The battle was prompted by Escalating Entropy forces after they had reinforced a tower belonging to Pandemic Horde in the system. The tower, situated over a valuable moon, was set to exit its invulnerability phase in the early hours of the 4th of February. This led both alliances to form up for a major confrontation over the structure.
Pandemic Horde had gathered an estimated 180 pilot Maelstrom battleship fleet in defense of the tower. The fleet had arrived first in the system and had set up near the structure in order to defend it. Escalating Entropy gathered an 80 pilot Machariel battleship fleet in response, including several Apostle force auxiliaries and a couple of Revelation dreadnoughts fitted to counter sub capitals. This force prepared to bridge in at range of the Maelstrom fleet.
As the Maelstrom fleet waited near the tower, a cynosural beacon suddenly lit up only 50 kilometers away from it, heralding the arrival of Escalating Entropy. The Machariel fleet with its capitals materialized on grid and wasted no time in anchoring up before it opened fire. The Maelstrom fleet retaliated, both sides exchanging artillery barrages at short range.
The artillery bombardment claimed casualties on both sides as the synchronized volleys overwhelmed shields and thick armor alike. Machariels and Maelstroms exploded in bright flashes as the two fleets closed the distance between them, turning the fight into a brawl. Tracking became an issue as artillery cannons strained to keep hostile ships in their sights.
At first the Escalating Entropy fleet held the advantage, managing to destroy several hostile battleships for each loss it suffered. But as distance shrank, the Maelstroms’ numerical advantage became more pronounced and the trade of mainline ships started to even out. Whats more, reinforcements for the Maelstrom fleet had arrived.
Snuffed Out [B B C] and WAFFLES. [N0MAD] had knowledge of the timer, and with the former being the enemy of Escalating Entropy and the latter allied with Pandemic Horde, the two alliances formed a joint 80 pilot Proteus strategic cruiser fleet to aid in the defense of the tower. The Proteus fleet waited until the fight had commenced before it formed up and bridged into the system, the strategic cruisers emerging on a perch far from the fighting itself. Once the entire fleet came through the jump portal, it aligned towards the Machariels before warping in.
As the strategic cruisers landed, the number of hostiles Escalating Entropy faced had risen up. Fighting 2 fleets and already unable to tank due to the sheer firepower possessed by the Maelstrom fleet, its losses only grew rapidly as the strategic cruisers added their own guns to the mix. Beam laser batteries and railguns started hammering at the brown hulls of the Machariels, overwhelming the floundering Escalating Entropy logistics wing and taking their toll on the attackers.
Yet, things would only get worse for the Escalating Entropy fleet. As losses mounted, scouts failed to report Pandemic Horde’s capital wing assembling en-mass in its staging system. 4 squadrons of combat carriers and 2 squadrons of dreadnoughts prepared to jump into the fray and bring the fight to a close. Finally, a cynosural beacon lit up on the grid, allowing them to enter the system. Dozens of Pandemic Horde capitals started pouring in through the beacon, dreadnoughts entered siege cycles while combat carriers deployed squadrons of fighters.
Already severely outnumbered and facing a full capital wing at point blank range, the Escalating Entropy fleet commander had no choice but to call a retreat. The ships that could warped out, leaving many stragglers behind, including the 6 capital ships brought at the start of the fight. The Apostles and Revelations were soon beset by the victors, bombarded from every direction by capital munitions, a thousand artillery cannons and a swarm of fighters. In rapid succession, the force auxiliaries were brought down, their armor unable to offer meaningful resistance to the torrent of munitions crashing against it.
With the force auxiliaries gone, came the turn of the Revelations. They too languished under the constant bombardment before caving in and rupturing in a series of explosions, leaving only the few Machariels still pinned down by tacklers to face the wrath of the defenders. The few remaining Escalating Entropy battleships were easily dispatched by the two defending fleets, securing the grid and the tower in the process.
With the Machariel fleet in retreat and the tower secured, the defenders dispersed, bringing an end to the fight.
The Battle from the Perspective of the WAFFLES.\Snuffed Out Proteus Fleet
Battle report for the Anchauttes system can be found here.
All told the battle lasted for 12 minutes with Time Dilation not reported and the system hosting 427 pilots near the end of the fight.
Escalating Entropy lost 35 ships in the fight, including 2 dreadnoughts, 4 force auxiliaries and 23 battleships for a total of 43.97 billion ISK damage.
Pandemic Horde lost 19 ships in the exchange, including 7 battleships for a total of 2.45 billion ISK damage.
WAFFLES. and Snuffed Out lost only 2 ships in the fight for a net loss of 477 million ISK damage.
Salivan Harddin is a member of V0LTA, WE FORM V0LTA, and covers battles across New Eden