The battle was sparked by a Hel super carrier belonging to RMC forces. The Hel was caught by Therabois scouts in an anomaly in the system. With the Hel pinned down by a lone Sabre interdictor, Therabois quickly sounded the alarm and formed a 30 pilot Tengu strategic cruiser fleet which later swelled to nearly 60 pilots. The fleet made its way to the system, descended upon the distressed super carrier and began bombarding it with missile salvos. At the same time, a defensive perimeter was established, intended to delay any attempts of reinforcement.
The Hel languished under the bombardment, unable to flee. However, the attackers were only slowly chipping at its robust shields, forcing Therabois to call for aid. Project.Mayhem answered the call and formed a 70 pilot Orthrus cruiser fleet. The fleet rushed towards the system, utilizing several wormholes in order to arrive on the scene. As the Orthrus fleet was making its way, RMC forces organized a relief force for the Hel. An estimated 40 pilot mixed fleet of Rattlesnake battleships and combat carriers assembled in the system, attempting to secure a warp in on the grid.
Therabois refused to allow this. Interdictors spread around, monitoring the fleet’s location and deploying more interdiction probes in its direction. A Minokawa tried to warp in and help the Hel tank the incoming damage, but got dragged by the interdiction probes and tackled by Therabois interceptors. More and more RMC ships were brought in to attempt to clear as many of the interdictors as possible, as they impeded the fleet’s ability to warp to their tackled brethren, but most were cut down by Therabois. Finally, a second Minokawa managed to warp through, landing near the Hel as its shields dropped to 30%. With the Minokawa on field, Therabois’ damage output was not enough to overcome its mighty shield transfers. To make matters worse, it was soon followed by the rest of the RMC fleet.
The RMC fleet though landed far from the Hel and was forced to burn in. Carriers deployed fighter squadrons while Rattlesnakes started firing on the Therabois fleet. The two fleets clashed, but neither was able to break the tank of the other, as the Therabois Tengus proved to be too slippery, while the Rattlesnake fleet enjoyed a robust logistics backbone of three Minokawas. The RMC fleet focused most of its fire on clearing tackle, managing to create a hole in the cover of warp disruption probes. This allowed the Hel super carrier to warp out, though most of the RMC fleet was still trapped on grid.
By this point, Project.Mayhem had joined the fray. The two fleets then slowly focused on clearing the field, managing to grind down the Rattlesnakes and their support. With the Hel gone, RMC attempted to extract the rest of its fleet, starting with its combat carriers. The attackers had no intentions of letting RMC off the hook, and managed to snag a large number of the carriers, keeping them tackled while attempting to bump them away from the Minokawas, who at this point were balled up on the field, thus getting them outside of effective shield transfer range.
This proved a difficult task, as many members of the attacking force suffered from desynchronization, leading to pilots seeing an erroneous picture of the battlefield. Only after pilots re-logged did the issue get resolved. Finally, the attackers managed to isolate several carriers and started tearing into them, bringing them down methodically. All the while, RMC forces attempted to intervene, but were either forced back towards the Minokawas or destroyed in the exchange.
One by one the carriers were destroyed, leading RMC to re-ship and bring further reinforcements to the field. More Rattlesnakes, this time with support ships, hit the grid and attempted to push back the attackers. Sadly, they landed too far from the carriers, with Therabois and Project.Mayhem fleets quickly reacting to their presence and keeping range from the new arrivals while focusing their attention on the capitals themselves. A few got too close as they strayed out of the effective range of their force auxiliaries, becoming easy targets for the massive enemy force.
Finally, with the last combat carrier destroyed, RMC forces withdrew from the field, allowing Therabois and Project.Mayhem to claim it. The two fleets loitered in the system for a short time, hunting stragglers and looting the field before retreating back to their respective staging systems, thus bringing the fight to a close.
Battle report for the HIX4-H system can be found here.
All told the battle lasted for 90 minutes with Time Dilation not reported and system hosting 200 pilots at the peak of the fighting.
Therabois, Project.Mayhem and other allies lost a combined 59 ships, half of them interdictors for a total of 11.2 billion ISK damage.
RMC lost 81 ships in the fighting, including 12 battleships and 7 carriers for a total of 30.49 billion ISK of damage.
*All the images in this article are the property of Marciniusz Solo and used with his explicit permission
Salivan Harddin is a member of V0LTA, WE FORM V0LTA and covers battles across New Eden