The war in Fountain has been declared over.
Boodabooda has said that TEST is leaving the region. The CFC is busy picking up systems and knocking down the remaining TEST towers. The latter seem to be all empty of strontium and conveniently labeled. We hit one last night with the name “TEST R16 reimbursement fund moon.”
Systems are going our way.
The map is slowly turning our color.
What will happen beyond Fountain seems in doubt however.
Boodabooda is saying that the CFC will “almost definitely attack Delve.” And certainly, in terms of chance, Goons attacking Delves seems only slightly less likely than there being a maintenance downtime on any given day. It is almost habitual at this point. They all have supplies and stuff sitting in stations from the last few ventures. Even I still have stuff in Delve from last summer’s expedition. So it is practically the natural order of things to head to Delve.
Arguing against an invasion of Delve are several factors. It will be at least a month until sovereignty rises high enough in Fountain for a jump bridge network to be established to create a pipe into Delve. It was a big deal for us to get the jump bridge from J5A to 4-EP, as it meant holding those systems for 35 days straight. Now we have to wait that same 35 days after taking systems before a full jump bridge network can be established.
There is also the nature of the war from the CFC point of view. The stated reason for taking Fountain was to possess the moons. You may ascribe whatever additional sinister motives you like, but the moons are still important. They are a source of income and they need to be protected. We cannot all go back to Deklein and Branch and Tribute and expect these moons to remain unmolested. Which means somebody needs to live in Fountain. I expect that in a couple of weeks there will some realignment of sovereignty to cover the Fountain front, and a lot of people will be moving into new homes. It is difficult to do that in the midst of a war.
And then there is the question of what happens if we do invade Delve. Best case scenario is that TEST rolls over and dies, leaving us Delve in their will. We march in and then face Northern Coalition in Querious and Tribal Band down in Period Basis.
Last summer when Delve was taken, the war moved immediately to Querious and would likely do so again, what with a competent foe holding a grudge and in possession of a lot of support sitting right there. That means war with just about everybody from Cobalt Edge to Querious. And while the most deluded conspiracy theories see total null sec domination as part of the vast Goon conspiracy, the idea of a great Goon donut strikes me a implausible. Even if it were manageable militarily… and I wouldn’t grant that one… and could be held against all comers… and there would be many… I am not sure they could find enough competent and trustworthy satraps to administer and empire without them coveting each others possessions, fighting amongst themselves, or attempting to break with the empire altogether. I think a Goon null sec Caliphate would be a very brittle entity before long.
And, finally, there is the fact that the war isn’t over. Did I say that it was? Yeah, I was clearly full of VF day enthusiasm when I wrote that headline.
Sure, TEST is pulling out of Fountain. And they are not contesting timers any more. Sovereignty is rolling over to us. But there is no agreement in place, no peace plan in process. Boodabooda is digging trenches in Delve waiting for the Goon onslaught. We’re busy camping 6VDT station trying to keep TEST from evacuating anything valuable. Gates are camped. TEST is still red.
And just last night Northern Coalition and friends… and they let TEST tag along this time… attempted to pick off another CFC titan. This time they dropped right into 4-EP to try and get it. An observant CFC member noticed NC dreads in the system while a Baltec fleet that had been forming for a structure shoot was able to jump right into the fight. The siren went off on Jabber and a big battle ensued, with the NC fleet losing more than 20 capital ships. And while they took down a few in return, no titans were killed. Titans did, however, drop on the field and got to doomsday the hostiles. See my current site banner (which I stole) or this NC video of the fight. Here is the battle report. (A write up at The Mittani as well.)
I missed that fight by just five minutes, but got into fleet in time to chase people all over Fountain and then go shoot some structures.
So fighting continues and seems likely to carry on for some time. Grinding out sovereignty… even when uncontested… goes much faster with capital ships, and when capital ships are flying somebody will inevitably seek to blow them up.
Last night in comms, somebody said that TEST is the new Intrepid Crossing, an alliance that used to be on our border in Cobalt Edge and which we used to raid for fights, but which we never sought to conquer. (That is until Razor pushed the joke too far one day and IRC’s house fell over. And now Razor owns Cobalt Edge. Nice going.) And that seems like an apt enough analogy. There doesn’t seem to be a lot of “win” in attempting to exterminate TEST, but having a hostile neighbor we can tangle with has value. If nothing else, it gives us something to do and someone to fight on a regular basis. That might not be something you would want in real life but, in a game like EVE, that could be the best possible situation for now.
Or such is the way things look to me. But I am just a CFC grunt and the most exalted position I have ever aspired to is that of squad commander in a fleet. (I trained Leadership V somewhere along the way.) I have no special insight into alliance politics. I go where they tell me and shoot who the FC calls out.
So feel free to correct my assumptions and tell me where you think this whole situation is headed.