Rise of the StateLynx Artrald
After the valiant, but ultimately unsuccessful, defense of Aivonen and the recent capture of long-standing and symbolic Gallente systems such as Nennamaila, Caldari Militia last week took yet another major step forward in the rapidly escalating Caldari-Gallente factional war.
State forces pulled themselves up to the lucrative Tier 3
In a move that surprised most of EVE – including some in Caldari militia – State forces, fueled by an influx of bloodthirsty Alpha clones, pulled themselves up to the lucrative Tier 3 in warzone control. A faction at Tier 3 gains a significant increase in LP rewards for capturing plexes and running missions, which tends to draw more players to that side.
At the time, CalMil controlled only just enough systems to be able to hold Tier 3, but since then it was able to capture an additional five systems, which form something of a buffer. In fact, over the past two weeks, no less than fifteen enemy systems have been captured by Caldari forces, with only a single system lost in the same period. If anyone had predicted this scenario as little as six months ago, chances are they would have been met with ridicule – both in Gallente and in Caldari circles.
So what has triggered this revitalized Caldari Militia? Was it the influx of Alpha Clones which seem to favor Caldari over Gallente as their racial choice, naturally leading them to service in the State? Was the fall of Okkamon a wake-up call that reunited Caldari forces? What gave the Caldari Militia Coalition the collective cojones to challenge the Gallente like this, after such a long time of playing the awkward, nerdish little brother to the ever successful prom kings of GalMil?
We talked to Ylein Kashuken, a director in SQUIDS. [IBLOB] corporation in CalMil and the main architect of the plan to take CalMil to Tier 3, as well as to two of our in-house GalMil members: Ashterothi, CEO of Aideron Robotics [AIDER] and Ashley Traynor of Moira corporation in Villore Accords alliance [GMVA].
CZ: Thanks for taking some time to talk to us, Ylein. Can you introduce yourself to our readers?
Ylein Kashuken [IBLOB]: Sure. I have been in CalMil for a long time, and much of that time was with SQUIDS. In fact, I was part of the small group of people who were running the show on the Caldari side for the past four or five years. Needless to say, we weren’t always that successful and so eventually I left.
CZ: You came back, though.
“We created shared channels and worked towards unifying CalMil”
Ylein Kashuken [IBLOB]: Yeah, I did. And I made new connections with people who just want to have fun in the factional war – who want to kill Gallente pilots and attack systems. Groups like Plexodus/Exodus, a lot of new recruits in our own corporation, SQUIDS., your group [Black Shark Cult, ed.], and some other, scattered individual pilots. We created shared channels and worked towards unifying CalMil, and we started getting more and more people on board to be honest.
CZ: Ever since the end of the summer, Caldari have been on the offensive – despite the dramatic loss of Aivonen. Different groups started offensive plexing on opposite ends of the warzone in an attempt to wear out the Gallente defense, meeting with some success. Although CalMil was not able to capture any real enemy fortresses (home systems), a significant number of outlying systems were taken… Now Caldari made Tier 3. Did GalMil see this coming?
Ashterothi [AIDER]: Yes. The Aivonen campaign did not go nearly as smoothly as anyone would have liked, and after the fall of Nennamaila the threat of the State became very clear. However, it is taking some time for some within GalMil to get off their “the State is dead, the pirates are the real enemy” type of footing.
Ashley Traynor [GMVA]: I don’t think anyone really saw the Caldari offensive coming, Calmil has been somewhat dormant for so long that nobody could take them seriously. That definitely played into their hands since for the longest time it was quite hard to believe the Calmil was actually putting up a fght.
CZ: And what was the general reaction? Do people think this is a big deal, or not?
“we could stomp out this recent threat to our space”
Ashley Traynor [GMVA]: Whether or not it’s a big deal depends on how far they push it. If they do keep pushing without sufficient response then we’ll be looking at the exact opposite of 12 months ago – I’d certainly call that significant.
