Pandemic Legion propaganda chief and CSM7 delegate brings us his (often controversial) views on the current delve situation.
Elise Randolph: Regional Update – SoCo Failure & The Fall of Delve
Regional Update: SoCo Failure & The Fall of Delve
Well that escalated quickly~
After this weekend all of Delve and a third of Querious will have fallen, a situation very far removed from two months ago. That begs the question, how did this happen? The factors leading up to this conflict are far reaching, so let us quickly turn back the clock and look at the situations a bit deeper. Before Delve was a theatre of war, -A-, SOLAR, and Nulli (Southern Coalition) were embroiled with Legion of xDeath and RA in Immensea and the Drone Regions. After prolonged fighting, the war eventually ended when RA abonded their allies and capitulated to the Southern Coalition, sealing a victory for SoCo. The deal struck between the two parties ensured that RA would receive blue standings with SoCo, they would be allowed to evacuate all assets, and additionally RA would be given Delve and Querious to live in and rebuild. Nulli Secunda,- an ally of -A- and member of SoCo who had fought RA quite substantially for six months, were not too keen on this deal since it would plant RA in the space Nulli hoped to grow into. It would seem -A- promised the same region to two allies, and given the history between RA and Nulli there was no diplomatic solution in sight; both sides felt they earned Delve, and both sides felt entitled to it. -A- could not stop the fight, but they were able to dictate the terms of the fight. Since each alliance had another “home region”, -A- insisted that fighting between the two allies would have to stay in Delve; the loser would always have clemency in their home region. As such RA were assured that their Querious assets would never be molested, and Nulli were promised their assets in Period Basis would remain untouched. And thus the fight for Delve between RA and Nulli – two SoCo members – commenced.
While the Nulli fleet comms and numbers were far superior, the combination of Nulli inexperience in waging war and RA tenacity allowed RA to hold their own. To win fights, RA would brazenly deploy tracking Titans and Carriers to bail them out of sticky situations – an area that Nulli refused to counter with their own Capital fleet. The bold use of Titans caught the eye of Pandemic Legion who were intent to capitalize on RA sloppiness. As such, The Legion announced a super-cap free move to Delve. Within 36 hours of their arrival, PL had killed ~10 Nulli Dreads, two RA Titans, and two RA Nyxes. Exasperated, frustrated, and burned out, RA decided to throw in the towel and moved to Querious. Nulli celebrated, congratulated themselves, and began to lay siege to Delve. Pandemic Legion, however, had no intentions on letting Delve change hands without a blood payment. Nulli, with their allies HUNs, VCruz, et al, still had a significant numerical advantage through most time zones. Still, PL were able to take the lion’s share of the fights and Delve territory never changed hands. Test Alliance, seeing the fighting in Delve, decided to rekindle their bromace with PL and deployed a small contingent to Delve to fly along with PL and soak up the good fights. Combined with Test, PL were able to take on more fights and quickly bridged the numbers gap that Nulli had. While PL and Test had no inclinations for space in Delve, Nulli were annoyed by their presence and sought to overcome it.
After failing in their attempts to simply wait Test and PL out, Nulli began to look at their options. Pleading for -A- for support, -A- brokered a deal between Nulli and RA and suggested that the two embattled allies work together to push PL & Test out of the way. Nulli leadership, feeling they had no other options, gave up on their territorial aspirations for Delve and agreed to split Delve evenly with RA and run joint fleets until PL & Test left. And thus the unlikeliest of allies began to work together and sent the message to TEST & PL that “good fights are over”. The plan backfired as PL & Test stepped up their involvement and began to threaten sov in Delve.
Around the same -A- deployed to Black Rise low-sec in an effort to both pull PL away from Delve and roam around CFC space. -A- forces began by reinforcing a pair of PL Tech moons in low-sec to coax a response from PL. -A- managed to successfully capture a PL Tech tower for 17 hours, but that would be the extent of their success. With help from both CFC and NCdot (though generally not at the same time), PL were able to thwart the -A- advances and hold their towers. Coming up against a brick wall in Black Rise, -A- leadership tried a diplomatic play and threatened NCdot to not intervene, while also promising CFC alliances PL Tech in Venal for their help. The CFC alliances scoffed at the -A- offer and NCdot massacred two -A- Dread fleets in as many days. With the Black Rise deployment falling flat on its face, -A- deployed back to Catch with noses sufficiently bloodied.
