1-NW2G system, Cloud Ring region. On the 21st of April at 21:35 EVE Standard Time, a battle erupted in the system over a reinforced tower.
The tower in question belonged to The Initiative. [INIT.]. The alliance had been fighting Pandemic Horde [REKTD], Northern Coalition. [NC] and Mercenary Coalition [MC] over its holdings in the Syndicate and Cloud Ring regions. With their numerical superiority as well as super capital advantage, the allies have been slowly pushing out The Initiative. from the area. However even facing an inevitable eviction the alliance was not ready to give up quietly.
Knowing Pandemic Horde would be forming a fleet to destroy a few of its reinforced towers in the Cloud Ring region, The Initiative. decided to form as well and inflict some damage on the invaders. Pandemic Horde formed an estimated 120 pilot Machariel battleship fleet and moved to the 1-NW2G system where a The Initiative. tower was exiting reinforced mode. The fleet settled at optimal range from the structure and started blasting it.
The Initiative. formed its own Machariel fleet estimated at 90 pilots and traveled to the system via gates. Once in the system, the fleet aligned to the tower and warped to the Pandemic Horde fleet which prepared to engage the hostiles. Though Pandemic Horde had a numerical advantage, in particular in the number of logistics ships, both fleets had the same number of mainline ships overall.
The Initiative. fleet exited warp and landed near the Pandemic Horde fleet. Immediately both sides anchored up and started exchanging fire. The battle was a close range affair as the two Machariel fleets had their ships equipped with autocannons. The rapid shell fire was focused mainly on the battleships themselves, each side ignoring the others’ logistics wing entirely.
The fighting proved rather one sided. Pandemic Horde managed to inflict some minor losses on The Initiative. but the hostile Machariels ripped through its mainline ships. Machariel after Machariel was shredded by the autocannon fire as The Initiative. pressed its advantage. Within the first five minutes 14 Machariels fell to The Initiative.’s guns who in turn only lost a couple of tackle ships and one command ship.
Losing the field Pandemic Horde fleet commanders sought to escalate things further. Lighting a cynosural beacon on the grid, Pandemic Horde allowed two squadrons of assorted capitals through to turn the tide of the battle. Dreadnoughts and combat carriers entered the field and started targeting the hostile battleships. Capital guns and fighter squadrons lent their firepower to the distressed Pandemic Horde fleet which used them to push back against The Initiative.’s onslaught.
The first target of the fleet was the Ninazu force auxiliary which accompanied The Initiative. Machariel fleet and boosted its logistics wing capabilities. The ship came under heavy fire from dreadnoughts and surviving battleships. It was unable to tank the combined firepower and melted away, exploding after a few moments as the damage overwhelmed it. Without the Ninazu, The Initiative. Machariel fleet was far more vulnerable, a fact Pandemic Horde quickly exploited. Battleships and Guardian logistics cruisers were soon torn apart by the vengeful Pandemic Horde forces as The Initiative.’s logistics wing was incapable of handling the immense firepower thrown at the fleet.
Realizing the fight was lost, The Initiative. fleet commanders decided on a temporary retreat. The fleet hastily withdrew to a safe spot in the system, leaving behind a few stragglers for Pandemic Horde to dispatch. With the hostile fleet seemingly in retreat Pandemic Horde returned its focus to the tower in question which had been destroyed at the start of the fighting. However the structure had left behind several modules which the alliance proceeded to destroy while waiting for it capital ships to extract.
The fight was far from over. Pandemic Horde extracted its capital ships and prepared to return to its staging system. However The Initiative. had kept the out gate under warp disruption probe coverage. This forced the Pandemic Horde sub capital fleet to warp to a perch above the gate. The Initiative. waited for that moment. Its fleet had re-grouped and was ready for a second round. When the Pandemic Horde fleet landed above the gate The Initiative. fleet entered warp and hurtled towards the gate. The Initiative. battleships exited their warp near the Pandemic Horde fleet and resumed the fight.
Once again battleships exchanged autocannon fire at near point blank range. The Initiative. chose to bring in reinforcements, lighting a cynosural beacon to allow a combat carrier squadron to jump in. The Initiative. chose to bring only one capital squadron through due to Northern Coalition.’s presence in the area. This turned out to be a rather smart move as the battle would later prove. With its combat carriers through The Initiative. deployed a mobile cynosural inhibitor while the new arrivals let loose their fighter squadrons.
Pandemic Horde found itself once again at the receiving end as The Initiative. pressed its advantage. In rapid succession Pandemic Horde battleships were destroyed by the resurgent The Initiative. forces. In just a few minutes the already battered Pandemic Horde fleet had all but collapsed, the vast majority of its mainline ships destroyed by The Initiative.. Before The Initiative. could claim victory though, Pandemic Horde had one last card to play.
Northern Coalition. had been alerted to the exchange taking place in the system and hastily formed a super capital fleet of approximately 60 super carriers and titans. The force waited to jump into the field but was unable to due to the deployed cynosural inhibitor. In order to allow Northern Coalition. to enter the fray, Pandemic Horde directed all its remaining firepower to bring down the cynosural inhibitor. Since The Initiative. logistics wing had been severely diminished it was unable to keep the structure alive. With the inhibitor destroyed Northern Coalition. forces were able to light a cynosural beacon and allow their fleet to jump in.
Once in, the Northern Coalition. super capitals wasted little time in targeting The Initiative. combat carriers. Doomsday devices fired up, shooting beams of light into the combat carrier formation. The light beams connected with the capital ships, delivering devastating energy charges which overwhelmed the ships. Combat carrier after combat carrier exploded due to the damage. Only a few managed to warp off to safety to escaped the slaughter. The Initiative. fleet realized it was next on the target list and much like its remaining combat carriers decided to make its escape. The battleships warped down to the gate and jumped out of the system, leaving Northern Coalition. in control of the field.
Northern Coalition., seeing The Initiative. forces retreating, decided to extract its super capitals rather than pursue the fleeing battleships. The remnants of the Pandemic Horde fleet also chose to withdraw thus bringing an end to the fighting.
Battle report for the 1-NW2G system can be found here.
The battle itself lasted nearly 37 minutes, though, with a long break in the middle. Time Dilation was not reported and the system itself hosted an estimated 300 pilots at the peak of the fighting.
Pandemic Horde lost 49 ships in the fighting including 31 battleships for a total of 13.8 billion ISK damage.
The Initiative. lost 44 ships including 10 combat carriers, 1 force auxiliary and 10 battleships for a total of 38.18 billion ISK damage.
*Banner was made by Niden of Crossing Zebras and used with his explicit permission. All rights reserved to the original artist.
Salivan Harddin is a member of Hoover Inc., Pandemic Legion, and covers battles across New Eden