By the end of 2011, theft, betrayal and internal drama brewed in the East. SOLAR FLEET and Legion of xXDeathXx, both dominant members of the Drone Russian Federation (DRF), reset standings and engulfed the Drone Regions in a civil war. With SOLAR excommunicated, the unrest threatened to dismantle the core of the DRF from within.
A large portion of the fallen Morsus Mihi alliance joined Against ALL Authorities (-A-), an old alliance with RUS roots long considered ‘dead’ by its enemies. Fearing a massive resurgence by this power bloc (led by the fleet commander Makalu Zarya), Legion of xXDeathXx contracted mercenaries from Pandemic Legion (PL) to bolster DRF’s forces once more. Seeking a chance for revenge against DRF, Gypsy Band, formerly Rebellion Alliance, joined the resistance as a wild card from the region of Curse. Stain Empire and C0VEN, ancient groups that lived in and around the region of Stain for nearly a decade, emerged from hibernation. Thus, Stainwagon was re-born.
Dig two graves before embarking on a path for revenge. Chinese Proverb
This escalated the guerilla tactics to open up a second front that would focus on conquering Red Alliance’s space, widely considered RUS holy land. The unexpected resurgence, dubbed the “new Southern Coalition”, with -A- and Gypsy Band at the frontline, adopted PL’s Thundercat doctrine and utilized the tech 3 strategic cruiser on a scale never before seen in a war. In the North, the DRF’s territories (held by White Noise. and Raiden.) were besieged by the rising Clusterfuck Coalition (CFC), led by Goonswarm Federation. It was the Goon’s answer to the VFK-IV headshot attempt. Despite these setbacks in the North, the DRF’s supercapital armada was uncontested.
The Arms Race
Northern Coalition. (NCdot) and TEST Alliance helped Pandemic Legion, establishing the Honey Badgers. Its formation was meant to oppose -A- and Gypsy Band’s efforts to gain a foothold into the heart of the Drone Regions. In their eyes, they were simply remnants of the old NC who they were contracted to snuff out one last time.
The Russian Civil War was the largest conflict in the Southern war theater at the time, during an era in which many PvP doctrines saw experimental use and tactics were constantly refined. Many consider it to be the true conclusion to the NC vs DRF conflict, which began in late 2010. Its ramifications, especially in the realm of fleet tactics, are still felt today.
A Game of Russian Roulette
On July 22nd, 2011, months before the Russian Civil War began, one of the greatest heists in the game took place. BigMaman, right-hand man of MACTEP (leader of SOLAR) and co-founder of the alliance, made off with 900 billion ISK worth of assets, including Titans and supercarriers. Over 2,400 PLEX licenses (200+ years of game-time) were stolen. At the time it was considered around $42,000 in real life cash, large enough to deserve an article by the CCP developers.
BigMaman had been estranged from MACTEP, who he once knew as an old friend. Tired of his authoritarian leadership, he used his director role privileges to leave the alliance with a “compensation fee.” He stated that his issue was personal, spared the alliance wallet, and decided not to disband the alliance. It would have been far more damaging. Just a day before the theft, his alt lost an Avatar-class Titan to the selling party, Legion of xXDeathXx, just 15 minutes after the transaction. It was later reimbursed by xXDeath’s CEO UAxDeath, who was also a friend. An extensive translation by Red Orchestra was posted on EVENews24. The original eve-ru thread still exists.
BigMaman, who suspiciously joined xXDeath’s executor corp a month after the heist, posted an expose of the conflict and his rationale for the theft. He reasoned that his drama with MACTEP actually began several years ago and involved dirty politics and harrowing tales of RMT. The relationship between SOLAR and xXDeath reached a boiling point. The thought of a traitor being harbored within the ranks of a BFF alliance was too much for MACTEP. While many complexities existed such as a major conflict with a renter alliance and violent territorial disputes, this was believed to be the catalyst. Certain players were rumored to make thousands of dollars in real life through RMT operations, which meant threatening renter space put real life income sources at risk for some players.
They officially reset one another in December of 2011 and declared all-out war – one unlike anything seen in online gaming. The Drone Lands, no stranger to war, would never be the same.
The Southern Front – Blood in the Snow
By the Fall of 2011, my character Vik Reddy was no longer a n00b. He finished high end skills such as tech 2 large projectile and energy turret specializations and maxed out his gunnery support and drone skills. Morsus Mihi (RAWR) imploded and the PvP backbone of my corp, the Arrow Project, merged into hirr, which was once the executor corp of Morsus Mihi.
Macabre Votum and hirr joined Against ALL Authorities (-A-), a dual US-RUS timezone alliance. It was not the first time leaders from both corps worked with -A- against a common enemy, despite being hostile in past campaigns.
A condition of the merger was total opposition to the Drone Russian Federation (DRF). A large number of active supercapital pilots now had a new focus. The DRF expected a reprisal from Against ALL Authorities, once ruled by the legendary Russian FC Evil Thug, one of EVE’s most feared pilots. His many exploits are remembered today, especially his historic downing of Thulsa Doom’s Titan in 2007, when single Titan kills could end wars. Although -A- was called a shadow of its former self, the bilingual fleet commander Makalu Zarya began a new campaign to retake what was lost.
The post-Crucible era unfolded.
NCdot deployed to the South and set blue standings with TEST Alliance. Raiden and White Noise. pulled their forces back to the North to brace for an invasion by Goonswarm Federation and allies (Deklein Coalition), who began to mobilize their fleets from the West to hit the region of Branch.
In the South, the A-Team (Against ALL Authorities, Nulli Secunda and allies) carried on the fight against Red Arrow (Red Alliance and allies). Red Alliance, part of DRF and one of the oldest Russian alliances in the game, had its share of defeats, such as the loss of three Nyxes in Omist. Such victories for the A-Team were rare but with Red Arrow’s assault ground to a halt, -A- began to retake systems.
-A- and neighboring allies such as Stain Empire, the Polish-based C0VEN alliance and RED.Overlord (ROL), were collectively called Stainwagon. It was not the first time they lost their entire space. Because they retreated to the NPC region of Stain and lived in this corner of the galaxy since the game first began, they were incredibly resilient in the face of past invasions. Stain Empire and C0VEN were small in number and isolationist, steering clear of politics. They were elusive enough to be compared to the Ents from the Lord of the Rings series. However, it was an unusual time in the game’s history. They began to actively work with -A-, who they considered a friend, to combat the menacing DRF coalition.
In the East, SOLAR reset standings with Shadow of xXDeathXx (xXDeath’s renter counterpart) and formed blue standings with Stain Empire and RED.Overlord (ROL). Two weeks prior, preparations for war were underway with xXDeath requesting 300 SBUs ready to be dropped.
December 7th, 2011 – Battle of LQ-AHE (Omist)
An A-Team battleship fleet (‘Panic’ Armageddons) fought a DRF Abaddon fleet in the system of LQ-AHE. DRF outnumbered the defenders with the addition of TEST Alliance Please Ignore and NCdot. Pandemic Legion, having deployed to the region of Curse along with TEST, flew its trademark Thundercat fleet. Nearly 50 billion ISK was destroyed in total with the A-Team taking 70% efficiency.
It was -A-’s first major engagement against DRF after the downfall of Morsus Mihi, an exodus that brought in several hundred new pilots’ worth of firepower, including myself, under the command of Makalu Zarya. We were limited to a Drake battlecruiser fleet, a cheap but effective fleet doctrine at the time. The goal was to maximize damage at the least expense of ISK. -A- was still recovering from a long defensive campaign against the DRF.
xXDeath and SOLAR FLEET Reset
The Russian Civil War began with an official statement from Legion of xXDeathXx addressed to its members:
There will be a standings reset between Legion of Death and Solar Fleet right after downtime. This tough decision came as a result of all diplomatic attempts, towards our old neighbor Solar Fleet, failed. Drone Regions are no longer the quiet corner of the universe – a war begins now. Not only the ingame war, but political and propaganda warfare. Alliance Legion of Death is now mobilizing forces to fend off the aggressors and to protect what Drone Regions stood for since the beginning.
A major exposé written by Krutoj was published on EVENews24 detailing a new perspective on the conflict.
- Zkillboard BR
- EVE Battle Report Generator
- EVENews24 – LEGION OF XXDEATHXX / SOLAR FLEET FEUD GETS SERIOUS WITH “OFFICIAL” STANDINGS RESET
- EVENews24 – RAGING VIEW: ON THE DRONE REGIONS
December 8th, 2011 – GA58-7 (Outer Passage) – First Blood
SOLAR fought xXDeath in Outer Passage in the system of GA58-7. Flying its signature Alpha Maelstrom doctrine with wings of Zealots (Armor HACs) and Drakes, their roughly 200 pilots destroyed nearly 90% of xXDeath’s artillery Abaddons and 65 battlecruisers. Although there were a few skirmishes following the reset, this fight would be the first major organized action, fermenting the animosity between the two. The war was indeed real and disrupted the peace and prosperity of the Drone Lands.
December 11th, 2011 – 1A8-6G (Perrigen Falls)
xXDeath was crushed by SOLAR in 1A8-6G, even with the assistance of an NCdot Tengu fleet. They lost four carriers, 144 battleships and nearly 100 battlecruisers – over 70 billion ISK. SOLAR, usually outnumbered, was regarded for its discipline and tight fleet composition. They enjoyed a 91.3% efficiency, losing only 15 battleships.
