Schoorasana system, Sinq Laison region. In the early hours of the 1st of June, Snuffed Out [B B C] and allies clashed violently with Shoot First. [SFQAL] and its supporters in what turned out to be a bloody battle.
The battle was ignited by Snuffed Out. The alliance decided to reinforce Shoot First’s staging Fortizar citadel in the system in order to draw a fight. With a timer set for the early hours of the 1st of June, Snuffed Out contacted its allies to form a Machariel battleship fleet to assault the citadel. Pen Is Out [WANGS] and Infinity Avenger [AVDOT] supplied pilots to the fleet with The Initiative. [INIT.] also helping with supplying dreadnoughts. Thus Snuffed Out ended with 220 pilot fleet with a force auxiliary in reserve as well as 90 dreadnoughts.
Shoot First wasn’t sitting idle either and called allies from throughout New Eden. Siege Green. [SGGRN] answered the call, the two forming nearly a full fleet (256 pilots) of Machariels as well, with Iron Armada [FLEET] also supplying pilots to it in Leshak battleships and dreadnoughts. Providence Bloc also agreed to help, bringing an estimated 60 pilot Muninn heavy assault cruiser fleet. Together, the defenders also pooled 70 dreadnoughts for potential escalation, not to mention a squadron of force auxiliaries to augment their logistics wings once the fighting began.
The defenders set up on the Fortizar, waiting for Snuffed Out to arrive. Snuffed Out and its allies bridged to the system on a friendly citadel. Once the sub capital fleet had gathered, it warped at long range (around 300 kilometers from the citadel) and brought in a Phoenix dreadnought to bash the structure from relative safety, as even a well equipped and manned citadel would have difficulty taking down a dreadnought at such a distance.
With the structure vulnerable, its armor slowly chipped away by the missile barrage of the Phoenix, Shoot First decided to answer with four dreadnoughts of its own which were fitted for long range warfare. These dreadnoughts warped to the structure and started hitting the Phoenix. However Shoot First would not move away from the Fortizar, preferring not to give up the advantage its weapon systems and electronic warfare capabilities conferred.
Seeing this, Snuffed Out decided to refit its fleet for close range warfare and warped its fleet to a perch above the field to do so. Once its battleships were ready, it warped to the hostile dreadnoughts and lit a cynosural beacon, dropping a whole squadron (10 pilots) of dreadnoughts on the enemy. Shoot First quickly responded by bringing the rest of its capital reserve to counter this, prompting Snuffed Out to do the same. The battle had begun.
Nearly 170 dreadnoughts materialized on the field, entered siege cycles and started targeting each other. The sub capital fleets quickly joined in with their firepower, keeping medium range (around 60 kilometers) from each other as they targeted hostile dreadnoughts.
Shoot First targeted focused on the Naglfar hulls in the Snuffed Out fleet which were brought down one after the other. Yet each Naglfar brought down was often paid for by several Shoot First dreadnoughts, the alliance and its allies trading between three to five dreadnoughts for each one they brought down. Already at a slight numerical disadvantage in the capital department, even with the advantage of the Fortizar, the defenders were quickly losing their capital force to the attackers which fully pushed their advantage.
As the capital brawl was going badly for Shoot First, the sub capital fleets began trading blows, Machariel battleships volleyed off the field from either side, though both fleets seemed to trade quite evenly. That said, both sub capital fleets brought in force auxiliaries to help cope with the tremendous firepower on the field, the ships becoming further casualties in the dreadnought brawl as both sides sought to eliminate them from the field.
A third party appeared in the form of a Did he say Jump [DHSJ] 42 pilot Machariel fleet. The corporation had learned of the timer and decided to act as a third party, bringing an artillery configuration to hit both sides from relative safety. The battleships landed around 150 kilometers from the warring factions and started targeting random dreadnoughts. However before they could get comfortable, Providence Bloc swarmed the battleships.
The Muninn fleet had been hovering above the field and spotting the smaller fleet decided to engage it, burning into the battleships in an attempt to negate the artillery cannons’ tracking. Did he say Jump tried to pull away from the heavy assault cruisers, all the while peppering them with fire. The battleships targeted in particular the Providence Bloc support squadron, volleying a few of the force recon cruisers and forcing Providence Bloc to disengage.
With Providence Bloc moving away and keeping a respectable distance, Did he say Jump returned its attention to the main fight. By that point Snuffed Out had triumphed over Shoot First’s capital force, the majority of its dreadnoughts surviving the brawl while most of Shoot First’s armada was destroyed. However, keeping the ships on a hostile citadel fitted with anti capital armaments would be senseless. Thus the decision was made for all surviving dreadnoughts to jump out the moment their siege cycles ended, the pilots having injected cap boosters during the battle to regain enough energy to execute a jump.
Dreadnought after dreadnought jumped out of the system, leaving the battleship fleets to duke it out between themselves. Snuffed Out and Shoot First continued to exchange fire at medium range, trading mainline ships with neither side achieving a clear advantage. However Shoot First had a clear numerical superiority and the Fortizar on its side. Whatsmore, Did he say Jump started targeting the Snuffed Out battleships, further contributing to losses. With the Snuffed Out fleet commander brought down in the fire exchange, the alliance decided to withdraw its sub capital fleet as well as the bulk of its capital force had already extracted.
The Snuffed Out Machariel fleet warped off the field, allowing Shoot First to snatch any stragglers and dispose of them without contest. Shoot First and Providence Bloc used the opportunity to snag as many dreadnoughts that remained on the field, either due to lack of the energy needed to execute a jump or exiting siege cycle late. The Shoot First and Providence Bloc fleets swarmed the tackled ships, while Did he say Jump attempted to use the opportunity to grab a few more kills.
Without Snuffed Out on the field, Did he say Jump found it extremely difficult to break the mainline ships of Shoot First. After a few attempts and with the number of remaining dreadnoughts on the field growing alarmingly small, Did he say Jump decided to withdraw as well rather than become the main focus of the defending fleets.
This left Shoot First and Providence Bloc in control of the field. Dispatching the last stragglers, Providence Bloc took its leave, allowing Shoot First to loot the field. With Snuffed Out gone, the citadel was able to initiate self repairs and restore its armor and shields, securing the objective as well for the defenders. Thus the battle came to an end.
The battle from the perspective of the Did he say Jump fleet
The battle from the perspective of the Snuffed Out/Pen Is Out/Infinity Avenger/The Initiative fleet
Battle report for the Schoorasana system can be found here.
All told the battle lasted 29 minutes with Time Dilation being noticeable and reaching approximately 50% at one point, though subsiding near the end of the fight. The system itself hosted 560 pilots at the peak of the fighting.
Snuffed Out, Infinity Avenger, Pen Is Out and The Initiative lost a combined 53 ships including 26 dreadnoughts, 1 force auxiliary and 16 battleships for a total of 96.46 billion ISK damage.
Shoot First, Siege Green, Iron Armada and Providence Bloc lost a combined 101 ships including 51 dreadnoughts, 8 force auxiliaries, 1 combat carrier, 12 battleships and 3 heavy assault cruisers for a total of 160.45 billion ISK damage.
Did he say Jump lost 2 ships, including 1 battleship for a total of 0.47 billion ISK.