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Recently the Caldari – Gallente faction war zone has been in the news a bit. Prominent systems have been captured, Placid and Black Rise became the most violent lowsec regions on the daily dotlan kill ticker and there was even one multi-party fight which included super capitals. So here’s an overview of the state of the war zone in the aftermath of those recent events.

The war between Gallente and Caldari is fundamentally a clash of ideals. I tried to bridge that ideological divide and reach out across the enemy lines to get an impression how the Caldari Militia forces are faring in this time of Gallente resurgence. I got responses from a few notable figures on the Caldari side, and the following will be based as much on their input as on the things I hear from my own militia.

As a member of the Gallente Militia I find myself in an environment of constant fights, high morale and the enthusiasm born of continued success. The latter two are definitely a more recent thing.

When I joined I was warned that life in the Gallente Militia would not be easy, they were fighting with their jaws clenched and their backs against the wall. In the previous year the Caldari had gained massive ground and dominated across the warzone. If asked, many among the Gallente name two main factors as reason for that: The first would be Ev0ke joining on the Caldari side, their efforts opened the field for the Caldari Militia and inspired them to push back against almost complete warzone control that the Gallente had achieved. The second factor is the swarm of locusts which descended upon the warzone when TEST Alliance got thrown out of nullsec. Caldari Militia members will be quick to point out that TEST was never properly part of the “real” Caldari Faction War forces, there had been hope that they would contribute, but TEST mainly did their own thing it seemed.

They just validated their own shortcomings. We had high hopes for them but they did nothing to advance CalMil FW. – Scylus Black

The pilots of the Gallente alliances acknowledge this too, but sometimes sound almost nostalgic about the amounts of targets and kills TEST Alliance provided. They do point out that the sheer amount of them helped a lot to capture plexes and blob organized resistance to death.

Now, the playing field looks more level again. For the most part it is the two militias facing each other without major outside influences making themselves felt.

Farmers and Battlefields

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Every militia will accuse the opposing force of being mainly “stabbed farmers”. While the previous success of Caldari forces made the warzone attractive for gathering Caldari LP, and definitely attracted those who would mainly seek profit, the core of the militia is still comprised of dedicated PVP players. Now that the Gallente are close to achieving Tier 3 upgrades, some say that the LP farmers will switch sides to reap the rewards on the other side of the front. There’s hope that this will result in a leaner, meaner Caldari Militia of organized fighters rather than a complacent occupation force full of profiteers.

The farmers will switch soon and then Gallente will lose everything again it’s the way Factional warfare works. – Mira deVorsha

I think Galmil’s recent effective push has renewed our focus….has “integrated” us. – Ruhrig

Better cooperation between the alliances will have to play a major role there. I have experienced the Gallente Militia as a highly integrated group. Alliance leaders and FCs all across the warzone are in contact with each other and work together regularly. Pilots are encouraged to join fleets of sister alliances. There are regional and supra-regional intel channels and many avenues of communication that connect the different alliances.

The Caldari appear to be a more fractured lot. Some major alliances like Templis CALSF and Helian Conglomerate work together well. Others are more distant and some pretty much stand isolated from the rest, like Old Man Gang. Particularly Templis CALSF leader Scylus Black was not satisfied with that. Efforts were undertaken to bring the Caldari alliances closer together. The result is not yet certain though:

We are still getting to know one another however we have common respect for what we bring to the table. I do not think the other groups are even close to this. Now we have had a recent influx of returning “bitter vets” from the early FW days. The Old Guard who bailed from FW and are now back on the field looking to claim old leadership spots. Will be interesting to see how they integrate with the current teams. – Scylus Black

But these efforts already bear fruits:

It seems to me I meet and fly with more Calmil everyday and I’m having a blast doing it. We have a lot of dedicated pilots across all the various corps, alliances, coaltions, whatever you want to call them. – Ruhrig

The fractured nature of the Caldari Militia showed in the strategic choices that they recently made. The capture of Oicx, for example, happened mostly on initiative of one alliance which got support from another. There was not much of a grand plan behind it, mainly the hope to generate fights.

I was bored wanted some good PvP OICX gave us that. Templis wanted to take it so I supported them in doing so. – Mira deVorsha
Oicx goal was a means to an end. To use it as a staging area to take control of Eha. […] So it was look[ed] at as an option to flip, stage and flip Eha. Which didnt come to fruition for a number of reasons. – Scylus Black

Sandwiched between “Fortress Eha” and another activity centre of the Gallente – Vlillrier – Oicx could not be held and was soon reconquered. The Caldari did get their fights, that’s for sure.

The recent Gallente offenses, on the other hand, have been much more organized. The attacks on Enaluri and Innia, as well as the plexing of a number of other systems, were coordinated across the whole militia. Even now, new goals are given out weekly. Leaders on alliance and corp level translate those goals to best fit their own organizations and do their part for the strategic plan.

Dishonourable Third Parties

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Lowsec lacks the Machiavellian machinations of sov-null, but there is still enough politics to go around. Apart from the obvious demarcation lines between the militias, there is the broader tension field between them, the various outlaws and the odd neutral party or nullsec affiliate passing through.

The warzone around Placid and Black Rise is home and/or hunting ground for such diverse organisations as Cynosural Field Theory, Balkan Express, Dead Jesters, Snuffbox and of course the elephant in the room: Sniggwaffe. Wherever they appear, the spectre of Pandemic Legion hotdrops looms.

Things have become a bit more quiet since Brave Newbies virtually evacuated Barleguet and alliances like Outlaw Horizon, Shaktipat Revelators or SCUM have left for other regions, but there is still a delicate dance of temporary allegiances, grudging momentary pacts, mutually assured destruction and pragmatic opportunism.

Our relationship is simple, they live near us. We shoot each other sometimes they help us out same relationship as they have with everyone else. – Mira deVorsha

Sometimes even Gallente and Caldari will band together to engage a particularly powerful fleet of outlaws, and sometimes outlaws will side with either militia to harass the other. Allegiances can even change during the course of one battle as recent fights in Enaluri and Hallanen demonstrated.

Every once in a while attempts are made to form lasting alliances with third parties, but cultural differences often stand in the way. A recent attempt of the Gallente Militia to ally itself with EVE University ultimately ended in drama. The result was not just a simple reset, but actual negative standings with EVE University across a number of Gallente alliances. Cooperations with outlaws are particularly difficult and at best temporal in nature. While militias will distinguish primarily between those who are war targets and those who are not, outlaws will engage every target of opportunity, disregarding their affiliation, and so the dance continues.

Concluding my broad overview of the Caldari-Gallente warzone, I am cautiously optimistic. The situation for “our” forces is generally positive right now, and the Caldari are far from beaten down. Personally I wish them all the best for their efforts to focus their strength against the Gallente militia. To say it with a Friedrich Nietzsche quote:

You may have enemies whom you hate, but not enemies whom you despise. You must be proud of your enemy: then the success of your enemy shall be your success too.

I’m all for fighting a Caldari Militia I can be proud of.
Kamar Raimo

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