LR-2XT system, Geminate region. On the 8th of January at 15:00 EVE Standard Time, a battle unfolded in the system between local forces and Therabois.
The battle was fought over a Revelation dreadnought belonging to Hard Alliance [PYCB]. The dreadnought was caught in an anomaly, clearing a capital spawn which had appeared in the site. The ship managed to destroy the spawn, causing the site to disappear from scan. By all intents and purposes, the ship should have been safe.
This was not the case. Therabois scouts had come across the system and watched the ship go to the site. With the site gone from their overview, the scouts secured a probing ship to scan it down. Once the signature of the dreadnought was acquired, an interdictor warped on top of it, snaring it. At the same time, a Therabois gang which had only recently returned from a roam prepared to rush in and secure the kill.
The interdictor landed on the dreadnought, launching a warp disruption probe and effectively pinning it to the grid. With the ship tackled, the Therabois gang, numbering 20 pilots, rushed in to secure the kill. However, Hard Alliance was not about to leave the ship to die without a fight. Several sub-capital ships, mainly cruiser sized, warped to the tackled dreadnought in an attempt to destroy the interdictor and free the ship. They were quickly met with Therabois’ main fleet, which promptly opened fire on them. The two sides proceeded to clash.
The first few exchanges in the fight saw Therabois lose several ships, but the rescue fleet fared worse. The Therabois fleet retaliated, quickly destroying many of the initial rescue force’s ships. Yet Hard Alliance kept bringing ships to the field, not abandoning the dreadnought to its fate. Among the ships that arrived to aid it was a Nidhoggur carrier. Seeing Hard Alliance escalate the fight, Therabois hoped to draw more of the alliance to the field and prepared to lure their enemies by bringing a dreadnought of their own, which was in range of the system. In order for the dreadnought to enter the system, Therabois secured a cynosural beacon, jumping the dreadnought to a neighboring system on the connecting gate.
Therabois wanted Hard Alliance to escalate further, thus committing more capitals for the fleet to destroy. However to do so, the cynosural jammer in the system had to come down. For it to be turned off, the owners of the system would have to manually offline the module. The only other option would be to damage the module, but with Therabois involved in the heavy fighting on the field, that was unlikely. Instead, Therabois had the dreadnought take the gate, jump into the system and warp to where the tackled dreadnought lay. With the dreadnought on the field, Hard Alliance was caught by surprise as the ship proceeded to enter its siege cycle and target its brethren. This, the Therabois fleet hoped, would cause the sovereignty holders to turn off the jammer in order to allow reinforcements in.
In the meantime, more and more Hard Alliance reinforcements landed on the grid, only for most of them to be swiftly dispatched. However, Hard Alliance moved two Minokawa force auxiliaries to the field, which complicated matters a bit for Therabois. The ships had been stopped short from the dreadnought and 1 of the carriers thanks to interdiction probes, but were still within the fall off range of their remote shield transfers. Whats more, with those remote shield transfers, the ability of Therabois to remove the hostile sub capitals diminished somewhat, as several ships managed to catch repairs and absorb the incoming damage. It took many rapid target switches and coordinated volleys to finally destroy those ships.
Finally, Hard Alliance managed to get the cynosural jammer down, lighting cynosural beacons and bringing a couple more carriers to the field. The new carriers unleashed their fighter squadrons and used them to hound the Therabois fleet, which was steadily increasing in size as news of the tackled carriers and dreadnought made the rounds. All the while, the capital blasters of the Moros tore into the Revelation, swiftly stripping away its thick armor plating.
Yet, before it could continue and ravage the hull beneath it, the Revelation managed to warp out, freed from the cover of interdiction warp probes as the carriers and the rescue force managed to remove most of the Therabois interdictors from the field. With the dreadnought gone, the Nidhoggur became the next target of the Moros. Blaster rounds poured on the carrier’s shields, slowly bringing them down. However with the force auxiliaries on field, the ship was able to withstand the barrage, catching repairs at low shields.
The dreadnought, though, found itself besieged by the combat carriers. Hard Alliance started bringing more in by beacons, or simply warping them to the grid. The fighter squadrons tore into the enormous ship, which managed to tank a great deal of damage for a while. It nearly succeeded in retreating, but was caught in the end by a friendly warp disruption probe. Unable to engage its warp drives, it was forced to endure the onslaught, finally caving in and exploding in a bright flash.
