Several people have been asking me how Rote Kapelle's "scouring of the Shire" is going, and I'm pleased to report that it's going well so far! Our first target was Damned Nation, living in D5IW-F in Outer Ring. On Friday and through the weekend, we started the final assault on their home system, and finished it by destroying their most heavily-defended POS, their most-contested POS, and an Orca that contained what appeared to be the bulk of their station Corporate Hangar in quick succession. Their membership is badly demoralized, and I can't say that I blame them.
I do blame their leadership, though.
In any case, D5 is now swept clean, and we made a good start yesterday and today on cleaning out their main care-bearing system, A2V6-6, as well. We've made a tentative informal agreement with a new occupant for these two systems, and we'll see how they do in terms of growing their organization into a group credible to be living in 0.0. Needless to say, we and the other occupants of Syndicate will be looking forward to seeing some small roaming gangs out of them. For now, we'll cross our fingers; certainly, they can be no worse than Damned Nation. If nothing else, the new occupants can learn their trade preventing Damned Nation from taking back the systems we're pushing them out of. And maybe a third party will come along and try to push the new occupants out too. We can hope.
The really interesting thing about this campaign so far, at least for me, is both growing my own skills and watching my alliance-mates do the same. As befits an organization living in NPC 0.0, Rote's always been slightly undisciplined. What can you do with a bunch of goofy individualists? But in order to equip consolidated heavier-hitting fleets, subdue structures, and change tactics on a dime, the goofy individualists are having to pull together as a group more. It's been fun to watch!
For myself, I finally decided to let my light out from under the bushel I've been hiding it for the last year or so, CTA'ed a fleet, and led it. The type of fleet -- stealth bombers -- is something that I know a little bit about. Rote Kapelle hasn't used bombers for anything other than scouting in the full year I've been a member, so it was quite fun to teach them something new. I think a lot of the guys gained some respect for these little monsters.(1) It was also kind of amusing to be accused by our opponents of not fighting fair when I suggested and executed the tactic change.
I also started the campaign off on the right foot by scouting out every single structure in D5. The post I put on our forums had the title of this blog post as its title. ;-)
The other interesting thing about this campaign so far is how it's both revitalized Rote Kapelle and recommited us to the alliance's mission not to hold sov. We're having to use so many tactics that are required for sov warfare: the blobs, the hell-camps, the alarm clock ops, the bridging. Most of it just isn't our style and never will be.
This is and remains the biggest problem with this game, and the one that threatens to eventually wreck the whole thing. The number of EVE Online super-powers continues to dwindle from eight to six to four to three... and now threatens to become two over the next year. The blobs are getting bigger and bigger and bigger while ironically the targets for them dwindle. Where does that leave those few groups like Rote Kapelle that just have no interest in being part of that game? This isn't practice for sov warfare for us. This is a distraction, a new play-style that we're pulling out of the closet, trying on for Halloween, and then putting back when we're done with it.
I learned this past week that CCP Diagoras left CCP of his own volition this year to pursue other personal goals. That leaves the company without a face to publish statistics on the game. But I really can't help but wonder what the PvP numbers look like. Even if the numbers are going up, are the number of fights going down?
::coughs:: But that's definitely not what this post is about.
Anyway, that's how the campaign is going so far. Alliance leadership deliberately picked a soft target to start so we could get a feel for what tactics we wanted to use and how we'd use them. We feel like we've cracked the shell of this partcular nut and we're going to finish out feasting on the meat. Then it will be on to target number two. I'll no doubt be scouting out some targets and making a forum post about them soon....
EDIT (29/Oct/2012): One comment on this post was inadvertently deleted thanks to a mouse misclick on my part. If you commented on this post and you do not see your comment, please post it again and I'll publish it. My apologies for the problem.
(1) My favorite kill of this part of the campaign was this Basilisk, taken out while repping a POS and right under the POS's guns. We smashed it with ten bombers, torps... and ten Target Painters. So they brought in an insta-locking Tornado to defend their logi and kill our bombers. You can guess how that worked out. I'd forgotten how much I love bomber tactics.