Northern Coalition vs Drone Russian Federation

The war between the Northern Coalition (NC) and the Drone Russian Federation (DRF) was an instrumental conflict in EVE Online’s history, especially when seen through the scope of its time period. Fleet engagements with record numbers of participants and supercapital deaths took place. It was an escalation of force never witnessed before in the game. Today, the NC vs DRF war is often alluded to as a rare moment in history in which two opponents spared no expense in using weapons of mass destruction in order to win. It was about more than wealth and territory. It was a global event, involving coalitions over 100,000 players across all timezones for nearly a year.

Introduction

The Rise of Espionage (Pre-Phoebe Age)

The year 2010 was near the end of a golden age for space-holding alliances in 0.0 territory. The ability to travel back and forth through several regions at high speed was a fact of life. Out of game third-party tools like EFT and killboards made coordinating fleet doctrines easier on a mass-scale. Large jump-bridge networks were carefully built to support coalitions numbering over 50,000 players. Tools like Teamspeak and Mumble helped multiple fleets of pilots synchronize their weapons in battle, to act as an extension of the fleet commander himself. 

Outside the game, a propaganda war raged forever on the public forums.

The early days of MMORPGs. Credit: xkcd comics

Piecing Together the Past

My pilot’s knowledge of EVE politics and fleet warfare was minimal at the time, having only entered nullsec in 2010. Records of the old wars are not documented as well as the “modern” wars. Certain conflicts remain largely unexplored. Time moves differently in EVE; a single year in real life is a very long time in-game. Radical changes to game mechanics and the volatile nature of politics means entire regions of space can be won and lost within a few months.

Veterans who were there remain the best sources of information but memories tend to fade and personal accounts can be biased. History is written by the victors and by those who controlled the narrative. The game’s media sphere, like the MMORPG genre at the time, was not as mainstream back in 2003 when EVE was first released. The NC vs DRF war is a notable example because the previous great wars heavily shaped the political landscape leading up to the firing of the first shots.

Those campaigns remain beyond the scope of EVE Online War Stories. One cannot understand the nature of the metagame in EVE and the reasons the conflicts took place without a short history lesson. 

A man’s greatness can be measured by his enemies. Don Piatt

At the barbecue Mr. Molen unveiled a new strategy called Max, for Maximum Damage. While most Eve campaigns center on taking and controlling regions of space, BOB’s new Maximum Damage doctrine focuses on simply pillaging and destroying the territories of others.

“Our goal is to control all of Eve,” Mr. Molen [SirMolle] said in an interview over an Internet voice chat program. “It’s totally impossible to claim all of Eve physically. But it’s possible to control the people. It’s possible to control the alliances, be it by economic means or fighting means or political means. That was the goal and that is the goal.

‘In a Virtual Galaxy, Assembly is Required’ – New York Times

Birth of the Northern Coalition

The NC was originally established to forever oppose the forces of Band of Brothers (BoB) and GBC, who were hell-bent on controlling all of 0.0 space. Goonswarm was the NC’s sworn brother of war, having shared many victories and defeats against their common foe. BoB’s northern conquest came to an end in the heart of Tribute during the MAX Campaign, where hundreds of capital ships met their end, including the destruction of two Titans belonging to SirMolle. They would later fight back an invasion “headshot” attempt on the H-W9TY capital system by the southern bloc. The region became known as Fortress Tribute, the gateway to the north. The members of the NC would always come together in times of war and defend each other with overwhelming firepower. 

So when H-W was threatened, it was like walking into a bear cave in the middle of winter and popping off a few rounds for lols then sticking around to see if you get eaten or not. Well ladies, we got eaten.

-Bobby Atlas

BFF – Best Friends Forever. That is the rule by which the coalition defined itself.

The Northern Coalition, led by Vuk Lau, ran a jump-bridge network that is still praised today for its size and organization. In addition to having pilots of many nationalities, the coalition was home to legendary FCs like Imperian, Junior SvK, Yaay and Sala Cameron. Holding a long-standing monopoly on the technetium bottleneck made the NC incredibly wealthy. The region was valuable for the Gurista pirates and close proximity to Jita, EVE’s prime market hub system.

H-W9TY, stronghold capital system of the NC, was nullsec’s version of Jita. NC’s territories and blue-list spanned most of the northern half of New Eden. Tribute was a beacon of civilization in an otherwise barbaric galaxy.

The Northern Coalition jump-bridge network map. Created by Rick Pjanja of hirr. Records also existed of TEST Alliance, Deklein, and Drone Russian Federation JB networks.

After years of campaigns, the NC was in a state of decline. A period of relative peace passed but it would be short-lived.

In late 2010, the NC accused the Drone Russian Federation (a coalition of primarily Russian alliances in the East) of an alleged invasion plot. The Drone Regions, held by Legion of xXDeathXx, SOLAR FLEET, White Noise., and Red Alliance, were rich in drone alloys and minerals. The NC believed that the DRF had the economic and industrial strength to build a war machine capable of a homeland assault. Surveillance of the enemy had evolved to such a point that both sides held extensive spy networks in each other’s alliances. It was a cold rivalry that existed for years. The NC used this to justify a preemptive invasion on the Drone Regions on the advent of Halloween, starting with an assault on the gateway system of LXQ2-T.

The Map of New Eden as of October 26th, 2010

Was the DRF secretly mass-producing Titans and motherships to prepare a hit on the NC? It depends on who you ask.

A sleeping giant was awoken and the rest is history.

 

2010

A good friend named Firespyer shared stories of the Great War and the ongoing campaign against Band of Brothers, an alliance that sought to conquer all of nullsec. I was always interested in trying out EVE Online ever since I saw the EVE Never Fades trailer. A small group from our old SWG guild Trinity tried out EVE Online in 2007 to join Firespyer and see what it was all about.

My Gallente born character, Vik Reddy, was officially created in 2007. Though unable to play more than a few months due to real life, I resubbed my character in 2010 a few years later and found myself in The Arrow Project, a corporation of Morsus Mihi, the leading member of the Northern Coalition. Firespyer, now an officer, was a veteran of many campaigns and mastered the Aeon-class supercarrier. The Arrow Project first began in the Earth 2025 community and began a second chapter in EVE Online in 2005.

Vik Reddy’s original portrait, created in 2007.

As a key member of the Northern Coalition, The Arrow Project lived in 15W-GC and formed a major part of the “Fortress Tribute” defense. Only two jumps from M-OEE8 (leading to Empire), 15W-GC was directly connected with H-W9TY (capital NC HQ) and UMI-KK by jump-bridge and formed the initial beachhead against SirMolle’s infamous incursions. Huge numbers of capital ships and reinforcements could be pooled into this system from regions away with the help of NC’s vast network.

When I first played EVE. Credit: Thomas Ziegler

Force projection was infinite in this time period, limited only by jump fuel. Alliances used to be able to have two jump-bridges in the same system. It was later nerfed in 2011. Jump fatigue (introduced in Phoebe) did not exist, allowing unlimited travel via cynos without having to wait a long time for huge distances, like in the present day. The Tribute intel in-game channel, a wretched hive of spies, showed how quickly information could also spread across New Eden. 

This 500-man cleanup operation in Pure Blind on 6/26/10 was my very first participation in a big 0.0 fleet. Having only cruiser skills at this time in my career, I flew a half-assed Thorax with t1 railguns. With the exception of the Battle of Venal on 6/17/10, the summer of 2010 for the NC consisted mostly of “cleaning up structures”. I was a newbie but I had a taste of what it’s like to take part in a massive fleet with hundreds of players on the same comms, FCed by Cobra2K in this instance. I earned my first fleet killmail in Pure Blind. The NC used the classic mixed mid-range armor battleship fleets, designed to hit out to around 50-60 km. What the NC lacked in organization and discipline, it made up in sheer numbers and ability to reimburse any losses due to its vast technetium reserve.

My first proper fleet engagement was against Ev0ke’s close range style armor battleship doctrine on 9/26/10 (Pure Blind). We got massacred. Ev0ke, a German alliance, was a small but well-disciplined group. The alliance believed Pure Blind to be its ancestral home. 

In 2010, the Northern Coalition used a mixed faction mid-range armor BS doctrine, basically forming kitchen-sink fleets large enough to blob anyone in the game.

