V-KDY2 system, Scalding Pass region. In the early hours of the 14th of April a battle broke up in the system which rapidly escalated to a full capital brawl.
The battle was instigated by a loose coalition of hunting teams based in the Great Wildlands region. Using the area as their home turf, these groups terrorize the adjacent regions hunting anything from sub capitals in anomalies to super capitals moving without proper intelligence. It was one of these groups’ scouts which came upon several planetary customs offices reinforced in the V-KDY2 system. With the timers set to expire in the early hours of the 14th of April and seeing a chance to catch some capital ships unaware, the hunting team contacted others and banded together to form a 40 pilot capital fleet. Scouts remained in the system to keep watch.
A small The Bastard Cartel [TBC] fleet made its way to the system before warping to one of the customs offices. Once the structure was vulnerable the ragtag fleet started bashing the structure, chipping away at its health points. The alliance had been strengthening its grasp on the area, disposing of hostile infrastructure and replacing it with its own.
The hunting groups kept watch as The Bastard Cartel ships continued their work. With no sign of hostile capitals joining the force, the hunting groups decided to draw them out. A cynosural beacon was secured on the field and three combat carriers escorted by a single force auxiliary were told to jump through and engage the hostiles. The beacon caught the attackers by surprise, some of the ships haven’t even bothered to move and were sitting ducks. The combat carriers materialized on the field and set to work, unleashing their fighter squadrons and tearing into the ranks of The Bastard Cartel ships.
Several ships were unlucky to get caught by the fighter squadrons and destroyed in the opening volleys. However The Bastard Cartel swiftly rallied, bringing reinforcements to the field in order to hold the combat carriers. Sub capitals and interdictors trickled in while a capital squadron was organized. The combat carriers themselves remained on grid, content to get pinned down while chasing off hostile ships with their fighters. After a while The Bastard Cartel managed to pull two squadrons of capitals, mostly dreadnoughts and secure its own cynosural beacon on the field. Near the hostile combat carriers blazed the beacon heralding the arrival of The Bastard Cartel capitals.
This was the moment the hunting groups waited for. Lighting their own beacon, the combat carriers allowed the rest of their capital fleet to come through. The Bastard Cartel dreadnoughts entered siege cycles only to find their hostile counterparts landing next to them and doing the same. A close quarters capital brawl was set about to start. Both sides immediately traded blows, dreadnoughts blasting each other at near point blank range. The few carriers of either side gave support, aided by the few force auxiliaries.
The exchange proved bloody from its onset. Capital ships on either side were brought down at a fast pace, hardly tanking at all. Back and forth the exchange went as the two sides traded casualties. Dreadnoughts, force auxiliaries and even combat carriers were lost in a few minutes. Yet in the end the hunting groups had the greater number of capitals. Their dreadnoughts were able to overcome The Bastard Cartel and after destroying more than a third of their hostile counterparts they were in control of the battle. Rapidly, The Bastard Cartel’s capital force was annihilated, only a couple of ships escaping the massacre.
This wasn’t a time for the hunting groups to celebrate. The Bastard Cartel reinforcements kept flooding the system. As the battle raged on, The Bastard Cartel’s response became better organized and as pilots re-shipped and joined the fray raised its fleet’s number to 50 pilots. The surviving capitals had little time to spare as ships waited to exit their siege cycles and retreat. Emergency cynosural beacons were lit in exit systems, allowing some of the capitals to jump out. However some ships did not have the necessary energy to execute the jump, instead warping out to the J2-PZ6 gate and jumping on contact. They were swiftly chased by The Bastard Cartel interceptors and interdictors.
Though the majority of the fleet managed to escape, five ships were not so lucky. They were caught either at the site of the battle or in the neighboring system of J2-PZ6. They tried to ward off the attackers, but The Bastard Cartel’s Proteus strategic cruiser fleet proved determined to exact revenge. The force destroyed the few stragglers in V-KDY2 before moving to J2-PZ6. There on the V-KDY2 gate the strategic cruisers dispatched the last stragglers of the hunting groups.
With the stragglers removed, The Bastard Cartel had control of the field once more, bringing an end to the fighting.
The Battle from the Perspective of the Hunting Groups Fleet
The Battle from the Perspective of The Bastard Cartel Fleet
Battle report for the V-KDY2 and J2-PZ6 systems can be found here.
All told the battle lasted 47 minutes with Time Dilation not reported and the system hosting an estimated 80 pilots at the height of the fighting.
The hunting groups lost a combined 19 ships including 7 dreadnoughts, 4 combat carriers and 2 force auxiliaries for a total of 34.5 billion ISK damage.
The Bastard Cartel lost 41 ships in the fighting, including 12 dreadnoughts, 4 force auxiliaries and 1 combat carrier for a total of 55.74 billion ISK damage.
Salivan Harddin is a member of Hoover Inc., Pandemic Legion, and covers battles across New Eden