Alphas, Bittervets and Citadels – An ABC of Factional War Today

 

Facing only limited opposition from Gallente Militia (GalMil), on November 30th the system of Nennamaila in Black Rise fell to a swift and coordinated assault by the Caldari Militia Coalition (CalMil). Exactly five years to the day after CalMil lost Nennamaila, it fell back into the hands of the Squids – as the Caldari are often called. All the usual suspects took part in the siege of the system – Templis CALSF, The Bloc and HECON all supplied forces and FCs, but so did newer(ed: removed) Caldari corporations like SQUIDS.

Given the symbolic date of the recapturing of Nennamaila some posturing was inevitable and both sides in the factional war delivered on that expectation, illustrated in a Reddit thread that generated a fair number of comments, but never made it to the top of /r/eve, the subreddit tending to treat factional warfare with a mixture of belittlement and contempt.

Unsurprisingly, self-styled “Supreme Leader of the Gallente Militia”, Roy Henry (Black Fox Marauders), claimed center stage in the discussion and raised his concerns about the future of the Gallente-Caldari warzone: Citadels have made defending a system infinitely more difficult, because attackers can now reship from inside the system under siege and Ascension has brought in a horde of fresh Caldari militia members, tilting the balance of power between the two factions away from GalMil.

Other voices – some CalMil and some not allied with either side – pointed out that maybe the nature of GalMil itself was part of its problem, with its mixed population of highly experienced and high-skillpoint PvPers and farming alts.

So let’s take a step back and look at these three issues that together are fundamentally changing the balance of power in the Caldari-Gallente war:

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A – Alpha Clones

Both sides in the conflict have seen a huge influx of new recruits – both Alpha and Omega – as people have dived into EVE with the introduction of free Alpha Clones. Is it true that a disproportionate number of them choose the Caldari faction?

Judging from the number of active PvP characters in the past week on Zkillboard, Caldari has indeed jumped above Gallente militia. It’s hard to judge how many AFK farmers have joined either side. Personal experience roaming the warzone and defending our own systems suggests that there are still at least as many farmers, if not more, on the Gallente side. (which is usually in, or on the edge, of the highly lucrative Tier 3).

The new players who have joined the militia seem to be more interested in actually playing the game, in learning PvP and in taking systems for their faction than in farming. Which is exactly what everyone was hoping for, of course!

Also, given that farmers have been choosing the dominant GalMil side for the easy ISK for the past three or four years, Roy Henry’s complaints (about Alpha clones putting too much plexing pressure on the established GalMil PvP corporation) are not likely to make much of an impression on his Caldari counterparts, people who have been living in that reality for years.

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B – Bittervets

This leads us the accusation that GalMil is “full of toxic bittervets”, to use the words of Black Shark Cult CEO Ezekiel Winter, who was revving up to full Mittani-level spinning speed and claims that a toxic, elitist attitude in leadership is part and parcel of the problem GalMil faces today.

Not having been in GalMil myself I cannot speak to this alleged attitude problem, but you could say that “toxic bittervet” issues are at the heart of the schism in GalMil, and that particular conflict is hurting the entire coalition now that it is being attacked on multiple fronts from opposing sides of the warzone.

When RDRAW, one of the top Gallente militia corporations in the game, decided to ally itself with the pirate alliance Snuff and started to awox allied militia players, an internal war between GalMil corporations broke out. The fallout of this conflict lingers today as the main body of Gallente militia finds that it cannot rely on RDRAW to help defend systems.

So is Caldari Militia a more new-player-friendly environment than the supposedly elitist GalMil? There are definitely groups like Black Shark Cult who go out of their way to help new players get into the action right away, with step by step progression, but the same can be said for Aideron Robotics in GalMil, (ed:)one of the most proeminent GalMil corps, also known for their huge efforts in integrating Alphas within FW.