December 13th, 2011 – NZW-ZO (Tenerifis)
In the Southwest, the A-Team, numbering 200 pilots, brawled against a 270-man Red Arrow fleet, which was also backed by additional PL and TEST fleets (Honey Badgers). While losses were even, the A-Team’s Armageddons and Drakes managed to give a them a black-eye, despite the kamikaze of nearly all of their battleships.
Pandemic Legion, surprised by the efficiency of -A-’s large Drake fleet against their Scimitars, lost a whopping 13 of the 48 Tengus they fielded. Each Tengu was worth over 500 million ISK and the death of one meant the loss of skill-points as well. On the contrary, a single Drake was worth about 50-60 million ISK and was insurable. Grath Telkin himself (CEO of PL) lost a Tengu in the fight. Pandemic Legion reduced the use of its famed Thundercat fleet as a primary doctrine for the rest of the campaign; its weaknesses highlighted by Grath Telkin on the Kugutsumen forums.
-A- continued to use the Drake fleet with an increasing number of their pilots transitioning to Tengus in accordance with fleet commander Makalu Zarya’s plans to adopt PL’s Thundercat doctrine. He regarded the afterburner Tengu as the pinnacle of subcapital warfare under the existing mechanics, emphasizing its DPS and superior maneuverability. Firing missiles did not require tracking skills and Tengus were able to do it from 100 km away while moving nearly 1,000 m/s.
December 17th, 2011 – HED-GP (Catch)
Further South in the system of HED-GP, a 180-man -A- Drake fleet engaged combined PL, NCdot and White Noise. fleets numbering nearly 300 strong. White Noise. lost nearly 100 Abaddons, relying mostly on its 15 triage carriers for rep support, of which 6 were killed. NCdot flew a Thundercat fleet while PL experimented with its new Rokh doctrine known as “Shieldcats.” They built their Rokhs with 425mm Railguns and took advantage of its long-range damage projection and great shield resistances. They used it for the first time in the campaign in the system of 1P-WGB.
-A-, despite 88% efficiency and destroying nearly 60 billion ISK, ultimately lost the fight as Makalu Zarya was headshotted off the field, taking 236,351 damage in his Tengu.
December 18th, 2011 – LGK-VP (Stain) – Armageddons vs Rokhs
A battleship fight ensued on the LGK-VP station in the NPC nullsec region of Stain, where -A- staged during this period. They historically fell back to this system when facing much larger invading forces in the past. Pandemic Legion flew a 50-man Rokh fleet against -A-’s 70 man Armageddon fleet. PL enjoyed a clear victory, utilizing high-damage close range ammo as they MWDed to 60 km off the Armageddons – at which range the Amarr battleships could barely hit back with Scorch ammo. While not a strategic fight, it highlighted the weaknesses of the Armageddon, which excelled mostly at close range with its lasers. The Rokh, on the other hand, had the potential to revolutionize the metagame – once again pioneered by PL.
-A- was renowned for having pilots skilled with the use of battleships but few alliances could match Pandemic Legion, even when disregarding spies and metagame tactics.
December 26th, 2011 – AAA loses 2 Titans in C3-0YD (Tenerifis)
On Christmas Day, a drunken Russian -A- pilot lost two Erebus-class Titans in the system of C3-0YD after a failed attempt to decloak a Controlled Chaos (WTF) pilot’s Nyx. The WTF pilot, supported by an Abaddon fleet and another supercarrier, was trying to take out an -A- cyno-jammer and cloaked off the -A- POS in an effort to escape the defense fleet. Whether the Titans actually tried to decloak the Nyx themselves or if they were caught in a fleet-warp remains unknown.
PL’s super-fleet, commanded by I’m Down/Yaay (who recently joined PL), took notice and a Tengu fleet was brought in. He was unable to cyno in supercapitals due to the cyno-jammer but used the subcaps to trap the Titans with bubbles. After taking out the jammer, they cynoed in Titans and doomsdayed the Erebi to oblivion before their self-destruct timers could finish. They were the first Titan casualties following the release of the Crucible expansion, which saw massive changes to how supercapitals worked. Footage was caught by Sala Cameron. Yaay kept his record intact for being one of the deadliest supercapital-killing fleet commanders in the game.
White Noise. and Branch Torched by the CFC
In the Northern war theater, White Noise. was surprised by the Blitzkrieg invasion by the Deklein Coalition, following a State of the Goonian address. Some 1,400 pilots maxing out multiple Maelstrom fleets descended upon Branch to burn it to the ground. Mister Vee, Lazarus Telraven, Dabigredboat and Lake were the primary fleet commanders on the Goons’ side.
In a Christmas Day meeting recorded on their TeamSpeak comms, White Noise. compared the situation to Germany’s invasion of Russia in WW2, citing similar mistakes due to lack of preparation and logistics issues. White Noise. lost many technetium moons and CSAAs – leading to aborted supercapitals. In the first week alone, 28 of 94 systems in Branch were under Goon control, including three stations. Their leadership accepted that they would not have the same support from the rest of the DRF as they once had in the war against the old Northern Coalition. To still call it the Drone Russian Federation was questionable, with its elements fragmented and the ongoing Russian Civil War in the East. Raiden. pledged support with their supercapitals. Red Alliance also vowed to help but much of its attention was occupied in the South by the A-Team.
The specific engagements of the CFC’s invasion of Branch are beyond the scope of this section but these events were critical to the balance of power in New Eden.
December 27th, 2011 – The Battle of 1A8-6G
1A8-6G was the capital system for Legion of xXDeathXx and the main focus of SOLAR’s aggression. Enormous levels of coalition assets were in place here. Losing a capital system would be a great blow to morale, if SOLAR were to succeed.
A series of attacks were launched on xXDeath’s SOV structures, starting on Christmas Day – even supercarriers were deployed. The stage was set for a slugfest on December 27th.
Though initially struggling against SOLAR’s Maelstrom fleet, xXDeath poured in a slew of defenders and fought off the SOLAR battleships and HACs. Stain Empire flew a Naga fleet (tier 3 battlecruisers) and fired on xXDeath from long range. Despite this, xXDeath’s forces endured.
All that changed when suddenly a wild Gypsy Band bomber fleet appeared. Neutral to all parties, they performed a successful bombing run with over 70 xXDeath battleships (mostly shield Tempests) and battlecruisers wiped out at the 18:59 mark. The situation seemed dire but Pandemic Legion and NCdot supported xXDeath with a joint Thundercat fleet, over 100 Tengus strong. They focused fire on SOLAR and once again, the Legions held the upper hand and managed to defend the system. Supercarriers removed the invaders’ SBUs. Subsequent attempts were made against the system in the coming days but without success. Footage of the fight was caught by Frocke, who, at the end, bumped ships out of the hostile POS tower (after entering their password) in true PL style.
- Zkillboard BR
- EVE Battle Report Generator
- EVENews 24 – I Used to Be a Drone Russian Like You, But Then I Took a Torpedo To The Knee
Elise Randolph presented “The Griefmas Story” on EVENews24, chronicling PL’s traditional annual winter harassment and griefing of -A-. With countless tech moons churning out billions of ISK in passive income in the North, they dropped Titans with impunity, blapping roaming gangs of battlecruisers and camping the LGK station undock. Heralded for its spy network and metagaming, PL poked fun at the -A- threads it leaked and stopped all progress that was undertaken to regain territory in Catch. Spies made it difficult to counter these super fleets since whatever intel -A- knew about, PL did as well. Without a means or income to go toe to toe against them, -A- deployed far North to the region of Otsasai for a short vacation of pirating.
As a new pilot in -A-, I recalled Makalu’s strategy of denying fights to PL’s supers. To fight them in our current state was a waste of time and ISK. It was simply propaganda, a natural part of EVE. There was a resurgence in activity in the large dormant Russian player-base all over the game and the narrative had changed. With much of -A- deployed to the North, PL had little content in Stain and grew bored. We knew what had to be done; retake our region, combat the hordes of RMT and conquer the vibrant Drone Lands. Without the questionable tactics that were used by our enemies.
A few days into the new year, UAxDeath posted an AMA thread on Failheap Challenge, one of EVE’s longest running public forums. Also a CSM member, he offered his insight into the events of the Russian Civil War, accusations of botting/RMT, and the current state of 0.0 SOV mechanics. Destructible player stations had long been an interest, a mechanic that would favor the side with the most supercapitals. When asked who was winning the war, UAxDeath replied:
My stance is that we were not ready when SOLAR started attacking us, they took some stations and were owning us, but for the past week at least it has not been one-sided rape, we have been holding the field after fights (we lost more sometimes but still held field which is more important than just frags).
Also many attacks on our capital system have been repulsed. Short answer; Legion is not getting raped atm.
-UAxDeath (January 3rd, 2012)
January 4th, 2012 – 8MG-J6 (Geminate) – Enter the Initiative and Gypsy Band
The Initiative (INIT) and Initiative Mercenaries (IM), led by Sister Bliss, were contracted by xXDeath to help against SOLAR. They were no match as their 50 Hellcats were torn asunder by Maelstrom artillery fire. What Legion of xXDeathXx lacked in PvP ability and organization, they made up for with vast reserves of ISK and resources. They would not be the only mercenaries hired by UAxDeath to fortify his defensive campaign. Gypsy Band, which weren’t much of a presence in the war, played as a third party looking for ‘gudfites’. Their Tengu fleet teamed up with The Initiative and brawled with SOLAR in the system of BWF-ZZ.
