5ED-4E system, Cobalt Edge region. On the 13th of March at 14:10 EVE Standard Time, Hard Knocks Citizens [HKRAB] with the assistance of L A Z E R H A W K S [HAWKS] inflicted another heavy toll on Drone Regions Federation (DRF) forces, destroying three Shadow of xXDEATHXx [X.W.X] super carriers.
For the second day in a row, Hard Knocks Citizens hit the residents of Cobalt Edge hard. In a pattern that is reminiscent of their attack the previous day, Hard Knocks Citizens’ scouts kept an eye on the Rorqual industrial capital ship activity in the area. Noticing five Rorquals busily mining away at an anomaly in the system, the alliance flash formed a Sleipnir command ship fleet with members of L A Z E R H A W K S while scouts searched for an exit in the vicinity of the system. They managed to find a wormhole chain which led to an exit eight jumps from the target system.
Seizing the opportunity, the fleet made the best way to the system sending their interdictors ahead as super carriers were put on standby, the same super capital force which the two alliances used the day before. The interdictors raced ahead, storming into the system and warping immediately to the anomaly. The ships landed near the Rorquals and burnt in for the tackle, launching warp disruption probes to pin down the ships on the grid. Unfortunately for them, two of the Rorquals managed to warp off before they could be tackled. The rest found themselves stranded.
DRF forces were once again caught by surprise. A few ships warped to the anomaly in an attempt to help the stranded Rorquals, focusing on destroying the interdictors which kept the ships under warp disruption probe cover. However these pilots were soon dispatched by the arriving Sleipnir fleet. The Sleipnir fleet warped to the anomaly and pushed out or outright destroyed the few brave rescuers. Once in the anomaly, the command ships started to work on the Rorquals, bombarding each and waiting until its pulse activated nexus invulnerability core burnt out so as to continue their assault and destroy the ship.
At the same time, other interdictors who were not busy holding down the Rorquals set up a perimeter around the grid, deploying warp disruption probes far from the fight and towards celestial objects such as the system’s Keepstar citadel so as to delay any reinforcements. This proved fortuitous as DRF forces warped in six Nyx super carriers with a few carrier escorts in a further attempt to rescue the Rorquals. Instead of landing near the tackled ships, the six super carriers were stopped further away, more than a 150 kilometers from the distressed ships.
The super carriers deployed their heavy fighter squadrons, sending them against the Hard Knocks Citizens and L A Z E R H A W K S interdictors. The joint fleet focused its fire on destroying the Rorquals themselves as their invulnerability phase expired before focusing on the super carriers. With the DRF committing super carriers, Hard Knocks Citizens and L A Z E R H A W K S responded in kind, bringing in their own super carrier squadron. The drone lands super carriers arrived in the system, warping above the grid and targeted their hostile counterparts upon landing. The Sleipnir fleet itself, feeling the sting of the fighters, moved in to help secure tackle on the ships and targeted their fighter squadrons. Slowly but surely the DRF fighters were destroyed, their own motherships helping in the process as the smartbombs they fired off constantly in an attempt to clear warp disruption probes damaged their own crafts.
Three of the super carriers managed to warp out with the carrier escorts, but the other three were not so lucky. Caught by the Sleipnir fleet, they were soon subjected to the heavy torpedo strikes of the fighter bombers deployed by their hostile brethren. Nyx after Nyx was brought low, the Sleipnir fleet assisting in the destruction though more often than not busied itself with destroying hostile fighters and achieving space superiority.
With the rescue force needing rescue itself, the DRF attempted to bring more firepower to the field. A Cormorant destroyer gang and a Gila cruiser gang both warped to the field to aid the trapped super carriers. The two gangs kept their distance from the Sleipnir fleet, trying to snipe at it. The command ships ignored them, focusing on their own job and for the most part tanking the incoming damage. Only a few support ships were destroyed by the Gila gang who received assistance from the surviving Nyx super carriers’ fighters.
By the time the last Nyx was destroyed, the Sleipnir fleet started targeting the Gila cruisers. The command ships burnt in and volleyed the agile cruisers. As the death toll increased and with the trapped super carriers long dead, the remnants of the DRF Gila gang and the Cormorant gang warped off, leaving the field in the hands of the Sleipnir fleet and its super carriers. Looting the field quickly, the Sleipnir fleet extracted its super carriers before withdrawing as well, bringing the day’s hostilities to an end.
The Battle from the Perspective of the Hard Knocks Citizens\L A Z E R H A W K S Fleet
Battle report for the 5ED-4E system can be found here.
All told the battle lasted 52 minutes with Time Dilation not reported and the system hosting an estimated 150 pilots at the peak of the fighting.
Hard Knocks Citizens and L A Z E R H A W K S lost a combined 15 ships, mostly interdictors for 3.25 billion ISK of damage.
DRF forces lost 30 ships including 3 super carriers, 3 industrial capital ships and 11 cruisers for a total of 136.05 billion ISK damage.
Salivan Harddin is a member of Hoover Inc., Pandemic Legion, and covers battles across New Eden