Monday, January 10, 2011

The Lion In Winter

Thing are betwixt and between in nullsec at the moment.

Pandemic Legion's attempt to stake a claim in NPC Venal has more or less unraveled. As I've written elsewhere, PL these days has declined the costly business of holding nullsec sovereignty in favor of being nomadic elite PvP mercenaries. Indications are that the ISK coming in from merc contracts and pirated tech moons wasn't keeping up with the outflow. New contracts were not coming in as one would hope and capital ship losses were mounting. Rank and file members were reportedly not getting reimbursed for ships lost in combat.

The Venal plan was apparently to carve out a sphere of influence in NPC nullsec that would provide them both moon mining and renter income without the financial and administrative headaches of post-Dominion sovereignty. Further, as sovereignty in NPC nullsec is fixed, PL's presence would not be evident on the sov maps and PL controlled space in Venal could not be taken from them via sov warfare. Pandemic Legion's leadership would have the breathing room needed to review and reorganize their fleets and organization in the face of recent military setbacks. Meanwhile, Venal would provide rank and file PL pilots with a safe place place to rest, rat, refill their bank accounts and rebuild their stock of ships. 

The Northern Coalition, not pleased with the prospect of Pandemic Legion as neighbors, undertook  a series of strikes against PL in Venal. Leveraging their superior numbers and time zone coverage, Northern Coalition pilots staged round the clock operations, taking down Pandemic Legion POS and mining installations, driving PL from their staging systems near NC space back to constellation UTZ-7B, and generally putting PL's Venal plan to the torch. 

In the meantime things continue to not go well for IT Alliance in Fountain.

Once again SirMolle has made an all-hands call to arms to defend Fountain against Goonswarm and Test Alliance. This time IT leaked the news that SirMolle himself would lead an enfilading attack against Cloud Ring in an attempt to relive pressure on the Fountain front and allow Black Star Alliance to take back PNQY. This proved a feint, the IT Alliance hope evidently being to draw some of the Goonswarm/Test strength in Fountain off to to defend Cloud Ring. While a small IT Alliance fleet attacked at a Cloud Ring gateway system, the main IT force struck at PNQY once more.

However, once again, the turnout for the event amounted to less than five percent of IT's membership. The Goonswarm/Test leadership had not risen to the bait and shifted significant forces out of Fountain. Once again the IT Alliance forces were driven from the field and took refuge in a staging POS. Once again IT's supporting allies were denied access to the POS, bouncing off the POS force field- an occurrence so regular in these fights that Goonswarm and Test Alliance have developed a tactic called "drive-bys" to take advantage of it.

So the Goonswarm and Test Alliance forces remain in Fountain, not only repelling the attacks of IT Allianc and their allies, but adding to the systems they control. Probing attacks have begun on IT Alliance holdings in Fountain's station-rich Unicorn constellation.

With IT Alliance punching well below its weight class, talk in the forums and Eve blogosphere has shifted from what IT Alliance might do to its enemies, to what IT Alliance's enemies will do to IT Alliance. For the first time since IT Alliance reclaimed its space in Delve and Querious, there is talk of invasion and the dividing up of that territory once IT Alliance has been driven out. Mind, IT Alliance is still on its feet, well ensconced in Delve, and mere talk will not remove them. However, it is Winter for the lion of nullsec. Weakness has been betrayed, and the wolves have begun to circle.

And there are rumors that Pandemic Legion may join the hunt.  


  1. I can't help but wonder if IT might actually have access to a war chest appropriate for their size, even if they lack the player participation that would be expected of them. If so, it seems like PL and IT might be the answers to one another's prayers, at least for the moment.

    Of course, if their coffers were sufficiently deep to make that a viable option, we would probably have already seen something of it.

  2. Fiddler's note. The Mittani has posted a number of convos and communications, purportedly from IT Alliance command channels. Bear in mind, these predate Dark Rising's departure from the alliance so they are at least a month old.

    However, assuming they are genuine, they reflect the leadership conflict within IT Alliance and SirMolle's disconnect from his own command structure I described in my December 12 'PNQY - When Legends Fall' post.

    God I'm good. ;)

  3. Ah! Sorry, link to the Mittani post:

  4. PL coming in to help IT is really the only thing I think that can save Fountain. I think that PL and RUS are the only entities that TEST/Goons should fear.

    Please post more often - your political analysis is awesome.