Art by Redline XIII.
Fleets from Winter Coalition and several supporting alliances destroyed the first Komodo ever built in EVE Online last weekend in the 77S8-E system in Detorid. The Guristas faction titan, belonging to TEST member CJ Agnon, was destroyed during a complex battle along the border between Winter Coalition’s Fraternity alliance (FRT) and Legacy Coalition’s Legion of xXDeathXx (X.I.X). Both sides shared detailed versions of events, with Fleet Commanders describing a rapid escalation from a mundane skirmish to a large-scale supercapital brawl.
According to TEST Fleet Commander Seddow, the evening’s original objective involved neither Detorid nor Winter Coalition. A TEST ‘Goku’ bomber fleet had formed to navigate a Drifter wormhole into Geminate where Pandemic Horde was expected to contest an anchoring Goonswarm structure. However, Horde did not attack the structure as anticipated, and Seddow decided to seek out a fight for his fleet elsewhere.
“For the past month or so I have been taking Goku fleets out and harassing FRT and killing Rorquals/supers across the map,” Seddow said. “So my plan B if [the Geminate] fight didn’t happen was to go find Rorquals to kill in Detorid since we were already 3 jumps from 77S.”
Fraternity blockaded the regional gate from 46DP-O in Tenerifis to 77S8-E in Detorid with a handful of smartbombing Tempest battleships, which destroyed approximately 30 of the incoming TEST bombers. The bulk of Seddow’s fleet escaped, however, and proceeded to attack several Rorquals in a nearby system. Word reached the fleet that Purple Helmeted Warriors, an alliance specializing in supercapital hunting, had tackled a Nyx in FMH-OV, next to 77S8-E, and the fleet disengaged the Rorquals to target the Nyx.
At this point, according to an account given on Talking in Stations on 3/3, Noraus, the leader of Winter Coalition, positioned a Ragnarok titan near the 46DP-O gate within 77S8-E to attempt to ‘boson’ hostile forces passing through. The titan was decloaked before its intended use, however, and was quickly bubbled by a TEST interdictor.
“We abandoned the Nyx, leaving some Sabres to keep it bubbled just as FRT’s super fleet jumped to that Nyx to save it,” Seddow said. “So their super fleet has massive red [jump] timers. We gated from FMH where the Nyx was to 77S and started shredding the Ragnarok.”
While processing news that TEST had called for capital reinforcements, Noraus activated his Ragnarok’s cyno for his own reinforcements to come in – only to realize that his titan was not in the fleet he intended to bring in. Before the situation could be clarified, an Erebus jumped to the Ragnarok. TEST decided to commit supercapital forces to the fight, and both titans died under blistering assault from multiple TEST fleets.
“It was risky… but if we had pulled it off without losing anyone it would have been a clean dunk,” Seddow said. “We controlled the grid this whole time forcing [FRT’s support] fleet off and starting to shred through the Force Auxiliary that jumped in… by now the [TEST] super fleet had started re-approaching the [46DP-O] gate.”
The battle was now passing out of TEST’s ideal time zone, and Noraus pointed out that it was also a poor time zone for his largely Chinese coalition. TEST forces began to withdraw from 77S8-E following the second titan’s destruction.
“We then proceeded to start shooting hostile Force Auxiliary and carriers still left on grid with fighters forcing their subs away,” Seddow said. “For a minute there it looked like we had pulled it off and dunked them and were about to get back into 46DP to the safe side. All titans and supers were back on the gate and we heard of other hostiles mobilizing and FRT pinging for max dreads. We stopped moving caps and supers into 77S and made the call for Titans and supers to jump into 46DP.”
With the objective accomplished and a clean withdrawal underway, the ill-fated Komodo bumped away from the fleet on the 46DP-O gate, ending up 45km off gate. Its pilot reported a disconnect from the EVE server, which prolonged his attempts to re-approach the gate. By now FRT had moved its own titans and capitals onto the grid and begun unloading attacks on the Komodo. TEST quickly maneuvered capitals and Force Auxiliary back into system in an attempt to save it en route to the gate. The titan made it to approximately 7km off gate before succumbing to FRT’s titans and capitals, along with Black Legion Muninns and an Eagle support fleet mustered by Winter Coalition.
Seddow’s Goku fleet reshipped into Muninns to guard the 46DP-O gate while TEST’s supercapitals warped to a friendly citadel. Although the supers extracted safely, Winter Coalition and its allies had won the more memorable objective of the day, capturing the game’s first Komodo kill.
Seddow remained sanguine about the loss, commenting, “In the end it was a later timezone [for] a fight we would have preferred… but looking back at it we played the risky card for a possible huge reward. It could have been any odd titan that bounced or disconnected and couldn’t jump the regional [gate] back to friendly space, but sadly it was the Komodo.”
Implications: Military and Diplomacy
Legacy Coalition and Winter Coalition agreed to a six month non-invasion pact in September 2018 following months of hostilities between the two entities. The terms of the agreement prohibited cloaky camping, entosis activities, destroying structures belonging to the other party, and anchoring structures in the other party’s space. However, it did not prohibit skirmishes such as the ones leading up to the destruction of TEST’s Komodo.
Noraus reported on Talking in Stations that Winter Coalition has spent some time considering what a possible invasion might look like after the pact expires. The coalition demonstrated surprising supercapital capabilities during the events of 77S8-E, deploying approximately 60 titans to counter TEST’s own supercapital forces. Indeed, Noraus estimated that Winter Coalition’s supercapital force is currently the second-strongest in EVE. Even acknowledging the support of Black Legion and a handful of third parties, FRT and its allies successfully countered one of EVE’s great supercapital powers in 77S8-E. Seddow noted that Winter Coalition’s expanded supercapital armada demonstrates that the coalition made the best possible use of the non-invasion pact’s six month duration of relative peace.
Russians at the Gates
The battle in Detorid unfolded under the shadow of an announcement two weeks ago that Russian alliances Legion of xXDeathXx, Razor, Siberian Squads, Red Alliance, and others have banded together to form a new coalition aimed at fighting Winter Coalition in the eastern reaches of nullsec. Noraus has described this as “a new Soviet Union” with imperial ambitions. Nevertheless, Noraus has said that any future war fought against the new coalition or its allies TEST and the rest of Legacy Coalition will be defensive in nature.