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ships_t3

“War in New Eden is not about e-Honor. It’s not about “good fights”. It’s about ruining the play experience for the other side; a deliberate peeling away of any enjoyment the enemy gets when they mess with you. It is a war of attrition on fun.”
Fiddler’s Edge – For Texas and Miss Lily

If you’re a regular reader of The Edge, you weren’t surprised by the break-up of the HBC and you weren’t surprised that Pandemic Legion (PL) stepped over to the Clusterfuck Coalition (CFC) side of the line when the subsequent shooting started.

If I haven’t written about the fights in Delve, it’s because there hasn’t been much to write about. With regard to the battles themselves, the only interesting factors have been the absence of interesting factors to date. Oh, I’m sure its been fun for the participants, who’ve been starved of fleet fights lo these many months. A few good battle reports were written up, but there’s been nothing eye-popping. Generally its been CFC, PL and NC[dot] subcapital fleets setting up against Test Alliance Please Ignore and Tribal Band subcapital fleets. I regard the battles to date as sparring rounds; warm-ups to a main event which is, I think, unlikely to occur in Delve.

The most interesting thing about the current action in Delve is the absence of Raiden[dot]. Seems they are undergoing internal conflict with regard to alliance direction, which is not uncommon during transition times. When significant moments of change come to a corporation, alliance or coalition, there is a near inevitable evaluating of options among its members, be they pilots, corporations or alliances. There have been rumors that Raiden has given up the ghost and will soon disband. If that happens I expect much of their supercapital strength will align with Black Legion and The Retirement Club. More on that in a bit.

Raiden being a supercapital intensive alliance, their absence has diminished capital fleet high cover on the Test and Tribal side of the line. With Test not reimbursing capital losses at present, they are effectively ceding the supercapital high ground to CFC, PL and NC.

Normally this would signal the beginning of the end of the war. When one side of a nullsec scrap becomes risk-averse when it comes to deploying supercaps, the other side simply rolls over them, dropping SBUs in system after system while the defenders retreat; their subcapital fleets effectively useless absent credible supercapital cover. As the defender pulls back the phenomenon known in nullsec as ‘dogpiling’ begins to occur. Previously uninvolved alliances from across nullsec are drawn to the carnage. Some are opportunists looking to profit from the defenders’ ill fortune or curry favor with the soon-to-be victors. Some are administering payback for old grudges and insults. Some are there because the fall of the mighty is an in-game event they don’t want to miss. And some are only there for a taste of schadenfreude served up with fava beans and a nice Chianti.

Mmmmm.

However, you’ll note that Test’s sovereignty in Delve remains intact. CFC, PL and NC have left their Supercapital edge at the door. They have dropped SBUs to provoke fights, but seem more focused on humiliating Test’s FCs than in taking Test’s space.

And that, as Jack Sparrow would say, is very interesting.

It is, perhaps, a reluctance to abandon the No Invasion Pacts (NIPs) of the recent past. However I think it is more likely that these fights are for CFC and company, sparring rounds; an opportunity to provide good fights for the rank and file and to practice large fleet doctrines left unused during the many months of peace and plenty. If Supercapitals have not been employed in one place, it is likely because they are wanted in another place. Soon enough the CFC will find employment for them. But not, I think, in Delve.

Oddly enough, the most interesting events in nullsec are occurring in Deklein, in system VFK-IV. This is Goonswarm Prime, home to Mittanigrad station. As such, it has long been a target for small gang incursions as various nullec players seek to harry, annoy and, to the extent possible, tweak the nose of the mighty swarm. Chief among the Deklein raiders has been Black Legion.

Of late, Black Legion has upped their game considerably and have begun targeting capital ships in the Goonswarm home system.

The raiding fleets are generally comprised of twenty to thirty t3 battlecruisers, particularly the hard-hitting Talos. Some of the early kills were jump freighters and very pricey losses. Not surprisingly the jump freighter kills dropped off quickly as the threat to them became apparent. However a steady parade of capital ship losses in the Goon home system has continued, particularly in the carrier class, amounting to a rough average of a kill a day. For an alliance with Goonswarms resources these are minor losses. However, they are an embarrassment to the Swarm, occurring as they are in the very core of the hive-land. And they serve to burnish Black Legion’s reputation as Goon-killers.

That reputation has been proven in large fleet combat as well. In recent weeks Black Legion, with the support of The Retirement Club (SirMolle’s current home), have proved the most effective of the nullsec entities when it comes to bringing the fight to the CFC. They’ve chalked up some nice victories, including one in Venal MCA-5J on May 23 in which they traded a fleet of Dreadnaughts for a CFC Titan, two CFC supercarriers and a side-order of supporting CFC Dreadnaughts. From an ISK standpoint it was a clean win for Black Legion, albeit likely a phyrric one as the CFC will have replaced their losses from standing capital/supercapital reserves while Black Legion will have had to buy and fit a replacement Dreadnaught fleet. Nonetheless, Black Legion and The Retirement Club followed up with an encore the next day, destroying fifteen CFC capitals in Syndicate TXW-EI with no recorded losses of their own.

