EVE has very few regions that lie under the control of separate, independent entities. Most of null security space is held by large organizations. The alliances and coalitions that hold sway over huge swaths in the North and the Southwest often boast thousands, if not tens of thousands, of members. Dominion Sov may have been the age of the “Blue Donut”, but the Aegis system has largely failed to truly change the massive advantage held by large groups.
In contrast, Wicked Creek and Scalding Pass have been among the last bastions of Null-Sec independence in EVE. Over the past year, these regions have seen multiple entities enter and leave again. Politics in the area is volatile, but even under pressure from larger coalitions, active, invested smaller alliances have been able to hold onto what is theirs—so far. As a member of one of the alliances that has held sov in this area recently, let me tell you the story of the Wicked Wars.
The Stage is Set
Our story of the Scalding Pass and Wicked Creek area begins just under a year ago. In July 2016, after living in, and dominating Molden Heath, Iron Armada decided to move into Scalding Pass. We decided to ally ourselves with our one-time enemy, Feign Disorder. At the time, FEIGN controlled the majority of the region, as seen here in this Sov Map from August 2016. Feign Disorder were, and still are, some of the best small gang pilots in the game. They won control of the region under Aegis Sov mechanics by out-piloting and out-performing their regional rivals. What they did not have was a large number of pilots, something that Iron Armada could help provide.
The small coalition was dubbed “The Heathens”, as both Iron Armada, and Feign Disorder had both controlled Molden Heath at some point in time. For roughly three months, the Heathens controlled most of Scalding Pass. In September 2016, though, Triumvirate and the Vanguard Coalition decided to make a concerted effort at eviction.
Winter is Coming
Outnumbered 3280 to 379, our coalition managed to outplay Vanguard, securing timers using interceptor fleets. Although Vanguard was able to take valuable moons with their supercapital fleet, they were unable to take our staging constellation. Progress deeper into Scalding Pass also faltered, as The Heathens repeatedly won battles against all odds. At the end of 2016, Scalding Pass was still largely seucre. New allies, Salt The Earth even managed to push Prothean Alliance out of the WQZ8-4 Constellation. But the invasions continued.
In October 2016, after leaving Guardians of the Galaxy Coalition, Short Bus Syndicate were installed with Vanguard’s blessing into the J-9M7D constellation of Wicked Creek. They came with orders to harass, and eventually contest Iron Armada and Feign Disorder’s sovereignty. Before two weeks had passed, the Heathens had launched an intense eviction campaign against Short Bus Syndicate, finding allies in Bright Side Of Death. Short Bus was slaughtered in every battle. Once Short Bus was evicted, their space was divided into portions, and split amongst the victors.
The Enemy Made Manifest(o)
Peace settled over the region for only a month before Manifesto. made plans with The Bastard Cartel (TBC) to invade the Heathens space in Wicked Creek. The intent was to allow TBC to take over the constellation. The war began with TBC placing cloaked campers in all Heathen systems. While TBC were based out of Curse, Manifesto were not. This made them more viable targets.
Iron Armada began systematic retaliation against Manifesto, putting pressure on their line members, and eventually Manifesto began to feel the effects. While Manifesto were able to bat-phone Triumvirate for static timers on POS’s, they were not able to win the sporadic fights that happened during sov reinforcements. Consistently losing ships, with line members unable to make ISK to replace loses, and with more allies entering the war on Iron Armada’s side, Manifesto leadership decided to strategically withdraw from the war. As part of the peace treaty that was being formed, the Heathens allowed TBC to take their space in Scalding Pass. The Wicked Winter War was over.
Disorder, Salt, and Madness
Soon after the Wicked Winter War, though, internal strife began to do what external enemies could not. Madhouse leadership began to alienate themselves from their allies. Feign Disorder suffered an internal coup attempt that reduced their numbers, and forced them to pull out of the region.
Salt the Earth (NA-CL) lacked any space to call their own. They were loyal allies, though, and Madhouse’s relationships with their neighbors were reaching the breaking point. Iron Armada and NA-CL declared war on Madhouse, with their leadership claiming they “would win the war in a week”. The following evening, Madhouse abandoned their space. If anyone thought Wicked Creek was going to see any peace, however, they were sorely mistaken.
A New Star Rises While the Phoenix Falters
In early March, making agreements with Manifesto and TBC, Fidelas Constans declared their intent to invade the south of Wicked Creek, and evict Iron Armada, Bloodline, and Bright Side of Death. Salt the Earth was falling apart due to internal issues, and The Devils Rejects stepped into their space. At the same time, Stella Nova, coerced by Zero Fun Allowed, decided they wanted to do the same. Unfortunately for FCON, they were being harassed by Circle-of-Two in their home region. This delayed their deployment to Wicked Creek.
In early April, the landscape would change again. As Bloodline space began to fall, Stella Nova camped Iron Armada, making their economic picture darker. Soon, Iron Armada received an offer to deploy to Black Rise, and enter the conflict in Cloud Ring on the side of Initiative. Due to the constant threat to their sovereignty, Iron Armada felt it was the right opportunity to take. They transferred their Wicked Creek holdings to Fraternity, and withdrew.
Later in April, FCON finally deployed into Curse. From there, they intend to join in the attack Fraternity. TBC and Manifeso need the help.. At the same time, efforts to evict BSOD from their holdings in the area continue.
The Beatings Will Continue…
With FCON’s entry, the Wicked Wars show no sign of ending. The eventual results, though, will change the politics in the region for the foreseeable future. Vanguard or Phoenix Coalitions may establish rental empires in the area. Or can Fraternity and BSOD hold on as the only truly neutral entities in the region? Who wins and loses may have effects beyond the borders of Wicked Creek.