In the first major engagement of the Fountain campaign, TEST Alliance, with assistance from Pandemic Legion, Black Legion, Northern Coalition., The Retirement Club, Nuli Secunda, and Tribal Band, held off the Goonswarm-led Clusterfuck Coalition and saved the J5A-IX system.
The system of J5A-IX is right next door to B-DBYQ, the CFC staging system. There is, however, a regional gate between the two. (B-D is in Cloud Ring.) The gulf between J5A and B-D is just over eleven light years. Consequently, Jump Drive Calibration IV dreadnoughts and titans need a midpoint to transit the distance. This would be an important factor in the battle to come.
J5A is not a station system, and as such, when the Infrastructure Hub comes out of its final timer, sovereignty can be flipped. This would have made it the first system lost by TEST in this campaign). GSF Recon pilots were ever-watchful of Karan, TEST's staging system in Aridia lowsec, and informed the CFC FCs of their fleet comps. These fleet commanders were also aware that TEST would not be alone in this fight.
The CFC formed up over a thousand pilots for the battle, relying on their main doctrines of Tengus and Tempest Fleet Issues, with Caracals and electronic warfare ships in support. TEST returned to its old standby of Rokhs and Navy Apocalypses. Their allies brought along AHACs and a Dominix blob with heavy bomber support, with their fleets also numbering around a thousand. The CFC was also concerned about NC. and PL’s large supercapital fleets.
Both sides formed up at roughly the same time, but due to the CFC’s forming system being one jump away from the target system, the CFC forces entered system first. Time dilation commenced upon the arrival of CFC fleets in system, and went to maximum when the TEST and allied fleets appeared as well.
The CFC FCs quickly concluded that an engagement versus TEST and friends with equal numbers of subcaps - while under the Sword of Damocles that is the PL supercapital fleet - was stupid, and withdrew their forces to the safety of B-D. They used hictors and dictors to place drag bubbles on the gate, allowing the CFC fleets time to withdraw and get set up. Shortly thereafter, TEST (and friends) jumped in. The fight commenced.
At the beginning of the battle, the CFC used their positional advantage to kill command ships. They were able to kill a good number of them before the TEST & friends fleets were able to maneuver into their own optimal range. At this point, the fight turned into a slugfest. DPS ships of all kinds poured fire into each other, and the logistics struggled to keep up.
The battle crawled along, never exiting maximum TiDi. Eventually, the fight moved to the station, where the fleets brawled again. At this point, the CFC undocked a small number of capitals - blap dreads and boot carriers - to counterattack.
Following losses on the station, TEST et al withdrew. The I-Hub was repped by TEST, but then reinforced by the CFC all over again. There are plenty of timers still ticking down in Fountain, with a few coming out in US Prime. Expect more fights of this size as the war heats up.
In a more general war update, the MWM system of ZUE-NS was finally taken by the CFC on their fourth attempt. After losing three TCUs to TEST fleets, the CFC Skyteam ordered a continious guard on the TCU, resuling in a last minute battle to save the TCU by CFC skirmish commanders in Caracals v. TEST Oracles.