Providence Bloc provoked the battle. The coalition was spoiling for a fight and decided to reinforce a planetary customs office in the system to draw the local entities’ attention. With the planetary customs office set to exit reinforced mode on the evening of the 22nd, Providence Bloc assembled an 80 pilot Machariel battleship fleet with two squadrons of dreadnoughts. The fleet proceeded to wait on a titan in range of the system, bringing in a lone dreadnought instead to serve as bait.
No Handlebars who live in range of the system noticed the timer a couple of hours before it was about to expire and set eyes on the structure just in case a fight broke out. Seeing the lone dreadnought, the alliance quickly formed a 30 pilot Tempest battleship fleet. The fleet itself secured a cynosural beacon in the system while assembling on a titan. The beacon was lit in a safe in the system, allowing the battleships to bridge in. Once inside, the Tempest fleet warped to the dreadnought which was still cycling its siege module, thus immobile.
The Tempest fleet landed near the dreadnought and opened fire. However, as its autocannon rounds started blasting the dreadnought’s shields, the dreadnought lit a cynosural beacon of its own, allowing the Machariel fleet to materialize through. The battleships landed and immediately anchored up and opened fire at close range on the Tempests. Even at nearly point-blank range, the mass of artillery cannons could volley the No Handlebars battleships. In rapid succession five battleships succumbed to ProviBloc’s barrages.
No Handlebars realized it was at a clear disadvantage, outgunned and outnumbered. The alliance decided to withdraw, its ships warping out and making a straight line towards the alliance’s staging system. That said, the alliance hadn’t given up on the fight and was merely going back to re-ship. No Handlebars called for more pilots to log in and join the fleet, including dreadnoughts.
In the meantime, ProviBloc having won the first round of fighting decided to bring in a few more dreadnoughts through the still active cynosural beacon. Once the dreadnoughts landed, the fleet proceeded to destroy the planetary customs office and warp to a different one to reinforce it and create another timer.
No Handlebars wasted no time and had re-shipped to a Vindicator battleship fleet, swelling its ranks to 60 pilots, including three force auxiliaries and 31 dreadnoughts. The force once again prepared to bridge on ProviBloc forces. This time they brought the cynosural beacon near the Machariel fleet, still hammering away at the second planetary customs office’s shields. When the ship carrying the beacon reached 40 kilometers from the ProviBloc dreadnoughts, it lit up, allowing the three force auxiliaries through. Once the force auxiliaries hit the grid, one of them lit a secondary beacon to enable the No Handlebars subcapitals and dreadnoughts through. The fight was on.
ProviBloc spent little time and lit a cynosural beacon in return, bringing forth the rest of its dreadnoughts. The battle quickly devolved into a close range dreadnought exchange as both sides focused their firepower on the hostile dreadnoughts.
The first exchanges proved brutal for Providence Bloc, overwhelmed by the number of No Handlebars’ dreadnoughts which had the clear advantage in numbers. Still, the coalition was able to take down one of the force auxiliaries and a couple of dreadnoughts in return, though losing nearly half its dreadnoughts in the process. It was at this point that No Handlebars received unlikely reinforcements in the form of Shadow Cartel [SHDWC].
Shadow Cartel, now alerted to the fighting, quickly formed a 25 pilot capital force which included 15 dreadnoughts, two force auxiliaries, and seven combat carriers. The fleet got in contact with No Handlebars, and the two alliances agreed to cooperate against ProviBloc. Shadow Cartel secured a cynosural beacon on top of the remaining Providence Bloc dreadnoughts and lit it. The Shadow Cartel capital force jumped on to the field. The dreadnoughts entered siege cycles immediately and opened fire at point-blank range on the ProviBloc dreadnoughts.
With Shadow Cartel taking the field, Providence Bloc was utterly overwhelmed. Dreadnoughts caved into the relentless barrage at a breakneck pace, forcing Providence Bloc commanders to order the remaining dreadnoughts to exit their siege cycles and attempt to extract. Only one dreadnought managed to escape the slaughter, the rest of the capital force going down in the fight, though managing to take three more No Handlebars\Shadow Cartel dreadnoughts with it. With the dreadnoughts destroyed, the Machariel fleet which remained at a long-range throughout the fight assisting them with its artillery barrages, chose to withdraw. The battleships warped off, conceding the field to Shadow Cartel and No Handlebars.
With the fight over, Shadow Cartel withdrew as well, leaving No Handlebars to loot the field. Once they picked the field clean, the alliance extracted as well, ending the fighting for the day.
Battle report for the Sosala system can be found here.
All told the battle on its two parts lasted 14 minutes with Time Dilation not reported and the system hosting an estimated 200 players at the peak of the fighting.
Providence Bloc lost 21 ships in the fight, including 19 dreadnoughts and a force auxiliary for 56.75 billion ISK damage.
No Handlebars lost 13 ships in battle, including 5 dreadnoughts, 1 force auxiliary and 5 battleships for a total of 18.71 billion ISK damage.
Shadow Cartel lost 1 dreadnought for a sum total of 4.3 billion ISK damage.
Featured image credit: Razorien