BY-MSY system, Esoteria region. On the 23rd of February at 18:26 EVE Standard Time, a battle unfolded in the system between Test Alliance Please Ignore [TEST] and Red Menace (RMC) coalition forces which resulted in the destruction of three super carriers.
The battle was instigated by RMC forces who sent a small Caracal cruiser gang into the system, tackling a Test Alliance Please Ignore Rorqual industrial capital ship in an anomaly. With the ship pinned down by interdictors the RMC gang proceeded to light a cynosural beacon bringing in two Chimera combat carriers to help destroy the ship.
The Rorqual pilot broadcasted his distress on alliance channels prompting fleet commanders to respond and assemble a fleet to rescue the ship. A Hurricane battlecruiser fleet was hastily organized and dispatched to the system, arriving in time to tackle the hostile combat carriers. The battlecruisers landed in the anomaly, interdictors racing to tackle the combat carriers while the mainline ships opened fire on the Caracal cruisers. After dispatching two, the battlecruisers turned their attention to the combat carriers, destroying one in the process.
Before they could free the Rorqual, RMC reinforcements materialized on the grid. A 100 pilot Typhoon battleship fleet had been waiting in range of the system, and with Test Alliance Please Ignore forces committing, bridged in. The battleships targeted the battlecruisers and the two sides started exchanging close range fire.
The start of the engagement proved bloody as the opposing fleets traded losses. The Hurricane fleet, estimated at the time at more than a 100 pilots, was losing mainline ship at a fast pace. However it was able to inflict losses on the Typhoon fleet, destroying several battleships in return. Realizing he needed more firepower to combat the battleships effectively, the Test Alliance Please Ignore fleet commander had two squadrons of combat carriers prepare for a combat drop. The combat carriers were themselves supported by eight force auxiliaries. Furthermore, super carrier pilots were told to get ready in case of further escalation.
A cynosural beacon was secured for the combat carriers on the field, and nearly three squadrons of Test Alliance Please Ignore capitals entered the field. The combat carriers immediately deployed fighters, sending the drones after the hostile battleships. The fighters had no trouble tracking and applying damage to the Typhoons, destroying several in a short time. The Typhoons reacted, targeting the new arrivals and swarming the capital ships, applying heavy energy neutralizers to the ships.
This was the first mistake committed by Test Alliance Please Ignore commanders, the capital ships materialized too close to the fight, a mere 40 kilometers from the Typhoon fleet. Even worse, this was all going according to RMC’s plans. The coalition reacted to the capital ships’ deployment by logging in two squadrons of dreadnoughts it had prepared beforehand in the G-M4GK system in Paragon Soul. The dreadnoughts quickly joined the fleet and jumped to the already lit cynosural beacon, landing within their guns’ optimal range.
The dreadnoughts entered their siege cycles and targeted the combat carriers, destroying several in their opening salvos. Test Alliance Please Ignore split its focus, attempting to clear as many battleships as possible from the field due to their energy neutralizers while also firing on the dreadnoughts. The carriers themselves aligned away from the dreadnoughts and slow boated, trying to increase the distance and exit the dreadnoughts guns’ range. The Rorqual, which had been tackled all the while, was also destroyed during this stage of the fighting, adding to the kill count.
At this point, Test Alliance Please Ignore committed its second mistake. Believing they had more super carriers than actually were in fleet, Test Alliance Please Ignore called the ships into the already existing cynosural beacon. This proved costly, as six super carriers materialized on the field, in close proximity to the RMC dreadnoughts and Typhoon fleet. The ships quickly deployed fighter-bombers, targeting the hostile dreadnoughts and aligned away from the mass of ships as a precaution. RMC forces nonetheless seized the initiative and tackled the massive ships before revealing their final trump card.
RMC forces had been working with Stain Wagon (SW) coalition for this engagement. SW had positioned its own dreadnought force, five squadrons strong, in the VL7-60 system. This put the SW dreadnoughts in range of the fight, and once Test Alliance Please Ignore committed its super carriers, the SW dreadnoughts jumped into the fray. With 50 more dreadnoughts on the field, the combined SW\RMC dreadnought force started destroying the force auxiliaries on the field, bringing them down one after the other in rapid succession. With the dreadnoughts came a small SW Cerberus heavy assault cruiser force which mostly focused on removing tackle from the field.
