The Providence campaign kicked off by NCdot last week continues to create headaches for CVA and Holder fleet commanders and logistics pilots. Rattlesnake and Loki fleets, backed up by strong logistics support and a number of capitals, continue to put POSes, I-Hubs, and stations into reinforced while inflicting heavy losses to Holder defense fleets formed up to defend the timers. Their first real defeat came in the early morning hours of August 18th, when a Black Legion Oracle fleet intervened to inflict heavy losses on the NCdot Rattlesnakes attacking the cyno jammer in G-5EN2.
NCdot has primarily focused on two systems: G-5EN2, which is the Sev3rance-held gateway system from Providence to Derelik through the Assah system, and I-MGAB, an industrial system in the heart of Fourth District space. NCdot has reinforced various structures in both systems a number of times over the course of the last week, using the timers to force Providence into defending the system. The battles surrounding these, especially in I-MGAB, have been overwhelmingly in favor of NCdot, as their better-equipped and more disciplined Rattlesnake and Loki fleets have cut a wide swath through the Providence defenders, including a number of capital losses during the defense of I-MGAB on 15 August.
Last night, however, the NCdot forces suffered their first real rout of the campaign. Providence forces led by Sev3rance formed a fleet of pulse Apocalypses to defend their station in the G-5EN2 system, which was coming out of reinforced at 0140. NCdot deployed a Rattlesnake fleet shortly thereafter to counter the Providence fleet and began an assault on the system’s cyno jammer in order to provoke another fight. The defenders deployed and began to brawl with the Rattlesnakes, distracting them enough that they apparently missed the cyno jammer being shut down. Providence forces then bubbled the Rattlesnakes, and a large force of Black Legion beam Oracles was bridged in at range. Pinned down by the bubbles, Black Legion was able to alpha a number of Rattlesnakes off the field in short order, then chased the fleet to the system’s star where they inflicted even more damage. A number of NCdot ships were separated from the fleet as it tried to retreat and were hit by Providence forces as well.
NCdot continues be uninterested in inflicting lasting damage to Providence infrastructure, generally pulling back in good order after winning decisive battles, leaving the locals to rep up their structures with a minimum of harassment on their part, though other entities have been more than willing to take on the vulture role. Smaller NCdot fleets also continue to harass Sev3rance and CVA-held systems in the “eastern” area of Providence, making short work of ad hoc Providence defense fleets and inattentive miners and ratters. Whether last night’s defeat will actually change this pattern remains to be seen, and it is unclear whether Black Legion’s deployment was a one-off occurrence or a more sustained intervention. It is clear that Providence provides no shortage of targets for NCdot, however, and as of yet the locals have been unable to muster a consistently adequate defense against them.
Update: A small correction to the story. According to commenters, BL was not bridged into system, but entered conventionally.
This article originally appeared on TheMittani.com, written by Svetlana Scarlet.