GXK-7F system, Immensea region. On the 22nd of April at 18:00 EVE Standard time a battle over a Fortizar citadel unfolded in the system.
The battle was fought over an anchoring Phoenix Federation (PF) alliance citadel. The structure had been deployed in range of Pandemic Legion [-10.0]’s staging and the alliance had noticed it. With the structure set to exit its anchoring stage and enter a brief 15 minute vulnerability phase as it attempted to become operational, Pandemic Legion forces bridged to the system to destroy the vulnerable citadel.
Pandemic Legion had gathered a 110 pilot Proteus strategic cruiser fleet. The force had several Apostle force auxiliaries waiting in reserve alongside a few combat carriers whose main job would be to apply damage to the structure in order to prevent it from activating should the fleet be occupied by fighting. The strategic cruisers materialized at a perch from the Fortizar and warped to the citadel as it was finishing the last few minutes of anchoring. Once the structure was vulnerable the Proteus fleet opened fire, chipping away at the citadel’s health.
PF forces organized a defense force of their own and prepared to engage Pandemic Legion. A 120 pilot Tempest battleship fleet was assembled, the ships ready to bridge into the system. A cynosural beacon was secured in the system and lit up, allowing PF forces to portal through. Once in the system, the fleet sorted itself before warping to the besieged structure, landing near it. Pandemic Legion had scouted the fleet and warped back to a perch before warping back in near the battleships. The strategic cruisers quickly engaged the battleships before they could tether to the structure, starting the fight.
Pandemic Legion immediately lit upon landing another cynsoural beacon to let through a couple of Apostles as it brawled the Tempest fleet. The two sides quickly locked in a close quarters battle as the strategic cruisers swarmed the battleships. The strategic cruisers had no issue breaking through the battleships’ tank and destroying the ships. In rapid succession, Tempest after Tempest was brought down by the strategic cruiser fleet.
The same could not be said for the Tempest fleet’s ability to fight back. The fleet itself turned out to have had a mixture of fits including artillery cannons and autocannons fitted to different battleships making damage and application inconsistent. What more Pandemic Legion had its force auxiliaries on the field bolstering its already adequate logistics wing. The boosted logistics wing had no trouble repairing the damage inflicted by the Tempest fleet keeping most of the fleet intact.
The Tempest fleet found itself stranded on the grid as Pandemic Legion interdictors swooped in to keep it tackled, aided by strategic cruisers which applied warp scramblers to individual battleships, pinning them. Within minutes the entire fleet had been successfully tackled with casualties mounting in an alarming rate. However things were about to get more complicated as a third fleet entered the fray.
Pandemic Legion wasn’t the only party to discover the Fortizar. The Goonswarm Federation [CONDI] Special Interest Group (SIG) Space Violence which had deployed to the area also scouted the structure. Wishing to destroy the citadel as part of its mission of harassing former Imperium allies, the SIG formed a 100 pilot Nightmare battleship fleet. The force secured a cynosural beacon at range of the raging battle which allowed the fleet to bridge in safely. Once in the system the Nightmare fleet sought to its distance from the main fighting, settling to a long range exchange.
Pandemic Legion did not react to the new arrivals, keeping its focus on annihilating the tackled fleet. The Nightmares chose to target the already battered Tempest fleet rather than the more sturdy Proteus fleet, hastening its demise. Outnumbered and outgunned, the Tempest fleet’s fate was sealed. The battleships were torn apart in railgun and beam laser fire, leading to only a few survivors escaping the massacre.
With PF forces soundly beaten, the Nightmare fleet switched its focus, concentrating its beam laser fire on the Proteus fleet. A few strategic cruisers caved in to the barrage, but the Proteus fleet as a whole managed to tank the incoming fire. The strategic cruisers were in no hurry to engage the Nightmare fleet, instead mopping up the last remains of the Tempest force. Once the last of the Tempest fleet was dispatched did the Proteus fleet decide to engage the Nightmares.
The Proteus fleet perched on the grid before attempting to warp to the Nightmare fleet. However, the Nightmare fleet’s interdictors were able to keep a screen of warp disruption probes up, keeping the Proteus fleet from landing on top of the battleships. Instead, the Proteus fleet ended up at medium range. Immediately the Proteus fleet dropped a fresh force auxiliary on the field to accompany the fleet as it fought the Nightmares.
The Nightmare fleet kept it focus sternly on the strategic cruisers themselves, probing for weaknesses in the fleet. The Proteus fleet concentrated its firepower on removing much of the Nightmare fleet’s support, volleying Huginn and Lachesis force recon cruisers. Though suffering a few losses, the Nightmare fleet pulled range, forcing the Proteus fleet to switch to long range ammo which further decreased its damage output. The Nightmares themselves had no difficulty inflicting damage from long range.
This forced Pandemic Legion to once again re-group, perch up before attempting to warp once again on the battleships. Yet, time and again, the Space Violence interdictors were able to drag the strategic cruisers away from the main fleet, forcing a more favorable engagement for their forces. This pattern repeated itself several times, neither side able to inflict much damage except for inattentive pilots on either side who lost their ships due to late broadcasts.
Finally the Nightmare fleet had enough, realizing it would be only a matter of time before Pandemic Legion managed to get a lucky warp in. Deciding to retreat, the fleet warped to the DY- P7Q gate and jumped through, pursued by Pandemic Legion interdictors. The Nightmare fleet wasted no time in aligning to its out-gate and warp out, leaving only a few stragglers behind to get caught by the strategic cruiser fleet. The Proteus fleet for its part destroyed the few battleships it managed to tackle before returning back to GXK-7F, allowing the Nightmare fleet to retreat without further violence.
Once back in the system, the fleet settled into looting the field while bashing the structure. Once the space around the Fortizar had been picked clean of salvageable modules all that remained was for the structure itself to be destroyed. This took a few long minutes as the Proteus fleet alongside a few combat carriers slowly chipped away at the citadel’s hit points. With the Fortizar’s hull reaching zero, the entire citadel erupted in a series of explosions, signaling its demise.
With the structure destroyed, Pandemic Legion extracted its few capitals before withdrawing the rest of its fleet thus bringing an end to the fighting.
The Battle from the Perspective of the Space Violence Nightmare Fleet
Battle report for the GXK-7F system can be found here.
All told the battle lasted 27 minutes with Time Dilation only appearing momentarily before quickly subsiding. The system itself hosted 330 pilots at one point in the fight.
PF forces suffered the brunt of the losses, 97 ships including 64 battleships for a total of 35.09 billion ISK damage.
Goonswarm Federation lost 19 ships including 4 battleships for a total of 5.41 billion ISK damage.
Pandemic Legion lost 10 ships in the fighting including 4 strategic cruisers for a total of 4.39 billion ISK damage.
Salivan Harddin is a member of Hoover Inc., Pandemic Legion, and covers battles across New Eden