Saturday, June 26, 2010

The Man Who Wasn't There

Yesterday, upon the stair,
I met a man who wasn’t there
He wasn’t there again today
I wish, I wish he’d go away...
     - Hughes Mearns

CVA has a talent for getting its friends to piss in their own Corn Flakes. 

A few weeks ago rumors began circulating in various forums of a vast capital and super-capital fleet was assembling in Misaba, poised to take Providence from the New Providence Holders installed there by Against All Authorities (AAA) after the Great Eviction.  Sometimes the fleet was Northern Coalition. Sometimes it was Pandemic Legion. A second rumor, that Atlas Alliance was joining the Northern Coalition and would open a second front against the NPH from its systems in northern Providence, began to circulate soon after.

CVA partisans were gleeful, assuming AAA's vassal alliances would soon be driven from the region. They weighed in with the odd "Ammar Victor" and waited expectantly to  for deliverance from AAA. 

Now, sensible folk would take such rumors with a grain of salt. The absence of any uptick in Misaba of NC or PL traffic or other activity might be taken by some as a sign that the rumors of a five hundred ship capital fleet in that system were, in fact, rumors. 

Sensible, it appears, is not in Opticon Alliance's vocabulary.  

Opticon Alliance was one of the New Providence Holder alliances. Several of its larger corporations were formerly of Aegis Militia, which had held space in Providence from CVA prior to the Great Eviction. Rather than follow CVA into exile, Aegis' corporations merged with Enforcers of Serenity (EOS) to form Opticon Alliance, and were granted a constellation in Providence by AAA under the New Providence Holder terms and conditions. 

It appears that, with rumors of the phantom fleet and Atlas' defection swirling in the forums, CVA leadership managed to convince some of their old Aegis friends in Opticon's leadership that the New Providence Holders were about to be swept from Providence and that the smart money was on switching sides while there was still time. Casting aside common sense, Opticon bet the house on CVA. Opticon renounced all agreements with AAA and the New Providence Holders and declared themselves CVA allies. 

And immediately shed half their membership. 

It seems some of the Opticon corporations are well aware of CVA's track record where its friends are concerned, and were not swayed by unsubstantiated rumors of super-cap armadas. Within a week of the internal announcement, twelve of Opticon's twenty-five corporations left the alliance, taking 405 of the Opticon's roughly 750 pilots along with them. Several of the larger departing corporations, such as Leather Knights, were former Aegis corporations, indicating a sharp split among former CVA allies as to how far CVA could be trusted. 

Needless to say, the vast invasion fleet never materialized, evaporating into the mists of political fiction. When an NC capital and super-capital fleet did appear, it was in Venal rather than Providence. That fleet, lagged and caught in an apparent log-off bug, was badly mauled by it's opponents. Meanwhile Atlas Alliance has made no move to join the Northern Coalition.

Opticon, having cast aside the sovereignty protection of its AAA agreements is under attack. As of this writing it has lost one of its systems and, with its membership fractured, doesn't appear to be well positioned to defend the rest. As with Paxton, CVA has been able to convince a friend to sacrifice itself on the altar of CVA's ambition. 

Why would CVA do such a thing to friends? 

For one thing, I suspect CVA's leadership would rather see its friends destroyed than to see them prosper in a Providence controlled by CVA's enemies. Further, in order to stave off its growing irrelevance, CVA seems determined to exercise any control it retains in Providence affairs. If that control is limited to persuading friends to self-destruct, so be it. However, CVA is running out of friends to throw on its own funeral pyre. 

As I've pointed out elsewhere, CVA's combat effectiveness is limited, even by the standards of much smaller alliances. On paper it boasts nine hundred members, however pilot activity and fleet sizes indicate a large portion of those members are alt or inactive pilots, left unculled in order to keep up appearances. CVA members themselves admit that retaking Providence is a distant dream. And that dream slips further away as CVA continues its slow, relentless failscade.

Even CVA's sole hope of regaining Providence; that a major nullsec player, in order to spite AAA, will retake Providence and re-install CVA to its former place, has all but evaporated.

Let's say the stars totally align for CVA's ambition. Let's say AAA becomes completely occupied with matters elsewhere, implodes or is otherwise unable or disinclined to intervene in Providence. Let's also say cooperation among the New Providence Holders in the face of a mutual threat breaks down and those alliances are at each others' throats. Finally, a major player in EVE nullsec decides to twist AAA's tail, comes down upon Providence like the wrath of god, and sweeps the New Providence Holders away.

Ammar victor? Not bloody likely.

The assumption that an alliance like Pandemic Legion is going to hand Providence over to CVA, who's leadership has already pissed away one nullsec empire, betrayed CVA friends, and generally shown themselves to be incompetent, both militarily and administratively is, to be polite, idiotic.

Even if this weren't the case, CVA is not the alliance they once were. One could argue that they haven't been that alliance for some time - even before the Great Eviction. Empires tend to rot from the inside out. They survive on reputation long after their ability to back up that reputation has been spent. Finally events conspire to expose the internal weakness; the empty vessel CVA has become. Given Providence on a platter, CVA could not hold it. 

Incapable of anything but minor mischief, more a threat to its friends than to its enemies, CVA has become the proverbial "man who wasn't there"; doomed to in-substance, but unable to leave and rebuild its fortunes elsewhere.


  1. Agree. The track record that has been shown by CVA towards its friends before its enemies should be (now more than ever) a fair warning to anyone thinking about dealing with them. As part of the New Providence holders I see CVA more active in the forums, than they are in ships. CVA is dead, to me CVA is nothing more than a bitter voice that poisons not only itself but anyone that is seduced by its half truths and empty promises. If CVA told me they were an Amarr friendly alliance, at this point I would start to doubt even that since I heard it from them. Your choice on the name and theme of this blog by the way is more than excellent. CVA truly is…..the man that wasn’t there.

  2. What CVA ought to do is man up and start waging a guerrilla war like UK did (why yes, you can fit a cloak to anything); the Providence environment is perfect for that kind of warfare.

    Then they ought to start treating their friends like they are ... well ... friends.

    And maybe, just maybe, after a few years of being a pest they'll have some powerful friends to help them retake Providence.

    But ... it's unlikely, because NRDS just isn't "cool".

  3. Fiddler's Note: Over the course of the next few weeks following this post, Opticon Alliances systems were taken by New Providence forces and a new alliance was installed in Opticon's place. Opticon no longer holds sov in Providence.