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Sins of a Solar Spymaster #15: A History of the Second Great War, Part One - Page 2

Posted Thu, Jun 11, 2009 by Dalmarus



Outside Context Problem: Feb 4th 2009


Haargoth Agamar struck, implementing a plan conceived by the GIA. 'Band of Brothers' ceased to exist as each member corporation was kicked from the alliance, the alliance itself disbanded, and the name 'Band of Brothers' stolen by a Swarm-controlled alt corporation. Sovereignty defenses dropped throughout all of what had been BoB territory. The war was on and each side had to react.

Several decisions were made in the immediate aftermath of the disbanding that would reverberate throughout the campaign. The coalition (NC + RSF + PL) chose to immediately invade Delve, the heart of BoB territory, rather than attacking an outlying buffer region such as Querious, as had happened during the 'first' war. From the moment that BoB's disbanding was revealed, massive forces were set in motion. A 'sov ticker' alarm was widely distributed by the coalition, making it clear to their pilots that Delve had to be captured within four weeks. After four weeks, BoB's new alliance (KenZoku) would recover much of their sovereignty, nullifying Haargoth's actions.

Goonswarm's CEO, Darius Johnson, announced on February 5th that Goonswarm would not merely be invading Delve, but completely abandoning all seven regions and 30+ stations under its control in a bid to seize Delve as its new home. Goonswarm had gone 'all in'; Darius deliberately imitated Cortez, burning the ships of his troops on a foreign shore. Swarm logisticians commenced tearing down everything that could be removed from Swarm space, and destroying anything that could not.

By contrast, Band of Brothers spent several days denying reality. Conspiracy theories spread wildly regarding Haargoth, suggesting that his account had been hacked. BoB directors filed many petitions to CCP, asking for some kind of GM intervention. Their groupthink refused to accept that Haargoth could have defected, so the average BoB pilot believed that their sovereignty would be restored by CCP.

Initial Engagements to Crushing Loss: Feb 5th - Feb 12th 2009


Delve is a unique region of conquerable space, not only because it has higher income potential than any other region in New Eden, but also because it contains a sub-region of NPC stations where anyone can dock without restriction. The coalition invasion of Delve was staged from 319 (GS), UHKL (NC) and G-TT (PL), systems in 'NPC Delve'. Each coalition alliance parked a Titan in one of these staging systems and used their jumpbridges to quickly move fleets and reinforce battles in progress.

The ex-corporations of BoB reformed as an alliance under the banner of one of their existing pets, KenZoku (RKZ), on February 6th. From that date, the coalition would have 28 days to capture twenty conquerable stations in Delve, a seemingly impossible task. Every day, both KenZoku and the coalition would place as many towers as they could in contested systems.

In an attempt to gain as much ground as possible, the coalition divided their towers among the Sov4 constellations of Delve, with GS, the NC and PL each picking a separate cluster of outposts. Each of these constellations had once been the exclusive fiefdom of a BoB member corporation. The hope was that any given constellation loss would take that corporation out of the war.  To ensure that the 'tower spam' was as obnoxious as possible to repel, the coalition almost exclusively used 'dickstars', control towers fit with as many shield hardeners and ECM modules as possible, rendering them almost impossible to attack without a capital fleet, yet completely unarmed. Attacking even a single dickstar with subcapitals would take hours of effort to knock one into reinforced. Between the various alliances of the coalition, more towers were deployed in Delve faster than in any campaign in EVE history.

The crux of the fighting was in the J-L system, part of the constellation which Goonswarm was assaulting. The core system of the Reikoku corporation, J-L  was the site of several Capital Ship Assembly Arrays (CSAAs) which were in the process of building motherships and titans. J-L played host to multiple all-day battles in which hundreds of ships on each side were destroyed and over a thousand players involved. While the disbanding had dealt a blow to KenZoku, it wasn't a defeat in battle; it was clear that they were eager to avenge themselves and had enormous ship stockpiles with which to back that up. During these engagements reinforcements would be repeatedly bridged into J-L over the course of the fight by each side's titans, allowing the fight to continue for five hours or more before any satisfactory conclusion was reached.

Over the next few days, KenZoku depleted their ship stockpiles during attrition warfare in J-L and suffered several CSAA losses. These were dramatized by the coalition for maximum propaganda impact; as each lost CSAA could conceivably have been building a titan (and several titans were confirmed to have been destroyed within CSAAs), these failures resulted in a significant swing in morale from the RKZ side toward the coalition

On February 12th, matters came to a head. The day began with yet another extended J-L meatgrinder battle, which RKZ lost. Then, in the aftermath, a KenZoku mothership warped to a stargate. The coalition capital group hot-dropped it; the mothership and the ten RKZ carriers who had tried to save it were destroyed. More than a thousand ships had been destroyed in the previous hours, but the worst was yet to come. A few hours later, RKZ formed up to try to save one of its last surviving CSAAs, in the 8WA system. Moments before the CSAA tower came out of reinforced, Sir Molle (the leader of RKZ) made an error and cyno'd his titan to a tower where coalition forces were lurking. The Avatar (Sir Molle's fourth titan loss) was dispatched in the same as way the mothership - and the CSAA.

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