Monday, July 25, 2011

The Gathering Storm

There is a growing realization in New Eden that the Drone Russian Forces (DRF), in combination with their vassal alliances, primarily Raiden[DOT], Ev0ke, Northern Coalition[DOT], Pandemic Legion and a cast of smaller players and hangers on, comprise a clear and present danger to the free alliances of nullsec.

[Fiddler's Note: Yes, PL are vassals now. PL may protest that they're their own masters and can run wild at any moment. However, a wolf may only remain in the master's kennel, wear the master's collar and bark at the master's command for so long before it becomes the master's dog. PL may be a dangerous beast, to be handled by their master with caution, but they are domesticated all the same, and there is no doubt who holds PL's leash.]

Some residents of free nullsec had hoped that the DRF and company, having taken over of the Northern Coalition's former holdings, would be content with those rich territories; that the DRF might rest easily on their spoils of war and leave the rest of nullsec to go their own way.  Alas, one can do anything with bayonets except sit on them. Like unto the heads of Europe who discovered that ceding Czechoslovakia to Germany in 1938 did nothing to end the latter's territorial ambitions, the free alliances are awakening to the knowledge that the DRF's appetite for ever more space will not be sated.

Seems there's never enough leibensraum.

The principal DRF vassals have already launched an invasion of Goonswarm's home territories and had their first incursion turned back. A bit over a week ago the Goons executed a counterattack against the invaders' staging areas in VFK-IV. Repeating a tactic used to good effect against IT Alliance last January, the Goon's and their allies caught the invaders off guard and trapped the bulk of the invasion fleet in "rapecages", bubbling the station and POS locations to prevent warp outs and camping them heavily. Thus hamstrung, the DRF Vassals were unable to respond as the Deklein Coalition forces rolled back the invaders' earlier gains.

However, the DRF and their vassals are not the hollow man that IT Alliance was back at the beginning of the year. While the DRF minions were rocked on their heels, it would be wishful thinking to assume they are going to rattle off the rails on the strength of one set-back. If the Goons are going to hold their territory, they're going to have to show they can pull many more rabbits out of the hat while hanging in a grinding sovereignty fight that could last months. 

[Fiddler's Note: This weekend Pandemic Legion coordinated a suicide subcapital attack on VFK-IV's cynojammer with a mass login of their trapped superscapital ships. The PL supers were able to jump from the system , taking down a Deklein Coalition super on their way out the door. Yeah. This fight isn't over.]

Meanwhile White Noise announced its intention to invade Against All Authorities (-A-) and other Southern Russian Coalition territories. In fact, White Noise went so far as to make an appointment, telling -A- that the invasion would begin on Sunday the 24th. White Noise also let it be known that they would invade Catch from the adjacent Providence region; an odd point of entry given that region's location in relation to the White Noise home regions.

As per schedule, White Noise supported by Northern Coalition[DOT] attempted to take T-RPFU in Providence; one of the gateway systems to -A-'s home region of Catch. The system holder of record, Curatoris Veritatis alliance (CVA), received most of their current Providence holdings in a peaceful hand-off from Northern Coalition[DOT].  However, either CVA was unwilling to cooperate with the invasion, or their cooperation was not sought. CVA has been fighting alongside -A-, Cascade Imminent, Nulli Secunda and Atlas[DOT] against the DRF fleets in a see-saw battle for control of the system.

Now, the fact that White Noise was broadcasting invasion plans that didn't make a great deal of sense should have been a tip-off to the lads at -A-.  There was very obviously a big ol' tarp off in the bushes somewhere close by, lying in wait. And sure enough, today the tarp made itself known.

Not long after the T-RPFU dust up was losing steam, a second invasion force, headed by Red Alliance with support from Bloodbound and Legion of Death, rolled into the Teneferis gateway system of 46DP-O.  Along with En Garde, Red[DOT]Overlord and Stain, -A- is making a stand at that side of their territories as well. However the larger DRF plan is becoming clear: -A- is being forced into a two front war, caught (so far) between hammer and anvil in the South, while Pandemic Legion, Raiden[DOT] and Ev0ke at least pin the Deklein coalition down in the North if they're not able to overrun the Goons outright.

This is how it begins. Maybe this is how it ends. That's the sandbox for you; we get to choose. If the Goons or the Southern Russians fall, so does free nullsec. The free alliances of nullsec have a choice to make.

They must, as the saying goes, stand together or hang separately.


