Pandemic Legion propaganda chief and CSM7 delegate brings us his (often controversial) regional updates. Buckle your seatbelt Dorothy, ’cause the Land of Drones is going bye-bye.
Regional Update: March 2013 – Swinging in the Dronelands
That content really builds, you know?
In January SOLAR pets were fractured by PL, taking away a significant meatshield for SOLAR CTAs and shifting the balance firmly into N3’s favor. Additionally, SOLAR had poor showings on every high-profile fight and as a direct result lost three consecutive staging systems. The backward slide persisted through the first three weeks of February, with CSAA’s falling, logistical networks pillaged, and continued inroads carved into Cache. Still, there are a few perks to holding more sovereignty than anyone else; while SOLAR phoned it in for two months they still had nearly three hundred systems to their name – not counting the three regions controlled by their pets. SOLAR had been utilizing their massive space buffer better than most, putting N3’s will and stamina to the test while regrouping for a counterattack.
At the end of February SOLAR decided to take action in U93, one of the six stations in Cache still under their control. Under protection of a jammer, SOLAR formed a full Loki fleet, 50 Slowcats, 20 Blap-dreads, 70 bombers, and 250 BCs. Noticing that their allies were going for a full show-of-force, FAZOR brought 50 Caracals. It was SOLAR & Co’s strongest showing for any timer in 2013, and it took place mid-week for a relatively inconsequential system. Not one to back down from a challenge, N3 decided to test the waters and see just how committed SOLAR were to fighting and jumped into the ominous fleet. The hope was to take the fight to the cynojammer and force SOLAR to make a careless mistake. The waters proved to be sufficiently shark infested, though, so N3 – unable to break off the gate – were forced to disengage and run to the hills. SOLAR saved the system and by all accounts seemed to be out of their two-month long slump. The DRC, SOLARs pets, even reveled in the win and convinced their members to have hope.
Though U93 was an inspired performance, the rest of the week saw much of the same out of SOLAR. N3 continued to pressure SOLAR systems and logistical networks with no response. When N3 hit U93 again, SOLAR sounded the drums of war and were determined to make a repeat performance. Three hours before the timer, SOLAR began to secure the system with a similar force: full Loki fleet, full BC fleet, a bevy of bombers, Slowcats, and Blap-dreads. To keep options open, SOLAR also brought in a 50-man Supercap fleet and parked them at a POS. FAZOR called their first official ~Stratop~ for the timer and amassed a 190-man AHAC gang to augment SOLARs force. After sowing the seed of 0wn and feeding the Russian hubris machine the week prior, N3 decided to make a proper showing for this timer and harvest the crop.
To prepare for the fight, or at least to further test SOLAR’s fortitude, N3 logged 25 Supercarriers and 3 Triage in system the night before. The main N3 fleet was comprised of Lokis, augmented with MJD Rokhs and Abaddons. As FAZOR’s AHAC fleet was set to depart to meet up with SOLAR, Pandemic Legionintercepted with an AHAC fleet of their own and ruined any chance FAZOR had of meeting up with the SOLAR force. With backup delayed, N3 jumped into U93 and kicked off the fight properly. Unwavering, N3 immediately called SOLAR’s bluff and logged in the 25 super-capitals to take down the jammer. Although SOLAR had 50 Supers, 60 Carriers and 30 Dreads, they were clearly not ready for the bold maneuver. You have to risk it to get the biscuit in these matters and N3 were ready to feast all over SOLAR’s proverbial biscuits.
It was no easy task: N3 desperately needed to keep the much larger SOLAR capital fleet at bay and began frantically bubbling the jammer and as many SOLAR capitals as they could. While this was going on, mirror Loki fleets were slugging it out and SOLAR blap-dreads and Slowcats were marginalized by N3 BS’s MJD’ing to the edge of their range. While SOLAR had more numbers, N3 had the more cohesive fleet composition and the better coordination. N3’s plan was both bold and meticulously executed; the jammer fell and the hammer dropped impetuously. N3’s capital and supercapital fleet poured into system and dismantled every last bit of the SOLAR fleets. At the end of fighting, SOLAR found themselves on the receiving end of a 300 billion ISK spanking: FAZOR’s AHAC fleet was annihilated, most of the Lokis were lost, the Slowcats reduced to wreckage, and the blap-dreads demolished.
The Great Collapse
It was to be a week full of setbacks for SOLAR. BCA – now the only alliance left in the DRC – decided to smugly announce that they were going to hold all their space and fend off the ~Pandemic Legionincursion~. Although the DRC had been gutted of all vaguely competent leadership several times over, Renarri and Sullen Arise reassured members that help was on the way and that “losing a single system doesn’t matter.” The plan of action, they explained, was simply to “figure out how much space we’ll have to grind back after Pandemic Legionare gone”. To keep BCA honest, Pandemic Legionmoved into Kalevala and began reinforcing Malpais. Less than twelve hours later BCA capitulated, handing over all stations and sovereignty structures in Malpais and Kalevala for standings to evacuate. All this less than one week after Ethereal Dawn pulled the same stunt in Etherium Reach. In total 272 systems flipped without effort, undercutting any hopes SOLAR had of biding their time with the DCA meatshield.
Now that N3 has finished securing Kalevala, Malpais, and Etherium, they have moved all assets into Kalevala. SOLAR still have a very healthy buffer, but it is now about half of what it was last week; the onus is officially on them to stop the hemorrhage of space. SOLAR are historically tenacious, though, so they will thoroughly test N3 and make them earn every system. Darkness of Despair have promised to support SOLAR, though now that SOLAR are pushed so far into drones DD would have to make a concerted effort to help. Perhaps with fighting moving ever closer to CFC space the CFC may get interested – at least more than the inept support FAZOR have given. The CFC has a vested interest in both keeping a semi-friendly relationship with SOLAR and having a competent buffer between N3 and CFC. Either way, counting SOLAR out would be a grave misjudgment on N3’s part.
War is still ongoing in Drones, and will likely continue until summer.
- Elise Randolph