Thursday, August 1, 2013


If you hang out in nullsec long enough, there's going to come a day when the barbarians get inside the walls. They're going to pillage and burn. They're going to perform unnatural acts with the livestock. They're going to laugh at you and call you all manner of impolite and impolitic names.

It's never a good day.

Mord Fiddle - The Golden Hour
Ask Not for Whom the Fat Lady Sings
The Fat Lady sang for Test Alliance, Please Ignore's hold on Fountain last Monday. It had become evident to Test's leadership that help would not arrive from their N3 allies in the East soon enough. And the strains of the long defensive war in Fountain along with a series of unfortunate events had taken its toll among Test's soldiers and leadership alike. Unable to counter-punch against the CFC offensive and with the writing on the wall, Test's evacuation to Delve was announced.

Poetic Stanziel, having drunk deep of the CFC kool aid, has suggested that the time has come for Test Alliance and it's 12,000 members to go softly into that good night; to quit nullsec for a time and ponder deeply the trials they've just been through, and to consider, mayhaps, a quiet failscade off in lowsec where no one can see their shame. 

Heh. I'm loving Stanz these days. He's turning into the CFC's Tokyo Rose. He's all "Give up American GI. Why struggle? Why bleed on a distant beach for Roosevelt while he cups your girlfriends' ample bosoms back home?"  Next thing you know Stanz'll be flying over Delve on a broomstick skywriting 'Surrender Dorothy' in black smoke. 

Sad, really. Hope Stanz didn't sell his integrity cheap. 

Of course I wrote last week as to why CFC cannot tolerate Test Alliance's 12,000 members wandering nullsec off-leash: 
If Test stands with CFC's foes on the field of battle, Test's numbers make a genuine contest possible. Thus, if Test can be brought to heel and made to submit, or its numbers significantly reduced through failscade, it will remove an essential component from any opposition to the CFC's hegemony over nullsec. 
With Test unwilling to be assimilated into the CFC, Test's dissolution is now high on the CFC list of things to do. While Test remaining on the CFC's new frontier would be better for the CFC in terms of the providing good fights, CFC's leadership's places a higher priority on securing an unbreakable hold on nullsec's wealth. For CFC's leadership, the only good fight is a fight you cannot lose, and that means the CFC's overwhelming numerical superiority over the remainder of nullsec cannot be left to chance. 

Sources within CFC have said that preparations are already underway for the invasion of Delve. Test's leadership were hoping for breathing room while the CFC paused to consolidate their winnings in Fountain. However the CFC is well organized to the extent that the two activities are not mutually exclusive. If matters continue on their current course, Test will be called upon to defend themselves sooner rather than later. If Test's leadership is wise, they will not prepare for the same the same sort of hunker-down defense of Delve as failed them in Fountain.

It's possible that Test and Tribal Band's Eastern allies have committed to the defense of Delve, in which case we'll likely see a more conventional sov tussle. Even if that's the case I don't expect Pandemic Legion to show up in Delve on the Test Alliance side of the line. Since Black Legion baited and destroyed a PL supercapital fleet (doing unto PL as PL has done unto so many others) the vaunted bad boys of nullsec seem to be suffering a crisis of confidence. It's possible they'll regain the mojo that Black Legion stole, but a more likely case is that they'll continue to keep a low profile and watch from a distance.

Thus, even with allies, Test and Tribal will likely be at a numeric disadvantage. Standing alone, Test and Tribal are unlikely to have recovered sufficiently to endure a classic sov grind for long. In either event, fighting for Delve on the CFC's timetable and getting drawn into pitched battles on CFC's terms will not keep Test pilots coming back for more. Never forget that CFC's war doctrine is first and foremost a war on fun.  Trench warfare in Delve is no fun.

Barbarian hordes, on the other hand? Way fun.

For regular readers of The Edge it will come as no surprise that I'm a big fan of barbarian hordes. Barbarians are a fun loving lot. Oh sure, they can seem unpleasant, or even outright and cruel when they're swarming over the walls or setting an axe to your head; barbarians have a rough sense of humor. But, at the end of the day, they're a pretty jolly lot. Barbarians have more fun. And 12,000 barbarians? Well, that's an awful lot of jolly.

