6-4V20 system, Cloud Ring region. On the 10th of December at 20:30 EVE Standard Time, Escalating Entropy [CHAOS] lost 2 titans and 3 super carriers in the system to the combined force of Suddenly Spaceships [CYN0] and The Initiative. [INIT.].
The loss occurred during a fierce battle in the system over a Suddenly Spaceships Fortizar citadel. Suddenly Spaceships had been embroiled in a war with a resident of the region, Voxis Accord [VOXIS]. Yet as the campaign wound up Voxis Accords had come to rely more and more on external aid, such as Escalating Entropy’s. With every timer almost guaranteed to have an appearance by a neutral party, not to mention Suddenly Spaceships scouts spotting the movement of Escalating Entropy’s assets closer to the region, the alliance decided to use this information to its advantage.
Contacting The Initiative, who lives nearby, the two alliances set up an ambush for Escalating Entropy, hoping to lure its capital and/or super capital force. The bait was Suddenly Spaceships’ Fortizar. The citadel was anchored in the system with Suddenly Spaceships organizing a 20 pilot capital force, mainly combat carriers with a few heavy interdictors and two Apostle force auxiliary ships serving as the logistics backbone as the defense fleet.
The Initiative prepared as well, assembling a fleet and moving a titan to bridge the force. However, due to range limitations, the titan could only reach a neighboring system, something which will have ramifications later. With the titan in place, the fleet of 140 pilots in Machariel battleships patiently waited in The Initiative’s staging system for the battle to commence.
As the Fortizar slowly became operational, its vulnerability window closing fast, the two fleet commanders feared that Escalating Entropy would not show. Yet even as the Fortizar became operational, their worries were dispelled when a cynosural beacon lit up in a seemingly random spot in the system.
Escalating Entropy had prepared a fleet for the timer, but needed time to move it in range of the system. The alliance had a 35 pilot Proteus strategic cruiser fleet with a capital squadron for support, mostly dreadnoughts. It had secured a cynosural beacon in the system in a safe spot, clear of any celestial bodies and brought in a seemingly unaffiliated dreadnought as bait for Suddenly Spaceships. Suddenly Spaceships decided to oblige, and warped its fleet to the still blazing cynosural beacon.
As the combat carriers exited warp, they launched their squadrons of fighters and prepared to engage the immobile dreadnought. Fighters took flight and opened fire on the dreadnought, and the rest of the Escalating Entropy fleet jumped in, including its capitals. Immediately, the two sides started exchanging heavy fire, signaling the start of the fight.
Suddenly Spaceships escalated almost immediately, lighting a cynosural beacon and bringing to the field 4 dreadnoughts of its own. The new arrivals quickly entered siege cycle and opened fire on their Escalating Entropy counterparts. Capital munitions flew between the two sides, fighting at near point blank range. However, Suddenly Spaceships was able to easily dispatch Escalating Entropy’s capitals, its dreadnoughts augmented with the fire power of dozens of fighter squadrons.
Yet the dreadnoughts did not go down without a fight, managing to take one of Suddenly Spaceships dreadnoughts in a well coordinated assault that saw the capital ship destroyed only a few moments after materializing on the field. With the dreadnoughts gone, Escalating Entropy had little in the form of firepower, especially with Suddenly Spaceships having 2 Apostle force auxiliaries on the field. The fighter squadrons swiftly descended on the strategic cruisers. Proteus and Legion strategic cruisers swiftly caved in to a relentless barrage of fire, swarmed by the fighters.
In rapid succession, the Escalating Entropy sub capital force was ripped apart. It was at that moment that Suddenly Spaceships feared it had messed up its trap, having overwhelmed its opposition so early in the fight. Luckily, Escalating Entropy was not ready to concede defeat. Its fleet commanders had knowledge of Suddenly Spaceships modus operandi, and believed the alliance was working alone. Thus, when Suddenly Spaceships escalated with more capitals, Escalating Entropy called for its super capitals to move into range of the battle. Two squadrons of Titans and super carriers hastily made their way to the area, escorted by 8 Apostles to serve as logistics and more dreadnoughts.
Once in range, the super capital group was given the order to jump in. As the last remnants of the Escalating Entropy support fleet were dispatched, the super capital fleet hit the grid. Titans and super carriers materialized on top of the Suddenly Spaceships capital fleet and wasted no time in unleashing their wrath. Doomsday devices fired upon landing on the grid, targeting dreadnoughts, force auxiliaries and unlucky carriers. Bright beams of light seemingly extended from the behemoths, touching the capitals and delivering immense damage. As the light disappeared, it was quickly replaced by the explosion of the capitals.
The super carriers, in the meantime, unleashed scores of fighter bombers to aid the titans. The fighter bombers started swarming the Suddenly Spaceships capitals, intending to rip them apart as they did the Escalating Entropy sub capital force. Suddenly Spaceships, however, came prepared. Planning for the super capital escalation, all its carriers had spare squadrons of Gram, Equite and Satyr fighters. These fighters are intended to clear drones and other fighters. Suddenly Spaceships had its carriers switch fighter squadrons, unleashing those specific squadrons to go after the ponderous fighter bombers.
