Saturday, January 29, 2011

The Fountain War in Brief

For all those out of the 'know', probably the most significant war in nulsec at the moment is being waged in the Fountain Region, currently under the control of IT alliance and their pets.  The root of this war is the infamous goonswarm/IT(BoB) rivalry, which has pitched Goonswarm Federation and IT Alliance (and their former incarnations) against one another for several years.  I've only been heavily involved in sovereignty warfare for about a year, so I'm not much of an authority on events prior to IT living in Delve/Fountain/Querious/Period Basis and goonswarm living in Deklein.  Therefore, I will begin with more recent events.  Although the conflict between goonswarm and IT has been going for years, the current phase of hostilities began when goonswarm inherited Deklein, a region rich with valuable Technetium moons.  The Deklein Technetium moons provided the means by which goonswarm could rebuild themselves and begin preparing for war once again.

In addition to bolstering their own numbers, goonswarm took under their wing a new alliance known as Test Alliance Please Ignore (TEST).  Under the newly formed Deklein Coalition (Dekco), each alliance grew to over 4000 people.  In addition, another alliance, Wildly Inappropriate (WI. or widot) joined Dekco.  At the time, goonswarm and TEST were #2 and #3 in terms of member count, and widot was not far behind.  This made Dekco one of the largest forces in EVE.

It wasn't long before Dekco began its first major campaign, eliminating Evoke from Cloud Ring.  They made their military debut with a massive op in which two Evoke CSAA towers (POSs building supercapitals) were reinforced and destroyed.  This gave Dekco a chance to flex their muscles and show the rest of New Eden that the goonswarm bloc was back in action.  Despite being fairly competent at sov warfare, Evoke could not match the numbers that Dekco (and a few bitter NC vets) could bring to the fight, and after a few valiant attempts at repelling the invaders, Evoke abandoned Cloud ring and moved on to their current home in Providence.

The Cloud Ring invasion was significant for two reasons: 1) it gave the nascent Dekco its first real shot at managing its own invasion (like a dress rehearsal for later campaigns), and 2) it put goonswarm right on the doorstep of IT-controlled Fountain.  IT did not lift a finger to try and stop the Cloud Ring invasion.  At the time, the majority of IT forces were deployed in the south to help The Initiative (INIT) eliminate Against All Authorities (AAA) from Catch, and they came very close to eliminating AAA from the 0.0 map completely.  Around the time  that the Cloud Ring campaign was coming to an end, the tide of the war in the south began to turn in favor of AAA and the Stain Wagon (SW) forces.  They began to push back into Catch, and with TEST help, they kept IT busy.  Goonswarm agreed to begin their push into Fountain as a means of potentially distracting IT away from the war in the south.  After goonswarm took the first system in Fountain (J5A-IX) and reinforced the first station system (PNQY-Y), IT redeployed to the north to stop the goonswarm push, leaving INIT on their own against SW forces.

PNQY-Y fell into Dekco control on Dec 22, 2010.  IT attempted to recapture the system several times only to be stopped in their tracks every time after the first reinforcement cycles.  Despite the constant counter assaults waged against all Dekco holdings in Fountain, Dekco held firm and defeated IT forces in every engagement.  Soon, the second station system (9R4-EJ) fell into Dekco hands.  Despite having a very strong EUTZ presence relative to Dekco forces, IT's strategy of timing their sov structures to end their reinforcement cycles during EUTZ was not working.  IT then adopted its strategy of setting their timers to come out during Australian primetime, right around downtime, where Dekco had the weakest presence.  Initially, the strategy seemed to work.  IT forces successfully defended their infrastructure hub (ihub) in the key jump bridge node of Z30S-A, and gained their first significant victory of the campaign.  Dekco forces struck at Z30S-A again.  However, this time they snuck in a massive NC-supported supercapital fleet after baiting IT to finally deploy their supercapital fleet into combat.  The result was significant blow to IT morale.  Two IT Titans and two IT Supercarriers were lost, vs. a single NC supercarrier destroyed.  Both sides lost many regular capitals in the engagement.  Dekco and NC forces held the field, destroyed the ihub, and left system with a new-found confidence in their ability to counter the IT timezone war machine.

On the same day, two corporations (X13 and Finfleet) within IT decided to issue an ultimatum to the IT leadership.  The ultimatum included several points that addressed the fermenting discontent within the leadership structure.  If their demands were not met, they threatened  to leave the alliance.  Of course, the demands were not met, and X13 and Finfleet left IT for a new alliance known as Raiden..  Coupled with the loss at Z30S-A and the departure of X13 and Finfleet (and X13's significant supercapital fleet), IT requested assistance from its allies Systematic Chaos (Sys-k), from Period Basis, and INIT, freshly evicted from Catch.

It was at this time that Dekco leadership decided that the time was right to begin their assault on the primary IT staging system of 6VDT-H.  After a rousing speech by goonswarm executor TheMittani in his "State of the Goonion" address, Dekco formed up a force of just under 1000 pilots and blitzed 6VDT-H, covering every stargate, every POS, and the station with warp inhibitor bubbles to prevent anything from warping or jumping from those locations.  They then proceeded a campaign to keep the system camped with several hundred people until the system fell under their control.  The idea behind the extended camp is that they would trap most of IT's military resources within the station or within the POSs.  At the time of writing, the ihub within system has been destroyed along with most of the IT POSs.  The system has been camped for three days straight with hundreds of Dekco pilots, and there has not been any significant IT military action since the camp began, despite many reports of intended IT formups.  No significant IT supercapital assets have been destoyed, but the station is in its last reinforcement cycle.  If IT cannot form some kind of defense, the system will fall into Dekco hands, along with assets in neighboring systems.

In addition, SW forces, reinvigorated and bloodthirsty for revenge against IT, have begun their invasion of Querious, adding another front to IT's defense of its soveriegn territory.  Amidst rumors of continued discontent with the IT leadership structure, only time will tell if they can survive being hit on multiple fronts while dealing with their own internal issues.