The Devil’s Cauldron: Black Rise and The Citadel

 
Of all the regions of New Eden, the lowsec areas of Black Rise and The Citadel combined embody the infamous ‘meatgrinder’ reputation of low security space like no other. Building upon its bloody history and the many great battles that have taken place there, it has become the prime destination for those looking for a good fight. Systems like Nennamalia, Kinakka, Innia, Okkamon, Tama and Asakai, amongst others, attract players from all walks of life and have all made the wider EVE press at some point. Step on the Lowlife sightseeing bus as we take a tour of this devil’s cauldron and talk to some of the locals.

The usual suspects

The main ingredients that make up this potent brew are established pirate corporations and the Caldari and Gallente militias. Outlaws have hunted in the area for years and know it like the back of their hand. Meanwhile the militia wage endless war, the pendulum grinding ships into dust ever since the inception of Factional Warfare. Their paths cross in bloody conflict, igniting shiny red blobs that attract the attentions of nullsec entities like moths to a flame. Map

Points of interest

On the western borders of Caldari highsec resides Kinakka, known far and wide to be SniggWaffe (Waffles alliance) territory. SniggWaffe are experienced pirates with plenty of resources, relatively high-SP pilots and a convenient PL batphone – used liberally of course (in before Hendrick tells you otherwise). As such they form a natural lid of hostile territory on the north-west of the FW war zone after a Gallente campaign to the area in early 2014. The systems between Kinakka and Cloud Ring see a lot of small gang fighting, especially Martoh, but anyone hoping to engage SniggWaffe better come prepared. Just south of Kinakka lies Innia, the former fortress system of the Caldari militia, having fallen to the Gallente on April 1st of 2014 and steeped in history. It’s neighbour Eha, on the other hand, is the undefeated Gallente fortress and gate to Placid. Below Innia we find Pavanakka, a system that has risen to the limelight of late as dyed-in-the-wool Caldari militia hold on to it tooth and nail. Further to the south-east resides Akidagi, starting point for both the pipe to the north-east and an important entry from Ichoriya, Caldari highsec. The gate here was and is camped so often that CalMil have it under Twitch surveillance using a cloaked camera. Still the Gallente militia often try their luck on the gate and do highsec raids. Smack in the middle of Black Rise resides Nennamalia, a Gallentean stronghold since 2011. Nennamalia is a major staging system for the militia, supported by a healthy market and well established logistics. Its location is strategically vital with Placid within one jump, highsec within two, and The Citadel within five. Nennamalia itself, along with the surrounding area, is often visited by pirates and null entities, as well as roams launched out of highsec (occasionally NPSI), looking for trouble with the locals or each other – often getting what they came for. If you’re hoping to whore on some capital kills, Nennamalia is a good place to put your ear to the ground. Between Nennamalia and Okkamon to the east lies the proverbial highway connecting the center of Black Rise to the north-east – a Factional Warfare front that saw a lot of fighting recently, with Okkamon eventually falling into Gallente hands. The key system on this pipe being Pynekastoh – a bottleneck between central and eastern Black Rise, having no shortage of fights as a result. Further south, and dominating the south-east of Black Rise are the systems of Tama and Sujarento, both synonymous with pirates and outlaws. Here the carnage never stops and the area has developed an unrivaled infamy over the years. It is certainly a landmark area of Black Rise and worthy of extra attention. To that end I spoke with Phantomite, a diplomat of Snuff Box, about their home of Sujarento and nearby hunting grounds. Why live in Sujarento? What is at about the system and the area that suits you? – We live in Sujarento because it’s within range of plenty of active systems, particularly important FW systems. Of the entities that surround you with which do you interact the most and how? – Probably the organised contingent of GalMil. And even then, we have to force a fight – like bring a quarter of what they have, etc. What is your relation to other nearby pirate / outlaw elements? -The most significant couple of entities are almost certainly UCF Alliance and BALEX, the latter of which are really great guys who we’ve even been blue with in the recent past. We don’t really cross paths with BALEX very often which is a shame – we both are up for fighting each other. What is your impression of the Gallente – Caldari war and do you follow its developments? – For us as a mainly european corporation, their major battles seem to have mostly taken place “covertly” during the tiny hours of the morning, which is a shame – we’d love to have barged in and had all sides turn on us. It’s our speciality. Of the seemingly weaker (sic) happenings during our prime, we’ve always been eager to crash the party. The biggest clash in recent memory was the battle in Hallanen (click here for the battle report). You can generally expect a slowcat fleet if Waffles are on grid. Thankfully we got to have a lot of fun for quite a while before they showed up and ended the party. Overall my impression is that the Cal-Gal war is one of the best content makers in EVE right now. But it seems to lag massively behind the Minmatar-Amarr war, which looks fantastic. Wish we were in range of it. What kind of targets do you usually get and where? What kind of targets does Snuff Box prefer? – We prefer our targets to outnumber us. It’s the only way that most players in EVE can feel any flicker of confidence. As for who do we look for? Absolutely anybody. Obviously there comes a hard limit on what we can actually take on. Most of the lack of confidence to fight Snuff Box comes from exaggerated stories passed on and on, and myths that have always existed in EVE against the perceived bogeyman. Is there anything else you would like to say about The Citadel and Black Rise as (lowsec) regions? – I do have something to say to the other residents – chill out, guys. you outnumber us and we don’t have ten triage carriers on standby and most likely what you see of us is all we’ve got. Check Sujarento out for yourselves – when we’re out and about, you’ll genuinely find that we haven’t left seventy extra guys on the titan. We don’t have that many active in corp! (FYI some days later Snuff Box downed a Goonswarm Federation Erebus in Deven, gf. Read Sugar Kyle’s POV here) Devils-Cauldron-layout-2