September

September 3rd, 2010 – RQH-MY (Pure Blind)

An IT Alliance AHAC fleet and SBU are killed by a typical NC fleet; made up of 273 battleships and 90 battlecruisers (mostly TEST in a Drake backbone). It was a fight between 500 pilots vs 50. That was in the Fall. Earlier that summer, the southern bloc was massacred by tracking Titans and battleship blobs, such as this battle on 5/24/10.

Sala Cameron and fellow Titans versus an IT Alliance battleship fleet on May 24th, 2010, in the era of tracking Titans.

The pre-nerf Titans and motherships (supercarriers) were extremely powerful in 2010.  They bridged fleets to the center of a fight and provided massive bonuses. They were able to doomsday subcapital ships, an ability later nerfed by CCP. The doomsday weapon on Titans originally had an AoE effect. CCP did not intend for so many of them to exist when they were first created.  A group of Titans were able to flash doomsday several FCs and command bonus ships off the grid in the first few seconds of a fight. A fitted supercarrier usually cost over 20 billion ISK and could be tanked out to have millions of effective hitpoints (EHP). The NC was home to legendary Ragnarok pilots such as Sala Cameron who enjoyed wrecking battleships solo. Titan tracking, which got hit with the nerfbat in 2012, allowed Titans to lay waste to all types of ships, even frigates. 

October

October 26th, 2010 – LXQ2-T (Etherium Reach)

Days before Halloween, we launched the official invasion against the Drone Russian Federation (aka the SOLAR Legion of Red Noise) with incursions into Etherium Reach. The DRF was run by Legion of xXDeathXx, SOLAR FLEET, White Noise., and Red Alliance. Internally, we deployed our initial waves in Odebeinn and then formally staged out of the system of Uemon. Taking the LXQ2-T system would provide a critical beachhead for hitting the Drone Regions. There was little resistance – the DRF did not have enough time to prepare a response. The loss of hundreds of billions of ISK in renter space income and the disruption of countless supercapital shipyards was a reality. Such hostility compelled its members to set apart their rivalries and unify against the common foe. It would be a process that would take months.

October 31st, 2010 – The Battle of LXQ2-T (Etherium Reach)

Sala Cameron was the “premiere Ragnarok pilot of EVE”.

The Battle of LXQ2-T, at the gates of the Drone Regions, became the single largest engagement in EVE Online history at the time, involving over 3,000 pilots in the same system at once. It set the tone for what was yet to come between the two superpowers. It was a largely one-sided victory for the NC as its battleship fleets poured into the system 10 hours before the timer for the LXQ2-T station had even come out of reinforcement. The DRF was forced to bridge into an already crowded system. Whoever brought their fleets into a contested system early enjoyed a major advantage over the enemy who comes in late due to the burden of lag; a fact that has not changed much to this day.

The NC captured its first major station in the Drone Regions. It was a pivotal checkpoint and allowed capital access to a good portion of the Drone Regions. Outnumbering the DRF about 1839 to 982, the coalition destroyed over 1200 ships and nearly 100 billion ISK (~80% efficiency). The bloodshed continued for the next couple of days. The DRF supercapital fleet was forced to logout in the system, which involved about 74 supercarriers and 24 Titans. It was a morale blow to the DRF but also showed NC’s level of commitment to the invasion. Perhaps it was what pressured DRF to fight back in a serious manner.

November

The month of November was made up mostly of tower killmails and POS mods as the DRF, not yet fully unified, did not put up much resistance. Things were beginning to change however, as Pandemic Legion (PL), a nomadic mercenary alliance, was called into the conflict. A tremendous contract was placed against the NC. Pandemic Legion prided itself as “an EVE Online terrorist organisation.”

At this point, I had not yet fought against Pandemic Legion or understood the level of metagame that existed in EVE Online.

Shadoo was the main campaign commander for Pandemic Legion in the war.

December

December 4th, 2010 – M-OEE8 (Tribute)

A memorable engagement took place in M-OEE8 between PL and NC that exemplified the power of a unified doctrine of Maelstroms against a ragtag fleet of mixed armor BS. The PL Maelstrom fleet was FCed by Shadoo and was victorious despite being outnumbered 122 vs 176 (~75% efficiency). PL also had spies on NC comms and relayed live intel to their logistics team about enemy DPS primary targets, before we can even start shooting. My character lost the first Megathron in his career, taking a deathblow by the man Shadoo himself.

Fights like this showed enemies of the NC that superior tactics, metagame, discipline and player skill can still overcome pure numbers. It was my first exposure to these tactics in an online multiplayer game.

NC Propaganda, circa 2010. Created by Rick Pjanja

December 15h, 2010 – N6G-H3 (Venal)

The NC bat-phoned Goonswarm Federation for a tech moon timer and overwhelmed PL’s Hellcat fleet. Goons and their allies began utilizing their signature Alpha Maelstrom fleet. With nearly 600 vs 100, this coalition of the willing was able to defend their tech moons without much difficulty. It showcased the allied show of force that even PL was unable to deal with. The Russian-based DRF forces were not involved in these engagements but the interference and loss of billions of ISK in passive income played a major role in giving DRF enough time to prepare for a counter-attack.

 

December 23rd, 2010 – N6G-H3 (Venal)

The PL Hellcat fleet (assisted by triage carriers) soundly defeated an NC mixed armor BS and Drake fleet over a tech moon owned by my corporation, The Arrow Project. N6G-H3 was the site of most fights over tech moons during this war. PL was outnumbered more than 2:1 but managed to destroy 36 battleships, 24 logistics ships and nearly 50 battlecruisers, while losing only 18 of their own battleships and a triage carrier. This was a fight on our own POS; therefore they faced concurrent firepower from tower weapons and other forms of EWAR.

Elise Randolph, CEO of Habitual Euthanasia, is one of PL’s lead campaign commanders.

On the eve of Christmas, PL boldly proclaimed that they now owned Venal. Although no one can technically “own” an NPC region.

As of 23th december all venal tech moons are owned by Pandemic Legion.

70 tech moons producing 90b isk a week.

All alliances but the original Goonfleet will be hunted down and killed if entering Pandemic Legion’s region.

For renter agreements and buying the tech moons contact Pandemic Legion.

-Pandemic Legion, 12/23/2010

90 billion ISK of passive income a week was nothing to ignore, even for a coalition. Moons that weren’t already taken were in reinforcement mode; they did not generate ISK for the NC alliances that owned them. Individual corporations faced the brunt of the loss. The majority of the active PvPers of the NC were deployed in the Drone Regions. Eventually, this clever strategy by PL forced the NC to abandon the offensive in the Drone Regions and deal with Venal.

A battle vs Pandemic Legion in Venal taken in 2010. Credit: Unknown

December 26th, 2010 – Revolt in Geminate

CONVICTED, a “guest alliance” of R.A.G.E (major NC member) performed a coup using spy accounts in the DEMON HUNTERS alliance. It was a result of internal disagreements and led to sabotage operations including the offlining of TCUs in Geminate to hamper progress. Their efforts didn’t amount to much in the greater scheme of the war but this AUS-based alliance (led by Wusti) would later play a role in confrontations with Morsus Mihi.    

December 28th, 2010 – H-PA29 (Venal)

The NC amped up its efforts and began retaking tech moons from PL, realizing the major dent to their flow of income and hearing whispers from spies of a counter-invasion from the East. They called in the Goonswarm Federation at times, against which PL rarely engaged. Goonswarm Federation and the NC were working together at this time to take down IT Alliance (formerly Band of Brothers) on the other side of the map. The overall numbers against PL in these instances often exceeded 600, whereas the typical PL fleet numbered 70-125.

UAxDEATH, leader of Legion of xXDeath.

December 29th, 2010 – Geminate First Blood

DRF launched a long anticipated invasion into Geminate with combined effort from White Noise., Legion of xXDeathXx, SOLAR Fleet and Red Alliance (collectively the “Solar Legion of Red Noise”). Their fleet consisted of ~400 pilots and SBUs were placed in Rebellion Alliance and BricK sQuAD systems, trapping the defenders while the core of NC declared CTAs (Call to Arms). DRF was eventually overcome in O2O-2X by a pincer attack coordinated by Vale and Tribute FCs. A combined NC fleet joined Rebellion Alliance and BricK sQuAD (led by Chib) and brought local up to 900. All of the SBUs were destroyed and most of the DRF fleet did not survive.

