True CaldariDuring my time in the Gallente Militia I have experienced everything from the brink of defeat to complete war zone domination. From the onslaught of Ev0ke and locust-like invasion (infestation?) of TEST, to the dyed-in-the-wool squid who gave as good as they got and fought to the last man, month after month; I daresay I have easily spent more time fighting the Caldari than any other entity in New Eden. Some names came and went over time and it became clear who were ‘true’ Caldari and who were the tourists and farmers. They may have all officially flown under the same flag, but beneath that surface CalMil have been faceted and fractured, for good and ill. One constant throughout has been the alliance Templis CALSF, a name anyone with any time in the Gallente Militia knows well. While I have told you about CalMil, I dare not say that it has been entirely without a GalMil lens. In order to remedy that I reached out to the CEO of Caldari Colonial Defense Ministry and executor of Templis CALSF alliance, Scylus Black. Lowlife: Let’s rewind the tape back to 2013, to the last major Caldari offensive. Can you describe the circumstances of TEST Alliance Please Ignore’s involvement in the Caldari Militia? What was the relationship between TEST and CalMil ‘proper’?
“They took advantage of an opportunity at the expense of the Caldari Militia.”Scylus: TEST Leadership reached out to Templis CALSF prior to joining CalMil. Through brief conversations they made a move to Innia. Our relationship with them was hopeful right out of the gate, however, we quickly learned this was going to be another null group with preconceived notions as to what FW PvP should look and be like. Between rampant ASCII spamming of local and militia chats and arrogance around “their expertise” I believe this soured any chance of them gaining any respect in CalMil. It did nothing but to degrade any chance of a cohesive relationship. They had the potential to really bridge relations and unite CalMil and instead fractured it more. Those looking to join CalMil saw them as representatives due to sheer numbers and anyone with any maturity would be turned off by them. We lost a lot of potential pilots during this time and although they plexed and flipped several systems it was for self-gain and not to unite. The fact that they bailed shortly after speaks to their integrity and ability to see things through. Long and short, they took advantage of an opportunity at the expense of the Caldari Militia. Lowlife: How would you characterize the events within CalMil after TEST left and the war zone began to turn in GalMil favor in early 2014? Scylus: They certainly had a hand in it. Had they lead by example I suspect we would have seen a more united CalMil. However the issues with CalMil existed long before TEST. Their actions only served to broaden those issues. Remember the last time CalMil was united was over two years ago before the first fall of Enaluri when we saw numerous FW entities leave CalMil to go to WH Space or Null. Ev0ke, Happy Endings, BRGF to name a few. When that happened, Templis, specifically CCDM, became one of a handful that did not leave CalMil. Lowlife: In your words and from your perspective, why did Inna fall? Scylus: You mean after we held it for 279 days? Numbers and logistics. We no longer had the numbers to draw from and the Gallente staged properly and effectively to counter our logistics (read: freight). Lowlife: A few months ago Caldari were seen flying new doctrines and more organized fleets after what had appeared to be a low period. Would you say that was accurate? If so, how did this change come about?
“A lot of armchair generals who are EFT warriors”Scylus: I don’t think its Caldari as a whole. We still see drama with returning leaders wanting to reinvent the wheel or push some variant (typically the armor argument) again. A lot of armchair generals who are EFT warriors yet fail to demonstrate the fits in real time, or worse, going on nostalgia and not thinking outside the box. Templis CALSF chose to separate from that discussion and leverage Caldari shield. Our argument for our alliance was that many pilots who join CalMil are inherently trained in shield and Caldari boats. So it’s easier to get them into a ship and on the field quickly rather than telling them to stop shield / caldari boat training and move in another direction. We believe that getting them in the action quickly keeps them engaged and the best practices in fleet PvP that they learn can be translated to armor later on. What that has done for Templis CALSF is build retention and stability. We now have pilots that are solid PvP pilots and are having fun. At the end of the day this is what we want. This also provided us with numerous YouTube videos of these fleets in action providing quantifiable data as to the effectiveness of these doctrines. I know several other corporations outside Templis CALSF adopted our shield cruiser / BC doctrine with limited to no change in the modules. We also saw the evolution of Templis logistics. We have one of the best Logi (Osprey / Basilisk) teams in CalMil right now and look to improve on it.
