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Seraph IX Basarab: Winning the War in the South, N3 Edition

November 13, 2013

By Seraph IX Basarab

In my last article I addressed the emerging southern coalition made up of DD, AAA, Solar, Black Legion etc. Some have referred to it as RUS, others as Stainwagon or Neo-Stainwagon, myself included. Unfortunately neither name really justifies them. For example, not everyone in those groups is Russian although the Russians make up a large portion. Next, Stainwagon more accurately describes the group of Stain residence such as Coven, Stain Empire, etc. For the sake of simplicity, we’ll just use “Southern Coalition” for the time being.

Now that we have that out of the way I’d like to refer to something more important in my previous article.

I had addressed that if the CFC decides to back up the SoCo, they should be careful not to do so at the expense of SoCo’s capability or risk destabilizing the region and causing more hardships for the CFC in the long run. Instead of dog piling into Catch to fight N3, a second front should be opened in order to draw N3’s strength in different directions. N3 is definitely the more developed and organized coalition, they aren’t that far developed to leave SoCo completely behind. I had recommended that Curse and the regions surrounding it would be one of the better areas of engagement.

While the CFC has not fully mobilized against N3, they have sent fleets to augment SoCo’s numbers giving them a slight edge. Yesterday EN24 published an announcement by Red Alliance that they would be supporting SoCo by invading via Curse in effect taking the suggestion to the CFC and doing it themselves. Now don’t get me wrong, I don’t think “RA is doing this cause I published my rinky dink article” Rather, it was a fairly obvious move to anyone with a bit of strategic competence. Curse offers a perfect launching pad for RA providing stations, easy access to Empire space while also cutting off some supply links and making it difficult for N3 to reinforce logistically.

It’s difficult to say how the war would go without the CFC being involved. For me it is also difficult to give a damn because the fact of the matter is, they are involved. There’s no point about whining about how “unfair” it is anymore than whining about someone flying better implants than you. It’s also a pretty weak face saving argument for N3 yet you hear it all the time. People will form larger and larger groups to acquire their goals. It’s human nature. Accept this and DEAL WITH IT. There is no point wasting an ounce of frustration over this fact. Facts are facts. Flying cov ops I would constantly hear people whining about being “unfairly ganked” and then I would hear their explanation as to how it would not have happened that way had they done X Y and Z. But at the end of the day they were dead.

The same way the N3 membership is just going to have to accept that the CFC is not an entity that is aligned to their interests. For all intents and purposes, SoCo is more likely to be a friend in the future than the CFC. If this status quo is maintained, the east will fall to Solar and Red Alliance and it is simply a matter of time. But how did N3 get here and what can be done to avoid such a fate? I may seem harsh on N3 but the harshness really does come from a place of sugar, love and all nice things. With all the hard time I’ve been giving N3 I will say this, I LIKE N3, I really do. Not as much as I am enjoying SoCo but since they seem to be shedding their underdog status with the CFC support, and the long term relationship of those allied in the south will have a very short expiration date after the war is over, I’m finding some affection for N3. So here is what I’ll do. The same way I recommended for BL to join up with AAA and friends, (which again, they more than likely did on their own, I can’t claim to have influenced anyone,) I’ll put up a few suggestions to help N3. Of course I can only claim a limited perspective on the inner workings of the coalition.

Consolidate your power

In effect this is re-wiring the coalition to be more efficient. N3 has a lot of inconsistencies and needless redundancies in its leadership structure. You really do need a dictator. Even the Roman Republic realized this in time of war and as far as I’m concerned, if you’re playing Eve, you’re always at war. Now this is difficult to do for N3 because its alliance membership is a bit different than the CFC. N3 is composed of two dominant alliances. We could say three if we count PL but I don’t think PL would ever sign its name onto any supra entity so if it does fail, it does not “inherit” that failure.

The two remaining dominant alliances are NCdot and Nulli. Both have pros and cons to them that compliment the other. NCdot has a reputation for their capitals. They have a lot of them. They are more established but also have a longer list of bad relations. Nulli on the other hand perhaps lacks the reputation that NCdot has, in both good and bad ways, but they have a vibrant player base. I always applauded their ability to reinvent themselves after their loss of space. Whatever the case is, there needs to be a level of centralization and integration that makes these two alliances really function as one coalition. If this is done, the rest of the N3 members will follow as well.

What the Goons have done in the CFC is draw as much of the talent out of their coalition members and made the other alliances completely dependent upon them. This was a gradual progress, one that N3 does not have time for. Also some may find it “unethical.”