This was DRF’s first blood in NC territory. Both sides vigorously prepared for the oncoming onslaught.

December 30th, 2010 – Y-W1Q3 (Venal) – Clash of the Titans

An ambush went horribly wrong between Pandemic Legion and NC in the system of Y-W1Q3. It began with an NC tower exiting reinforcement in PL’s “home system” of H-PA29 (Venal), in which they were staging from. PL was too small to counter the 300 man NC fleet, which also consisted of 60 capitals and 30 supercapitals.

December 30th, 2010 – Reinforcing H-PA29, on the eve of battle. Credit: Unknown

PL set a trap for the moving NC forces in Y-W1Q3 at the edge of Tribute. Bubbles were in place and the PL fleet waited on a bridging titan with an armor HAC fleet. As soon as the NC fleet entered, they were seemingly ensnared and PL cynoed in their fleet at optimal range. PL appeared to have the upper hand and fought through the incoming DPS while picking apart the NC subcapital ships. The NC fleet (FCed by I’m Down/Yaay), knowing the trap all along, decided to bring in a capital and supercapital fleet. PL brought down the hammer and committed the entire supercapital fleet for a face-off.

I’m Down (aka Yaay) of FUSEN was the Northern Coalition’s primary supercapital FC.

Supercapital FC I’m Down actually had more Titans and supercarriers in reserve than PL anticipated. Reinforcements were in place with subcapital support from multiple NC alliances. Repairs from NC’s triage armor carriers were able to keep even shield-tanked ships alive. Titans launched doomsdays, quickly dispatching PL’s tech 3 strategic cruisers and command ships off the field (many of which were support FCs). Deki, one of the oldest Ragnarok-class Titans in the game (piloted by MM CEO Vuk Lau), fell first to combined doomsdays from PL. Shadoo took the final blow and top damage with his Leviathan pilot, Azriel Dregg. Despite the iconic Titan going down, the odds were not in PL’s favor as the NC begin to brutalize them, outnumbering PL’s 200 man fleet with something closer to 800. PL lost six Titans and two motherships. NC lost two Titans.

PL lost about 600 billion ISK, a massive blow for a single alliance. The NC contract was rumored to be 500 billion ISK. PL, not owning any space themselves, would find it difficult to replace these Titans. The morale blow of losing a Titan was greater than the loss of 100 billion ISK, even today.

It was one of many times in history during which arrogance led to downfall, often described as “US timezone hubris” by PL pilots. The tide turned in the war and PL took a step back from the frontlines to lick its wounds, later focusing back on the south. On the same day before the Y-W1Q3 fight, the NC assisted Goons in destroying a 500 man IT Alliance fleet in the region of Fountain on the other side of the map. With that, 2010 came to a violent close.

The Battle of Y-W1Q3 on December 30th, 2010.

2011

January

January 2nd, 2011 – H-PA29 (Venal)

PL suffered an embarrassing loss with another Avatar-class Titan falling to I’m Down, being the first Titan lost in 2011. The ship, piloted by Regina Scintilla, allegedly warped to the wrong fleet member during a defensive PL fleet in their staging system of H-PA29. The pilot failed to align/warp off or use one of PL’s emergency cynos to escape, falling victim to NC’s fleet.

Regina Scintilla’s Avatar goes down to Yaay’s supercapital fleet on 1-2-2011. Credit: EVENews24

January 4th, 2011 – 6ZJ-SC (Venal)

Kula kain, an infamous NC FC, got wiped out by a PL Hellcat fleet. NC lost 28 battleships and 9 HACs while taking out only 6 PL battleships. It was a typical skirmish with a poorly coordinated mixed BS and armor HAC fleet unable to overcome PL’s focus firing and lightning fast repairs. It is argued that the PL/DRF had more spy pilots on NC comms and participated in more fleets than some actual corporations.

January 7th, 2011 – 6NJ8-V (Venal)

An NC fleet led by I’m Down and Junior SVK took down a PL Titan piloted by Ralek Talen in another engagement. Ezekiel Sulastin of Shiva landed the final doomsday with his trusty Erebus. Yaay performed a clever maneuver by keeping the POS tower shields between the NC fleet and the PL supers’ fighter bombers. He did it while tackling the enemy Titan as he approached the opposite side.

PL managed to destroy 25 dreadnoughts but that was simply a scratch after insurance payout.

 

February

Welcome Home NC. Created by Rick Pjanja

February 13th, 2011 – DRF Counter-Invasion, Rebellion Alliance Disbanded

In a shocking moment, Rebellion Alliance was betrayed by its leader, Daroh. Six stations were left open for DRF takeover, coinciding with the official DRF invasion of Geminate. The NC struggled to formulate a defense in the face of what was clearly a coordinated operation to turn Daroh (who was allegedly bribed) to ease the takeover. He posted his manifesto on the EVE-RU forums; a short history of the founding of his alliance and the reasoning behind disbanding it. It was translated and posted on EVENews24.  Over 100 DRF supers were spotted moving into Geminate and SBUs were placed everywhere.

Rebellion Alliance was dead, and in its aftermath, those who remained loyal to the cause created a new group known as Gypsy Band. The NC mustered its forces to assist Brick Squad and Gypsy Band to hold back the Russian offensive, which now also included entities such as Raiden., the next incarnation of Band of Brothers.  The Loss of O2O-2X due to the disbanding of RA represented a great defeat to the NC and the overall war effort. It provided the first foothold for the movement of supercapitals into friendly territory. It left an opening for the DRF, which gathered to collectively blitz the north through the gates of Geminate. The NC realized that if Geminate was lost, they would risk getting steamrolled.

February 14th, 2011 – Uemon (The Forge) – The Valentine’s Day Massacre

The Valentine’s Day Massacre in the system of Uemon was a bloody NC defeat and started with a timer in Geminate. Although both parties formed up, the NC did not engage DRF forces and instead opted to surprise them when they left for Uemon, a transition system in low-security space. Historians widely agree today that the DRF knew this attack was coming due to the extensive spy network that infiltrated the NC, even at high levels. Raiden. and DRF supercapitals formed up on comms while logged off their clients, and waited. Raiden. consisted of some of the older and wealthy players in the game; contributing mostly motherships.

As DRF cynoed in their fleet, Imperian ordered the NC supercapital fleet to drop on them and DD a DRF titan. To his dismay, he found that Titans cannot DD in lowsec. Before that realization, he ordered even more Titans into Uemon (about 24 total). It was a mistake that would be repeated in the Battle of Asakai nearly two years later by a different FC. A mass login of the rest of the DRF and Raiden. supers occurred and the rest is history. The server nearly crashed and there was little the NC could do to escape. DRF supers laid waste to the NC Titans and supers, including some who were logged out in space hours afterward.

NC lost 10 Titans, 5 supercarriers, 17 dreadnoughts, and 21 carriers. DRF lost only 2 Titans (both of which belonged to Raiden.) and 2 supercarriers. DRF fielded nearly 90 supers in the fight alone. NC collectively lost ~1.2 trillion ISK and suffered a major blow to morale. Many of NC’s supercapital pilots lost faith in CCP’s ability to handle server lag and their overall trust in their FCs. They also realized the dead DRF super pilots had been able to replace their ships the very next day, adding to the defeat. For the players, it was futile to complain to CCP because the “logs showed nothing.”

The fight was controversial, leading to CCP’s disclaimer that you won’t get reimbursed for dying to soul-crushing lag in big fleet fights.

The Valentine’s Day Massacre.

February 26th, 2011 – O2O-2X (Geminate) – Imperian Strikes Back

The February 26th engagement in O2O-2X was one of NC’s smashing victories against the DRF. Imperian, after a period of absence, returned to take the helm of a massive joint Alpha Maelstrom fleet consisting of NC and elements of the Deklein coalition from the West. The soul-crushing defeat in Uemon convinced the NC that the Maelstrom doctrine would excel over the classic mixed mid-range armor battleship doctrine. It was a radical change in fleet tactics for the NC to move onto a specific type of ship. The Maelstrom had a faster rate of fire than the Arty Abaddon (developed by DRF) and required less headache to guarantee downing enemy ships with the first volley. Module lag was a reality in 2011, forcing players to switch off auto-repeat and manually cycle their weapons to avoid them being locked for good. Volley power was more important than pure DPS in these huge fights.

The Maelstrom-class battleship.

