M-MD31 system, Geminate region. On the 16th of January at 18:56 EVE Standard Time, a battle unfolded in the system between Drone Regions Federation (DRF) forces and Project.Mayhem. [16-13] and its allies.

The battle was fought over a DRF tower in the system previously reinforced by WAFFLES. [N0MAD], Project.Mayhem.’s allies in its incursion into the region. With the tower exiting its invulnerability period, both sides prepared for a major confrontation.

The DRF assembled a 215 pilot Machariel battleship fleet and arrived in the system first. the fleet set up on the reinforced tower and waited for the hostiles to arrive. Project.Mayhem., along with allies WAFFLES. and Snuffed Out [B B C], formed a joint 220 pilot Nightmare fleet. The force bridged to the FDZ4-A system neighboring M-MD31 and set up on the gate into the system.

When the fleet arrived on the gate, it sent an interdictor in first. The interdictor burnt away from the gate, settling at long distance and deployed a warp disruption probe in the direction of the Machariel fleet’s location in the system. The interdiction probe was set up to “Drag” the Machariel fleet once it attempted to warp to the gate in order to engage the Nightmare fleet.

With the interdiction probe in place the Nightmare fleet jumped in and uncloaked its force, anchoring up in anticipation of the Machariel fleet. The Machariels did not disappoint, warping to the gate only to get caught by the interdiction probe. The Nightmare fleet wasted no time in opening fire, tachyon beam laser batteries focusing their firepower on the Machariels.

The Machariel fleet anchored up and fired back, its artillery cannons spitting shells at the nimble Nightmares. An ugly trade developed, as both sides were able to easily overcome the others’ defenses with their firepower, starting an even trade off. Nightmares blew up as artillery shields pierced shields while Machariels were vaporized by concentrated beams of light extending from the many battleships.

The two fleets quickly settled into a long range exchange, increasing the distance between them while firing. Yet as the battle progressed it became apparent that the DRF fleet was losing ground. The rate at which Machariels were destroyed kept accelerating, while the pace at which Nightmares were dispatched seemed to have slowed down considerably. As the fight progressed the Machariel fleet was in danger of losing the field.

At this point, 2 squadrons of DRF interdictors entered the system and burnt straight into the Nightmare fleet. The interdictors deployed dozens of warp disruption probes all around the Nightmares, thus making sure they could not warp off the grid easily. Then a cynosural beacon lit up, ushering in a Northern Coalition. [NC] combat carrier fleet.

The 60 pilot combat carrier force had come to support the DRF. The carriers materialized on the grid and launched squadrons of fighters. A swarm of fighters was unleashed, flying into the Nightmare fleet which attempted to clear tackle and escape the cover of warp disruption probes.

The fighters descended on the battleships, tearing them apart like locust stripping a field. The Machariels contributed as well, firing at the retreating battleships, trying to keep pace. Nearly a dozen battleships were lost within moments, but by then the Nightmare fleet was able to clear tackle and warp off. Once off the grid, the battleship fleet jumped to the V-MZW0 system and waited in deep space for hostiles to clear before extracting.

The DRF forces with the help of Northern Coalition. claimed the field, saving the tower in the process and gaining victory of the battle.

While the two sides withdrew, this did not prove the end of hostilities between them. An hour later, a carrier making its way to the Oijanen system, got tackled on the Akora gate by DRF forces. The DRF Machariel fleet quickly descended upon it, blasting it apart.

This prompted Project.Mayhem. and its allies to flash form a rescue fleet. Hastily, a 70 pilot Proteus strategic cruiser fleet was assembled with an Apostle force auxiliary in tow to supplement its logistics wing. The fleet made its way to the system, arriving to late to save the stranded carrier. However, the DRF wished to continue and fight with the Project.Mayhem. relief force, pinging on the grid before landing 70 kilometers away and opening fire.

The Apostle wasted no time, lighting a cynosural beacon and bringing in a squadron of combat carriers to aid the Proteus fleet in combating the DRF Machariels. The two sides exchanged blows, trading fairly evenly as the fighters augmented the Proteus fleet. As mainline ships on both sides exploded, the DRF sought to counter escalate further.

Suddenly a cynosural beacon lit up on top of the combat carriers, allowing a DRF dreadnought squadron to jump into the fight. The dreadnoughts entered siege cycles, training their guns on the combat carriers and blasting the capital ships at near point blank range. Carrier after carrier was destroyed, the capital munitions crashing through and obliterating the ships.

Reacting to this new development, Project.Mayhem. and its allies started to bring in dreadnoughts as well, pilots called to log in, undock and jump in with dreadnoughts. The allied dreadnoughts filed into the field, each materializing and quickly entering siege cycle, targeting its hostile brethren and opening fire. The field swiftly descended into a full on capital brawl as more and more dreadnoughts were called into the field by both sides, the sub capital fleets themselves engaging each other between the giants exchanging fire.

This time, it was Project.Mayhem. and its allies that were losing ground. With pilots filing in, rather than arriving in ordered squadrons like the DRF, the capital force of the Proteus fleet was easily overwhelmed, dreadnoughts exploding left and right. Deciding to re-group, Project.Mayhem. and its allies prepared to extract the remainder of their forces when a new cynosural beacon lit up, heralding the return of Northern Coalition..

Northern Coalition. re-formed its combat carrier fleet, bringing it to the field the moment its scouts reported the battle in progress. However the cynosural beacon which was used turned out to be a bit further than the main Project.Mayhem. fleet, leading to many of the remaining ships warping off rather than getting tackled by the Northern Coalition. reinforcements.

Regardless, the DRF and Northern Coalition. attempted to tackle as many ships as they could, dispatching each and every one that they caught.

Finally, the fighting ceased as only wrecks remained on the Akora gate besides the two friendly fleets. With the fighting won, the two fleets departed, allowing Project.Mayhem. and its allies to withdraw as well and finally put an end to the fight.

Battle report for the M-MD31 and Oijanen systems can be found here.

All told, the battle on its two parts lasted 28 minutes, with Time Dilation not reported as impacting the fight and the M-MD31 system hosting approximately 500 pilots at the height of the battle.

Project.Mayhem. and its allies lost a combined 93 ships, including 15 dreadnoughts, 5 force auxiliaries, 10 carriers, 26 battleships and 20 strategic cruisers for a total of 113.74 billion ISK of damage.
DRF lost 110 ships in the fight, including 8 dreadnoughts and 42 battleships for a total of 49.16 billion ISK damage.
Northern Coalition. lost no ships in the fighting.

Salivan Harddin is a member of V0LTA, WE FORM V0LTA, and covers battles across New Eden