As the battle raged on, The Initiative leaped into action. With reports of the Escalating Entropy super capitals engaging, the alliance bridged its fleet to the O-0HW8 system while gathering its own super capital force and a dreadnought squadron and moving it in range of 6-4V20. The Machariels raced towards the battlefield, jumping in and warping to the cynosural beacons that were still up.
With local spiking, Escalating Entropy realized it was a trap. Suddenly Spaceships attempted to pin down as many of the super capitals as possible, aided by SCRUBS. [SCRUB]. More and more interdictors were brought to the field, spreading warp disruption probes on the stranded super capitals. Escalating Entropy reacted, targeting many of them and, with the lack of logistic support, managed to destroy a fair amount of the ships. While clearing tackle, the titans and super capitals started burning away from the cover of bubbles, prepared to warp out, or if their capacitor charged fast enough, jumped out of the system.
After a few nerve wracking minutes, The Initiative Machariel fleet finally landed on the grid, and helped secure tackle. With its capitals and super capitals in range, Suddenly Spaceships lit a cynosural beacon for them, as the two alliances merged their fleets. Once again, super capitals and capitals materialized on the grid and went to work. The Initiative dreadnoughts, supported by their super carriers, went after the Escalating Entropy capitals. First on the list of targets were the Escalating Entropy dreadnoughts.
In rapid succession, the capitals were destroyed, the coordinated fire barrages of the dreadnoughts crashing against them in terrible volleys. Added to it was the continued bombing runs of the fighter bombers, their devastating torpedo attacks taking down dreadnoughts with impunity. With the threat of the dreadnoughts mostly neutralized, he combined fleet targeted the force auxiliaries. The Apostles served as the logistics backbone of the Escalating Entropy super capitals and thus had to be removed from the field.
Artillery cannons, fighter squadrons, capital turrets and fighter bombers all opened fire on the immobile ships, many of them in triage mode to attempt and keep their super carriers and titans alive. One by one the Apostles caved in to the assault, resisting as long as possible against the immense firepower poured on them, but to no avail. As the number of force auxiliaries dwindled, The Initiative and Suddenly Spaceships turned their sights onto the tackled super capitals.
By then, the majority of the Escalating Entropy super capital fleet managed to slip away, thanks in part to the dwindling number of interdictors and heavy interdictors. Titans and super carriers that were at the edge of the fight or bumped in the initial jump, coasting far from the center of the battle just warped off, many finding shelter in safe spots while waiting for their capacitor to regenerate enough to execute an emergency jump. At the same time, Escalating Entropy kept streaming in force auxiliaries and capitals to help extract the super capitals still trapped by their enemies.
First came the turn of a Nyx super carrier. It tanked remarkably well, but as the amount of force auxiliaries on the field dwindled, it could not hold. After a direct hit from a doomsday weapon and continued bombardment by The Initiative’s fighter bombers, the super carrier went down. Exploding, the behemoth’s carcass joined the countless wrecks of Escalating Entropy and Suddenly Spaceships capitals which littered space.
After the Nyx, a couple more Escalating Entropy dreadnoughts were brought down, before focus switched to an Apostle. As the Apostle exploded, the combined fleet found its next super capital target: An Avatar titan. Soon, a firestorm was unleashed upon its hull, consuming its thick layers of armor before eating into the structure itself. It languished for a short time, managing to only tank as well as the Nyx before succumbing as well.
Once more the combined fleet diverted its attention to the force auxiliaries, removing two more from the field before opening fire on the last tackled titan on the field, an Erebus. The Erebus, only a week old and still rigged for travel rather than combat, fell faster than its brethren. By that point though, Escalating Entropy managed to extract most of their super capitals and whatever capitals still remained intact. Only two Aeon super carriers were still trapped on the field.
The two super carriers, alone and with no support, could do very little against the combined force of carriers, super carriers, dreadnoughts and battleships. Two minutes was all it took for the mighty ships to be destroyed. As the last super carrier was brought down, exploding and tearing itself apart in the conflagration, The Initiative and Suddenly Spaceships stood victorious on the field.
With the Fortizar secured and fully operational, and a floating graveyard of dozens of capitals and super capitals coalescing in the system, the two alliances began the long process of extracting their fleets while securing the field. Haulers were brought in to salvage the countless wrecks that were floating forlornly in space. After looting every valuable module still intact, the two fleets stood down, bringing the battle to an end.
The Battle from the Perspective of the Suddenly Spaceships Apostle\Nyx
Battle report for the 6-4V20 system can be found here.
All told the battle lasted 40 minutes with Time Dilation not reported and the system hosting an estimated 230 pilots at the peak of the fighting.
Escalating Entropy suffered heavy casualties, losing 53 ships in the battle including 2 titans, 3 super carriers, 14 dreadnoughts, 5 carriers, 10 force auxiliaries and 5 strategic cruisers. This represets 419.27 billion ISK in damages.
The Initiative. and Suddenly Spaceships lost 20 ships, including 4 dreadnoughts, 2 carriers and 2 force auxiliaries for a total of 25.99 billion ISK damage.
Salivan Harddin is a member of V0LTA, WE FORM V0LTA, and covers battles across New Eden