Imperian, considered one of NC’s heroic FCs, played a pivotal role in campaigns against Band of Brothers.

The battle was a stalemate as the DRF armor triage carriers kept the heavily tanked Abaddons alive with fierce repairs. A cyno suddenly appeared during the climax of the fight and in came several Gypsy Band supercarriers (largely thought to be failcascading), to the horror of the DRF pilots. It was a ballsy maneuver. Their fighter bombers chewed through DRF’s reps and Imperian rallied the Maelstroms; countdown alpha-striking DRF’s signature carrier fleet with subcapitals alone. To consistently alpha carriers in one volley with ~300 battleships was a feat in EVE naval history rarely seen.

NC and Goonswarm Federation collectively fielded about 500 battleships and destroyed 215 battleships and 88 battlecruisers, while losing 132 battleships. Of the 34 carriers DRF fielded, 19 were torn apart. About 176 billion ISK was lost in total with the defenders taking ~70% efficiency. The NC showed it was still king of subcapital dominance within the European timezone – for the time being.

 

March

March 13th, 2011 – O2O-2X (Geminate)

The NC suffered a defeat against an evenly matched DRF fleet in what will become one of a series of major confrontations in O2O-2X. The NC deployed 370 battleships and 150 battlecruisers to defend the system. DRF nearly matched it with 340 battleships but they dropped 14 Titans and 42 supercarriers to support their subcaps. The NC took most damage, with 125 battleships and 82 battlecruisers lost – about 80 billion ISK. The DRF, losing around 43 billion ISK , was able to hold the field with its experienced team of armor triage carriers.

O2O-2X became the site of a series of slugfests frequently numbering over 1,000 active pilots.

A key aspect of DRF’s offensive was White Noise. Russian bomber FC, Old Hroft, who took advantage of the Maelstrom fleet’s large signature radius. He commanded a specialized bomber fleet throughout the campaign, consisting of the more experienced Russian pilots. The artillery Abaddon was an unorthodox ship and was able to endure great firepower throughout the course of extended engagements. It was a beast-tanking platform carrying guns normally meant for a Maelstrom; using the best of both worlds. Fights over 500 people lagged the system so much that rate of fire meant nothing. The DRF fielded so many that they could lose 200 pilots and still one-shot their targets, as long as they had good fire discipline. Shield battleships were hard to miss.

SOLAR FLEET was known to use an out of game tool that helped FCs determine how many pilots in the fleet finished the cool-down and can fire the next salvo. As an alliance, they ignored the Abaddon and chose to stick with the Alpha Maelstrom fleet.

March 17th, 2011 – O2O-2X (Geminate) – Saint Patrick’s Day Massacre

Local rose to over 1200 and another supercapital slugfest took place. The O2O-2X station was under siege – reinforced by an intimidating DRF fleet in under one minute.  The NC, commanded by I’m Down, fielded a massive fleet of 20 Titans, 92 supercarriers, 27 dreadnoughts, and 69 carriers. DRF, heavily outnumbered and facing far more lag, lost 6 Titans and 12 supercarriers; collectively about 1 trillion ISK (0.5% efficiency).

The capital ship fleet commander (Yaay) pulled a rabbit out of a hat and showed the russians that having spies doesn’t always pay off.A Northern Coalition pilot (EVENews24 3-18-11)

The NC did lose a Titan but it was later reimbursed because it was logged off for over eight hours when it was killed. Yaay, knowing the DRF supercapital fleet lay waiting in ambush, ordered the capitals to jump out in O2O-2X on fleet comms (TeamSpeak). But secretely, private convos were sent to pilots telling them not to jump. The false intel was spread by enemy spies lingering on NC comms. The DRF supercapital fleet entered and was literally massacred in one of the most complete one-sided supercapital engagements in EVE history.  Personal accounts exist from both perspectives.

Beyond fights over major timers, pressure was applied on the Drone Regions through guerrilla tactics behind enemy lines. Notable heroes include xMartok of hirr, an expert Nyx pilot who preyed on countless Jump Freighters using his own cyno alts and without any backup. By 2012, he single-handedly hotdropped over 60 jump freighters.

The Power of Tech. Created by Rick Pjanja

March 20th, 2011 – The Battle of O2O-2X (Geminate) – From Jump Till Dawn

The decisive battle of the NC vs DRF war took place on 3/20/11 during Russian prime-time over the final station timer for O2O-2X. Both sides knew they had to commit everything they had. Failing to retake O2O-2X would open the floodgates. We could not allow DRF to take another inch of our space. The NC, with a combined force of roughly 900 pilots met the DRF’s 1,000 pilots on a POS tower.

The Avatar-class Titan.

NC fielded 13 Titans, 65 supercarriers, 60 dreadnoughts, and 74 carriers. The DRF fielded 14 Titans, 107 supercarriers, 15 dreadnoughts, and 37 carriers. Battleship numbers were similar with just above 400 pilots. Subcapital DPS was negligible. Lag appeared to affect the NC considerably more than the DRF, contrary to the Saint Patrick Day’s Massacre.

After several hours of fighting, the NC lost 6 Titans, 13 supercarriers, and over 30 capitals (nearly 400 ships in total). The DRF, not emerging entirely unscathed, lost 3 Titans and 2 supercarriers. Its subcapital fleet of 423 battleships didn’t take much damage. The Russian FC commended the NC for having the courage to fight on a DRF POS tower where many of their Titans were able to survive by slowboating into the POS shields before death. This tactic allowed them to “micro” the damage and mitigate their losses significantly.

I watched my corp’s flagship Ragnarok, SamMaster (piloted by my friend Drewbo), fight to the death.

The final moments of SamMaster, the Arrow Project’s flagship Ragnarok pilot. Credit: Drewbo (screenshot from carrier alt)

The immense lag was disproportionately faced by our side. I remember my Abaddon firing only a few volleys over a couple of hours while my client blackscreened. A total of 1.6 trillion ISK was lost between the two with the DRF taking 75% efficiency and enjoying a major tactical victory with the defense of O2O-2X.

The battle is remembered today as a cornerstone engagement in EVE history in which two sides committed everything they had. It’s argued that the NC had more supercapital pilots in reserve who just never logged in. Records in past fights showed they were able to field over 100 supers. The absence of Goonswarm Federation was also felt and it was rumored they took a deal with the Russians to avoid future hostilities.

The Battle of O2O-2X on March 20th, 2011.

March 27th, 2011 – The Battle of Q-TBHW (Geminate)

The battle of Q-TBHW was one of Imperian’s last battleship CTAs in the war. With around 50 Alpha Maelstroms under his helm, the end result was a largely one-sided defeat with the NC losing about half its fleet, unable to overcome the sheer rep power of DRF’s triage carriers. The subcapital superiority that NC was known for was gone and with that realization, fewer pilots were showing up to fleets. The vulnerability to bombs (due to large sig radius) and inability to meet the critical mass to alpha heavily tanked Abaddons posed another problem.

After this victory, the DRF met little resistance in Geminate. It began to push into the core NC regions.

April

April 16th, 2011 – The Fall of C-FP70 (Vale of the Silent)

The fall of C-FP70 in Vale marked the beginning of the steamrolling of key systems in the northern territories. A joint Goonswarm/NC effort of roughly 350 pilots was decimated by overwhelming DRF forces (nearly 700), now assisted by Pandemic Legion, who were contracted once more to take revenge on the NC. Raiden. contributed 147 pilots in this show-down, nearly half of NC’s showing.  They made up the majority of the supercapital presence.

Old Hroft of White Noise. was one of EVE’s legendary Russian bomber FCs.

Goonswarm Federation helped the NC in this fight and nearly 120 Maelstroms were fielded, flanked by squads of Scorpions (for electronic warfare). More than half were wiped out. The DRF (including PL and Raiden.) fielded about 300 battleships, 9 Titans, and 70 supercarriers.

The defenders lost the system, about 50 billion ISK, and a lot of respect from the Deklein alliances.  These western allies felt they were committing more to the defense than the NC was.

In this fight also occurred one of the most epic bombing runs of the war (at the 16:51 mark) performed by Old Hroft. It took out 74 ships in a single wave (37 battleships and 23 battlecruisers); about 14 billion ISK in losses.

