Pandemic Legion fielded a hundred and fifty pilots Tengu Strategic Cruiser fleet, supported by a WAFFLES. [N0MAD] bomber wing of thirty pilots. As in previous fights, Pandemic Legion were first in the system, setting, as before, on the ZXIC-7 gate, the main entry way for HERO Coalition forces.
HERO Coalition, for its side, brought three hundred pilots divided into several fleets, in a mix of Harpy Assault Frigates and Merlin Frigates, supported by a robust Electronic Warfare wing of Maulus and Crucifier Frigates.
The WAFFLE. bombers for their part attempted to land a bombing run on the ZXIC-7 jump bridge, as HERO Coalition forces jumped into the system, netting only a few kills, before retreating to the F4R2-Q system, with HERO Coalition's forces right behind them.
Both sides were quickly poised on the gates, and held there for a few minutes, as the tension was building, while the WAFFLES. bombers were scrambling to get into positions around the ZXIC-7 gate. Then, HERO Coalition's fleets jumped into the system.
As HERO Coalition's ships uncloaked and started to anchor, WAFFLES. bombers delivered a devastating bombing run. Four squadrons' worth of bombs landed on the unsuspecting HERO Coalition force, decimating almost half of it within a single moment. Badly bruised from the start, HERO Coalition, regardless, attempted to rally back and fight Pandemic Legion's fleet, bringing more reinforcements and continuing the engagement on the ZXIC-7 gate.
Pandemic Legion forces holding positions around the ZXIC-7 Gate
However, as the battle unfolded, WAFFLES. bombers went in for a second bombing run, managing to score another crippling hit. Though losing by this time almost half of their bomber wing, this blow proved fatal enough for HERO Coalition's side, forcing it to concede the fight.
Pandemic Legion's fleet, which remained mostly idle during these exchanges, except for its Interdictors, warped off field and towards the station. There, it safeguarded the Mothership squadron which was hard at work in flipping the station. With the station under Pandemic Legion's control, the Spaceship Samurai [HONOR] Territorial Claim Unit was destroyed, and a new one was anchored and later activated by Pandemic Legion at a safe tower.
The destruction of the [HONOR] TCU
By this point, Pandemic Legion's forces had safely extracted from the system, with HERO Coalition forces retreating as well, suffering continued harassment from WAFFLES. bombers. The only incident to be registered afterwards was HERO Coalition managing to steal a Sovereignty Blockade Unit on the ZXIC-7 gate, which was offlined and un-anchored by a Pandemic Legion Ragnarok Titan making rounds around the system to retrieve said equipment.
Battle report for the F4R2-Q system can be found here.
The battle proved short and one sided, and can even be described as a massacre, with HERO Coalition losing two hundred and nineteen ships, the vast majority of them to WAFFLES. bombers, for a total of four billion ISK of damages. However, it must be said that this was the cheapest exchange so far compared to the costs of previous battles.
For their part, HERO Coalition managed to destroy fifteen enemy ships, most of which belonged to the WAFFLES. bomber wing and equaling to six hundred million ISK in damages.
At the height of the fighting the F4R2-Q system hosted close to five hundred pilots, with Time Dilation being noticeable and effecting the fight.
Unlike the previous battle of F4R2-Q which showed HERO Coalition's ability to fight toe to toe with Pandemic Legion, and even grasp a strategic victory over its better equipped and more experienced foe, this battle proved to be a far cry from a serious attempt to protect the system, and could only be interpreted as HERO Coalition throwing in the towel. One can only speculate if this will be the continued trend of the current conflict.