Hothomouth system, Derelik region. On the 6th of April at 19:53 EVE Standard time, RekkingCrew (RC) and Providence Bloc clashed in the system.
The long-standing animosity between the two regional players once again boiled into open warfare when RC chose to reinforce a Fortizar citadel belonging to Providence Bloc in the Hothomouth system, hoping to provoke a fight with the coalition. With the citadel set to exit its second and final reinforcement timer on the evening of April 6th, both sides prepared for a major clash.
RC, together with Shadow Cartel [SHDWC], managed to form a 160-pilot Machariel battleship fleet. These forces also had a squadron of dreadnoughts and several force auxiliaries waiting in reserve for a possible escalation. The fleet assembled in range of the system and waited on a titan for Providence Bloc forces to arrive. Further reinforcements were secured in the form of a 211-pilot Pandemic Horde [REKTD] Muninn heavy assault cruiser fleet which waited on a wormhole connection to the system itself for a signal to enter.
Providence Bloc had prepared its own forces, gathering 160 pilots in a Machariel fleet of its own. The force had also unexpectedly received the aid of The Initiative. [INIT.] and Snuffed Out [B B C], both alliances having their own axes to grind with RC and Pandemic Horde. The Initiative had a 90-pilot Muninn fleet while Snuffed Out had 90 pilots in Legion strategic cruisers with several dreadnought squadrons. Both fleets waited for Providence Bloc to engage before committing themselves.
As the citadel exited its reinforcement cycle and became vulnerable, neither side took to the field. Eventually, RC decided to try and force Providence Bloc to appear by bringing in a lone dreadnought to the Fortizar. The capital ship entered its siege cycle and opened fire on the structure, slowly grinding down its hull. Providence Bloc responded by lighting a cynosural beacon near the dreadnought and bridging in its Machariel fleet. Before the battleships could target the ship, a second cynosural beacon lit up 100 kilometers away from them, heralding the RC/Shadow Cartel Machariel fleet’s arrival.
The two Machariel fleets squared off, exchanging a few barrages with each side losing a single mainline ship before Providence Bloc chose to disengage. Its Machariel fleet quickly warped to a perch above the field. RC/Shadow Cartel chose to use the opportunity to bring in a couple force auxiliaries as well as anchor cynosural inhibitors to make sure Providence Bloc and its allies wouldn’t be able to jump in capitals on top of its fleet.
Providence Bloc remained at its perch for a long time, watching RC/Shadow Cartel forces setting up near the Fortizar. The coalition wasn’t idle however. It had scouted the wormhole entrance for RC/Shadow Cartel’s reinforcements and after probing it, lit a cynosural beacon on the WH opening and jumped in three combat carriers. The combat carriers immediately jumped through the wormhole, uncloaking amid the surprised Pandemic Horde fleet. The heavy assault cruisers quickly dispatched the ships, but they had served their purpose. The mass of the combat carriers was enough to destabilize the wormhole, causing it to collapse and cutting RC/Shadow Cartel’s reinforcements.
Having dealt with RC/Shadow Cartel’s reinforcements, Providence Bloc decided to commit again. It gave the signal for The Initiative and Snuffed Out to join the fray. The Machariel fleet warped to the RC/Shadow Cartel fleet as Init. jumped into the system and warped at medium range of the battleships while Snuffed Out bridged its fleet at a station on the grid before warping close to the RC/Shadow Cartel force. The fight was on.
The RC/Shadow Cartel Machariels, fitted with artillery cannons, were able to volley their hostile counterparts, taking down a ship with each barrage. Providence Bloc though was more than able to repay the losses, its battleships fitted with autocannons that chewed through the armor of their sister ships. Thus the two sides kept trading back and forth, neither fleet managing to establish a clear and distinct lead.
The Initiative focused the artillery guns of its heavy assault cruisers on the RC/Shadow Cartel support ships, in particular its Guardian logistics cruisers, while Snuffed Out concentrated on removing the cynosural inhibitors. RC/Shadow Cartel’s force auxiliaries attempted to keep the structures alive, but the Legions had enough raw damage to chew through the repair cycles and destroy them. Once destroyed, Providence Bloc and Snuffed Out used the opportunity to bring in a couple of force auxiliaries of their own as well as a squadron of high angle weapon dreadnoughts. These ships materialized on the battlefield, entered their siege cycles and started targeting RC/Shadow Cartel battleships.
RC/Shadow Cartel reacted quickly, bringing a couple more force auxiliaries in order to deal with the damage output of the dreadnoughts. At this point Providence Bloc decided to get rid of the RC/Shadow Cartel force auxiliaries, bringing in a whole squadron of dreadnoughts to remove them. These dreadnoughts jumped in near the RC/Shadow Cartel force auxiliaries and opened fire, blasting them at close range. RC/Shadow Cartel responded, bringing in its own dreadnought reserves. The RC/Shadow Cartel dreadnoughts entered the field, activated their siege cycles and blasted their hostile counterparts. The battle had officially become a capital brawl.
Seeing this, Snuffed Out brought in the remainder of its dreadnought reserves to the field to combat RC/Shadow Cartel’s. These dreadnoughts reinforced Providence Bloc’s, which already had a slight numerical edge over RC/Shadow Cartel. Together, the Providence Bloc/Snuffed Out dreadnoughts quickly dispatched their hostile counterparts, only losing a couple in the exchange.
At this point things were going badly for the RC/Shadow Cartel Machariel fleet as well. Pummeled on all sides by Providence Bloc, Snuffed Out and The Initiative, it was losing mainline and support ships at a rapid pace. While still managing to inflict losses on Providence Bloc, it was suffering many more in return. With Providence Bloc/Snuffed Out achieving capital dominance and quickly destroying its force auxiliaries, the joint Machariel fleet had no choice but to concede the field. RC/Shadow Cartel beat a hasty retreat, leaving Providence Bloc and its allies to hold the field.
During this the Fortizar, no longer receiving damage, initiated self repairs. It was able to fix its hull, armor and recharge its shields, thus securing the objective for Providence Bloc. With both the battle and the objective won, Providence Bloc and its allies extracted their capital assets and departed the system, bringing an end to the fighting.
The battle report for the Hothomouth system can be found here.
All told, the battle raged for 31 minutes with Time Dilation reported reaching peaks of around 40% and remaining around there for portions of the fight. The system hosted an estimated 500 pilots at the height of the fighting.
RC and Shadow Cartel lost a combined 68 ships including 10 dreadnoughts, 4 force auxiliaries, 2 combat carriers and 31 battleships for a total of 63.55 billion ISK damage.
Providence Bloc, The Initiative and Snuffed Out lost a combined 36 ships, including 2 dreadnoughts, 3 combat carriers, 24 battleships and 1 strategic cruiser for a total of 24.58 billion ISK damage.
Featured image credit: razorien