UL-7I8 system, Catch region. On the 18th of October, Providence Bloc took the last system that was lost to it in the start of the war, defeating HERO Coalition forces in a frontal confrontation that lasted four long hours.
The battle started at 23:00 EVE Standard Time, when Providence Bloc forces, in a hundred and twenty Tengu Strategic Cruiser fleet, entered the system and warped to the Infrastructure Hub, which was exiting its final reinforcement timer.
Providence Bloc forces started shooting it when two HERO Coalition fleets entered the system, a twenty pilot Ishtar Heavy Assault Cruiser fleet fielded by Test Alliance Please Ignore, and a hundred and forty Eagle Heavy Assault Cruiser fleet manned by the rest of the coalition.
The two fleets warped to perches above the Providence Bloc fleet, when for some unexplained reason, the Ishtar fleet warped to zero on the Providence Bloc fleet. This allowed the Providence Bloc force to quickly dispatch of the Ishtars, who were quickly tackled and overwhelmed by the Tengus. The HERO Coalition fleet for its part warped to a sniping position and a fight flared up between the two coalitions, with both forces maintaining a considerable distance from one another.
Providence Bloc, however, seemed to have had the upper hand, and soon HERO Coalition Logistics ships were dropping at a rate of four a minute. With much of its Logistics wing annihilated, the HERO Coalition fleet attempted to maintain its distance, with Providence Bloc closing in each time. However, once it was made obvious the HERO Coalition fleet was merely stalling for time, Providence Bloc switched targets and fired at the Infrastructure Hub which quickly succumbed to the volleys.
With the Infrastructure Hub gone, Providence Bloc decided to go after the Territorial Claim Unit next, instead of attempting to force HERO Coalition into a full confrontation, which they seemed to decline. Once setup on the Territorial Claim Unit, Providence Bloc forces were continuously harassed by both the main HERO Coalition fleet, and by reinforcement fleets. The first was a twenty-five pilot Caracal Cruiser gang which managed to land next to Providence Bloc's Logistics wing. Losing quite a few Logistic ships, Providence Bloc managed to destroy the gang before returning its attention to the Eagle fleet which kept drawing it away from the Territorial Claim Unit.
After the Caracal gang, a Cormorant Destroyer fleet of thirty-seven pilots came next in an attempt to disrupt Providence Bloc Logistics. They managed to destroy one before once more being overwhelmed, only able to destroy some of the Interceptors and Frigates that accompanied the main fleet.
View from HERO Coalition's Cormorant gang
By this time the Providence Bloc commanders realized that HERO Coalition was in no position to dispute their control of the battlefield and decided to concentrate their efforts on the Territorial Claim Unit, instead of wasting time on chasing the elusive Eagle fleet. Their focused fire quickly dispatched the Territorial Claim Unit, and allowed them to anchor their own on a Tower that was prepared beforehand.
HERO Coalition forces attempted to destroy the Providence Bloc Territorial Claim Unit a few times but could not contend with the tower and stood down. Providence Bloc forces on their part extracted from the system, and on the 19th of October, 10:18 EVE Standard Time claimed the system as their own.
Fixed Battle Report for the UL-7I8 system can be found here.
During the fighting both forces kept reinforcing their fleets, with HERO Coalition attempting to seal the system and yet leaving an opening to the OXIY-V system, which allowed Providence Bloc a steady stream of reinforcements during the fighting.
Time Dilation did not play a noticeable part in the fighting and local peaked at around two-hundred and eighty pilots at the beginning. Two hundred and nineteen ships were destroyed during the battle, for fifteen billion ISK of damages, the lion share HERO Coalition's. No third parties were present in the system.
With this conquest, Providence Bloc has regained all the systems it lost in the beginning of the war and is now looking to conquer the G-AOTH and ERVK-P systems, completing the occupation of the Northern Catch pocket.
At this point, the war that HERO Coalition started to reclaim the Northern Catch pocket seems to have backfired on it, and yet, the tables may turn once more, as the Phoebe patch looms ever closer.
Special thanks to corebloodbrothers, of Volition Cult, The Volition Cult, vyshnegradsky and Hidetoshi Rushd, of Pentag Blade, Curatores Veritatis Alliance for granting interviews.