Nearly a year ago, SOLAR (then a key member of the DRF) helped evict Gypsy Band from the region of Geminate. The betrayal and disbanding of Rebellion Alliance (-R-), its former identity, coincided with the full-scale invasion of Geminate by the DRF during the NC vs DRF war.
January 5th, 2012 – U-3FKL (Perrigen Falls) – More Guns for Hire
The momentum shifted as SOLAR had its first loss against a primarily xXDeath fleet, which now flew Alpha Maelstroms instead of artillery Abaddons. CCP revolutionized the state of lag in large-scale fleet fights in EVE and the artillery Abaddon outlived its use in the age of Time Dilation (TiDi). Players no longer needed to turn off auto-repeat and rate of fire and DPS now mattered more.
UAxDeath hired The Gorgon Empire, an elite alliance, to help command strategic ops and the results were evident. Outnumbering SOLAR, they improved their fire discipline and took out SOLAR’s IHUB with 18 dreadnoughts and killed 14 battleships and 21 HACs.
Gypsy Band began to play a larger role in the area instead of bombing, flying Thundercat fleets and harassing all parties. They faced off against SOLAR once more in the system of BWF-ZZ, a battle caught on video.
January 6th, 2012 – LXQ2-T (Etherium Reach) – Against ALL Authorities Begins a Counter-Offensive
LXQ2-T, the historical gateway to the Drone Regions, fell under attack. -A-, RED.Overlord, Stain Empire and C0VEN (collectively called Stainwagon) assaulted the station with a 200-man Maelstrom fleet while covered by Gypsy Band bombers. In the Pre-Phoebe age, the system gave capitals access to a substantial portion of the East.
Legion of xXDeathXx, now fully transitioned from Abaddons to a traditional Maelstrom doctrine, met them head-on with an additional 100-man RA Abaddon fleet. Together they numbered over 300 strong. Nearly 40 billion ISK was blown up with near equal losses on both sides. Despite the resistance, they were unable to keep the station from going into reinforcement.
With that act, Makalu Zarya, with full support of Stainwagon and Gypsy Band, declared war against xXDeath and opened up the Southern front in the Russian Civil War.
A comprehensive analysis of the current conflicts in New Eden was posted by The Spartan on EVENews24, describing the balance of powers and what was yet to come.
- Zkillboard BR
- EVE Battle Report Generator
- EVENews24 – Analysis: The War in the North and What is to Come – Part I
January 8th, 2012 – U-3FKL (Perrigen Falls), Red Alliance Resets SOLAR FLEET
SOLAR massacred 73 of 87 xXDeath battleships in Perrigen Falls, outmaneuvering them with a wing of Zealots and Drakes while their Maelstroms took the brunt of the damage. SOLAR consistently outclassed xXDeath when there was no interference from other parties. They were known to use an out of game tool that helped FCs determine how many of its pilots were ready to fire the next salvo, ensuring critical mass was met in each volley. SOLAR rarely required more than one volley to take down primaries.
As a show of loyalty to xXDeath, Red Alliance officially set hostile standings to SOLAR.
January 9th, 2012 – Branch Campaign: Mission Accomplished
The Mittani declared Mission Accomplished, announcing an end to his unprecedented campaign on the region of Branch, burning White Noise. territory to the ground. The CFC, as his coalition was now called, routinely fielded 1,400-man Maelstrom fleets (with Scorpions for EWAR) and shared a common voice communications channel. The “1,400 Maelstrom fleet” became the new standard and raised the bar in EVE naval history for the sheer amount of firepower that a single coalition can bring to the field. The level of coordination and industrial logistics required to regulate such a force was impressive. Often, they fielded more Scorpions than the opponent had logistics ships.
The recent departure of Russian White Noise. leader PsihoZZ KAHI, who was one of the masterminds behind the campaign against the old Northern Coalition, was one of the key factors to the downfall of Branch. They had little preparation for Goons’ attacks, which continued even during the Russian holidays.
In his article, The Fall of Branch, the Mittani alleged that the CFC picked up intel via spies of a suggested invasion of Goonswarm-held Deklein by White Noise. leaders. The Mittani had now conquered a large number of technetium moons in Branch territory, making his coalition rich. The region of Tenal, once owned by RAZOR (now a member of CFC), appeared to be next. This placed Raiden. in the cross-hairs of the Goon war machine.
January 10th, 2012 – P7-45V (Cache) – Red Arrow Returns, Pandemic Legion Officially Hired by xXDeath
Red Alliance, now fully committed to xXDeath’s defense, pulled back its forces from the North following the loss of Branch. Much of its 90-man Abaddon fleet was pulverized by a SOLAR Maelstrom fleet in a skirmish in the system of P7-45V.
Gypsy Band, no longer a simple third party for ‘good fights’, supported SOLAR with a Thundercat fleet. Red Alliance and xXDeath lost about 30 billion ISK, including 4 triage carriers. Red Alliance’s fleet commander Silent Dodger lost both his Machariel and Abaddon in the same engagement.
The day was not a complete victory for SOLAR. In the system of MOSA-I (The Spire), two supercarriers were detected and ganked by a PL Herocat fleet (energy neuting Tempests designed to kill supercapitals).
Grath Telkin officially announced on the Kugutsumen forums that Pandemic Legion was contracted by xXDeath in the war. As an alliance, PL was like the very definition of a dormant herpes virus. They held no stations or visible assets to attack, making them difficult to pressure because they could not be tied down to a single location. They were a nomadic mercenary alliance and frequently deployed to wherever the action was going on. If hired for a contract, PL’s mantra was simply to win at any cost. They had a reputation for griefing but were also a tight-knit gaming community. One real life incident includes PL members raising funds for a fellow U.S. soldier who was deployed overseas but had inadequate military equipment.
January 11th, 2012 – LXQ2-T (Etherium Reach) Saved
Against ALL Authorities, with the help of Gypsy Band and other elements of Stainwagon, continued the assault on the system of LXQ2-T. -A- formed 100 pilots in MWD Drakes and 10mn AB Tengus. Gypsy Band brought Thundercats and Stainwagon flew its seasoned railgun Naga fleet.
The Honey Badgers (PL, NCdot, TEST) met their 300 head-on with 320 pilots of their own, dropping 25 Titans and 40 motherships. NCdot flew Thundercats but PL opted to unveil the Swiftcat doctrine (sentry Ishtars). The Swiftcats dropped sentry drones en masse and assisted them to a single fleet member. Despite putting out concentrated heavy damage at long range, they could not escape the barrage of Tengu missile fire due to webs and target painting – even with their small signature radii. The Ishtar’s other weakness was shown; most of the sentries, which were clumped together, made easy targets for the invading forces’ bomber wing. Thus, much of PL’s DPS was inconsistent.
The defenders lost 22 Tengus, 32 of 36 Ishtars, and took a total of 44 billion ISK in damage. However, Stainwagon and Gypsy Band were unable to counter the large supercapital fleet, which included tracking Titans.
LXQ2-T was saved, a decisive victory for the defenders.
January 13th, 2012 – 995-3G (Cache)
In deep Russian timezone, SOLAR, Stainwagon and Gypsy Band defeated a Red Alliance and xXDeath fleet with 73% efficiency in Cache. Stain Empire escalated its involvement, joining Gypsy Band’s ranks directly with Tengus and support recon ships.
January 14th, 2012 – D-6H64 (Cache) – Red Alliance Loses 6 Supercarriers
Red Alliance suffered a crippling defeat in the system of D-6H64, losing six supercarriers to a 355-man fleet. SOLAR committed 30 supercarriers of its own, with the support of Stainwagon and Gypsy Band’s Thundercats. -A- continued to evolve its doctrine to nearly pure Thundercat fleets and its strategic cruiser reimbursement program was in full swing – run by The Dark Tribe, a wormhole corp.
Red Alliance had essentially become a pinata, much to Pandemic Legion’s angst. In addition to the supercarriers, they lost 85 battleships and 4 carriers – totaling 206 billion ISK.
In the North, TEST Alliance’s forces are pulled back as the CFC declared war on Raiden’s home of Tenal. NCdot, which resided in Tribute, was issued an ultimatum – support Raiden. and lose everything or keep most of your tech moons if you don’t get involved. The Goon warmachine raged on, churning out Maelstroms and endless Welpfleet Hurricanes. The CFC’s logistics power rivaled the old Northern Coalition, if not exceeding it.
January 15th, 2012 – BWF-ZZ (Geminate) – SOLAR FLEET vs the World, Gypsy Band Void Bombs Thundercats
Deep in the heart of Geminate in the system of BWF-ZZ during the Russian timezone, SOLAR FLEET and Gypsy Band took on the world. SOLAR formed its unorthodox Maelstrom fleet with squadrons of Zealots and Drakes – 135 strong. Gypsy Band formed an 85-man Tengu fleet.
Together they fought outnumbered against a 350-man fleet comprising of PL, NCdot, Ev0ke, and TEST Alliance – the Honey Badgers in all their glory. Despite most of the Maelstroms wiped out, SOLAR and Gypsy stood their ground and destroyed 125 enemy ships, including 34 Tengus (30 billion ISK) – much to the credit of Gypsy Band’s legendary bomber wing.
The Gypsy Band gang, led by Blaster Worm, performed the first successful mass bombing run in EVE history on a strategic cruiser fleet at the 13:45 mark – nearly 20 Tengus killed in a single wave.