UMI-KK (Tribute) – Ev0ke and NCdot Open Up Another Front

UMI-KK in Tribute was a major system to defend for Morsus Mihi; it was a jump-bridge system connecting Tribute to Empire space and strengthened the logistical route for the NC and allies. It formed a two-way JB connection with 15W-GC (Arrow Project HQ), which in turn formed a direct JB connection to H-W9TY (the official HQ of NC). Ev0ke took a contract at the behest of DRF and focused on this area of Tribute. The pilots were promised a share of valuable tech moons and it was an opportunity for revenge as NC’s forces were spread thin.

Northern Coalition. (aka NCdot) joined the fray on the DRF’s side and worked closely with Ev0ke for the goal of attrition. They covered the European and early US timezones. Under the leadership of Vince Draken, they were the next incarnation of Triumvirate, one of NC’s oldest enemies next to Band of Brothers. They took upon the name NCdot as a form of permanent mockery of the true Northern Coalition.

The return of the Amarr Golden Fleet, a CTA on 4/20/11 taken from the perspective of my character. By that Spring, NC fully adopted the artillery Abaddon fleet.

The Northern Coalition relied on propaganda to rally support. There was a movement to get more pilots into logistics ships to support the battleships. Extensive newbie guides were created such as Rick Pjanja’s Logistics: Getting Started guide and RAWR Battle Medics.  Another exceptional logistics guide created by cqzero showcased the sheer impact a logistic pilot had in a battle. There was once a time when the NC didn’t have to worry about ship compositions because of its huge blob of numbers. Things have changed. Rick Pjanja of hirr created a propaganda piece using a screenshot from my Golden Tribute series. His propaganda raised morale in a war that was now about survival.

NC High Command had now put the campaign’s hopes on the shoulders of former BRUCE diplomat Ronan Teisdari of The Graduates. The Alpha Maelstrom fleet doctrine was scrapped as NC alliances struggled to move toward the heavy Abaddon-focused fleets that PL pioneered, while losing countless CSAAs and supercapitals over several engagements. Station and IHub timers were changed to the US timezone in the hopes of the victories seen earlier in the war but it was fruitless.

Ronan Teisdari of TGRADs was appointed as the head of the campaign by the NC.

April 25th, 2011 – The Fall of ZLZ-1Z (Vale of the Silent) – R.A.G.E Prime lost

ZLZ-1Z, R.A.G.E. capital system and home of Junior SvK, was lost without contest to an overwhelming supercapital fleet numbering 120-200 motherships and Titans. Reports varied. A week prior, the system was reinforced by a DRF fleet of over 800 pilots without a fight. Jump-bridge routes that previously transported large numbers of NC pilots to the battlefront were snapped. R.A.G.E, one of NC’s larger members, was forced to retreat to H-W9TY. Their participation in the war diminished – losing about two-thousand members.

A screen capture of a d-scan of the ZLZ-1Z station posted on Failheap Challenge can be seen here.

[03:21] <Phoenus> 23 Aeons
[03:21] <Phoenus> 71 Nyxes
[03:21] <Phoenus> 1 Wyvern
[03:21] <Phoenus> 13 Avatars
[03:21] <Phoenus> 9 Erebus
[03:21] <Phoenus> 1 Leviathon
[03:21] <Phoenus> 4 Ragnaroks
[03:21] <Phoenus> on scan at zlz station

-The Lower North (FHC – April 25th, 2011)

ZLZ-1Z, home of R.A.G.E, was lost without a fight to an “intimidating” supercapital fleet on 4-25-11.

In an extensive battle report recapping the week’s events, PL commander Elise Randolph wrote on Failheap Challenge:

NC scouts looked in horror as some 80 Titans and 185 Supercarriers loomed ominously in ZLZ. Having already decided not to commit Supercapitals, NC head-FCs realized there was nothing to do and passed the reigns onto their underlings. NC grunts stood anxious, while first-time FCs waffled on what to do. After an embarrassing navigation faux pas, the NC eventually accepted that ZLZ was a lost hope. Eight hours later, without any attempts to down the TCU, ZLZ was in DRF Legion control; RAGE HQ was captured. With ZLZ down, Vale was on the verge of falling.

Junior SVK, a dominant NC FC in RAGE, held a corp-only meeting to discuss leaving RAGE. The NC Inner Circle decided to fully put into motion their contingency plan and named Fidelas Constans full NC members; distance was placed between core NC members and RAGE & Majesta in order to salvage morale. Feeling betrayed by the NC core members, and rightfully so, RAGE decided to strike back. Early Monday morning, sovereignty in Y5J – a pivotal system adjacent to Tribute core – “mysteriously” dropped. A loud, albeit passive-aggressive, message was sent to core NC members. While the the fate of Vale is still a long way from being inked, the events of this last week threw a proverbial money wrench in the status quo of the NC. It will be interesting to see how the events of this devastating week will effect the NC as a whole, and if the relationship between RAGE/ME and the rest of the NC is beyond repair.

April 27th, 2011 – 2CG-5V (Tribute)

The Battle of 2CG-5V marked one of early confrontations in Tribute against the Thundercat fleet. Tengu fleets, were pioneered by Pandemic Legion’s legendary fleet commander Shadoo. It marked the first time a strategic tech 3 cruiser was used as a primary fleet doctrine on this scale in 0.0 warfare. It revolutionized fleet tactics and raised the bar of a subcapital pilot’s impact in a fight.

When we first saw the flock, we were surrounded, caught in a spectacle of stimuli. Brilliant colors, dancing lights, beautiful cacophonies, wafting ambrosia. Those birds surrounded us, each one a different shape, an altered species, a new wonder. I tried to follow a single bird, but my efforts were futile: Transformation is natural to their existence. Imagine it: an undulating mass, a changing mob, all those beasts partaking in wonderful transmogrification. These were our augurs, our deliverers, our saviors. Standing amidst the flock, we should have feared their glory; instead, we drew hope. This moment is the first time I understood what it meant to be Caldari: Divinity in the flock, delivery in flux, one being, many changes.
– Janto Sitarbe, The Legendary Flock

The NC relinquished the Maelstrom doctrine and adopted DRF’s artillery Abaddon fleet to utilize its survivability, emphasizing coordinated alpha-strikes over pure DPS. The poor tracking and mobility of the Abaddon was no match for the PL Tengu fleets. With the Russian battleships keeping NC locked down, the Tengus launched a relentless barrage of missiles from distances of 100 km away. They flew at high transversal while sporting a small sig radius, not to mention 90%+ shield resistances across the board while overheated under siege boosts. It had the speed of a cruiser but the tank of a battleship. The Tengu was restricted to wealthy and skilled pilots but a single loss meant the loss of skillpoints in a subsystem – a heavy penalty.

The NC lost 125 battleships and killed only 17 of the enemy’s battleships and a single Tengu. The defenders lost nearly 50 billion ISK (21% efficiency).

A screenshot taken on 4/24/2011 by my character on one of NC’s last 300+ man battleship fleets. Off in the distance within the POS, the Deklein coalition’s Maelstroms fleet can be seen waiting to be Titan-bridged.

April 28th, 2011 – The Battle of AZBR-2 (Vale of the Silent)

The NC put up a valiant defense in AZBR-2 against a similar sized DRF (with PL, NCdot, and Raiden.) of ~600 pilots. This time a handful of brave NC triage carriers were used to support a battleship fleet over 300 strong but they were promptly dropped by the opposing side’s 21 Titans and 66 supercarriers (a massive show of force). The DRF was surprised by NC’s resistance. A total of 80 billion ISK was lost between both sides. Ultimately, NC abandoned the field, only being able to take down 54 battleships and 8 Tengus.

May

Created by Rick Pjanja

May 1st, 2011 – MA-XAP (Vale of the Silent)

Outnumbered and outgunned in MA-XAP, an NC Arty Abaddon fleet of about 100 pilots were left with almost no survivors against a PL Thundercat fleet and Raiden Hellcat fleet. The invaders marched further into Vale of the Silent without much opposition. By the following week, every station in Geminate and roughly a fourth of Vale of the Silent was under DRF control. 13 supercapitals, 115 conventional Caps and about 2,000 NC ships would be destroyed in the same time. Countless technetium moons also changed hands.