CFC has already shown the way stealth bombers can be used to destroy structures coming out of second timers. With their extended post-Odyssey bridging capability, Black Ops can give barbarian raiding parties a long arm when it comes to making mayhem deep within enemy territory. 

If Test can take the initiative and mount an active defense; combining sharp attacks using inexpensive fleets with deep strikes at key resources in CFCs backfield, they have a chance at keeping the CFC off balance, while providing Test and Tribal pilots with fun fights. And nothing brings pilots back to your fleets and allies back to your side like the sight of you having a good time tugging your foe's chin pussy.

As this next phase of the war for nullsec develops, the goal of a CFC invasion of Delve is not to possess Delve, but to tip Test Alliance into failscade, or at lease to drive off the larger part of its members. Test and Tribal's goal is for their pilots to enjoy the fight, and retreat in good order with their membership intact should the need arise. If, once all the dust has settled, Test and Tribal remain in nullsec to trouble the CFC as they sleep 'pon their starry beds, Test and Tribal may claim victory regardless of the territorial exchanges.

For Test Alliance Please Ignore, this will be a fight where the old maxim holds true: It's not whether they win or lose, but how they play the game.


  1. It isn't whether you win or lose, its how you cheat!

  2. I though goons were facing a grind fest for the Fountain systems, even after Test packed it in, but one look at Dotlan shows that they will have Fountain sorted in a matter of days.

    But I strongly doubt that goons will head into Delve en masse. They have a lot of consolidating to do, a lot of moon goo to start converting into real cash for their FC's and leadership. It is just not worth their time.

    Remember, this "game" has evolved into a business for the goon leadership. As I have said before, there is serious coin to be made. goons have the greatest stranglehold ever seen on TQ with T2 materials, and will certainly exercise that death grip.

    They can double the T2 material income chunk of the Eve economy easily. And when soundwave hands null sec all of T2 mfg by wrecking it in high sec, the amount of coin they will make is insane.

    Oh, and I enjoyed your comment on the newest goon mouthpiece's blog. Exactly how much RMT does it take before it is considered a business operation?

    1. While I hope Stanz is being well paid (in ISK) to shill for the CFC, I have no reason to believe he has been offered, or would accept, RMT cash.

      I recommend you be more circumspect in the future when suggesting specific individuals are involved in RMT.

    2. @Mord...Sorry, bad grammar on my part. I don't think the shill is into RMT.

      I meant in general, how much RMT does an organization like the goons have to do before it is considered a business operation.

    3. Lol, what a difference a month can make. Goons are already besieging Delve with a massive deployment as we speak.

  3. I'd prefer to see other corporations and alliances taking shots at the CFC. It's not very wise for Sov holding alliances to raid CFC towers, but those operating out of NPC null sec and Low-sec can raid with virtually no retaliation.

    If I were TEST, I'd start offering public bounties on CFC structure. Show an API confirmed kill mail, and pay out 1.2x it's cost in bounty.

    The CFC would then have to divide it's forces to deal with these raiders, whilst also applying pressure to Delve. They could start hunting the raiders, but that would lead them out of their comfort zone, and for what? Protracted sieges of NPC stations whilst the various pirate corps laugh at them?

    But, I don't know much about Null-sec, or even if this is possible. I can only assume the wormholers are doing this already. They're used to shooting structure for wormhole evictions, and have essentially random entry points.

  4. I suspect that at least initially we'll hunker down. How much will we have to contest timers is unknown but we deliberately withheld battleships from the 6V timer choosing to save them for another occasion.

    We've also deployed to NOL in sov nullsec so we're fairly committed to not losing our staging system cheaply.

    As for PL the soundcloud with Grath made it clear that these are PL noobs who didn't take the most basic of precautions.

  5. Personally, I'm just pleased that events have brought the "chin pussy" back to the Edge. We missed you!

    1. Ahem. I've no idea what you're going on about. Really.

  6. "Next thing you know Stanz'll be flying over Delve on a broomstick skywriting 'Surrender Dorothy' in black smoke."