Header art by Elthar Nox
WinterCo and Snuffed Out continued their escalation with another huge engagement, this time in the system of Otsasai in Lonetrek. The fight started over an Azbel timer and exploded rapidly, with FRT deploying 39 Titans, 77 Supers and 99 Dreads against 112 Dreads from Snuffed Out and WE FORM V0LTA. Although hugely outnumbered (once again), SNUFF were supported by friends from The Initiative, V0LTA and Nisuwa Cartel. The Battle report shows Fraternity winning the ISK war, with 510bn killed to 386bn lost.
This fight follows a series of battles involving Fraternity, the growing nullsec superpower and Snuffed Out, New Eden’s lowsec pirate powerhouse. Snuffed, having deployed north into The Forge, have been harassing FRT mining and ratting operations throughout Vale of the Silent and Tribute. There have been a series of great fights so far: the two most noteworthy saw Snuffed win an 800bn fight over a POCO and FRT win a 300bn dread brawl a week prior.
Tonight’s battle began over the armor timer on an FRT Azbel. Snuffed – forming Tempest Fleet Issues, Bhaalgorns and Nestors – were reffing the structure, knowing that WinterCo were prepared to respond. Early reports indicate that a portion of the TFIs were booshed away from the main group and set upon by the infamous FRT Muninn response fleet at close range. Fraternity also counter-dropped with supers. At this point, The Initiative – with 50 Kikimoras hidden in a wormhole – entered the fray, along with a large group of Revelations from Snuffed and Naglfars from V0LTA.
Then, the scale of the fight multiplied. Titans cyno’d in from Fraternity’s CNTZ, which had been formed under a CTA ping. However, this initially did not turn the tide of the battle. Two Hels were destroyed in two minutes, then some Naglfars. V0LTA then joined the fight with their Nags and between them it was the turn of the FRT Titans. The combined Snuff, V0LTA, and INIT fleets primaried the Erebus belonging to Killing SpreE yaxin, which was destroyed quickly. Two more Titans fell within the next ten minutes.
However, the sheer numbers of WinterCo started to take their eventual toll. The Snuffed Dreads were dying at a rapid rate, despite their heavily implanted pods. The defenders had noted that Snuffed were keen to engage in the systems local to their staging, as FRT had lacked large amounts of tackle in their subcap fleets, but the lesson had been learnt. Non-CNTZ pilots from WinterCo were told to enter the fray in any tackle ship available. Clearly drawing inspiration from the Minmatar Foundation Trailer, a huge number of Slashers zoomed around the battlefield, holding down Snuffed Dreads as the call to withdraw was given.
INIT FC Pando, who was streaming, set about clearing this tackle with his Kikimora fleet. Despite dwindling numbers, INIT managed to kill around a third of the frigates, which enabled Snuffed Out to pull back, leaving only a few remaining Dreads to meet their inevitable fate. All capitals were killed in a 30-minute window, once again highlighting the will to commit to fights from both parties and also the lethality of lowsec.
WinterCo gave a short BR ping stating, “SNUFF/V0LTA have been well and truly punished – trading 3 titans, 2 supers and 14 dreads in exchange for 68 dreads and 5 fax.” But despite the favorable battle report, FRT’s titan losses show a pre-industry value of about 90bn. With the true value nearly double that, at around 150-200bn, the fight looks more like a draw. However, Snuffed Out were unable to execute their modus operandi of destroying wrecks and denying FRT the ability to loot the field. Reports state that they were able to salvage around 250bn of assets from the aftermath.
Hy Wanto from Snuffed Out has often stated that the long range HAC meta that persisted throughout the Beeitnam War denied the opportunity for large fleets to engage in huge fights. His theory has once again proven correct, as another lowsec brawl eclipsed almost all but M2-XFE in terms of scale. Fraternity CEO Noraus has commented recently that their on-going struggles with Snuffed Out will set the benchmark for their coalition’s ambitions for the future. The predominantly CNTZ alliance must learn lessons from these engagements and learn them quickly if they are to prevail in this conflict. When approached for comment, Snuffed Out representative Troffel stated, “leave me alone weird guy.”