Many have called Faction Warfare a rollercoaster. Sov transfers hands back and forth so quick that its participants can go from kings of the warzone to landless vagrants in the course of a week. This has always been the case with the Amarr/Minmatar FW area, with the Minmatar going from owning all but two systems to having less than half over the course of a month-long Amarrian push.
The Sleepy Warzone
As of late, however, the Amarr/Minmatar warzone (hereby experimentally called the Mar/Tar warzone) has stopped at the top of the hill, and is starting to look a lot like its sister warzone, the Cal/Gal area. Many systems lie in a vulnerable state (even more are 90%+ contested), yet none are claimed. The Minmatar suffered the most on this scale the night of the 16th, with 23 systems on the verge of being flipped and lost to the Amarr. Of course, “suffering” might not be the correct word if the Amarr are failing to come through and deliver the final punch to plexing and attack the ihub. The Minmatar lessened that number to 15 systems, with the Amarr now having 8 systems close to being lost.
Five Minmatar systems were vulnerable the night of the 19th, with another system so close that a single 10-minute plex would turn them vulnerable as well. The Amarr had 2 vulnerable, a third having fallen. However, this state of continued vulnerability without capture has persisted for over a week. Both the Minmatar and the Amarr are languishing on the border of T1/T2, going back and forth between standard 100% LP payouts and 50% reductions as plexes are captured and LP is donated. Stagnancy is the new norm, just as it had plagued the Cal/Gal area before the Caldari started making their pushes and reawakening the Gallente.
A talk with one member of the Minmatar militia, Foxstar Damaskeenus of Ka Pow Pow Inc [K.POW] – a corporation in the Late Night Alliance <GHEY> (that competed in AT11) – shed some light on what was keeping the majority of the Minmatar dormant in sov matters.
Raphael Saint > What do you feel has contributed to the stagnation of the warzone from the Minmatar side?
Foxstar Damaskeenus > Well, aside from the vast amount of plex farmers, most of the action I have seen from minmatar militia forces has been in small 4-8 man gangs.
Foxstar Damaskeenus > There are occasional big fleets and Biohazard has led a few hub bashes. Also many of the systems like Huola have militia forces heavily dug in with large time investments in things like the local market.
Foxstar Damaskeenus > Kourmonen seems to have some of the best small gang fighting in the Bleak Lands at the moment and was near flipping but was aggressively D-plexed by members of Defiant Legacy, Late Night Alliance and Iron Oxide last week.
Foxstar Damaskeenus > But mainly, aside from Biohazard, there are not any corps stepping up to lead the charge for hub bashes.
Foxstar Damaskeenus > I think Minmatar factional warfare is operating like many small cells right now, no strong leadership, at least none that I can feel in the US timezone.
Raphael Saint > It’s like that over here a lot as well
Foxstar Damaskeenus > Many hubs are not being bashed because most of the FCs probably don’t want to risk any assets like Battleships or Dreads when the risk of Pirate/Neutral attack is so high and the benefit of flipping the system seems so low.
Raphael Saint > Ha, except for Biohazard, apparently.
Foxstar Damaskeenus > Well, that has been mostly fleets of stealth bombers grinding it out, I have participated in a few.
Foxstar Damaskeenus > No capitals were on field for the three that I was at. Shot about 1700 torpedos at each.
Raphael Saint > God knows I’ve been in my fair share. Structure griding wears you out quick.
Foxstar Damaskeenus > Frankly if they want to make Factional Warfare more vibrant they would have to get rid of some of the plex farmers, make warp core stabs not work in a plex or something.
Raphael Saint > Anything else you’d like to include, Foxstar?
Foxstar Damaskeenus > Could you include a mesage for the Amarr militia in your article? Tell them I said “We come for our people!”
DUST Has Settled
Back before the Fountain Campaign, when Fweddit [FW0RT] and its alliance I Whip My Slaves Back and Forth <J4LP> was still among the Amarr Militia in full force, the Crusade made full use of the only true EVE/DUST link as of yet: Faction Warfare battles. As the Amarr Militia plexed in space, battles opened up for DUST mercenaries to take part in, choosing either to fight for the Amarr Empire or the Minmatar Republic. In addition to the DUST players that were already in Amarr FW corps, associated corps such as Subdreddit stacked the Amarr side in FW battles with coordinated squads. With the Crusade out in force with orbital superiority in the systems it was pushing, the Crusader boots on the ground were also able to call in Orbital Bombardments.
When J4LP led the attack on Arzad, home of Minmatar FW alliance Iron Oxide <FEO>, the coordinated efforts of both pilots in EVE and DUST mercenaries culled the time required to make the system vulnerable. Each district captured on Arzad’s temperate planets reduced the needed number of plex captures, decreasing the plexing grind by as little as 8 hours to as many as 16 (depending on what types of plexes would have spawned).
Faction Warfare battles for DUST in the Mar/Tar warzone are still somewhat regular, however. A talk with Amarrian loyalist DUST mercs revealed that there are numerous times recently that they’ve found it hard to coordinate with EVE-side loyalists and even enough ground pounders to round out a 6 man squad. Far from the “glory days” of the Arzad campaign and the big Amarrian push back.
When Vard, under Amarr sovereignty at the time, went vulnerable on Tuesday (Aug 13), the Minmatar struck. One of the more active Minmatar corps, Biohazard [-BIO-], decided to have some fun with the bash and dropped a Ragnarok on the ihub. Its added DPS surely helped the ihub fall, but its appearance alerted more than the Amarr militia. Pandemic Legion was notified of the Titan in Vard, a mere one jump from their base of operations in Amamake, and PL heavy interdictors were brought into the system to try and catch it. PL was given a bookmark of its safe, but despite their best efforts, neither they nor Heretic Army allies were able to catch the Titan, with one PL heavy interdictor noting that he was 100km off of the Ragnarok when it decloaked and jumped out. After contacting the Biohazard. CEO, Maximus Decimal had this to say:
Had there ‘actually’ been anything that could have remotely had a chance of resembling anything looking vaguely like a PL cyno, we would not have used it.
Capital ships are a great tool, when used properly. We dont fling them around like big shiny toys. Though really I guess thats what they are. We have some very experienced Capital pilots in our ranks and they are the only ones authorized to use them.
This deployment of the Titan showed that at least Biohazard was willing to risk plenty to capture another system, and Biohazard members were quick to assure me that despite the “semi-vacation” the corp had been on as of late, there were plans in the works for a renewed deployment to the warzone to retake and secure systems. If Biohazard has a resurgence onto the warzone with heavy plexing, and more importantly, flipping, it will likely inspire other Minmatar corps to follow suit.
If the Minmatar up their game, will the Amarr respond in kind, or will the usual rollercoaster of sov in the Mar/Tar WZ start up again after its recent hold? The possibility certainly exists that, instead of seizing the moment now and flipping over half of the warzone, the Crusade at large may stand idly by with only the most devoted plexers giving any resistance as the Minmatar recapture and resecure. However, with the Fountain campaign over, a possible return of Fwedditors not interested in holding sov might jump start an Amarrian push as well. Both sides have assured me that the warzone is “about to get a lot more interesting.” A return to frantic fights and big brawls over territory would do all in the warzone a great service.
This article originally appeared on TheMittani.com, written by Raphael Saint.