FR-B1H system, Impass region. On the 4th of April at 20:32 EVE Standard Time, a battle unfolded in the system resulting in Circle-Of-Two [CO2] losing five titans and six super carriers in the fighting.
The chain of events that would culminate in a bloody and protracted battle started with a small Goonswarm Federation [CONDI] gang roaming the region of Impass. The gang, only a squadron strong and mainly fielding Caracal cruisers with a Nidhoggur combat carrier tagging along, came across two Rorqual industrial capital ships belonging to Circle-Of-Two in an anomaly. The fleet managed to tackle one of the ships and looked for potential allies to help it dispose of it as it lacked sufficient firepower to overcome its robust shields.
As it happened to be, Pandemic Legion had a combat carrier fleet out and about in the Curse region. The 120 pilot fleet had been reinforcing towers in the region and thus had a large dreadnought wing traveling with it. With the fleet conveniently located only a couple of cynosural beacons away, Pandemic Legion fleet commanders decided to send a lone capital squadron to help Goonswarm Federation. A dreadnought squadron was chosen with an Apostle force auxiliary and several combat carriers to act as escorts.
The small dreadnought detachment made its way towards the system, getting in range to jump in while waiting down its reactivation timer. At the same time, the Goonswarm Federation fleet prepared to light a cynosural beacon on the field for Pandemic Legion when the Rorqual suddenly lit its own. Into the field jumped a Ragnarok titan, a Hel super carrier and a squadron of assorted capital ships. Surprised, the Goonswarm Federation fleet did not hesitate for a moment and quickly tackled the new comers who landed in the midst of a cover of warp disruption probes. The titan wasted no time in firing its doomsday device, targeting the Nidhoggur and dispatching it with a concentrated beam of energy.
Learning of this development Pandemic Legion rushed the rest of its capital fleet towards the system while sending the vanguard in. Goonswarm Federation secured a cynosural beacon on the field using a Loki strategic cruiser. The moment the strategic cruiser was in place it activated its cynosural field generator, allowing the initial dreadnought squadron through. The dreadnoughts landed at point blank range of the titan and entered their siege cycles. Alarmed by this development, Circle-Of-Two attempted to deploy a mobile cynosural inhibitor on the field to stop further reinforcements while targeting and subsequently destroying the strategic cruiser. Pandemic Legion though spotted the structure and easily dispatched it before turning its attention to the titan itself.
Circle-Of-Two quickly realized the trouble it was in and started calling for reinforcements. More and more super capitals and capitals joined the fleet and jumped in, trickling one by one. This would have disastrous effects as Pandemic Legion managed to get its fleet in position, rushing through as the lone Apostle on the field prepared to light a new beacon to allow the rest of the fleet in. With the cynosural beacon re-lit the entire Pandemic Legion dreadnought wing hit the field, followed shortly by the combat carriers.
With more than 50 dreadnoughts on field the titan quickly melted away, the immense firepower tearing it apart. Next came the Hel which was almost volleyed by the Pandemic Legion force. Circle-Of-Two struck back, targeting the dreadnoughts and managing to destroy several of them using fighter bombers and the few dreadnoughts it had on the field. Yet Pandemic Legion was not bothered by it. The dreadnoughts simply turned their firepower on the next super capital present, an Erebus titan which withered away under the pressure of the fleet.
Regardless of losses, Circle-Of-Two kept streaming reinforcements in. Force auxiliaries of every kind soon hit the grid and attempted to offer some relief to the tackled super capitals. Dreadnoughts and super carriers did their best to take down as many of their hostile counterparts as possible but soon found themselves the target of Pandemic Legion’s wrath. The Pandemic Legion combat carriers in particular proved troublesome as they mainly launched space superiority fighters. The swarm of those anti fighter squadrons descended upon the super carriers’ fighter bombers and chewed them out. Hundreds of enemy fighters would be felled by Pandemic Legion in the course of the fight, depriving the Circle-Of-Two super carriers of most of their firepower.
Added to that was the capital energy neutralizers fitted by the vast majority of the Pandemic Legion combat carriers. They targeted hostile capitals, often force auxiliaries, and started draining their energy. Within minutes many of the force auxiliaries were incapacitated, their capacitors empty and their remote armor repairers or shield transfers switching off. The effect was worse for the super capitals as the drainage resulted in their armor and shield hardeners shutting down, making it easier for the dreadnoughts to chew through their structure.
With the Erebus’ death, the dreadnoughts continued to push their advantage and went after more super carriers. A Nyx, another Hel and a Wyvern all fell to the Pandemic Legion onslaught with a second Erebus thrown in for good measure. Yet slowly Circle-Of-Two managed to get more and more ships on the field. While Circle-Of-Two was able to replenish and indeed increase its numbers, Pandemic Legion was unable to do the same. Each dreadnought lost diminished a small part of the fleet’s firepower. As the battle raged on, Pandemic Legion’s losses would mount ever greater.
Finally Circle-Of-Two managed to assemble an adequate dreadnought force and drop it on the field. The large dreadnought wing appeared on the field, materializing a short distance from the melee. The influx of dreadnoughts allowed Circle-Of-Two to accelerate the destruction of the Pandemic Legion fleet which was hemorrhaging capital ships throughout the fight. Even so, Pandemic Legion soldiered on, ignoring its losses and focusing on causing as much damage to Circle-Of-Two as possible. Many of its pilots realized the battle had become a suicide mission.