Another factor that was connected to the influx of new CalMil members, since the Ascension expansion launched, is the easy access to Jita that new Caldari pilots supposedly enjoy. This may be part of the reason people choose to go with Caldari, but it seems unlikely that this would have such a huge impact: few brand new players have any notion of the importance of Jita as the central trade hub when they join EVE. In addition, moving from Jita to the warzone takes you through some notorious ganking hotspots – and would that be such an advantage, then?

From my own conversations with new Alphas, racial ship choices come up often as a reason for joining with one of the factions. Many people new to the game seem to assume that to fly in CalMil you need to fly exclusively Caldari ships, which is of course not the case, but nevertheless it influences the choice of faction by new players. In that respect, both Caldari and Gallente are in very good shape, as the selection of ships and fits accessible to Alpha clones for both races are actually very viable for use in factional warfare (and certainly not only for AFK plexing).

This seems like a good place to link Gorski Car’s excellent overviews of the ship and fitting possibilities for Caldari and Gallente Alpha clones.

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C – Citadels

Every discussion of factional warfare since their introduction has included a section on Citadels, and with the fall of Nennamaila, Citadels were once again listed as a factor.

It’s been well-established that launching a siege attack on an enemy home system is now much easier than in the past. The logistics of sieging a system have been made many times simpler – and as military strategists have long known, logistics are what wins wars in the end. The Citadels in Okkamon and Aivonen have proven a decisive factor in GalMil victories in those systems. That at least was one thing both sides could agree on.

However, after Aivonen fell to a week-long siege by GalMil, Templis-led Caldari forces recaptured it just two days later – because they had a Citadel in their home system. This shows that to actually keep control of a captured system, an attacker will need to either live out of the system itself for quite some time or at the very least eliminate all remaining enemy Citadels.

Will we see both sides switching to Citadels completely in the coming months? It would make sense from an eviction-prevention point of view. Citadels are being placed in many strategic systems just in case.

What we have not seen yet is any significant destruction of onlined Citadels by the warring coalitions. Is it because factional warfare does not have a culture of structure attacks and defenses, except for iHub bashing? Is it because attacking an online Citadel requires a fleet that is likely to attract unwanted attention from the major lowsec alliances? Are we not attacking enemy Citadels in our space because we are convinced we will be dropped on by the (super)capital fleets of Snuff or Project Mayhem? Is that fear entirely grounded?

It seems unlikely that CCP will make any changes to Citadel mechanics in factional warfare space before either side has even tried to simply take the opposing Citadels down…

Squids are pushing in numbers and on different sides of the warzone, and CalMil leadership is cleverly spinning and role-playing the conflict to further increase their momentum. Their rallying call “For the State!” rings loud.

GalMil leadership on the other hand seem to face internal struggles as they must now find out whether or not they can muster the same energy and dedication to plexing from their veteran player base…

TL;DR – GalMil leadership is coming to grips with a newly leveled playing field after the Ascension release, which has re-energized CalMil.

Tags: calmil, faction warfare, fw, galmil, Lynx Artrald

About the author

Lynx Artrald

Lynx has been in EVE since 2014 and has his roots in EVE University. Nowadays he is active in Factional Warfare and leads small bands of Caldari Militia or does solo work.


  • Stalaris

    Some things always stay the same.

    Despite citadels it has always been near impossible to defend a system that no one lives in. While a home system years ago, no gallente have lived in nenna for years.

    Any proclamations of a shift in balance of power will have to await the mythical day that calmill tries to “siege” a system that someone actually lives in.

    • steve webster

      Op success eha and vlill taken

  • King Wank

    “When RDRAW, one of the top Gallente militia corporations in the game, decided to ally itself with the pirate alliance Snuff and started to awox allied militia players, an internal war between GalMil corporations broke out. The fallout of this conflict lingers today as the main body of Gallente militia finds that it cannot rely on RDRAW to help defend systems.”

    Let’s clarify: 1. when RDRAW went blue with Snuff, the bitteroldvets of northern Galmil booted leadership from the shared slack, began attacking known out of corp links and cap alts and wardec’d RDRAW. After getting battered around for about a month, they dropped the wardec, then acted stunned when RDRAW didn’t show up to graciously help them out of every jam they find themselves in.

