N-6Z8B system, Great Wildlands region. In the early hours of July 15th, a series of skirmishes in the system resulted in multiple capital losses, as E.B.O.L.A. [E8OLA] forces clashed with other residents of the region over a slew of timers.

Background

The battles waged that day have their roots in the implosion of a coalition called Great Wildlands Conservation Society (GWCS). This event resulted from the exodus of many pilots, corporations and even alliances from the region to other power blocs or areas, which left a power vacuum in the area and brought old ideological divides back to the fore. The main point of conflict appears to have been the political status of public citadels in the region. E.B.O.L.A, one of the largest alliances in the area, had been outspoken against such citadels, especially near its borders where unknowns and neutral parties could easily establish bases of strength, not to mention even gaining access to manufacturing infrastructure. Capitalist Army [CANS] thought differently, wishing to create an open regional market.

Though the two sides tried to solve their differences diplomatically, talks went nowhere and E.B.O.L.A decided in the end to take a more direct course of action. They did this by reinforcing several Capitalist Army structures, including an Athanor refinery and an Azbel engineering complex, their first timers set to expire in the early hours of 16th of June.

First Engagement

Not expecting heavy resistance, on the morning of June 15th at approximately 3:00 EVE Standard Time, E.B.O.L.A formed a small gang of Drake battlecruisers, numbering roughly 15 pilots. The force made its way to the system and warped to the Athanor scheduled to exit reinforced mode first. Once the structure became vulnerable, the gang started bombarding it with heavy missiles, slowly chipping at its armor hit points. Nearly mid-way into the bash, a Megathron battleship undocked from the structure and broke invulnerability. The Drake fleet quickly reacted, targeting it and opening fire. The Megathron lit a cynosural beacon and let through a capital squadron from The Unthinkables [INK]/Capitalist Army. The capitals, mainly combat carriers with an Apostle force auxiliary and a couple of dreadnoughts, landed on the field and targeted the battlecruisers.

E.B.O.L.A reacted immediately, organizing a capital response force with The Hell Legion [H.E.L]. The two alliances managed to form a dreadnought squad. Mixed within the fleet was a Minokawa force auxiliary to aid the Drake fleet which came under fire from the combat carriers’ fighters. E.B.O.L.A rushed a cynosural beacon on top of the hostile capitals to allow its response fleet through, and so their dreadnoughts materialized on grid, entering siege cycles and blasting the hostile capitals.

It wasn’t a quick affair. The two sides were low on numbers and with not a lot of firepower on the field, it took a while for the dreadnoughts to break through each others’ tank. The defenders managed to bring down a Hell Legion dreadnought but lost their own in return, with the attackers then proceeding to break through the lone Apostle’s tank. The capital ship resisted the bombardment for a while as the defenders scrambled to bring in yet another force auxiliary to support it. However, a bad warp-in caused the new Apostle to bounce off the structure and careen into space, shooting away from its distressed counterpart. By the time it came to a halt, E.B.O.L.A had already filled the grid with warp disruption probes, stopping it from warping back in and pinning it to its place.

With the first Apostle annihilated, the attackers proceeded to destroy the other combat carriers. A few managed to escape destruction, either abandoning fighters and waiting for their weapon timers to clear so they could dock in the structure, or warping away during rare opportunities when the warp disruption probe cover lapsed. However, most ships were not so lucky and were ultimately dispatched by E.B.O.L.A and The Hell Legion.

The number of hostile capitals diminishing, E.B.O.L.A felt comfortable enough to divert some of its firepower to the Athanor, stopping it from self-repairing and once again chipping away at its armor. As attackers destroyed the last capital ships for The Unthinkables/Capitalist Army, they pushed the structure into its second, final reinforcement timer.

Cautious, E.B.O.L.A deployed mobile cynosural inhibitors on the structure to make sure no one else would be able to drop on its capital ships. With the last defenders being cleared from the battlefield and the structure reinforced, the alliance prepared to extract its capital ships, jumping them back to its headquarters.

Complications Extracting

Before it could retrieve all of its capital assets, a new cynosural beacon lit up on the grid, just outside the mobile cynosural inhibitor’s range. This beacon belonged to a 13 pilot Ishtar heavy assault cruiser gang flying under the banner of Black Legion [.MEN.]. The fleet had been contacted by the defenders, its fleet commander himself a former resident of the area. Willing to aid against E.B.O.L.A, the fleet made its way down to the region and managed to even secure a friendly titan to bridge it in. Once materialized on grid, the fleet warped in to catch some of the remaining dreadnoughts on the field.

One of the dreadnoughts was quickly tackled by the Ishtar gang, the heavy assault cruisers maintaining range as they orbited it, their drones firing on the behemoth. E.B.O.L.A reacted quickly, burning their battlecruisers into the Ishtar fleet in order to free the captive dreadnought while assembling a new capital rescue squadron. Forces from The Unthinkables and Capitalist Army, emboldened by the presence of Black Legion, started undocking dreadnoughts and bringing combat carriers into range of the tackled dreadnought.

