Retrospective: The Fall of Fountain

 

The Collapse of BoB

Back in late 2006, the behemoth Band of Brothers (BoB) had overextended itself. A wide variety of alliances saw it as a unique opportunity and joined together to stop what was then viewed as its unstoppable spread across sov space. The newly formed coalition was eventually able to stop the expansion of BoB, after months of hard fighting. The turning point of the war was the destruction of one of the only titans in the game, piloted by Shrike, in 46DP-O. Red Swarm knew Shrike was online and knew he flew an Avatar-class titan whose area of effect doomsday did only EM damage. So, they fit their battleships with heavy EM resists and were able to survive the doomsday when Shrike jumped in, allowing them to keep him tackled (through neuts and bumping) until dreads could come in and destroy the titan. This was the third titan to ever be killed in Eve and the first to be killed in a battle.

  As BoB retreated back towards Delve, the coalition of alliances arrayed against them pursued, then attacked Delve itself. After months of fighting, hostilities eventually ceased, and the regions BoB had lost were divided up among the coalition members.

Post-BoB Fountain

Fountain was split up between BRUCE and Morsus Mihi by the victors. Pandemic Legion was seen as a minor player and were not given any territory. Having been mortal enemies with BRUCE prior to the Great War, Pandemic Legion decided that if they wouldn’t be given territory, they would take it from BRUCE. Over the course of a few months, PL took the space and BRUCE disbanded. Pandemic Legion split Fountain with Sons of Tangra and the other major powers effectively turned the other way as Fountain was viewed as little more than a buffer with BoB’s Delve pocket. A year later, Haargoth hit the disband button and the Second Great War (also known as the Second Delve War) kicked off. Pandemic Legion, once again, joined forces with the coalition of alliances and invaded Delve. As that wound down, hostilities flared up in the Drone Regions, drawing attention to the east. While my previous retrospective article covers the events that occurred in the east, this one will focus on what happened in the west at roughly the same time. Pandemic Legion had spent their time in Fountain milking dysprosium and promethium moons and turned that income into a super capital fleet. Compared to other super capital wielding alliances, it was out of proportion to their size. Wealth and no real target to destroy brought a combination of laziness and self destructive behavior. Internal conflicts began to arise, culminating in PL leadership accusing Hurley of being a spy and destroying his titan. Additionally, a significant portion of pilots had just returned from the east, after assisting XIX in the Drone Regions, and almost immediately began attempting to take R64 moons from Northern Coalition space, which significantly soured relations between the former allies. At barely 1,500 members, PL was stretched too far and had few allies, which made it a perfect target for BoB resurrected.

The Fall of Fountain

Remnants of Band of Brothers had been reforming under the banner of IT Alliance between August and November 2009. With Fountain looking ripe for the taking, they rapidly advanced and began reinforcing structures. PL was lethargic and had trouble getting people to log in for defense fleets. Its alliance leadership called on the members of the coalition that had worked together to dethrone BoB in Delve to join them in defending Fountain from IT Alliance, and got a collective “meh” in response. A group of Goonswarm pilots did travel up to Fountain to help, but otherwise no one joined them. Pandemic Legion forces engaged with IT, relying entirely on their capital/super-heavy fleets to hold their own in battles where they were perpetually outnumbered. IT’s numbers advantage slowly began to show, as they took system after system. Before there was a Battle of B-R5RB, there was The Massacre of Y-2ANO. Pandemic Legion, along with a Goonswarm battleship fleet, jumped into the Y-2ANO system to destroy a territorial claim unit that IT Alliance was onlining on January 2, 2010. The system was full of IT Alliance ships and the node was apparently not properly reinforced. This was a time before Time Dialation (TiDi), so the node was throwing faults and having any number of problems before a combined Goon-PL capital and super capital fleet jumped in. Players were confronted with black screens. Those words send a chill down the spine of anyone who has experienced them during pre-TiDi Eve. Pilots waited, hoping they would load on grid and be able to fight. Unfortunately for them, killmails began populating and people began showing up in stations, rather than on grid. All told, four confirmed PL titans were destroyed, along with over 50 capital ships and numerous sub capitals. View the battle report here.

  Morale broke. PL retreated. IT Alliance took Fountain. Unseated and bloodied, Pandemic Legion fell into in-fighting. A split formed between The Illuminati (OSHIT), one of most active corps at the time, and the rest of PL. FCs began pushing for PL to not return to being a sov holder, but to move the alliance to lowsec. OSHIT was kicked from the alliance and PL effectively ceased to be an active alliance, until Shadoo returned to Eve. His return brought back OSHIT players. The EUTZ players joined Shadoo in North Eastern Swat (NESW) while the USTZ players merged with Habitual Euthanasia (HABIT), which then joined the Cry Havoc alliance. Under the leadership of Shadoo, the armor HAC fleet concept was introduced, which he is remembered for in more ways than one. Morale rapidly improved as the signature tanked Zealots proved repeatedly they were impossible for battleships (the dominant ship at the time) to kill. BoB-reborn (IT Alliance) was once again beating the drums of conquest and many of the old alliances that stood against them had since collapsed. Combined with a completely reshaped nullsec, full of many new alliances, and the rise of mercenary alliances, the heyday of nullsec conflict had been born.

