6QBH-S system, Stain region. On the 2nd of June at 18:53 EVE Standard Time, the area erupted in violence as Good Sax [MMMMM] and allies attempted to defend an Azbel engineering complex from the forces of Scourge [URGE.] DEAD HAND [DEAD] and allies.
The two sides had been embroiled for nearly two months in a destructive war over control of the region. Good Sax and its allies are all that remain of the old Stainwagon coalition which had controlled most of the Sansha regions up to the Halloween war. From then on the coalition teetered on the brink of dissolution until finally collapsing leaving Good Sax and a few other alliances to try and rebuild in their ancestral region.
Spotting the weakness, other entities such as DEAD HAND invaded the area. Since Stain is technically unconquerable space, control of the region translates to infrastructure. A savage war over citadels and engineering complexes ensued. DEAD HAND themselves contracted Scourge, a well known Russian speaking PVP alliance to aid them in the takeover of the region. With the addition of Scourge. to the mix, Good Sax and its allies had been pushed against the wall.
On the day in question an Azbel engineering complex belonging to the defenders was set to exit its final reinforced mode. To contest it, DEAD HAND and Wild Souls [WILD] formed a 40 pilot Typhoon battleship fleet and made their way to Scourge’s staging system to bridge directly to the target system. However when jumping into the 42-UOW system from S-DLKC they were ambushed by Good Sax forces who bridged on the battleships, bringing in an estimated 60 pilot Machariel battleship fleet.
To DEAD HAND’s relief, help came fast as Scourge had already amassed its 50 pilot Machariel fleet. Bringing an Apostle force auxiliary as well to aid the Typhoon fleet’s logistics, Scourge hurried to its allies’ defense. The Scourge Machariels raced to the system, warped to the gate where the two sides were embroiled in a short-range exchange and landed at a distance of the combatants. Anchoring up, they opened fire on the hostile Machariels.
The three fleets fought for a few minutes. DEAD HAND lost a few battleships in the opening salvos to Good Sax who then started losing ships to the volleys of the Scourge Machariels. Under cover of the Scourge barrages, the Typhoon fleet quickly disengaged, followed later by the Apostle as the two Machariel fleets settled into a long-range duel, maintaining more than 100 kilometers from each other.
For a few minutes, the two sides traded losses, neither side gaining the upper hand. Finally, it was the Good Sax fleet which decided to withdraw first, with Scourge pursuing it but unable to force an engagement.
At the same time, the Typhoon fleet had reached Scourge’s staging system and bridged to 6QBH-S, where it set up at a distance from the engineering complex, guarding a couple of dreadnoughts brought in to destroy the structure. Once it became vulnerable, the dreadnoughts opened fire, defended by the Typhoon fleet with its Apostle serving as logistics.
Perhaps this spurned Good Sax’s forces to try and take to the field again just as Scourge made its way back to its staging to bridge as well. Scourge fleet commanders, realizing Good Sax forces had to go through the same route they were taking, decided to block them and set up on the 42-UOW gate in the W-VXL9 system. There, the Scourge fleet waited at long range from the gate, its guns waiting for Good Sax’s ships to jump through and de-cloak.
This strategy is what they did precisely, the Good Sax Machariels jumping through and anchoring up. The two sides resumed their artillery duel. This time Scourge had a clear advantage, able to volley several ships while losing very few mainline ships in return. What more, it was able to destroy both command ships for the Good Sax fleet, depriving it of much-needed bonuses that reduced its fighting ability. Losses were mounting, Good Sax disengaged again and warped off, this time with Scourge declining to pursue.
The Scourge fleet finally made its way to the system, joining DEAD HAND in slowly demolishing the engineering complex. However Good Sax had not given up on the structure and showed up for a third time. Two cynosural beacons lit up near the Azbel, heralding the arrival of the Good Sax Machariel fleet, augmented with two dreadnought squadrons and a squadron of combat carriers.
The Scourge Machariel fleet quickly warped off, being too close to the newly arrived hostiles for comfort. The Good Sax Machariels and their dreadnought escorts warped to the DEAD HAND fleet and its capitals, landing close while the carriers remained near the Azbel and deployed fighters in support.
The Good Sax fleet opened fire, its dreadnoughts targeting the hostile capitals while the Machariels were making short work of the Typhoons who remained on the grid. The Scourge Machariels joined the fray again, warping at medium range of the battle and targeting the hostile battleships. Before they opened fire on their enemies, the allied fleets made sure to destroy the cynosural inhibitors they had deployed to make sure no one could drop directly on their fleets. With the inhibitors gone, another cynosural beacon lit up, and the Scourge capital reinforcements hit the grid in the form of two new squadrons.
The battle quickly became a capital brawl, the two sides’ dreadnoughts engaging each other at nearly point blank range. The battleships of each side busy with their respective exchanges, hovering at the periphery of the clashing capitals. Good Sax, however, was continuing to lose mainline ships at a fast pace, while Scourge remained nearly untouched, its battleships hammering away at its enemies. DEAD HAND and Wild Souls were losing a few battleships every few minutes, but the rate of casualties wasn’t as alarming as Good Sax’s.
On the capital side of things, Good Sax wasn’t faring much better. Even though having a slight edge in the number of dreadnoughts and a supporting combat carrier squadron, Good Sax was losing twice the ships their enemies were, at best trading evenly but more often losing several dreadnoughts for every Scourge dreadnought.
Finally, the Good Sax Machariel fleet was forced off the field, allowing the allied battleships to focus on the hostile capitals. Yet before they could do that, an estimated 60 pilot Pandemic Legion [-10.0] Ferox battlecruiser fleet arrived on grid. The alliance came to join the battle, targeting the Scourge capital ships. Scourge was having none of that and its Machariels switched focus to the new arrivals.
A few artillery volleys claimed the lives of several battlecruisers, forcing Pandemic Legion to increase their distance from the maelstrom of battle. When Scourge did not relent in their artillery barrage, Pandemic Legion realized it will not be allowed to remain on grid and warped off, leaving the original combatants to duke it out without its interference.
By this point the Good Sax capital force was decimated and the remaining ships were quickly disposed off by the victors. Twice the Good Sax Machariel fleet flew in to try and salvage some of their capitals but both times it was pushed out again, suffering losses with each attempt. Finally, the last remaining dreadnought was destroyed, only a couple managing to escape the slaughter.
With the Good Sax dreadnoughts destroyed, Scourge and its allies prepared to destroy the supporting combat carriers. However not being tackled, the carriers opted to either warp off or jump out rather than add to the kill count, leaving Scourge, DEAD HAND and Wild Souls in control of the grid. With no further challengers, the survivors proceeded to destroy the Azbel, thus securing their objective. After a brief looting session, the remaining dreadnoughts extracted, followed by the surviving battleships, thus bringing an end to the fighting.
Find the battle report for all three engagements here.
All told the battle on its various stages lasted 37 minutes with time dilation not reported and the primary battle hosting approximately 240 pilots at the peak of the fighting.
Good Sax and its allies suffered the brunt of the losses, 83 including 18 dreadnoughts, 1 force auxiliary and 39 battleships. Adding the Azbel the losses mount to 91.23 billion ISK damage
Scourge, DEAD HAND, and Wild Souls lost a combined 43 ships including 12 dreadnoughts, 1 force auxiliary and 17 battleships for a total of 40.54 billion ISK.
Pandemic Legion lost 10 ships, 7 of them battlecruisers for a total of 1.19 billion ISK
Featured image credit: Razorien
Secondary image credit: Razorien