I’d venture the CFC losses are attributable in part to their capital fleets’ surprise at the Black Legion attacks. Owing in part to their metagame success, the CFC has become accustomed to opponents who are risk-averse when it comes to deploying capital fleets. This has allowed the CFC to deploy capital fleets with impunity and to control the time, place and tempo of capital ship combat. However, in deploying their capitals in a bold and effective manner, Black Legion and The Retirement Club have forced the CFC into a stand-up fight on the capital ship high ground; and it’s been a while since the CFC has had to play that game.

Now, I would be remiss if I didn’t put Black Legion’s recent activities in perspective. They are not large enough to present what CFC’s leadership would call an ‘extinction level threat’. The losses Black Legion and Retirement Club have inflicted on the CFC to date can easily be replaced. And with CFC positioning themselves to take advantage of the Odyssey release changes, slapping down these upstarts will be low on the CFC do-do list. However, the CFC would be wrong to dismiss the two alliances out of hand.

‘Why?” you ask. Well, because Black Legion and Retirement Club are having fun fighting the CFC while the CFC is having far less fun fighting back.

Much of the CFC’s diplomatic game is based on the common wisdom that fighting the CFC is not fun; that doing so is, in fact, a sure path to having the opposite of fun. As I’ve written elsewhere, the core of the Goonswarm war doctrine is making war on the enemy’s ability to have fun. If you deprive the enemy of enjoyable play, they won’t want to play.

So far, Black Legion and Retirement Club have put the CFC on the wrong side of the fun equation.

A corollary to Mord’s Maxim is that if your guys are having fun, other guys will want to join you. That is the threat Black Legion presents to CFC. If the above common wisdom gets turned on its head and becomes that fighting the CFC is crazy good times, there’s a lot of folk in nullsec who’ll want to join that party. And there’s nothing like watching who joins the dog pack circling you, noses in the air and sniffing for the scent of blood, to show you who your friends are.

If Burn Mittanigrad becomes a more popular in game event than Burn Jita, the correct answer to ‘Who killed the CFC?’ will be ‘fun’.

– Mord Fiddle

About the Author: Mord Fiddle’s writings are an invitation to high tea in a world of rave parties. His readers gather at http://fiddlersedge.blogspot.com/ for thoughtful analysis, daring prose, deep insights, and Mord’s tendency to use words not writ nor spoken conversationally since Middle English went out of fashion.

47 Comments

  1. yolo

    if you use a noun in german you have to start with a capital letter like:

    Schadensfreude

    June 1, 2013 at 2:58 pm Reply
    1. iskbot#1337

      but if you use the word in english you don´t have to use the german orthography … you retard grammar nazi

      http://all.your-base.org/Images/1kbwc/grammar%20nazi.PNG

      June 1, 2013 at 3:42 pm Reply
      1. derp

        wait, is he a ‘retard’ grammar nazi or ‘retarded’ grammar nazi?

        June 1, 2013 at 10:00 pm Reply
      2. Grammar Libertarian

        Could YOU then at least use correct english orthography, grammar hypocrite?

        June 2, 2013 at 2:30 am Reply
    2. Mord Fiddle

      Thanks, Yolo. I don’t believe the capitalization is required when employing a German noun in an English sentence. However, I’ll consult Strunk and White to be sure.

      June 1, 2013 at 6:00 pm Reply
  2. Kah'Roor

    well written and an interesting perspective, but I think your wrong about the value placed on delve due to the riches of R64’s in the area. Overall a good read even though I have no idea what AMORES PERROS means.

    June 1, 2013 at 3:03 pm Reply
    1. Carlos

      Amores Perros refers to “bad love” usually but in this context means “bad relationship”

      June 1, 2013 at 3:18 pm Reply
      1. Mord Fiddle

        It’s use in the title was ironic – A tie-in to ‘dogpiling’ (loves dogs) as well as its idiomatic use.

        June 1, 2013 at 5:05 pm Reply
    2. Mord Fiddle

      I believe I say that I don’t think the CFC is going after Delve.

      June 1, 2013 at 5:06 pm Reply
  3. Nihilist117

    The dreadnaught fleet we lost was our “Crystal Fleet” that was insured due to previous attempts to lose it to PL in a glorious blaze or gunfire and fiery death. It was not much of a loss.

