Gonditsa system, Genesis region. On the 14th of March at 14:05 EVE Standard Time, a capital battle took place over the Bherdasopt gate.
The battle was fought between LowSechnaya Sholupen [-LSH-] and Infinity Avenger [AVDOT] as the two groups clash over supremacy in the region. LowSechnaya Sholupen is a well known Russian alliance who has been terrorizing the area for years, operating some of the longest standing and most successful super capital hunting teams. Its regional capital and super capital supremacy had rarely been disputed.
However, in recent weeks Shoot First. [SFAQL] and various allies have been trying to undermine this control in a series of battles in and around the region with mixed results. This time, with aid from Infinity Avenger, Shoot First prepared to challenge that hegemony again. The two alliances assembled an estimated 40 pilot Machariel battleship fleet with some capital support, while keeping a dreadnought wing in reserve. The fleet was set to try and bait LowSechnaya Sholupen into engaging it by attempting to tackle LowSechnaya Sholupen assets in range.
LowSechnaya Sholupen were not blind to this, having spotted the capital build up, in particular, noting Infinity Avenger moving their dreadnoughts into range. Thus, the alliance – alongside their allies White Sky. [W.SKY] – set to bait Infinity Avenger. The two alliances pooled 60 pilots, mostly in dreadnoughts, and had a combat carrier equip a cynosural generator before warping to the Bherdasopt gate and pretending to camp it. LowSechnaya Sholupen hoped Infinity Avenger would take the bait.
Infinity Avenger did indeed spot the combat carrier and quickly tackled it, at which point the combat carrier lit its cynosural beacon and brought in a couple of force auxiliaries and a few dreadnoughts to further provoke Infinity Avenger. The alliance decided to take the bait and escalated with a couple of force auxiliaries and dreadnoughts of its own. The two sides quickly settled into a capital brawl as their dreadnoughts entered siege cycles and started exchanging fire.
At this point, LowSechnaya Sholupen brought in their entire dreadnought force. However, as the reinforcements materialized on the field, many of them bumped away, causing a good chunk of the dreadnoughts to sail away from the center of the engagement, thus negating some of their firepower due to weapon fall off. Worse yet, Infinity Avenger and Shoot First responded in kind, bringing more and more dreadnoughts to the field. With the Machariel fleet present, they had the advantage both in numbers and overall firepower.
As the two sides traded blows, LowSechnaya Sholupen attempted to even the field by deploying a squadron of super carriers. The ships materialized 70 kilometers from the fight epicenter, deployed fighter bombers and targeted hostile dreadnoughts. Infinity Avenger and Shoot First quickly reacted to this by bringing in heavy interdictors to try and tackle some of the ships but kept its focus on winning the dreadnought brawl.
The super carriers were forced to routinely clear the heavy interdictors from the field, which kept some of their fighter bombers from engaging the dreadnoughts. In the dreadnought exchange itself, LowSechnaya Sholupen was faring badly. Already having issues due to bumping, as losses mounted so did Infinity Avenger/Shoot First’s overall advantage. With more LowSechnaya Sholupen dreadnoughts brought down, the Infinity Avenger/Shoot First fleet was asserting greater control of the grid.
For ten minutes, the two sides continued to slug it out in an all out brawl, but eventually Infinity Avenger/Shoot First emerged as the winner. With most of their dreadnoughts gone, LowSechnaya Sholupen knew their super carriers would be next on the chopping block. Thus the decision was made to warp their super carriers off the field. However the constant Infinity Avenger/Shoot First re-shipping of heavy interdictors finally succeeded in tackling and holding down one of LowSechnaya Sholupen super carriers, a Nyx.
With the super carrier tackled out of the range of the surviving Infinity Avenger/Shoot First dreadnoughts, the decision was made for the survivors to exit siege cycles and warp out and back again on the tackled super carrier to dispatch it. This gave LowSechnaya Sholupen some time to try and mount a rescue of the ship. A few force auxiliaries and combat carriers were hastily assembled to try and free the ship. However, the alliance didn’t have a cynosural beacon in place. The battle had become a race to see if LowSechnaya Sholupen could light the cynosural beacon before Infinity Avenger/Shoot First dreadnoughts got into position and destroyed the tackled ship.
A cynosural beacon was finally lit next to the tackled ship, but it was too late. A handful of combat carriers and force auxiliaries materialized next to the stricken ship only to witness its destruction. Those rescue ships ended up as further casualties, only a few managing to escape the slaughter.
By this point, LowSechnaya Sholupen realized the fight was lost and retreated with their remaining ships. Infinity Avenger/Shoot First in the meantime asserted their control of the gate, hunting down and tackling whatever they could and dispatching the few remaining stragglers. Once the grid had been cleared, they extracted their surviving dreadnoughts before withdrawing themselves, bringing an end to hostilities.
The battlefield by the end of the fighting, picture taken by Shoot First.
Battle report for the Gonditsa system can be found here.
All told the battle lasted 28 minutes with Time Dilation not reported and the system itself hosting an estimated 150 pilots at the peak of the fighting.
LowSechnaya Sholupen lost 56 ships in the fighting, including a super carrier, 36 dreadnoughts, 3 force auxiliaries and 5 combat carriers for a total of 144.16 billion ISK damage.
Infinity Avenger and Shoot First lost a combined 37 ships including 24 dreadnoughts, 4 force auxiliaries and 1 combat carrier for a total of 70.08 billion ISK damage.
Featured image credit: Razorien