Tuesday, June 1, 2010

For Whom the Bell Tolls

The long (US) weekend was a bit of a sitkreig in Southern Providence. No systems changed hands. Curatores Veritatis Alliance (CVA) still holds X-R3NM and can be found in R3-K7K, camping the Misaba gate and battering in vain at Flying Dangerous' sovereignty over the system.

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.


  1. CVA has been using that excuse as long as I have ever known them! And that's been a while.

    Memorial Day weekend (this last weekend) was super slow for my alliance as well, so perhaps that had something to do with it.

  2. "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. "

    No truer words spoken.

  3. Late US TZ has ALWAYs suffered from poor attendance. A year ago you would have found similar numbers. Your also not accounting that several of the Squatters are also very heavily US based. When your having Euro based groups fight US based groups, your going to get numbers like these.

    In our case (CVA) I think it is safe to say most of us did not seriously think we would recover R3 this soon. X-R3 was a fluke that happened to work out. R3 has been about forcing engagements, if they are going to put timers in the US where we can't reasonably compete, obviously not much is going to happen, but if we feel we can do enough damage to warrant the cost of SBUs, you can bet we're going to drop them.

  4. Trouble is, the size of CVA fleets has been on steady decline, regardless of TZ.

    Fleetfail (an abrupt drop in the number and quality of pilots/ships an alliance can field) on this scale can't be explained away by TZ. It usually represents a divergence between the directives/orders of an alliance's leadership and the inclinations of its pilot base.

    Finally, a 900+ member alliance that worries over the cost of SBUs is an alliance in deep trouble. That CVA does so while paying sov costs on ten systems that return no strategic or financial value brings the quality of their leadership into question.

  5. I disagree about the fleetfail think IF your not taking into account timezone. US timezone were most of these come out and than little reaction from CVA's standpoint has traditionally been our weakest area. Only in the few months prior to the actual invasion were we finally getting activity wise that could be comparable to what hostiles are throwing at us on a steady basis. That is not to say we're as strong as we use to be, I'll be the first to admit this is the weakest I've seen CVA's US tz covereage since I joined several years ago.

    Also take into account that the member base we have lost are the active ones which is going to leave a disproportionate amount of active to inactive members. That coupled with our traditional lax policy on running lean (culling inactives) makes us appear much larger on paper (hence the very small fleets for a 900 man alliance)

    That said we have seen a steady decline in active CVA pilots well passed our usual from a year ago.