    June 1, 2013 at 4:08 pm Reply
    1. Mord Fiddle

      Yes, was aware the Crystal Fleet was reimbursed. I was speaking more to the time logistics involved with acquiring and fitting the replacements.

      June 1, 2013 at 5:02 pm Reply
      1. Varesk

        BL actually has very good logistics and stock piles of dread kits. The dread kits are nothing more than the cap mods needed and rigs. The person replacing the dread only has to pay for the t2 mods that are required for the fit.

        Our home is actually 1 mid from Jita and also 1 mid from one of the largest cap markets in game. So logistics really isnt a problem.

        June 1, 2013 at 11:09 pm Reply
  4. How the mighty have fallen.

    NC. being the good little PL pets they are told to be.
    PL being the good little CFC pets they are told to be.
    CFC playing them for fools.

    Test and Tribe, the hero and free Spartans of Eve.

    What have you people become, what have you become……….???

    June 1, 2013 at 4:09 pm Reply
    1. Mord Fiddle

      I’d venture that PL and CFC are in a very interesting Diplomacy dance – Very interested to see how it turns out when the music stops.

      June 1, 2013 at 5:00 pm Reply
      1. Ashesofempires

        People may not want to admit it, but whichever direction PL goes may determine the intensity of the upcoming moon wars. If PL maintains their relationship with goons it is likely to be a moon grab and nothing more. If PL cuts ties, it may well lead to some group attempting to dismantle the CFC.

        June 1, 2013 at 5:31 pm Reply
        1. DubbaYooArr

          While I would love to see PL cut CFC ties, I don’t see it happening anytime in the near future. With odyssey, the big alliances will be making grabs for moons as fast as possible to ensure alliance income and for PL and GSF it is in their best interest to work together.

          June 3, 2013 at 4:31 am Reply
          1. Ashesofempires

            If PL cuts ties it will be because they came to the conclusion that their tech moons were no longer valuable, or were less valuable than the relationships with entities like N3 that are being strained by their ties with Goonswarm, to say nothing of any internal strife from being associated closely with CFC.

            It’s not a decision to be made lightly. The only thing that will force PL’s hand one way or another is if CFC directly assaults N3 in a land grab to secure what would be considered the new “richest” area of space. Even then, they may just say “you guys can fight it out, we’ll just gank supers until we know what we want.”

            June 3, 2013 at 8:15 am
    2. anonymous

      Last I checked Spartans never gained any of their reputation from outnumbering their enemies 2-3:1 like Test outnumbers us in almost every battle.

      June 1, 2013 at 5:13 pm Reply
      1. LOL

        Last I checked I didn’t have Goon cock in my mouth.

        June 1, 2013 at 5:18 pm Reply
        1. anonymous

          Last I checked BL was working with them a mere month or two ago

          June 1, 2013 at 7:23 pm Reply
          1. DubbaYooArr

            On a hired contract. And they made it perfectly clear once that contract was up they’re cooperation was over, which is evident with all the dunking going on up north. Meanwhile, pl continues to e butt buddies w goons and ncdot just pretends they care about good fights and hate goons but its all becoming a blatant lie :/

            June 2, 2013 at 1:17 am
          2. anonymous

            once we are done having fun in Delve the little cooperation we’ve had with them will also be done and we will probably go back to dunking them in Venal like we were doing before we went to Delve

            June 2, 2013 at 1:36 am
          3. DubbaYooArr

            I thought that there was no Sov invasion? And you wouldn’t help Goons invade…

            Whats with the SBUs? And the goons popping cyno jammers so open up the door for NCDOT supers?

            June 3, 2013 at 4:29 am
          4. anonymous

            Frustration and punishment really for Test hiding behind their 100 man slowcat fleets under a jammer. Did they really think that we would not bring our supercapitals when they started dropping their massive slowcat fleets on top of us every fight. We were perfectly happy having subcapital fights and then leaving when they ended but then they started sitting around their slowcat fleet and once the jammer went down to allow our dreads to enter their subcapitals went inside their pos and logged off and their slowcats jumped out. Do you not see how frustrating that would be for us?

            June 3, 2013 at 5:07 am
          5. DubbaYooArr

            And how frustrating must it be for TEST knowing that yes, they often outnumber you 4:1 (but are self proclaimed shit pvpers) but have no chance of EVER having the upper hand when it comes to super caps. How can you expect them to fight you with large numbers of super caps deployed? Seriously? arguably the three largest super cap forces in the game, PL, NC, GSF vs TEST and you are getting frustrated..

            If its fights you are looking for, deploying 120 super captials, with the threat of over escalation on anything TEST deploys, is a step in the wrong direction.. if anything, Supers will diminish the number of fights you get.

