TRIBUTE Region: Saturday August 20. EVE Online saw the largest engagements of supercapitals in recent memory, since the historic fight in B-R. Pandemic Legion (PL) and Northern Coalition. (NC) with help from Triumvirate (TRI) which leads the Vanguard Coalition, attacked a supercapital shipyard belonging to Circle-of-Two (CO2). CO2 defended their base with help from allies TEST Alliance Please Ignore (TEST), Snuffed Out (B B C), Project.Mayhem. (16-13), and the Darkness, which leads its own coalition. The fighting peaked in SH1-6P, in the center CO2 sovereign space. In the end, over 2,500 pilots clashed for two hours, destroying well over 1 trillion ISK worth of ships. The attacking NC/PL took the objective, destroying the shipyard and 6 CO2 titans. Many more made it out safely.
Beneath the twisted wrecks that littered the debris field are pressing questions about shifting alliances and tactics in the new world. New doomsday and fighter game mechanics were used extensively. The massive repair power of force auxiliaries cemented their critical role in large scale fighting. High angle weaponry for dreadnoughts and titans along with the loss of ewar immunity put a new perspective on the new relationship between capitals and sub-capital roles. Blue-standing shifts, if temporary, rearranged the null political landscape as friend or foe relationships mutated. This marks the first major fight between former Money Badger Coalitions members, with Imperium invited in late by PL. This fight was not only large but marks the beginning of a new normal.
17:00 Fleets from both sides formed up and burned to SH1-6P.
CO2/TEST/Snuff/P.Mayhem/Darkeness and allies.
Having previously reinforced a CO2 Super-Capital Ship Assembly Array (SCSAA) tower in SH1-6P, PL and allies were returning to finish the starbase off with subcapitals fleets, expecting resistance on the same level. Intel from both sides reported enemy CTA’s were called and capital pilots were suited up in case either side escalated. NC traveled long distance from their Keepstar in Pure Blind (93PI-4), and PL dropped down from their staging base in Venal. Both points of origin might have made CO2 and allies skeptical that NC/PL would fully escalate from two jumps away. Nevertheless, CO2 was determined to defend their assets, even at great cost.
The initial fighting saw battleships and tech 3 cruisers on both sides. Both NC/PL and CO2/TEST fielded Proteus/Legion fleets, while allies brought battleships. In a rare sighting, Nightmare battleships were fielded by both sides, with WAFFLES and Snuffed Out/Project.Mayhem fleets assisting in the attack and defense respectively. Additional CO2 support fleets arrived during the fight in the form of a Cerberus fleet from the Darkness-led Guardians of the Galaxy Coalition, and a Drone Walkers/Brotherhood of Spacers/Phoenix Company Alliance fleet of cruise missile Typhoons. NC/PL was supported by Pandemic Horde in a Hurricane fleet. They key difference in the fight was NC/PL’s nearly 75 Apostles class force auxiliaries. The repping power made their subcapital fleets much stronger.
CO2/TEST had not pre-seeded enough ships in the system to burn through the Apostles defensive wall. PL gate jumped their supercapital fleet in for more firepower. They could not jump in due to a cyno jammer in system. With NC/PL having a clear advantage, CO2/TEST made a risky decision, they took down their jammer to bring in more firepower in the form of CO2 super fleet and a fleet of TEST dreadnoughts.
“I gated the PL super fleet into system. Then they [Co2] offlined the jammer and jumped in their own.”
– PL FC Killah Bee
C02 dropped 22 titans, 25 supercarriers. TEST dropped more than 125 dreadnoughts, mostly high DPS Naglfars. The titans were landed on grid 100km. This was reportedly because the cyno pilot was jumped 100km off his target position by an enemy command destroyer just before his cyno activated. Other sources have indicated the MJD may have been the cyno moving into position. Regardless, the titans fitted long range turrets so it may have been part of the plan to snipe from an escapable distance. TEST dreads landed directly on the enemy subcapital fleet. The additional firepower may have been used for clearing out the Apostle wall, but the titans took aim at a PL Nyx, which withstood the incoming damage. This may have been an attempt to inflict a quick kill and intimidate the attackers. After all, supercapital alliances TEST, Snuff and Project.Mayhem had reportedly moved supers into strike range, and TEST supers were formed and ready. NC leader Vince Draken responded to threats in his usual way:[NC Broadcast] VINCE_DRAKEN: EVERY FUCKING TITAN AND SUPER GET ONLINE NOW
With the system’s cyno jammer down, NC brought down “the hammer.” 52 titans and 83 armor supercarriers jumped into the raging battle.
