The conflict between Legacy and Winter Coalition has lasted for roughly half a year now. It’s probably fair to say that it’s one of the longest running hot wars between bigger nullsec entities we have seen in the history of Eve. Yet, it has no name. Podcasts like Talking in Stations mostly refer to it simply geographically as the war in the south. But you could also call it the longest (unsuccessful) invasion in Eve history. And with this said, let me add a DISCLAIMER:
Everything here is written from my personal view as a line-member in of WinterCo.
Legacy is (as always) winning the war on reddit. Meanwhile their progress on the map is barely measurable.
After Legacy and co have spent half a year of invading and evicting, Winter Coalition still holds its ground.
Start the FI.RE
The outbreak of the war was brewing already over the summer and autumn of 2018, mostly in Tenerifis. A few smaller alliances fought over this buffer zone between Legacy’s and Winter Coalitions home space.
And until TEST deployed forces in autumn 2018, the smaller alliances leaning towards Winter Coalition as a potential ally stood their ground there, holding back mostly X.I.X and -RZR- forces that should later become the new FI.RE (Final Reunion) Coalition in early 2019. Increasingly getting outnumbered in engagements, the smaller alliances had to retreat. Some of those allies joined Winter Coalition in the western parts of Detorid, picking O3-4AM as their second staging to the primary staging of QRFJ-Q by the Chinese-speaking WinterCo majority. Here you can read a bit more how FI.RE actually lit the match and threw it on the bonfire TEST had already prepared.
A Numbers Game
To set things a bit more into perspective, it’s always good to know some figures. That Legacy outnumbers WinterCo by far is no secret. If you take the time to add up member counts, you can only wonder how the invading side has made so little progress up to now. Here is a spreadsheet adding up alliances in the opposing coalitions.
Legacy Coalition has approximately 35,000 characters with FI.RE contributing 8,800, who face a rough total of 20,200 characters in Winter Coalition. Together the aggressors outnumber the defenders of Detorid two to one.
Time zone Tanking
The majority of WinterCo. (approximately two thirds) is based in the Chinese (CN) time zone, while Legacy is mostly in the European and American time zones. The result is a pendulum: Who has the upper hand in the fights depends on the time of day you are looking at. WinterCo. sets major timers in the CN time zone while Legacy sets theirs in EU and US time zones. To gain full advantage of their numbers, Legacy sets theirs major timers on weekends, often late Sundays, which makes it difficult for Chinese players to attend. Those tactics add to the slow progress as each side would need to get up at for them ungodly times to respond to timers – or recruit more people in their opponents’ time zones.
The numbers listed above are character counts collected via standings lists and summed up from evemaps.dotlan.net. I tried to omit renters and only included groups who appear to actively participate in the conflict. Please be aware that those numbers are prone to errors and should only be seen as relative figures, more of an “educated guess”, so to speak.
The “Great Chinese Wall” of Cyno Jammers
This does exist. And it stops all capitals from moving. With the difference that WinterCo can decide more easily when to switch them off. But turned off jammers allow everyone to jump in. If the defenders try to drop capitals in a fight and switch the structures off temporarily, Legacy could respond the same way – if they were ready and able to.
The jammers are placed over five constellations in western Detorid. I thought about posting a map, but decided against it for obvious reasons. You will have to figure out which systems are jammed by yourself. 😉
A good thing to know is that if an i-hub gets destroyed, it takes 35 days until a Tenebrex Cyno Jammer can be reinstalled. This is where sovereignty mechanics come into play.
However, jammed systems are only a problem if you rely on capitals to achieve anything. It’s understandable that Legacy would love to field their undoubtedly impressive shield capital fleet more often. With the jammers in place and i-hubs kept safe, that will continue to be a rare opportunity.
The Appearance of Elo Knight
In March 2019, Origin., the main corporation of Black Legion, joined Fraternity. and with them came Elo Knight who then proceeded to lift some pressure off of the coalition’s military leadership. Needless to say, WinterCo then also introduced Muninns as a doctrine. The speed an range of the Minmatar cruisers enabled more offensive operations inside of enemy space. Striking back at targets of opportunity in Tenerifis and deeper in Legacy home space.
Since the start of this conflict, TEST had proceeded to drop structures all over Detorid. Very often not even showing up for their timers. But in the mass of spammed structures, some eventually had to be missed and went online. An ISK-intense strategy but yielding results eventually.
“The Little Astra That Could”
Nearly all Legacy structures that stand in Detorid today where dropped outside of the Chinese time zone. The ones of strategic value where accompanied by TEST FC Seddow, who would form Loki or Nightmare leets that often mustered greater numbers than WinterCo’s EU time zone was able to bring. We stood down more than once because the critical mass needed (the number of pilots in DPS ships you need) to hope to break a ship of the opposing force was just not there.