May 7th, 2011 – Defense of TVN-FM (Vale of the Silent) – Majesta Empire Failcascades

Vale of the Silent officially fell with the loss of TVN-FM, previously the HQ of Majesta Empire. Taking no chances, the DRF fielded 34 Titans and 121 supercarriers supported by a 250 man Abaddon fleet and PL’s 73 Tengus. Though outnumbered 2:1, the NC decided to fight and lost nearly the entirety of its subcapital forces. They employed a large bomber fleet, which was wiped out. In addition to losing the station, an Aeon and Wyvern (both belonging to MM) were destroyed.

The buffer regions around Tribute have been conquered and whatever was left of Majesta and R.A.G.E retreated to Fortress Tribute (H-W9TY). CCP announced the upcoming Jump Bridge nerf on 5/10/2011. It aimed to curb force projection within allied territory. An alliance would no longer be able to have two jump-bridges in the same system. The changes severely hampered logistics and slowed down how quickly one could move through regions of space. It forced more pilots to jump gates to get to the jump-bridge route they need, creating more risk due to enemy gate-camps and hot-drops. They did, however, increase the fuel capacity of the jump-bridge (to account for the higher traffic). It made sense in the long run; CCP believed a defender’s speed at maneuvering forces in allied space was overpowered and stifled conflict. A popular image battle report, created by Skyly of Spricer alliance, was posted on the Failheap Challenge forums that portrayed why jump-bridges were easily exploited to overtake skilled roaming gangs. It strengthened the case against Force projection.

The NC was eventually forced to revamp its jump-bridge network in the middle of a war – a difficult task but not impossible. A new system was designed.  Maps were distributed to the coalition, such as the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, created by Sascha Ales of Mostly Harmless.

May 9-10th, 2011 – H-W9TY (Tribute): Helm’s Deep

The Mittani

DRF, with the help of NCdot and PL, launched a preliminary strike and hit H-W9TY station services, the last bastion of the NC. It was simply to ‘test the waters.’ The full power of their fleet was not employed. SBUs were laid down but quickly killed. Later that night, DRF ambushed an unsuspecting Nyx who jumped to H-W9TY’s cyno beacon without a scout. It was killed without supercapitals. The D7-ZAC system was also reinforced. The RAWR and Goonswarm forums were denial-of-service (DDoS) attacked prior to these actions; believed to be caused by the Russian forces. Angered, The Mittani announced in his latest State of the Goonion address that the Goons will deploy to Tribute and was prepared to press charges against those responsible for the DDoS attacks. He also blamed White Noise. However, it was well known the Goons were friendly with Legion of xXDeathXx; their leader, UAxDeath, urged them not to defend Tribute. The NC had all its systems equipped with cynosural jammers, permajamming any supercapital fleet from jumping in. NC motherships were always committed as reps to keep the jammers alive.

The majority of New Eden, including enemies of NC, believed Fortress Tribute was still untouchable. The last time an invading force ever got close was during the MAX Campaign. Station services were hit but were quickly repped up. The Horn of Goondor was reported to be heard across the galaxy.

Rise Up, created by Rick Pjanja

May 11th, 2011 – HBD-CC (Venal)

DRF began to reinforce NC structures in Venal, not expecting a large reinforcement fleet to fight. Flash-formed by Vlade Randal of hirr corporation, a heroic effort was made to continue the resistance. DRF was able to defeat his forces, taking out 86 battleships and 33 battlecruisers. Hurricanes and Drakes saw more action as they were cheaper, accessible, and far more mobile. DRF lost about 20 billion ISK (to NC’s 41 billion ISK), about 40 battleships lost. Another battleship slugfest would occur hours later in WBR5-R with DRF holding the ground.

New FCs began to command resistance fleets in the form of “WULFPAX”. Battleships began to see less use and battlecruisers started to become the mainstay of harassment.

Vlade Randal appointed Traderjohn as lead FC in the EUTZ, LordDragonMPS in USTZ and ElrondMD for AUSTZ. His tactics involved combining artillery Hurricanes and Drakes equipped with target painters. The battlecruisers warped on and off the grid, sniping logistics and sub-battleships, timed to launch strikes after well-placed bombing runs. Approximately 100 battlecruisers were typically fielded with 50 bombers.

Vlade Randal, Best Randal

May 15th, 2011 – Battle of D7-ZAC (Tribute)

D7-ZAC became the site of a large battleship slugfest that eventually led to another NC defeat. Arty Abaddons made up the backbone of NC’s offensive and Imperian returned to lead a Thundercat fleet as a test run against the DRF forces. 22 NC Tengus met their end as well as 55 of the 160 battleships they fielded. It was not the first Tengu fleet that NC had lost at this point. DRF’s side fielded nearly 300 battleships and 74 Tengus.

Thundercats were effective against Hellcat Abaddons but the Huginn recon ship became the main counter, methodically used by Goonswarm Federation in the future to overcome PL’s Thundercat fleet with long-ranged webs. In the next week, the NC’s combined forces with Goonswarm and allies (led by Skymarshal Rydis) focused on shooting staging towers in Venal, in which the enemy was staged. Even with numbers reportedly up to several hundred strong, the attacks were disjointed and amounted to nothing when it came to strategic engagements for SOV systems. This was largely attributed to poor communication between the two major groups, such as being on separate comms. The invaders lost zero POS towers, making the weekend offensive in Venal  amount to nothing.

May 23rd, 2011 – Battle for UMI-KK (Tribute)

NC was soundly beaten by a joint effort from DRF, fighting against multiple doctrines; Hellcats, Armor HACs, Maelstroms, and even a Rokh fleet (fielded by PL). Losing UMI-KK would be a major hit, disrupting logistics and easy access to Empire space.

Rokh fleets were a peculiar sight for this time period; it was a foreshadowing of their dominance. Raiden., NCdot, Pandemic Legion, and Ev0ke complemented the DRF’s ongoing offensive in the late European and US timezones.

Golden Fleet in Tribute, screenshot taken by my character flying Abaddon.

MSHD-4 (Tribute)

NC suffered the loss of 2 Titans in the system of MSHD-4, including an Erebus belonging to Tad Ghostall (Vlade Randal’s alt) and another piloted by dwarfish of Get Off My Lawn.

May 25th, 2011 – 3G-LHB (Tribute)

A skirmish took place in the system of 3G-LHB. Ikoma posted a brief battle report on the Failheap Challenge forums:

NC formup with supercaps, caps and BS in 3G- and then online the cynoyammer.

As we gather on the 3G gate in hellcats with NCDot and Raiden, Yaay orders Titans and Aeons to the gate with subcaps while the rest of the NC supers protect the cynojammer.

PL/NCDOT/Raiden jump into the camp, DRF following shortly thereafter. Lag is pretty bad but we begin to slowly win the subcap fight on the gate, dictors are bubbling supers like crazy. When the subcap fight seems to be won, PL warps to the jammer in order to incap it, while our bros stay on the gate to protect the dictors and hold the supercapitals. At this point lag is terrible, local is around 1200 but we are slowly winning the battle and NC supercaps start logging off, first Sala in the Rag then the 2 other titans, followed by all SC’s.

We finally incap the jammer (took forever, module lag+NC ninja repping) and cyno titans then supercapitals in. DDs go off on Sala, who dissapears in armor  The avatar disappears as well but Yasmina Ortess in the Erebus, who logged a few minutes after the first two titans, is destroyed* We then swap to a Wyvern who dies, while all remaining supers disappear.

We mop up the gate, kill a few more conventional capitals, rep the pos and peace out.

*NB: The Erebus exploded and spawned a wreck, shinies were looted, but no killmail. Yasmina may or may not still have a titan *iiam*. 

A supercapital skirmish takes place in the system of 3G-LHB on 5-25-11. Credit: foreth (posted on Failheap Challenge)

Despite the NC and Deklein Coalition’s total numbers amounting to nearly 50,000 pilots, only around 500 routinely showed up to fights. Nearly all of Vale of the Silent was taken over thus far.

Vuk Lau, CEO of Morsus Mihi and head of the NC, had a morale speech after a chat with Shadoo, who was once a great ally in the struggle against Band of Brothers. It posted on the Failheap Challenge forums. In response to Shadoo stating to Vuk Lau that the NC is losing because it has “sat stale sitting on same shit for fucking 7 years” and didn’t “innovate” or “adapt”, Vuk Lau responded:

Vuk Lau, CEO of Morsus Mihi and leader of the Northern Coalition, is one of the longest-standing coalition leaders and most recognized names in EVE Online history.

