In the game of musical chairs that was triggered by Phoebe, many of the most significant changes took place in the East. Thanks to territorial changes in the aftermath of the Halloween War almost the entirety of the East from Cobalt Edge in the North to Paragon Soul in the South was under the control of either Northern Associates (belonging to N3) or Brothers of Tangra (belonging to PL). Thankfully, Phoebe changed that.
Pandemic Legion offloaded much of their rental empire – some 250 systems – to Shadow of xXDEATHXx, the rental alliance of Legion of xXDEATHXx <X.I.X>. The once-feared White Noise. alliance, which died to the CFC some three years earlier, reformed in the wake of Phoebe under the banner Total Absolution <TT>. They aligned themselves with XIX and purchased space in Etherium Reach and Perrigen Falls for their rental outfit Absolution Alliance.
Elsewhere in the East, various Russian alliances had been preparing to gain some space of their own, through force rather than deal-making. Dream Fleet <DRF>, who splintered from SOLAR FLEET <SOLAR> following the disastrous end to the Halloween War, teamed up with Red Alliance <RA> and Gorgon Empire <-GE-> to form the Meow Coalition. Between them they managed to take over 100 systems of Northern Associates [NA.] space – which had been left to rot by N3 – before making war against XIX.
Phoebe Freeport Republic [PFR] is another alliance that have been carving out space for their own. PFR grew out of a post on reddit and have since grown to over 500 members, with their raison d’etre being the freeporting of systems in nullsec. Their first system in Etherium Reach was assaulted repeatedly and eventually taken by XIX and friends, and they have since moved to Scalding Pass. -GE- also plan on opening up the systems they take to neutrals, meaning that in time the entirety of Scalding Pass could become freeported.
Also notable are Rebel Alliance of New Eden <RANE>, a former N3 renter alliance who became a rebel alliance of New Eden after declaring independence following Phoebe, expanding their holdings in Wicked Creek. Stainwagon, mainly consisting ex-Darkness of Despair corporations in Soviet-Union and The Afterlife as well as Against All Authorities and C0VEN, have gone on the offensive against Nulli Secunda, Fraternity and Caladrius Alliance in Estoria. N3 seem to have the upper hand in this conflict; there hasn’t been a significant amount of activity on this front save for the occasional large fight.
More recently MEOW and SpaghettiCo have joined forces with the intention of removing XiX from nullsec.This group, which we’ll call the New Drone Russian Federation (NDRF) for now, consists of SOLAR, RA, DRF, Black Legion [BL], Triumvirate [TRI], Confederation of xXPIZZAXx [PIZZA], Almost Awesome [NOFUX] and Babylon 5. [BAB.5]. Staging out of Korona they have waged war on XiX and their coalition of alliances that live in Geminate, namely Infinity Space [IN.SP] Advent of Fate [CORD], Hard Alliance [PYCB], Synergy of Steel [SYN] and Total Absolution [TT], aka White Noise.
On paper NDRF had the advantage against GemCo in terms of numbers and experience. SOLAR, DRF, BL and RED are all fairly old alliances with a large capital and supercapital presence, whereas most of the alliances in GemCo have never taken part in a major war before. This means that, as one might expect, NDRF initially took the upper hand in the war – for the most part.
The recent battle of I6-SYN was a taste of what’s to come for NDRF. I6-SYN is one of the most important systems owned by XiX. It links their systems in Cache with their homeland of Geminate by way of one system in Great Wildlands. If this system were to fall, defending the remainder of Cache would become significantly harder.
This meant XIX weren’t too keen on losing control of the system. Fortunately for them, an alliance that’s been around for as long as XIX has a long history and by virtue of that they’ve made a lot of friends. For most of the previous two years they’ve maintained a mostly neutral policy towards everyone else in EVE. They watched SOLAR lose the Drone regions to PL, they watched the dissolution of the HBC and the subsequent Fountain war, they watched the southern Russian block win B-R5RB then drive N3 to the gates of the Drone Regions, and then watched them get pushed back to Querious. Even in the bipolar galaxy we experienced prior to Phoebe they were left alone by the CFC and N3.
NRDF had brought 650 to the timer – quite significantly more than GemCo’s 350. However, the rest of EVE contributed another 600 ships to the defenders. Even BRAVE, who have been relentlessly assaulted by PL for over a month, were blackmailed into siding with XIX to save three baby titans from being destroyed by PL. A CFC bombing wing under the command of Dabigredboat was the only major fleet to shoot both sides. Despite the ~250 deficit in numbers, XIX only just managed to save the system – but going forward, it’s clear that the prospect of third party assistance from the likes of PL and NC. will prevent a major problem. In the week following the I6- fight, PL redeployed out of Curse and into I6- itself, clarifying their position in support of GemCo.
Without any help XIX stood little to no chance of winning the war, as illustrated by the fact that SOLAR have already taken half of Cache, leaving just three stations in XIX hands. However with PL and their supercapital fleet now in the East, things could swing heavily in GemCo’s favour.
NC. have no love for SOLAR, who vowed to turn NCdot into irrelevant lowsec dwellers and drive NCdot’s leadership from EVE, in 2013. Vince has stated that a deployment out of the South-West is on the cards for them; unless they plan on taking their turn to farm Catch the Eastern front seems the only likely destination, owing to their standings with XIX.
If NC. were to move east the odds would become even more heavily stacked against NRDF. This would probably trigger the CFC to enter the conflict in some capacity. With the defence of the Southwest left to DARKNESS. it’s likely we’ll see a front opened up there by FA and LAWN, as well as a deployment of the Reavers (the CFC SIG dedicated to the abortion of supercaps) to Querious. Thanks to Phoebe, moving a capital fleet from one side of the map to the other now takes five hours rather than five minutes, making multifront warfare a much more plausible than it was in the Halloween War.
As for the main front, the CFC has good relations with SOLAR. They owned their own pocket of space in Querious nestled inside CFC space when the Russian block collapsed. Goonswarm and RA were close allies in the BoB era which is likely to count in their favour despite the fact that RA’s membership has mostly changed since then. Despite the presence of TRI and BL in the coalition it’s safe to assume that the CFC would rather see SOLAR and RA hold the East. NRDF are able to expand further south through NA. space thanks to their lack of standings, which would weaken N3 and strengthen SOLAR/RA.
Lastly, USTZ CFC deployed some members to Immensea just yesterday. It is likely the CFC will continue to work as a third party, fighting on NDRF’s side for stratops and farming BRAVE. At any rate, it seems the next great war is brewing, and once again, the East will burn.
Tags: nullsec, sovereignty, Tubrug