V-JCJS system, Malpais region. On the 23rd of July at 15:28 EVE Standard Time, Snuffed Out [B B C] forces ambushed the Ghost Legion. [GL], Brothers of Tangra [B0T], and No Value [-X3-] supercapital force in the system.
Snuffed Out forces received intelligence that five titans were spotted reinforcing a Blood Raiders Sotiyo engineering complex in the system. The alliance also knew that the system had a cynosural jammer installed and active, meaning conventional fleets and capital ships could not jump directly to the system. Regardless, Snuffed Out ran locator agents to find the whereabouts of the titan pilots, discovering they had all left the system.
Snuffed Out fleet commanders reasoned that the titans would have to jump into the system for the last timer of the Sotiyo rather than risk traveling through gates. This manouevre meant they’ll have to “cycle” the cynosural jammer (taking the module offline then immediately turning it online which takes half an hour) to jump through. Thus, noting when the Sotiyo was set to exit its invulnerability timer, Snuffed Out forces began planning their operation.
Snuffed Out smuggled several interdictors into the system and logged off to supply initial tackle along with a cynosural beacon. All of this was done without Ghost Legion or any of its allies noticing. On the day of the operation, capital ships were moved within range of the system including combat carriers, dreadnoughts and force auxiliaries. A titan bridge was also secured for subcapital ships, in particular, heavy interdictors meant to hold down the supercapitals. Snuffed Out was ready. All that remained was to wait for Ghost Legion to appear.
Ghost Legion, for its part, prepared to destroy the Sotiyo. A mixed fleet of capitals and super capitals assembled, numbering 40 pilots and readied to jump into the system. Ghost Legion already anchored an Astrahus citadel on the same grid as the Sotiyo for safe tethering. Two more subcapital fleets, a 40 pilot Loki strategic cruiser fleet and a 20 pilot Hurricane battlecruiser fleet, formed up with the expressed mission of locating and collapsing wormholes around the system to avoid any interlopers disrupting the event.
With an hour left for the Sotiyo invulnerability timer, things began to move. Snuffed Out formed its fleet, gathering 90 pilots and brought its capital ships and subcapitals in place. All eyes were on the cynosural jammer. As expected, Ghost Legion cycled the module but didn’t jump right in. For 23 excruciating minutes, Snuffed Out fleet commanders waited with abetted breath for their targets to jump in.
With only 7 minutes left on the cynosural jammer’s activation timer, Ghost Legion lit its cynosural beacon near the Astrahus to let through its Sotiyo bashing force. Four titans, ten supercarriers and a squadron of dreadnoughts, combat carriers, and force auxiliaries, materialized on the field next to the citadel. It was at that moment that Snuffed Out sprung into action.
The Battle Begins
Interdictors quickly logged in and warped to the still-lit beacon, launching warp disruption probes and trapping the host of capitals and super capitals that were still unable to tether. Then the cynosural beacon lit up, and the entire Snuffed Out fleet jumped through. Dreadnoughts entered siege cycles immediately and targeted their hostile counterparts while combat carriers launched hosts of space superiority fighters to counter the fighter-bomber squadrons of the supercarriers. The subcapitals bridged in, the heavy interdictors attempting to pin down every super capital on the field while the Bhaalgorn battleships spread energy neutralizers.
Snuffed Out quickly got rid of the hostile dreadnoughts and focused its firepower on the Erebus titan. Stripped of its shields, it lost vast chunks of armor, but the Ghost Legion force auxiliaries on field saved it. Thus, Snuffed Out changed targets again, this time destroying half of the force auxiliaries before returning their attention to the Erebus. With the number of force auxiliaries halved, the dreadnoughts were able to overwhelm the titan and bring it down.
Ghost Legion wasn’t going to roll over. The alliance targeted the Snuffed Out dreadnoughts, bringing a few down but losing a lot of fighter-bombers in the process. The wormhole collapsing fleets burned to the system, jumping and warping to their tackled super capitals. Once landed, the strategic cruisers and battlecruisers targeted hostile fighters and interdictors to help extract their ships. Snuffed Out mostly ignored the subcapitals, focusing its attention on the bigger prey.
After Snuffed Out destroyed the first titan, they alternated between force auxiliaries and the other titans. In the meantime, Ghost Legion attempted to burn away from the dreadnoughts and the cover of warp disruption probes to warp out or jump to an emergency cynosural beacon. Slowly, a few of the supercarriers and one of the titans managed to do just that, but the two other titans weren’t so lucky and ultimately destroyed.
With the titans and force auxiliaries destroyed, came the supercarriers turn to be wiped out too. One by one the Nyx supercarriers went down alongside their smaller brethren. A fourth Nyx managed to tether to the citadel in time. This was thanks, in part, to the electronic warfare modules equipped by the ships which disrupted the lock of many of the hostiles, giving it the opportunity to clear its aggression timer and tether to the structure.
By then, most of the remaining Ghost Legion supercapitals managed to escape, leaving only the two subcapital fleets. With the supercapitals freed, the subcapital forces of Ghost Legion preferred to retreat rather than engage the combat carriers and dreadnoughts of Snuffed Out. The two fleets departed, suffering a few casualties in the process as Snuffed Out attempted to destroy them.
With Ghost Legion’s subcapital fleets gone, the grid was under the control of Snuffed Out. The alliance quickly looted the field before extracting its fleet, bringing an end to the fighting.
The battle from the perspective of the Snuffed Out fleet
Battle report for the V-JCJS system can be found here.
All told the battle lasted 22 minutes with Time Dilation not reported and the system hosting an estimated 200 pilots at the peak of the fighting.
Ghost Legion and its allies lost 35 ships in the fight including 3 titans, 3 supercarriers, 8 force auxiliaries, 8 combat carriers, 5 dreadnoughts and 2 strategic cruisers for a total of 419.72 billion ISK damage.
Snuffed Out lost 18 ships including 4 dreadnoughts, 1 force auxiliary and a battleship for a total of 18.17 billion ISK damage.
Fafer, the executor of Ghost Legion, made the following statement:
“We were preparing to do blood raider sotyo, but were dreadbombed on cynoing into the system. There were several mistakes made from our side, for which i took the responsibility. Congratulations to Snuff on well execution, they seem to have advanced much in their freedom of movement since the lowsec days of pl and nc coverage, so they finally get to enjoy a bit themselves.”
Featured image credit: Razorien