts. Even with the aid of the Rattlesnake fleet, the Project.Mayhem. dreadnoughts were no match fore their rivals. Outnumbered and outgunned, the Project.Mayhem. dreadnoughts caved in.
Yet the DRF had suffered losses too. As it prepared to extract its remaining capitals, the second Rattlesnake dreadnought squadron jumped in. Though still outnumbered and outgunned, the Snuffed Out capitals didn’t hesitate jumping in. Dreadnoughts entered their siege cycles and opened fire on their retreating brethren, the capital slug continuing in earnest.
Again, capitals on both sides were destroyed as the two fleets clashed. The DRF’s sub capital fleet covered for its capitals and focused on the hostile dreadnoughts. Artillery shells relentlessly bombarded the Snuffed Out dreadnoughts, steadily bringing them down. The Rattlesnakes attempted to help their capitals, coordinating their fire strikes but by then their numbers were severely depleted.
In the end, the DRF managed to extract its dreadnoughts, taking a few more losses but getting half of its dreadnoughts out. The same could not be said for the Rattlesnake fleet, who lost most of its capitals, only the Minokawa and 2 dreadnoughts managing to extract.
With the grid cleared of capitals, the battleship fleets resumed their battle. The Machariels bombarded the Rattlesnakes, who by then had lost the majority of their mainline ships. After taking a few losses, and with the DRF fleet having lost only a few ships in comparison, it was time to call off the fight. The Rattlesnake fleet aligned out and warped off the grid, conceding the field to the DRF.
With the Rattlesnake fleet gone, attention turned to the Hurricane fleet. It had returned to the grid during the capital escalation and was kiting at 50 kilometers from the main bulk of the Machariel fleet. With the Rattlesnake fleet no longer drawing attention away from it, it came under heavy fire. The Machariels bombarded it, a hail of explosive shells shredding battlecruisers. The Augoror Navy Issue fleet joined in, warping on top of it and attempting to hold down as many of its ships as possible, tearing it apart.
A massacre was not an option. The ships still not tackled warped off, leaving those captured to their grim fate. With the grid won, the DRF dispatched the last of the stragglers and extracted to its staging system, having secured both the grid and the tower. Thus the bloodbath of Oijanen came to an end.
The Battle from the Perspective of the Drone Regions Federation Machariel Fleet
The Battle from the Perspective of the Rattlesnake Fleet Heavy Interdictor
Battle report for the Oijanen system can be found here.
All told the battle lasted 48 minutes with Time Dilation spiking at times but never exceeding 50%. The system itself hosted 630 pilots at the height of the fighting.
Project.Mayhem. and its myriad of allies lost a total of 186 ships including but not limited to 21 dreadnoughts, 1 force auxiliary, 79 battleships and 41 battlecruisers for a sum total of 129.48 billion ISK damage.
The DRF lost in comparison 94 ships including 20 dreadnoughts, 1 carrier, 35 battleships and 8 cruisers for a 82.82 billion ISK damage.
Salivan Harddin is a member of V0LTA, WE FORM V0LTA, and covers battles across New Eden