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Disclaimer: The author of this piece is a member of the Triumvirate. alliance

On the 14th of May, Stainwagon declared war on the Vanguard Coalition citing recent Vanguard aggressive actions in their buffer regions of Immensea and Tenerifis as justification for war. Immediately following this announcement on the Stainwagon forums a Stainwagon Cerberus gang interrupted the entosis operations of Stella Nova in southern Detorid and proceeded to reinforce vast swathes of the north of that region. Several hours later a post appeared on the Vanguard forums signalling that war with Stainwagon had indeed come. Many have seen this war as an inevitability following the Drone Region Federation’s conquest of the South-East from the Red Menace Coalition at the end of last year where Stainwagon lent significant support to RMC in an attempt to prevent DRF from further expanding their influence down the east side of the map.

Who are the participants in this war?

Stainwagon space in the South

Attackers: Stainwagon [SW]

Stainwagon is the oldest surviving coalition in the game and for the vast majority of the last 10 years, they have held influence and sovereignty over most of the south. Over the years the alliance composition of Stainwagon has changed, though a core group of corporations and pilots who’ve been with Stainwagon since it’s inception remains. Aside from a series of large brawls with Gentlemen’s Club in the summer of 2015, Stainwagon has not been in a major war since their reclamation of the south in early 2015 against Nulli Secunda. This has allowed Stainwagon to build up a strong set of doctrines and a large war-chest, meaning that while they may be outnumbered in this war they’ll certainly be able to fight on near-even footing. This lull in large scale PvP activity would have undoubtedly dulled other coalitions’ PvP edge. However, the Stainwagon alliances have kept themselves sharp by participating in World War Bee ranging from siding with MBC (INFAMOUS) to siding with CFC (Soviet Union.). It should be noted that while The Afterlife. is aligned with Stainwagon they are not currently a full member of Stainwagon and so are unlikely to offer significant assistance in this offensive campaign.

Stainwagon is a primarily Russian coalition with alliances such as Soviet-Union and FEDERATION OF INDEPENDENT STELLAR SYSTEMS making up the bulk of their RUTZ numbers. Stainwagon also has a Polish regiment in C0VEN and a USTZ presence through I N F A M O U S. All told, Stainwagon counts approximately 13,000 active pilots ready to fight.

Stainwagon has announced their forward staging position of Y-N in Immensea, and the various alliances comprising Stainwagon have begun deploying. So far, only Soviet Union and INFAMOUS have deployed in good numbers.

DRF Space in the East

Defenders: The Drone Regions Federation [DRF]

The Drone Regions Federation is a coalition made up of coalitions. Within the DRF there are 4 distinctive groups, each with their own culture, fleet compositions and varying degrees of PvP prowess.

At the heart of this conflict is the Vanguard Coalition, numbering approximately 3400. Led by Triumvirate. and including fellow EU/US members such as IT’S ONLY PIXELS, Stella Nova and Hell’s Pirates, the Vanguard Coalition is probably the strongest arm of the DRF coalition. Based out of the southern regions of the Drone lands and the S-East, the Vanguard Coalition has seen rapid growth since its inception in the summer of 2015 following TRI’s sort-of-successful war against XiX.

The second coalition in the DRF is the Geminate Coalition [GemiCo] led by Legion of xXDEATHXx and includes primarily fellow Russian alliances such as Infinity Space and Hard Alliance. GemiCo has a significant EUTZ presence in Advent of Fate, Invictum and ROC.. GemiCo is based around the Geminate region, though the vast majority of the Drone Lands are owned and rented out by XiX.

GemiCo have recently been engaged in a small series of skirmishes in Vale of the Silent against Test Alliance Please Ignore over Infinity Space. claims in the east of the region. Because of this conflict it is yet unknown just how much GemiCo will be able to commit to the aid of the Vanguard coalition.

The 3rd major powerbloc in the DRF is the Solar Fleet and Co. coalition. This is comprised of Solar Fleet, their training alliance; Solar Wing., and the P-A-T-R-I-O-T-S alliance. Solar own, and rent out, the region of Outer Passage which they gained following their assistance to TRI in the TRI vs. XiX war. Solar also own large parts of the Insmother and Detorid regions, which they seized from RMC during the Vanguard vs. RMC war.

The final part of the DRF coalition is the Drone Walkers bloc. This part is complicated, controversial and changing daily so this information may be slightly outdated. During the initial phases of WWB, several of the alliances that live in the more remote regions of the Drone Lands decided to band together and participate. Led by Alternate Allegiance and InPanic, this coalition includes members such as Just A Game., Requiem Eternal and Bloodline. This coalition had decent coverage in all 4 of Eve’s TZs. Following their complete conquest of Tenal from the CFC, drama broke out when XiX demanded moons from the Drone Walkers.

Several members of the Drone Walkers declared independence from XiX and began reinforcing vast swathes of Oasa, Perrigen Falls and Cobalt Edge. Other members quickly pledged allegiance to XiX, leading to a fractured Drone Walkers once more; one who could not feasibly stand up to GemiCo/Solar and so the Drone Walkers were forcibly evicted from the Drone Lands and now reside in Tenal still waging a guerrilla campaign against XiX/Solar and other residents of the northern/central parts of the Drone Lands with little success.