An afterburner tech 3 strategic cruiser was long thought to be impervious to bomb runs due to its high end resistances and small sig radius. However, the Gypsy Band bomber FC masterfully timed an electron (EM damage) bombing wave a split second after a void bombing run using two different squads. This made it impossible for the Tengus to re-activate their shield hardeners on time after the void run removed all capacitor energy. Having almost no resistance to EM damage, they were blown apart by the electron bombs that followed soon afterwards.
Less than four hours later in BWF-ZZ, Gypsy Band performed another Tengu bombing run. At the 17:11 mark, their bomber FC utilized the same strategy (Void + Electron) and wiped out nearly a dozen PL Tengus and a horde of Honey Badger battlecruisers. One of PL’s fleet commanders, Manfred Sideous (paik), lost his Vulture in the same run.
This event paved the way for many bomber FCs to attempt the same strategy in the future. Few FCs were skilled enough to pull it off on strategic cruiser fleets, even to this day, partly due to the usage of passive hardeners to counter such attacks.
The Battle of TSG-NO (Feythabolis) – The Rise of the New Southern Coalition
While SOLAR fought in Geminate, another great battle raged simultaneously in the southernmost corner of the galaxy in the region of Feythabolis.
Red Alliance was dealt another blow in the Battle of TSG-NO. Outnumbering Red Arrow’s 370-man Artillery Abaddon fleet, Makalu Zarya commanded a coalition CTA fleet of over 500 pilots consisting of 211 battleships (mostly Panic Geddons), 58 battlecruisers and ~60 Tengus. It was a bloodbath of epic proportions as Stainwagon slugged it out with Red Arrow for over an hour straight, trading battleships and bombing runs.
Makalu Zarya then laid down the hammer and committed the Southern Coalition’s supercapital fleet – cynoing in 19 tracking Titans and 42 supercarriers onto the trapped Red Arrow battleships, which were unable to sustain damage despite ferocious triage carrier reps. With the help of James Dimmick (ROL fleet commander), Red Arrow’s losses reached a snowball effect under close range laser fire from the Armageddons. They lost all 15 of their triage carriers, 188 battleships, and 189 pilots were pod-killed back to their home stations. About 135 billion ISK was destroyed in total, with Red Arrow taking just over 100 billion ISK in damage and losing the system’s Territorial Claim Unit (TCU).
Even Pandemic Legion praised Makalu Zarya for going all-in with the super-fleet, which many believed was decommissioned. It was not seen in such numbers for months. Alliances that lived in the south were often judged to be destitute and lacking in supercapitals and reimbursement due to the lack of technetium moons and other opportunities. -A- began to retake systems in Catch and re-conquered its capital system of GE-8JV in Catch on this day.
He declared the official resurgence of the “new Southern Coalition” on the forums and promised vengeance against Red Alliance and Legion of xXDeathXx. The tide had turned in a single day on two different fronts.
January 16th, 2012 – CSAA killed in K-BBYU (The Spire)
SOLAR, Stainwagon and Gypsy Band, riding high on momentum, turned their attention to The Spire. They destroyed Pandemic Legion’s SBUs in the system of 9IZ-HU in Perregin Falls, facing resistance in the form of an NCdot and PL bomber fleet – which they wiped out. Then they destroyed a CSAA that was building a baby supercapital in K-BBYU.
January 17th, 2012 – Raiden. Defends Tenal against the CFC
In the far North, the CFC began to siege the tech moon-rich region of Tenal, owned by Raiden. The Mittani had many reasons to go after Raiden., the latest incarnation of Band of Brothers, in addition to returning the space back to RAZOR Alliance.
NCdot did not commit any help to White Noise or Raiden. The alliance remained out of the conflict as part of a NIP (no invasion pact) with Goons to protect its technetium moons. NCdot was also blue to TEST, which was essentially a foster child alliance of Goons. Thus, the diplomatic process went smoother than expected.
TEST Alliance deployed to the North to attack Vale of the Silent, seeking to split Raiden.’s attention between two different fronts. Raiden. remained loyal to White Noise. and helped defend Branch, a defense that ultimately failed. Instead of a landslide victory, TEST and the CFC marched onwards and met Raiden’s legendary tracking Titan fleets. The unstoppable force had met the immovable wall. Their Maelstrom fleets were decimated time and time again. Even TEST’s Rifter fleets were tracked by the Titans and blown to bits. The CFC eventually resorted to large-scale Welp Fleets (suicide autocannon Hurricanes), which were effective against both Hellcats and Tengus due to their neutralizers, mobility and cheap cost.
The Winter War, as Raiden. called it, was fought in Branch, Vale of the Silent and Geminate. Three weeks of fighting were caught on video. It would be some time until CFC eventually took control of Tenal and its technetium moons, even after an organized campaign to get CCP to nerf the power of tracking Titans – which were eventually balanced.
January 18th, 2012 – Battle of F-HQWV (Perrigen Falls), The Great PL Wormhole Rokh Welp of 2012
During Euro timezone, the Southern Coalition clashed with Red Alliance, xXDeath and the Honey Badgers in the system of F-HQW.
Having experimented with it at the start of January, Pandemic Legion began to use its Rokh fleet (termed Shieldcats), utilizing long-range damage projection and beast tanks. With 425mm railguns, they could hit Tengus beyond 100 km. They also had the tanks to go toe to toe against SOLAR’s Alpha fleet. The Honey Badgers called it the People’s Rokhtrine. NCdot flew a MWD Drake fleet and Legion of xXDeathXx reverted to its familiar shield Tempest fleet. Red Alliance, sticking to its usual doctrine, fielded a large 150-man Abaddon fleet.
Despite the overall change in strategy, the shield battleships suffered bombing runs from Gypsy Band due to their inflated sig radii (especially with MWD on) and slow maneuverability. Over half of their logistics, mostly RA’s Guardians, and 50 battleships were killed. Stainwagon, Gypsy and SOLAR held the field with 72% efficiency.
To make matters worse for PL, they ended up trapped inside a wormhole without a prober after the fight. The wormhole closed down due to the unsustainable mass of Rokhs entering all at once. In a moment of hilarity that would be forever known as the Great PL Wormhole Rokh Welp of 2012, they shot each other down to the last man rather than face an eternity trapped inside the wormhole.
January 20th, 2012 – O2O-2X (Geminate) – Shadoo Strikes Back
Despite the string of subcapital victories, SOLAR and Stainwagon still did not have the resources to counter the Honey Badger supercapital fleet, which was spearheaded by Pandemic Legion and NCdot. In addition to having the largest and most experienced super-fleet in the game, they also had a massive warchest of technetium wealth.
SOLAR and Stainwagon were beaten down in the system of O2O-2X in Geminate, with PL’s legendary campaign commander Shadoo taking charge of a joint Rokh fleet backed by Titans and supercarriers. Under his cold and calculated coordination, it was a largely one-sided engagement. SOLAR’s Maelstroms and Stainwagon/Gypsy Band’s Tengus were obliterated – footage of the battle was recorded from PL’s perspective. The Rokh fleet lived up to its expectations and the Maelstroms were torn apart by tracking Titans, unable to escape from well-placed interdictor bubbles. Shadoo commended SOLAR for its bravery but proclaimed that he will not be deterred from using everything at his disposal to defeat them. Quickly, the campaign turned into a full-on offensive by PL and xXDeath.
The system of 9IZ-HU was captured by xXDeath a day later, ending nearly three years of SOLAR ownership. Intrepid Crossing (IRC), its allegiance ambivalent during the war, quickly surrendered the region of Cobalt’s Edge to PL rather than face Shadoo’s wrath.
Later in the US timezone, while moving supercapitals around in Stain, Makalu Zarya discovered that a pilot named Stardragon999 in the Silver Snake Enterprise corporation was allegedly a Pandemic Legion pilot. He ordered the summary execution of the spy’s Aeon in the system of 32-GI9, where he was dropped by doomsdays and fighter bombers.
- Battle of O2O-2X Pandemic Legion & NC. vs -A- & Solar Video by UselessPikey42
January 27th, 2012 – Battle of TDE4-H (Geminate)
SOLAR FLEET, Gypsy Band and Stain Empire, fighting outnumbered against a 250-man Honey Badger Rokh/Maelstrom fleet, were soundly defeated. Under combined artillery and railgun fire, they lost 56 battleships and 24 billion ISK (37% efficiency).
TEST Alliance’s pilots were well-versed with the Maelstrom’s artillery weapons after having used them religiously in the VFK-IV Defense and the Branch campaign alongside Goons and allies. Although Honey Badger pilots were pushed to get into Rokhs, the alpha-strike and ability to switch damage types was useful. The Rokh’s railguns were limited to kinetic/thermal damage but the Maelstrom’s projectile ammo allowed damage across the entire spectrum (omni-damage).
January 28th, 2012 – Aeon Alpha DDed in PFV-ZH (Perrigen Falls)
In the system of PFV-ZH, Pandemic Legion and NCdot alpha doomsdayed a SOLAR Aeon with over two dozen Titans – a feat rarely seen during this time period. The Aeon exploded before many doomsdays even reached the target. It was a testament to their ability to bring large numbers of Titans to the field at any moment’s notice – demoralizing Team South.
77S8-E (Detorid) – Red Alliance Curbstomped
With SOLAR reeling from its losses in the East, -A- and its close ally RED.Overlord focused on harassing Red Alliance, Controlled Chaos, and assorted ‘pets’ (collectively Red Arrow). In Detorid, they were without the direct interference of PL/NCdot’s supercapitals. Throughout the campaign, -A- ran roaming gangs of armor-tanked pulse laser Oracles, called Banana Boats – commanded by MukkBarovian of Blackwater USA. Literally fast-moving vertical Hellcats with fewer hitpoints, the Banana Boat gangs terrorized Red Alliance and allies in the late US timezone.
