Calm before the storm.
Local is hovering at around 360, the vast majority of that is Solar and their allies, the Solar maelstrom fleet and -A- Tengu fleet are drawn up at range of the 4YO in gate waiting for the battle to begin, anticipation is high with relatively low key smack in local between Solar and there Allies and the XDeath coalition members already in local .(well to be honest most of the smack seen during the whole engagement would be be between -A- and PL but no one expects anything else.)
Advance warning had been given of hostile White Noise and XDeath Bomber ops in system with them filtering into system early in the main and although a few stragglers failed to make it in safely it was generally known a large number had successfully entered the system so it should not have come as a surprise when the -A- Tengu fleet once more came under a massed bomb run from white noise and XDeath at 17:47. While not as wildly successful as a previous run by white noise that wiped out a -A- Tengu fleet this run did succeed in killing 3 Tengu, 2 Cerberus and as will not surprise anyone a drake. (there is always a drake 🙂 )
This bomb run forced most of the -A- fleet off the gate briefly, but they rapidly returned in good order, first serious blood to XDeath and friends but this may have also have shown a repeated deficit in XDeath and friends coordination as this did not coincide with the conventional fleets jumping in as was expected. This failure to capitalise on the disruption caused and the lack of coordinate between different groups would impact the outcome of the battle and seems from observation of many of the battles of this war to be a regular flaw in XDeath and allies operations.
Instead of XDeath and friends jumping in now over the next few minutes a light smattering of pilots who were obviously incapable of not jumping through gates until told to would jump gate into U930-A from 4YO and be introduced to Darwinian theory at its harshest.
Battle is joined.
A full 23 minutes after the first bomb run at 18:10 the XDeath lead coalition finally jumps on mass through the 4YO gate into U930-A, Tidi takes effect (though this was a smooth transition that rapidly righted itself, well done CCP) as local swells from 360 to over 700. The game was on! After XDeath and white noise had taken the early initiative with there first bomb run they were conspicuously absent at this important moment.
This is a fault that can not be levelled at Solar and allies, as the gate in became flooded with XDeath and allies they were duly bubbled in place and multiple wings of Solar bombers de-cloaked and dropped their payloads into this target rich environment. As this engagement continued further rolling bomb runs would be conducted by Solar, Gypsy Band, Imperial Legion and allies, although few more ships appeared to actually be killed entirely by subsequent bomb runs the area damage of these runs must have caused considerable issues for Xdeath’s coalition logistics. Bubbles were kept on the gate for a long time and the fight continued at a frantic rate, A combined Pandemic Legion and Northern Coalition. Fleet of sniper Tier 3 Battle-cruisers (Tidi cats) joined the fray and the XDeath coalition appeared to be fighting back against the superior Solar coalition positions off gate, much death on both sides as the high alpha of both sides fleets made a mockery of logistics. The PL/ NC. Fleet began to make its presence felt, skirting the edges of the fight and using their superior range and agility to pick there fights. Unfortunately this status quo was not to last.
At 18:17 Gypsy Band bombers uncloaked of the PL/NC. Fleet and dropped their payload, although PL and NC. attempted to escape they lost 9 Oracles, 2 Naga’s and a smattering of support (including a prober which may have impacted their later ability to get good warp ins though it would be expected and hoped that there would have been multiple prober’s in there fleet for just such a happening.)
By this point the battle was starting to become fragmented, with XDeath Coalition fleets attempting to get themselves out of the shooting gallery that was the 4YO gate, unfortunately due to effective bubbling this led to fleets becoming fragmented and getting killed piecemeal by The Solar coalition. The effective Solar Coalition bombing was still ongoing throughout in-spite of bubbles. At 18:27, 10 minutes after there first successful bomb run Gypsy band got another successful bomb run on the PL and NC. Fleet, this time 21 Oracles, 3 Naga’s, a Tornado, a Talos, a further bubbler and a large number of pods died in the conflagration.
By this point the battle was already effectively over and settled into small little fights as stragglers were picked off or escaped from system, The first SBU was destroyed by the Solar coalition at 18:55 less than 50 minutes after the XDeath coalition jumped into system.
In Summation the battle of U930-A was won convincingly by Solar and there allies, the system saved and a great deal more damage done to the XDeath lead coalition. Bombers again showed themselves to be a massive tactical asset when used effectively and in a coordinated fashion with other conventional forces, a trick Solar and Allies appear to be able to achieve more regularly than the XDeath lead coalition.
Here is a link to the Gypsy Band kill-board that shows a nicely effective time line of the battle.
The ongoing war.
Anyone who believes this war will be over soon in favour of XDeath may need to re-analyse their sources as at the moment Moral in the Solar camp appears to be high and the XDeath coalition forces also fought hard from a poor position, whichever way this campaign goes it looks it will be giving those involved “good fights” for a while yet.