The battle was prompted by RMC forces attempting to reinforce a The Romulans tower in the system. RMC had a 40 pilot fleet, mainly Typhoon battleships with 2 Apostle force auxiliaries and 3 dreadnoughts set up on the tower. This fleet was busy bombarding the tower’s shields in an effort to push the structure into its reinforcement stage. Under attack, the structure started sending notifications to the alliance, drawing The Romulans’ attention. The hostile force was immediately discovered, while scouts were sent to RMC’s staging to find out if the coalition had more reinforcements ready.
The Romulans at the time, along with a few local allies, intended to roam through wormhole space but changed plans once the hostile fleet was reported. Hastily forming a 40 pilot fleet of their own, The Romulans and other residents of Stain assembled a mixed armor fleet, mainly Apocalypse Navy Issue battleships and Proteus strategic cruisers. The force had 2 Apostles to serve as logistics as well as a few dreadnoughts to counter the RMC’s. Interdictor pilots were sent as well to slow down RMC reinforcements as their staging system reportedly had substantial number of pilots logged in, raising fears of future escalation from RMC forces.
In the meantime The Romulans force secured a cynosural beacon on the field and prepared to bridge into the system. As RMC forces kept bashing the tower, a cynosural beacon suddenly lit up only 40 kilometers from their fleet signalling the entrance of The Romulans fleet. The Romulans wasted no time and opened fire on the Typhoons. The two fleets clashed head on, the sub capitals engaging in close quarters warfare with merely 20 kilometers at times separating the warring sides.
Pulse laser batteries flashed continuously as they directed their energy discharge at the Typhoons, who shot back with several hundreds cruise missiles. From the start RMC was unable to tank the incoming fire. The Romulans were able to destroy the Typhoons, even with 2 Apostles present on the field. The pulse lasers pierced through the battleships’ thick armor, incinerating the structure beneath and causing the ships to explode. RMC tried to do the same, but was unable to overcome The Romulans’ logistics wing, leading to a one sided exchange.
After destroying several battleships, The Romulans brought forth their own dreadnoughts and started working on the Apostles. The Romulans dreadnoughts hit the field, materialising in great flashes of light before entering siege cycles and firing upon the Apostles. With the dreadnoughts on field, The Romulans managed to push through the Apostles’ armor repair cycles, each time destroying a chunk of structure. Finally, the first force auxiliary caved in to the damage and exploded, leaving its sister ship to follow in its footsteps only a few moments later.
Deprived of its logistics wing, the RMC fleet found itself in a dangerous position. The Romulans exploited the situation and started to burn through the ranks of battleships. They initial began to go after Scorpion battleships as they proved to be an annoyance due to their electronic warfare capabilities which caused several ships to lose target lock for extended periods of time. In between, the fleet also targeted the trio of RMC dreadnoughts which still remained on the field. The RMC fleet itself concentrated its efforts on destroying the hostile force auxiliaries, focusing its entire firepower on removing them from the field.
The Romulans Apostles resisted as well as they could, but even with the RMC fleet having lost a large portion of its force, the damage had already stripped the ships of much of their armor. Whats more, RMC reinforcements were arriving on the field. RMC had bridged its own reinforcements to the neighbouring system of XZ-SKZ due to jump ranges. The gate had been covered with warp interdiction probes, delaying the RMC reinforcements, but only for a short while. Once the interdictors had been dispatched and the interdiction probes expired, the RMC reinforcements warped into the field. RMC had brought more battleships, as well as several dreadnoughts and a new Apostle to serve as its logistics wing.
With the RMC reinforcements in, The Romulans found themselves in trouble as the battle seemingly swung in favor of RMC. Thus, The Romulans sub capitals started to increase their distance from the main RMC fleet. However The Romulans battleships soon felt the wrath for the RMC fleet, as cruise missiles started hitting Apocalypse Navy Issue battleships. A few of the golden ships were swallowed in the ensuing firestorm created by the missiles, leading to their destruction. Yet instead of pursuing or focusing on the sub capital force, the RMC decided to turn its attention to The Romulans dreadnoughts.
The Romulans used the opportunity to destroy several more RMC battleships while organizing its own reinforcements. However as its fleet commanders attempted to light a cynosural beacon and bring forth a new Apostle, they found out RMC had deployed cynosural inhibitors on the field, making it impossible to light a cynosural beacon in the vicinity of the fight. Thus, a cynosural beacon had to be placed at a perch above the fight in order to let the Apostle jump in. The force auxiliary materialised in the system only to find itself in a warp interdiction probe as RMC forces reacted to the new arrival.
Regardless, RMC forces kept working on The Romulans dreadnoughts, bringing down one after the other in a long and painful struggle. Each dreadnought did its best to resist the incoming missile salvos, dishing out as much as it could before finally getting overwhelmed by the RMC fleet and destroyed. As the final dreadnought caved in, The Romulans’ Apostle managed to free itself from the cover of warp disruption probes and reunite with its fleet. With the assistance of logistics once more on the field, The Romulans prepared to continue the fight.
The Romulans had managed to take down the new RMC Apostle, even as its own dreadnoughts were dispatched. But RMC simply brought a Lif force auxiliary to replace it and still had 4 dreadnoughts on the field. The Romulans had no reinforcements to draw on, its losses depriving it of much of its firepower. Still, the alliance fought on, targeting hostile battleships while its own Apostle came under fire from the RMC. The Apostle fought to survive the punishment heaped on it, concentrating on repairing the damage. Even as it struggled valiantly, the damage kept piling in and finally the ship was brought down, leaving The Romulans once again exposed.
By then, The Romulans had managed to inflict several more losses on the RMC, but it wasn’t enough. Losing the Apostle, The Romulans fleet came under heavy fire from the vengeful RMC forces. With no logistics backbone, battleships and strategic cruisers were soon engulfed in an inferno which reduced them to dust. Those that could, warped out, leaving the field in the hands of RMC.
After The Romulans left, RMC began to finish reinforcing the tower and loot the field. However, the fight had yet to end. 15 minutes later The Romulans returned, bringing a Gila cruiser fleet. The small force tried to skirmish with the RMC fleet which still remained on the grid. This time though, the fight proved one sided. RMC battleships with the help of carriers and dreadnoughts inflicted heavy losses to the Gila fleet, forcing it off and finally causing The Romulans to admit defeat.
With this final exchange done, RMC forces extracted from the field, bringing the battle to an end.
The Battle from the Perspective of a The Romulans’ Interdictor
Battle report for the CJF-1P system can be found here.
All told the battle lasted 37 minutes total with Time Dilation not reported and the system hosting an estimated 120 pilots by the end of the fighting.
The Romulans lost 39 ships in the fighting, including 4 dreadnoughts, 3 force auxiliaries, 1 carrier, 6 battleships, 1 strategic cruiser and 11 cruisers for a total of 30.09 billion ISK damage.
RMC lost 50 ships in the fighting, including 6 dreadnoughts, 3 force auxiliaries and 23 battleships for a total of 34.65 billion ISK damage.
Salivan Harddin is a member of V0LTA, WE FORM V0LTA, and covers battles across New Eden