As some of the readers may be aware, recently there was a major conflict in the South; some would say that the conflict is not over and that it is merely at a different stage. Nevertheless, the conflict has subdued to scuffles and fights of opportunity. In some cases, the fights are staged, but the territorial conquest is mostly complete. I am not going to label or give the two forces a name because names are easily misconstrued as positive or negative; for the purpose of this introduction, they will be the defenders and aggressors.
The fight occurred between two coalitions of opportunity, and each wanted something from the southern area of Eve. The initial fighting took place in the region of Catch which is unique in Eve because it is like a central hub for the south; Catch borders with seven other regions (one of which is low-sec). Conquering Catch was a critical beachhead into the entire south of EVE, and most of the war was in this region. One coalition consisted of the occupiers that had the territory whom we can call the defenders; these were a loose group of alliances that are predominantly Russian but were supported by a dedicated group of renters and friends. This incumbent occupying force was joined by the “goons” who lead a coalition called the Imperium.
The offenders were an equally loose but even more diverse collection of alliances that saw opportunity in the southern territory and had weighed the risks of joining former enemies as acceptable. Propaganda from both sides was intense, narratives spun, some hatred was seeded, and fights were had. It is at this point that I wish to introduce a summary from the attacking force’s perspective. The author that wrote the following summary is JackWatts from Fidelas Constans and the tone, as well as the interpretation, are from a Phoenix Federation perspective. This summary was written for his alliance’s consumption, but enough effort had been put into it that we thought it would be a good idea to publish here. We have his permission to publish without edits:
Introduction and Background
Some of you probably remember that we were gearing up for a war with StainWagon for quite some time but it never really materialized. Initially, we were expecting to be invaded and not the other way around, but StainWagon kept putting it off as they were waiting (and hoping) goons would deploy in force to help them. However, an interesting opportunity presented itself when CO2 got evicted from their home in the north.
It shouldn’t come as a surprise that the idea of replacing StainWagon with CO2 and TEST was mentioned long before the two groups actually announced their evacuation from the north. We had the foresight to see that if they would be looking for a home coming down south was their best option. We didn’t want them to be invading us so helping them evict our neighbor was by far our best bet.
This war was actually set in stone after a certain SkyTeam meeting in the dead of night. (Seriously I am not just dramatic it was really late for me) Alex just came from a meeting with CO2+TEST’s leadership, and he explained what was discussed. What followed was a long session of planning. That night was the first time when building and anchoring a Keepstar was seriously considered as something possible and not just a pipe dream. (Yes we’re talking long before the war was even announced)
During that meeting our goals had been clearly outlined for the war:
1. Eliminate StainWagon.
2. Establish good relations with our future neighbors.
3. Train our new batch of FC’s by throwing them into the war as well as getting some much-needed experience for some of our older ones.
4. Deploying our capital fleet as much as possible to both gain some experience for our capital pilots and to attract new members to the capital group.
5. Test all coalition members in a real war.
6. Retake our moons in Feythabolis.
7. If all went well and our losses weren’t too heavy anchor a Keepstar towards the end of the war. (Our initial Projection was late February at the earliest, but the war progressed much faster)
We initially planned for a war that could last until the end of spring as we expected much heavier resistance. As it turned out, we were pessimistic, but it’s better to be prepared for the worst.Participants in the war
Stainwagon (Soviet Union, Triple A, Coven, V0LT and ah who cares they’re done…)
Goonswarm + allies – there to “defend” their friends and see to their own interests
CVA – “3rd partied” a few times to help them
TEST + CO2 – looking for a new home
WALKA (Drone Walkers) – decided to follow CO2+TEST down south knowing they had no friends in the north
MC – hired by TEST
DV/TIKLE – were already fighting SW over space in catch
NC – bored and looking for content came and helped out in a few major battles like f4r and v-3
Vanguard – as always looking for content and already wanted to destroy V0LT and SW
LUMPY – looking for content and no friend of V0LT or SW anyway
GEMICO (X.I.X. etc.) – They were looking for a good shot at annihilating SW for a long time now.
SOLAR – interested in defending their renters in Fey and so on.
Phoenix Fed – you already know all about it.
Start of the War and the first week
The war started with the clear objective of attempting to headshot V-3 during the first week and to secure certain critical systems that would help CO2+TEST with logistics later down the line.
TRI was neut up until the point they forward staged out of 36N when they knew they had to set people temporary blue as they were in the middle of catch.Second and Third Week
The second week started off pretty strong with us both defending the V-3 i-hub and continuing to take system after system. We were both hitting the V-3 constellation and V0LT sov in northern catch with several timers being considered priorities.
Several interesting things happened. One of them was a V0LT corp going rogue and selling TEST and TRI some citadels in Catch. One of them being the Fortizar in 36N in which TRI immediately moved into.
