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
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
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.