Pandemic Horde baited Goonswarm and The Initiative. into a capital brawl over a tower belonging to the Fweddit of the Initiative. The battle lasted from roughly between 03:00-04:30 EVE time in the system of F7C-H0 of Cloud Ring.
According to the battle report, almost 900 characters took part in the fight that lasted nearly a little over an hour and causing roughly 275 billion ISK in damage from both sides. The defending side consisted of The Initiative., The Bastion, Initiative Mercenaries, Goonswarm Federation, Tactical Narcotics Team, as well as someone in an NPC corp. The attacking force consisted of Pandemic Horde, Solyaris Chtonium, DARKNESS., Northern Coalition., a member of The Pinnacle. and The-Culture. A third group, Hedonistic Imperative, fired on both sides but did not sustain many losses.
Horde primarily fielded Maelstrom battleships in an attempt to reinforce the tower. This was in an attempt to draw out The Initiative. to defend the structure. However, Horde’s Fleet Commander, Travis Keikira, was informed of an impending Goonswarm reinforcement fleet. He decided to bait them as well as The Initiative. into a capital ship brawl. Travis called for 6 dreadnoughts to be brought in, and after a few minutes, the majority of Horde’s waiting capital fleet were called in. In an attempt to slow down Horde’s reinforcement wave, a Flycatcher put a bubble on the station the capitals were exiting, effectively keeping roughly half of the fleet on grid. They were eventually able to join the fight in F7C-H0.
While Securitas Protector, Judas Goldstein, Adramelech Indra, and Storm Delay lead Horde’s subcapital fleet, Travis commanded Horde’s capital fleet. He focused primarily on balancing the dreadnoughts to attack the tower and the enemy capital ships, while the carriers provided a combination of capital and subcapital support. Nearing the end of the battle, Horde’s carriers chewed through INIT’s Rattlesnake battleships as well as capital ships, eventually turning the tide of the battle by focusing on the defending logistics cruisers. As the defenders retreated, multiple T3 cruisers were destroyed, but many of them were able to escape.
Assessing the Fight
During the after action review, Travis mentioned that one of the enemy FC’s had called one of Horde’s FC carriers, a Chimera, as the primary, which they viewed as a foolish call. While the carrier eventually was destroyed, it was reinforced by multiple Minokowa Force Auxiliary logistics carriers, and he attributed at least 10 defending dread losses because of this perceived error.
One of the FC’s for the Goonswarm fleet, Asher Elias, described their determination to attack the Maelstrom fleet, knowing full well of Pandemic Horde’s impending reinforcements. Along with the other FC’s, deciding that, while they knew they were outnumbered, could potentially turn the fight and describing a “let’s do this” mentality. Asher described that Horde’s subcapital fleet was not faring so well—from their perspective—at the beginning of the fight. They believed that Horde had focused on the command ships as well as the T1 cruisers but were unable to “break the T3s”. They also added that there were several attempts during the fight by the attacking fleet to “headshot” his ship, but were unsuccessful. For the majority of the battle, Asher directed their subcap fleet to focus on the Maelstrom battleships—quickly and easily destroying many of them—while mentioning that they were slowed every fifth or sixth one that was saved due to Minokawa shield reps.
As the fight wore on, it became apparent that Horde’s superior capital ship presence was going to outlast theirs. While Asher mentions that INIT’s capitals were able to last longer because of their range control, the defending FC’s decided that it was clear that they were decisively outnumbered. They focused on clearing the light and heavy interdictors keeping the ships on field, before being able to jump the last of the capital fleet out. Asher’s subcap fleet covered the capitals’ retreat, soon leaving after the attacking carriers started chewing through their Guardian logistics cruisers. During their retreat, Asher mentioned that they were able to save a couple of INIT capitals caught in a bubble 300km off an Astrahus citadel, by picking off the NC. Tengus, before entirely leaving the battle.
Winning the ISK war and the objective
While Pandemic Horde and their allies brought more expensive ships overall, they were able to inflict over 154 billion ISK in damages spread across approximately 438 ships. This is significantly more than their 300 ships reportedly lost – worth almost 126 billion ISK. It’s hard to argue with holding the field and causing the defending fleet to retreat, plus Horde was able to achieve its objective of destroying The Initiative.’s tower.
The title image for this article was taken by devilsadvocate9 during the battle and posted to Reddit. For the full album, click here.