They called us irrelevant pubbies in the kiddie pool. Now we’re allegedly the second cancer of lowsec (the first being, of course, Snuff Box).
Hold on, how did that happen?
Things have changed amongst the organised elements of the Gallente Militia over the past year or so. Historically known for its attrition warfare tactics, now instead bearing two faces. Detrptrons, Snipercorms and Cockbag Thrashers stockpiled by the hundreds, gave way to Tempest Fleet Issues, Absolutions and strategic cruisers.
Adapt or starve
The basic principles of evolution and the capacity to adapt to a changing environment very directly govern an animal’s ability to survive. Imagine, if you will, wolves living in a forest full of rabbits and bears. One day, the wolves had eaten all the fat, slow and dumb rabbits. A few months later, they had hunted even the fast and smart rabbits to extinction and dug out their homes. The rest ran away where the wolves could not chase them. The wolves now had two options: either slowly starve to death until the rabbits return, or hunt the much larger, and more dangerous bears.
“Life was simple and a kill was easy to come by.”
At first, the wolves starve, unsure on how to go on. They had always hunted the rabbits, and the rabbits had always made more rabbits for them to hunt and eat. Life was simple and a kill was easy to come by. But the more their hunger grew, the more obvious it was that they would have to adapt in order to hunt the bears instead. Bears are large, strong and bad for your health – the wolves would have to grow stronger and hunt in larger packs, lest they go hungry.
So it was with the Gallente Militia. Not long after the war zone had been conquered for the second time and the Caldari hunted to near extinction, the Phoebe expansion hit. These two events lead to an arms race in general in northern lowsec, but especially within GalMil. Thus began the hairline fracture that would eventually widen so much as to split the militia into two distinct personalities.
Roots and branches
The roots of GalMil lie firmly in small gang warfare and plex fighting. However, many amongst the ranks had been wanting to combine this with hunting bigger game in bigger ships, pilots who had the SP, money and willingness to organise. The Federal Union (FU) was formed – a coalition consolidating some of the most veteran GalMil pilots into one organisation.
Doctrines were established and built upon, fighting over systems within FW often gave way to POS fights, POCO fights, or larger roaming fleets. Because that’s where the targets were, because that’s where the battleships, HACs and T3s were. Many of us had been waiting for a long time, and as the threat of capital dick-swinging from the other side of the galaxy subdued with Phoebe, those of us in FU coalition leadership saw the opportunity to pick up arms against the other locals in an unprecedented way. GalMil began to behave more like the local “pirate” groups as the POS war of north-western Black Rise and Placid of early 2015 began. And as we evolved, so did many of the other locals. Those that didn’t, got their shit pushed in and either disintegrated, left, or linger on only as irrelevant shadows of their former selves. For many, this was now the golden age of the Gallente Militia.
“Eventually, the rabbits came back. This time with an attitude. And guns.”
Eventually, the rabbits came back. This time with an attitude. And guns. Although lean in numbers, the Caldari that clawed their way back into existence on the eastern front were determined to take the fight to the Gallente or die trying. Groups like Mjonir Bloc, Heiian Conglomerate and Templis CALSF made themselves known again, many of them long time veterans and hardened fighters. However, by this time many of the Gallente living in western Black Rise and central Placid had developed a taste for bear.
The split personality became suddenly very evident as some resumed fighting the Caldari as we always had – through attrition warfare and small gang action, with the most significant change coming in the form of T3 destroyers, the new kings of plex fighting – while others continued pursuing the higher profile fights against groups like Snuff Box, Shadow Cartel, Did He Say Jump, Overload Everything (RIP, #sorrynotsorry about those carriers) and others.
As far as Factional Warfare goes, the outwards result of this was indirectly that GalMil only formed with any real force when the squids threatened any truly valuable system in central Black Rise. Many had grown tired of plex warfare over the years, didn’t really consider the Caldari a threat in any real way, and formed in earnest only when it was critical to do so – much to the ire of the dyed-in-the-wool FW fleet commanders that still to this day see it as their bread and butter.
The motivating vision we had within FU leadership was that we would have the best of two worlds – freely moving between traditional Factional Warfare and small gang, and the larger fleets and bigger targets. We did not believe in telling anyone what they should do, instead we saw it as opening a new avenue of option to our pilots. It was grand and plenty of fights were had. But soon the problems began rearing their ugly heads.
While the vision was realised to an extent, we had bitten off a bit more than we could chew. Not only were we not experienced in coalition politics, playing it by ear most of the time, we also didn’t have a pyramid leadership structure. Leadership was more of a council, fueled by enthusiasm, rather than a well oiled bureaucratic machine of top-down leadership. Fighters and warlords do not make particularly good politicians, and lowsec is filled to the brim with special snowflakes that don’t approve of being told what to train for and fly.
We were trying to do two things at the same time while maintaining the GalMil motto of personal freedom, something that is held very dear and close to our hearts. It was not long before our discussions would on occasion end up in fruitless disagreements between setting up the next POS timer for a bling fight or pushing an FW front. As summer came around, some left to pursue other endeavours, others became inactive, yet others came to the fore as constellations of pilots were formed around new leaders and FCs. The coalition is not what it was, yet we are one of the most active groups in lowsec, nowadays resembling a large warband, more than anything else.
GalMil remains in a kind of limbo between two worlds, and I have very much lived the change. The only thing that sets me apart from a regular local outlaw is that I fly under the Gallente banner and on occasion push or defend a system or two in FW. I don’t really know what I am any more – fleet, small gang or solo PvPer, soldier, diplomat or pirate – it has become irrelevant to me, I am all these things. All I care about is that things die – be they war target, pirate or neutral – and that I get to make things die with my friends. These are people I’ve shared both laughter and tears with for years, and that is what the GalMil of today is to me.
And if they call us cancer, so be it. All I know is that when the Gallente Militia undocks in force, people take heed and check their shit. It’s a good feeling.
(Below is the cover image in wallpaper format, click to enlarge)