Dastryns system, Placid region. On the 22nd of June at 2:33 EVE Standard Time, a confusing battle unfolded in the system over an Azbel engineering complex.
The engineering complex belonged to Salty [SALT.], a small member alliance of the Gallente militia. The alliance had recently become embroiled in conflict with another member corporation of the militia, Chest Bumpers [CHST].
The leadership of both groups had begun a personal feud which turned into open conflict. In recent days, both sides have started reinforcing each other’s infrastructure. The rest of the militia decided to remain neutral in the feud.
After a series of small battles between the two groups, both sides decided to escalate matters. Chest Bumpers decided to utilize an out-of-corporation Aeon super carrier in order to lure Salty into deploying capital ships. The Aeon was then used to reinforce the Salty Azbel in Dastryns, knowing it would catch the group’s attention.
Salty, however, had no intention of confronting Chest Bumpers head-on. The alliance had been unsuccessful in securing enough allies to contend with Chest Bumpers and such allies as Cruisers Crew [W3RC]. Instead, Salty planned to use Blackbirds in order to neutralize enough of the Chest Bumpers damage output to allow the structure to self-repair. With the ships fit and staged in the system, Salty gathered 15 pilots and waited in another citadel in the same system for the Aeon to arrive.
Chest Bumpers fielded an Aeon, a Ninazu force auxiliary and a Typhoon battleship. Their allies were at that point still organizing their forces, moving capital ships into range of the system. When the Azbel exited its reinforced mode, this process was still ongoing. For the next ten minutes, Salty watched as the Azbel’s timer slowly ran out. With only five minutes left on the clock, Chest Bumpers finally made a move and warped the three ships to the structure. The Aeon quickly deployed its fighter-bombers to attack the vulnerable hull, halting the self-repair countdown.
Salty responded by undocking and warping 15 Blackbirds to the structure. The Blackbirds landed near the Azbel and locked the fighters and the Typhoon. Activating their electronic countermeasures, they managed to jam all of the fighter-bombers and the battleship, negating the entirety of Chest Bumpers damage output. At the same time, gunners focused the Azbel’s guns to put pressure on the Ninazu.
In response, Chest Bumpers lit a cynosural beacon and jumped in three additional combat carriers. The carrier’s fighters targeted the annoying Blackbirds, quickly destroying them. During the exchange, the Azbel was left alone, allowing it to complete its countdown and self-repair. Salty had secured their objective.
However, Chest Bumpers were still spoiling for a fight. The Aeon and Ninazu withdrew but the combat carriers remained. At this point, Chest Bumpers made a critical mistake. Salty continued to assail the carriers using cheap tackle ships to stop the fleet from warping. One of the combat carriers, fitted with a cynosural beacon, warped off, leaving the remaining carriers alone on the field without logistics support. The Azbel’s guns and the sub-capital tackle were more than enough to dispatch one of these carriers.
The cyno carrier returned to the field, too late to save its fellow, but in time to light a cynosural beacon and allow force auxiliaries as well as additional combat carriers to trickle in. Salty kept throwing ships at the capitals while contacting possible allies to come their aid. They were able to secure the support of two alliances: Shadow Cartel [SHDWC] and Pen Is Out [WANGS]. Both quickly organized capital fleets, with Pen Is Out fielding 17 pilots in dreadnoughts and combat carriers while Shadow Cartel assembled 40 pilots in a similar configuration.
Both alliances hurried to the system as Salty continued pinning down the capital ships of Chest Bumpers’ allies, numbering a good 20 at that point. Pen Is Out arrived first, lighting a cynosural beacon next to the Chest Bumpers capital ships and jumping in its entire force. Dreadnoughts quickly entered siege cycles and targeted hostile counterparts as combat carriers directed fighter squadrons at the hostiles.
The two sides brawled near the Azbel, dreadnoughts targeting dreadnoughts, combat carriers aiding with their fighter squadrons. Pen Is Out, with the aid of Salty had a slight numbers advantage over the Chest Bumpers’ allied capitals. Within a few minutes, Pen Is Out was already in the lead, taking down 2-3 hostile capitals for each ship lost. Overwhelmed, the Chest Bumpers’ allied fleet continued to fight but was quickly losing ground. It didn’t take long before the remaining capital ships went into retreat, prompting Salty to try and tackle as many as they could.
With Chest Bumpers’ allied capitals going down and victory seeming certain for Salty and Pen Is Out, a new cynosural beacon lit up next to the warring sides. This heralded Shadow Cartel’s arrival, who came to support Salty. Due to a miscommunication, Shadow Cartel fleet commanders were not aware that Pen Is Out capitals were considered friendly. With most of the Chest Bumpers’ allied capital ships either in retreat or dead, the Shadow Cartel fleet targeted the surviving Pen Is Out ships and opened fire.
Already battered from the previous exchange and facing a numerically far superior foe, Pen Is Out could do very little. Realizing immediately they stood no chance, Pen Is Out fleet commanders sounded the retreat. Shadow Cartel for its part attempted to destroy as many of the Pen Is Out capital ships as it could. Dreadnoughts and combat carriers focused their formidable firepower, dispatching hostile dreadnought after hostile dreadnought. Those Pen Is Out capital ships that were able to either jump out or warp off did so, leaving the field for Shadow Cartel to hold.
With the remaining capital ships destroyed, Shadow Cartel looted the field and extracted as well, bringing the bloody and confusing fighting in Dastryns to a close.
Battle report for the Dastryns can be found here.
All told, the battle lasted 41 minutes with Time Dilation not reported and the system hosting an estimated 100 pilots at the peak of fighting.
Chest Bumpers and their allies lost a combined 14 ships including 7 dreadnoughts, 1 force auxiliary and 3 combat carriers for a sum total of 36.96 billion ISK damage.
Salty and Pen Is Out lost a combined 57 ships including 9 dreadnoughts and 1 combat carrier for a total of 31.95 billion ISK damage.
Shadow Cartel suffered no losses in battle.
Feature image credit: razorien