First things first, for those who do not know; Curse is the place to be right now. G-0 and Doril, these are the big places where a lot of major of the alliances are headed. Whatever remains of TEST and its allies have moved there and on top of that you have both N3 elements and CFC gangs fighting it out however there remains doubt that any major political reaction will come of this. The three most significant things that could come from this are the complete destruction of TEST Alliance, TEST aligning itself completely with N3, OR…TEST even realigning itself back into the CFC fold. I strongly doubt that this would be the case but no way to be sure. A fourth option is that TEST would become a really hard-ass small gang. During the fall of Fountain, I strongly encouraged TEST leadership to head to NPC 0.0 and focus exactly on this. As an entity with a their roots in a strong forum community such as Reddit, in the same way Goons also step from their forum community, TEST definitely have a strong enough community to hold them together unlike other o.o alliances.
Their major need right now is more capable FCs; even if they align with a new coalition or a new alliance, they cannot be reliant on non TEST leadership to support them in combat. They need their own commanders and their own doctrines. Form doctrines all the way from a frig fleet, up to battleships. FORGET ABOUT CAPITALS. Pretend you don’t have them because for now all they are are expensive losses, propaganda for your enemies, and a demoralizing factor for your own troops.
Props to Boodabooda for managing TEST’s exodus from the west into Curse. When things are going bad, everyone is going to blame the leadership. It was also smart to transfer the reigns over to SkierX rather than just dump the leadership position and see who grabs it. Booda may not see TEST to the promised land (as leader anyway) but he certainly achieved one of the most important jobs of the journey, maintaining a decent amount of people in TEST and placing them in a position where they can flesh themselves out as an alliance. The CFC did the best thing they could with TEST. Up until Fountain, TEST couldn’t even walk on their own. Even now they are only just learning to crawl on their own; with decent leadership we may see TEST rise up as perhaps the only force able to even come close to challenging CFC dominance in 0.0.
Their secondary needs is a competent and good diplomacy, and let’s face it, TEST doesn’t have many allies around them. Right next to Curse you have Nulli and Against ALL Authorities, both of whom have more than enough reason to dislike TEST. Now that he tables have shifted, TEST has no sov, AAA and Nulli both do and it will take some skillful diplomacy to make anything happen. It may be smart to take a page out of Goon history. When Goons were kicked to the curb they aligned themselves with Red Alliance and formed “Red Swarm.” In the same manner, TEST could find a hated but hard to kill Russian group to align itself with until they find their footing. When you combine TEST’s numbers and ties to Reddit with the vindictive Russian nationalistic animosity and their ghostly memory of soviet doctrine, you could go quite far.
Another option is also to pull in the FW Redditors that aligned with the CFC during the Fountain war for some reason. Being in FW their leadership was obviously inexperienced when dealing with 0.0 politics. All the Goons had to do is whisper sweet nothings into their ears about what they could do in 0.0 if aligning with the CFC and they folded like a rusty lawn chair in a hurricane storm. Unfortunately for them, it was simply a propaganda piece. The Goons used them to strike at very heart of TEST, Reddit.
What is important however is that TEST grows culturally. Goons were at the “we are shit and we don’t care, we’ll throw waves of ships at you and die no problem” stage too at one point; But eventually they grew into more. They still allow that sort of ass-hattery, but when the time comes and it really matters, they are extremely organized, they have competent FCs and goal oriented campaigns. TEST can no longer just be shit and be ok with it because eventually people get tired of that. TEST needs to mature and grow as a culture.
But going back to AAA…damn well done. My hats really are off, all of them. They lost all their sov, all their allies, everything. They retreated to NPC regions Curse and Stain, lost a significant amount of their members, yet the core remained, it remade allies, rebuilt, and retook much of their old holdings in Catch, and their war with CVA/Provi Bloc is advancing. But they cannot afford to be arrogant yet. They are still in a very unstable position. A strong wind from any of the larger coalition could simply resend everyone back to Stain even more demoralized than from the previous war. They need to structure their coalition with defined roles and goals. They need to define themselves strongly as a “east European bloc” without alienating westerners. Nationalism is a very strong holding element for Eve alliances, but if too extreme, can relegate you simply to being annoying in some NPC region like Stain.
