Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Storm Warnings

While White Noise (WN) and company gain ground in Geminate and Vale of the Silent, a quick look look at DOTLAN shows that Against All Authorities (-A-) is busily knocking at WN's back door in Teneferis

Recall that White Noise picked up most of their Teneferis holdings while participating in the rollback of -A- last September alongside The Initiative, Pandemic Legion and Circle of Two. Later, when -A- and the rest of the Southern Russian Coalition struck back at The Initiative and friends, White Noise took advantage of the situation. With The Initiative on the ropes and IT Alliance hard pressed in Fountain, White Noise opened a second front against Initiative systems in Teneferis. Scooping up Teneferis and Catch systems The Initiative was too weak to defend, White Noise expanded their rental empire significantly with little danger to themselves.

In the three months since IT Alliance fell from power, -A- has been consolidating its hold on Catch and rebuilding strength lost during their forced exile. Now, with the supercapital fleets of both Pandemic Legion and White Noise occupied in an offensive against the Northern Coalition (NC), -A- appears to feel strong enough to take back their old Teneferis holdings, offering White Noise some payback for its role in the invasion of -A- space last September.

As of today, -A- and friends have rolled White Noise from all but the Northeastern corner of Teneferis. By now White Noise renters and non-PvP resources have been relocated to systems well behind the current frontier (note the depth of buffer systems between 77S8-E, the Detroid/Teneferis entry system and the nearest renter system). Detroid, which WN shares with new DRF allies Raiden[DOT], is WN's obvious staging area and launching point for counterattacks, should they occur.  

If -A- holds pat in Teneferis and doesn't attempt to take the fight into Detroid, it's unlikely that White Noise will contest possession of Teneferis as long as things are on high boil in the North. It isn't unusual for the DRF to relocate renters and rely on the depth of their territory to wear down attackers, and then respond in force once the enemy gets bored of grinding away at structures.

If it believes a conflict with White Noise is inevitable, -A- might be looking for a smack-down with WN now rather than later. If -A- adopts a wait and see posture, they will likely face the same coalition of forces presently attacking the NC when WN comes knocking in turn. However, a push by -A- into Detroid now could force WN to detach from the Northern offensive in order to protect their Detroid assets, while the rest of the DRF remained in the North to carry on the offensive. That might allow -A- to bloody White Noise before the remainder of the DRF can get into the fight.

It would be a ballsy move, but it's not one I'd count on. With the DRF having made allies of IT Alliance spin-offs and with Pandemic Legion on their payroll they can field, at last check, 140 supercaps in a single engagement. Remember when 80 supercaps was an unthinkably large supercap fleet? My guess is that -A-, like much of nullsec, might try to follow a policy of security through obscurity; attempting to stay below the DRF radar once the conquest of Teneferis is complete. Time tends to work against large coalitions, and a change in the weather is always possible.

Alas, the DRF alliances have shown themselves resistant to such changes. So, one is left with a few choices. One might hunker down and hold one's patch of nullsec while hoping to escape notice.  One might hope that White Noise will be satisfied with what they've taken so far, their vast appetite for ever more rental properties sated at last; sort of a give-Hitler-Czechoslovakia-and-he'll-leave-us-alone strategy.  Or, one might fight the rising tide.

We'll see if someone not already under threat from the DRF steps forward to ring the alarm and organize the common defense of nullsec. If not, the DRF will likely isolate and pick off potential threats one by one, leaving a few non-affiliated nullsec regions for public relations purposes. Alliances not under the DRF umbrella will either stand together or hang separately, as they say.

So sit back and pass around the whiskey and cigars. It's going to be an interesting Summer.


  1. Parades don't win wars, maybe because most parades don't include 140 supercaps. The sheer number plus PL's reputation for effective tactics is enough to win without fighting. Many times we field fleets only to go back home when the enemy fleet makeup is revealed. DRF+PL has already beat NC. Vale will be largely conquered by this weekend. Main stations in Tribute and JB networks will be down by next weekend. All that is left is the realization that it's happened. I expect NC will stage a strategic NPC space pullback a'la AAA and hope to storm back once the dragon's attention moves elsewhere. Too bad I don't think DRF will leave the tech rich region unattended like Tenerifis.