For the most part, right now people don’t really mind that the Squids have reached Tier 3, it was always going to be a side effect of the recent system push anyway. On the GalMil side we’re definitely confident in our capabilities. Should we choose to, we could stomp out this recent threat to our space and with it, the Caldari Tier 3 status.
Ashterothi [AIDER]: In my opinion this is a pretty big deal. The Caldari have historically had greater numbers, but less organization. What we are seeing post Ascension is a revitalized State unlike anything I have seen in several years.
Looks like both sides have their eyes on Vlillirier… Why? Well, to put it into simple terms: Aivonen taught New Eden that we (Gallente) can kick the Caldari out of a home system if we so desire. This attack is to find out if the inverse is true.
CZ: Ylein, were you part of the general strategic discussions on the Caldari side that led to the push to Tier 3? How did that go?
reaching Tier 3 was our best bet at attracting more people to plex and help us keep up the pressure on GalMil
Ylein Kashuken [IBLOB]: Yeah, you could say that I was part of that… The thing is, not everyone was convinced that moving to Tier 3 now was the right thing to do. But then we had taken all the systems we realistically could with our current forces, and I felt it was time to stir things up even more – reaching Tier 3 was our best bet at attracting more people to plex and help us keep up the pressure on GalMil.
CZ: So CalMil was not that unified after all. Interesting.
Ylein Kashuken [IBLOB]: While we were pushing systems on the edge of the warzone, Plexodus, Templis CALFS and BLOC were assaulting Fortress Vlillirier. We were hoping to break off enough of the defenders to allow Vlillirier to fall, but as you know, that did not quite happen.
CZ: How did you manage to reach Tier 3 if you could not capture more systems?
Ylein Kashuken [IBLOB]: Easy. I just went for it after downtime the next day – I made a grand tour of the warzone with all my alts and upgraded all our systems to level V. Plexodus and Black Shark Cult chipped in as well, and so we just barely made Tier 3.
CZ: Op Success… But at the cost of what must have been billions of ISK in the form of Loyalty Points spent on all those system upgrades!
Ylein Kashuken [IBLOB]: Absolutely. It gave us enough drive to push for another few systems… And in the meantime we have reached – and even exceeded – the somewhat symbolic number of 45 controlled systems, which gives us a great momentum going forward and will help us truly unite all of CalMil.
CZ: Back to our Gallente friends. Are people on your side actually considering letting CalMil do their thing? Letting CalMil flip more of the warzone would drive up the value of Gallente LP, wouldn’t it?
Ashterothi [AIDER]: That notion was over about two months ago when Gallente and Caldari started exchanging key systems. Both sides have made this personal.
CZ: So listening to all of you, I’m pretty convinced the war is not going to quiet down. It sounds like keeping the momentum going is more important than it used to be?
Ashterothi [AIDER]: With the changes that came in citadels, and the changes that are almost certainly coming next year, being on top as the Alphas pour in is important. Here’s the thing: Caldari have Jita, and so is easier from a logistics and ISK-making point of view. Dodixie is no Jita, so Factional Warfare sightseers tend to go Caldari. However, the Gallente are generally longer in the tooth and more experienced with the mechanics of Factional Warfare, and so their membership have historically been more coordinated.
But if you want to sign up and defend the Federation against the encroaching Squid presence, join Aideron Robotics – the premier corporation for Gallente Alpha clones!
It is not hard to share Ashterothi’s enthusiasm: the war in the North has not been this vibrant and action-packed for years. The State is on the march and keeps probing the Gallente fortress of Vlillirier, but without much effect so far. Gallente forces have deployed to push the Squid menace back in other areas of the war zone, hoping to stop the Caldari in their tracks and defend their position as the top dogs of Factional Warfare.
Then, just a few days ago, CCP Fozzie tweeted “On Tuesday we broke the all-time record for most active capsuleers enrolled in Factional Warfare, and it’s still rising fast.”
So what are you waiting for, capsuleer? Enlist now, and defend the cause of your choice!