EA-HSA system, Immesnea region. On the 1st of April at 10:14 EVE Standard Time, a battle unfolded in the system over an anchoring Raitaru engineering complex.
The engineering complex belonged to Pandemic Legion [-10.0]. The alliance had been using such structures to provoke fights from entities neighboring the Curse region where it is deployed. The structure in question was deployed in Phoenix Federation (PF)’s territory which prompted the coalition to form a fleet in order to remove it. The coalition assembled a 145 pilot Tengu strategic cruiser fleet and set up in the system, waiting for the structure to finish deploying so it may enter its vulnerability phase.
Besides the Tengu fleet, PF had several allies join it on the field, including a 40 pilot Gila cruiser fleet comprised of Tactical Supremacy [TIKLE] and Dangerous Voltage [DV]. Another friendly fleet on the grid was an estimated 30 pilot Maller cruiser fleet belonging to Brave Collective [BRAVE]. All three fleets made it to the system before the “Defenders”.
Pandemic Legion formed a Machariel battleship fleet to defend the structure. The fleet merged with a Northern Coalition. [NC] Proteus strategic cruiser fleet, resulting in a 120 pilot hybrid fleet. The force made it to the system only slightly delayed by the anchored mobile warp disruption fields deployed by the “Attackers”, unable to bridge in directly thanks to PF bringing its system wide cynosural jammer online. Once in the system, the force aligned towards the Gila fleet and warped towards the cruisers. The Gila fleet was aligned as well and initiated its own warp once the Pandemic Legion\Northern Coalition. fleet landed. With the Gila fleet re-positioning on grid, the Machariel\Proteus fleet turned its attention to the Tengu fleet.
The Tengu fleet had been sitting merely 70 kilometers away from the Gila fleet, which had been replaced by the hostile force. The two sides opened fire, the battleship\strategic cruiser fleet burning straight towards the Tengu force. The PF fleet attempted to pull range while exchanging fire with the hostile fleet but did so too late, allowing the many Loki strategic cruisers embedded in the hybrid fleet to spread their stasis webifiers across the Tengu fleet. This proved especially problematic as the fleet commander and the alternate anchor were both slowed down by the stasis webifier effects, causing the entire fleet to remain in range of the battleships\strategic cruisers.
The PF fleet reacted quickly, targeting the Loki strategic cruisers who proved far less durable than their counterparts. Loki after Loki was soon destroyed by the Tengu fleet’s railgun fire as the close range between the fleets allowed the strategic cruisers to use short range high damage ammunition. The Machariel\Proteus fleet itself focused on the logistics wing of the Tengu fleet, thinning its ranks considerably.
The Gila fleet attempted to join the fight but the placement of many warp interdiction probes on the grid made warping in hazardous. Whats worse, one of its own interdictors had launched a “Defensive Bubble” (A warp disruption probe placed between the fleet and the hostile forces\celestial beacons) making it impossible to immediately warp back in. After a few minutes of searching the Gila fleet found a good spot and warped at range of the Machariel\Proteus fleet. The cruisers wasted no time in launching drones and targeting the battleships, destroying a couple with their drone swarm. Yet before they could start working on the logistics wing of the hybrid fleet, a second Machariel fleet joined the fray.
Fraternity. [FRT] had assembled a 70 pilot Machariel fleet of its own and came to support Pandemic Legion and Northern Coalition. in the Raitaru’s defense. The Fraternity. fleet entered the system as the battle was truly underway and targeted the Gila fleet. The Fraternity. Machariels turned out to be similar to Pandemic Legion’s and their autocannons ripped through a Gila and a Scimitar logistics cruiser before the Gila fleet made it out of harm’s way. The two fleets started a cat and mouse game on the grid, with Fraternity. trying time and again to pin down the Gila fleet. This put the Gila fleet out of the fight, though Fraternity. did manage to aid Pandemic Legion in attacking the Tengu fleet.
Meanwhile, the battle between Pandemic Legion\Northern Coalition. and PF was turning ever more ugly. The two fleets managed to cripple each others’ support wings and turned their attention to mainline ships. Battleships and strategic cruisers were traded as the two sides hammered at each other mercilessly. The PF fleet at one point managed to warp to a perch on the grid, trapping the Machariel\Proteus fleet under a thick layer of warp disruption probes before the latter managed to clear them off and warp in again, resuming the fight.
The PF Tengu fleet did this to buy itself time, realizing it could not win a confrontation against the hybrid fleet and instead deciding to focus on the engineering complex. The strategic cruisers targeted the Raitaru, opening fire for as long as they could before the Machariel\Proteus fleet managed to secure a warp in and start the cat and mouse game all over again. This happened several times as the two fleets clashed around the structure which had been vulnerable for quite a while, its attempt to online interrupted by the Brave Collective fleet. The Maller fleet had been forgotten in the general fighting and allowed to slowly but diligently chip away at the structure’s hit points.
Together, the Tengu and Maller fleets were able to bring down the structure and destroy it. With their main goal achieved, the attacking fleets decided to extract rather than continue fighting. One by one the fleets warped off the grid leaving the hostile fleets to attempt to tackle what they could. For their part, the defenders set about dispatching the few stragglers their interceptors and interdictors were able to snatch.
With the last of the attackers gone, the defending fleets extracted as well having won the field and brought an end to the fight.
Battle report for the EA-HSA can be found here.
All told, the battle lasted 17 minutes with Time Dilation not reported and the system hosting an estimated 400 pilots at the height of the fighting.
PF and its allies lost 79 ships in the fight, including 22 strategic cruisers and 6 cruisers for a total of 19.61 billion ISK damage.
Pandemic Legion, Northern Coalition. and Fraternity. lost a combined 26 ships, including 6 battleships and 10 strategic cruisers for a total of 11.81 billion ISK damage.
Salivan Harddin is a member of Hoover Inc., Pandemic Legion and covers battles across New Eden