The next super capital on the chopping board was an Avatar titan. For the first time in the fight, Pandemic Legion’s forces struggled to take down the titan which seemed defiant of their efforts. Slowly, the armor of the behemoth was stripped down causing many to worry that Circle-Of-Two had managed to bring enough force auxiliaries to the field to save their remaining super capitals. Regardless, Pandemic Legion persisted on pressuring the giant, hammering it and even having its dreadnoughts overheat their guns in order to squeeze more damage out of them. Finally after what seemed like eternity the Avatar caved in and exploded.
The next target call was the Circle-Of-Two force auxiliaries. The dreadnoughts trained their guns on the ships and fired almost in unison, volleying them. The speed at which the force auxiliaries were destroyed was such that it even astounded its fleet commanders. After thinning the ranks of force auxiliaries, the dreadnoughts switched their focus back to the super capitals, this time at a Leviathan titan. The Leviathan itself was brought down in such speed that some dreadnoughts didn’t get a chance to fire more than a few volleys at the giant.
Circle-Of-Two did not despair and kept going, bringing down capital ship after capital ship. The rate at which it dispatched the Pandemic Legion capital fleet more than doubled; From one or two a minute to four. Force auxiliaries, dreadnoughts and even combat carriers, all were destroyed by the zealous defenders who refused to back down. The steady stream of reinforcements didn’t waver for a moment as more and more Circle-Of-Two pilots boarded their capital ships and jumped to the many lit cynosural beacons on the field to aid in the battle.
All the while, the grid was teeming with fighter squadrons. The combat carriers and super carriers fought a desperate fight for dominance, one which Pandemic Legion seemed to have won initially. Yet as Circle-Of-Two got wiser and started countering Pandemic Legion with its own host of space superiority fighters, Pandemic Legion started to lose ground. It didn’t help that more and more combat carriers found themselves under fire by Circle-Of-Two dreadnoughts. As their numbers thinned their fighter squadrons became stranded on the field, useless detritus drifting among the expanding field of wrecks.
With more than half an hour passing by since the start of the battle, Pandemic Legion fleet commanders started contemplating retreat. The vast majority of super capitals in range of the dreadnoughts had been dispatched and their own fleet had suffered heavy losses. Whats more, Circle-Of-Two kept bringing in fresh troops to the field, slowly shifting the balance of power in the field to its advantage. With many of its capital ships dispersed across the grid, the Pandemic Legion fleet made the call to withdraw. Emergency exit cynosural beacons were lit, allowing some ships to jump out. However many dreadnoughts and combat carriers didn’t have the energy levels needed to initiate a jump and were forced to attempt to warp off to safety.
Many of those who warped off would find little refuge in the system as Goonswarm Federation returned to the field. A wormhole route to the system was hastily charted and a full (256 pilot) tactical destroyer fleet dispatched back in. Arriving just as the fighting was dying out, the tactical destroyers targeted the fleeing Pandemic Legion combat carriers, tackling a few who warped out and subsequently destroying them. Circle-Of-Two wasn’t about to let Pandemic Legion off the hook easily and had interdictors spread warp disruption probes across the field. Circle-Of-Two interceptors and combat carriers joined in to tackle as many hostiles as possible, the latter using their support fighters to snare ships.
Some Pandemic Legion pilots fought and managed to free themselves, warping out and jumping out of the system the first chance they got. Others re-fitted their ships, cloaking up and safely logging off in the system to wait for a later extraction. Others who were not so lucky fought to the last, taking as many as they could with them before finally succumbing to the vengeful fire of the defenders.
Finally, Circle-Of-Two gained control of the field and took stock of its losses. Pandemic Legion as a parting gift had destroyed many of the wrecks belonging to Circle-Of-Two, denying it the ability salvage them so as to recoup some of the losses. While Goonswarm Federation loitered around the system for a while, hunting down stragglers, Circle-Of-Two extracted the remainder of its fleet. This proved to be the end of major hostilities in the system.
The Battle from the Perspective of Circle-Of-Two Capital Fleet
The Battle from the Perspective of the Pandemic Legion Capital Fleet
Battle report for the FR-B1H system can be found here.
The battle lasted 54 minutes with Time Dilation greatly fluctuating throughout the fight, reaching upwards of 10% at one point though subsiding and remaining below 50% most of the time. The system hosted an estimated 600 pilots near the end of the fighting.
Circle-Of-Two lost 96 ships including 5 titans, 6 super carriers, 17 dreadnoughts, 12 force auxiliaries and 1 combat carrier for a total of 865.12 billion ISK damage.
Pandemic Legion lost 97 ships including 49 dreadnoughts, 9 force auxiliaries and 25 combat carriers for a total of 282.64 billion ISK damage.
Goonswarm Federation lost 64 ships in the fight including 1 combat carrier for a total of 5.32 billion ISK damage.
Salivan Harddin is a member of Hoover Inc., Pandemic Legion, and covers battles across New Eden