Despite being engaged in a small civil war, the Drone Regions Federation numbers north of 22,000 and is capable of bringing well over 500 pilots to bear.

Potential participants:

Red Menace Coalition

Despite settling in Period Basis and enjoying a small war with Delve Core inhabitants, it is not hard to imagine RMC, especially Red Alliance, wanting to assist Stainwagon in hacking the south east off of Vanguard. Insmother holds immense spiritual value to RA pilots and undoubtedly many pilots in RMC still have assets in Insmother that they were unable to extract before they previously lost the region.

No one in the Red Menace Coalition has yet to announce any planned deployments with Stainwagon; they’re not even blue with each other right now. However, many would not be surprised to see RMC enter the war on Stainwagon’s side at some point, especially if Stainwagon find themselves on their heels and in need of help.

Fidelas Constans

On the 12th of May, FCON surrendered to Triumvirate. after a 6 day war. The war was allegedly triggered due to a drunk FC who began to bash a Vanguard POS in recently-conquered FCON space. FCON quickly found themselves outnumbered and outgunned and surrendered to Vanguard, ceding a NIP between the coalitions along with the transfer of some isk.

FCON have begun to focus on consolidating their space and building up their own coalition in the regions of Immensea and Tenerifis. Some scuttlebutt out there has speculated that FCON might break their NIP with Vanguard and assist Stainwagon in the destruction of their very recent foe. FCON have a reputation as a very honourable alliance though, going so far as refusing to participate in the ‘Burn Jita’ campaigns of their previous masters, so the likelihood of them breaking their word is slim.

Pandemic Legion/Northern Coalition.

The infamous ‘3rd partiers’ of Null-sec may very well participate in this conflict. Both Pandemic Legion [PL] and Northern Coalition. [NC] sold the Drone Lands to XiX in 2014, have taken mercenary contracts for XiX in the past and in general have been known to come through WHs to assist XiX during pitched-battles.

Both Pandemic Legion and Northern Coalition. are 2 of the pillars of the Money Badger Coalition, with NC. taking a slice of the Deklein pie for themselves, and so it is unlikely that they will take contracts to assist XiX. Should Stainwagon capital kills be available though, the 2 groups may very well appear on the battlefield to assist DRF.

What triggered the war?

While the exact cause of the war remains unclear due to differing opinions and statements, in general Stainwagon have blamed Vanguard’s recent victory over FCON as disrupting their buffer zone safety thus bringing potential danger to the core regions of Stainwagon. Even if Vanguard and FCON had never gone to war it is likely Vanguard/DRF and Stainwagon would have clashed heads eventually as the 2 coalitions have been slowly creeping in the other’s direction for some time now.

During Vanguard’s deployment up north to assist OSS/OOS in WWB in the region of Venal, Stainwagon-aligned alliance Fortis Et Certus [FEC] seized the opportunity to claim a constellation off of SNOVA in western Detorid. FEC live with fellow Stainwagon-aligned alliance RAUMWAFFEn KOALITION [W4FF3] in Immensea so the claimed constellation in Detorid wasn’t actually used. Some have speculated that this constellation was seized in order to bait Vanguard into attacking FEC (and thus Stainwagon,) providing Stainwagon with a morale-raising casus belli.

Both sides participated in WWB and have returned in recent weeks, so it is likely that a need for content to keep their PvP pilots active also played a part in the motivation for war. With the collapse of the CFC, 2 blue donuts now encompass the entire eastern side of Eve so it was inevitable that the 2 sides’ PvP pilots would seek content from the other eventually.

The war so far

Immediately following the declaration of war, Stainwagon reinforced vast swathes of northern Detorid with a large Cerberus fleet. They did this unopposed, though later that evening Vanguard responded in kind by reinforcing Y-N4EF, which is the system Stainwagon is using as their staging point for this war. Initially Vanguard caught the local defenders; RAUMWAFFEn KOALITION, off guard, but within an hour of entosis’ing a 180-strong Stainwagon Cerberus fleet arrived. The 150 man Vanguard Tengu fleet was backed up by a 50 man Solar Fleet Cerberus fleet and together they were able to force the Stainwagon Cerberuses off the field, inflicting 7b damage and recieving 1b in return. Stainwagon conceded the field paving the way for Vanguard to reinforce many structures in the constellation.

The following day Stainwagon once again ventured into Detorid and reinforced more of Stella Nova’s sovereignty in the region. This time Stainwagon focused on reinforcing the 0-W778 station. While the 0-W station isn’t used for anything, it makes for an ideal staging location and it’s successful capture would provide Stainwagon with the means to gain a foothold in the region. As the system is relatively unused, Stainwagon was able to reinforce it before Vanguard could form up to stop them, handing the night’s strategic victory to Stainwagon. The 140-man Stainwagon Cerberus fleet soon clashed with 160 Vanguard Tengus, and though the battle was close, Vanguard was able to edge slightly ahead in isk efficiency by destroying 8b and losing 6b. Stainwagon once again conceded the field and headed home, strategic objective achieved even if they did lose the fight.

