In the early morning hours of July 31, Imperium forces put a Northern Coalition Keepstar in X47L-Q into reinforcement. The system is a gateway from NPC Pure Blind into Northern Coalition territory, and has changed hands several times recently since being lost by Mordus’ Angels in the culmination of the group’s “failscade” a few months ago.
According to eyewitness reports, an NCdot Cerberus fleet formed for a structure bash against the Imperium. In response, the Imperium formed Baltecs, but rather than pursuing the NCdot Cerbs they instead attacked NCdot’s Keepstar. The Imperium dropped a small fleet of just under 20 Goonswarm Titans, and NCdot formed a supercap fleet in response. However, when the Imperium dropped an additional 50+ supercarriers along with other capitals, the NCdot supers stood down, leaving the Keepstar’s defense primarily to the NCdot Cerberuses, along with Horde Muninns.
As was to be expected when operating near a hostile Keepstar, for this engagement, Imperium forces came out on the losing end of the ISK war. After-action reports had Imperium losses around the 90 billion ISK mark, with Northern losses in the neighborhood of 60 billion ISK. Commentators expressed surprise that a battle on grid with an enemy Keepstar was not more lopsided against the Imperium, but attributed that fact to the absence of a significant capital presence on the Northern side.
Due to glitches perhaps made worse by time dilation, battle reports of the engagement also listed three Imperium Nyxes down. However, all three kill reports appeared to be the result of jettisoned industrial ships, with no actual supercaps lost by either side. Goonswarm Nyx pilot Julius Wallace – who is listed on two of the three “Nyx kills” in the BR – noted that “it was Iterons with cap boosters I ejected as I was running low. I assume because I killed my own ship and I was in a Nyx at the same time, plus TiDi, it glitched out a bit.”
Imperium forces did lose three FAXes and nine carriers. The North fielded only a single Nyx, along with an Apostle and a Thanatos, all of which survived. Aside from having their Keepstar reinforced, the most expensive single loss on the Northern side was a Loki.
Ultimately, the battle for the X47 Keepstar cannot yet be called. Whether it turns out to have been worth the cost will likely depend on the ultimate disposition of the citadel. Of course, this being Eve, content is content. No doubt some of the pilots involved are invested in the grand strategy of the Imperium’s war with the North. For others, the fight was likely worthwhile for its own sake, regardless of the ultimate impact on galactic politics.
A major fight is expected on the evening of August 1 as the keepstar enters armor. Already, reports indicate both sides are calling for numbers in fleets. It is anticipated this may become the second major supercapital engagement of the war, after the Battle of UALX-3.
As the story unfolds and any further impacts become apparent, INN will no doubt be there to cover them for you.