At 01:30 EVE on October 15, the Imperium began a series of ‘coathanger ops’—fleet operations intended to destroy enemy SuperCapital Ship Assembly Arrays (SCSAAs). The targets: a set of towers in the Fountain region owned by Black Legion successor alliance, The Culture.
The night’s fleets began with Bomberwaffe FC and Legendary EVE Personality-at-Large Dabigredboat leading a small group of his most capable pilots deep into Fountain. There, they would wait for the action that was to come.
A battleship fleet consisting of the new Abaddon and Bhaalgorn doctrine led by Thomas Lear crossed the border from Delve into Fountain at Y-2ANO, and began moving toward its targets. Immediately, Culture forces began a delaying action using disposable interdictors to keep every gate along the route bubbled. The delay bought valuable time, as Culture FC Mister Toucher was able to form up a Machariel fleet to meet the incoming Imperium forces.
As the Imperium battleships entered the system of 4-EP12 and began extracting from the Culture’s warp disruption bubbles, TC bridged in, and the engagement was joined on the 3WE-KY gate. The first moments of skirmishing saw the Culture’s fleet of approximately 70 trade two interdictors and two logistics cruisers for a heavy interdictor and a trio of Bhaalgorn faction battleships. The Machariel fleet warped off, and the Imperium battleships bounced around the gate grid to reposition.
As the Culture forces moved to intercept the Imperium battleship fleet, however, a Cerberus fleet under the command of Asher Elias slipped in seemingly unnoticed through Aridia. Taking advantage of the distraction, the Cerbs moved into 7-8S5X to siege the tower and SCSAA coming out of reinforcement from the previous night. The tower was swiftly destroyed. According to an image posted to reddit, the SCSAA was building an Avatar-class titan and two supercarriers, a Hel and a Vendetta, the new Serpentis faction supercarrier.
In 4-EP12 only a few moments after the tower died, Mister Toucher’s Machariels warped back onto the gate grid. They very nearly caught the Imperium battleships, but landed moments after their targets’ warp began. As they tried to warp off again, however, half of the fleet found itself bubbled by an Imperium Sabre. Unimpeded, the other half of the Culture fleet couldn’t stop warp in time, and left grid. Immediately, the Imperium forces pounced. Abaddons and Bhaalgorns landed amid a volley of void bombs, courtesy of DBRB’s until-then hidden bomber wing.
The Imperium forces were almost their own worst enemies. Bhaalgorns immediately began smartbombing their own interdictors and nearly allowed the Machariels to escape. As hictors and battleships established a firmer tackle, the Imperium forces lit a cyno and brought in the carriers, dreads, and force auxiliaries of the Imperium’s capital fleet, led by Tiberizzle.
With the capitals’ entry, the slaughter began in earnest. The first capitals appear on kills at 21:55. By 21:58, almost two dozen Machariels, and a pair of logistics cruisers, were dead. The losses in the brief, but intense fighting totals in at 23.4b ISK.
The Imperium forces withdrew in high spirits, though one chimera pilot did inexplicably afk for over 20 minutes on a gate, prompting the battleship fleet to destroy his ship in order to ensure no enemy fleets could do so.
But the night was not yet over.
Only an hour after returning from the initial engagement of the night, the Imperium set out once again with their Abaddon/Bhaalgorn/Capitals fleet package. The target this time: a pair of SCSAA towers in G95F-A.
Tiberizzle’s capital fleet moved into system early. The Imperium battleships, this time led by both Asher Elias and Thomas Lear, followed, taking up a support position on the first target tower. As the tower ground down, defensive fleets came in from The Culture (Cerberuses), Shadow Cartel (Armor T3s), Darkness (Cerbs), and Pandemic Legion (‘Sneaky Pete’ Tengus), along with various allies. During the initial skirmishing a number of Bhaalgorns were destroyed, as the Imperium’s subcapital logistics were ordered off-field to safety.
As their defensive bubbles cleared, the supercapitals warped off to the second objective, while the battleships engaged the Shadow Cartel Proteus fleet. That move meant moving out from under the protective umbrella of their triage, however. As the subcapital logistics returned, the battle joined in earnest, with the Imperium battleship fleet fighting outnumbered. As the two close-range fleets traded kills, the longer-range forces added additional firepower to the defending forces. Meanwhile, Sabres and other interdictors from all of the defending groups combined to keep two of the three Apostles mired in bubbles and unable to rejoin the fleet.
The Imperium supercapitals, in the meantime, chewed down the second tower, and its SCSAA, before aligning to return to the fight. With the tower destroyed, the defending forces began extracting. The Culture and Pandemic Legion fleets remained on-grid long enough to kill a single, isolated Apostle, before withdrawing as well. In the end, the fighting destroyed 63.98b ISK in ships on the field.
While the Imperium forces took the brunt of the losses in the battle, reddit confirms that at least one of the SCSAAs was only 5 days from completing a titan in build. That loss swings the ISK war back to the Imperium’s side, along with full completion of all three objectives for the day.
The final losses, not including the value of all supercapitals in build, came to 87.45b ISK on the day.