The Battle for Y-N4EF (Stainwagon staging)

With Stainwagon already well into the process of moving into this station, this was a very important timer for them to win and fortunately it came out in RUS prime time, allowing for the immense formup of 350 pilots from Stainwagon. Stainwagon chose to fly their new doctrine of Nightmares backed up by Scimitars with overflow going into a Cerberus fleet. Vanguard opted for a 180-strong Tengu fleet with a dedicated entosis/entosis-hunter squadron to aid in seizing the station. Vanguard was backed up by a 150 man GemiCo Machariel fleet and a 100 man Solar Cerberus fleet. This was the first big timer of the war, so all sides were hyped up for what was set to be a grand battle. While the number disparity (350 vs. 450) may seem alarming, it should be noted that Stainwagon is still in the process of deploying; it is likely we will see their numbers rise in coming battles.

The battle was a fairly straightforward affair, with Stainwagon setting up on the U79- gate in W4E at their optimal range. DRF decided to jump into Stainwagon, allowing the Machariels to uncloak first in order to soak damage as they were the beefiest ship in the DRF’s arsenal. As blows were exchanged it quickly became apparent that the Nightmares were unable to hold up against the alpha of Railgus/Machariels. Despite this, Stainwagon decided to stay on field and attempted to kite out of range of DRF. Thanks to the Nightmare’s AB hull bonus they were able to outrun the Machariel/Tengu fleets which may have given them a significant advantage if it were not for the Solar Cerberuses who kept warping onto Stainwagon’s logistic wings, popping ships whose wrecks provided plenty of tactical warp-ins for Vanguard/GemiCo. The shear alpha of the Nightmares allowed them to volley through several Tengus. Fighting at 100km, the Nightmares had difficulties tracking the Tengus while the Tengus were able to hit the Nightmares just fine. After several excellent void bombing runs from Geminate Coalition, Stainwagon eventually withdrew from the field, sustaining heavy losses in the process.

As Stainwagon rushed to dock back up in the safety of Y-N, DRF forces gave chase. Stainwagon was able to dock up safely with the remainder of their fleet, saving them for another day. While the DRF forces had been focused on the fight, Stainwagon forces had been running defensive entosis nodes and were quickly approaching a strategic victory. Vanguard quickly tried to bring in entosis carriers and FAXes but were dismayed to discover that the entire constellation had been cynojammed during the fight. The few entosis ships Vanguard had brought with them attempted to stop the station from being saved by Stainwagon but good work by an INFAMOUS Cerberus fleet prevented the Vanguard subcap entosis’ers from succeeding. By time Vanguard had jumped in capitals just outside the constellation and escorted them in, it was too late and the station was saved. Vanguard decided to destroy the Stainwagon IHUB and plant one of their own as their subcap fleet went around incapping the cynojammers and reinforcing the POSes. It was said that Stainwagon chose not to undock again and contest Vanguard’s entosis’ing because they ran out of Nightmares and thus had to wait on in-station build orders to complete. With the IHUB destroyed, the station saved and over 90b isk destroyed in the course of a few hours, both sides have the right to claim victory. Stainwagon however were the real victors of the evening as if the station had been freeported then their invasion of Vanguard space would have come to a grinding halt. The following evening Vanguard returned to the system and put the Y-N station into reinforced mode unopposed.

Just after downtime on the 18th of May, the O5Q7-U station in Detorid belonging to Vanguard alliance ‘IT’s ONLY PIXELS’ came out of reinforced. The station is the closest owned Vanguard station to Immensea, out of which Stainwagon are now basing, so its strategic value is significant. Despite being in AUTZ on a weekday both Stainwagon and Vanguard (with assistance from Solar Fleet) were able to form up 70-strong fleets in Nightmares and Tengus/Svipuls respectively. Vanguard arrived early and set up defensively on the FR46-E gate in SAI-T9. Stainwagon decided to jump their Nightmare fleet into Vanguard, beginning the fight. Initially, very few ships on either side were breaking, with the exception of a pair Nightmares that decloaked too soon, as the two fleets pulled range on one another. Over time it became apparent that the Tengu fleet was becoming dominant as the Nightmares and Scimitars began to break while the Tengus were able to withstand the Nightmare damage thanks to a trio of FAXes Vanguard had brought with them. This fight was an excellent showcase of just how powerful the new capital ships are and how strong the new carriers are too. Vanguard brought with them 3 carriers and 3 FAXes and they undoubtedly turned what should have been a Stainwagon victory into a crushing defeat. The fight didn’t last very long and despite attempting to extract their fleet, the majority of the Stainwagon Nightmares succumbed to enemy fire resulting in a 15b loss for Stainwagon while Vanguard only suffered 3b.

  • Thanks go to Garst Tyrell (TRI) and myxa cyk (Soviet-Union) for their help in the making of this article.