The conflict that has gripped New Eden escalated to a previously unseen level today during a coalition assault on a Band of Brothers capital shipyard in F-TE1T. An unprecedented array of capital ships were present during the attack and the Coalition lost dozens in the successful effort to take down the structure. The aftermath proved to be a salvager’s dream with a wasteland of wreckage left behind and both sides claiming victory.
When the explosions cleared, BoB had lost their tower and capital yard, along with anything that may have been inside. In return, the coalition lost at least forty capital ships, with estimates ranging as high as fifty-five. Regardless of the final figures, it marks the largest number of capital ships destroyed in a single engagement in the history of New Eden.
From all available evidence the pro-BoB forces suffered zero capital ship losses during the engagement.
At first The Coalition insisted that the capital shipyard contained a titan in production, which would have been lost in the destruction of the tower. If this is true, it is the second titan that the Coalition has destroyed in such a fashion. However, it would appear that now they are backing off these claims, showing the insidious nature of this conflict where claim and counterclaim are bandied about with reckless abandon by all parties, showing how imperative it is to win the PR battle as much as the actual one.
Nevvyn, a representative of Dusk and Dawn Alliance, acknowledges the substantial capital losses, but also made it very clear that “the target was the POS, anything else was strictly secondary.” According to him, significant losses were expected and prepared for. He refused to comment on The Coalition’s next move, and when asked for a statement, replied that the actions in F-TE1T spoke loud enough.
On the subject of today’s plans, Nevvyn was more forthcoming, saying: “Very simply, both sides formed up well in advance, the target system of F-TE1T had been full of 150-200 hostile pod pilots since the early evening. Steps had been taken to prevent our entry into the system, although we had secured our entry well in advance.”
A single warp disruption field had been placed at the POS which upset The Coalition’s idea for a rapid exit, Nevvyn explained: “The plan itself was simple, jump in, engage the pos, destroy it, and then get out. Hit and Run tactics if you wish. The first part of the plan went exactly as intended, thanks to the skill, dedication and professionalism of our pod pilots. However, it seems that there were technical difficulties with the jump gates leading into F-TE1T and also with the jump portal on Emily (The D2 Titan), despite our best efforts, when it came to the "run" part, we could not get our support into system.”
Concluding the outcome from The Coalition’s point of view, Nevvyn was succinct: “The plan was executed well, the goal was achieved, the POS died. In the Capital Ship Assembly Array, we believe there was a Titan class ship building. As with everything, gaining intelligence about the opposition is not always an exact science, and it seems the opposition have taken appropriate steps to ensure that we cannot verify our claim.”
On the other side of the conflict, Shrike, BoB Avatar pilot and close friend of SirMolle, remains confident saying: “The Coalition is now on its knees without a capital fleet. The train has hit a brick wall. They just rolled the dice, off the table in a wild gamble. I hope they think the gamble was worth it because now they don’t have a backbone.”
To give an idea of the scale of the engagement Shrike added: “We had about 2000 pilots involved tonight in various ops all over, all for the purpose of killing the capital fleet. And the capital fleet is dead.”
Meanwhile, the war continues on. Seleene, executor of the Mercenary Coalition (MC), also granted IC an interview after the battle. The MC has openly acknowledged that it is under contract from the Band of Brothers and is assisting them in the war effort, and dozens of MC ships were present in the area of F-TE1T during the fight. According to Seleene, MC’s current focus is to combine forces with BoB allies in order to achieve ‘short-term goals’. She refused to go into details with regard to what these goals were.
Summing up the battle, Seleene added an interesting point of view to events, saying: “While it's true The Coalition succeeded in their goal tonight, no group can sustain those sort of losses over and over again simply to eliminate one target.”
Sesfan Qu'lah of Goonfleet insisted: “(Our) morale is absolutely fine, most of us didn't even get to fight and we want another chance. Titans are so powerful that nobody can afford not to attack them while they're building.”
The strike represents a huge gamble on the part of The Coalition, but with a very large potential payoff. As Sesfan indicated, his side could not ignore the opportunity although responding to claims the losses had derailed operations, Nevvyn stated: “The war is still very much growing, a very slow but relentless movement.”
In the end, the deciding factor of the victor in the battle comes down to what was really building inside that tower’s capital array. As of the writing of this article, there has been no definitive confirmation by any party of what, if anything, was inside. The capsuleer community is forced to wait for BoB to divulge that knowledge, and if sources prove accurate, the much-anticipated answer will be coming within the next few days from BoB’s leadership.
Whether or not this battle will prove to be a turning point, remains to be seen, it is, however, destined to go down as one of the most memorable in New Eden history.