For the past few weeks, I Whip My Slaves Back And Forth (J4LP) have been fighting a coalition of forces from nearby Placid lowsec and Syndicate NPC null over control of the northwest region of Cloud Ring and it’s valuable R64 moons. The conflict had been quietly raging in interrupted sov transfers and skirmishes until both sides flexed their arms in an all-out fight over two Promethium moons in TN-T7T. This article hopes to give an overview of Cloud Ring and the current conflict over the area.
Cloud Ring is a sparse region, just 40 systems and 16 outposts. Ironically, it is arranged in a circle shape gate-wise and is a major pipeline between several regions, including Fountain, Outer Ring, Syndicate, Fade, Black Rise, and Pure Blind. Its one truly valuable system lies in the far north, the dead-end system of XZH-4X with truesec of -0.75 and one of the original stations in the region. It is the crown jewel of the region, possessing a Thulium R64 moon in addition to being incredibly defensible with just one in-gate. This system was originally owned by the now long-dead alliance D2. An internal disagreement led to two corporations splitting off to form the alliance YouWhat and causing sovereignty to drop.
A Goonswarm Federation raiding party noticed the mistake and a brief war began between Goonswarm and D2 with their allies YouWhat and RAZOR over control of the region. An intervention from the Band of Brothers incapacitated the Goons and the war was over, with D2 back in control. D2/YouWhat handed XZH to RISE Alliance, who later got into another war with the previous owners. YouWhat allied with the OutBreak alliance and retook Cloud Ring.
At this point YouWhat sided with BoB in the Great War and moved out of Cloud Ring for the most part. Freelancer Alliance took the other two station systems but never took XZH and soon was pushed back out by YouWhat.
At this point, there is a gap between recorded history and the beginning of Dotlan records when Pandemic Legion took XZH, followed by a tumultuous period of frequent changing of hands to a period of unstable Evoke control. Eventually, FA invaded, transferred the system to Gentlemen’s Agreement. Later on BLACK MARK owned it to eventually Executive Outcomes, who quietly held it for over 3 years.
When the announcements of sov changes and the growing importance of actually living in one’s space were announced,, the newly-branded Imperium chose to abandon Fountain and Cloud Ring to form a more defensible and compact sphere of influence. To the Imperium, Cloud Ring was not strategically useful nor worth fighting for, so EXE moved out and the region was sold to newly departed from the Imperium I Whip My Slaves Back And Forth.
J4LP is a small alliance numbering just over 500 characters that started initially as a Reddit-based Factional Warfare group, Fweddit. After they outgrew the FW scene, they deployed to engage in the action during the CFC invasion of TEST-held Fountain. They were eventually recruited to side with the CFC for the duration of the war. After this, they ground out some sov in Delve and held it themselves as allies of the CFC. Once Phoebe arrived, they sold their space to DARKNESS. and became official members of the CFC.
When the CFC rebranded as the Imperium and began restructuring, J4LP was offered the chance to fold into a larger alliance such as The Bastion or Get Off My Lawn. J4LP declined the offer and left the Imperium, buying most of Cloud Ring off of the departing Executive Outcomes alliance.
The aforementioned group of lowsec and NPC null alliances consisting of Usurper., Iron Armada, and Lethal Intent branded the Lethal Ironingboards Coalition (LIU) began fighting J4LP for control over moons and systems, resulting in a few skirmishes. Things came to a head over two moons in TN-T7T, resulting in nearly 150 billion ISK destroyed in a capital brawl that culminated in a supercapital escalation by Imperial forces whose attention was caught when word of a capital brawl reached the North. While the taking of the moons is not so significant, what we learn from this battle is this: LIU is quite clear that they want at least part of Cloud Ring and its wealth.
After this battle (though unrelated to it), J4LP abandoned southern Cloud Ring and bunkered down in the two northern-eastern constellations containing XZH and containing five R64 moons. WAFFLES moved into Yrton briefly before being partially pushed out by SpaceMonkey’s Alliance. WAFFLES now holds just two systems in Yrton at the time of writing. Lethal Intent flooded into Balenne and Iron Armada took Tinnimerci. SMA continues to hold Assilot. While LIU has said they will not be seeking to further expand their sovereignty, they do plan on continuing their crusade against Cloud Ring moons. More fights and more content are sure to come.
TMC would like to thank Kyle Aparthos of Spacemonkey’s Alliance,Chainsaw McGinny of I Whip My Slaves Back And Forth, Tridgit of Iron Armada, Straubz Sasen of Lethal Intent, and Lazarus Telraven of Goonswarm Federation for their contributions.
This article originally appeared on TheMittani.com, written by Siaka Stevens.