FD-MLJ system, Syndicate region. On the 7th of November at 20:00 EVE Standard Time a huge clash occurred in the system as a charity event drew hundreds of capsuleers from across New Eden, resulting in one of the largest sub-capital fights in recent memory.
The event was organized by Paumedie Skir of Future Corps, Sleeper Social Club [SSC] with the intent of raising awareness for the Extra Life charity. The Syndicate region was chosen due to its proximity to regions populated by several high profile low security space alliances, the number of native PvP alliances living in it and the fact it neighbors the Imperium itself, which would guarantee a large turnout.
While the time and date of the event was given in advance, the location itself was withheld, given only 30 minutes before the start of the event itself on reddit.
Over the course of a month, Archon carriers were amassed in the region as wormhole alliances throughout New Eden prepared to take part in the event. The FD-MLJ system was chosen as the event’s location since it acts as an important junction in Syndicate itself, with requests to reinforce the system’s node sent ahead of time.
Finally, on the day of the event, pilots from wormholes across New Eden converged on the region. The original plan was to have a combined capital and sub-capital fleet, however the pilot turnout was so great that two fleets had to be assembled: A 52 pilot Archon carrier fleet and a 200 pilot mixed Augoror\Vexor Navy Issue cruiser fleet. Both forces made their way to the PF-346 system where they met on the FD-MLJ gate.
At the same time though, the FD-MLJ system already hosted a fight. Collapsed Out [CYNOU], a member corporation of Pandemic Legion [-10.0] was celebrating 2 years to its foundation. As part of the celebrations, it assembled a 60 pilot fleet which included battleships, 7 dreadnoughts and 28 carriers and made way to the Syndicate region. The fleet had set up in an abandoned Jovian observatory in the FD-MLJ system.
As news of the event spread across New Eden, one of the first fleets to arrive to the system was a Shadow Cartel [SHDWC] led 200 pilot Proteus strategic cruiser fleet. Arriving before the event fleet and finding Collapsed Out’s fleet in the system, the Shadow Cartel fleet warped to the site in order to engage Collapsed Out. Landing at a distance, the fleet anchored up and started exchanging fire.
This battle was not at all straight forward as Shadow Cartel attempted to break the tank of the battleships, often times managing to penetrate the hull only for the ship to be saved in the nick of time by the Collapsed Out carriers. As time dragged on, Collapsed Out received reinforcements in the form of a 70 pilot Tengu strategic cruiser fleet from Pandemic Legion. The force warped at range from the proceedings and started sniping from long range.
This put the Shadow Cartel fleet at a disadvantage, as the Tengus simply volleyed Guardian logistics and Zealot heavy assault cruisers which had less tank and worse resistance profile than the strategic cruisers present in the fleet. As time dragged on, the Shadow Cartel fleet was bleeding ships with every passing moment. In the end it was able to break a Bhaalgorn battleship and one of the Archon carriers after a long and arduous struggle, in which it lost many more ships in return.
As both its logistics wing and some of its damage output was dwindling, the only choice left by the Shadow Cartel fleet commanders was to retreat, or risk losing before the main event even started. Thus, the fleet retreated to one of the stations in system in order to re-group, leaving Collapsed Out and Pandemic Legion to claim the field. There the two fleets sat waiting for the event fleet to arrive.
A few minutes later, the event fleets reached the system. The two event fleets simply aligned out but chose not to warp off, anchoring on the gate grid. Realizing they didn’t plan on leaving the gate grid, Collapsed Out’s fleet warped in range of the event fleet, starting the brawl. Shadow Cartel forces also warped on grid, positioning themselves behind the Collapsed Out fleet which soon found itself sandwiched between the hostiles.
As the three sides exchanged fire, more combatants started converging on the system. First to appear was a full Zealot fleet fielded by Spectre Fleet. The fleet entered the fray directly, jumping into the engagement and quickly started exchanging fire with all involved. Pandemic Legion’s Tengu fleet also warped on grid, maintaining maximum range from the epicenter of the fighting and sniping from range, targeting both the Spectre Fleet and the event fleet’s forces.
As the two capital forces engaged each other and the sub-capital fleets maneuvered on the grid, one of the event fleet’s carriers experienced a disconnect. It was quickly probed out by Pandemic Legion which warped to it and tackled it. With the tackle secured, the Pandemic Legion Tengu fleet abandoned the fight, quickly dispatching the carrier while the fighting continued to rage around the PF-346 gate.
As Pandemic Legion’s Tengu fleet returned to the battle, more fleets poured in, causing the field to descend into utter chaos. Northern Coalition. [NC] jumped into the system as well from PF-346, resulting in its 100 pilot Proteus fleet entering the fray immediately upon entry. It quickly anchored up and attempted to gain distance as it engaged the event fleet and Spectre Fleet forces.
Another fleet to arrive was an Ivy League [IVY] Armageddon\Dominix battleship fleet estimated at 100 pilots. It landed on the Collapsed Out fleet, prompting the dreadnoughts to quickly enter siege mode in order to get rid of it, as many of the battleships were fitted with heavy neutralizers. However, with the dreadnoughts in siege cycle, the other fleets quickly started focusing on them, managing to bring two down before the rest could exit their siege cycle and receive remote repairs.