Fights happened throughout all time zones. AU saw daily fleets to hit sov and help defend TIKLE/DV assets. In the end, the distance from our stagings to TIKLE/DV held space made assisting them difficult (not to mention our relatively small AU presence). This led to their small group losing their sov, and although they fought quite hard, their staging fortizar was reinforced into its final timer on the 10th of January.
On 11 Jan around 02:00 EVE time there was a turning point in the war. A TEST Titan was caught in a bubble as it was warping to a POS in 36N without scouting first and Goonwagon rage-formed everything they had to kill it. A battle unfolded over the Titan however when goons tried to bridge a fleet in the system their titan jumped instead of bridging. Their Titan landed on the grid but managed to warp itself to a planet in an attempt to get safe. However TEST tackle and NC. immediately followed and managed to keep it in place. At this point both sides had a titan tackled. Goons dropped dreads on the TEST FAXes trying to maintain the Titan alive, and TEST dropped their own dreads to kill the goon dreads. This turned into a major brawl that Goonwagon was losing fast. With few options left to them, they brought their entire supercapital fleet on the grid.
This changed the battle as all allied fleets warped off grid and went to kill the Goonswarm titan while TEST Capitals were left to their fate. A swarm of dictors kept the GSF supercap fleet bogged down, however, so the entire engagement ended with both sides losing a titan.
The interesting part comes afterward, however. When Goonswarm decided to retreat, they realized the way back was cyno jammed. This left their entire supercapital fleet stranded for quite some time before they managed to disable the jammer and safely extract. This immediately led to their retreat from their staging in ex6 all the way to 4-07 (The entrance to Querious from Catch). They eventually moved their entire subcap fleet back in Delve leaving only their capitals deployed in 4-07, abandoning StainWagon to their fate.
This immediately led to StainWagon announcing their retreat into the Stain region and V0LT announcing their break off from StainWagon and their move into Querious to join the QFQ (Querious Fight Club). StainWagon, however, left their battleships into v-3 to attempt and defend their Fortizars which were in their final timer.
The 18th of January saw the last major battle of the war. The final timers for the forts in V-3 were coming out, and everyone formed big. A fairly accurate report on the fight can be found here (linky). The battle ended with a decisive victory for our side and completely changed the Tempo of the war from that point.Fourth week and the deployment to AZN
Stainwagon was now broken putting forth only token resistance. This lead to CO2 flipping sov in Impass in record time and Catch was as good as done as well. Stainwagon announced they would defend Esoteria and Paragon Soul and initial progress in Feythabolis was fairly slow as well. With this in mind, the decision was made that Phoenix Federation would forward stage to speed things up. Note that this was done out of our own initiative of our allies did not request it from us. We also had another more personal objective in mind. We had 4 or 5 r64’s that we needed to retake and staging only a few jumps away from them would make the task much easier.
While we were preparing to move to AZN LUMPY announced their withdrawal from the war considering their presence no longer required (and they were right). They moved north and left their sov and citadels in catch to TIKLE and DV. TRI also started withdrawing and shortly after reset standings with all groups once more. With SW rolling over so quickly they were once more starving for content. We managed to retake all the r64’s in less than 72 hours after staging into AZN, so that left us with the relatively boring task of helping CO2+TEST take sov. This went relatively smoothly with StainWagon being unable to contest our numbers.
Activity out of AZN died down fairly quickly, and CO2 anchored their new Keepstar in Impass without incident. This coupled with our losses during this war being somewhat small lead to us going forth with our a plan to anchor our own Keepstar and setting the final date on the 13th of February (Much faster than initially projected). This basically signaled the end of the war. We didn’t announce the move out of AZN right away just in case we needed to help our allies further and because we were hoping the anchoring of the keepstar would go unnoticed if there were less activity around XVV. Once the Keepstar was anchored, we started moving into our new staging in 4-GB and standings started being reset with several groups as announced at the beginning of the war.
The war was a major success for Phoenix Federation as a whole.
The primary objective of eliminating Stainwagon was accomplished, and we also managed to secure all our secondary objectives (with an added bonus as well):
1. Several FCs managed to gain much-needed experience: We promoted several FC’s.
2. Our assets in Fey were secured.
3. We have succeeded in anchoring a Keepstar.
4. An unexpected bonus was that Lords of Worlds Alliance (LORDE) received a constellation in Catch for their efforts in the war thus being our newest full member of PF.
5. All member alliances surpassed the minimum participation requirements.
An EVE Online veteran who has lived in WH’s and Null-Sec for most of his Eve career; performed most roles one can attribute in a null-sec alliance and corp and done most PVE/PVP things one can do and still plays every day. Currently, a member of FCON who loves the EVE community and has found a fun outlet in writing for it.