Shift

Ever since the Gallente for all intents and purposes ‘won’ the war in Placid, Essence, Black Rise and The Citadel, the PvP meta has changed. Whereas fights between the militias – with a liberal helping of pirates or neutrals thrown in the mix – used to be the standard, it has gravitated towards a new blend. Although it looked like the Caldari in Black Rise would be reinforced by former Nulli Secunda members, now Bohica Empire, in a recent development the alliance deserted CalMil to join the Gallente. While accusations of opportunism and greed have been leveled at the turncoats from both sides of the fence (with the Gallente currently enjoying tier 4), Bohica themselves state that they intended to join the Gallente initially, but chose the Caldari for practical reasons. After proving their mettle in the battle of Huola during a series of key fights, a schism between Bohica and the wider Caldari Militia became the catalyst for them to leave, purge disruptive elements, and join the Gallente. While some welcome them with open arms, they will not win the hearts of all ‘frogs‘ until they bleed for the Federation. Besides GalMil, the fights of late are more often headlined by the likes of Snuff Box, Overload Everything, Shadow Cartel, SniggWaffe and Pandemic Legion. The remnants of the Caldari play a much diminished role as only the hardest core of the militia trudge through dire straits with gritted teeth and a sliver of hope for the future. Although it is Gallente territory and not for any lack of trying, the frogs often find themselves outgunned when the heavyweights field larger fleets and capitals. In many ways it represents a clash between null and Faction Warfare PvP meta, for which the Gallente do not have a complete answer to yet. There is an urge within some elements of the militia to step things up and truly claim the territory, but the lack of any command hierarchy, as seen in the alliances and coalitions of null, may put a stop to such aspirations. The constitution of Federation forces resembles free states with similar goals, but no ruling body with executive powers.

Realm of chaos

However the chips may fall with the current state of affairs, some things never change. Black Rise and The Citadel are the essence of the lowsec ‘Thunderdome’, and will continue to live up to that legacy for the foreseeable future.  
Tags: black rise, lowlife, lowsec, niden, snuff box, the citadel

About the author

Niden

12 year EVE veteran, Snuffed Out scumbag, writer, graphic artist, producer, Editor-in-Chief of Crossing Zebras and the second most influential player in EVE, according to EVE Onion.


  • Ciaphas Cyne

    fuckin great post, niden! thanks.

    • Niden

      Tyvm 🙂

  • Faraboot

    “What is your relation to other nearby pirate / outlaw elements?
    -The most significant couple of entities are almost certainly UCF Alliance and BALEX, the latter of which are really great guys who we’ve even been blue with in the recent past. We don’t really cross paths with BALEX very often which is a shame – we both are up for fighting each other.”

    I was all for the idea of the most notorious pirate corps joining up to form an entity of sorts that can find and enjoy more variety of content than on their own, and also stand firm when batphones start ringing.
    Since the standings got reset we’ve generally just either avoided each other or quickly realised we’re equal (or batphones) on the field and just moved on our merry ways.
    Not sure if reset was meant to bring more pewpew, or any other content – imho it didn’t, and we’re all now condemned to gate camps, occasional bait drops and other casual activities, which imo is a shame.

    Current EvE mechanics favour big blocks gamestyle, and by having a true low sec power block of sorts, with all timezones covered, I’m quite sure we would quickly see a change in the way current blocks regard low sec notorious b.i.g.’s (Balex, Snuff, Shadow, UCF, Frosties, and many others..).

    However since most of the low sec pirate corps actually prefer smaller to mid size fleets and engagements (Balex for instance at best fields 40 ppl) I don’t see any change in the foreseeable future regarding our current gamestyle.

    On a side note, nice post Nidden, and as always o/ Phantomite and fellow piwates

    Faraboot

    • Niden

      Oh the one hand it is a cool idea of a ‘pirate union’ of sorts, but as you point out, the current meta doesn’t really support it. Right now we’re sorely lacking in the Caldari department. I’m kinda hoping that we’re heading towards more of a Gal vs Pirates era (although half of GalMil are just dirty pirates with a flag :P, true neg 10 ftw), while the squids regroup, and there have been some efforts to make that happen. We’ll have to see how things pan out. ATXII has certainly slowed things down too, but that nonsense is over soon 🙂

      /N

  • Kamar Raimo

    “The systems of Tama and Sujarento, both synonymous with pirates and outlaws”

    I have known corps and alliances where flying through Tama was as forbidden as flying through Rancer or Amamake. If you landed on the killboards with a loss in one of those systems you could get kicked if the CEO was in a bad mood.

    These days Tama feels more like the border of the playground 🙂