At this point though, the dreadnoughts managed to do their work and decimate the Ivy League fleet, which withdrew to a perch on the field. It was the moment Northern Coalition. had been waiting for. Quickly, it probed the fleet out and warped on top of it, its heavy interdictors deploying their interdiction fields and trapping it. A quick fire exchange between the two saw much of the remnants of the Ivy League fleet destroyed before Shadow Cartel forces took note and burnt towards the two fleets. Once in range, the Shadow Cartel fleet opened fire on the Northern Coalition. ships, managing to destroy a few before the entire fleet disengaged, preferring to withdrew from the fight.
The Battle from the Perspective of the Northern Coalition. Proteus Fleet
Though at this point two fleets were knocked out, replacements quickly came in the form of an estimated 80 pilot Muninn heavy assault cruiser fleet fielded by Fidelas Constans [FCON] and another NPSI (Not Purple Shoot It) fleet headed by Stille Gewalt [M4CHT] corporation with 90 pilots mainly in assorted armor battleships. While the Fidelas Constans fleet managed to perch on the busy grid, the Stille Gewalt fleet had little luck and warped at range of the gate. Due to the interdictor probes deployed at the time the entire fleet was dragged into the narrow space between the two capital forces.
Finding itself in a bad position, the fleet quickly burnt out and warped to one of the stations, losing quite a few ships in the process. There it re-grouped before maneuvering back into position, this time managing to land on a perch further away from the main action. After getting in range of the main fighting, it added its own firepower to the mix. However, Pandemic Legion’s Tengus soon started firing on the fleet, and after losing more ships and being unable to break any of the carriers present, the fleet departed back to high security space.
The Fidelas Constans fleet had little luck as well. The sub-capital fleet belonging to the event decided at the time to re-position on the grid, warping to a nearby celestial before warping back to the field, on top of the Fidelas Constans fleet as it happened. A quick exchange saw Fiedals Constans lose ships at a rapid rate before it could get out of range. Lingering on the battlefield, the force continued to skirt the center of the fighting before inexplicably deciding to burn straight at the Pandemic Legion’s Tengu fleet. This proved costly as Orthrus cruisers and Muninns were simply volleyed on the approach, forcing the reminder of the fleet to withdraw as well.
By this time the battle had raged a good 3 hours and many of the fleets were spent. Shadow Cartel attempted to engage the Pandemic Legion Tengu fleet a few times but to no avail, as each time the fleet merely warped off grid before returning once more on a different perch. Whats more, each time the Shadow Cartel force lost more interceptors and light tackle. In the end it gave up and returned to the main battle.
As exhaustion and fatigue settled in, even the main fleets that managed to tank relatively well started to bleed ships as pilots broadcasted late or simply failed to notice the incoming damage until it was too late. Running more than 4 hours, Collapsed Out was the first major fleet to withdraw. While the fleet was able to easily break the sub-capital fleets around it, it had been unable to do the same to the event fleet’s Archons. Thus, the fleet evacuated, leaving behind a dreadnought and two carriers which were tackled. Without the support of their fleet, the tackled Collapsed Out capitals were quickly destroyed.
Next to retreat was Pandemic Legion. Its Tengu fleet had been on the field from the start, and this had taken its toll on its pilots. Not knowing just how long the battle would go and how many fleets would appear for it, most of the Tengu pilots soon used up all of their ammunition. With more and more Tengus ending with empty barrels, the Pandemic Legion fleet commanders had no choice but to retreat.
By this point, the Spectre Fleet Zealot fleet was completely broken, its remnants leaving system and allowing the two remaining major players to square it off: Shadow Cartel and the event fleet. Without capitals of their own or other fleets to coordinate with, the Shadow Cartel fleet realized early on that a head on engagement with the carrier fleet was impossible. Thus, after maintaining a safe distance for a while and sniping at the remaining sub-capitals, Shadow Cartel forces decided to call it a night.
With all hostile fleets and gangs extracting or eliminated, the event fleet claimed victory of the field and safely extracted its remaining vessels from the system, leaving behind it a field of wrecks and corpses.
The Entire Battle from the Perspective of the Shadow Cartel Proteus Strategic Cruiser Fleet
Battle report for the FD-MLJ system can be found here.
All told the battle lasted 3 and a half hours with the system hosting no less than 1,221 pilots at the peak of the fighting. Time Dilation was a constant factor in the fighting, slowly reaching 10% and remaining there for most of the engagement.
Tallying the dead is not an easy task considering the sheer amount of fleets present in the fight. Thus the battle report has been divided into 4 major groups: Shadow Cartel and its allies, Pandemic Legion and its allies, the event fleet and the fourth group containing the rest.
– Shadow Cartel and its allies lost 96 ships for a total of a total of 26.1 billion ISK damage. This includes but is not limited to; 2 battleships, 10 strategic cruisers and 21 heavy assault cruisers.
– Pandemic Legion and its allies lost 111 ships for a total of 65.32 billion ISK damage. This includes but is not limited to; 5 dreadnoughts, 6 carriers, 12 battleships and 16 strategic cruisers.
– The event fleet lost 83 ships for a total of 21.9 billion ISK damage. This includes but is not limited to; 1 dreadnought, 1 carrier and 48 cruisers.
– The total amount of ships lost by other fleets in the engagement is 623, for a 92.66 billion ISK of damage. This includes but is not limited to; 60 battleships, 93 heavy assault cruisers and 154 cruisers.
Salivan Harddin is a member of Reikoku, Pandemic Legion, and covers battles across New Eden