In the system of 77S8-E in Detorid where Red Arrow staged, -A- and allies slaughtered multiple Abaddon and Drake fleets with Thundercats. They easily outmaneuvered tracking Titans that Red Alliance dropped. Basically, they got curbstomped. Footage of the fight was uploaded to Youtube, originally created by Nashau.
The Abaddons dropped so fast that Tengus were called to simply fire a single volley at a primary and quickly switch to a secondary before the first target died. And rinse and repeat – to save time and ammo. The battle highlighted the artillery Abaddon’s major weakness – it could not track afterburning Tengus and its DPS was minimal in the age of TiDi. Even my Lachesis (recon ship), which I habitually used in the campaign, survived being primaried at close range.
Furthermore, their Guardians made easy targets for missiles while webbed down and target painted. 77S8-E was the site of many fights, most of which Red Alliance and its allies lost, either to Makalu Zarya’s Tengus in the EU timezone or Banana Boats in the US timezone. Taking a page out of PL’s playbook, -A- and its allies staged directly next door to Red Alliance and was largely nomadic during the war.
Meanwhile, further North in the region of Geminate, SOLAR’s system of O2O-2X saw another brawl between Team South (300 pilots) and Legion of xXDeathXx/Honey Badgers (360 pilots). Unable to tank the sheer firepower of 196 battleships and over 50 battlecruisers, Team South lost over 130 ships and 36 billion ISK.
And yet, SOLAR continued its guerilla tactics. In one fight against TEST and xXDeath a day later, SOLAR bombers performed three bombing runs within 30 minutes in O2O-2X that took out 12 Tempests and 42 battlecruisers.
January 31st, 2012 – D-6H64 (Cache) – Darkside./SOLAR vs RA
Darkside., a small elite PvP alliance, teamed up with SOLAR in the system of D-6H64. Flying a rarely seen armor-tanked Loki fleet, they complemented SOLAR’s Maelstroms and took on a 160-man Red Alliance Abaddon fleet.
It was a clear victory for SOLAR/Darkside as they knocked out 57 of 88 RA battleships while only losing 7 strategic cruisers (68% efficiency). Not a single SOLAR battleship was lost. Darkside. was known to third party fights but largely remained out of nullsec politics. Having many Russian pilots themselves, they were universally respected (and feared) – most alliances took caution when encountering their roaming gangs.
Armor-tanked tech 3 strategic cruiser fleets saw little action during this era outside the realm of wormhole PvP. They required significant amounts of ISK to fit out an entire fleet and a single loss was one too many for most groups. Rooks and Kings (RnK) chronicled one of the earliest uses of the doctrine in 2011 – long before they became mainstream. Battle in Notoras, the second entry in their famed video series, depicts an epic struggle between twelve of their T3 ships (backed by 9 Guardians) against a fleet of 90 ships, mostly Maelstroms, Hurricanes and Drakes. It is regarded as one of the greatest EVE PvP videos. RnK sought to build a lighter, low-sig radius gang and push the limits of what a single pilot can do in a subcapital.
It’s a fight which underlines what a beautiful looking game EVE is, when in full flow with energy streams and armor beams and the cacophony of explosions. And of course with all the brackets on and all the drones on, so you can fully appreciate the spectacle of a battlefield.
-Lord Maldoror (Battle in Notoras)
Shadoo of Pandemic Legion was the first to implement tech 3 cruisers on a mass scale in nullsec, unleashing the shield-tanked Tengu fleet (Thundercats) during the NC vs DRF war in 2011.
February 4th, 2012 – C-J6MT (Insmother) – The Headshot Attempt
SOLAR and Stainwagon made a daring attack on C-J6MT, capital system of Red Alliance. Bringing nearly 500 pilots to the battle, Red Alliance stood no chance in the initial wave, against which they lost 23 billion ISK. The purpose was to begin a set of timers to eventually take over the system – a headshot attempt.
The following day, SOLAR returned to fight a 100-man Red Arrow fleet, killing 60 ships (15 billion ISK) and losing only an Armageddon and Zealot. Despite steadily losing its SOV to Pandemic Legion and NCdot’s super-fleet in the East, they pressed on the offensive.
MACTEP’s baby Titan was aborted in Cache on February 5th. Many other alliances would have folded at this point but not SOLAR. Shadoo called them SOLAR Vikings.
Red Alliance, no longer confident, set all station reinforcement timers to US timezone. The idea was to remove SOLAR’s presence as much as possible while helping the Honey Badgers (PL, NCdot, TEST) fight at full capacity in their prime-time.
February 6th, 2012 – C-J6MT (Insmother) – The Great Tengu Welp of 2012
The attacks on C-J6MT met a brick wall.
February 6th would become known as the Great Tengu Welp of 2012. The Honey Badgers, xXDeath, and Red Alliance formed their largest defense fleet yet – over 800 pilots. Team South could only muster 429, falling victim to 41 tracking Titans and 33 motherships in C-J6MT.
Facing soul-crushing lag, it was a bad day for -A-’s Thundercat fleet. They lost 74 Tengus in C-J6MT alone, over 50 billion ISK in damage. Old Hroft, still in White Noise., made a triumphant surprise return on the side of the defenders. He led his elite gang to pull off a bombing run on -A-’s Tengus that put Gypsy Band’s record to shame. At the 18:05 mark, nearly 70 Tengus died to waves of Void + Electron bombs. Countless battlecruisers, Recons and t2 cruisers also met their end.
Old Hroft adopted Gypsy Band’s strategy and likely holds the record for most strategic cruisers killed in a single bombing run – to this day.
Makalu Zarya ordered the full retreat to the adjacent system of 78-0R6 but Shadoo anticipated an escape; -A- comms were riddled with spies. He had the in-gate of 78-0R6 bubbled with multiple interdictors. Stuck in 10% TiDi, the surviving Tengus aligned in a single direction. The server node, which was not reinforced, was at the brink of collapse and any commands to deviate from the alignment did not work. They kept moving in a straight line with zero transversal velocity to the tracking Titans.
The Honey Badgers cynoed in 28 tracking Titans and 32 more supercarriers at the in-gate, which continued to wreck the hapless Tengus. An additional 281 Rokhs and Abaddons arrived to speed up the carnage, finishing off whatever the Titans and fighter bombers could not. In 78-0R6, Team South lost another ~100 ships, coming out to 38 billion ISK (1.4% efficiency). A total of 122 Tengus were killed on this day, perhaps the bloodiest day for strategic cruisers in the history of nullsec warfare at the time. If the total training time from the loss of subsystems skills was calculated, it would have certainly been months.
SOLAR are proper hardcore eve russians and never give up for any reason ever. Unfortunately SOLAR/BAND/-A-/SE and the associated hangers on haven’t been able to match the 600-700 dudes + supercaps RA/XIX/PL/NC. have been fielding for the recent “big” timers so they’ve been steadily losing ground in the drone regions. SOLAR and friends have been going after RA space in insmother to pass the time though.
February 8th, 2012 – Silent Dodger is Standing Down
The Russian Civil War took a shocking turn. Silent Dodger, revered leader of Red Alliance, decided to quit the game after admitting to RMT. In a meeting on comms that was recorded on soundcloud and later leaked, he addressed his alliance and outlined his plans to stand down as CEO.
In his EVENews24 article, EVE historian Bagehi described the early days of Silent Dodger’s reign as a leader and how he built Red Alliance up from almost nothing. Much of the alliance’s politics and history was explained. The soundcloud recording of RA’s meeting, which runs about 20 minutes, was translated in the article. Silent Dodger admitted to RMT (real money trading) and taking funds directly from RA’s wallet. He said it was due to real life struggles and cited an inability to properly command fleets in a rapidly changing metagame. Like many FCs returning to the EVE after a period of inactivity, he became frustrated.
The Russian community reeled from the news and it appeared the alliance might collapse completely. However, their resilience was well-known to the community.
-A- diplomats released a statement:
Dodger left RA confirmed. He made announcement today ( but was decided a while back): http://soundcloud.com/terrorgang/bwthdyzrckpj
He also confirmed that he RMTed alliance wallet for a while and his titan. This is in audio from today during RA ally meeting. RA will not collapse. RA new leadership are fine dudes. they will see the changes through.
Despite being at war, there was a mutual respect they shared. The war would go on.
In the region of Detorid, -A- and ROL lost close to 50 Tengus to a 230-man RA and xXDeath Abaddon/Tempest fleet. RA began to transition its outdated DRF-style artillery Abaddons to lasers, finally adopting the Hellcat doctrine. Old Hroft of White Noise. terrorized the Tengus with void + electron bomb runs once more at the 18:01 mark.
February 9th, 2012 – U93O-A (Cache)
In the SOLAR capital system of U93O-A, xXDeath, RA and PL opted to change up their doctrines. RA fielded a 116-man Rokh/Maelstrom fleet where as PL resorted to hit and run tactics with the “TiDi Cats,” a long-range beam Oracle doctrine (meant to hit from beyond 180 km, out of targeting range of most ships). The Oracles excelled in severe TiDi, hence the name, and were used for a short time to assist Raiden. against the Goons in Tenal.
