Header art by Elthar Nox
Winter Coalition leader Noraus stressed the importance of the final push in Delve as he addressed his multinational coalition. In the 40-minute long Townhall, he covered a vast array of topics, rejecting the propaganda and vitriol common in time of war. In the style of a calm, intelligent, but stern leader, Noraus did not shy away from the difficulties that PAPI forces would be facing over the next month: “This is the most unprecedented thing that we are trying to do, let alone under a cyno jammer.”
“People are getting bored”
“Goons have mastered defense,” Noraus announced. “Initially this equilibrium was good, because Goons were cornered, but in the long run PAPI people are getting bored. . . . There were two options for us; either we have an organized reset between the PAPI coalitions – [or] we want to end this war. One way or the other, win or lose, we want to end this war.” The WinterCo leader then went on to reveal the timescale that has been set by PAPI. He thinks the war will be over in a month or two.
There has been continual shifting of timescales across the PAPI mega-coalition, with all leaders differing in the time allocated for move ops, from 5-10 days and also setting a mixed timescale for the duration of the assault on O-EIMK. “It is very clear now, in the next few weeks we will start our final push. This will last for a week or two, and we will hope for the best,” Noraus stated. Yet, unlike other alliance leaders, Noraus sounded guarded, but positive, highlighting not only the unique challenge they face but also the opportunity that WinterCo pilots have to be a part of EVE history. “If we fail, this is going to be the last push [to attack] Goons. I don’t think anyone will try to organize the server again to fight Goons – so you don’t want to miss out.”
After discussing the overall plan, Noraus moved into the details. WinterCo will pay for fuel costs; they are also providing T3C hulls for either Tengus or Loki. There will be a “mixture of new tactics that we (PAPI) have tested in Sisi,” and he encouraged his pilots to come prepared with their capstone doctrines but also Hurricanes, Drakes and Feroxes. Battlecruisers appear to be the spear on which PAPI will attempt to crack the constellation. High damage, low tank, they will attempt to use their superior numbers in an assault en masse.
The line in the sand
At no stage did the townhall move either into the outrageous rhetoric of extermination nor did it drift into the despair shown by Progodlegend in the Legacy townhall. This was matter of fact, planned, and well-delivered in a soft and deliberate manner. “If goons have proved that under the current mechanics they are unbreakable, we will accept the result and go back.” This is a clear line in the sand, a deliberate narrative to end the war. But he once again reiterated the historical significance of the next few weeks. “During the final push I don’t think anyone should be logging in in Vale. You will be regretting that you are not part of this final push, win or lose, we will be making history.”
Other issues were also addressed that focused on FRT’s current situation in the north. He covered the remaining fortizars belonging to V0LTA in Tribute, but also reminded his alliance that both WinterCo and V0LTA had mutual interests in supporting Out Of The Blue in their actions against Fountain Alliance Please Ignore (FAPI). The landscape is complicated for a growing entity like WinterCo.
WinterCo’s eyes are on Snuffed Out
Snuffed Out’s campaign in Vale was also highlighted. This appears to be a driving motive in Noraus’ calculations on ending World War Bee. “I am very excited to get this started (against Snuffed Out) – everyone in this coalition is screaming for revenge; we don’t appreciate Snuffed hanging out in our space. To fight a Low Alliance like Snuff, they are the ultimate manifest form – they are the best – if we want to fight them, aside from our quantity we need to have quality. If we can fight toe-to-toe against Snuffed, in their TZ (EU), there isn’t much we can’t do. This is something I am eager to find out.”
As the Townhall moved to questions, some of the most interesting answers came out. When questioned about Legacy’s future he answered honestly : “If we lose this push will we lose Delve? – to put it bluntly, yes, if we lose this, TEST will lose Delve. TEST will be the most immediate casualty of this war.” The writing is on the wall is clear for not only the Imperium, but also Legacy’s allies in this war. But, this did not stop his continued commitment to the war and backing WinterCo’s allies. “We are going to help TEST and Legacy, unlike FI.RE and AOM who are not actively contributing to this war, we have an understanding between us and TEST – so we are going to help them.”
Little Brother Will Call the Shots
Finally, Noraus was questioned on the use of super capitals in O-EIMK. Here we witnessed the emergence of a new EVE superpower. Noraus confirmed that past experienced had left him “personally traumatized” after M2-XFE. “But I am willing to pay the iron price, even knowing that supercaps are irreplaceable at the moment – but as long as I know what we are going into, and as long as I am making the call myself. Not letting others FC my supercaps.” If Winter Coalition are going to drop Titans against the Imperial Palace, Noraus, not Vily or PGL, will be making that call.
Many have said from the outset that the true winners of this war, whatever the outcome, would be Fraternity and Winter Coalition. Noraus paints the picture of a man who really understands the cut-throat nature of nullsec politics. His coalition has done their part in the war against the Imperium, and they are throwing themselves against the wall in this last attempt to gain victory from the claws of defeat. The real question remains: will Noraus be the one to say jump, or will he leave Delve with his Titan fleet intact.