Seeing this, the Test Alliance Please Ignore super carriers attempted to flee. Some of the super carriers held their fire, burning towards carriers and force auxiliaries in order to re-fit for full tank and run out of the cover of warp disruption probes which littered the field. Half the super carriers managed to get away, warping out to citadels or a random celestial and waiting extraction. However, three were not so lucky; with the force auxiliaries gone, the super carriers were completely exposed, and the dreadnoughts took the opportunity to eviscerate them.
The first super carrier to go down was a Hel, quickly joined by a sister ship only two minutes later. Test Alliance Please Ignore kept streaming reinforcements into the field, bringing more force auxiliaries to replace the ones lost and try to save the remaining tackled super carrier, a Wyvern. SW\RMC were not impressed and removed the replacement ships, destroying several more Minokawa and Lif force auxiliaries before switching back to their main target – The Wyvern. The ship itself nearly made it out, slow boating out of the cover of warp disruption probes before finally getting snagged by focused warp disruption fields used by the SW\RMC heavy interdictors. With hope of escape gone, the ship could do nothing but try and take down as many dreadnoughts with it as it could.
In the meantime, Test Alliance Please Ignore focused its attention on removing as many dreadnoughts as possible, thus lessening the SW\RMC damage output. Calls were made for allies to join in and help, as Test Alliance Please Ignore found itself undermanned. Triumvirate. [TRI] and Circle-Of-Two [CO2] heeded the call, each bringing a 100 pilot fleet. Triumvirate. had a Tengu strategic cruiser fleet which it rushed in, while Circle-Of-Two preferred to use its Proteus strategic cruiser fleet. Both fleets descended on the system, the Tengu fleet focusing on pushing away the SW Cerberus fleet while the Proteus fleet entered the maelstrom itself, tackling dreadnoughts and removing whatever battleships still remained from the initial drop.
This of course was too late for the Wyvern, who succumbed to the relentless assault of the SW\RMC fleets. While unable to prevent the ship’s destruction, the rest of the super carrier force managed to make it to safety, allowing Test Alliance Please Ignore and its allies to focus on revenge. The Typhoon fleet itself was in tatters, having traded blows with the Hurricane fleet throughout the engagement. Both sides had lost a large number of mainline ships, but the Hurricane fleet was able to replenish its numbers with a steady stream of reinforcements, something the RMC fleet was unable to do. Slowly but surely the battlecruisers ground down their large counterparts, eliminating the fleet in its entirety.
The Cerberus fleet itself was easily repelled by the vastly superior Tengu fleet of Triumvirate, being nearly three times its size. After incurring many losses and unable to fight the growing might of Test Alliance Please Ignore, the Cerberus fleet withdrew. This left the surviving dreadnoughts unsupported, easy prey to the avenging allied fleets. Out of nearly 70 dreadnoughts deployed only 11 made it out of the battle, jumping out to safety and leaving Test Alliance Please Ignore and its friends to remove all stragglers.
With the last dreadnoughts destroyed, the allies set out to loot the field and recuperate some of their losses, reportedly salvaging 40 billion ISK in loot. The task completed, the remaining super carriers and capitals extracted safely, followed by the allied fleets. Thus the fight came to an end.
The Battle from the Perspective of Red Menace Coalition Dreadnought Squadron.
Battle report for the BY-MSY system can be found here.
All told the battle lasted an hour and 20 minutes, with Time Dilation getting progressively worse during the fight, hitting 20% at one point before subsiding. The system itself saw according to reports 640 pilots at one point.
RMC\SW lost 210 ships including 57 dreadnoughts, 2 carriers, 76 battleships and 16 heavy assault cruisers for a total of 198.26 billion ISK damage.
Test Alliance Please Ignore and its allies lost 184 ships including 3 super carriers, 17 dreadnoughts, 2 capital industrial ships, 14 force auxiliaries, 10 combat carriers and 73 battlecruisers for a total of 246.74 billion ISK damage.
Salivan Harddin is a member of V0LTA, WE FORM V0LTA, and covers battles across New Eden