TEST CONVOY PLEASE IGNORE

After weeks of scuffling at the front door to the North, TEST Alliance Please Ignore has chosen to end their deployment early, beginning a move back to the south. Citing pressures from the Stain Russians and of the massive content storm being brewed in the south right now, the most visible military leader in TEST, ProGodLegend, issued the following statement via internal pings about what TEST’s future looked like.

In the last deployment update, among the many things that were said, the most important was that EVE was entering a period of chaos, and that once we got moving, things would move very fast. This is still true. The other thing I said is that as early as this Saturday (today) we would make an announcement that we were moving with the intention of running an alliance meeting the following Saturday (Aug.26th at this point) to facilitate this. We have decided to change this part of the plan from the last deployment update, for reasons I’ll explain below.

TEST had recently retaken a symbol of their time in the Vale, the TVN-FM station, but its fate has been given back to the UN forces with the news of the former’s departure. With the exit of TEST back to the south, the Imperium deployment is now in question. Bereft of potential allies or at least semi-friendly third parties for any future fights, the question becomes whether or not the deployment can be maintained.

IMPERIUM OFFENSIVE STALLS

While the previous week saw much action in attempts to entosis and peck at sov in the Vale and in Tribute, the UN forces defending have seen a small breather (although this has not stopped some from feeding spare Rorquals here and there). While the Imperium forces continue to deploy staging Astrahus citadels through the Vale, Tribute, and Venal, usage of them as forward staging points for blops campaigns and small strikes into these northern regions remains to be seen.

UNVANQUISHED-ER

Desperate pings went out during the late evening hours of August 20th on both the UN and Imperium sides. The pings read much the same: “Vanquisher tackled, get in caps and in fleet now”. Both sides rushed to fill up their fleets and either save, or kill, the tackled Vanquisher. Belonging to NC, the Vanquisher was caught out of position and quickly pinned by Imperium hictors as pings went out to form max dreads to break the massive target. The Imperium and its allies formed a terrifyingly large dread fleet, but their attempt to kill the Vanquisher was met with a harsh reprisal. Dozens of PL and NCDOT supers and titans, with a modest helpin by GOTG forces, landed on grid, and began to tear apart the trapped Imperium dread fleet. A butcher’s bill of some 750 billion isk in total, mostly sustained by the Imperium, was generated and the Vanquisher – for now – slipped silently away.

PANDEMIC TRADE HUB FALLS

The early hours of August 21st would see a new struggle emerge over a PanFam trade hub anchored in Perimeter. With its final reinforcement cycle coming up, Imperium forces mustered a large fleet of Typhoons and Hurricanes, while PanFam and GOTG forces formed up in Macharials, determined to defend the trade hub. A brutal clash ensued, in which hundreds of Imperium ships died; however, due to the Imperium staging assets and ships in nearby systems, Imperium forces were able to reship and keep up the pressure on the PanFam trade hub, eventually destroying it after several hours of fighting. While losing the isk war by a margin of 2:1, Goons can claim strategic victory, and rumors circulate that they may continue the assualt on hisec PanFam trade Fortizars.

TO BREAK THE WHEEL

In the past week, the exit of the Vanguard mini-coalition from the greater DRF sphere has brought a significant amount of instability to the southwest. After formally declaring that they would be leaving the lower dronelands peacefully, Triumvirate and their allies began preparations for a deployment to hit Fidelas Constans (FCON) and their allies in the FCON led and styled Phoenix Federation (PF). The coalition, spread across Immensea and Tenerifis, had previously scrapped with Triumvirate before, but a stunning announcement the past week indicated that the Phoenix Federation members would be wholly parceled into the “Drone Regions” Federation – a coalition which, by now, spans eleven regions, from Geminate and the borders of the Vale of the silent, clockwise through the dronelands, and down as far as Omist and the gates of Feythabolis.

In a much publicized reddit post, the often-times leader and long-time head of Triumvirate Garst Tyrell threw a bold statement onto reddit. Claiming that TEST “sold their soul” to stage in MTO2-2 to hit GOTG assets, Garst alleges that TEST’s sudden end to their Obe deployment and the convoy of ships preparing to move south once more are not to join their allies in Legacy Coalition, who are fighting alongside TRI and Vangaurd against the massive DRF conglomerate, but instead moving to join the DRF side. After almost two years of peaceful coexistence with the Legion of xXDeathXx Russians – who had offered a deal to Triumvirate and their fledgling Vanguard coalition to stay in the dronelands and ally with the DRF in return for the DRF not having to grind their structures – Garst attacks UAxDeath (leader of XIX) for purportedly using the last month plotting to destroy the Vanguard coalition. With the prowress of the Vanguard/Legacy coalition already seen in climatic battles where hundreds of billions die, Garst’s post could be taken to mean that UAxDeath’s call upon TEST is being done out of fear of what may soon come now that the die have been cast.