SOLAR and Gypsy Band emerged victorious but not unscathed, taking nearly 20 billion ISK in damage. Red Alliance and xXDeath lost 113 of 154 battleships (52 billion ISK). Pandemic Legion were unable to sway the fight with its glass-cannon tier 3 battlecruisers. The fight from the Russian side was caught on video by lobotorobot.
-A- and SOLAR dealt another blow by aborting a baby xXDeath Titan in the system of YM-SRU. PL, still on contract by xXDeath, did not take it lightly.
Guerilla tactics were being commonly used behind enemy lines in the Drone Lands. Mike Right of hirr, in one instance, soloed a Freighter by dual-boxing two Sabres. Some pilots even developed specialized tactics to take out Russian botting players deep in ratting space.
February 14th, 2012 – 8-VC6H (Cache)
Subcapital fights were no longer a contest. A 120-man SOLAR Maelstrom fleet in Cache beat down a much larger 180-man Rokh/Maelstrom/Tempest fleet, killing 72 of 92 battleships. Pandemic Legion took potshots at SOLAR from afar with their TiDi Cats – doing little damage. It was a far cry from what the war was like in the beginning, with the mercenary alliance unable to bring much firepower to the field in early EU timezone.
February 15th, 2012 – U93O-A (Cache)
Team South enjoyed a smashing victory once more in the system of U93O-A with a 300-man fleet of Maelstroms and Tengus. RA/XIX/PL/NCdot formed 330 but stood no chance, taking a total of 45 billion ISK in damage – nearly 100 battleships. TEST Alliance was not a presence in the Southern war theater as they were assisting the CFC in the North against Raiden. The Honey Badger numbers took a hit.
PL and NCdot, both resorting to long-range Oracles with Tachyon Beam Lasers (and some Nagas), were bombed off the grid by Gypsy Band bombers. It was a humiliating way to lose nearly 50 more battlecruisers, mostly within the span of a minute at the 18:27 mark.
February 17th, 2012 – Atioth (Geminate)
Deep in Geminate in the system of Atioth, SOLAR FLEET took on a combined PL/NCdot/Ev0ke fleet of Thundercats. Ev0ke, flying its famed perma-MWD Drake fleet, did not fare well against artillery fire. PL/NCdot, commanded by Shadoo (who flew in his Vulture alt, matlow), ordered the retreat as nearly all of their Scimitars were webbed down and blown up. In addition to their strict fleet composition, their tactics were lauded by PL. By MWDing in a parallel direction with the afterburning Tengus and Scimitars, SOLAR minimized the transversal velocity that would have otherwise mitigated the damage from their Maelstroms. Losing only 5 battleships, SOLAR took 71% efficiency. The fight was caught on tape.
Mister Vee of the CFC was the first to consistently win against the Thundercat fleets through the use of mass Huginns (with firewall to prevent missile damage). However, another weak link was the logistics. By killing or shutting them down with EWAR, the Tengus had no choice but bail even if none had died.
Simultaneously in C-J6MT in Insmother, -A- and Gypsy Band bullied an XIX/RA battleship fleet that consisted of Maelstroms and mixed artillery/pulse laser Abaddons. Often seen were a mixed picture of Abaddons, some with lasers and some with artillery. 40 battleships were killed for zero Tengu losses.
-A-, now entirely in Tengus, dominated their fleets and frequently formed over 200 pilots in the European timezone. Makalu Zarya, being bilingual in English and Russian, communicated closely with the Russian Gypsy Band pilots while FCing -A-’s dual RUS and English-speaking members. PL grew increasingly frustrated as RA frequently engaged them without waiting for their support.
February 18th, 2012 – KZFV-4 (Scalding Pass) – Euro TZ Hubris or How the ISK War Was Won
One of the most decisive subcapital battles of the war erupted in the system of KZFV-4 in Scalding Pass. With SOLAR busy in the East, -A-/Gypsy Band/ROL formed a 260-man CTA Thundercat fleet, consisting of an intimidating 157 Tengus, 35 Scimitars, 6 Huginns and 10 Lachesis. The 160-man Honey Badger fleet was outnumbered but did not stand down.
Initially firing on the circling Tengus from long range, they endured vast amounts of damage from the barrage of missiles. Gypsy Band’s Tengus brawled the battleships at close range while -A- focused on their Huginns and Scimitars; adding substantial pressure to the PL/NCdot logistics team.
Shadoo, who flew a smartbomb fitted Rokh, conducted the firewall defense while fed capacitor energy by Basilisks. He was assisted by other smartbombing strategic cruisers, such as Wrik Hoover, who flew a smartbomb Loki (Fearwall). The firewall was shut down as the capacitor-feeding network was broken; the Basilisks succumbed to the overwhelming DPS. Soon, 16 Scimitars were killed off while -A-/Gypsy didn’t lose a single one.
Gypsy Band took a few Tengu losses at the start but the entire Rokh/Maelstrom fleet could no longer track as they found their entire Huginn wing was also volleyed off the grid. Giving the order to trap their battleship fleet in a mass of interdictor bubbles, Makalu Zarya anchored the Tengus into a spiraling charge toward their fleet while maintaining high transversal. This hastened the flight time of the missiles and a large portion of their Rokhs were falling within seconds.
Gypsy Band cynoed in three tracking Dreadnoughts during the fight to speed up the killing – a form of mockery to goad them into dropping their supercapital fleet.
Elise Randolph, who was pointed by my Lachesis, ordered the trapped battleships to “starburst” out of the bubbles in all directions, killing all tacklers (including myself). But by the end of the massacre, the Honey Badgers lost nearly 100 ships and 27 billion ISK in damage (15% efficiency). Many other prominent PL pilots were present, including Hedliner, penifSMASH and Grath Telkin. NCdot’s CEO, Vince Draken (flying his alt Chareck), was also killed in the fight.
Though it was a demoralizing defeat for their side, it was an act of bravery by the Pandemic Legion FC to fight despite being heavily outnumbered. Footage of the fight was caught by Metabrutor.
February 20th, 2012 – PL Kills Tr0pa de Elite. Aeon
Pandemic Legion hot-dropped a Tr0pa de Elite. (BOPE) carrier group and killed an Aeon in the region of Detorid with 17 motherships. Led by the infamous Lee ChanKa, the storied corporation was under the G00DFELLAS alliance and rented out the region. An additional Chimera and Archon also fell victim. A young Baki Yuku, part of Viking Empire, assisted the PL fleet with his Sabre. -A- was beginning to establish a renter empire as SOV was slowly retaken but the PL/NCdot supercapital umbrella and its reach could not be underestimated.
Meanwhile in Insmother, Old Hroft and his bombers continued to wreak havoc. They pulled off impressive bombing runs on a SOLAR/-A-/ROL fleet in 5C-PRPA, taking out 37 ships, including 13 battleships and three Tengus (8 billion ISK in damage). Sometimes, they were the only resistance Team South faced.
February 21st, 2012 – PL Loses Two Supers in 8EF-58 (Insmother)
The famed discipline of PL/NCdot’s supercapital armada was called into question as PL lost a Hel and Wyvern in the system of 8EF-58 in short succession – their first supercapital losses in 2012.
Elizabeth H3ll’s Hel was caught by allied interdictors as it fell behind at a mid-point, not having capped up to jump along with the rest of PL’s moving supercapital fleet. He was forced to passively regain cap to jump out. A large -A- Tengu fleet was conveniently waiting on a Titan in 5J4K-9 for a different objective – as scouts carefully monitored the surrounding area. Once the lone Hel was caught in dictor bubbles, Makalu Zarya ordered the Tengu fleet to jump in.
Elise Randolph, taken by surprise, ordered his fleet to return while at a different midpoint. The PL mantra was to never leave a fellow supercapital behind. Unfortunately, no one had a cyno back in the system (it was killed) and they all had to broadcast to regain capacitor to make the jump back. Large-scale jumps across systems requires substantial jump fuel and capacitor and cannot be made right away. A soundcloud recording of his famous raging still exists.
Seriously, it’s pixels.Elizabeth H3ll
It was a race against time as SOLAR and -A- logged in their supercapitals, waiting for the right moment. One member suggested the Hel, which was full-tank fit, to self-destruct but was quickly shut down. Eventually, PL was able to make it back to the system but Russian interdictor pilots ingeniously laid down bubbles directly on top of their cyno, buying time. More were deployed on the grid out of remote repair range from the tackled Hel in the direction of PL’s entry cyno – which popped up on overview. The 23 Titans and 36 supercarriers they brought in were unable to reach the Hel, which was taking gargantuan levels of damage and neuts from combined -A-, SOLAR and Gypsy fleets. It was blown to space debris.
To make matters worse, a Wyvern-class supercarrier disconnected by accident and was caught way off-grid at the 6-7 asteroid belt. It was probed down and tackled as well – much to Grath Telkin’s ire. More bubbles were dropped in-line on the grid – that way, the PL supercapital fleet would never reach the ship to repair it. The soundcloud recordings of his rage because the pilot did not have the right implants is remembered by many – but they no longer exist.
The Wyvern went down and Team South returned to harass the locked down supercapitals, which were essentially impervious due to their remote repair and capacitor chains. Without dropping supercapitals or dreadnoughts of their own, they could not be harmed.
The two supercarrier losses would only amount to 64 billion ISK, not much even when calculating build-time. The blow to morale was far greater. It was a notable engagement in the Russian Civil War and in EVE history in general because it ended the illusion of invincibility that supercapitals enjoyed following the NC’s downfall. A simple disconnection can mean disaster. It was a testament to the changes brought about by the Crucible expansion, including the reduction in total hit-points and the loss of ability to use light, medium and heavy drones.