    The only recent “awox” of note was when Roy Henry…after repeatedly warping into the middle of RDRAW fleets with his full fleet to attack a single Snuff or PM pilot…found himself locked up and in a pod with a nice note from all of our corp leadership in the fleet of “dude, you’re a douche and if you do this, we’re going to fucking kill you every time.” Since that day when the bully was punched in the mouth, he’s tucked in his vagina flaps and stayed away from RDRAW fleets. So, feel free to tell it how you want to, but that’s the way the warzone bounces bitches.

    • Vaun Iskan

      This is definitely the ‘no bullshit’ version of my point and what I have experienced so far as part of RDRAW.

    • Shit, this King Wank dude knows what he’s talking about!

    • Smokin

      Well your ceo stated in his email to rdraw that you would be a feeder to corp to snuff. and if someone couldnt get into snuff they would directed to rdraw, much like waffles>PL. we were only protecting ourselves. before the wardec there were bebop characters on the “know alts” kills and i vetted every one of them and none of those characters were blue to bebop. as for roy, cant speak for him.

      • King Wank

        Just because they weren’t blue doesn’t mean you didn’t know they weren’t with our fleets. If there was a question, it could have been clarified with an in-game convo. It’s curious that a random pilot in a system would require extensive “vetting” from you. But whatever helps you sleep better at night. It’s in the past. We’re not at war and currently mostly not shooting at each other, which is almost productive for warzone cooperation.

    • Wha…

      Hmm, were we “bitteroldvets” during the years of cooperation and line members getting along with each other perfectly, the pushes in Hasmijala, Sujarento, Tama et al, or did we become “bitteroldvets” when you became a feeder corp (in your CEOs own words) to a historically antagonistic towards galmill pirate entity? If you want to bend the knee to keep a handful of POCOs, you can do so without slandering players of all age from a broad militia. Players that are pushing and defending systems, you know… FW stuff, while your corp defends the warzone with an oh so bittervet looking gatecamp from the hordes of shitfit mission runners dipping into low sec from Nourv.

      You might have to ask Tek why he was unable to get along with Gall leadership in slack, seeing as leadership at the time was about 30+ people from over a dozen different corps. I would think when one person can’t get along with 30 different ones who together were known as the least drama filled most unified militia over the years, common sense would dictate where the issue was. Though.. seeing as Tek never had any other RDRAW with him in the channels (unlike every other corp that has 2-3 leadership) I can forgive you for having a very… filtered… point of view.

      As to awoxes and the war. You can’t expect Galmill to share comms/broader slack channels with an admitted feeder corp of an entity that actively fights the rest of militia. When you then have two entities in the same area not on comms or sharing intel, teething issues and misunderstandings naturally happen. That was an outcome your side accepted in exchange for your new blues. As an FYI the cap alt issue was actually you/SNUFF shooting galmill cap alts from multiple corps/alliances on a gallente station. I’d also hazard a reminder that the war reports are public knowledge, as such you may want to check those before trying to say RDRAW came out of that anywhere close to on top 🙂

      All that being said, we have tried on many occasions to bury the hatchet and move forward. After all, you can live in the past or you can move forward, we all still have ships ready in Suj if the time ever comes you need a hand. Hopefully one day our efforts will penetrate the haze of alcohol, paranoia and wallowing in the past that consumes your leader.

      • King Wank

        I was in the Galmil cancer…err…leadership channel on slack but I self-ejected because it was actually worse than what Tek said it would be. He tends to understate things, which I’m sure will come as a complete surprise to some of you since that doesn’t fit the “big bad Satan of lowsec” narrative he gets painted with. It’s an amazing talent he has to completely snow 220 active pilots for almost 4 years now. You’d think if he was half as bad as what is said, pilots would run for the hills.

        That said, I’m not unhappy we don’t share comms or slack or anything with the rest of you. We share a warzone and you do your thing and we do ours. Some of our pilots fly with you guys and that’s cool. Myself, I have been in Galmil fleets and the only current guy I remotely trust not to be a complete disaster of an FC is Kontraband, but that’s just my personal experience.