Which is in good part true. RAWR was forged more then five years ago, fighting heavily outnumbered with next-to-none income. Our awesomeness against FE and ATUK back then (and pinch of BFFness) bought us an invitation to North. After getting Tribute for next 2 years we were under constant invasions and still without any significant income. We were all literally busting our balls to make RAWR what it is now. Our FCs were the real Ateam, our directors were printing isk out of nothing, and our members were fighting like a lions. Then tech got boosted, we started being space rich, BoB and whole zoo around them folded, our memberbase risen from like 2.5k to 4k while our daily fleets went from 150 to 60, our FC either started playing HoN or emoquited and in general we slowly become….I will not say shit…but we became pretty horrible.

“Luckily” for us CCP started nerfing 0.0, 1st they made drones region shit, then they nerfed anomalies and true sec status, and finally they nerfed jumpbrigdes. I am not sure if you thought about it, but basicaly they shit on whole EBAY land cutting their income in more then half, while making logistics nightmare. We are blessed with being in the best region logistic wise, but I am sure not many of you can imagine living 50 jumps from nearest lowsec with next to impossible cap routes. While I agree it has its strategical perks, its simply bad for RMT business. Thats the main reason EBAY crew decided to move in the North, or at least to try it.

Now the problem was that we are having against one of the meanest combos to fight. We have elitePVP PL with their metagaming crap, DRF with their iskprint machines as meatshield A-team, and ncDOT, Raiden and rest of the zoo as meatshield B-team. Now after series of our errors they are on our doorsteps, and their rapetrain has no brakes. The only thing which can stop them is huge wall of our nakid bodies piled on each other. So as much as things looking grim now only thing we need to do is to pile on each other (we like to do that), stop sucking (some of us will be pissed) and to demolish their train (I am sure everyone will enjoy this).


Vuk Lau, who already lost one of the oldest Ragnarok-class Titans in the game in the battle of Y-W1Q3 (Venal) and another one in the O2O-2X engagements, struggled to be active in the last few months. Morale had been taken away piece-meal and overwhelming pressure ate away at the FCs who tried to take control of the situation. It was no easy thing to face PL, Raiden and NCdot’s metagaming and knowing your own systems were infiltrated by hordes of spies. Not long after the 3G-LHB engagement, Yaay’s Aeon logged on (at a gate) and was detected and destroyed in under a minute.

May 29th, 2011 – Fall of UMI-KK (Tribute)

NC battleship fleets became scarce because FCs were unwilling to use them after suffering repeat ganks. Battlecruisers, on the other hand, were unable to offer significant resistance in SOV objectives and were meant more for hit and runs.

LordDragonMPS of Shiva corporation stepped up during this dark period and rallied pilots of the NC to fly battleships once more. He scored many kills against Ev0ke, NCdot, and PL by surprising them via the 15W- jump-bridge that connected to UMI-KK. I re-fueled the jump-bridge myself with my alt character in an industrial while my main piloted an Abaddon. The NC was outnumbered but held the field with roughly 100 battleships and 184 battlecruisers, destroying 30 enemy battleships. It was an ‘expensive’ win but raised morale when all hope seemed to be lost.

UMI-KK would eventually fall into DRF’s hands but LordDragonMPS would be remembered for his courage and fighting even in the face of an overwhelming enemy. Many NC pilots such as I were willing to lose more battleships for the cause. He stood by the controversial artillery Abaddon but inspired many pilots to carry on the fight.

A screenshot of the NC arty Abaddon fleet, Spring 2011.

Tensions increased between the NC and Goonswarm and its allies (including TEST Alliance). TEST Alliance Please Ignore decided to reset the NC and call it quits – a shocking revelation to our allies. Goonswarm sent less in the way of support and Shadoo even bridged one of their fleets home with his Leviathan after an engagement. Goon and TEST line-members, disheartened by NC’s sub-standard efforts at defense, were posting propaganda against NC. The NC once helped shelter them a long time ago when Deklein was under siege.Recently the NC helped Goons take the region of Fountain in the south for TEST, allowing them to flourish as a new alliance.

May 31st, 2011 – D7-ZAC (Tribute) – The Line Must Be Drawn Here

NC leadership posted one of its last CTAs on the forums, a Picard video and a statement: The line must be drawn here.

We’ve made too many compromises already, too many retreats. They invade our space, and we fall back. They assimilate entire worlds, and we fall back. Not again! The line must be drawn here! This far, no further! And I will make them PAY for what they’ve done!

-Picard

Vuk Lau addressed the NC:

As you witnessed more then a dozen Tribute CSAAs along with several important towers were reinforced in Tribute core. I doubt we can do shit today (Monday) but if we dont field EVERYTHING we have including ALL SUPERCAPS on Tuesday evening and defend everything what is reinforced, we can be realistic to say that we lost this war. We need to admit to ourselves that NC is broken in several areas, and its sad that we had to face reality on worst possible way, but thats the life. What we have and noone can take that from us are our communities and friendship built in between us over the years. At least after this we know who are our real friends and who are friendswithbenefits.

Anyway at this moment war is not lost YET. As I said Tuesday is “to be or not be” for the NC in its current structure, in true meaning of that expression. Its purely upon us to choose the fate of ourselves.

Vuk Lao
Ceo of Morsus Mihi and leader of the Northern Koalition.


A large Against ALL Authorities battleship fleet traveled all the way from the south to help the NC in its time of need. Though not on friendly terms because of their past, they shared a common grudge against Red Alliance and the rest of the DRF.

1st Round Aftermath: a pile of NC wrecks reportedly stretched on for 500 km. Credit: forteh on Failheap Challenge (5-31-11)

After three rounds of engagements, D7-ZAC would be lost to a powerful DRF force numbering 650, consisting of over 300 battleships and 136 Thundercats. A screenshot posted on FHC by Seleene of Raiden showcased the immense size of the invading supercapital fleet.

Elise Randolph posted a battle report of his own on FHC:

In just moments the largest Tengu fleet ever seen was formed, with over one-hundred Tengus fielded in a stunning display of backwards-flying grace. Inspired by their Sky Marshall, PL was the first to respond and was able to get into WH-J before the NC could even form. The impetuous Legion took the cyno-jammer down as a slack-jawed NC stood shell-shocked. Testing the resolve of DRF Legion forces, the NC cautiously left the safety of their perch in H-W, into D-7, and set up on the WH-J gate. The NC knew they needed to regain control of the system if they stood any hope of keeping the cyno-jammer up; four hundred NC, with an additional two-hundred Capitals formed, couldn’t muster the courage to take the last plunge. 

“Fortune favors the bold” Sky Marshall Phreeze chimed in, and with that DRF Legion forces did the unthinkable and gave up their tactical advantage to get a fight. It was up to High Admiral Shadoo and Elendar to conduct the Thundercat fleet, and so they did. Firing on all cylinders, the astute commanders harnessed the majesty of the Legion and, fighting heavy fleet-lag, inflicted massive amounts of damage on the NC fleets taking next to no losses whatsoever. Calling five simultaneous targets, the PL commanders overwhelmed the NC fleets with an unprecedented amount of carnage. Filled with blood lust, Shadoo tenaciously followed the fleeing NC fleets into H-W, again inflicting his will upon the hostile fleet. By the end of the encounter, the battlefield was littered with just shy of 200 NC wrecks. The fleets were broken, noses were bloodied. 

The NC were now grasping at straws, having leveraged everything on this night they hoped that time would be on their side. PL numbers did dwindle as time passed, but the core remained intact. Conversely, the NC was getting some fresh blood to bolster their numbers. PL Advanced Scouts were taken aback as they spotted the movement of NC lapdogs –A- moving a 130 man BS fleet from Feythabolis. The NC were truly desperate, but their desperation netted them a mighty 800 man sub-capital fleet with 200 Capitals in reserve. With less than half of the support numbers, Phreeze retained his composure and refused to back down from a fight. “The road to glory is paved with brave souls”, the Sky Marshall began, “and you have enough spirit to pave that road forty times over. We can stand down now and say we got to the brink of glory and nobody would question our fight. Hey, we just about got there – that’s something right? Wrong. Nothing succeeds like success. I say we fight our way into the light, make our dreams become their nightmares.” And with that the PL War Machine was ready to fight the NC hordes. Taking everything to the gate, PL and allies waited patiently for what would be one of the largest fights of the campaign.