It was a victory for subcapitals, showing that maneuverability and superior tactics could indeed work. The larger victory was catching Pandemic Legion with their pants down since they took these incidents seriously; the Hel pilot was later kicked. Space pixels or not, the effects on morale and the new-found momentum Team South would gain were irreversible.
The fight was caught on video.
February 23rd, 2012 – Shadoo War Update
Shadoo addressed Pandemic Legion after recent events in a war update, summarizing what the different players of the war intend to do. It was leaked to EVENews24:
Now — let’s reflect back on the situation and reinforce the message since it seemed fucking lost on some of you dudes: We’re not here to save RA. We don’t care about them or their English speaking Red Legion wing. We do not care that SOLAR‚ the VIKINGS OF EVE are ownіng facеs left rіght and cеntre. Let them. But we‚ as collectіvе of dudes who lead thіs alliancе‚ CANNOT let a coward fuckіng alliancе lіkе -A- fuck with our ops when we’re on contract and then move away thinking “haha‚ grіеfed PL” and move on theіr own littlе crusade burning bitches. It doesn’t work like that‚ bіtchеs. Makalu made іt his mission to griеf us in Drones slowing down our progress. Now we will do the same for as long as -A- is deployed to this front.
And so, the great crusade went on.
February 24th, 2012 – RA loses CSAA in HZFJ-M (Detorid)
Red Alliance was dealt a significant blow in the system of HZFJ-M, where Pandemic Legion was unable to save a baby mothership in a CSAA from being destroyed. PL/NCdot brought in a massive supercapital fleet but it was unable to reach the sieged POS tower due to strategic interdictor bubbles preventing a warp in. It partially voided the rumored contract Red Alliance had made with PL. Not even CSAAs with Titans and motherships appeared safe at this point. The abortion was caught on video by Metabrutor.
February 29th, 2012 – LXQ2-T (Etherium Reach) – Operation: Etherium Reach Around
On February 29th, 2012, an uneventful 60-man Banana Boat roam with MukkBarovian into the Drone Regions turned into something unexpected.
Unknown to the grunts in the fleet such as myself, xXDeath had formed a small cap-fleet consisting of dreads and carriers to kill a Stain Empire POS tower that was coming out of reinforcement in LXQ2-T. MukkBarovian, Perseus Kallistratos, James Kordent and Makalu Zarya had been watching them closely with their spies. The addition of two Titans at the tower shoot raised some eyebrows.
The -A- Oracle fleet entered the system solo after dictors were made to jump in first (to avoid spooking the fleet by spiking local). They managed to drop bubbles on the Titans. The Avatar escaped after taking down some dictors but the Erebus did not warp out in time. The initial bubble was pulled off by Tek Enetheru, the owner of the POS. The Erebus was tackled and pings were sent out to Nulli Secunda and allies. Nulli immediately burned a Naga fleet toward our location.
Our Oracles equipped Conflagration and overheated on the Erebus. It was burning quickly. xXDeath and Controlled Chaos warped in carriers to help remote repair but -A- had placed defensive bubbles to prevent them from getting close enough.
Knowing PL and NCdot were already on their way with a large super-fleet, we overheated our guns. It was truly a race against time and every pilot mattered. Less than a minute after the Erebus went down in a blaze of glory with my killing blow, PL/NCdot showed up with a 30-man supercapital fleet, including carriers and dreadnoughts. They had no support ships.
-A-, having just killed a Titan with only battlecruisers, did not flee the grid despite being outgunned. While MukkBarovian commanded the Oracle fleet to burn down the dreadnoughts, Makalu sent pings for interdictors to make their way up to the fight. The Nulli Naga fleet arrived and made the situation dangerous for PL. This was now a CTA in the middle of the night in US timezone.
For a short time, the supercapitals had an opportunity to escape and jumped out of the system. Unfortunately for PL, one of the Aeons was tackled by a clutch bubble from James Kordent. He called for others to warp to him to land more. Instead of leaving the Aeon behind, the rest of the supercapitals returned to save him five minutes later via cyno; now they had entered the frying pan. An NCdot Rokh fleet arrived on grid to help, mostly in clumps at Scorch range, and were basically volleyed to death one by one by our Oracle fleet now over 100 strong.
Perseus Kallistratos and James Kordent pulled off impressive bubbling, keeping the mass of supercarriers from getting out of an impending welp. About 130 bubbles were consumed before help arrived. Enemies such as CFC, TEST and others arrived from all corners of the map to dogpile on PL/NCdot. For some it was a chance for revenge, for others it was a chance to whore on expensive killmails. Logistics ships kept the dictors repped up. PL/NCdot were kept separated from the xXDeath carriers to prevent repairs. Perseus Kallistratos called for all friendly supercapitals to log in. Soon enough, most of the untackled PL/NCdot supers jumped out but a handful were left behind. A lot of TEST were shot down (unironically by both sides) after they were found shooting at our tackle. They had many PL spy characters – this was known.
It was a massacre with over 500 pilots on our side and supercarriers were taken down at high speed; they refused to self-destruct. It was a good example of the power of subcapitals against an unsupported supercapital fleet. It also showcased the advantages of the tier 3 battlecruisers due to their battleship-level of DPS while retaining high mobility. PL/NCdot/XIX and TEST lost one Titan, 6 supercarriers, 9 carriers, and 6 dreads – a whopping 336 billion ISK in total (6.4% efficiency).
The battle became known as the Etherium Reach Around. It was all in a day’s work. And I got to land a deathblow on a xXDeath Titan and Elise Randolph’s pod. The fight was recorded by Metabrutor. A battle report was posted by Perseus Kallistratos on his blog Aggressive Tendencies. Easley Thames also wrote a full report on the fight, which made EVENews24.
- Zkillboard BR
- EVE Battle Report Generator
- Aggressive Tendencies: Battle of LXQ2- by Perseus Kallistratos
- Could Have Taken it Solo: Operation Etherium Reach-Around by Easley Thames
March 1st, 2012 – EUU-4N (Insmother) – The Road to C-J6MT
The rapetrain appeared to not have brakes. SOLAR began to drop supercapitals on Red Alliance undeterred, such as one instance in the system of EUU-4N. Team South hit SOV structures in Insmother and surrounding regions. -A-, long taunted as a dead alliance after having lost its space multiple times, was now called the “cockroach of EVE.”
You have to be able to show people that there is a hope. Even a fucking tiny one. Just show the people that there is a little tiny hope that exists.UAxDeath (Empires of EVE)
The month of March saw a new offensive push; the major objective was C-J6MT, Red Alliance capital system. It was reinforced in waves to reach a final timer. Just a month ago, it seemed impossible as we met a brick wall of 800 dudes and nearly 100 supercapitals.
C-J6MT remains an important system to the Russian EVE community, a place of history. The Siege of C-J6MT on May 25th, 2006 is remembered for a group of 70 elite Russian pilots (led by UAxDeath, MACTEP and Studik) who stayed behind to defend the system against an overwhelming coalition fleet of over 400, while their systems and allies had fallen around them. In a struggle of a few against the many, they defeated the grand armada and restored their former glory.
The Siege of C-J6MT is described in Andrew Groen’s The Empires of EVE. MACTEP of SOLAR FLEET wrote an expansive post on the EVE-RU forums about the system’s history and its importance to the Russians.
March 7th, 2012 – C-J6MT (Insmother) – The Final Assault of C-J6MT
On March 7th, 2012, SOLAR, Stainwagon, Gypsy Band, and allies began the final assault on the system of C-J6MT, capital of Red Alliance.
The day before, The Mittani pinged the CFC for a defense fleet. Red Alliance was once his great ally, particularly in the days of the Red Swarm Federation. Shadoo, knowing Red Alliance had already given up and evacuated its assets to Delve, asked for Goonswarm’s help for a proper tribute to the system. Nearly ten years ago, Shadoo was on the attacking side of the siege of C-J6MT and lost.
Makalu Zarya rallied -A- and ROL forces for a red-pen CTA; our first two Thundercat fleets became full within the first ten minutes. Team South formed a total of ~1150 pilots, including a 120-man Maelstrom fleet (SOLAR) and 311 Tengus (-A-, ROL and Gypsy Band). It was the largest number of tech 3 strategic cruisers ever assembled in one battle in EVE history at the time. Occupational Hazard (OH) and Nulli Secunda (S2N) formed ~100 sniping Tornados and Nagas. Cascade Imminent (FAIL) brought Drakes and Zealots. Gypsy Band and -A- covered the main forces with additional bomber squadrons.
The defending side consisted of Pandemic Legion, NCdot, CFC, TEST, and Ev0ke – about 940 pilots in total. Pandemic Legion chose this day to unveil its newest fleet concept, designed to be the final word in station sieges – the Slowcat fleet. Essentially a turtle tanking carrier fleet on steroids, they were built with maximum tanks and dropped mass sentry drones, which were assisted to a single pilot. Designed by Manfred Sideous, the Slowcat fleet changed EVE combat forever.
In addition to the ~140 Slowcats at the station, Mister Vee led a 450-man CFC/TEST Drake fleet from the North. Ev0ke brought a tier 3 BC sniping fleet of its own but the front-line was composed almost entirely of Drakes.
