With the Minmatar push on Auga at the beginning of September ending relatively quietly, Minmatar forces continued to take advantage of the seemingly random Gallente farmers by pushing other systems. Vard, Eszur, and Turnur represent but a few of the systems that the Amarr could not cling to in the waning days of the Gallente incursion. Over time, the Gallente slowly dissipated to counteract Caldari gains following the sudden insertion of Pasta Syndicate. As the Gallente left, fewer and fewer systems risked vulnerability, the warzone became far more static, and everything returned to “all quiet on the other front.”
Activity in the Amarr-Minmatar warzone has subsequently fallen off. Although there have been instances of interesting engagements around systems such as Vimeini, which took three separate Amarrian fleets to take due to the intervention of Shadow Cartel and SCUM., many battles have been dictated by third parties rather than by the warzone’s namesake militia groups. The perennial threat of Pandemic Legion carrier fleets, Shadow Cartel black ops dropping, or SCUM gatecamping checks activity levels from militia groups of both sides. Oftentimes, even when groups wish to push against the larger entities, it still requires outside intervention, as is the case of this engagement in Amamake, where various Amarr militia entities including Calibrated Chaos, Imperial Outlaws, and Loaded-Dice teamed up with Overload Everything and Did he say Jump to engage a Pandemic Legion strategic cruiser fleet.
And yet, some groups persevere against the backdrop of pirates and the ever-present threat of the imminent cyno. On the Amarrian side, the Loaded-Dice [D6] alliance regularly leads an almost daily open-militia fleet known as “Southern Inquisitorial Command.” This fleet is a collection of ships ranging from fast-tackle frigates to battleships, patrolling the spacelanes of the Bleak Lands and Devoid regions in search of targets. On September 22, 2014, they discovered a Minmatar cruiser fleet.
According to Abin Secheh of Loaded-Dice’s Imperial LansDrahd, Loaded-Dice organized the Southern Inquisitorial Command to begin plexing other systems following the fall of Kurniainen. The initial patrol fleet, made up of a number of frigates, destroyers, and Omen Navy Issues made contact with a Minmatar cruiser fleet led by Niluso of Crimson Canakinumab [CCANA] on the gate between Labapi and Asghed. Abin Secheh holds that the Amarrian fleet was made up of a scattered dozen or so pilots while Niluso’s command numbered close to twenty strong. One Omen Navy Issue pilot, Epileleplepsy of Blood Fountain Massacre [BFM] (which had splintered from D6 two days before) was caught by the Minmatar cruiser fleet. He was aggressed on one side and forced to burn to gate, only to be aggressed by the other half of the enemy fleet on the other side. Still, he bought time for the Southern Inquisitorial Command to reship into cruisers with an Apocalypse-class battleship to take the brunt of their firepower.
Like in many battles, the next minutes were characterized by posturing. As Niluso recounts, “I originally had no interest in fighting them on their terms, we were all in cruisers, no ECM, no logi. They had an apoc, 3 logi, (possible ECM, they brought it in after the fighting started) and assorted cruisers, etc. I wanted to fight in Asghed in a med plex, that was the plan.” After this game of cat-and-mouse with the Amarrians, they appeared on scan at a jump gate. At that point, Niluso made a bold choice after some quick thinking, “I for some reason decided that since they they had a long warp, their cap would be partially drained. We had neuts, damps, and TDs.”
Finally, however, the two fleets made contact yet again on the Asghed gate in Labapi. However, disaster struck for the Amarrian pilots almost immediately. As Abin Secheh states, “Unfortunately, our Logi pilots–2 Augorors–warped to 0 with the rest of the fleet and we lost one in the first minute or so of the brawl. The second was able to apply reps for a few minutes until it was capped out.”
In the ensuing brawl, the Amarrians found that their opponents could reship in the system, drawing out the engagement even as the Apocalypse ultimately succumbed to Minmatar firepower. As the meatgrinder settled, the isk war was won by the Minmatar while the Amarrians managed to hold the field. And then, as if working to a timetable all on their own, a Pandemic Legion Scythe Fleet Issue lit a cyno to bridge in Archons — twice.
The full battle report can be viewed here. Special thanks to Abin Secheh of Loaded-Dice and Niluso of Crimson Canakinumab for contributing to this report.