Siberian Squads [SB-SQ] instigated the confusing battle. The Branch-based Guardians of the Galaxy (GotG) coalition member alliance had noticed increased SOLAR FLEET [SOLAR] presence in the adjacent Venal region. Suspecting a hostile deployment, it didn’t take long for a confirmation to arrive when one of its friendly contacts in the region lost his combat carrier to a SOLAR FLEET titan.
With SOLAR FLEET seemingly not fully deployed and its pilots’ brazen usage of super capitals in range of Siberian Squads’ staging system, the alliance’s upper echelons decided to use these facts to their advantage. In coordination with the SOLAR FLEET attack victim, they hatched a trap for SOLAR FLEET’s super capitals, hoping to nab a titan or super carrier.
The plan was simple. Siberian Squads would supply a new combat carrier for the pilot to use. The pilot would then resume his routine – dropping his combat carrier on roaming gangs in the region. This bold move would likely draw the attention of SOLAR FLEET who’d once again bring either a titan or super carrier to destroy the ship. However this time, with the aid of a cynosural beacon and a combined fleet of combat carriers and super carriers, things would go very differently.
Procuring and supplying the combat carrier didn’t pose too much of a problem for Siberian Squads, and on the day of the 9th of June, everything seemed to be ready. The bait was out, the response fleet assembled. Everything was in place. Despite that, things were about to go awry.
Just like the previous day, the bait pilot roamed around the region, searching for SOLAR FLEET gangs to engage. It didn’t take him long to encounter one in the 6NJ8-V system on the Y-4CFK gate. The small sub-capital gang engaged the bait pilot who promptly lit his cynosural beacon, bringing forth the bait Chimera combat carrier. SOLAR FLEET quickly escalated, bringing forth not one, but two titans, a super carrier and a mix of capitals, mostly dreadnoughts.
However Siberian Squads knew nothing of it. Poor communication with the bait pilot kept its fleet commanders in the dark. Worse yet, the bait pilot hadn’t fitted a cynosural beacon on his combat carrier. This mistake led to much confusion as the SOLAR FLEET ragtag fleet unceremoniously dispatched the combat carrier. Not wishing to let the opportunity slip, the bait pilot then decided to bring in his Hel super carrier to the field to keep SOLAR FLEET’s attention. The super carrier materialized on the field, causing SOLAR FLEET to reinforce its fleet, bringing more capitals and sub-capitals to the field and swelling their overall strength to approximately 30 pilots.
In a repetition of the previous mistake, neither Siberian Squads knew of this escalation nor was the Hel fitted with a cynosural beacon that would allow the response fleet to jump through. Attempts to secure a cynosural beacon from the bait pilot had proven unreliable. Learning that the Hel had jumped through and was engaged on the gate was the final straw for Siberian Squads fleet commanders. Racing their beacon to the system, they prepared to jump emergency force auxiliaries, praying they’d make it in time before the Hel itself was destroyed and their entire plan brought to ruin.
Luckily, the Hel managed to clear its aggression timer and having materialized close to the gate was able to burn to it and jump out. The SOLAR FLEET force, however, was able to strip it of its shields and armor, damaging its structure. The ship was safe on the other side, or so it would have been had its pilot not decided to bring it back to the field. By that point though Siberian Squads had managed to secure an initial cynosural beacon in the system. First materialized force auxiliaries to keep the damaged Hel alive and supply a secondary, more tanky, beacon.
With the second beacon in place, the Siberian Squads sub-capital force bridged in, mostly interdictors and Typhoon battleships. The interdictors raced ahead to try and grab the SOLAR FLEET super capitals, managing to capture one titan. However, in all the confusion the second titan and the super carrier managed to slip away. Alongside the titan, a score of dreadnoughts and combat carriers were also pinned down.