Breaking IT Alliance

Meanwhile, IT Alliance had finished digesting Fountain and had begun marching north. The Northern Coalition, after having not come to PL’s aid in Fountain, was now faced with a similar situation. Morale was low and lethargy high. It was hard for the NC to fill defensive fleets, so when PL’s Fintroll approached Morsus Mihi’s Vuk Lau with an offer to help them defend space it was eagerly accepted. Even though PL demanded financial compensation, the terms were readily agreed upon, and thus began PL’s new role as a mercenary alliance. Pandemic Legion began reinforcing IT’s super capital producing towers in Fountain, forcing them to be both on the offensive and defensive at the same time. This effectively reduced IT’s morale, while giving NC a rallying call to convince their people to log in. With that victory under PL’s belt, they moved south to harry the other entity attacking the NC in the east, but I’m getting ahead of myself. The alliance, under the new leadership of FCs like Shamis, Elendar, Gobbins, Jogyn, and Shadoo morphed from a minor alliance with an inordinate number of capital ships into what it is today. An alliance led by fleet commanders is an alliance with little other purpose than burning things to the ground, and PL became known for it. Loved or loathed, feared or relied upon, Pandemic Legion became a mercenary powerhouse that was repeatedly paid to crush other alliances. My next retrospective will return east to cover the events beginning at the end of 2009, shortly after the release of the Dominion expansion.
Tags: Bagehi, bob, fountain, history, IT Alliance, pandemic legion

About the author

Bagehi

Bagehi is a lazy vet, which is similar to a bitter vet, but without the vitriol.


  • Red Teufel

    PL is like a cancer in the form of supercaps. It keeps growing and growing till it kills EvE.

    • Lee Thrace

      Do you really believe this?

    • Kamar Raimo

      Also they have had an active role in getting all the Goon devs to move to Riot so they are now the only in-game organisation with CCP Devs whom they of course use to get advance knowledge on everything.

      It is known.

  • Endie

    Oh so it was Red Alliance that killed Shrike? I always thought the decloak, the tackles, the majority of the KM and the main FC were all from another alliance you seem to have forgotten to mention.

    • Endie

      Ahhh wait I notice that Goonswarm don’t get mentioned in the fall of Delve either you got me Bagehi it’s a joke article nice troll I fell for that hook, line and sinker.

      • We’re all friends here

        Chill endie 🙁

    • Bagehi

      Yeah, I meant to write Red Swarm there. I’m fixing it.

  • Kamar Raimo

    Bagehi, were you already a member of PL back then? What surprises me is your reading of history where Goonswarm appears pretty half-hearted in their willingness to help out PL against IT in Fountain. I knew people in IT back then and they always complained about how PL is only able to live there because “the Goons are propping them up”. That always seemed intuitively logical to me because the Goons were the declared enemy of BoB/IT and it figured that they would help PL against their mortal enemy.

    Of course it could just as well been someone regurgitating internal IT propaganda that felt a need to justify “not winning fast enough” against PL.

    • Bagehi

      I was not in PL at the time. The next retrospective will deal with the SoCo v WIdot war… fiasco… thing, which is where I was during the invasion of Fountain by IT. The basic outline of what happened during IT’s invasion of Fountain was readily available online (including a synopsis on the Goonfleet wiki), but for the details, I had to ask some of the long-time members of PL.

      While I don’t doubt there had been propaganda about Goonfleet propping up PL (which was true to a certain extent), the battle reports on eve-kill that I saw tended to have PL fielding the majority of ships and the bulk of the capital and super capital ships. Y-2ANO was one exception, where Goonfleet brought a fairly large number of dreads. There were clearly quite a few who came to Fountain to fight, and they were very active, but definitely wasn’t a case of the whole alliance going to war. It is easy to see the fairly large difference when you compare the numbers to just a few months prior when Goonfleet was clearing out Delve. Then again, that may have been all they could round up after months of fighting in Delve.

      • Endie

        You may be seeing that on some battle report somewhere but Goons were harumphing about the fact that Aw0x was doing his thing while Goons were the only ones turning up for some PL tower defence ops. And don’t get me started on SoT.

        • Bagehi

          I don’t doubt that things were more complicated and I probably could have written at length about any given paragraph in this article. I just don’t think people want that level of detail. However, the point (which I thought I had been quite clear about in the article) was that IT outnumbered and outgunned the defenders repeatedly, because of decisions made by the leaders of PL at that time (such as taking moons from NC, internal conflicts, and generally not caring).