EA-HSA system, Immensea region. On the 24th of March at 12:07 EVE Standard Time, a battle unfolded which descended quickly into a full on capital brawl.
The battle was prompted by Pandemic Legion [-10.0]. The alliance had deployed a Raitaru engineering complex in the system to provoke a fight with Phoenix Federation (PF). With the structure deploying and set to online after the server’s scheduled downtime on the 24th, both sides prepared to fight over the structure.
PF forces assembled an 80 pilot Tengu strategic cruiser fleet with an additional capital squadron waiting in reserve. The force itself traveled to the system and set up in range of the deploying structure, waiting for it to enter its brief vulnerability window when it tried to online. Pandemic Legion itself formed a 75 pilot combat carrier fleet including several squadrons of dreadnought kept in reserve. The fleet secured a cynosural beacon on the structure itself and jumped in. The combat carriers materialized and quickly deployed fighter squadrons to attack the Tengu fleet.
The Tengu fleet maintained long range from the combat carriers and focused fire on the fighters. To effectively combat the Pandemic Legion fighter swarm, a cynosural beacon was lit by the strategic cruisers and a PF combat carrier squadron brought to the field. The combat carriers’ job was to engage in space superiority fight. However many of the combat carrier pilots had never flown in combat before and had very few space superiority fighters on hand. This allowed Pandemic Legion to withdraw most of its fighter squadrons back to its carriers’ hangars with minimal losses.
By this point a second Tengu fleet entered the system. The 55 pilot fleet belonged to Tactical Supremacy [TIKLE] and Dangerous Voltage [DV]. The two alliances came to support PF against Pandemic Legion. The Tengu fleet warped at range of the engineering complex and with its PF counterpart, the two started shooting the structure which attempted to online. Pandemic Legion ignored the strategic cruisers and instead warped on top of the PF capital squadron. The PF capitals managed for the most part to escape, warping off to a safe citadel in the system. Only one force auxiliary was snagged by Pandemic Legion.
Before Pandemic Legion forces could dispose of the force auxiliary, the allied fleets made their move. The allied fleet commanders had been in constant communication with their scouts who kept a watchful eye on Pandemic Legion’s staging. The scouts had reported the number of Pandemic Legion dreadnoughts which waited at anchor on their Fortizar citadel, ready to jump in at a moment’s notice. Pooling their own dreadnoughts, the allies had enough to match Pandemic Legion’s numbers and decided to escalate matters. A cynosural beacon was lit on top of Pandemic Legion’s combat carriers, allowing 26 dreadnoughts to jump through. Pandemic Legion responded in kind, lighting its own beacon to let its reserves through.
The battle quickly descended to a full on capital brawl. The two sides’ dreadnoughts materialized on grid and entered siege cycles before opening fire on their hostile counterparts. The allied Tengu fleets warped in at range to aid their capitals, even bringing back their carrier force to add its firepower to the mix. The fighting became a bitter back and forth as each side focused all its firepower on individual dreadnoughts. The Pandemic Legion’s combat carriers let loose with their fighter squadrons, aiding its own dreadnoughts in the slug.
As the fight progressed, Pandemic Legion managed to slowly gain the upper hand. Most of the allied fleet relied on active tanking. This allowed the combat carriers fitted with capital energy neutralizers to play a significant role in the battle. Spreading their energy neutralizers, the combat carriers emptied the capacitors of many of the allied dreadnoughts, either silencing them completely or weakening them by shutting down shield boosters and hardeners. Added to that was the focus Pandemic Legion put on winning space superiority, destroying all of the PF combat carriers’ fighter squadrons which removed the firepower they possessed.
With this Pandemic Legion was surely winning the capital engagement. As the number of allied dreadnoughts dwindled, the Pandemic Legion combat carriers turned their attention to the strategic cruisers. The swarm of fighters again descended upon the Tengu fleets, destroying strategic cruisers and logistics cruisers alike. With the engineering complex inching slowly towards being fully operational, the Tengu fleets started to divert their firepower to the structure. As the capital brawl seemed lost, the Tengu fleets put all of their damage on the structure. As the last capital ships for the allied fleets were destroyed, the Raitaru itself caved in to the barrage and exploded.
With the engineering complex destroyed, PF achieved its main objective and withdrew the remainder of its forces from the field. Tactical Supremacy and Dangerous Voltage lingered for a while, harassing the Pandemic Legion fleet before retreating as well. With the battle won but the engineering complex lost, Pandemic Legion extracted its surviving capital ships, bringing an end to the fighting.
Battle report for the EA-HSA system can be found here.
All told the battle lasted 39 minutes with Time Dilation not reported and the system hosting an estimated 300 pilots at the height of the fighting.
Pandemic Legion lost 22 ships including 18 dreadnoughts and 1 force auxiliary for a total of 64.61 billion ISK damage.
PF, Tactical Supremacy and Dangerous Voltage lost 61 ships together, including 25 dreadnoughts, 1 force auxiliary, 2 combat carriers and 9 strategic cruisers for a total of 100.39 billion ISK damage.
Salivan Harddin is a member of Hoover Inc., Pandemic Legion, and covers battles across New Eden