Seeing this, the NC fleet once again left the safety of their POS and motioned toward WH-J. Now with a much larger gang, facing a slightly smaller opponent, the outcome would surely be different. The NC gang still had cold feet; mistaking bravery for foolishness they unsuccessfully tried to goad the PL forces into giving up the position in WH-. The NC were at the precipice of redemption, staring fortune squarely in the eyes, and yet they still were reluctant to take the final plunge. Riddled with self doubt, the NC began to convince themselves that they were going to lose everything; it was clear their hearts were not in the fight. Plagued by their indecisiveness and an unwillingness to fight for something, the NC disbanded all 900 members.

The loss of seven CSAAs with active supers in build will not be significant in the long run; in fact it’ll be nothing more than a mere blip on the radar. What will be revealed, though, is that the fortress is not impenetrable. It begs to question how much longer will the NC leadership issue ultimatums to their member base while feeding them nothing but empty rhetoric, and for how much longer will allies prop MM up before they eventually get enveloped in their own decrepitude.

The Fall of D7-ZAC on May 31st, 2011.

The NC lost nearly 100 battleships and 50 battlecruisers (note: the total numbers were far greater but limitations exist with existing killboard data). D7-ZAC was the prime headquarters of The Graduates, one of the largest corps in MM. It was also a powerful economic hub that rivaled H-W9TY, making it a symbolic victory for DRF. Goonswarm at this point reset all of the NC except Morsus Mihi and RAZOR.

June

June 1st, 2011 – 3G-LHB (Tribute)

The NC lost two more Titans in the system of 3G-LHB, where they had previously logged off a week ago when a cynojammer was incapped by a DRF fleet. Sala Cameron’s Ragnarok was among the Titans killed. Two days later, a hirr Leviathan was destroyed (piloted by Imperian) by PL just before downtime. In the coming weeks, a remarkable number of evacuating jump freighters and other ships were caught and looted, attracting scavengers from all corners of New Eden. A mass exodus from the North; it was considered one of the greatest in the game’s history.

The rise and fall of the Northern Coalition over the years. Credit: K162Space

June 7th, 2011 – The Fall of H-W9TY 

The NC vs DRF war came to an end with the fall of H-W9TY on June 6th, 2011. It was taken without any resistance. Fortress Tribute, as it had been called in the past, did not end with mutually assured destruction between two massive supercapital fleets, as many people believed would happen. Morale was low in the NC by this time and mass evacuation was underway.

It’s purely upon us to choose the fate of ourselves.Vuk Lau

Many NC supercapital pilots were still alive to fight but the will to log in was long gone. Like in D7-ZAC, rather than taking part in a futile super fight to the last man, the NC decided to stand-down. They thanked the allies who showed up. Perhaps, they believed, the fight would return to Tribute someday.

The NC and its individual parts shook hands, reset each other and respectfully disbanded the coalition.

H-W9TY, after nearly 4 years of rule by Morsus Mihi, was lost to DRF forces on June 7th, 2011.

Aftermath

The Northern Coalition was dead. Those who were loyal to the cause remembered the NC for the friendships that were made only from fighting battles. Its surviving member alliances went their separate ways. Due to the jump-bridge changes and the eventual nerf to technetium’s worth (in 2013), things would never be the same. The Jump Fatigue changes in the Phoebe expansion ensured no one can replicate what the NC was able to do in its prime. The NC Pre-Nerf jump-bridge network stands as an ancient example of what 0.0 life used to be like.

A famous NC vs DRF gif once posted on the Kugutsumen forums. Credit: Unknown

When players today hear about a group that is “unbeatable,” they often refer to the original NC and its eventual downfall. Nothing is considered impossible now.

At the time of this writing (six years later), many old pilots now reside in corporations belonging to the same enemies who once destroyed the NC. Such is the sportsmanship in EVE Online.

Four years after the end of the war, Elise Randolph (Pandemic Legion campaign commander), who regarded the NC vs DRF war as his favorite time in EVE, commented on EVE Reddit:

The NC were THE Goliath of Eve; biggest super fleet, most FCs, most numbers, by far the richest, the highest income stream, had all the friends, and they had fought BoB and won. More than once.

They definitely knew this, though, and got bit by hubris. The NC started a campaign against their Russian neighbors for content and fun. After all, there was nobody else around to fight. The campaign was a success early on, but what it did was make the Russian groups join forces and work together. This gave way to the Drone Russian Federation, for my money the absolute coolest and most deadly coalition this game has ever seen – and will ever see. SOLAR, XIX, RA, and White Noise supported by some small mercenary types PL, Ev0ke, and a new Tri offshoot called Northern Coalition. Imagine Nync, Hroft, xDeath, Mactep, Shadoo, Vince, and Raist all on the same team. It’s literally the dream team. And yet the Northern Coalition still had the bigger super fleet. Even funnier? The NC could have hired PL and Ev0ke but decided they didn’t need them.

This led to some of the coolest fights, strategies, and back room dealings in Eve. PL messed with dudes in Geminate, then moved to Venal. Evoke+NC, meanwhile, kept the Pure Blind and Deklein crew busy. The RUS core of DRF pushed from East to West with vigor. As the fighting drew on, the DRF was able to maintain momentum. At one point the DRF had a huge alarm clock op to cut off the Western NC staging system in Vale. Our fleet was so big we VOLLEYED an IHUB. For the time that was unheard of.

Eventually tensions rose high in the NC; egos clashed, burnout happened, and then it was all the blame game. While MM didn’t die in name, this is the moment that their alliance effectively ended. They clung to life for another year or so in lowsec and Delve, but it wasn’t even a shadow of their former power.

This is just the abridged version, obviously; if /r/Eve were a thing then it would be filled with whines about how MM and the NC were too rich, too strong, and totally unkillable. They were that dominant, which made their fall that much more spectacular.

-Elise Randolph

The 15W-GC station, named 15W- Burning Ring of Fire, was owned by the Arrow Project until the day it fell on June 11th, 2011.

Looking back, it was a hell of a war for a new player like me. I pondered what it took to kill a coalition like ours.

The NC had become complacent with the lack of challenges after “having won EVE.” Like in the real world, the most valuable land can only be controlled by the strongest. There will always be contenders – this ensured constant conflict and a progression of the arms race. The decision to become blue to multiple regions (to keep milking tech) eventually lead to a brain-drain of competent PvPers and fleet commanders. People moved on with life as they got older. Time is undefeated after all.

The North Conquered – Map of New Eden as of July 6th, 2011.

The defeat of SirMolle’s Band of Brothers is a less cited cause. The Northern Coalition’s name was originally created to oppose BoB and invasions into the north. Without an arch-nemesis to focus on, the value behind the name of the coalition itself diminished. NC had become too attached to the north, the tech moons and the nostalgia behind it. After being fattened by a sense of security over the years, the NC’s services were extensively infiltrated by spies, including its TeamSpeak and command channels. Through spies and accurate intel, DRF and PL’s FCs were able to relay the enemy’s next target to their own logistics in real-time, even predict enemy fleet movements. The NC was unable to develop its own metagaming tactics to the same level and failed to contract Pandemic Legion when it was opportune.

Also of note was Goonswarm Federation’s absence in pivotal fights (such as O2O-2X) and its intention to not commit supercapitals in the war. Goons and the Russians had a long-standing bropact since the era of the siege of C-J6MT years ago. Had the Goons intervened early in the Vale/Geminate engagements and had the NC wielded a supercapital fleet augmented by Goonswarm’s forces, the tide may have been turned. Their fates were once tied together in the foreverwar against Band of Brothers, a different David vs Goliath conflict of the ancient past. In the end, it was simply about the technetium.

Other factors played a role such as hubris – US timezone hubris, if you will. Overstepping their reach, a failure to innovate, and having no unified fleet doctrine until too late into the war hastened the defeat. The DRF was a tenacious enemy to fight. Though its alliances were accused of RMT and backroom deals, it took a lot of teamwork to become the tip of the spear that finally killed the NC. It was later revealed in the EVE-RU forums that the DRF came close to giving up the war at times, particularly after the Saint Patrick’s Day Massacre.

With that said, a foe as large as the NC did not die as easily as the DRF hoped. It is a fact no matter what PvP game you play. Its fragments, including myself, scattered across the universe. The war did not completely end with the fall of Tribute.

This is EVE, and war never changes.

To Delve Thunderdome