One thing I have have enjoyed about citadels over the recent months is the opportunities that they have provided for smaller corporations and alliances. Having a place to call home that has your ‘flag’ planted on it is important. Before the release of citadels having your own home in the form of a ‘station’ was pretty much reserved for ‘sov-holding’ alliances and larger mega-corps, however, the citadel has made ‘home’ ownership affordable in all parts of New Eden. Beyond that it has also provided a fertile ground for one corp or alliance to come in and burn down someone else’s house. In high security space corporations can not ‘own the space’ as it all belongs to the Empires but citadels have become a way for these alliances and corporations to set up operations and deploy staging citadels to operate out of. When hostilities break out between these groups, usually due to one encroaching onto the other’s area of operations, they can’t take ‘sov’ so these citadels become primary targets. In alot of these actions/wars in highsec a mercenary corporation will usually be contracted by one of the parties to provide extra firepower to either defend or destroy said structures.

One such alliance, Cavemen, recently found their beloved home known as “The Cave”, a Fortizar-Class Citadel in the Solitude system of Yvelet, under siege and about to be destroyed. A series of incidents and hostile actions with United Systems of Avarice(USA) which on June the 3rd led to a final showdown over the final structure timer for “The Cave.” When it came to the actual fighting USA hired the Vendetta Mercenary Group to engage the Cavemen on their behalf. I had the opportunity to speak with Corvidae Crowfoot of Caveman on who they are and how this all went down.

So who exactly is the ‘Cavemen’:

“Cavemen. is a newbro-friendly alliance with a focus on finding fun content and staying free of political ties and staying classy with our attitude. We have an active PVP core, and live out of highsec Solitude, where every so often we assess our neighbours to see who would bring fun fights for our members.
A little way back, after we’d just got our footing, we declared war on Black Thorne Alliance and a couple of other groups, and the region responded by forming an ad-hoc coalition against us and joining in to defend, BTA, but we held firm and won all the wars without losing any structures (except POCOs) and took out a couple of highsec Raitarus, including one that was being defended by MC.”
And how did you all find yourself against the wall on a final timer for your primary base:
“We declared war on a local group called United Systems of Avarice a few weeks ago, and they responded by hiring Vendetta to destroy our highsec Fortizar and base of operations, the Cave. We met the armor timer full force last week, and destroyed 10 bil worth of ‘blingy’ Vendetta Rattlesnakes, though they won the timer and returned last night for the final structure timer.”
We made a promise to ourselves and our newbros that we wouldn’t hire anybody to help defend. We wanted to prove we could do it ourselves – if we’re fielding something we can’t defend ourselves, then we don’t feel it’s wise to rely on it at all. So we called in a few old friends and prepared hard and met the fight – and won, against a Vendetta fleet of Rattlesnakes, Proteus and Fleet Hurricanes.
The total worth lost on our side was 10 bil, theirs 22 bil, and we believe via sources that the contract cost Avarice 60 bil.”
Battle Report Image from ZKill. Full report here.
One of those friends that Crowfoot spoke of was Lucky1974 of Pandemic Legion. He is a veteran player who provided some advice and donated logistics hulls for the pending battle and on the day threw down with the scrappy Cavemen in his Vindicator Battleship. I asked him about what he thought of the fight and from a seasoned players view what went right and what went wrong:
“Wrecking Machine in their T1 battlecruisers and T1 logi entered system first with Holesale Operations in Sleps & Basis. Cavemen were staging out of their other citadel in system so once the enemy landed on grid they engaged at the front of the Cavemen fortizar and logi got range but Pirat and VMG were expecting this so they landed right on top of it and inflicted heavy casualties. Caveman probably lost half their t1 logi wing but they were prepared for this as they had lots of ospreys ready for anyone who died.
Cavemen regrouped on their other citadel with more logi/bs’s while the ‘mercs’ focused on the fortizar
Holesale & Wrecking (Machine) had stayed on the opposite side of the fort the whole time putting damage on it but when cavemen came in again they landed on top of the VMG Rattlesnakes and Proteus strategic cruisers and started to inflict heavy damage on them. Then Dredd (friends of cavemen) came in with Hurricanes and helped whittle down the rattles.
While this is going on Slaycore are in jamming frigates doing what they can to jam out VMG and Pirat logi and I’m in a vindi taking out any merc logi that goes suspect and eventually Cavemen out shoot the merc reps and they warp off.
Pirat was last on grid and were in a all T3 setup with both DPS/Logi and cavemen eventually broke the reps and it was over.”
Stowesh Eve provided the following battle footage of the final engagement:

 I asked Crowfoot what lessons they learned from all this and he answered in what I have learned is true “Caveman” fashion:

“What we’re taking from this is that having friends and scrappy newbros ready to take any fight, win or lose, is enough to counter well-paid mercs and have a lot of fun.
And also that good stuff can happen in highsec.”
In most cases the high-sec based alliances are overcome by the hired mercenaries and quickly find all thier structures and citadels reduced to wrecks and either usually move out of the besieged area and/or suffer collapse and disband shortly there after. What appeared to be heading in that direction turned out to be a much different story for a scrappy young alliance who defied the odds.

 Johann Landier is the CEO of Diplomatic Incident., in Darkness, and Editor-In-Chief of Eve News 24. With a deep passion for Eve Online and covers news across all of New Eden. If you have a story that needs to be told or an event that needs to be covered then email him at [email protected] or contact In-Game at Johann Landier.

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