        In the end, you’re correct. We can live in the past or we can live in the present. The present is that we have a healthy relationship with our blues, we still hold down our end of the warzone and we do what we please. We have completed several of our annual corp objectives before the end of the year and we’re looking for a fantastic 2017. That’s not alcohol or paranoia or wallowing. That’s results. I hope you experience the same in your Eve experience.

  • Vaun Iskan

    The only thing your article really shows is how many rumors are flying around about GalMil, whilst I appreciate a person can only express themselves based on information which is available to them I found this particular version of events disappointing. I’m not sure what your sources are but a lot of your info could honestly not be further from the truth.

    • Lynx Artrald

      Are you referring to the RDRAW-conflict? I don’t think I do a lot of describing events here to be honest – most people not in our war zone will not be aware of that particular piece of drama so I only mentioned the very basics. RDRAW went feeder to Snuff. Awoxing happened. Does it even matter who shot who first? Maybe to you it does, and to the old leadership.

      It sure does not matter to CalMil or anyone else… all an outsider sees is a deeply divided GalMil and that is the only point I wanted to make here. Sorry if I seemed to favor either one of the factions, that was not my intention.

      • Vaun Iskan

        As I said I appreciate that you can only give the information you have available. Not sure what I’m allowed to divulge but being called a feeder corp and having the awoxing pinned on us isn’t exactly a great feeling. It matters to us who shot who first as it’s a question of integrity, we’re simultaneously blamed for that and told by Roy himself our choice of allies caused them to do it? Doesn’t add up.

  • Wow

    Jesus christ.
    Why not just putan ad up for caldari fw and be done with it? This article is terrible. Thought CZ edited these?

  • Roy Henry

    How does this author get his biased, unsupported write ups on CZ is beyond me, I think somebody needs to mail Niden. I am however glad that Lynx did use my correct title this time, at least he has that going for him.

    What do you have to substantiate that Gal is actually a militia of Toxic bitter vets who shun newbros, or that there is any infighting at all? Other then the endless RDRAW garbage posting brigade who just show up anywhere Gal related and spew the same lines about oppression and mistreatment, has there been any actual proof of your wild claims? The constant helpful tone in militia chat, huge number of alphas in fleets, and large recruitment numbers on low SP friendly corps like Aideron would all speak to the contrary.

    Lets also further clarify: When RDRAW went blue with snuff, we told RDRAW leadership that we could not have a relationship with a corp that openly kills our Gallente Bros with pirate allies. If you were not told to be careful on your alts because you lost any blue status, that’s on your leadership for not telling you to watch out, were no longer blue to Gal Mil corps. Nobody really expected RDRAW to help us out of any jams, in fact we really haven’t been in any jams that we have been desperate for RDRAW help in.

    The list of recent “awox incidents” reads mostly as RDRAW pilots coming to aid snuffbox pilots who attackGal forces and find themselves in over their head. The regular situation seems to be a Snuff solo pilot in a bling ship attacking a Gal fleet on station or gate, getting in over their head, dropping traige, then using the 5 minutes to phone RDRAW to come bail them out. Of course there have been several other incidents, namely RDRAW landing on grid with only a Gal fleet present, blasting the one neutral alt guardian in fleet, leaving, then denying any responsiblity. There was the other incident where RDRAW showed up, blasted the Gal FC of the Okkamon fleet, and left. The cringey part of that was the RDRAW pilots who were at Eve Vegas at the time with a few Gal pilots made bold threats of unilateral war and retribution should any action be taken in return for the blatant awox. As the pilot who was awox’d i don’t blame the average RDRAW member for killing me, as i immediately received 3 apologies from the RDRAW fleet saying the whole thing felt staged and setup to start drama between RDRAW and GalMil, including the pilot the Gal fleet shot who said he felt like “it was all a bigg setup to awox you”

    So please, RDRAW talking head #19, learn some shit before you spew the corp mantra. After the last few weeks of snuff attackng Gals with RDRAW bailouts when their expensive crap gets tackled and their in over their head, maybe we should start killing Snuff in your fleet again.