Solar is a very good possible ally. Unfortunately there may be too much drama and history. Between issues that happened with Gypsy band, Russian back stabbing and rivalries; so on and so forth. The south may remain a simple patch work of semi nationalist alliances rather than reach its potential to be a capable and strong 0.0 coalition. Like the Double Headed Eagle on the Russian Flag, this new coalition would do best to look both West and East. Solar can deal with the CFC and may even be able to acquire both Querious and Period Basis, while AAA could use diplomacy to ward off any possible threat from N3. All this remains to be seen depending on what they decide to do. You also have the issue of NCdot’s renting alliance, Northern Associates, holding large portions of southern territory which could be used by the Neo Stain Coalition for renting out. The pessimist in me however says that Solar and AAA will distrust each other and DD + Stain allies will simply be happy with what they have now, and the southern region will simply be a buffer region for the CFC and N3 coalitions.
On the CFC side, what can be said? They own half of the map more or less. The time to conquer is really over. How much more can an Empire hold before it crumbles under its own weight. I have to commend their choice of handing over a portion of Fountain to FA. Their presence there works in two ways. For one, they add insult to injury toward TEST and act as a sort of an added bait. If TEST ever does come back, FA as the hated party within the CFC will be a potent propaganda tool. On the flip side, FA will fight extremely well to hold this new territory just to piss off TEST more so than ever.
On the other hand I have to wonder why FA’s old territory was taken from them. It’s a bit of a rhetorical question really. The answer is the Goons will only keep their “equal” partners strong sweet enough to secure loyalty. TEST were already one scary challenge to their hegemony… at least until TEST saw that their supposed allies were not going to stay and actually put up a determined fight, Anyway we hear rumblings about a possible CFC strike on N3 territory.
The CFC could strike could come from the north and depending on how the wind blows for PL, that fight could be happening in their rental systems or NCdots. If the fights don’t go spectacularly well for the CFC however, they could see their own rental zone in Vale of the Silent, become the battlefield for said war. The other option is to advance through the south, first by co opting Solar as allies; potentially through offering them Period Basis, and then in turn working with the Neo StainWagon/AAA by offering them NCdot’s rental systems there. The idea isn’t to take more territory for the CFC, but rather to ensure your potential threats, never get enough strength to challenge your hegemony.
Lastly, N3′s movements have been worth following as well. They’ve been hitting Razor’s assets while also dropping some T3 fleets on AAA/DD in Catch. Politically it may be wiser to ally up with the southern Russians before the CFC tries to make use of them. Everyone has their price. There was an announcement of the formation of “Northern ArmyDOT”, a concept which I wrote being quite skeptical about. Some people were upset at that and claimed I didn’t understand that it was a feeder alliance. I get the concept, it’s not a difficult one. My point is that the idea is a bad one. The examples given to me were the likes of The InitiativeDot and their feeder alliance, Init Mercs. How has that been working for them? Did you guys notice anything different in Catch in the last month or so? The other examples was PL and their waffles. Well PL is PL. Their standards of needing to have a capital ship to get in is up to them and their effectiveness does not equate to NCdots. The most useful thing about a feeder alliance is that it provides a large pool of players which you can direct at your enemy, and if they end up losing you can say “well that’s not true NCdot…that’s just our feeder corp. Didn’t want that fleet anyway.” It has more use as a scapegoat than anything else. Instead of trying to form a sister/feeder corp and maintain all that is needed to do that, one could simply allow said corps to join up with NCdot and if they prove competent keep them. But I guess the idea is to keep your KB efficiency high because that’s super important or something. When you lose your sov you can still point to the KB. I’m not being cute here, it really is a popular excuse.
Now we take all of that, and prepare for the coming winter. (cue meme pics)
- Seraph IX Basarab.