The past couple weeks have seen a flurry of activity as Amarr pilots regain their composure in the wake of a Minmatar counter-attack. Although many vulnerable systems dot the Amarr landscape, the Minmatar push to flip these systems seems to have died down. Simultaneously, major entities are beginning to reform on the side of the 24th Imperial Crusade. Many militia pilots eagerly take part in the now common open-militia fleets basing out of Egghelende, while others remain skeptical of the strategic influence emanating from this low sec system in Sinq Laison.
In the Amarr militia, there exist two sets of pilots: The ones who live in the warzone and the ones who do not. Although simple in distinction, these states of being represent two ideologies when fighting in the Amarr-Minmatar warzone, and each has its own benefits and drawbacks. For example, living in the warzone physically places pilots closer to the fighting while giving them an incentive to defend their home from farmers and bashers. In addition it provides militia pilots with places to reship and resupply. However, the obligation to defend often serves as a barrier to entry for many entities, as the potential exists for assets to be locked in a station for an indefinite period of time. Contrast this with the freedom to come and go as you please through a station not within the warzone but in close proximity to it, thereby essentially granting a faction warfare entity immunity to having their assets impounded.
Regarding the former position, however, I reached out to long-time militia member Dan Carter Murray of Le Coq Sportif [LECOK], a resident of the Tandoiras Constellation’s system of Sahtogas, and a pilot willing to provide free ships for militia operations basing out of Sahtogas. As I have written before, Sahtogas once served as an Amarr bunker system. When asked if Sahtogas can still be considered as such, Dan Carter Murray had this to say, “Not at all. Several years ago there was a large presence of large active corps, but this has dwindled down to practically nobody. I don’t even have much time to log on anymore.” However, a stronghold does exist in the Tandoiras Constellation located in the system of Tannakan, though this can be attributed to the recent occupation of the system by Amarr alliance Loaded-Dice[D6]. For those of you not acquainted with the geography of this area, the Tandoiras constellation is very close to the Amarr highsec staging systems of Sasiekko and Myyhera and thus possesses strategic value as a sort of pipeline. Moving forward, Dan Carter Murray would like to see more entities enter the warzone, with a stronger presence in the Tandoiras Constellation from the EU and US timezones. He adds, “It’s a good thing to live in the warzone. Living in Myyhera or Sasiekko or Egghelende or wherever is completely useless. Then again, most of what CCP did to FW has kind of botched everything up so it’s kind of become a mecca for farmers.”
Outside – but still close to – the warzone, an unofficial coalition is forming in the Sinq Laison system of Egghelende. Indeed, many of the operations concerning open militia fleets have been based out of Egghelende prompting a multitude of pilots to move ships ranging from frigates to cruisers to the system. At first, much of the activity stemming from Egghelende in the months leading up to and following the fall of Lulm was led by the Winmatar alliance, notably bringing open militia fleets back to the 24th Imperial Crusade. Now, however, they have been joined in their efforts by the return of Imperial Outlaws [I.LAW] to the warzone. In the words of I.LAW FC Jericho Willis, “I don’t think it’s really an official coalition or anything yet, but the three Amarr groups who live in Egghelende (J4LP, I.LAW, and WINMATAR.) have all set one another mutually blue and have established a joint intel and form-up channel.” As far as activity within the warzone is concerned, in addition to fleets basing out of Egghelende, the executor corporation of Imperial Outlaws, In Exile, presents an interesting case. According to Jericho Willis, it operates as if it lives in the warzone, “In Exile. isn’t really holding a system in the warzone because we live in Egghelende with our buddies Fweddit, but we’ve begun doing a lot of fighting in Kourmonen, Auga, and Oyonata, and we plex Sisiede like it’s our home – we have too much loot there to do otherwise.”
The reintroduction of Fweddit and I Whip My Slaves Back and Forth [J4LP] to the warzone is easily one of the bigger, if controversial, highlights of activity over the past couple weeks. Anomalous among Amarr alliances in that it holds sovereignty in null sec, J4LP offers its members the unique ability to call both faction warfare space and null sec home. However, Fweddit and the larger J4LP alliance possesses a stigma for awoxxing in the Amarr militia. (Awoxxing is the act of turning one’s guns on friendly pilots.) To respond to these allegations and misgivings as well as to speak about their recent return to the warzone, I reached out for an official statement from Fweddit and was shortly contacted by Fweddit director ShyAsianHunny. Regarding J4LP’s alleged awoxxing reputation, ShyAsianHunny stated, “There is a direct order to NOT SHOOT AT AMARR MILITIA unless engaged first, in which case weapons free,” noting that Fweddit’s history of awoxxing stems from poor experiences with the Caldari militia.
However, J4LP’s return to the warzone has already seen a number of Amarr awoxxing incidents, particularly those inflicted upon militia members by a black ops gang. For example, this Omen Navy Issue was destroyed as a result of the aforementioned gang. ShyAsianHunny had this to say, “As far as being called awoxxers in our own militia, the most recent incident involved our black ops gang blopsing onto militia members while we were kicked out for an alt corp not meeting standings. We had kicked the corp and were waiting for DT so we would join again. Well during this time our Black ops group was fishing along the war zone using neutral alts. Cyno bait got aggressed and the rest is history as they blopsed onto friendly militia and everyone appeared neutral to each other. We have punished the people involved. While we applaud their initiative and willingness to do work to provide content we’ve set some stricter rules on the black ops group that should prevent this from happening again and had the involved members compensate the victims as well as send a sincere and heartfelt apology.”*
Despite these black ops incidents, Fweddit and by extension, J4LP, seem only partially dedicated to activity in the warzone, which is unsurprising given the logistics required to maintain sovereignty in Delve. Noting that Egghelende is Fweddit’s “ancestral home,” and that a majority of its members have jump clones in Egghelende, ShyAsianHunny stated that, “When null-sec is slow we often return in numbers back to Egghelende and encourage newer FC’s to small gang PVP in the WZ with cruisers down to get experience.” However, ShyAsianHunny was pessimistic about cooperating with the militia at large, expressing the existence of a “tangible distrust” between the militia and Fweddit, particularly due to J4LP members using the WZ as a place to “vacation in between null-sec pvp deployments.”
Although there have been some bumps as Amarr entities re-enter the warzone, the increase in activity is, for now, outweighing the harms. Between the alliances basing out of strongholds in the warzone and the unofficial coalition in Egghelende, the 24th Imperial Crusade is slowly grinding back into motion.
*If you or someone you know has been the victim of a Fweddit or J4LP black ops hotdrop, feel free to contact ShyAsianHunny with the killmails involved to settle any complaints.