I’d like to start with a small disclaimer: I’m a writer, but insofar as EVE Online I’m just a line member in Iron Armada. I’m not an FC, I’m not leadership, and I’m not a diplomat (I just write about them.) So the following article will not be free of bias, and it is most definitely coloured by my personal lens. You’ve been warned.
Who is Iron Armada?
Iron Armada is a mid-tier alliance. We’re not yet as established as the more venerable Alliances, and we’re not as large as the sprawling rental empires. For the space we occupy as a mid-tier alliance living in Fountain, what we do we do well; and what we do is PVP.
Iron Armada is a PVP-centric alliance. It’s both a mission statement and a membership criteria: if you want to be one of us you must participate actively in PVP. We have a strong expectation that our members be self-sufficient and active. Whether you make your money mining, doing PI, market speculation, exploration, scamming, or industry and invention, when it comes time for fleet you get in fleet. You will train for our doctrines and you will be on Teamspeak if you are online and undocked, even if you’re just in a poke channel.
It is perhaps because we are so persistently active, disciplined, and engaged in PVP that we have been able to stand our own when facing aggression from larger organizations. I also attribute no small portion of it to the awesome internal culture and attitudes of Iron, and the fact that we are one corporation – we are really only an alliance because the game mechanics require it to hold sovereign territory. This means that when we act, we act as a whole.
We’re able to put more active PVP characters on field per capita than other alliances of our size. Not only are our members incredibly active, almost all of us multi-box (run multiple simultaneous game clients) – and not just for krabbing.
How did Iron Armada come into conflict with Atlas?
I’ll let Tridgit, Alliance executor and corp CEO, tell it in his own words:
Atlas is installed by GSF (Goonswarm Federation), and they bring along some friends and announce themselves as a coalition. Out of courtesy, and for stability of the region, Iron enters a strategic treaty with Atlas.
Forwarding a few weeks, Atlas has systematically alienated and been aggressive towards Iron’s allies (FCORE and Wild Hunt). Things really come to a head when Atlas leadership tries to strong-arm Iron into extending the existing treaty to their little coalition mates and are refused.
So in a gesture of solidarity for the coalition they are trying to lead, Atlas breaks diplomatic deals off with Iron, despite an on-the-spot warning of how costly that could end up being. After this they begin attacking our allies, and Iron then starts to pursue the war hard, on a full-on eviction.
Atlas made it very clear they wanted a certain situation to develop in Fountain as their ideal state of living, and Iron doesn’t share that view. So instead of trying to reconcile, Iron simply sounded the war drums and got to work.
Part of what has made this campaign so easy for us was the fact that we had whats known as ‘perfect intel’. We knew their FC’s and how they fly, their exact capital numbers and fits, full view of any allies they were bringing to the table, and any movements they would even think of taking. This allowed Iron’s FC team to do some learning and training, and some testing of doctrines on the enemy in a ‘safe and controlled’ situation, yet still be susceptible to having a curve-ball thrown into the mix.
Because of this we were able to use some real fun tactics and strategies against the enemy and really stretch our legs running through this campaign from start to finish.
How has Atlas responded to the eviction efforts?
Well, there have definitely been some pleasant – if salty – exchanges on Reddit. Though the deflation of their alliance and their prospects in Fountain is pretty apparent based on even a cursory examination of their membership count and sovereignty.
When Iron moved into Fountain The Culture was still very strong and active in the area. We moved into Fountain with a very aggressive campaign to take sov for Iron Armada. Obviously, we came into conflict with -TC- and their allies. As of June 11th of last year, -TC- had 1,147 members. Today they have 259, and have lost 219 in the last 7 days.
When Atlas moved into the space vacated by It’s only Pixels, they came in with over 1,600 members. As of this writing, they have 564, with a 7-day delta of negative 177 members.
I’m not saying that Iron is directly responsible for these sharp and marked declines in the membership of these alliances who have tried to coexist with us in Fountain. Every alliance has its own problems and I can’t speak to what’s happened internally there – I haven’t made these organizations the focus of the same kind of investigation I turned to FCON with. Though objectively I can say some good things about Atlas.
Atlas has been a lot of fun to engage in PVP. They’re good dudes overall who have been good enough to undock and meet good fights even when they’ve been fighting outnumbered. I sincerely hope that they continue as an alliance and find a home somewhere they can rebuild and can pursue the kind of content and lifestyle they want.
I don’t like seeing alliances and corporations fail or go inactive in EVE. We’re a small community, and we’re a small game comparatively to the behemoths that are World of Warcraft and the monsters of the mobile space (100 million people play Clash of Clans).
On the same level, mid-tier independent alliances like Iron Armada are good for the game, but we have to fight and engage at our level or work on deployment for/with larger blocs where it makes sense economically and politically to do so. We’re in a bit of an awkward place because we’re small enough that we don’t pose a threat to the large blocks (and we keep ourselves small by ruthlessly purging inactives), but large and active enough that we hit above our weight class – often overpowering people who underestimate us.
We are lucky in that Fountain is more or less being ignored by the larger coalitions like NC, PanFam, and Goons. Fountain is, as it stands of this writing, an excellent place for new or burgeoning alliances to get their start and get good fights, find good content, and make a living for themselves.
If you’re a corporation looking for that kind of environment, I’d encourage you to come to Fountain.
I’d also be remiss as a recruiter if I didn’t extend an invitation to the pilots of New Eden to come to Iron Armada. If you’re looking for a tight-knit PVP-focused alliance, I’d encourage you to apply.
Jurius Doctor is an author, YouTuber, and a teacher/recruiter for Iron Armada. Stay tuned to INN for the following parts in his series on Diplomacy in EVE Online.