QE-E1D system, Immensea region. On the 2nd of June at 21:41 EVE Standard Time, Test Alliance Please Ignore [TEST] clashed with CentipedeCaliphate. [CENTI], Wormageddon [WORMS], Triumvirate. [TRI] and League of Unaligned Master Pilots [LUMPY] in the system.
The two sides fought over a conquerable station belonging to Centipede Caliphate. Coveting the station in the Z-H2MA system, Legion of xXDEATHXx [X.I.X] reinforced it. For those unaware, with the upcoming patch conquerable stations will be converted into faction citadels which many expect to be quite valuable. Test Alliance Please Ignore was set to aid Legion of xXDEATHXx in the capture of the station, expecting minimal resistance.
With the station set to exit its reinforced mode on the night of the 2nd of June, Test Alliance Please Ignore gathered a 200 pilot Nightmare battleship fleet supported by a separate Jackdaw tactical destroyer wing estimated at 40 pilots and made its way to the system, bridging into the REB-KR system on the QE-E1D gate.
For the station’s defense, Centipede Caliphate had reached out to several neighboring groups for help and managed to enlist Trimuvirate and League of Unaligned Master Pilots for its cause. Forming a Gila cruiser fleet with its ally Wormageddon which merged into the League of Unaligned Master Pilots’ force, they were able to field 65 pilots. Triumvirate supplied the bulk of the firepower in the form of a 150 pilot Machariel battleship fleet which bridged into QE-E1D on the REB-KR gate at long range.
The two forces didn’t wait long to clash, as Triumvirate and its support Gila fleet settled into their position, the Nightmare fleet jumped in. Triumvirate immediately brought two squadrons of combat carriers with force auxiliaries embedded and a lone Apostle force auxiliary to bolster its logistics wing. The Test Alliance Please Ignore force de-cloaked and started to burn away from the waiting hostiles, activating afterburners as it attempted to group together.
Both sides opened fire, the Nightmares focusing on the Machariels with their tachyon lasers while the Machariels returned the favor with artillery barrages. The Gilas in the meantime let loose a swarm of drones and focused almost exclusively on the logistics wing of the Nightmare fleet, targeting the Basilisk logistics cruisers.
The two sides hammered at each other from long range, maintaining upwards of a 100 kilometers from each other as the Test fleet attempted to increase the distance between it and the Triumvirate capitals. The combat carriers for their part sent waves of fighters to further increase the pressure on the Nightmare fleet.
At first, both sides traded rather evenly, the Nightmares able to volley the Machariels which preferred to focus their firepower on the combat recon squadron of the fleet. The Gilas kept their attention to the logistics cruisers, felling a few in the opening minutes of the battle.
As the battle progressed, Test Alliance Please Ignore realized it was hemorrhaging support and logistics ships. What more, with the Apostle on the field the Triumvirate fleet was able to soak up the damage and stop the ship loss. Instead the Nightmare fleet turned its guns on the Gila fleet which was forced to remain closer to the main Test fleet due to the limited range of the drones.
In rapid succession, mainline cruisers were destroyed as the sheer firepower was able to easily overcome the relatively weak shields of the smaller vessels. Fighters were also targeted, the Jackdaw wing helping in their disposal.
That said, the Nightmare fleet was also taking a toll from their foes. Its logistics wing was continuing to lose ships and the Machariel fleet had switched targets once more to the opposing battleships. Barrage after barrage of artillery fire found its mark, destroying another Nightmare with each hit.
The Gila fleet in the meantime had been decimated, losing a quarter of its mainline ships in the brief exchange. Realizing that to remain on grid any longer would be folly, the Gila fleet commanders opted to clear tackle and warp off their remaining ships, leaving the grid to the battleships to duke it out. For Test Alliance Please Ignore it was the sign to withdraw as well, having lost nearly half its logistics wing in the exchange and facing the Machariel fleet which was able to both ignore its damage and volley mainline ships.
The fleet concentrated its firepower on the many interdictors hovering around it and deploying warp disruption probes to hold it down on grid. With most of them destroyed and the fleet free, the Nightmares warped off the grid, leaving Triumvirate. to claim the field.
Triumvirate remained on the grid to loot the field and make sure that Test Alliance Please Ignore left the region before standing down itself. In the meantime, Centipede Caliphate pilots were able to secure the station, while Legion of xXDEATHXx was unable to properly contest it with Triumvirate forces stationed so close ready to intervene.
With the objective secured and the battle won, the allies extracted as well, bringing the hostilities in the QE-E1D to an end.
The battle from the perspective of the Triumvirate. Machariel fleet.
The battle report for the QE-E1D system can be found here.
All told the battle lasted 11 minutes with local hosting 450 pilots at the peak of the fighting and Time Dilation felt sporadically throughout, climbing to a peak of approximately 70% at one point before subsiding.
Test Alliance Please Ignore lost 39 ships including 14 battleships for a total of 16.87 billion ISK damage.
Triumvirate. League of Unaligned Master Pilots and allies lost 42 ships altogether, including 4 battleships and 15 cruisers for a total of 10.18 billion ISK damage.
Featured image credit: Razorien