The result is the Legacy Astrahuses anchored in O3-4MN. This is actually a great thing for line members on both sides: The opportunities for content those structures have produced over time have been plentiful. The constant threat weeds out less competent pilots or lets them learn from their mistakes. A thing that creates a bit more imbalance is that WinterCo members get partially disrupted doing industrial activities within the staging while Legacy naturally only has pilots looking for combat there. Major Industry has long moved to different systems, bringing in material via jump freighters.
Some members of TEST would like to paint a picture of O3-4MN being camped 23/7, which is not exactly true. Legacy’s presence is only really measurable in EU and US time zones. And when fights or skirmishes erupt, it’s rather cheap kitchen sink fleets fighting each other. It’s fun content for those participating, but does little to contribute to the greater objectives of the war despite the morale gains both sides may get from the occasional Darwinism of people in big or shiny ships. Like people accepting fleet invites and jumping to cynos blindy. Or again, accepting fleet invites and letting them self fleet warp into a bubble. But this has also led to Legacy to become greedy. Too greedy, letting them fall for traps.
If TEST & friends would not have those morale gains, I honestly don’t know how their leadership would be able to motivate their members. The narrative often held up on r/Eve that “Every Chinese in Detorid is a bot! This is a crusade against botters!” does not really hold up well when you stand shoulder to shoulder with groups that got accused for the same. And it gets even sillier when you rant about one Chinese group for being Chinese while embracing another and giving them space, kicking your longtime renters in the process.
Army of Mango Takes Omist
A side note in this conflict is the move of the Army of Mango (AOM) from the parallel universe of Serenity, the Chinese server incarnation of New Eden, to Tranquility The longterm Omist renter group Kids with Guns lost their space to a diplomatic agreement between AOM and TEST, and the newcomers took rule over this remote region. WinterCo officially forbade its members to roam into Omist and attack its new residents who where just starting from scratch. AOM, however, were seen joining FI.RE and Legacy forces over objectives in Tenerifis and Immensea, but seemingly avoided attacking WinterCo in Detorid.
The Disbanding of skill urself
On the 13. June the planned disbanding of skill urself was leaked on the r/Eve sub-forum. The power vacuum which would follow the sudden collapse of the “Holy Rental Empire” would leave, had the potential to become a problem for WinterCo. If there were hostile entities able to take the space. The borders of skill urself’s now gone renting empire where just north of Detorid.
But Winter Coalition managed to push into the half-empty (pun intended) regions, making some deals with former renters over structures and claiming the space despite concentrated efforts from FI.RE to prevent that. The area is still host of constant skirmishes and fights over infrastructure hubs, providing small gang content on a daily basis. Fraternity and its allies currently hold all of Insmother and the majority of Scalding Pass and Wicked Creek. FI.RE does not appear to be coordinated or serious enough to be able to follow up on their initial entosing operations.
Boogeymen in the Backyard
Meanwhile Pandemic Legion (PL) has started a campaign in Feythabolis. Basically setting up camp in TEST Alliance Please Ignores’ backyard. Apparently Evictus. has been tasked with the ungrateful job of defending the uninhabited area. A recently placed i-hub & tcu by PL in 0OYZ-G could be seen as the opening of a second front for Legacy.
Legacy & FI.RE
It took Legacy over five months after the termination of the Non Invasion Pact (NIP) to finally take an i-hub in BOZ1-O. Which actually was within a reasonable time frame for WinterCo to form against. But a TEST Titan pilot created a costly distraction by jumping instead of bridging. Additionally to that most nodes spawned in the dead end system of Q0J-RH. Enabling TEST and friends to block the single gate just long enough to win the node war. The first i-hub in Detorid was lost. Almost two months have passed since then.
Dropping this Keepstar seems almost desperate. If you compare the range Legacy already have covered with their Keepstars in Insmother, one could almost come to the conclusion that they wanted to prove progress to their members. “Look, everyone! We made it into Detorid! Really!”
All in all, their big plans were lots of manpower and time must have sunk into seemed rather unsuccessful.
WinterCo has not yet been steamrolled by a coalition twice the size of it. Instead, they have successfully defended the core regions of Detorid. Meanwhile, they have expanded further into Insmother, Wicked Creek and Scalding Pass, establishing new space for income. All of this has happened while West Detorid is under siege from Legacy staged nearby and with FI.RE half-heartedly attacking from Tenerifis. (Meanwhile giving better fights than Legacy, kudos for that.)
I, as a mere line member in all of this, look forward to the coming battles. Here is hoping Legacy will bring more content than structure spam and will find the courage to take a fight without outnumbering us significantly more than once in a blue moon. Let’s have more “happy little accidents” instead, for those are the best content. May we have good fights and many explosions.