            And blaming TEST for using slowcats is stupid, you show up at someones house with the three biggest bullies on the block and get mad at them for not fighting ‘fair’.. So hypocritical, in a week you will be giving TEST shit for saying “do you know how frustrating it is for us when every time we drop caps you blob us with supers?”

            June 3, 2013 at 5:42 am
          6. anonymous

            Seriously we were fine with not deploying supercapitals which made any large scale sov grinding both tiresome and boring but then Test started blueballing us through the use of mass slowcats fleets which only reasonable counter is supercaps. The fact that they didn’t realize that if they dropped that many carriers we would escalate which we were well within our power to do so is naïve. You are so far off base with your accusations. Test chose to escalate it and you are surprised that we bring our 75 not 120 supercapitals down? What possible outcome did you think dropping slowcats would have. Would we just sit there and say “Damn they have capitals that we can’t kill with our subcaps let us just go home now.” Test hiding behind slowcats left us no other options if we wanted to force fights. We have the ability to escalate it further and they shouldn’t have thought for a second that we wouldn’t. They only have 2 choices now, they can choose to attempt to save NOL or they can watch their 12k man alliance die without a fight. I and many others assume they will fight which any reasonable person would considering how deadly of a blow losing the system you are actively staging in is for morale. Test have always said that they don’t care about their killboard I guess we will find out if that is just bullshit that they spew forth to hide the fact that they really do care.

            June 3, 2013 at 7:15 am
    3. get your facts right

      youre a fucking retard.

      June 1, 2013 at 9:24 pm Reply
      1. getout

        Nah, hes right. And you, are MAD.

        June 2, 2013 at 12:48 am Reply
  5. Bakkhai

    Mord. Your such a good writer, man. That was a pleasure to read.

    June 1, 2013 at 5:33 pm Reply
    1. Bakkhai

      And I, not so much. -your. + you’re iPad writing sucks

      June 1, 2013 at 5:35 pm Reply
  6. Darth Nefarius

    Burn Mittanigrad should become a yearly event like Burn Jita :)

    June 1, 2013 at 6:19 pm Reply
  7. PLgrunt

    PL are not blue with goons it depends on the fleet commander and who he picks to kill and who to not target for that fight/ campaign.

    BL. form a massive threat to goondom… lol

    June 1, 2013 at 8:51 pm Reply
    1. anti-goon

      It’s unfortunate that you are correct. The utter destruction of the CFC and the annihilation of the greater goondom would be an event on par with the destruction of BoB. Odd that it would also be an in-game pun of types.

      June 1, 2013 at 10:14 pm Reply
    2. DubbaYooArr

      Lol keep drinking the kool aid. PL not blue to goons lol

      June 1, 2013 at 11:44 pm Reply
  8. BBC strikes again
    June 1, 2013 at 9:44 pm Reply
  9. The Observer

    I am The Observer, and I aprove of this messege.

    June 1, 2013 at 10:43 pm Reply
  10. DubbaYooArr

    Nice write up. Black Legion is doing what PL once did and are doing it damn well. Shame PL just evolved into risk averae super blobbers, only willing to fight on the side with near sure odds to win. It’s a shame, such wasted talent

    June 1, 2013 at 11:33 pm Reply
  11. NullAnom

    This explains Delve better than any words could right now…

    http://i.imgur.com/RqsI7YG.gif

    June 2, 2013 at 12:00 am Reply
    1. Varesk

      Not seeing how the NCdot fleet that went to a different region was ruining your t1 cruiser fight. I guess you need to make someone the bad guy to deflect attention from how bad TEST really is.

      June 2, 2013 at 12:15 am Reply
  12. ha ha ha ha CCP is lame

    buha ha ha…. good fights? WIth all that goonRMTshit, PLshit and caps bloob? 😀
    Are U MAD?

    If you want good fights you stay in higsec and play RvB. Only good fights in EVE

    June 2, 2013 at 1:28 am Reply
  13. .
    June 2, 2013 at 3:57 am Reply
  14. Darth Nefarius

    EVE died :( launcher is offline & forums are unreachable… EVE is DEAD

    June 2, 2013 at 3:59 am Reply
    1. riverini

      w00t? 4 real?

      June 2, 2013 at 4:04 am Reply
      1. Darth Nefarius

        Confirmed by Chribba’s site TRANQ down the China server is up though

        June 2, 2013 at 4:07 am Reply
  15. Fartolio

    i LOVE ccp’s late ability to close also the forums when they have problems.

    June 2, 2013 at 4:14 am Reply
  16. Deifirtep

    Hmmm…. Burn Mittanigrad. I like the sound of that.

    June 2, 2013 at 5:21 am Reply
  17. T

    Vindication for Mord. His blogs back when Montollio was making noise looks prescient now.

    June 6, 2013 at 11:41 pm Reply

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