Tackle secured, a third beacon was lit up, and the mainstay of the Siberian Squads fleet took to the field. Combat carriers, super carriers, and a lone titan materialized on the grid, bringing Siberian Squads’ overall fleet strength to 90 pilots. The combined carrier and super carrier wing launched its fighters, focusing them on some of the stranded SOLAR FLEET capitals. In rapid succession hostile dreadnoughts and combat carriers were destroyed, the fighter swarm descending on each like locusts.
SOLAR FLEET attempted to clear tackle and rescue its trapped titan and capital ships, targeting the many interdictors buzzing around but to no avail. Unable to flee, the SOLAR FLEET force set to at least get some vengeance and targeted the bait Hel. The crippled ship was unable to withstand the firepower thrown at it, even with the backing of the Siberian Squads force auxiliaries. It exploded, giving a small measure of satisfaction to SOLAR FLEET that didn’t last long as Siberian Squads targeted and destroyed the tackled SOLAR FLEET Avatar in return.
Wiping the field clean of the remaining SOLAR FLEET capital ships, Siberian Squads seemed to have won the fight and prepared to extract. Warping off and jumping out its super capital and capital assets, only the lone Avatar and a score of force auxiliaries remained on the field, supported by the sub-capital portion of the fleet. Before they could extract, however, a new combatant appeared in the system.
Black Legion [.MEN.], long time friend and current ally of SOLAR FLEET had also gotten wind of the battle. Racing to the area to support its ally, the alliance hastily gathered a Muninn heavy assault cruiser fleet estimated at 40 pilots while assembling a dozen dreadnoughts. The Muninn fleet bridged to the battlefield, materializing at a perch above the now abandoned battleground. Warping down, the Muninn fleet kept long range off the Typhoon force, focusing on its mainline ships with coordinated artillery barrages. At the same time, interdictors raced in to secure tackle on the Siberian Squads Avatar and remaining force auxiliaries.
Suddenly the roles had reversed, and it was Siberian Squads’ turn to try and free its titan frantically. After a few nerve-wracking minutes and the generous application of smartbombs, the titan broke free from the cover of warp disruption probes and executed an emergency jump back to Siberian Squads’ staging system. This move left a handful of force auxiliaries behind, still tackled by the remaining Black Legion interdictors.
The Muninn fleet continued to circle the field, managing to slowly wear down the tank of the battleships and score a kill here and there with its coordinate alpha strikes. The Siberian Squads sub-capital fleet, however, was much more focused on removing tackle and wasn’t able to hit the fast-moving heavy assault cruisers well, applying far less damage in return.
With the titan gone, Black Legion decided not to let the trip go to waste and dropped its dreadnoughts on the pinned force auxiliaries. A cynosural beacon lit up near the ships, and the Black Legion dreadnoughts hit the field, entering siege cycles and targeting the force auxiliaries. It took the alliance only two minutes to dispatch all four, but by then the dreadnoughts themselves were trapped on the field by the surviving Siberian Squads interdictors. Another cynosural beacon lit up, and the Siberian Squads super carriers took to the field again. The fighter-bombers took flight and swarmed the Black Legion dreadnoughts, bringing almost all of them down. Only a single dreadnought managed to escape the slaughter.
With the super carriers on the field and the dreadnoughts destroyed, Black Legion had no choice but to withdraw. Its Muninn fleet quickly warped off, leaving Siberian Squads entirely in control of the field. Finally, having won the battle, Siberian Squads managed to extract all of its remaining ships home, bringing to a close a tumultuous fight.
Battle report for the 6NJ8-V battle can be found here.
All told the battle lasted 66 minutes with Time Dilation not reported and the system hosting an estimated 150 pilots at the peak of the fighting.
SOLAR FLEET lost 27 ships including 1 titan, 4 dreadnoughts and a combat carrier for a total of 90.05 billion ISK damage.
Siberian Squads and its ally lost a total of 27 ships, including 1 super carrier, 1 combat carrier, 4 force auxiliaries and 4 battleships for a total of 41.12 billion ISK damage.
Black Legion… lost 22 ships in the battle, including 11 dreadnoughts for a total of 31.04 billion ISK
Featured image credit: Razorien