During this past Monday’s primetime, the GoonSwarm Federation led coalition deployed hundreds of carriers and reinforced the key 9-4RP2 solar system’s Keepstar belonging to Pandemic Horde. A form up was announced from both sides to maintain supremacy for the next timer, and boy they formed up.

The sub-capital composition was of the same theme for both the GSF led attackers and the NCDOT/PL/HORDE defenders; armor Machariels with logistic support. For the capital and super capital side of things NCDOT and co. use only armor based capital, and supercapital, doctrines; the attackers fielded a mix of shield, and armor, based capitals. From what I heard, GSF forces’ titans outnumbered NCDOT/HORDE ones for about a 30/40+ advantage.

Politically, it was a North meets South situation sprinkled with a heavy seasoning of FozzieSov. Two hours earlier the HORDE side received reinforcement from their NCDOT allies who are currently deployed to the south. Goonswarm and Co. on their behalf anchored about a dozen smaller citadels (mostly astras, I personally counted two fortizars) around the Keepstar grid as support structures for the siege. Here is a d-scan during the apex of the engagement:

At around 20:30 EVE time, the Keepstar second reinforcement timer rang in and hostilities started.

Despite local reaching nearly 3400+ pilots, TiDi for the most part wasn’t a lag fest (in part for the lack of full on engagements/module activation).

The highlight of the night was the innovative use of three “suicide titans” in an attempt to achieve two stated objectives: Utilize their Bosonic Field Generators to completely wipe the GSF carrier fleet, and (second objective) drive the attention of the Goonswarm fleet away from the Keepstar repair timer.

While the second objective was achieved – the 9-4RP2 Keepstar was successfully allowed to repair, the attempt to “boson” GSF carriers didn’t go exactly as planned as the titans loaded a bit offset from their intended position, resulting in the destruction of two Ragnaroks and the miraculous escape of the Leviathan:

With the timers up, the rest of the engagement was reduced to a game of cat and mouse of titanic proportions with fleets from both sides attempting to get warp ins, and catch the other side outside its citadel’s tethering range.

Among the better recordings of the engagement, I found this jewel by Everything EVE. Truly breathtaking:

Analysis

In the end, NCDOT/Horde forces achieved the strategic objective while GoonSwarm and company can claim the destruction of two Ragnaroks, despite the fact that said Rags were already written off from the start.

Are suicide titans the new “We didn’t want that ship anyways” type of damage control? Being mostly a subcap pilot that seemed to the case until someone actually took the time to explain me what was the intended effect and the implications should it had been correctly pulled. In the reddit discussion user Rise-Again couldn’t have explained better what NCDOT was trying to do:

On the other side, it was interesting to see the repeated use of the siege tactic of seeding about a dozen of Astras around the Keepstar grid. C02’s M-OEE8 Keepstar in Tribute fell this same way. This sort of sprinkling strategy will no doubt be met with some sort of limitation/nerf in the future (there were sightings of developer owned CONCORD frigates supervising the event) as it becomes more used (and abused).

Interesting to note as well, was the absence of Pandemic Legion forces in this engagement; some jokes rolled about how they were too busy playing PUBG. Also missing from this engagement were TEST/Brave forces which itself outnumber the combined NCDOT/PL/HORDE ranks, so it is safe to say that despite yesterday’s vulgar display of power (and wealth), neither side truly showed their full numbers.

Here is a fixed battle summary of the engagement.