The past few days have seen a peculiar engagement take place in the lowsec system of Oicx. One can’t just call this engagement a singular battle, but rather a series of battles that have been taking place in this one system nearly continuously. Each side supplied with hundreds of reships from their Jump Freighter pilots and working to capture plexes, the Faction Warfare term for the Combat Sites in lowsec, which militia pilots much capture in order to eventually be able to capture a system.
If you are unfamiliar with how Faction Warfare mechanics work, here is a brief overview: For every combat site that is captured in a system, the contested level of that system goes up or down by 0.7%, depending on who captured the site. When the system reaches 100% contested, the system’s Infrastructure Hub becomes vulnerable and open to attack. The attacking forces must then bash the IHUB into hull, after which the system flips to the opposite side after the next downtime.
For background to this engagement, this is not the first time Galmil, led by Federation Uprising (FEDUP), tried to take the system. However they were unsuccessful the first time as their nullsec sovereignty was under attack. A couple weeks later, after driving the invaders out from their territory, FEDUP held a SOTA, at which they announced their intentions at another attempt to capture Oicx and immediately began plexing, capturing plexes, in the system.
Both sides scrambled to get supplies into the system, ships and modules, and each staged for their respective structures within Oicx, FEDUP from their Raitaru, and the Caldari Militia from a BLOC Astrahus. During the Siege, FEDUP also used the Raitaru to manufacture ships directly in Oicx itself in addition to bringing in more ships via Jump Freighter.
This day saw intense fighting, with hundreds of ships being destroyed on both sides. The system was already at 10% from the previous night. Federation Uprising flew doctrines mainly consisting of blaster Punishers with Inquisitors, or Algoses with Inquisitors, with railgun Cormorants used sparingly. At the end of USTZ however, the Caldari had managed to decontest the system all the way down to 5%. This was brought up to 15% at the end of the day.
A post regarding the conflict had also reached the front page of reddit that day, bringing attention to the ongoing engagement.
Up to this point, around 2000 ships had been destroyed already.
This day saw more intense fighting even in the EU timezones, and after a tug of war the Caldari managed to decontest the system down to 5%. More third party fleets have started to enter the system, most notably an EUNI Svipul/Scalpel fleet that was destroyed by a Federation Uprising Punisher fleet.
About another 2000 ships were destroyed on this day, bringing the tally 4000 ships in total.
The least active day, with most of the usual USTZ FCs for Federation Uprising offline. While the EUTZ made very good progress, bringing the contested level to 35%, the Caldari were able to bring that back down to just under 20% almost uncontested.
Around another 1500 ships were destroyed during the course of the day, bringing the death tally up to 5500.
Perhaps the most interesting of the engagements so far. Each side has been testing new doctrines, both sides fielding rail Catalysts, and Federation Uprisinig testing out sniper Tristans, which worked to great effect on Caldari sniper Kestrels, and autocannon Dragoons, specifically tanked for thermal and kinetic damage again the Caldari Battlysts.
However, what happened during the fighting was the most interesting part. At around 0200, fighting is fierce as it’s ever been, both sides slugging it out, bringing comps to counter each other’s comps and securing or losing plexes.
At this time, the Raitaru called Dark Star, FEDUP’s staging outpost, was beginning it’s vulnerability window. A Goonswarm Federation fleet, consisting of approximately 20 Abbadons supported by a couple Force Auxiliaries, pinged to the Raitaru at about 500km off. Both Galmil and Calmil initially ignored them, each still fighting each other over control of plexes, however the fleet then warped down to the Raitaru itself and began to fire.
Still, Galmil and Calmil, FCs both were giving their fleets the order to ignore them for the time being and fighting continued like nothing happening, with Galmil completely disregarding the fleet at their doorstep, undocking and reshipping as usual. Meanwhile, FCs were planning how they could defend against the invading force.
After capturing a plex, the FEDUP FC gave the order to dock up in Raitaru and reship into Blaster Punishers and wait for the order to undock. He then ordered for every Punisher to scram and point a random Abaddon and/or capital. As these were Artillery fit Abaddons, it would be very difficult, if not impossible, for a Punisher to die to them as Artillery have bad tracking at short range. The only danger was light drones from the Abaddon’s, which did manage to kill off a couple Punishers, but they quickly reshipped no matter how many times they died, and after a time completely defanged them. While this was happening, a third party kitchensink frigate/destroyer fleet warped in at a ping from the battle, made up of various alliances and groups.
After holding the fleet down for several minutes, reinforcements arrived, from none other than the Caldari Militia themselves, fielding a Gila fleet, and they quickly went to work, destroying the pinned down Abaddons which were unable to escape. Not long after the Caldari arrived, more Gallente militia came on grid as well, fielding a Gila fleet of their own, and Goonswarm Abaddons were being destroyed one by one.
In the midst of the chaos, two further things happened; one of the FAXes cynoed in a high angle weapon Naglfar in order to destroy the last sliver of shield on the Raitaru, and the third party frigate/destroyer gang warped into the fray, possibly doing so because they thought the Gallente and Caldari Militia were fighting each other. After suffering heavy losses, their fleet was forced to warp off and retreat.
Eventually the entire Goonswarm fleet was annihilated, including an 860 mil Damnation piloted by Thomas Lear. The Raitaru was reinforced into its armor timer, and both fleets from the Gallente and Caldari went their separate ways once again, shooting each other as soon as both reshipped into proper plexing doctrines.
The full BR for that short fight is here.
At the end of the day, Gallente fielded superior numbers, and were able to secure a strong footing in the region, bringing the contested level to a high mark at about 50%.
On this day, the Gallente went into full overdrive, pushing out the Caldari multiple times to run the plex timers. The Gallente made more progress this day than any other day, pushing it up to 85%. At around 85%, the Caldari made a brave last stand in the system, but to no avail as the Gallente pushed them out one more time.
Galmil was able to make the system vulnerable just a couple hours from the start of the next day in EVE time, and was able to destroy the infrastructure hub using polarized Hecates, and fought off any attempts to disrupt the bashing.
The end came to the Oicx siege, a furious battle for control, which saw the destruction of approximately 11000 ships. Now both sides will deliberate on their next move. Will Galmil continue to push more systems to Gallente control? Or will Calmil decide to counterattack in revenge?