Therabois, however, were not deterred by the loss of their dreadnought. The fleet resorted to bumping the combat carriers away from the Minokawas using a Machariel battleship fitted for that purpose. The battleship came under heavy fire, but by then Therabois had a sizeable fleet nearing 50 pilots, with several Scimitar logistics cruisers to prop up its shields. The Machariel started the arduous task of bumping the carrier away from the force auxiliaries, ramming it time and again, using its mass and the speed it gained from its 500MN microwarpdrive. The Nidhoggur drifted ever so slowly from the force auxiliaries. Once it was out of range, the Therabois fleet descended upon it, destroying it.
At that point, the Therabois force had morphed into a Tengu strategic cruiser fleet. The fleet was able to focus its fire, destroying the continued trickle of sub-capital ships to the field, managing to overwhelm them, even through the Minokawas’ repair cycles. All the while the Machariel was hard at work, locating carriers far enough from the force auxiliaries and making sure they were even further away. Carrier after carrier was destroyed in that manner, though Hard Alliance kept replacing losses, jumping in or warping in replacements.
By then, Project.Mayhem. [16-13], which had a scout in the system observing the fight, made contact with Therabois. The alliance had assembled a 60 pilot black ops battleship fleet including a squadron of stealth bombers and were ready to aid Therabois. Therabois accepted the offer and the fleet bridged into the system, landing in a deep safe before warping to the grid. Once on the grid, the fleet perched up before warping down again on top of the Minokawas.
An attempt was made to break the force auxiliaries, but they proved too tough to crack. Instead, the two fleets focused on clearing the remaining carriers, spreading tackle and concentrating their fire. Soon, more carriers joined the field of wrecks littering the field as the two fleets continued to apply pressure to the remaining Hard Alliance capitals. Hard Alliance was unable to muster an adequate response to the two fleets and resorted to bombing the field, trying to destroy warp disruption probes and wrecks in order to deny loot from the attackers. Stealth bombers would uncloak one after the other, launching their bombs at the field before either warping out or being destroyed by the attacking force.
Another fleet joined the fray, a 40 pilot Providence Bloc interceptor gang. The fleet had been contacted for aid by members of the Therabois fleet and burnt to the system. Once in, it warped to the field, tackling a couple of the carriers and focusing its firepower on clearing fighters. With so many groups on the field, friendly fire incidents became commonplace, causing the interceptor fleet’s commander to be removed from the grid. After sustaining some damage from the random bombing runs of Hard Alliance, the interceptor fleet chose to depart, leaving Project.Mayhem and Therabois to finish the job.
Hard Alliance had stopped reinforcing its capital ships, and those that remained on field tried desperately to get out. A couple managed to either warp out or jump out to cynosural beacons in the region, but the majority were not so lucky. As the last combat carrier was destroyed, the Minokawas came next. One managed to escape the grasp of the attackers, but its sister ship wasn’t so lucky. Within moments it sustained heavy fire as the two fleets poured all their scorn on the ship. It languished for a while, resisting as best it could, but under heavy energy neutralizer pressure and having depleted most of its cap booster charges in the long fighting, its fate was sealed. Finally, it was destroyed, adding another wreck to the pile.
The field cleared of hostiles, the attackers split, Therabois guarding the wrecks while bringing haulers to salvage what they could from the grid and the Project.Mayhem. fleet regrouping in a safe spot before jumping out to safety. Therabois managed to escort several industrial ships to the field and started the task of looting everything they could find of value, all the while being harassed by Hard Alliance bombers. With the haulers laden with the spoils of battle, the Therabois fleet escorted the ships back to Thera, extracting from the system.
With the field emptied, and only a few wrecks remaining to indicate the fierce battle that had raged there but a few minutes ago, the fight came to a close.
The Battle from the Perspective of Therabois Fleet (Starts at 5:44 Mark)
Battle report for the LR-2XT system can be found here.
All told the battle lasted 70 minutes with Time Dilation not reported and the system hosting 200 pilots at the peak of the fighting.
Hard Alliance and its allies suffered the brunt of the losses, 112 ships including 6 carriers and 1 force auxiliary for a total of 33.25 billion ISK.
Therabois and its allies lost 33 ships in comparison, including 1 dreadnought, 3 black ops battleships and 2 strategic cruisers for a sum of 12.14 billion ISK.
Salivan Harddin is a member of V0LTA, WE FORM V0LTA, and covers battles across New Eden