Why We Fight – A SoCo Perspective
AAA is a hybrid Russian and English alliance, they are located in the south regions of New Eden. AAA was founded in 2006 by Rage and Terror and a corporation known as The Collective. They base mostly out of Catch and Impass and a few surrounding regions.
I spoke to a few members about the history of AAA.
StaticViolence gave us a good rundown since 2009:
“My time doesn't start that early, when Evil Thug was screaming at fleets, when TiDi wasn't even a twinkle in CCP Veritas' eye. Back in 2009 AAA was the primary Stain Corp, with a small amount of Sovereignty in Impass. Goons/RA and pets controlled everything east all the way to Drone regions.” He pauses, just for a moment. “Then the Hargoth incident happened. Band of Brothers was disbanded and all Sov in Delve dropped. Goons abandoned everything to destroy what was left of BoB permanently.”
“At this time AAA took this opportunity to take everything east of impass that belonged to Goons and Goon pets. This is when Goon propaganda started against AAA and when the chant 'AAA is shit' was coined.”
“Some time after you can see on the influence that that we installed our allies Red Overlord and Atlas.”
In the South AAA matured as an alliance. As time went on AAA would lose and retake their space repeatedly over the years. However the main doctrine and core principles of AAA were never compromised.
What AAA Are Not
So, what is AAA's motivation? What makes them fight? What is different about them compared to other alliances? What about them has helped them to survive when so many others have died? To find that out, you have to ask the general population of the alliance. I have spoken to several members of the general population- alliance grunts - about the culture within AAA. One overriding impression was that they are 'Not Like Goons' or “Not Like TEST'.
As with any great cultural movement there is a counterculture movement. The Beatles had the Rolling Stones while the hippies defined themselves as different from "the suits". The resounding opinion of many members in AAA is that they are the alternative alliance to OTEC alliances. From the outside many people will fall prey to the propaganda that is spread about AAA. However, not everything is as black and white as we would like.
In order to successfully fight an enemy you must demonize them. On one side we have the line members of AAA's enemies, the legions who regurgitate whatever their leaders tell them about AAA and singing the newest song about how Makalu weeps in defeat. While on the other side of the battlefield we have others screaming that Test and Goons are all badposting, meme spouting, self diagnosed Aspergers shut-in idiots.
What AAA Are
Most of us are smart enough, to know that things are not nearly that straightforward. Here's my perspective.
AAA at its core is a PVP alliance relatively free of political positioning and the 'walking on eggshells' diplomacy as we have seen in previous SoCo alliances. Many feel within AAA that they are the only alliance that, regardless of their sovereignty status, will never fully fail-cascade. Every time AAA has been forced to retreat they have come back fighting. This is because they have never compromised on their core values: don't let moneymaking get in the way of a good fight; PVP above all.
Overall, members of AAA are proud of their alliance. They are proud regardless of whether they are fighting outnumbered, blueballing or even simply denying fights. Winning or losing, they cherish that identity.
Nova from LAMB Federation says:
“We fight adversity, we fight for the little man. We are by far perhaps more serious players than the enemy, but if they want to outnumber us they can and do so easily.” while James Kordent of Maverick Nation says, “...we fight tactically, we'll take fights that we will win, we also take fights we may not win. But we pick and choose as best as we can. Fighting is what we do, we are PVP alliance ... an army of focused PVPers that enjoy watching things blow up.”
AAA's anchorman FC is Makalu, and many within the alliance who fly with him most often, and know his fleets well, believe that Makalu is the reason why AAA has fared so well in the South. He may not yet be the finished article, being one of the newer FC's in AAA. But many within the alliance state plainly that he is unmatched at running Tengu fleets. Makalu holds high respect of most people in the alliance, and you shouldn't believe the cherry-picked recordings of a few minutes out of fleets that lasted for hours.
Makalu does hold his fleet members to a high standard and when those fleets members do not meet his expectations Makalu will make his displeasure known. However, when things go well and AAA is ready they will fight tooth and nail against those who wish to take them on.
In Eve everyone takes risks, sometimes you get burned, sometimes you get unlucky and other times you are rewarded with fame, fortune and good fights. Like with any good army you look at your losses and you learn, and then you keep moving forward. Every FC has made a bad call, been outclassed, outnumbed or just plain overwhelmed. But Makalu wins a lot more than he loses, despite fighting outnumbered on most occasions. And that's the most fun way to fight.
So, what makes AAA fight? A myriad of factors, subtly different for each member and for each corporation, but grounded in emnity towards the huge bloc playstyle of the north and west, and a belief that AAA should hold themselves to a higher standard. They are a tight-knit group who define themselves as different from the mass of Eve nullsec players. They are pilots who want to have fun and who are generally not as interested in Eve politics as some in other alliances. However there's one thing that rings true with every pilot and AAA, they are proud of AAA and what it stands for: Against All Authorities.