Make friends

Some define blobbing as being out numbered by your opponent. I define it as the natural result of the enemy establishing links with other like minded individuals to fulfill their goal. So in effect, the reason “N3 is getting blobbed” is because they allowed it to happen. Because of the issues created by NOT consolidating your power, it is difficult to have a unified and cohesive diplomatic policy that benefits the coalition as a whole. Again the move from loose confederation to co-dictatorship needs to be made.

Once that is done, N3 needs to make friends and use their diplomacy better. As far as I have heard, SoCo has failed to establish the TEST remnants as allies. But away the snobbishness and recognize them as competent allies. There once was an alliance who much like TEST, had origins on a non Eve forum. They ended up losing all their space but ended up allying with another group. That alliances was the Goons and their allies was RA. The former owns half of 0.0 and the latter also had a long reign of rule in the drone regions.

Another often over looked entity is CVA. Considering BL just blew up a bunch of CVA dreads, I’m not sure they are looking to help them at all. This may prove difficult as CVA and provibloc tend to not want to upset the status quo of their region too much. Provi will prove to be a linchpin in this conflict if taken advantage of properly. From Provi you can lock down HED-GP, Catch’s only system to Empire space. One could go further and also lock down Efa and Kaira gates in Khanid region effectively cutting off SoCo from Empire space to a large extent. Use that money you have. There’s no point hoarding it. Find pirates, mercs, pay them by the kill to camp these gates. Promise sov, isk, ships, it doesn’t really matter.

A smart tactic that the HBC adopted when they invaded AAA was to promise AAA’s renters free renting space. And you know what? It worked really well. Eventually Montolio had to break his promise due to war expenses but by that time it wasn’t like the AAA renters could go back to AAA renting space…there was none.

Last but not least I’m sure if you throw Rooks a few billion isk, they’ll focus their pipe runs more on your enemy than you.

Negotiate with SoCo

So what is the point of step 1 and 2? To get to step 3 of course. You need step 1 so that you all speak with one voice and you need step 2 to have some leverage in step 3. I just have to ask, am I the only one that finds this war completely hilarious?

If any of you are familiar with the migration period, you’ll know why. For those of you who are not as familiar, you had a period in history known as the “Barbarian Invasion/Migration Period” where you basically had group after group move east to west through Europe due to various factors such as climate, but also because other people. It sort of went like this: The Magyar tribes moved into Europe because the Pechenegs were pushing them because the Kypchak/Cumans were pushing them. Likewise Eve mimics real life.

Solar are going to war because N3 took their space, because N3 lost their sov because the CFC pushed them out of it. AAA are fighting with Nulli because the CFC/HBC pushed Nulli out of Delve and AAA out of Catch. It’s all falling dominoes. Both sides haven’t figured out that it’s all the same players but that they’ve switched chairs.

So as N3 what can you do? Do you just ask “hey swap all our sov for yours?” Probably not as it would be an unfair, and difficult trade. What N3 can do is pick and choose which of their current opponents would make better allies. If you are seriously showing up to the timers thinking “well this is a good ship doctrine, hope we win” you will lose.

So ask yourself, what do your enemies want and what can you negotiate? Solar and RA want their Drone regions back, in effect taking most if not all of N3’s sov and income. There’s no real middle ground, nor are they all that central to SoCo. They greatly bolster their numbers and capabilities but we could probably consider their flexibility to be fairly minimal.

But how far east does AAA and Dark want to go? I doubt they want to set up in the Drone regions. More than likely they would be happy simply having the territory that Red Overlord had. If giving up a couple regions in the south to AAA would mean taking AAA and Dark out of the war, wouldn’t it be worth doing? Then you would face Solar, who’d be upset at AAA/Dark naturally, who’s only option would be to attack via Curse with a weakened RA. I doubt Black Legion would care to stick around for that.

Nulli would be best to approach this sort of deal and I’ll tell you how to do it. Remind AAA that their woes are not due to anything N3 had done, but rather the CFC which pushed them out of Catch, just as they pushed Nulli out of Delve. Right there you have a common bond. Furthermore, that CFC/HBC invasion of the south happened only because Red Alliance was given Querious in a peace treaty, but that they were not content with such a deal. Here you go further to draw AAA away from their war ally, and truthfully this really is the case.

If AAA understands this, and they have regions like Omist and Tenerifis, what would be their purpose in the war? Help Solar and RA, former/possible enemies gain a bunch of regions in the east? Both of which are entities on friendly terms with the CFC who has been a historic enemy of AAA? What would be the point?

Think about it, give those regions to AAA, negotiate for a peace, plan for what Nulli REALLY wants to do and what the “purpose of N3” is. Two sides are fighting over a “wrong” a third did.

Long is the arm
Swift is the Blade
Deep is the Cut
Subtle is the poison






Seraph IX Basarab