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Vale Falls Silent

March 27, 2016

By Seraph IX Basarab

Hello, my name is Seraph IX Basarab, a current member of Psychotic Tendencies and long time opinion writer at EN24 where I provide an analysis of Eve politics. My writing is based on my opinions and should be read as such.

Note on names: In my last article I had finally managed the switch from “CFC” to “Imperium.” I figured, sure I need to get with the times I guess. Of course the name switch was done for marketing purposes, and it felt cringy and inauthentic to use “Imperium” but I just needed to get over it. Truth of the matter is that there has been some evolution during the last few years regarding the aforementioned coalition.

However I got flooded with comments by my readers who really preferred that I use CFC. Yet I still have to recognize the realities of what they name themselves, as well as that evolution I mentioned earlier. Yet, I decided on a third way. From now on I’ll be using the name “Imperial Cluster Fuck Coalition” or ICFC for sure. All the cluster fuck, but now with all the marketing/monetizing Imperialism they’ve developed. Furthermore at the rate this war is going, we may actually have to go back to using “Deklein Coalition” (DekCo) and let Riverini have the last laugh.

I’d like to thank Materall of TMdC for inviting me on his stream last night. Although he’s “working for the enemy” he’s always treated me with respect and I intend to do the same until that changes. We had a vibrant conversation regarding the current northern conflict and you guys should check it out. One of the things touched upon was how the 800+ man corp of Bovril (formerly in Razor alliance) was going to move to Bastion.

Bovril’s leadership stated they would move to Vale in two systems that both had ice belts right next to each other. The only systems like that are T-Z and C-F. With this move Razor essentially loses one third of their membership. A couple of the individuals on the stream were Circle-of-Two members who were also moving to Bastion. All of this is interesting to note in light of the announcement made today by TheMittani: Vale is being abandoned by the ICFC and Bastion along with LAWN are retreating westward.

This is particularly delicious for me as a member of TISHU because when our mercenary contract in Fade finished and we moved back to Syndicate, Mittens howled on his fireside chats about how SMA and the ICFC broke our “glass jaw.” However on his stream today he played off the retreat from Vale in typical “didn’t want that region anyway” fashion. People ask me “why do you write about GSF leadership so much?” Because they feed me these sort of mental gymnastics that are too easy to write about.

So aside from me smugging a bit, what does this retreat actually mean for the conflict? Well for one it’s extremely demoralizing to have to evacuate a region. I listened to the announcements by the alliance leaders themselves and the tone is depressing to say the least. In a rare moment of honesty even Mittens stated “no question that abandoning a region and moving sucks.” What is funny however is that Mittens tried to play it off as part of his design to win the war. He states that now TEST will be forced to grind the sov and dissent will ferment among their ranks. Then after they move into Vale, the ICFC will be able to turn the tables on the invaders by harassing their sov.

Essentially he’s selling the bear pelt still in the forest. Snake oil and dreams for sale here. The attackers have zero reason to actually move into Vale. Will some of them go entosis some of the sov? Probably. Is it essential to win the war? Absolutely not. Is the ICFC going to send fleets to “harass the sov” when Mittens himself stated that the region is too far away for them to bother with? Nah. He’s contradicting himself yet again. Vale’s too far to fight over when you have two alliances living there, but not too far to fight over with said alliances moving out of the region? Which is it Mittens?

The other thing to note is that now Circle-of-Two living in Tribute is on the front of being potentially attacked from three sides, Lowsec, Vale and Venal. Co2’s suffered the brunt of much of the fighting, losing several Titans in Hakonen this past month as well as the recent debacle in 2dw. Co2 has always been a bit of a black sheep within the ICFC operating with much wider autonomy rivaled perhaps only by The Initiative. They’ve also been able to put large numbers in coalition fleets and have demonstrated a level of military capability beyond most other ICFC member alliances. Time will tell if they will be able or even willing to hold Tribute as a shield for the rest of the coalition or if the ICFC’s borders will continue to shrink. This will certainly make it easier to form fleets to defend space but that will not necessarily mean that it will be easy over all.

Reddit has also played a large role in the conflict. The Eve community there has grown to unprecedented levels. The community has been extremely vocal about the war and with the ICFC lacking comparable platform they’re struggling to voice to their members their own narrative. Late last year both Mittens and Sion made claims that reddit was all composed by some organized cabal. He couldn’t fathom the fact that the hubris and alienation had finally caught up. This tendency to always blame an external force and play victim is a common trend within many portions of the ICFC. This has caused a culture where long term members of the coalition who had left for whatever reason are turned on by their former friends. If you’re in the coalition you’re a friend, if you are outside of it you’re automatically an enemy in many cases.

As I’m writing this article, systems belonging to The Initiative have been reinforced in the far north. Now Init’s currently deployed in Syndicate where they’ve had mixed results regarding their campaign. With Razor losing a third of their members this leaves FCON as the largest power in the far north. The potential of Tenal and Branch also falling in the coming weeks is made all the more plausible when you consider that they’re even further and harder for the ICFC to defend than Vale is. Between Saranen and Tenal/Branch you need to cross hostile Venal, or you need to go the long way around through Deklein. A few alliances will have to make some difficult decisions in the coming weeks. Who knows what the future will bring?

~ Seraph IX Basarab