    Something to consider is that someone built all the supercaps for fighting. Assembling those large fleets took a lot of effort. When DRF+Init went after Atlas, AAA started with the "nobody panic" alerts. With quick victories, I knew AAA was the next inevitable target.

    Although NC has put up some fights, they are largely in retreat mode hoping the nightmare will end. With such easy victories with very little losses, don't expect DRF to just stop and beat their Aeons into plowshares and settle back down. Who will be in DRF's sights next?

    An interesting side note, I think one thing very helpful against NC has been the lack of wardecs. It has allowed many northern denizens to move out to hisec, effectively thinning the NC ranks considerably.

  2. -A-'s retreat to NPC nullsec and subsequent comeback was one for the Eve tactics and strategies texts.

  3. 'The dragon' is the Goon Dragoon. And it just woke up. Goons coming to save their fellow NC members, so nothing to worry about in Tribute, etc. DRF and PL progress will grind to a halt, the lines will stalemate at Vale / Trib, NC will try to counterattack, but be stymied by RUS timers in Vale. PL will go quiet for a month before the tourney and then head down to Tenerifis to remind -A- that they have not gone unnoticed.

    Or, DRF has a few tricks left up their sleeve. We shall see.

    Agree though on -A-, much credit for their NPC resurrection. Tactical genius, not so much (drake army, lol), but it is a very difficult strategy to pull off - specifically, shed the fat but avert the death spiral before the crash.

    But NC is nothing like -A-. There is no muscle under the flabby exterior. They have never successfully led an offensive campaign, only sit in their space and defend with the same 'more numbers!!!' strategy. A better analogy for the NC would be a giant trash heap that the owners allow to rot in order to harvest and sell methane. Its so profitable that they just keep piling more crap on top. But if you think the blob will all go pile into Venal to re-emerge fighting for Vuk, a leader who has RMTed all of your isk for years, well, again, we will see. I don't think it will come to that though - stalemate at Tribute/Vale.

  4. Calderus - "...shed the fat but avert the death spiral" sums it up nicely. As you say, a tough trick to pull off. In many ways how you lose a fight is much more a test of leadership than how you win one.

    As to whether the NC alliances have the steel to hold together and snap back, we'll simply have to wait and see.

  5. I expect NC will stage a strategic NPC space pullback a'la AAA and hope to storm back once the dragon's attention moves elsewhere. Too bad I don't think DRF will leave the tech rich region unattended like Tenerifis.

    I don't think the Russians will want to abandon tech moons either. So my guess is that the DRF would be happy to lose sov in the South while gaining it in the North. In other words the NC are in big, big trouble.

    Who will be in DRF's sights next?

    I doubt they'll be able to keep going. Their options are head back South which is possible but then that opens the door for the NC to stage a come back. Stay up north and keep going? Goons? Maybe, but my guess is they'll be a bit reluctant to keep going. If they engage Goons then they end up fighting both a guerrilla war with NC elements coming out of Venal and your standard blob fests with Goons and DekCo.

    I'm thinking they'll look to consolidate their new, tech rich, holdings. That was the problem with the Initiative. They over-extended and couldn't hold on when -A- and Co finally started to fight back. The Initiative were also worn down with all that grinding of sov structures. Their participation wasn't all that great. The DRF may face the very same problem, lots of new space to set up defences in and let pilots rest and recuperate from all the fighting.

  6. Goons and TEST may be deploying to help the NC, but we are deploying subcaps, not supercaps. The NC always brought the supers to the party, Goons have historically not been able to organize the few supercaps they have, and TEST does not really own enough to be called a fleet.

    And in the face of a hundred Titans, no number of battleships will make a difference.

    I'm heading over to the fight with a scorpion, a blockade runner, and a whole lot of apprehension.

  7. @Steve - That would be the Czechoslovakia option.