SOLAR/OH/FAIL greeted the 450-man Drake fleet at the YPW-M4 gate as they jumped in, brawling as the Drakes decloaked. Mister Vee bloodied the Maelstroms and managed to hold the field, forcing the battleships to warp off and re-position. But he took substantial losses, especially to his Scimitar wing. Meanwhile, the 400+ man Tengu fleet engaged the Slowcat carriers while anchored on Makalu Zarya off the station undock. Despite raining down an extreme level of DPS on Manfred Sideous’ Archon, we were unable to break his overheated tank as the rest of the carriers materialized and deployed remote repairs. Local had hit over 1900.
Tengus, each worth 500 million ISK, were literally 2-3 volleyed by the defenders, taking fire from hundreds of tech II sentries that were assisted to Elise Randolph. He flew an ultra-tanked Proteus and could not be killed. Over 20 Tengus were decimated by the Slowcats in the initial assault, forcing -A- and Gypsy Band to pull its forces back to ~100 km away. Even with full transversal, the damage was relentless. PL/NCdot saved every primaried carrier but lost several strategic cruisers. While a t3 strategic cruiser can be made to tank 300,000-500,000 EHP, a single Archon carrier sported millions of EHP and is very difficult to alpha strike with subcaps. Pandemic’s FC had ample time to determine Makalu’s next targets next due to missile flight time, max TiDi and spies on comms. Only a few of PL/NCdot’s t3 ships at the station survived the barrage of over 300 Tengus, even with firewall.
Mister Vee warped his coalition Drake fleet just off the station, where he re-engaged SOLAR’s Maelstroms (now heavily weakened). He took fire from OH/Nulli tier 3 BC snipers and concurrent blobs of missiles from multiple Tengu fleets. Traderjohn of Macabre Votum, renowned for his bomber fleets, pulled off a crippling bomb run on the CFC/TEST Drake fleet. Mister Vee’s Vulture was eventually headshotted by Maelstroms, after having tanked 151,197 damage. Thus, the defenders lost nearly all support. CFC/TEST were forced to flee the station grid.
By this point, about 60 Tengus were caught within an infernal sphere of death – obliterated by the Slowcats while untackled. Most pilots’ clients simply froze when targeted. However, PL/NCdot/CFC’s interdictors were mostly dead. Multiple bomb runs took out the carriers’ sentry drones near the C-J6MT station, which were repeatedly replenished. A cyno opened and Team South brought in 50 supercarriers about 100 km off the huddled Slowcats. TiDi ramped up to its maximum level as a mass of fighter bombers were unleashed. A single PL Archon was killed due to drifting out of dock range.
In his detailed after-battle report, Shadoo wrote that Team South knew of PL/NCdot’s 52 Titans and 87 motherships which were waiting to be dropped. PL/NCdot certainly could have countered because they had the Titan advantage. However, most of their tackle (such as interdictors) were gone and they were heavily outnumbered by support ships. Our supercarriers could simply stay aligned and warp off to a ping if primaried and then return to the fight. Without a means to tackle, bringing in supers was not worth it.
Thus, Shadoo made a decision with Vince Draken (leader of NCdot) and tipped their hats off to Team South and conceded. The Slowcats were ordered to de-aggro and dock. The station was attacked by the fighter bombers and finally, the system was lost at 01:55 after nearly two years of consecutive Red Alliance rule. Team South lost a total of 62 billion ISK, mostly from the deaths of 32 battleships and 60 Tengus. The defenders lost 49 billion ISK (55.7% efficiency), primarily 167 battlecruisers and 109 stealth bombers. An additional ~3,200 t2 sentries were killed or abandoned by the carriers. The ISK was negligible in the end. The system was the objective.
Shadoo congratulated Makalu Zarya on -A- comms in true sportsmanship style, and the southern war theater between -A- and Red Alliance came to an end. The Slowcats were allowed to undock from the now hostile station 40 minutes later by Makalu.
Footage from PL’s perspective, The First Slowcats, was uploaded to Youtube. Footage from -A-’s perspective was caught by Metabrutor.
- Zkillboard BR
- EVE Battle Report Generator
- Could Have Taken it Solo: C-J Falls :: 2000+ Pilots Involved as Multiple Coalitions Clash by Easley Thames
March 8th, 2012 – The Conquering of the Drone Lands
-A- and allies re-deployed to the East and assisted SOLAR’s ongoing grind of xXDeath SOV. Much of the territory was to be turned into renter space. Stain Empire reset -A- on good terms and returned to the deep South. Nulli Secunda and the rest of the A-Team members enjoyed a new-found peace as Red Alliance consolidated its assets in NPC Delve space.
Stragglers were caught, such as a Viking Empire Nyx that self-destructed rather than allow us to loot its wreck. Pandemic Legion ended its campaign and pulled its forces to low-sec space. Rich off technetium wealth and still a force to be reckoned with, its members passed the time camping gates with Titans in Amamake. There, they ganked random ships and did what they normally do.
Nashau of Macabre Votum released a music video, It’s a Bad World, which was praised by the EVE community. It was later dedicated to Sean Smith (Vile Rat), Goonswarm’s lovable diplomat, who was killed in a terrorist attack on a US Consulate in Libya on 9/11/2012. Hundreds of players created a cyno vigil tribute for his actions in EVE.
March 15th, 2012 – UZ-QXW (Wicked Creek) – An Unexpected Journey
As an ex-NC pilot, it felt surreal to shoot up old DRF structures in the heart of the Drone Lands without any opposition. Flying my trusty Harbinger, I was anti-support in the event any entity decided to hot-drop our gang’s Avatar and Revelation. Nothing came at our 5-man hirr gang. It must have been similar to how the Allied Forces felt at the end of WWII when they conquered Germany with virtually no resistance. Clearly it was just a virtual game. But to me and my corpmates, it was a symbolic victory.
It was less than a year ago, this same opponent defeated the Northern Coalition and was called unstoppable, like its predecessor.
March 17th, 2012 – Militia Noobs Kill PL Titan in Amamake
Pandemic Legion continued its break in the low-sec HQ Amamake. Fed up with their Titan gate-camps, a bunch of “militia noobs” from neighboring low-sec alliances gathered together and ganked an Erebus with a suicide dread-fleet. The world had seen they were not invincible. Video of the famous battle was taken by Nikzilla33.
A day afterwards, PL ganked a couple of Cascade Imminent (FAIL) supercarriers in Scalding Pass. Life went on as normal in New Eden indeed.
March 20th, 2012- The Russian Civil War: An End of a Beginning
The Maverick Navy of -A- aborted a CSAA cooking a baby Avatar. Four days later, Legion of xXDeathXx’s capital system of 1A8-6G was conquered by SOLAR FLEET without resistance, almost exactly four consecutive years since it first took ownership of the system. UAxDeath ordered his alliance to retreat to Venal in the North, where they will receive the support of the CFC.
Thus, what was left of the Drone Russian Federation had fallen. The Russian Civil War came to an end and Against ALL Authorities returned to the region of Catch after months of continuous fighting.
The Drone Lands and the South encountered a great political shift. -A- and SOLAR conquered vast swathes of territory and their rental empires were born, churning out hundreds of billions of ISK per month. Legion of xXDeathXx and SOLAR FLEET’s war raged on as a long-running grudge match. Their war, the last of the Dominion era, would not end until July 7th, 2015. To avoid the old Northern Coalition’s fate, the new Southern Coalition mostly reset each other and went their separate ways. If another great opponent threatened the South, they vowed to defend each other. It was never a formal standing coalition by any means.
My character Vik Reddy had been on the frontlines for nearly a year and a half, along with others who were once part of the NC. Some measure of revenge was had by defeating XIX, RA, NCdot, Pandemic Legion and conquering the Drone Regions. For the pilots in -A-, their conflict with Red Alliance started long before the NC vs DRF war.
Drone Regions are no longer the quiet corner of the universe – a war begins now. Kupyc
Still a newbie to the game, my character Vik Reddy had a growth spurt during this campaign learning new skills and trying different ships. Cross-training the other races instead of Gallente was a major change for me in 2012. My character remained a battleship specialist and later flew Logistics (Scimitars and Oneiros) for the first time that summer. I embarked from the North to the South and to the East. I experienced EVE with an entirely different culture and community. No online game can re-create the feeling of taking part in a great and noble undertaking against the Drone Russian Federation. It was not the name I was attached to but the friends who helped me when I first started playing the game. The bonds between friends grow strong after fighting many battles.
The Russian Civil War saw the implementation of Tengu fleets on a mass coalition-level scale; the record was broken in the Final Assault on C-J6MT. The 425mm Railgun Rokh-class battleship would overtake the Hellcat Abaddon and Alpha Maelstrom as the new gold standard in battleship fleet fights. The Slowcat carrier doctrine, created by Manfred Sideous, changed the face of EVE warfare and was perfected and copied by others in the coming years. The aftermath of C-J6MT also ushered in a new age of Time Dilation. The power of propaganda was used for its effect on pilot morale and the rapid spread of information to the masses. The impact of the war on EVE politics, fleet tactics, and in real life, where RMT was rampant, was far-reaching.
The CFC was now the sole superpower of New Eden, having played an indirect role in DRF’s downfall. Their campaign against Branch wiped out White Noise and attacks on Tenal removed Raiden from the Southern war theater. In turn, Stainwagon’s Southern front took out Red Alliance and others from the power balance in the North, which added pressure against XIX, who fought tooth and nail against SOLAR in the East. This left the CFC undeterred in the North.
Like in real life, a single factor changed the fate of the entire map. Every pilot and every decision mattered, both inside and outside the battlefield.