Two notable items, however.
First of all, fleet's in. The big alliances appear to be back from war.
With rare exception, most Providence fights since the Great Eviction have been absent the big hats - Pandemic Legion (PL), Against All Authorities (AAA) and their ilk. Now, with the big war down South between the Northern and Southern coalitions ground to a halt, the AAA pilots are taking a little R&R in Providence. This weekend saw the first engagement that featured both a significant AAA and PL participants in strength.
Secondly, the CVA appears to be on the slippery slope toward either regime change or a failscade.
CVA's "reclaiming" of Providence sputtered to a halt just out of the starting gate. Nonetheless, their leadership continues to press the fight, determined to grind down the infidel's resolve with CVA role-play religious fervor.
However, it is the CVA pilots who are being ground down.
CVA leadership's strategy of relentless uphill fights in R3 and X-R against overwhelming odds is taking a toll on CVA personnel. They are having difficulty mustering fleets of any size. In one engagement, the CVA-block fleet amounted to 22 ships against a New Providence Holders/AAA fleet of 140; the NPH/AAA capital ships alone outnumbering the CVA subcapital fleet.
When an alliance with 1016 pilots can't pull together a fleet larger 40 ships over a weekend, its a sign that pilot morale and bank accounts are in the bucket. Postings by CVA pilots confirm this, with one pilot referring to such engagements as "Fail, but fights are better than spinning in station."
Not all pilots agree about losing fights being better than spinning in station. The fleet numbers suggest many CVA pilots are either leaving ships in station rather than bringing them out into an obvious no-win fight, or are simply unable to replace lost ships.
Another CVA pilot writes:
As for retaking provi, I don't see that happening any time soon. Of course we will continue to mess with the new provi alliance's sov, but we barely have enough people to fight them if they put up a CTA
Even messing with new provi is getting difficult for CVA. Their R3 gate camp, once a deathtrap for ships entering Providence via Misaba, has become a stalking spot for roaming New Providence pvp gangs looking for CVA targets.
CVA leadership seems utterly oblivious to the fact that their campaign is being fought on their pilots' collective nickle. When that burden gets too heavy, when too many ships are lost and the isk aren't there to replace them, pilots pull ships back from the line.
When a 1000 member alliance comes to this state, you can be sure those pilots not busy sacrificing themselves on the alter of their leadership's egos are either planning a coup, or looking for better options.
Therefore, ask not for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for CVA.
As it does, I remain fascinated by CVA leadership's relentless use of "we're a role playing alliance" to justify epicly poor strategic and diplomatic decisions. The two are unrelated.
Role-play only justifies idiotic decisions if the role you play is an idiot.