MTO2-2 system, Perrigen Falls region. On the 14th of January at 18:25 EVE Standard Time, a battle unfolded in the system between local residents and a coalition of alliances led by Out of Sight. [OOS]
The battle took place over an anchoring Astrahus citadel deployed by Out of Sight.. The alliance had been harassing the adjacent regions near its home, and decided to push even further in the hopes of generating fights. With the help of allies such as the Red Menace Coalition (RMC) which deployed to the Venal region, as well as Project.Mayhem. [16-13] who stage near the Geminate region, Out of Sight. would be able to take on the members of the Drone Regions Federation (DRF) which live in those regions.
As part of this plan, the alliance had deployed a citadel in the MTO2-2 system, forcing local residents to form a response fleet and remove the structure once it finished anchoring. The locals, mainly Geminate (GemCo) coalition alliances which comprise part of the DRF, formed 3 fleets in order to destroy the structure; A Rattlesnake battleship fleet with force auxiliary support, a Maelstrom battleship fleet and a Cerberus heavy assault cruiser fleet. Though exact figures for each fleet are unavailable, the attackers fielded approximately 300 pilots in total.
Against this, Out of Sight. and RMC formed a joint Rattlesnake fleet of their own, 150 pilots strong. The fleet made its way to the system in order to confront the attackers, only to find via scouts that the hostile fleets had converged on its entry gate, RZ8A-P and set up a blockade. Not wishing to fight at their enemies’ optimal range, the defenders doubled back, looping around and entering the system through the HD-JVQ gate.
For a while, neither side moved, the attackers keeping their fleets on the RZ8A-P gate at a perch, and the defenders remaining on the HD-JVQ gate. Finally, deciding to make the first move, the defenders brought in a dreadnought squadron in order to deal with the force auxiliaries. Once the dreadnoughts joined the defenders, the entire force warped to the hostile Rattlesnake fleet on the RZ8A-P gate.
The battleships exited warp on top of their hostile counterparts, while the dreadnoughts landed near the enemy force auxiliaries. Without delay, the defenders opened fire, concentrating on the Rattlesnake fleet while the dreadnoughts entered their siege cycles and fired on the force auxiliaries. The attackers quickly retaliated, the battle commencing in full.
The two Rattlesnake fleets met head on in a close range brawl, the missile salvos hitting their targets almost instantaneously. The Cerberus fleet remained near its allied Rattlesnake fleet, adding its considerable missile payload to the mix. The Maelstrom fleet on the other hand maintained long range from the fight, its artillery cannons lighting up regularly with shell fire as it targeted the defending fleet.
A vicious trade off began, the attackers’ losing mainline ships with every volley as the defending Rattlesnake fleet was able to completely ignore the logistics wings of its enemies and overwhelm ships with brute strength. The same could not be said of the attackers, who attempted to do the same but with little to no success. The Cerberus fleet however quickly zeroed in on the logistics wing of the defending Rattlesnake fleet and started to thin its numbers, the logistics cruisers standing no chance against the point blank missile barrage.
The dreadnoughts themselves had a hard time breaking the shields of the force auxiliaries, but with the ships under constant bombardment, their effect on the field was severely limited. This allowed the defending Rattlesnake fleet to continue to tear through the opposition, managing to decimate its hostile counterpart swiftly. At the same time, the Rattlesnakes utilized their heavy energy neutralizers, putting further pressure on the force auxiliaries and draining their capacitors.
Finally, the force auxiliaries caved in to the assault. The robust shields of the ships were breached, and the dreadnoughts’ fire impacted the relatively lightly armored hull. Within minutes, the 3 Minokawa force auxiliaries had been destroyed, removing the logistics backbone of the Rattlesnake fleet. That being said, by the time the last force auxiliary fell, the attacking Rattlesnake fleet had been destroyed, leaving the defenders to concentrate on the other two fleets.
The Cerberus fleet which remained in the center of the fight became the next victim. The defending Rattlesnake fleet had no problem volleying the far more fragile heavy assault cruisers. Swarms of missiles impacted the nimble cruisers, wreathing them in fires which consumed them whole. Each salvo marked the demise of another Cerberus as the battle continued.
The defenders however, sustained losses in return. Though most of their mainline ships were intact, the logistics wing had been severely battered. A dozen Basilisk logistics cruisers had been destroyed by that point in the battle, allowing the attacking fleets to focus on the support wing of the Rattlesnakes. The Huginn combat recon cruisers of the defenders were particularly targeted for destruction. This was a serious problem for the defenders, as without the recon cruisers their ability to apply damage to the agile Cerberus fleet was severely diminished.
However, by that point in the battle, it didn’t matter. The Cerberus fleet had suffered heavy casualties, and the Maelstrom fleet was unable to volley through the strong shields of the Rattlesnake fleet. Realizing this, the attackers chose to withdraw, warping out their remaining fleets to safe citadels and towers in the system. The defenders attempted to pin down as many of their enemies as they could, forcing the Cerberus fleet to focus its fire on clearing tackle.
Ships that managed to clear the growing cover of warp disruption probes littering the field warped out, leaving their brethren to be destroyed by the relentless defenders. Finally, after dispatching the last of the stragglers, the defending Rattlesnake fleet claimed victory on the field.
The defending fleet then moved to the station in the system, following the retreating fleets who tried to dock up. A command destroyer managed to teleport a chunk of the attacking fleets away from the docking range and into the defending fleet’s ranks. The defenders took advantage of the situation, destroying more of the attackers’ ships, though losing a few of their own in the process.
All the while the Astrahus finished deployment and became operational with no challenge, allowing Out of Sight. and its allies to claim both the strategic and tactical objectives. With their enemies docked, the defenders extracted their fleet and capitals, bringing an end to the fight.
Battle report for the MTO2-2 system can be found here.
All told the battle lasted 50 minutes with Time Dilation not reported as impacting the fight and the system holding an estimated 500 pilots at the height of the battle.
Out of Sight. and its allies lost 43 ships in the fight, including 4 battleships for a total of 10.31 billion ISK damage.
GemCo lost 109 ships in the fight, including 3 force auxiliaries, 25 battleships and 40 heavy assault cruisers for a total of 32.79 billion ISK damage.
Salivan Harddin is a member of V0LTA, WE FORM V0LTA, and covers battles across New Eden