Monday, January 12, 2009

Faction Warfare - my first thoughts

Faction warfare is an odd beast encompassing all the 'fun' of PvP and the grind of mission running. Throw in large scale fleet engagements and the strategy of holding and defending territory with the occasional pirate incursion and you have a recipe for fun and boredom - all at the same time.

My first taste of Faction Warfare, fighting under the Gallente flag has been very positive so far. The initial fight was in the meat grinder between Old Man Star (OMS) and Tama. Two low-sec systems that are being ferociously fought over by the Gallente and Caldari militias. OMS is a Gallente Federation system but it is contested, thus it has had enough Caldari militias attacking and taking over strategic solar systems to make it vulnerable to it's (possible) loss. Meanwhile, large chunks of Caldari held space in Black Rise has seen a loyal Gallente corporation, The Dead Parrot Shoppe (FOOM) grab and hold a hatful of systems single-handedly.

I was in the militia channel, a bit bewildered when a FC asked for available fleet members - I said I was ready and was in a fleet of 40 pilots and we were swept into Old Man Star to fight off a marauding Caldari fleet. The result was a conclusive victory for us; despite being outnumbered we hit the Caldari fleet very hard and knocked most of them down. A combination of very good leadership and target calling on our part and what looked like disarray and confusion from the Caldari.

The Caldari and their allies, the Amarr militias are collectively known as 'Squiddies', a contraction/shortening/corruption of CALAMARRI or Caldari + Amarr. Our nickname, given to us by these same squiddies is less flattering.

Still, while the Caldari state has now lurged full scale onto the right under the jack boot of dictatorship and the Amarr are still living under the misguided belief that they alone are God's choosen people, the Gallente are holding the line (just) against this wave of ignorance and hate. I have no information on how the Minmatar militia are doing but there's been little link up between our two militias.

The last week has seen me fly with a number of fleets under different FCs but am seeing a strong and consistent core of very competent pilots and corporations under the Gallente militia who take charge whenever there's a fleet forming.

It is a pleasure flying with Lionsan once more and we started defending some outlying Gallente systems from further attack by uncontesting (is that a word?) some of these systems thus preventing a full-on siege of the system's control bunker. The loss of which will eject the Gallente and their replacement by newer (and crueller) overlords. Working on these complexes within Gallente space has the advantage of the presence of the brave men and women of the Gallente Navy. Certainly, they have very nice looking ships - just check out the megathron above. Love the added colours!

Anyway, the war continues to grind on but the Gallente definitely have a plan and a dedicated core of pilots who can and do fight. Our militia is a lot smaller than the Caldari but the kills have been in our favour. The war in Black Rise is going well but I think we've have neglected to defend our own systems opting to go toe-to-toe with the squiddies; many in the Placid and Verge Vendor region are now classed as contested and indicates that the squiddies have been moving in. This war will be won as much on grabbing and holding low-sec territory, defending our own (especially the OMS area) and taking the fight to the squiddies. Since we're capsuleers, there is no real death to worry over and thus fighting, killing and dying is but a minor incovenience. So it comes down to territory and dominating local space.

Time to get more ships ready I think!

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