The two sides fought over a Tatara refinery’s first invulnerability timer. Imperium forces had amassed a 200 pilot Cerberus heavy assault cruiser fleet, though only a third of it consisted of mainline ships, and traveled to the system to push the structure into its second reinforcement timer. The first to arrive, Imperium forces settled near the refinery and waited for it to become vulnerable. When it did exit its reinforced mode, they opened fire, bombarding the structure and slowly chipping away at its armor hit points.
As the armor of the refinery was slowly stripped off, Siege Green forces arrived to defend the structure. The alliance gathered an estimated 40 pilots Apocalypse Navy Issue battleship fleet, which included a capital squadron of combat carriers and force auxiliaries to provide logistics support. The fleet entered the system and warped to the structure, landing near it and at a medium range of the heavy assault cruisers.
The two sides engaged at once, the battleships flying towards the heavy assault cruisers while firing. The first few volleys proved devastating for the Cerberus fleet. The pulse laser batteries of the battleships managed to overwhelm the heavy assault cruisers’ shields and easily dispatch them. The Cerberus fleet attempted to return fire but found much of its damage negated thanks to the “firewalling” efforts of Siege Green. The alliance had brought a couple of battleships fitted with smartbombs and kept positioning them between their own fleet and the enemy. The battleships, using their smartbombs, damaged the incoming missiles, destroying them mid-flight and thus negating much of the Cerberus fleet’s damage output.
The Cerberus fleet didn’t give up and continued to bombard the hostiles. Pulling range, the fleet opted to establish a long distance battle, where the battleships would be at a disadvantage against the fast-moving, smaller targets the heavy assault cruisers posed. Despite their maneuverability, as they struggled to increase range, more heavy assault cruisers were destroyed, mostly for falling behind and wandering off the fleet anchor. Remaining in the optimal range of the battleships and away from the aid of the logistics wing which had to keep up with the main fleet, these ships proved easy prey for the defenders.
For the next few minutes, the Cerberus fleet attempted to break the tank of the battleships but to no avail. With the force auxiliaries on the field and the work of the “firewall” battleships, the heavy assault cruisers found it hard to breach the armor of the battleships. Instead, they settled on targeting and destroying the host of fighters the Siege Green combat carriers sent their way. That said, the Cerberus fleet had managed to pull enough distance to stabilize its losses down to a trickle.
During the exchange, the Tatara slowly inched towards self-repair, the timer reaching only 40 seconds. However, as the two sides remained embroiled in combat, the server’s scheduled downtime occurred. Both fleets lost connection to the server, causing their pilots waiting anxiously to log back in and sort their fleets again to continue the fighting.
It was during the downtime that Snuffed Out [B B C] contacted the Imperium fleet commander. The alliance had noticed the fighting and, being allied with the Imperium, offered its help in the fight. The Imperium fleet commander accepted the offer and Snuffed Out prepared, once the server came online again, to form a Nightmare battleship fleet. When the server was back up again, both sides logged in and sorted their fleets, ready to continue.
Snuffed Out managed to assemble 40 pilots, including a dreadnought squadron in reserve. The alliance entered the system and warped within range of the Siege Green fleet, opening fire. The alliance also brought three dreadnoughts into the midst of the Siege Green capital group. Siege Green escalated immediately, bringing in their dreadnought reserves. Snuffed Out did the same, bringing the rest of its dreadnoughts to the field. The battle had devolved into a capital brawl.
Both sides focused solely on the capital exchange. The sub-capital fleets joined their firepower to the dreadnoughts on the field, attempting to burn through opposing hulls. Snuffed Out went straight for one of the Siege Green force auxiliaries while Siege Green focused only on the hostile dreadnoughts. They quickly established a back and forth as dreadnoughts on both sides were overwhelmed and destroyed. As the battle raged, it became apparent that Siege Green had the upper hand. It was clear that while Imperium forces had overall greater sub-capital numbers, Siege Green had the capital advantage.
As the two sides clashed the Tatara attempted to repair again. The server’s downtime caused the self-repair timer to reset, and thus it needed to wait the full fifteen minutes again. The Cerberus fleet noticed the timer inching towards completion again during the dreadnought brawl. Realizing quickly that if it didn’t shift its focus the refinery would be completely repaired, it switched targets to the structure. Missile bombardments paused the self-repair timer, once again chipping at the armor of the refinery.
By the time the last hostile dreadnought was destroyed, and the Siege Green capitals secured their victory, the Imperium had already pushed the Tatara into its second invulnerability timer. Having lost the objective, Siege Green sought to extract its forces rather than stay and fight. The alliance had already been tired from a previous round of fighting an hour before and with the time getting late for many pilots, sought to withdraw rather than risk wholesale slaughter should the Imperium secure more capital ships.
Thus, Siege Green warped off the field, jumping out as many of its surviving capitals as it could in the process. Most of the Siege Green capital assets made it out safely, with only one combat carrier and Apostle force auxiliary getting caught by the hostile forces and destroyed.
With the field under their control, both the Imperium and Snuffed Out sought to loot the grid and extract their forces. Thus the battle in Ofstold concluded.
The battle from the perspective of the Siege Green fleet.
Battle report for the Ofstold system can be found here.
All told the battle lasted 70 minutes, with Time Dilation not reported and the system hosting an estimated 300 pilots at the height of the fighting.
Siege Green lost 12 ships in the fighting, including 6 dreadnoughts, 2 force auxiliaries, 1 combat carrier and 1 battleship for a total of 24.96 billion ISK damage.
The Imperium and Snuffed Out lost a combined 127 ships, including 12 dreadnoughts and 28 heavy assault cruisers for a total of 49.95 billion ISK damage.
Featured image credit: Razorien