Since a good chunk of nullsec is once more embroiled, one way or another, in the Drone Regions, it seems fitting to take a trip back in history to the first of the Drone Regions’ Wars.
On February 5th, 2009, Band of Brothers (BoB) was dissolved and the Second Delve War officially kicked off with a mass move by Red Swarm Federation (Goonswarm and Red Alliance) and Northern Coalition, as both descended on a Delve that was in disarray. Goonswarm, to force their members to take this assault seriously, declared they were abandoning their vast swath of space in the south (Wicked Creek, Detorid, Tenerifis, Feythabolis and Esoteria). This left a tempting target for opportunists.
A multitude of small startup alliances began taking space from Goonswarm while the attack on Delve was underway. Some with permission, some without. Atlas Alliance (Atlas) was one of the alliances that rapidly grew in the vacuum left by Goonswarm’s lack of presence in the south. Against All Authorities (AAA) and Red Overlord (ROL) also were big winners, taking space from Goonswarm while supporting them, to some degree, in their assault on Delve. On the eastern side of Goon space, things remained static for roughly a month.
In March, with Kenzoku (the replacement alliance for Band of Brothers) effectively defeated, hostilities flared up. Who threw the first punch is up for debate, as both sides pointed fingers at each other. Red Alliance (RA) began reinforcing POSs in Etherium Reach; Ethereal Dawn (ED) and Intrepid Crossing (IRC) began reinforcing POSs in Insmother. All three alliances had been fighting together against BoB in Delve moments before the POSs began to be reinforced. Who started the fight, or if both had been planning to attack each other, depends on who’s telling you the story.
The first system gains, however, go to ED and IRC in early April, 2009. RA had become bloated from the space abandoned by Goonswarm and were struggling to finish taking space in the face of AAA, ROL, and Atlas expansion, while simultaneously fighting against ED/IRC, and helping to finish off Executive Outcomes (the last of BoB’s allies) in Period Basis. Goonswarm went to bat for their long time allies Red Alliance, and called on the rag-tag coalition that had just finished off BoB to attack ED/IRC, who they loudly proclaimed had stabbed Red Alliance in the back.
ED/IRC’s early gains were tempered by significant losses while defending their own systems. One such loss was the battle for F9-FUV where RA and friends were able to take down an Aeon (battle report). However, despite the losses, ED/IRC could more than hold their own; slowly taking systems from the time zone limited, war exhausted, and internally fragmented RA.
Reports came out from ED/IRC that The Mittani had struck again, cleaning out IRC’s capital ship stockpile. The Mittani retorted that they could have their ships back if they agreed to a ceasefire and agreed to evacuate Insmother and return to the pre-conflict borders. They agreed to his terms and began their evacuation. This decision was divisive within RA. A portion of the alliance that was not satisfied with the agreement and wanted to erase ED/IRC attempted to overthrow their leadership and continue the war. It was messy. People left and joined other surrounding alliances, and in the end, RA broke the ceasefire and attacked ED/IRC once more.
RA attempted a head-shot by attacking ZZ5X-M in Etherium Reach two days later. Still without their capital ship stockpile, ED/IRC mounted a defense of their system, eventually succeeding in defending it against the RA attack. ED/IRC made the thinned-out RA pay. Threadnoughts erupted in the Corporations, Alliance and Coalitions section of the Eve Online forums. Accusations flew back and forth with the end result being the bulk of nullsec going to war against ED/IRC. Massively outnumbered, ED/IRC defenses effectively ceased. In the end, Legion of xXDEATHXx (xDeath) took the bulk of the space as RA was already forced to shift to a different front.
Meanwhile, the Southern Coalition was beginning to take shape just south of RA. Leaders there needed the war with ED/IRC to drag on long enough for systems they had taken from Goonswarm to have the protection afforded by Cynosural System Jammer. ED/IRC somehow had managed to hold out for more than three months. With xDeath busy gobbling up Etherium Reach, RA, in Atlas Alliance’s opinion was ripe for the picking. They rapidly pushed RA out of Insmother and solidified their hold of the south. The remains of RA retreated to the chunk of Etherium they had recently taken, to lick their wounds. Unwilling to move into the Drone Regions to continue chasing RA, Atlas called a halt to their advance, solidifying their spoils of war.
In the end, the alliances that came out ahead were those of the Southern Coalition and xDeath. Many toes were stepped on along the way, with much of ED/IRC and RA moving to other alliances; thoughts of revenge at the back of their minds, each blaming the other for the destruction of their alliances and loss of their space and assets. The fighting ended with a whimper, but the war between those involved was far from over.
Tags: Bagehi, history, nullsec, war