    • phuzz

      I can’t possibly imagine how anyone could get the impression from your post that there is toxic bittervets in the galmil. No idea at all…

    • Remus71

      Not going to lie Roy, I find your posting very much of the ”throw enough shit at a wall” variety. You ask how OP has substantiated infighting within GalMil, and accusations of being toxic bitter-vets, then you substantiate it by calling a member of your own militia a shit spewing talking head and giving us a blow by blow account of Gals threatening each other at Eve Vegas?

      Be honest it doesn’t look great for newbros looking to join GalMil does it?

      • Grunt

        It would seem to me RH from reading both the article and RH’s post that he would consider RDRAW as being part of Galmil FW family in name only as they are aligned (blueballed) to Snuff etc.. Thus there is no infighting within Galmil FW.

      • Lynx Artrald

        It was never my intention to claim that newbros should not join GalMil, as anyone who reads the article without a red mist hazing their vision will see.

        On the contrary. More GalMil alphas and new players is more people for our newbros to shoot. Aideron Robotics has great guides, videos, and a very likable media figure at the head. I’m sure they are recruiting 🙂

        These comment threads though…

    • Vaun Iskan

      I’ve personally shot GalMil on a single occasion, when they aggressed a mixed fleet I was in. I got chewed out for about an hour over this and RDRAW leaders weren’t happy about it at all. I’m not sure where the picture of us randomly shooting you guys comes from but if that’s the way you want to paint it then you do you.

      Flying with SNUFF (which I’ve been through phases of doing extensively) it was always repeated on their comms that RDRAW weren’t expected to shoot GalMil, even in a sticky situation. Recently we were reinforcing a citadel and got dropped on by GalMil pilots, I personally asked for help on slack and was specifically told RDRAW would not be getting involved and I should leave them to it.

      As a couple month old player if there’s anything making me feel unwelcome in GalMil it’s comments like yours over grudges I couldn’t care less about, you seem upset that you’re not the defacto leader of the entire militia but you know what? Tough shit.

    • King Wank

      “The cringey part of that was the RDRAW pilots who were at Eve Vegas at the time with a few Gal pilots made bold threats of unilateral war and retribution should any action be taken in return for the blatant awox.”

      Well, original talking head #1, given that you didn’t show for Eve Vegas, I’m not sure how you’d know what was said there. I was at Eve Vegas with the RDRAW guys and all I heard from the rest of Galmil was JetStream preaching “unified comms” with nobody giving a shit, and Julius handing out GMVA coins…whatever the fuck that’s supposed to mean. Clearly, only one party has declared “unilateral war” on the other side and that was you guys. We were informed that you were planning to mass a huge alpha army and then wardec us again, but as usual, it was just more wind blowing from gasbags.

      And for the record, you blathering douchecanoe, you can call it “corp mantra” until you’re blue in the face, but the fact remains that you don’t show up and attack people in our fleets anymore because you know what happens now when you do.

      Regards,
      RDRAW Truth Teller #19

  • steve webster

    minor correction the corp SQUIDS are not new to faction warfare they have been part of the Caldari militia for years

  • Kamar Raimo

    So, this is an article written from the viewpoint of a CalMil player, obviously it will be biased towards that side if only by a higher amount of knowledge about the internals. Considering that, I do not disagree with the assessment that the core of GalMil is comprised of more older, high-skilled and affluent players. Whether that automatically makes them toxic is another question. It sure influences their perspective though.

    • Lynx Artrald

      Did I write that they are toxic? No. I wrote that people are using it as spin to motivate their players, and that the only thing that could be seen from the outside is the enduring feud with RDRAW.

      That is what I wrote. It’s right here above this comment feed.

      • Kamar Raimo

        Well, you quoted some people who put that forward as a challenging statement.

  • cropduster

    I miss the old days when MinVsAmarr was borderline relevant.

    I guess I could always move, but the skyboxes are just so pretty down here.