Templis in action, supporting developing a new FC for cruisers. Lowlife: Just before the Gallente gained 100% control of the war zone fierce fighting was met in systems like Kinakka and Asakai, how would you describe that effort from the CalMil side? Scylus: I think CalMil did what they could. With the tools and pilots that we had it was probably one of the last best efforts we could give before the lights went out. Kudos to the Gallente for staying ahead of the curve. Lowlife: In your opinion, what is the current state of the Caldari Militia? What’s working and what isn’t? What is the future looking like? What would be your ideal scenario for the evolution of the militia?
“Templis is of the mindset that if you are a combat corporation or alliance, you live in the combat zone.”Scylus: I am very concerned about the current state and future of CalMil. So much so that Templis is considering tweaking some of our practices to be more open. We are seeing a decline in active pilots in the militia. I know we have some bean counters that argue that CalMil has more pilots. The problem is not the numbers. It’s the participation. We are so fractured that getting a fleet going is becoming more of a challenge. At least an effective one. All of these groups are spread throughout the war zone so our numbers are diluted. Not to mention that not many want to reside in low sec and the war zone. So getting that fleet started takes longer. People don’t want to wait 45 minutes for people to reship and go 10-12 jumps to fight. You spend more time doing that than you do in actual combat. It’s a turn-off and does not promote participation. Templis is of the mindset that if you are a combat corporation or alliance, you live in the combat zone. We like to be in low sec on the front lines. Sure we get to move from time to time, however, it gives us the edge we need to stay effective. Right now I know CalMil has a revamped coalition. I hope that becomes the standard for CalMil, a goal for new corporations to want to join it. I can’t speak much about their effectiveness as we are not a part of it any longer, we were up until a couple months ago. We also still see misalignment with that idea. Once all of CalMil is united, either through a coalition or just common respect for the goals at hand, things can get done, but I don’t see the Militia changing any time soon. It may take several groups to make some cultural changes to improve on this. Templis included. Lowlife: Recently Pasta Syndicate have joined CalMil, how has this worked out so far and do you see them making a significant impact on the war zone? Scylus: I think I blocked half of their alliance in militia chat on the first day they joined. It was like TEST all over again in militia / local. Time will tell if they are here to join us in our fight against the Gallente or just more “ass hattery” and arrogance. If they are here with the right intentions Templis will have their back and would love to have blue standings with them. Lowlife: Accusations of refusing other militia entry into fleets have been leveled at Templis CALSF, is there any merit to that? If so, why? Scylus: For us it always came down to a proper fleet etiquette – command, communication and doctrines. We never looked at ourselves as coaches for CalMil. We needed to fix our house before we could help others. We raised the bar and expectations with our own Alliance and through the process had to keep our fleets to blue standing only. Meaning unless you were blue with Templis you never saw our fleet. Too many issues with overview problems, friendly fire and green pilots not following FC orders. So we closed our fleets over a year ago. It has allowed us to develop our pilots, be effective and become a team to be reckoned with however as you mentioned earlier we are re-evaluating that stance. Perhaps the next evolution of Templis is to be more open and welcoming to new Militia pilots. What we needed to do to develop our team served its purpose. We are now in a position to help develop others without sacrificing our effectiveness. Lowlife: Is there anything else you would like to add? Scylus: Thank you for reaching out and giving us a voice. Much appreciated! By Scylus’ account it sounds like there are deep rifts within CalMil that must be mended in order to reach any kind of progress. Certainly those with the experience and expertise, like Templis, are in a unique position to push the kind of cultural shift he talks about. The question is, are they prepared and willing to get the job done? Perhaps more importantly, is the Caldari militia ready to take that step in its current form? Does it have what it takes to act as a unified force? If anything is to be learned from the Gallente side, it is that an open attitude to fleets, a solid logistics backbone and unified comms are the key ingredients to success. But it all falls flat without leaders prepared to put in the work to organise it. The Caldari as a militia stand on the precipice of rising towards new glory and an exciting new era, or unraveling further into something from which it nigh on impossible to rebuild. The question remains: what path will they choose?