The battle was fought over a Snuffed Out citadel anchored near the Oijanen gate. The two sides have repeatedly clashed over it, with Pandemic Horde managing to reinforce it twice, leading to the last timer. With the citadel set to exit reinforced mode after the server’s scheduled downtime both sides ready for another fight.
Snuffed Out organized a 40 pilot combat carrier fleet. The capital ships set up on the citadel with force auxiliaries serving as the logistics wing and a few escorting battleships. Three more squads of dreadnoughts were also prepared beforehand and held in reserve, as Pandemic Horde had used capital ships against Snuffed Out in previous engagements. Finally, the defenders also contacted Siege Green [SGGRN] who brought a 20 pilot strategic cruiser fleet with a few capitals, although the fleet itself arrived late to the fight.
Against the defenders, Pandemic Horde assembled a 130 pilot Tempest battleship fleet, though an entire capital wing remained in reserve. The fleet bridged to the system on a friendly citadel before waiting for the hostile citadel to become vulnerable. With the Astrahus exiting its reinforced mode, the Tempest fleet warped at 115 kilometers of the structure and anchored up. The battleships opened fire, targeting the structure itself and ignoring the Snuffed Out capital fleet.
The combat carriers in return launched their fighter squadrons and targeted the battleships. The swarm of fighters traveled the distance between the two fleets before descending upon the battleships. The fighters’ firepower proved powerful enough to volley through the Tempests’ thick armor, bringing down several battleships in the opening barrages. The Tempest fleet reacted, sending the battleships’ drones as well as directing supporting ships’ firepower against the fighters. Though Horde destroyed a few fighter squadrons, they continued to inflict losses on the Tempest fleet.
It was at this point that miscommunication gave birth to disaster on the Pandemic Horde side. One of the capital commanders misheard fleet commands and thought they were given the green light to bring in combat carriers fitted with space superiority fighters to combat the Snuffed Out ones. Thus, a cynosural beacon lit up near the Tempest fleet to usher in the combat carriers. 13 jumped in, including force auxiliaries.
This was the moment Snuffed Out had been waiting on. Immediately, interdictors sprung into action, warping to the still-lit cynosural beacon and deploying warp disruption probes, pinning most of the combat carriers on the grid. The Tempest fleet quickly reacted, targeting the interdictors and attempting to dispatch as many of them as it could. This was the point a second mistake occurred. The lead Pandemic Horde fleet commander knew Snuffed Out had prepared dreadnoughts in advance and hoped to deter them deploying the capital counter by calling for Pandemic Horde’s own dreadnoughts to ready up. This led to a few eager pilots jumping their dreadnoughts into the still lit cynosural beacon, increasing the number of trapped capital ships on the grid.
Snuffed Out in the meantime had its own dreadnoughts ready up and having secured a cynosural beacon near the mass of tackled capital ships, had them jump in. 30 dreadnoughts materialized on the grid and immediately entered their siege cycles, targeting the hostile capital ships. The Snuffed Out combat carriers also aided in the process, sending their fighters, including electronic warfare squadrons, to tackle fleeing Pandemic Horde capitals.
A quick brawl ensued as the outnumbered Pandemic Horde dreadnoughts attempted to fight their Snuffed Out counterparts. Unsurprisingly, Snuffed Out quickly dispatched the Pandemic Horde dreadnoughts, though managing to bring down at least one of their attackers in the process. With the dreadnoughts gone, the turn for Snuff to prioritize combat carriers and force auxiliaries came. One by one the capital ships went down, swarmed by fighters and bombarded by the capital guns of the Snuffed Out dreadnoughts. A few of the Pandemic Horde capital ships did manage to escape, warping away to safety. The rest though had little luck.
For the Tempest fleet, there was nothing left to do but to withdraw, its capital escalation practically in shambles. The battleships warped off rather than become the dreadnoughts’ next victims, leaving the few tackled combat carriers to their fate. At this point Siege Green reinforcements hit the grid, warping to the Snuffed Out lit cynosural beacon and helping the defenders clear the grid.
With the last stragglers destroyed, the Astrahus managed to start its self-repair cycle and regenerate its armor and shields, thus securing the objective for Snuffed Out. Having won the battle as well, Snuffed Out and Siege Green looted the field before extracting their respective fleets back to their staging systems, ending large-scale hostilities for the day.
The three battles between Snuffed Out and Pandemic Horde over the BWF-ZZ Astrahus
Battle report for the BWF-ZZ system can be found here.
All told the battle lasted 9 minutes with Time Dilation not reported and the system hosting approximately 240 pilots at the peak of the fighting.
Pandemic Horde lost 30 ships in the engagement, including 4 dreadnoughts, 2 force auxiliaries, 8 combat carriers and 6 battleships for a total of 37.69 billion ISK damage.
Snuffed Out and Siege Green lost 9 ships in the engagement including 1 dreadnought for a total of 2.92 billion ISK damage.
Featured image credit: Razorien