Old Man Star, Essence Region - Following last night's report on the Gallente/Minmatar Invasion of Caldari-held stronghold system Heydieles, two attempts were made to capture the system. The first attempt was thwarted by Caldari ground forces forcing the system out of vulnerable with 33% armor left on the Infrastructure Hub. Several minutes later, Gallente ground forces surged back, returned the system to a vulnerable state, and Heydieles fell at 07:55 Eve Standard Time.
Shortly after the fall of Heydieles, offensive operations turned to Old Man Star, where fighting has been reported as "heavy" most of the day. The battle began ominously for the Caldari as an <OMG> booster Damnation was scanned down and destroyed by a Gallente fleet. Several Caldari corps and alliances have also begun to rally to assist OMG in holding Old Man Star.
Australian, European, and Russian pilots along with Americans that have a holiday today have been clashing in everything from frigates to HACs. The fighting has been the most brutal on both the insides and outsides of Factional Warfare complexes, the capture of which feeds into the contested percentage of the system, and will dictate when/if the iHub can be taken. Both sides have engaged in tactics designed to separate the opposing fleet and isolate ships ill prepared to deal with a more powerful force before help can arrive. With up to 3 complexes open at a time, there have been up to 3 battles raging at a time to match.
The ground war in this fight thus far has been decisively won by the Caldari. A Factional Warfare Dust event is also ongoing this week which may be helping drive soldiers to the fight for both sides. District ownership in Old Man Star has been 100% Caldari for most of the day.
If the Caldari are not able to hold the line at Old Man Star, it is expected that the Gallente will press on to Ladistier. If Ladistier is also taken, the most likely fallback system for the Caldari once it falls will be Aeschee, a system outside of the war zone and not vulnerable to capture.
At the time of this writing (16:50 Eve Standard time) Old Man Star is sliding towards vulnerable at a slow, but steady pace, and is presently at 51.4% contested. It was in the 30% range when Heydieles fell.