24th Imperial Crusade in Amamake Offensive
Amamake, Heimatar - Pilots and member corporations of the 24th Imperial Crusade, assisted by elements of the State Protectorate, have sequentially engaged pirate and Matari fleets to hold the field in the Amamake system. After nearly two hours of fighting, the joint Amarr - Caldari action has claimed the destruction of four carrier ships.
"A Heretic Army carrier and battleship support was found sitting idly in an asteroid belt," states Gunboat Diplomacy and 24th IC pilot Carmine Terriv in his GalNet statement on the engagement. The Amarr Militia's initial force of some twenty pilots engaged the carrier and its support resulting in losses on both sides.
"It began to draw to a stalemate as the Heretic carrier could not be broken," states Mr Terriv, indicating that the initial Imperial fleet lacked sufficient firepower to destroy the carrier.
To the Amarr militia's surprise, a second carrier arrived at the asteroid belt. A "frantic" call for support was issued, more than doubling the Amarr numbers in short order, as well as receiving support form a number of State Protectorate pilots in the area.
The engagement continued to escalate as reinforcements and support for both sides continued to arrive. "Soon there were massive numbers of ships flooding on both sides into the asteroid belt," says Mr Terriv in his statement.
"We had to switch targets constantly," stated Jackman2232, describing the first engagement of the evening, "Mostly it boiled down to waxing the non-armour tankers first, then focusing fire like crazy," he continued, citing the steady stream of reinforcements as responsible for the eventual success of the action.
In a brief interview, Heretic Army CEO MirrorGod and member Saithe denied any working relationship between Heretic Army and the Minmatar militia, including Dark-Rising corporation in particular who were to play a large part in the second engagement with the Amarrian and Caldari militia. The two in fact have quite hostile relations.
"We cut ties with the Minmatar Militia long ago. We offered a lot of help to them before Dark-Rising joined the faction, but not after," stated MirrorGod. Saithe offers an explanation for what some regard as the suspicious and timely arrival of Dark-Rising: "They showed up because they heard about our capitals being engaged in Amamake, and they wanted a piece of the action. They simply showed up too late."
With regard to the battle itself, MirrorGod down-played the action as an isolated tactical blunder. "One of our carrier pilots was out of line, it was not a proper engagement on our side," claims MirrorGod. "[Our] carrier pilot is reimbursing all our losses; that's all I know or care of it."
Saithe adds that the presence of the Heretic carrier in the asteroid belt was in fact an effort to bait the Imperial militia fleet. "The Amarr apparently were working with the Caldari militia, and brought a blob a lot bigger than we expected."
Dark Rising Intervene
A mere twenty minutes after the rout of the Heretic Army pirates, Dark-Rising committed their fleet to the Dal stargate in system.
"We received word from the militia that a pirate corporation, Heretic Nation, had deployed carriers in one of the asteroid belts in Amamake, and that the Amarr had a large fleet engaging them," said Dark-Rising CEO Mitch Taylor in an interview. "We arrived late," he adds.
Sending their capital ships directly to a station via cynosural fields, Dark-Rising FCs felt that the joint Amarr - Caldari fleet was too numerous to tackle head-on. "We figured if we waited long enough, their numbers would drop to something manageable," stated Mr Taylor. The apparent withdrawal of the Caldari pilots seemed to shift numbers in their favour, whereupon Dark-Rising took to the field.
"I think it's fair to say we had the upper hand to begin with; caps were able to keep people alive and [the Amarr militia] had nothing to threaten our carriers" said Mr Taylor, echoing Carmine Terriv's comment on the "nightmare of capital ship remote reps" for the Amarr side.
The battle turned in the Imperial Crusade's favour as they deployed their own capital ships, including a Moros-class dreadnought, and were reinforced by nearby militia members. "They continually reinforced losses," observes Mr Taylor. "Sadly, the Minmatar fleet pilots could not or would not do the same."
"The Amarr really stepped up" said Mr Taylor, before describing the Dark-Rising withdrawal. "We took the decision to evacuate what we could. An emergency cynosural field was activated in our home system and we began desperately engaging tacklers and smart bombing support frigates to get them off us."
This concerted effort from Dark-Rising would save two capital ships from destruction as they left the field to the Amarr.
"The most exciting day I have ever seen in the war, hands down," said Mr Terriv, a sentiment shared by Jackman2232 who closed by thanking his militia allies: "It wouldn't have been possible without our other FCs Angelonico and Constantinee."
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