The two alliances clashed over an Astrahus citadel owned by The Initiative.. The structure had been reinforced by Brave Collective forces and was exiting its reinforced mode. Though The Initiative. considered the structure of low importance, the alliance decided to defend it as content for its pilots. Thus, the alliance gathered a 60 pilot mixed armor heavy assault cruiser fleet and made their way to the system.
Brave Collective prepared to face The Initiative., gathering an estimated 60 pilot Hurricane battlecruiser fleet. The force set up on the O-BDXB gate, The Initiative.’s likely point of entry to the system. The Initiative. fleet jumped into 9-4RP2, encountering the Hurricane fleet near the gate.
The two fleets opened fire, the Hurricane fleet managing to volley a few of the heavy assault cruisers in the opening barrage. However, The Initiative. chose to burn into the Hurricane fleet, firing all the while and destroying battlecruisers and support ships. The two fleets quickly tangled, the heavy assault cruisers sticking close to the battlecruiser fleet, negating much of the tracking ability of its artillery cannons which in turn drastically reduced its damage output.
Battlecruiser after battlecruiser was destroyed in the ensuing fight, the Brave Collective fleet unable to properly return fire. The Initiative. targeted from the start the few support ships the fleet had, ensuring it lacked any means to control range or apply damage. The heavy assault cruiser fleet felt comfortable brawling at point blank range and continued to decimate the battlecruisers.
As the fight progressed, a third player entered the field. A The-Culture [-T C-] Cynabal cruiser gang had chanced upon the fight and warped in to engage the two combatants. Yet, before the fleet could properly join the fight it suffered a few losses as The Initiative. switched its focus to its ships, destroying several. Additionally, the fleet reported the fight to The-Culture high command which promptly organized its own fleet to join the proceedings and recalled the Cynabal gang. Suffering losses and being called back to merge with the assembling fleet, the Cynabal gang disengaged and left the system.
At this point, Brave Collective decided to disengage as well. Having suffered heavy casualties and unable to break through the tank of the heavy assault cruisers, the battlecruisers chose to warp out to a friendly citadel in order to replenish numbers. At the same time, a few dreadnoughts and a force auxiliary were brought to The Initiative. citadel in order to finish it off. As the dreadnoughts entered siege cycles, The Initiative. fleet warped in and tackled them.
Brave Collective reacted immediately and brought its reconstituted fleet in to stop them. The fleet was further reinforced by a Pandemic Horde [REKTD] Moa cruiser fleet, estimated at 90 pilots. Having to fight the two fleets, The Initiative. force made a stand, engaging both. For a while the heavy assault cruisers managed to hold out against the might of the combined force, threatening to replicate the result of the first engagement.
Pandemic Horde and Brave Collective poured their scorn on the defenders and pummeled the heavy assault cruisers. Pressured by the two fleets hammering its comrades, The Initiative.’s logistics wing momentarily faltered. This resulted in a few heavy assault cruisers lost, as the combined firepower of the two fleets overwhelmed them. Yet as The Initiative. destroyed more attacking mainline ships, the damage on the field lessened, giving it a reprieve.
The Initiative. fleet continued to brawl, annihilating the Moa and Hurricane fleets in the process. Pandemic Horde, tired of the constant stream of losses, decided to escalate matters. A cynosural beacon lit up on the grid and 30 combat carriers entered the field. The Pandemic Horde combat carriers deployed fighters, including Siren squadrons. Siren fighters are known for their ability to tackle hostile ships, and a swarm of them descended on The Initiative. force, pinning it as other fighters swooped in and hammered at its ships.
Realizing their fate was sealed, The Initiative. pilots decided to take a few of the capitals with them. Focusing on the immobile dreadnoughts, the heavy assault cruisers started to hammer them. All the while, the Pandemic Horde fighters took their toll on the defenders, destroying ship after ship and overwhelming their logistics wing. Even so, the heavy assault cruisers managed to finally break through and destroy the first Naglfar dreadnought. As the capital ship exploded, the rapidly dwindling heavy assault cruiser fleet turned its guns on its brethren as The-Culture joined the fray.
The-Culture had assembled a 90 pilot Ferox battlecruiser fleet. The force entered the system and warped to the battlefield near the citadel. With Pandemic Horde already having deployed its combat carriers and The Initiative. force quickly being destroyed by them, the Ferox fleet decided to side with the defenders. The Ferox fleet lent its firepower to The Initiative., squarely targeting the remaining Naglfars. The two dreadnoughts were felled, but by then The Initiative. force had been completely wiped out.
Left by itself, The-Culture Ferox fleet decided to make one final charge, attacking the combat carriers. Having finished ridding the grid of The Initiative. forces, the combat carriers sent their fighters after the charging battlecruisers, felling many. Taking horrendous losses, the Ferox fleet didn’t let up, its railguns hammering at one of the combat carriers. A Nidhoggur carrier, the ship was unable to sustain the continued barrage even with the backing of force auxiliaries and was destroyed.
This victory was short lived for The-Culture, as the carrier’s comrades re-doubled their efforts. With increasing casualties and facing the wrath of 3 squadrons of combat carriers, the Ferox fleet decided to withdraw and warped out, having lost more than a third of its pilots. The Initiative. in the meantime re-shipped, hastily assembling a Machariel battleship fleet and rushing it to the field in order to resume the fight.
By the time the reassembled fleet arrived in the system, the fight was over. The attackers nonetheless managed to reinforce the Astrahus, pushing it into its second reinforcement tower, thus securing their objective. This led Pandemic Horde and Brave Collective to extract the remains of their respective fleets.
With no enemy left to engage, The Initiative. force departed as well, bringing an end to the fight.
Battle report for the 9-4RP2 system can be found here.
All told, the battle lasted 1 hour with Time Dilation not reported and the system hosting an estimated maximum of 450 pilots at one point in the fight.
Pandemic Horde and Brave Collective lost a combined 208 ships, including 3 dreadnoughts, 1 combat carrier, 46 battlecruisers and 54 cruisers for a total of 24.11 billion ISK damage.
The Initiative. lost 49 ships, including 30 heavy assault cruisers for a total of 12.16 billion ISK damage.
The-Culture lost 44 ships, including 29 battlecruisers for a total of 5.47 billion ISK damage.
Salivan Harddin is a member of V0LTA, WE FORM V0LTA, and covers battles across New Eden