The battle began with a Shadow Cartel Zealot heavy assault cruiser roam. The alliance had a 20 pilot fleet which used a wormhole to gain access to another region. Upon the roam’s conclusion, the alliance headed back to its new staging system of Auga in Heimatar.
No Handlebars was aware of the gang’s location and formed a similar sized fleet of Sacrilege heavy assault cruisers to fight it. Knowing the location of the wormhole and the most probable route of return, the alliance set out to camp the Dal gate in Auga to wait for Shadow Cartel’s return. Shadow Cartel discovered the gate camp and set up on the other side, not jumping through. After a few tense moments, No Handlebars decided to jump in and brawl the Zealot fleet.
The two heavy assault cruiser gangs fought each other at close range on the Auga gate in Dal. The two fleets maneuvered around one another to maintain optimal range. Pulse lasers and missile batteries exchanging fire. For a while, no side was able to break the armor tank of the other. However No Handlebars used command destroys to teleport the Shadow Cartel logistics wing away from the fleet’s main body. Deprived of their logistics, the Zealots proved far less formidable and succumbed to the missile barrages.
Suffering losses, Shadow Cartel decided to bring in a Naglfar dreadnought equipped with high angle weapons to break the tank of the Sacrilege fleet. With the addition of the Naglfar’s guns to the fray, No Handlebars found itself under heavy pressure, but kept fighting regardless. The alliance was still able to inflict losses on Shadow Cartel, targeting its logistics wing and even managing to destroy a couple of its Guardian logistics cruisers.
With its logistics wing taking a hit and bleeding mainline ships, Shadow Cartel sought to escalate things even further. Two force auxiliaries and several combat carriers joined the fleet and prepared to deploy to the fight. Shadow Cartel then lit a cynosural beacon and the capital ships materialized on field. With the combat carriers and force auxiliaries in, Shadow Cartel was able to tank the incoming damage. The combat carriers for their part launched fighters against the Sacrilege fleet, destroying a couple of its main ships with concentrated volleys.
No Handlebars realized it would be unable to hold the field much longer and brought in two force auxiliaries of its own to compensate. It also made a call for more pilots to log in and get in dreadnoughts, suspecting further escalation on Shadow Cartel’s part. Scouts were already reporting dreadnoughts un-docking from its Fortizar citadel in Auga. The two force auxiliaries materialized on the field and went to work, entering triage cycles, when Shadow Cartel dropped the hammer.
Shadow Cartel prepared a squadron of dreadnoughts and brought it to the field. The dreadnoughts landed, entered siege cycles and targeted the No Handlebars force auxiliaries. The first force auxiliary was obliterated before No Handlebars could react. Yet before Shadow Cartel could celebrate, No Handlebars brought in its reinforcements. Two squadrons of dreadnoughts had organized in the meantime and given the word, jumped to the still lit cynosural beacon to reinforce their Sacrilege fleet. The No Handlebars dreadnoughts hit the grid, entered their own siege cycles and opened fire on their hostile counterparts. The battle had developed into a dreadnought brawl.
Both sides focused on each other’s dreadnoughts, but it became swiftly apparent that No Handlebars had the upper hand both in numbers and firepower. Its dreadnought force demolished Shadow Cartel’s, only losing a single dreadnought in return. With the dreadnoughts gone, No Handlebars switched its focus to the combat carriers.
At this point other fleets began filtering into the system. Ushra’Khan [UNITY], a long time resident of the area, brought a frigate gang to aid No Handlebars in tackling Shadow Cartel ships. Providence Bloc, which also had eyes in the system, flash formed a Machariel battleship fleet and hurried it over, contacting No Handlebars for a temporary truce.
Shadow Cartel realized the fight was over and attempted to extract its remaining capital ships. Most of their combat carriers and force auxiliaries managed to warp off the field, except for a couple which the No Handlebars dreadnoughts destroyed. Next came the turn of the Zealot fleet which remained in the fight, clearing tackle off its capital ships. The No Handlebars dreadnoughts spread energy neutralizers across the logistics wing of Shadow Cartel, shutting down most of the Guardian logistics cruisers, rendering them useless.
Without their logistics wing, the heavy assault cruisers were easily cut down by the combined force of No Handlebars, Ushra’Khan and Providence Bloc. With its remaining capitals safe, the Zealot fleet warped off as well, leaving tackled ships behind to be destroyed. With Shadow Cartel gone, both Ushra’Khan and Providence Bloc departed as well, leaving No Handlebars in command of the field.
With the battle won, No Handlebars set about looting the field and salvaging what it could while extracting its capital assets. With its capital ships secure, the rest of the fleet followed suit, bringing an end to the fighting.
Battle report for the Dal system can be found here.
All told the battle 23 minutes with Time Dilation not reported and the system hosting an estimated 150 pilots at the peak of the fighting.
Shadow Cartel suffered the brunt of the losses, 35 including 9 dreadnoughts, 1 force auxiliary, 1 combat carrier and 6 heavy assault cruisers for a total of 43.47 billion ISK damage.
No Handlebars lost 8 ships including 1 dreadnought, 2 force auxiliaries and 2 heavy assault cruisers for a total of 8.84 billion ISK damage.
Featured image credit: Razorien