While backdoor efforts may have failed, the combination of -A-, Nulli, and RA proved to be quite the power in Delve. The 600-man fleets massively overshadowed the 250 man PL & Test fleet and the latter were forced into a harassment role – a role PL is very comfortable in. -A-, Nulli, and RA were able to save their space from all of the PL & Test advances, but the smallest of the three fleets (generally RA) found itself on the receiving end of a PL & Test drop. -A- and Nulli were content to save their space and lose an RA fleet in the process, so the cycle continued. Riding high on swagger, -A- set to stop the PL & Test advances once and for all and called in more SoCo support to save two final station timers. Calling allies from far and wide proved to be quite the detriment, however, as PL & Test called in their own support for what seemed to be the makings of a proper brawl. 600 SoCo were met by 700 CFC, PL, Test, and Ev0ke. Angered that they were one-upped, -A- called for all available SoCo entities to move to C3N – Nulli’s home system in Delve. Every SoCo alliance, bar SOLAR, Gypsy, and their associated allies, moved to C3N. -A- decided to one-up on PL and brashly called in support from former PL bros, and former -A- enemies, Raiden and Iniative. The combination of SoCo, Raiden, and Initiative meant that this new bloc would be able to field near 1000 with a bona fide SC presence. CFC, noticing this escalation and the mounting forces on their border, treated the buildup as a threat and announced a full deployment for all of CFC to Delve.
The preamble to the Delve Jam may be a bit lengthy, but a complete picture is necessary to understand how two major power blocs could be brought to war in Summer – a period of historic apathy. -A- had the last laugh with Raiden and Init falling to their side, but The Legion is not one to turn their backs when the gauntlet is thrown. While CFC were making plans on where to base their assault from, SoCo repositioned to Delve to mount their defense of the region. With the lull in combat, PL struck when the iron was most hot and played a card that SoCo did not expect. Utilizing a high-level RA operative, The Legion pulled a bloodless headshot and turned off sov in 9CG – RA’s home system – and flipped the station to PL control. Along with flipping the station, the PL operative stole the RA ship replacement fund and a bulk of the corporations assets, amounting to ~200 billion. SoCo were sent reeling and haphazardly formed to secure 9CG. The window stayed open for a mere 2 hours, however, before Test & PL were able to re-capture 9CG and hold it down. RA now had no home, no ship replacement fund, and the bulk of their members had all their assets locked down in a system they could not access. A week earlier the CFC, repaying an old debt to RA, offered clemency should they agree to take no part in the Delve conflict. RA leadership, far removed from the RA that worked with Goons so long ago, scoffed at the offer. After the 9CG headshot, RA leadership approached CFC hat in hand and offered to switch allegiance. Tragically for RA, the offer was no longer on the table. Crippled, RA moved what was left to 319 and began to rebuild amidst a war. -A-, now in need of allies more than ever, propped RA up and infused money into the falling giant. The surprising move by PL caught SoCo off guard and emergency contingency plans were made. All SoCo entities, including Raiden, were called to move to 319 – NPC Delve.
Having successfully stolen momentum away from SoCo, CFC & HBC (heretofore known as the DelveJam Coalition) wasted no time and began to siege Delve while harassing SoCo in 319. SoCo were forced to get the massive number of alliances whose support they had gained to work together. The DelveJam coalition had already made these arrangements. Before SoCo could settle in 319, all of Delve was in reinforced by the Delvejam Coalition. SoCo could not get a fleet off of the ground before the final IHUB reinforcement of C3N, though they did try. Drakes were traded for Lokis, Tengus and Battleships in an effort to strain the already overworked SoCo logistics. By the time of the C3N Ihub final timer, EU prime on July 4th, the SoCo war machine was ready to roll – Bombers, Alpha fleet, and two 100mn Tengu fleets. They were met by Drakes, Rokhs, Tengus, and a handful of tracking Dreads from the DelveJam Coalition. The largest fight to ever take place in the storied region was not a disappointment. DelveJam Drakes fell by the wayside, but they were quickly replaced and brought back into the fight. SoCo Tengus were effectively kiting around the battlefield, however the SoCo Battleships took the brunt of the beating and, after two hours of 10%-20% TiDi, were forced to leave the field. C3N’s IHUB was down. SoCo, however, were happy to classify the fighting as a victory. After the previous weeks’ events, not welping a T3 fleet was, in fact, a big step forward.
Building upon their perceived victory, SoCo were cocksure that C3N would be saved. While most of the Alliance assets were evacuated from C3N, SoCo leadership assured their members than C3N would be a saved. Forming again the next day, however, SoCo were met with an unfortunate reality: the previous days’ fighting took a toll on SoCo logistics and they could not replace the lost ships – some 150 Battleship hulls and support. SoCo numbers were less than halved while DelveJam numbers stayed steady. So on the day following their “victory”, SoCo were forced to watch as C3N was captured without a fight. During the day several attempts were made by SoCo to form for the onlining TCUs, but no SoCo fleet made it further than one jump away from the 319 undock. Meanwhile the rest of Delve was captured or put into final reinforce, and part of Querious and Period Basis, were put into reinforced. As of now various SoCo alliances are having alliance meetings and rattling the cages. With SoCo now on the same page and operating at full force, their defensive efforts in other regions will surely be more effective.