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Catch: Fierce Battle over a Fortizar in CZK-ZQ

January 11, 2017

By Salivan Harddin

CZK-ZQ system, Catch region. On the 10th of January at 9:19 EVE Standard Time, Tactical Supremacy [TIKLE] and Dangerous Voltage [DV] clashed with Stain Wagon (SW) coalition and Goonswarm Federation [CONDI] in the system.

The battle was fought over a Dangerous Voltage Fortizar citadel which was coming out from its second reinforcement timer. In order to defend the structure, Dangerous Voltage and their ally Tactical Supremacy formed a joint fleet of 60 pilots in a Rattlesnake battleship fleet. The fleet also included a mixed capital squadron of force auxiliaries and combat carriers.

The force assembled in range of the system, waiting on a titan for the hostile fleets to make their appearance. The first to show up was an 80 pilot SW Rattlesnake fleet. The force arrived in the system, warping to the structure and landing 140 kilometers away from it, setting up. The Rattlesnakes didn’t wait and started firing on the citadel, stopping it from repairing its armor and restoring its shields.

At the same time, Goonswarm Federation forces organized a 120 pilot Proteus strategic cruiser fleet. The fleet sat on a titan in range of the system, waiting for Tactical Supremacy and Dangerous Voltage to engage. The commander of the defending Rattlesnake fleet was aware of the Proteus fleet, but decided to engage regardless, trusting in his force auxiliary pilots’ ability.

Thus, a cynosural beacon lit up and the joint Rattlesnake fleet bridged into the system, landing on top of the citadel. Once all the ships made it through, the fleet hastily re-fitted for a close quarters fight and increased its distance from the SW fleet in order to be in warp range. Once in range to warp in, the defenders warped on top of the SW fleet, the two sides anchoring up and opening fire immediately.

The battle started with a furious exchange of fire, both sides volleying opposing battleships. The sheer firepower on the field was enough to overwhelm the robust shields of the Rattlesnakes, especially as the missiles they launched needed to travel a short distance; the time from launch to impact was almost nothing.

Goonswarm Federation attempted to bridge in at the start, but the interceptor lighting the cynosural beacon was destroyed in the opening salvos. This caused half the fleet to disperse across the system, diminishing the effectiveness of the strategic cruisers. However, with the fleet gathering on the field and adding its substantial firepower to the mix, the pressure on the defending fleet was immense to say the least.

The defending commander retained faith in the ability of his logistics wing to turn things around. Perhaps, if they had the chance, they would have managed to stabilize their fleet and turn the fight around even though their losses began to mount. Goonswarm Federation was not about to let them have that chance. A second cynosural beacon lit up, ushering in a whole dreadnought squadron unto the field. The dreadnoughts quickly entered their siege cycles and started bombarding the force auxiliaries.

With the dreadnoughts on field, the fight was effectively lost. The defenders’ commander knew that and issued the order to retreat. Even so, most of the fleet had been engaged in a point blank fight which resulted in the majority of the fleet getting tackled, especially by the dozens of strategic cruisers who had warp scramblers fitted. In rapid succession, Rattlesnake battleships were destroyed, the entire fleet torn apart by the SW and Goonswarm Federation fleets.

That said, the defenders did not go down without inflicting losses. With the help of the Fortizar’s formidable defenses, the stranded ships fought to the last. Though Rattlesnakes blew up left and right, they took with them 11 of the dreadnoughts, inflicting some damage on the attackers.

With the Rattlesnakes either destroyed or fleeing, the attackers turned their sights on the remaining capitals. Most of the Minokawa force auxiliaries were destroyed in the opening shots of the dreadnoughts’ assault, but some carriers and a Lif force auxiliary managed to evade the initial onslaught. With no sub capitals to destroy, the guns of the attackers focused on the carriers and last remaining force auxiliary, ripping them to shreds.The Lif itself resisted for as long as it could, managing to be the last ship destroyed in the fight but even its formidable shields were breached and it succumbed to the relentless barrage.

With the field won, the attackers focused on reinforcing the Fortizar, whose point defenses still took their toll, mostly in support ships of frigate size. With the citadel entering its final reinforcement cycle, the attackers finally extracted, leaving behind them a field of wrecks to mark their victory. Thus the fight came to an end.

Battle report for the CZK-ZQ system can be found here.

All told the battle lasted 41 minutes with Time Dilation not reported and the system hosting an estimated 300 pilots at the height of the fighting.

Tactical Supremacy and Dangerous Voltage suffered 54 casualties, including 6 force auxiliaries, 3 carriers and 34 battleships for a total of 53.1 billion ISK damage.
SW and Goonswarm Federation lost 47 ships in the attack, including 11 dreadnoughts and 5 battleships for a sum of 34.05 billion ISK damage.

Salivan Harddin is a member of V0LTA, WE FORM V0LTA, and covers battles across New Eden