Pandemic Legion forces brought a hundred pilots strong Tengu Strategic Cruiser fleet, supported by forty WAFFLES. [N0MAD] bombers. The Pandemic Legion fleet lacked Logistics, using an Interdiction Nullified variation of the Tengu, nicknamed "Slippery Pete". As usual, Pandemic Legion forces were first in the system, ready for HERO Coalition's arrival.
HERO Coalition for its part, brought a full Eagle Heavy Assault Cruiser fleet, with a robust electronic warfare wing in the form of Maulus Frigates, anti bomber support wing of Harpy Assault Frigates and a Test Alliance Please Ignore [TEST] Ishtar Heavy Assault Cruiser fleet. All told, HERO Coalition's forces numbered around seven hundred pilots in sub capital ships.
The two forces met in HED-GP on the station, both positioning themselves on the station grid, exchanging short bursts of fire and then warping off. HERO Coalition's forces decided after a while to dock up in the station, while Carriers were brought in to start repairs.
Early fighting on the station grid
This proved to be a mistake by HERO Coalition as attempts to leave the station were countered by WAFFLE. bombers who promptly forced the fleets to dock up time and again. By the third attempt, HERO Coalition's fleets finally managed to get out and engaged Pandemic Legion's fleet head on, who for its part continued a pattern of hit and run attacks, warping in and out of the grid and not lingering too long.
WAFFLE. bombing run on the undocking HERO Coalition forces
As the battle continued, news of HERO Coalition Dreadnoughts located on the Keberz gate filtered in. A force containing nearly twenty Dreadnoughts was in the process of removing the Sovereignty Blockade Unit on that gate, while Pandemic Legion's fleet was occupied on the station grid. With the Capital ships confirmed on the gate, Pandemic Legion's Interceptors and Interdictors burned in for the tackle.
The trapped HERO Coalition Capitals
Managing to trap a small group. Pandemic Legion's fleet arrived on grid alongside WAFFLE. bombers and engaged the Capital ships. The combined force made short work of several of the trapped Capitals, however, due to lack of Interdictors, the majority of Dreadnought managed to escape. This left only five Dreadnoughts to be destroyed by Pandemic Legion forces: Three Naglfars, a Moros and a Pheonix, resulting in fourteen billion ISK damages.
HERO Coalition halfheartedly attempted to free the Dreadnoughts, who were probably written as a loss from the start, but was quickly forced back by both Pandemic Legion's fleet and WAFFLE. bombing runs, deciding instead to re-group at the station.
With the Sovereignty Blockade Unit destroyed, the station was saved from Pandemic Legion's aggression, and a large Carrier task force was set to repairing the armor and shields of the station. And yet, the battle between the sub-Capital fleets continued to rage in the system unabated. The fight moved from the station and Keberz gate to the SV5-8N gate where the last Sovereignty Blockade Unit was removed by HERO Coalition. A few attempts to harass the force at work were made, but nonetheless the Sovereignty Blockade Unit was destroyed.
Fighting on the SV5-8N gate
The fight then rolled back and forth between the different celestials in the system, as HERO Coalition attempted to destroy a Pandemic Legion tower which was suspected as a WAFFLE. bomber staging base, managing to reinforce it, while being continuously harassed by the Pandemic Legion Tengus and WAFFLE. bombers.
By this point the station was fully repaired and the Carrier force extracted safely from the system. Sporadic fighting continued, but as the fight reached its third hour, it became apparent that both sides were exhausted. Both forces extracted in the end without further incident, with Pandemic Legion deploying new Sovereignty Blockade Units and reinforcing the station once more.
During the peak of the fighting, the system hosted more than one thousand pilots, with Time Dilation playing a significant factor as it fluctuated, reaching up to thirteen percents at times. All in all three hundred and eighty-three ships were destroyed during the fight, for thirty-five billion ISK of damages.
Both Pandemic Legion and HERO Coalition managed to suffer only minor losses to their respective main battle fleets, but losing a great deal of support ships.
Pandemic Legion lost only four Tengus as well as ten tackle ships, with the rest of the losses being WAFFLE. bombers, representing forty-four ships destroyed for five billion ISK in dmages.
HERO Coalition lost only ten percent of its main battle fleet, but also a great deal of tackle, electronic warfare and anti bomber support, as well as a quarter of the [TEST] Ishtar fleet. All told, HERO Coalition lost three hundred and thirty-eight ships, for sixteen billion ISK in damages (Excluding the Dreadnoughts losses).
Bomber activity was moderate, with WAFFLE. bombers dominating the battle and inflicting the majority of the losses.
Fixed Battle Report for the HED-GP system can be found here.
It is important to note that Pandemic Legion did not choose to escalate further during the fighting, unlike in previous engagements. One may speculate as for the reason for this.
All told, the battle of HED-GP is still far from over, with this being only another skirmish in a long series over the system. History has shown that the loss of HED-GP was the death blow for any entity that lived in the Catch region. Should HERO Coalition fail in keeping the defense of this system, one could easily imagine that it would spell its doom. Only the coming days will tell.