  1. At this point, I don't think the new NC has plans to conquer the galaxy. I believe that they have learned from the mistakes of the old NC. Their leaders know that growing fat off of Tech and anoms will slowly kill their alliance, so they are keeping their pilots on their toes by launching invasions left and right. The moment that a new NC alliance says, "Ya know, I think I'll skip this invasion," then the new NC is dead, as atrophy will have set in.

    It doesn't help the -A- and Deklein blocs, however, that the old NC is trying to take space in Delve in Querious. If MM/RZR/Br1ck had the will to fight the new NC and the humility to accept the Goon or AAA yoke, then a counterattack could be launched.

    But then again, maybe not. I think we will see many alliances taking the Goonswarm approach: holding strong under jammers and looking desperately for the supercarrier nerf.

  2. If you think cva are siding with drf you are really dumb. Wn with nc. Are attacking all of prov and all current space holders except ISS are actively killing WN ships and sbu's with aaa's support. Cva didn't drop sov, they lost the sov. Not sure where you get your info from but it stinks of ignorant arse. If you have no clue, stop making it up.

  3. In not such angry words, I need to back up Jeff. Everyone in Provi (along with -A- and Co.) has been fighting against WN. and NC.

  4. Don't be so crude, Jeff. There are politer ways to say that.

    I'm wondering if the DRF dosn't so much want to conquer nullsec as it wants to ensure that there are no other power blocks that can threaten it. It wouldn't make business sense to do away with all free nullsec, as you will spend all your time fighting brushfires, instead of generating income in peace.

  5. @Jeff-I'll have another look at the kill boards. I was unable to find a kill mail for the CVA TCU, which would indicate the device was off-lined rather than destroyed. CVA shows up on kill mails for both sides of the initial battles but seemed predominantly on the WN/NC{DOT} side of the fence. Apologies to CVA and their allies if I got that bit wrong.

    @Arg - For practical purposes, there's little difference between the two. If it walks like a conqueror and quacks like a conqueror, it is, I'm afraid, a conqueror.

    @Stevie - Sitting under jammers & holding out for a supercarrier nerf is no longer a viable option. If the Goons and the Southern Russians fall, the DRF & Co won't need Supers to mop up what remains.

  6. Correction: Cynojammers do not prevent ships from jumping out. They merely stop cyno fields from being opened (and covert cynos get around this prohibition).

    More likely the subcap fleet cleared away from bubbles from login spots of the super caps to let them jump out once they logged in.

  7. Fiddler's Note: Based on reader reports and a re-check of the kill boards, it's evident that CVA is not fighting on the side of NC[DOT] and the DRF. The posting has been updated accordingly.

    My apologies to CVA and the readership at large for getting that one wrong.

  8. @Kirith - Thanks for the clarification

  9. @Kirith: It was my impression that the new NC suicided themselves at the jammer to draw the Goons away from the rape cage. Keeping systems cyno-jammed is #1 priority for Goons, so in this case, they had to divert their fleet to the jammer, rather than maintain the rapecage. This allowed PL to mass log-in supers and escape the bubbles. Additionally, there was a mysterious happening, in which a 200-Goon fleet, preparing to reinforce both the rapecage and the jammer, saw a lone new NC Jaguar (forget which alliance) at a gate and all disconnected at once. Many are crying foul play, but we don't know for sure.

  10. How likely is it that they are trying to make the most use out of their supers now, to get as much bang for their buck as they can before the nerf? I've been thinking it makes a lot of sense. Whatever they can take now, they just have to hold as best they can, afterward, though some of it will inevitably crumble. It's the method of "throw it at the wall and see what sticks".

  11. PS: I guess my point is, my gut tells me it's a lot more this than any desire for full fledged invasion and takeover of nullsec for the longhaul. Who would even want the burden? I don't even think it's a plausible goal, destined for failure from over-extension. Surely, the Russians realize this.

  12. I need to ammend my tl;dr of the supercap esacpe.

    Goons were gatecamping, and new NC sent in one ship, which caused all 200 Goons to crash. PL & Co. ran in and began to suicide jammer, finally off-lining it. With the jammer offlined, the new NC jumped in their non-trapped supercap fleet, covering the slow-boat retreat of the trapped supers through the bubbles.

    Full Br:

  13. @Xel - Bear in mind that, for many of the DRF, Eve is not recreational.

  14. Sorry I blame the late night and the fact my Internet got cut. Rereading it I sounded like an arse. Next time I promise to be nicer :)

  15. @Jeff - No worries. Sometimes I read the tea leaves wrong. (Don't tell anyone, though - I'm trying to maintain the illusion of neigh-infallible insight.)