In this video of the fight filmed by an NC pilot, you can see the initial drop from C02 at1:30, followed by the counter drop from F-RT6Q by NC. It’s an impressive sight to see a super cap fleet assembling to jump into the fray.
With the addition of reinforcements, the tide shifted decisively in favor of the attackers.
The TEST supercapitals that formed up to go in did not counter the NC drop. According to a reddit statement by TEST’s Sapporo Jones, by the time they were ready, NC/PL’s reinforcement fleet had already jumped in. At this point, the decision was made not to commit the TEST supercapitals, even though this would ensure CO2’s defeat. Although Sapporo took the blame, other FC’s speculate TEST FC Vily made the actual call. Military decisions are usually made by military leaders. According to PL FC’s, the defensive Apostle wall and Vince’s hammer were unbeatable even if TEST, Snuff, P.Mayhem had all jumped in.
Ultimately, the final tallies of capital losses stand at 6 titans, 97 dreads, 16 force auxiliaries, and 35 carriers for the CO2/TEST forces, totaling over 1.1t ISK, against 30 NC/PL force auxiliaries valued at just over 94b ISK. The destruction of these supercapitals, however, may not be the most significant developments to come out of the SH1-6P battle.
Late in the battle, Imperium FC brought a fleet of Cerberus to help clean up their bitter former ally CO2. They were invited and temporarily blued to PL, but that didn’t stop NC from engaging them. Skirmishes erupted everywhere as pilots tried to fight and loot through the end of the winding down battle.
With supercapitals committed on both sides, groups from all over New Eden rushed to join the battle as the SH1-6P system sank into increasing TiDi. A plea from player to CCP to a reinforced node for better game performance was refused, citing insufficient advance notice. Perhaps as a result of the TiDi, a number of bugs surfaced with the new fighter UI, as evidenced by a tweet from PL’s Doomchinchilla which included the following image depicting multiple times the normal fighters launched at an enemy:
Doomsdays were wildly inaccurate as well.
The engagement has clearly demonstrated the ever-widening cracks in the once-unified MBC. Not long ago, the presence of Imperium ships was enough to get Darkness and Pandemic Horde to set aside their differences (and the possibility of killing a Darkness titan) in order to attack a common foe. The arrival of an Imperium Cerberus fleet in SH1, however, did not have any similar effect. Instead, Pandemic Legion’s forces celebrated the victory with Jay Amazingness of Goonswarm on their comms, and Elise Randolph sent out a tweet stating “Just set CFC blue. Welcome to the new world order”.
On the other side of the engagement, CO2’s leader, Gigx, remained unbowed after the titan losses. Unconfirmed reports claim that Gigx considered the battle a victory due to their ability to extract a number titans that were trapped in bubbles.
In this video you can clearly see trapped CO2 titans escaping their tackles at 00:15.
Gigx also had derisive words for his enemies’ decision to call in affiliated alliances like Pandemic Horde and Waffles:
Community reaction on reddit has been largely complimentary toward Circle-of-Two’s decision, praising FC Gigx’s willingness to risk much to try to gain a significant victory. Win or lose, reddit, like fortune, favors the bold.
Similarly, many commenters expressed disappointment with Sapporo Jones of TEST. Some PL pilots have even opined that had TEST supers arrived with the CO2 supers, the NC/PL forces may have opted to extract, rather than call for reinforcements. A number of others have commended Jones on his restraint, as NC/PL’s obvious on-grid power might well have proven enough to destroy the combined CO2/TEST supercapitals. What TEST’s failure to provide supercapital support will mean in the long run, and in the eyes of CO2’s famously volatile leader, remains to be seen.
This last video provides a cinematic and moody look at an immense battle in SH1-6P.
UPDATE: The original text of this article indicated only the possibility that the MJD reported represented outside interference in cyno positioning. As new information has come in, we have altered the text of the article to reflect other possibilities as well.
This article is not the work of one single writer, but represents the joint efforts of a number of the TMC staff in collecting and confirming data and viewpoints from around the conflict. Special thanks go out to Rhivre, Siaka Stevens, and SkepticNerdGuy for their invaluable assistance, and Matterall for additional research and writing.
This article originally appeared on TheMittani.com.