QYZM-W system, Branch region. On the 15th of July at 3:45 EVE Standard Time, Hard Knocks Citizens [HKRAB], L A Z E R H A W K S [HAWKS] and Psychotic Tendencies. [TISHU] sprung a trap for Ranger Regiment [RR] supercapitals, netting five titan kills.

The dreaded “Drone Lands” squadron is a supercapital hunting group primarily composed of wormhole inhabitants. This group had terrorized the Drone regions for years, though with the recent change in ownership, it migrated westwards and settled in the Branch region to hunt, among others, Ranger Regiment capitals and supercapitals.

Ranger Regiment had earned a reputation for using its supercapitals with impunity, happily throwing them around at anything that dared move in the region. Not only that, the alliance even tried to actively hunt members of the “Drone Lands” squadron on several occasions. Knowing this, Hard Knocks Citizens and their allies planned to use these factors against the alliance, thus planning the trap.

The first stage of the plan called for scouting. The hunters located a suitable constellation in range of Ranger Regiment’s staging system where mining activity took place – T-RQ7S. Next came the logistical part. Dreadnoughts and force auxiliaries moved in range of the system and were seeded without locals reporting them. 60 dreadnoughts and more than 20 force auxiliaries prepared for the operation, waiting for the day to arrive. The last asset to secure was a bridging titan, ensuring that subcapital reinforcements and especially heavy interdictor squadrons could be bridged through to hold down hostile supercapitals. A suitable titan was soon found and moved into position. Now, it only was a question of time until a suitable opportunity would arise.

On the 15th of July, everything was ready. A wormhole had been located just a few systems away from the bridge titan. 25 heavy interdictors were assembled in it, waiting for the go-ahead signal. Dreadnoughts and force auxiliaries moved into range of the constellation, logged out and kept waiting on the log-in screen. Meanwhile, a Sleipnir command ship fleet formed to aid in the eventual extraction of all capital and supercapital assets. All that was needed was to throw the bait into the water.

The bait comprised four Nyx supercarriers, two of which were familiar to Ranger Regiment. Hard Knocks Citizens hoped their names would spur Ranger Regiment to drop everything they could on them. A Ranger Regiment Rorqual industrial capital ship was spotted mining in an anomaly in the QYZM-W system. Seeded interdictors logged in and warped to the ship, trapping it with warp disruption probes. With the Rorqual tackled, a cynosural beacon was lit in the system, ushering in the four supercarriers on top of the Rorqual. The supercarriers unleashed their fighter bomber squadrons, quickly forcing the Rorqual pilot to cycle their pulse activated nexus invulnerability core.

It didn’t take long for the news of the tackled Rorqual to make waves and a rescue fleet quickly assembled. The force included eight titans, six supercarriers, a few mixed capital ships and eight force auxiliaries, mainly of the Minokawa and Lif variety. While the supercapital fleet prepared, interdictors burned to the system, warping to the tackled Rorqual to pin down the hostile supercarriers. Other subcapital ships made their way to the system as well, intending to clear the hostile interdictors.

The “Drone Lands” squadron supercarriers made little effort to free themselves of tackle, allowing the Ranger Regiment interdictors to swarm all over them. The fact that they had dropped on the Rorqual in question and seemed to remain in place passively should have been a blinking red light for Ranger Regiment. In their eagerness, however, the alliance didn’t consider the possibility of a trap. Instead, a cynosural beacon was rushed over and lit 30 kilometers away from the tackled supercarriers, allowing the Ranger Regiment force to materialize on grid.

The titans landed on grid and quickly targeted one of the hostile supercarriers. A couple of focused doomsday weapons fired on the tackled Nyx, stripping it of its shield health points and removing massive chunks of its armor. The other titans fired their capital guns, bombarding the ship and chipping away at its remaining health. This was the moment that the “Drone Lands” squadron was waiting for. The wormhole armada now sprung its trap. Two cynosural beacons lit up, one next to the afflicted Nyx, allowing force auxiliaries to jump through. Another cyno was lit on top of the hostile titans for the dreadnoughts to jump in. At the same time, the subcapital forces moved to the bridge titan, the heavy interdictors in particular racing to reach the system and secure tackle.

The force auxiliaries materialized on grid and immediately set to work. Triage modules engaged and remote armor repairers overheated to catch the Nyx before more volleys could damage its hull. The dreadnoughts entered their siege cycles and set to work, burning the force auxiliary squad of the Ranger Regiment fleet. Against the assembled number of dreadnoughts, the force auxiliaries stood no chance. Each coordinated volley brought down one of the ships.

Ranger Regiment realized it had fallen into a trap. The titans, some of which had smartbombs fitted, attempted to clear the thick cover of warp disruption probes. Supercarriers and titans tried to burn away from the hostile fleet toward freedom.

It was at this point that the “Drone Lands” squadron plan hit a speed bump, quite literally. The unexpected Time Dilation spike caused by jumping in so many capitals resulted in a ripple effect all over the region. This led to a significant delay for the heavy interdictors, caught in warp by the effects of the phenomena. By the time they had arrived at the bridge titan and jumped through, Ranger Regiment managed to free its supercarriers and three of the eight tackled titans.

With the heavy interdictors on the field, the remaining Ranger Regiment titans were properly tackled with no hope of escape. The dreadnoughts turned their attention to the tackled behemoths, bombarding them one after the other. The rest of the “Drone Lands” squadron supercarriers also jumped in to hasten the titans’ demise, launching fighter bombers to bring the ships down. Mobile cynosural inhibitors were also deployed to make sure Ranger Regiment would not be able to jump in more force auxiliaries to aid the tackled ships.

With the Sleipnir fleet also hitting grid, the battle became an execution. One after the other, the titans were destroyed, alongside whatever other ships Ranger Regiment brought to the field. That said, a few of the titans didn’t go down without fighting, cycling doomsday devices and taking a couple of hostile dreadnoughts with them.

With the titans destroyed, the wormhole armada now amounted to an entire 210 pilots and set about clearing the field of all hostiles and extract. Ranger Regiment interdictors and other subcapitals were mercilessly cut down by the Sleipnirs and other assembled ships. With the grid under their control, the wormhole armada looted the field before extracting its various supercapital and capital assets. With the important ships safely out of the system, the subcapital fleet followed suit, withdrawing from the region back to the confines of unknown space. With this, the battle came to an end.

The battle from the perspective of the wormhole armada

Battle report for the QYZM-W system can be found here.

All told, the battle 34 minutes with Time Dilation reported, spiking in the system and throughout the region before subsiding. The system itself hosted an estimated 280 pilots at the peak of the fighting.

Ranger Regiment suffered the brunt of losses, 50 ships including 5 titans, 2 dreadnoughts and 8 force auxiliaries for a grand total of 389.52 billion ISK damage.
The wormhole armada lost 12 ships in turn, including 2 dreadnoughts for a sum total of 5.14 billion ISK damage.


Featured and secondary image credit: Razorien