Writer’s Note: Fractal Industries [FRAID], the owner of the super carriers, was reached for comment but due to language barrier and time zone differences, none could be obtained by the time of the article’s publishing.
5ED-4E system, Cobalt Edge region. On the 13th of April at 16:39 EVE Standard Time, a battle took place in the system which would result in the destruction of seven super carriers.
The battle started when Russian Thunder Squad [RTSQ] and WE FORM V0LTA [GLHF] were busy rolling wormholes (the act of collapsing wormholes to generate new ones) in their home system of Thera in order to find good regions to roam. One such wormhole connection opened five systems away from 5ED-4E. Russian Thunder Squad was familiar with the system, and though skeptical of their chances, decided to send scouts regardless to try to nab some of the super carriers that were known to farm anomalies in it.
One such scout in an interdictor managed to warp on top of a Hard Knocks Associates [HKASS] Hel super carrier in an anomaly and tackle it. Russian Thunder Squad and WE FORM V0LTA quickly formed a 50 pilot Drekavac battlecruiser fleet while streaming in more interdictors to help hold tackle as well as contacting Pandemic Legion [-10.0] for more reinforcements.
Hard Knocks Associates responded by bringing in four more super carriers to aid the tackled ship. For 10 long minutes, Russian Thunder Squad/WE FORM V0LTA interdictors fought hard to keep not just the Hel tackled, but its reinforcements, a task which proved difficult considering the ships’ fitting. The super carriers had smartbombs and micro warp drives fitted, allowing them to destroy the interdiction probes or, at worst, quickly exit their sphere of influence thanks to their speed.
Regardless, the interdictors persisted and managed to keep most of the ships tackled even as more super carriers kept piling in, reaching 11 by the time the main fleet arrived. Once in the system, the Drekavac fleet warped to the anomaly and opened fire on the Hel, slowly bringing it down. To expedite matters, several members of the fleet brought their own super capitals to the system, further bolstering the Drekavac fleet with three super carriers which had their own flights of fighter bombers.
However this wasn’t a simple gank, as the Hard Knocks Associates’ super carriers made things quite difficult for the Drekavac fleet. Besides engaging the hostile fighter bombers in space superiority battles, negating some of their firepower, they also attacked the battlecruisers directly. This forced the ships again and again to divert attention to fighter bombers from the super carriers themselves. Not to mention in the meantime, interdictors were being destroyed left and right.
The Drekavac fleet persisted and managed to bring the Hel went down, turning its attention to the other super carriers. A Nyx super carrier was dispatched a few minutes later, yet by that point, Hard Knocks Associates managed to extract all of their super carriers except a lone Nyx.
Before the Drekavac fleet could destroy the ship, Hard Knocks Associates decided to return to the field again, bringing back its super carrier squadron as well as a force auxiliary, a few combat carriers and some assorted sub capitals in tow.
Thus the fighting continued, the Drekavac fleet destroying the second Nyx then working to tackle and destroy its rescuers. The fleet focused its attention on the super carriers’ escorts, bringing down a combat carrier, assorted sub capitals and thinning the ranks of fighter bombers which kept exacting a toll on its interdictors. When it started working on the third tackled Nyx, reinforcements arrived in the form of a Pandemic Legion Muninn heavy assault cruiser fleet.
Pandemic Legion had been contacted by the Drekavac fleet before, but had been busy with its own fleet operations. Once they were done, its fleet commander decided to see if any of their pilots were willing to form again for the ongoing fight in 5ED-4E. 80 pilots did, quickly forming the Muninn fleet and traveling to the system with haste. Once inside, the force warped to the grid and aided the Drekavac fleet in tackling and killing the super carriers which once again were drifting away.
With Pandemic Legion reinforcing it, the Drekavac fleet decided to pull back its super capitals. The three super carriers quickly extracted from the system, leaving just the sub capitals to deal with the Hard Knocks Associates’ fleet.
With the third Nyx destroyed, a new fleet arrived on grid. Space Violence (SV), an Imperium special interest group (SIG) had deployed to the Venal region in order to harass hostile rental empires as well as wage a campaign of disruption on Imperium enemies such as Pandemic Horde [REKTD], Northern Coalition. [NC] and even Pandemic Legion itself. Its scouts had spotted the commotion in 5ED-4E but with the group preoccupied with another operation, disregarded it. However, having finished its own fight and with the battle still raging on in 5ED-4E, it decided to form up as well and join in as a third party. Thus a 110 pilot Loki strategic cruiser fleet was formed and burned to the system, bridging in. Once inside, it wasted little time and warped into the fight.
The addition of the Loki fleet complicated things further. Already working hard to tackle and destroy the super carriers which were determined to escape, the animosity between Pandemic Legion and the Imperium put further strain on things. The two entities have a long and contentious history, not to mention a complete lack of trust in each other. This resulted in both the Muninn and Loki fleets exchanging fire, the Muninn fleet targeting some of the stealth bombers that accompanied the strategic cruisers which drifted too close to it for comfort. The Loki fleet retaliated by firing on Pandemic Legion interdictors. It took a few minutes for Russian Thunder Squad/WE FORM V0LTA to broker a truce between the two sides so they could all concentrate on the super carriers.
With the diplomatic incident resolved, all three fleets could focus on chasing and dispatching the super carriers which kept trying to escape. An Aeon super carrier became the fleets’ next target, followed by a fourth and a fifth Nyx. Hard Knocks Associates managed to escape with the rest of their super carriers, leaving only a Nyx once again as the last tackled ship. With the armor of the Nyx nearly gone and no more Hard Knocks Associates’ super carriers present on the battlefield, the Loki fleet took its leave, preferring not to remain with Pandemic Legion on the grid with no other targets present.
Thus the Drekavac and Muninn fleet dispatched the last super carrier, at which point the Muninn fleet also extracted, leaving the Drekavac fleet to loot the wrecks. The Drekavac fleet salvaged what it could of the battlefield, having already extracted its super carriers when Pandemic Legion arrived. Once done, the fleet retreated back to Thera, leaving a field of wrecks behind it.
Battle report for the 5ED-4E system can be found here.
All told the battle lasted 74 minutes with the system hosting an estimated 280 pilots at the peak of the fighting. Time Dilation was not reported by participants.
Hard Knocks Associates lost 27 ships including 7 super carriers, 2 force auxiliaries and a combat carrier for a total of 165.64 billion ISK damage.
Russian Thunder Squad/WE FORM V0LTA lost 61 ships in the fighting, including 6 battlecruisers and 51(!) interdictors, for a total of 8.61 billion ISK damage.
Pandemic Legion/Space Violence lost a combined 20 ships, mostly due to “friendly fire” for a total of 1.31 billion ISK damage.
The various fleet commanders wished to commend the following pilots in the article: Samosaga Ludis, Jaegarn and Zungen from the Space Violence side and Ownsta Prime, Kondorssonsson for initial tackle and Flores Negras and ze steiw for helping to hold tackle from the WE FORM V0LTA side.