(Editor's Note: We're happy to welcome Rots Mijnwerker, a fleet commander from the NCC, to our staff. We hope that he can help shed light on the oft-murky happenings with Gypsy Band and the bloc that seems to be coalescing around it.)
It's a strong challenge. This is a nice challenge. This is the game at the maximum complexity. It is fine... It is a war against what is ruining the game and the fact that only justifies the meaning of War: for conscience, self-esteem, for freedom.
These words, spoken by the notorious Blaster Worm, Chief Diplomat of Gypsy Band, signified the beginning of hostilities between Solar Fleet and the Neo Curse Coalition (NCC). Responding to The UNTHINKABLES, Why so Serious, and Nulli Secunda's annexation of Detorid, Solar Fleet saw fit to flex their muscle in the South Eastern theatre. In a show of force, Solar and -A- reinforced 3-L, the site of the back breaking blow that triggered the collapse of Cascade Imminent.
In months prior to the hostilities, it was not uncommon to see the Solar camp and Gypsy Caravan fighting together in Geminate against Northern Coalition. These battles were both fun and important in determining the top dog for Geminate technetium. Over the course of several weeks, Solar Fleet strength in the region diminished with Northern Coalition. and allies controlling a majority of tech income from the region. However, within weeks of this offensive effectively ending, the CFC announced its invasion of Tribute, Northern Coalition’s home region. With the incursion by hostile forces into a region relatively close to the Russian drone lands, Gypsy Band and allies deployed north in an effort get some good pvp and support Northern Coalition.
It may appear that the NCC formed a coalition from thin air, but that's not the case. As with many wars the amazing diplomatic work comes largely in due part to favors owed, and mutual respect. The NCC was always there, always waiting. In response to the increased hostilities, the experienced inhabitants of Wicked Creek bolstered their defenses and in a show of defiance raised fleets in defense of the region they call home. On Oct. 9th with a plethora of timers across their collective systems, UNTHINKABLES, Why so Seri0Us, and Gypsy Band formed up and went to work, joined by the mutual allies of Nulli Secunda, Northern Coalition, Gorgon Empire, Darkside, and Red Alliance. Initial fights saw clear Solar Fleet victories with Tengu fleets being engaged at point blank range by Solar Lokis. However, with an adapted fit, subsequent battles swung the other way. Systems across the region were saved, and the initiative began to turn in favor of the NCC defenders. Defensive battles gave way to offensive incursions as the NCC began fighting to reinstate Red Alliance into its ancestral homeland of Insmother.
Since the Oct. uprising, several key systems have been taken by the NCC. Hostilities in the 1V-LI2 system (mentioned here) also known as the “Gates of C-J” culminated in a massive super brawl ending with the demise of several Red Alliance dreadnaughts on one side and seven Solar Fleet supercarriers on the other. This was a decisive victory for the NCC forces was aided by HBC Foxcats and PL supers. In response Solar Fleet and satellite alliances began engaging Gypsy renter stations and CSAA towers. In three decisive battles, CSAA towers were saved and the precious build timers allowed to cycle over, and Gypsy renter stations were defended. Finally, with C-J in sight NCC forces took their chance to strike. Solar Fleet fought back hard at first, but resistance crumbled and pilots were seen evacuating assets from the greater C-J area. On November 12th, in a show of military power, NCC forces bridged into C-J and topped out at over a thousand friendly pilots in system. Solar Fleet forces could do little but stand down and look on. As a sacrifice to the gods of C-J, HBC fleets of frigates and destroyers duked it out in a thunderdome to commemorate the taking of what has always been a tumultuous system.
Since the largely unpublicized conquest of C-J the NCC had been completing the usual grind of stations and I-Hubs. To date they've captured a large part of Scalding Pass, with only three stations remaining unclaimed in the region. However, Against All Authorities staging from NPC territory within have given Solar Fleet a chance to fight back, as they represent a US time zone presence... something the NCC forces lacked. Relying heavily on their allies, Solar Fleet took full advantage, and constant adjustment of final timers for USTZ stopped the bleeding of sovereignty for the time being. Additionally, Solar Fleet purchased the services of Elo Knight and Black Legion, further reinforcing their USTZ presence. These factors combined to threaten the very existence of the NCC throughout much of December. However, Black Legion recently opted to drop their contract, giving the NCC an opening to advance once again.
Where will the NCC take its next step after the progress they have made, and how will their member base cope with the extensive structure grinds? To the latter question, I say "soon", and they'll suck it up and do what must be done. While loosely organized, I believe the NCC will hold together far better than previous iterations of Curse coalitions. While they are not a true powerbloc (yet?), they're certainly the next closest candidate to becoming a southern powerhouse. The next step must be to consolidate the empty region of Insmother, and push for Cache, Solar Fleet's ancient capital. Opening with a C-J headshot and moving immediately to capture 995 thereafter speaks strongly of their goals: a complete removal of Solar Fleet from outside the drone regions! Maybe than we can see a more diversified 0.0!
If you'd like to follow blow by blow coverage of the war, a brand new kugutsumen thread on the topic started just a few days ago.