People are making money off the status quo, and the people with money dont care about PVP content or the health of the game or anything else. To them, a blue donut isn’t a sad side effect of their politics: it’s the end goal they are actively working towards each day. And they are close to succeeding because its easier to go along with the easy wrong then to make a stand… TRI got the real war we wanted. XIX got the war they wanted. FCON got the war they didnt want. TEST gets sucked into an epic structure grind for someone else’s profit while PGL goes on vacation. All the other alliances bandwagoning in against us get a war they want. All the third parties get the content they want. RA/SW get to shoot esoteria and TEST rorquals while TEST grinds insmother. – Garst Tyrell

A SOUTHERN WELCOME

The leadup to the events in the south have been a messy set. CO2, which had been scrapping against Phoenix Federation and regional powers for weeks while TEST was deployed in the north. The results were often mixed, seeing CO2 fleets routed and internal frustrations brought to light on reddit again and again. After a particularly bloody fleet battle, CO2 leader and chief FC GigX ordered the death of a ratting Hel in the alliance that had not gone on CTA. After the announcement that Phoenix Federation would be joining the greater Drone Regions Federation, allegations flew that CO2 was attacking sov belonging to PF along the Tenerifis border. In return, DRF forces began to mobilize southwards, and one alliance – SOLAR FLEET – began to siege Feythabolis.

 

A series of brutal fleet fights seemed to find CO2 in a hideous tailspin, first in the August 10th battle of J-TPTA, where a CO2 fleet and its capital wing was decimated DRF forces, and again on August 12th in AZN-D2, with almost an entire Apocalypse fleet destroyed. While most eyes were turned northwards to Hakonen, CO2 seemed to be cracking under the pressure. This would not last: Vanguard’s involvement against Phoenix Federation and the greater DRF would help CO2.

On August 16th, the tables turned against the DRF and its allies. A combined Vanguard and CO2 force outnumbered 600 to 400 saw the DRF fail to make headway and grind to a halt in the system of JI-LGM. While the CO2 Apoc fleet suffered heavy losses, the DRF lost an entire Machariel and Ferox fleet, sustaining a 100 billion isk loss. An attempt by DRF forces to stage a dread bomb on CO2 forces ended in abrupt failure as well, with the majority of the dreads present dying and CO2 claiming victory again, flexing the power of their supercap umbrella.

A Triumvirate Super POV of the battle in JI-LGM can be found here.

CHAOS, THE LADDER

The massive DRF, encompassing tens of thousands of players, has been a slumbering giant for years, with occasional bouts of explosive energy directed at their enemies. In late 2015, as Triumvirate and their Vanguard allies sparred with the Red Menace Coalition (made up of Red Alliance, Dream Fleet, and others spread across Detorid and Insmother), the DRF intervened heavily towards the middle staging of the conflict, tipping the scales in Vanguard’s favor. In 2016, members of the English speaking contingent of the bloc worked with Moneybadger Coalition to siege Tenal, a violation of the Non-Infrastructure Pact that XIX had signed with the Imperium. A period of civil war ensued, in which the rebels (the Drone Walkers, predominantly English speaking) fought against the vast array of loyalists XIX had, before finally retreating and settling Tenal. The Eastern Bloc slumbered again, until they went south with Triumvirate to poke at the southern bloc of Russian alliances, brutally beating them into submission. Hegemony among the Russian speaking Evebase seemed to have been established, and the cash flow of the XIX rental program that covers the entire dronelands turned into high gear.

Yet the wealth seems to have come at a monumental cost. DRF forces, who for so long have either paid or allied stronger groups like Pandemic Legion and Triumvirate respectively, seem to be struggling to fight in the large set piece battles that are gripping the south. Garst’s allegations that UAxDeath is willing to hire TEST, PL, and anyone who will fight to preserve the massive drone regions rental empire may hold true as DRF gains in the south stall and falter to make headway.

TEST’s potential hiring holds the most interest for any side in this conflict. Outside of the ones at the very top of the leadership chain on either side, TEST’s goals and aims are questionable. To ally with the DRF is to break off, with sudden abruptness, a working relationship forged between TEST and CO2 and tempered by a PL eviction of the two from the north. While it might be excused to be thrown away in the name of content, it has the potential to sour the diplomatic reputation of TEST for many future endeavors. Their recent deployment northwards will not see many friends among the UN forces, and Imperiu/TEST relations are less than stellar.

Outside of this is the addition of the Stain Russians to the mix. Like the tides, the Russians of Stain emerge when the opportunity arises and retreat to their ancestral homeland when the odds are stacked against them. Though the major Stain group, Soviet-Union, seems to be fracturing, a potential Legacy/TEST conflict opens up the door for Stain Russians and their longtime allies in Red Alliance and Dream Fleet to come through into Paragon Soul strike the TEST heartlands of Esoteria. This may however be wishful thinking considering their current track record.

FISTFUL OF SUPERS

While combat has been going on in the south, CO2 has been the unfortunate recipient for several super losses. The early hours of August 19th saw a Nullsechnaya Sholupen fishing crew bag both an Avatar and a Wyvern in Impass, the CO2 core territory, and escape with relatively minor losses. CO2 would face the loss of three more supers, all Nyxes, in an apparent dread bomb in RH0-EG on the Tenerifis/Impass border area. While these losses must sting for CO2, their propensity to use their super umbrella will likely be undented, now that they are supported by Triumvirate.


The above was syndicated via the author’s permission. Original post on Reddit is here.