E.B.O.L.A managed to gather several dreadnoughts with high-angle weapons to target the Ishtar fleet, as well as several combat carriers loaded with space superiority fighters in order to defang the opposition. A cynosural beacon was rushed over to the tackled dreadnought to allow reinforcements to drop directly next to it. At the same time, the Drake fleet, unable to inflict casualties on the heavy assault cruisers, was ordered to sacrifice itself in order to weaken the logistics ability of the Ishtar fleet. Obeying the command, the battlecruisers focused their firepower on one of the Scimitar logistics cruisers, bringing it down with a constant barrage of missiles. That said, the Ishtar fleet with its drones succeeded in ripping apart many of the battlecruisers, effectively annihilating them and forcing the remnants to scatter.

The Drake fleet’s sacrifice was enough to buy time for E.B.O.L.A to light a cynosural beacon and usher in even more reinforcements. Dreadnoughts and combat carriers materialized near their afflicted kin, entering siege cycles and launching fighters to combat the hostiles. The dreadnoughts focused on their hostile counterparts, forcing one dreadnought to deaggress and dock up while the other was being destroyed. Space superiority fighters made short work of the defenders’ own fighters, removing them from the fight. The Ishtar fleet itself, having lost part of its logistics wing and coming under fire from the high-angle weapons, chose to retreat.

With hostiles disengaging again, E.B.O.L.A and The Hell Legion managed to extract their capital ships safely this time, ending the first round of fighting.


The first part of the battle from the perspective of E.B.O.L.A/The Hell Legion capitals

Second Engagement

The second round came an hour later. At 5:28 EVE Standard Time, E.B.O.L.A reformed its fleet, opting for an Armageddon battleship fleet with a force auxiliary serving as logistics wing and a couple of dreadnoughts in tow to aid in reinforcing the structure. A second force auxiliary was kept in reserve, alongside a dreadnought squad and a third force auxiliary mainly fitted with energy neutralizers. E.B.O.L.A was comfortable, thinking that it had vanquished its enemies’ capital reserves.

The fleet made its way to the system once more, targeting the Azbel this time. Setting up on the structure, the battleships opened fire, slowly chipping away at its hit points in their attempts to push it into its next reinforcement timer. This time, however, several cynosural beacons lit up in the system, ushering in both the Black Legion Ishtar gang and a second, new force. A Machariel battleship squad belonging to Unspoken Alliance. [QUIET], a resident of the Etherium Reach region had which become aware of the fighting and offered its help to Capitalist Army.

First on grid was the Ishtar fleet, maintaining its range from the battleships and skirting at the edges while letting its sentry drones do the work. The battleships were able to soak the anemic damage, their force auxiliary hardly breaking a sweat repairing it. Next came the battleships, landing at long range as well and opening fire with their artillery cannons. Though that bombardment was also contained by the force auxiliary, it was enough to force E.B.O.L.A to bring in its reserve force auxiliary. Yet the Armageddons managed to weather the firestorm and were even able to bring down an Ishtar and Scimitar in response.

Unspoken Alliance finally decided to play its hand. Its interdictors swooped in to tackle the E.B.O.L.A fleet while a cynosural beacon lit up 30 kilometers from the Armageddon fleet, allowing its dreadnoughts to enter the field. The dreadnoughts targeted their E.B.O.L.A counterparts attacking the Azbel. E.B.O.L.A counter-escalated, bringing in the rest of their dreadnoughts as well as the third force auxiliary. The point of the force auxiliary was to apply capacitor pressure onto the hostile dreadnoughts, including the Revelations which, like many Amarr ships, are particularly susceptible to this type of warfare.

The battle became a capital brawl, as both sides’ dreadnoughts entered the field, activated their siege cycles and targeted each other. Sub capital fleets on either side added their firepower to the mix. In the end, Unspoken Alliance proved to have had the edge in capital ship numbers, not to mention having brought their dreadnoughts outside the optimal range of several of the E.B.O.L.A dreadnoughts, all of which negated some of their damage output. One after the other, most of E.B.O.L.A’s dreadnoughts were brought down, leaving the force auxiliaries and battleships to the might of the combined force.

It didn’t take long for the three force auxiliaries to be destroyed. With their triage support gone, the battleships didn’t fare well. Armageddon after Armageddon was volleyed off the field by the defending fleets, obliterating the entire sub capital portion of the E.B.O.L.A fleet. This left only one defiant Phoenix dreadnought to face the wrath of Black Legion and Unspoken Alliance. Besieged on all sides, the dreadnought did its best to resist the onslaught, but in the end it, too, had to cave in and blow up, sealing the fate of the E.B.O.L.A fleet.

With the E.B.O.L.A fleet annihilated, the Azbel was able to repair itself, securing at least one objective for the defenders. Black Legion and Unspoken Alliance, in the meantime, worked on extracting their fleets, bringing the fight to an end.

Summary

Battle report for the N-6Z8B system can be found here.

All told, the battles lasted a combined 50 minutes with Time Dilation not reported and the system itself hosting 84 pilots at the peak of the fighting.

E.B.O.L.A and The Hell Legion lost 31 ships in the battles, including 6 dreadnoughts, 3 force auxiliaries, 7 battleships and 3 battlecruisers for a sum total of 31.89 billion ISK damage.
The Unthinkables, Capitalist Army, Black Legion and Unspoken Alliance lost a total of 20 ships in the fighting including 3 dreadnoughts, 2 force auxiliaries, 4 combat carriers and 1 heavy assault cruiser for a total of 21.8 billion ISK.

Featured and secondary image credit: Razorien

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