Art by Redline XIII
History was made today and the Eve Online world yawned, reached for pizza, and said, “What’s for dessert?”
Imperium forces gathered at their staging Keepstar in 6RCQ-5, and at 18:15 UTC, right after server downtime, gathered rapidly to attack three enemy Keepstars in rapid succession. Three hours later, the fleets redocked victorious, having accomplished the mission of destroying the armor of those three Keepstars, putting them into the final reinforcement timer.
One observer, Moomin Amatin, put the situation into perspective this way: “In the continuing fight between Imperial Legacy and the Northern Allies, the hostilities show no signs of abating. Earlier in the week we saw the redeployment of a number of northern allies; Pandemic Horde (PH) went to 0-Y; Darkness (DARKdot), Solyaris Chtonium (SLYCE), Chaos Theory (KOS) and others that form the Guardians of the Galaxy coalition (GotG) went to TXME; NCdot went to 0-Y and Co2 were last seen heading east at a rapid pace.”
Phase 1: The Battle in 7X-VKB
Before the battle, multiple Imperium fleets formed. According to Apple Pear, one of the Imperium FCs, there were “two Baltec fleets, a Ferox, a few Jackdaws, a titan, a super, and a carrier/dread.”
First to fall was the Keepstar in 7X-VKB. The fleets met little to no resistance, though they expected none. As Lux Libertas noted, “We have somehow owned the ihub long enough in one of their Keepstar systems to be able to cynojam it. So we simply skynetted the thing with supercarriers from one of our Fortizars while keeping the system jammed. The north didn’t form until right around when this one had already been reinforced.” Anticipating this vacancy, Apple Pear said that his fleet was held in reserve initially: “My Baltec fleet was on standby to jump in if the enemy grew balls and came to fight us.” That, however, did not happen initially.
Phase 2: DO6H-Q Crumbles
Second in line was the Keepstar at DO6H-Q. The combined Imperium fleets met some resistance here, which is represented in the killboard for this area. While Imperium lost more ISK and ships (12.85b ISK and 61) compared to 2.52b ISK and 51 ships for the defenders, this figure doesn’t represent that the Keepstar there is almost certainly doomed.
Lux Libertas said part of the reason this Keepstar was more problematic was due to it being “fit with 4 plates, which nearly doubles HP.” A enemy fleet was also tethered here. The Imperium suffered some losses in this phase of the battle. Apple Pear was headshotted, and handed over grid command to Ariesbar. Apple Pear looked stoically on the moment: “That’s what everybody does, headshot the FC of the fleet. That’s why we have backups. We expect that to happen when you get on grid with the Keepstar.” Lux Libertas, commenting on the degree of defense, said, “I honestly expected them to fight in DO6 and fight hard. I was very surprised to see no capitals used at all on their side, since we appeared to have roughly even subcap numbers (although ours were tilted more towards heavier doctrines than theirs).” The opposition did do some limited bombing; what few losses Imperium sustained mostly occurred during this phase of the larger fight, primarily from headshots and bombing.
Intermission: A Slaughter Takes Place
After the second Keepstar’s armor was gone, the opposition made a move to catch some Imperium fleets in a gate trap, but this turned into an unmitigated disaster, as the killboard reveals. They placed a fleet on the gate from DO6 to 3V8, but the strategy backfired, with the Imperium countering the trap by deploying massive firepower on both sides of the gate. As Lux said, “When we noticed them gating the Megathron fleet there, instead of simply titan-bridging it (I have no idea why they did that!) we started moving cynos ahead of the expected route, to try and sandwich them on a gate between two fleets. We ended up catching them as they jumped into 3V8. Then, we bridged one of our Baltec fleets onto the 3V8 side of the gate, along with supers/titans. At the same time, we dropped our 150 supercarriers on the other side of the gate.” Imperium dropped some 850 ships onto the 250 for the opposition. In a matter of moments, the would-be campers lost 44.25b ISK and 282 ships. Imperium forces lost one ship and 111.12m. Speaking of this slaughter, Lux Libertas said, “The rest of the north declined to jump into that one. It would have been suicide.” History offers few parallels for a battle so mismatched, but for Americans, Custer’s Last Stand comes immediately to mind.
Apple Pear summed up this phase of the battle succinctly: “We killed pretty much their whole fleet.”
Phase 3: The Keepstar of 3V8-LJ
The final phase of the battle took place in 3V8-LJ. The Keepstar there, owned by Circle of Two (CITW), fell under attack and was quickly overwhelmed. The killboard shows that Imperium lost 3.62b ISK and 38 ships compared to the opposition’s 59.15b ISK and 375 ships lost.
A few weeks ago we saw the battle of X47, an epic confrontation between what seemed at the time to be two superpowers. A Keepstar had its armor wrecked and was sent into its final timer. This made news even outside the realm of EVE Online. A Keepstar was going to go down. Almost unprecedented. Today, three Keepstars went into their last timers, one after the other. The battles were so one-sided that the northern defenders seemed to give way without much of a fight. Another X47 did not take place because to have such an epic battle both sides have to show up, in force, to slug it out. In the time it takes to watch a football game, the map of EVE shifted. Will this make news beyond the confines of INN and EVE Online? Massacres make for such sad reporting that few want to do it, especially when it seems like just another day at the office.