The last real warzone in null space lies in the conflict in the eastern section. From Insmother to The Spire, from Cache to Great Wildlands. This section of New Eden is ripe for combat. Earlier today, Fatal Ascension felt the pain of being on the front lines by losing an Avatar-class titan.
I gained exclusive interviews with Feiryred (an FA diplomat), Highauger's Animated Corpse (FA's propaganda director), SuperKID (the executive officer of Mindstar Technology in FA) and Travis Musgrat of Northern Coalition., who was heavily involved with the execution of the Avatar piloted by deathdealer14 of Mindstar Technology.
Fatal Ascension, along with fellow CFC alliance Razor, had deployed to the Great Wildlands to take part in the action. They were Working to help SOLAR slow down, and ultimately stop, the territorial invasion by the N3 coalition and their friends. Some believe the real reasons behind the move away from the safety of CFC space are for ~goodfights~ and strengthening the alliance. Feiryred explained: “FA traveled to Syndicate a few months ago to challenge themselves to becoming a leaner and meaner combat force. Even though the kill board might reflect a loss, they gained far more value in high skilled and competent pilots. Their main focus is a healthy moral and fun playing the game.” Feiryred feels it is time again.
According to SuperKID, FA and RZR moved to E02-IK to put themselves into the most hostile environment possible, the goal being to trim the fat and to make themselves stronger in combat. The coordination with SOLAR is a secondary goal, but has produced problems of its own. Travis Musgrat has highlighted that FA and RZR have had to deal with the language barrier with SOLAR since early on. A few early operations were self-sabatoged by including local Moscow time instead of the common time zone used, Greenwich Mean Time (GMT). This has caused FA and RZR to form either too early or far too late. SuperKID stated that while the language barrier was challenging at first, they have ironed out the communications with SOLAR and these mistakes are no longer an issue.
While Fazor have expressed they are here for the fights and not sovereignty grinding, Travis Musgrat had this to say: "They don't fight. The only time I've undocked and fought them was when they had a sixty man assault frigate gang and a sixty man cruiser gang on two separate occasions about a week apart on the I-1QKL station. They have not fought once on a timer that I can remember.” Travis maintains that FA and RZR have not helped SOLAR with any timers effectively, if at all. SuperKID said “The whole point of moving down here is just to have a good time. Get some fights. The usual stuff.”
So what went wrong with the titan loss? There was early reports the pilot was simply AFK and this was to blame. I learned that this was not the case at all. The titan pilot, deathdealer14, had been active for most of the day. “He was bridging to reinforce troops to the SBU system. We were doing things to provoke fights and get NCdot's attention. Well... we got their attention,” SuperKID laughed. One such system was OX-S7P, where NC. had deployed a Loki heavy fleet (about 100-115 including logistics and support) to remove them. When shooting the SBU's with the Loki's was not enough to force Fazor's two Naga fleets to engage, the call was made to bring in super capitals to finish them quickly. “We are here for fun, pressing the I Win Button is boring for both sides.” SuperKID said.
This is when the chain of events began that would lead to the demise of the Avatar. It had been reported there was a bomber fleet in the E02-IK system. I do not know whose bomber fleet it was, but E02-IK is no stranger to Bombers Bar, Confederation of xXPizzaXx, and others who specialize in bombing runs. The decision was made to give the POS password out to the 100 man Razor Naga fleet sitting outside the POS shield so they could enter the force field and away from the danger of a bombing run. The POS was specifically owned by the titan pilot. With the password out and specifically out to the enemy spies, plans were quickly set in motion.
The NC. Loki fleet jumped into the system with the FA 100 man Naga fleet to bait the Razor 100 man Naga fleet on the Avatar to bridge in. With the entirety of Razor fleet far away, Pandemic Legion's Machariels immediately warped into the POS and began bumping the titan. (Machariels are the go-to ships for bumping due to their incredible speed and mass.) Deathdealer14 attempted to change the POS password, but the expert bumping was too much and he was knocked out of the force field. A cyno went up and hell poured in. “He took a decent amount of damage and got no reps. It took about a minute to kill once we jumped in. A lot of our supers didn't even get on the mail,” Travis Musgrat said.
Meanwhile, before all of these events had transpired, Zagdul with FA had pinged for pilots to join the test server with capitals and super capitals to practice and find tune tactics for the real server. Less than thirty minutes later, I'm sure the irony was not lost on him when he learned of the FA Avatar being tackled and destroyed. Even after the titan loss, they proceeded with capital movements and tactics on the test server. Years ago a titan loss would be a moral killer for any alliance; these days with the proliferation of titans, such a loss is no longer the end of things. Or, it could have more to do with the main goal of the FA/Razor deployment.
“We've had a good working relationship with Razor for some time now being part of the CFC, and earlier than that, with the old NC (not to be confused with NCdot). Razor had a plan to help SOLAR and they were worried about other forces pushing through and risking the other side of the CFC's territory,” said SuperKID. He went on to explain that FA had inadvertently been through the longest peace period in the alliance's history. FA's leader likes to deploy and likes to put FA in a position of pressure. “He doesn't like situations where we sit at home. Safe. Comfortable. Soon to become bloated, lazy and slack,” explained Highauger.
FA is not looking for sov grinds, they are looking for good fights. They are looking for the opportunity to go out of their comfort zone which is surrounded by alliances two regions deep, to be on the opposite side of the galaxy surrounded by quality enemies and put their membership under pressure. “This isn't a sadistic act, this is deliberately to keep us strong," Highauger said. He said that FA has nearly always been deployed and when they haven't been deployed they have been moving from one home to another.
So what is in FA and RZR's future? While the titan loss jolted the membership, Highauger explained that a loss of this kind was expected when moving down here and it is unlikely that this could lead to them leaving or reconsidering their tactics. “They need to move staging systems. They have an awful staging system. They have to go through us to get anywhere to help SOLAR. If they are going to be any type of asset, they are going to have to move into a SOLAR system,” Travis Musgrat said.
It seems 'Fazor' need to make a decision. Stay in E02-IK and focus on the health and strength of the two alliances, or move into a tactically superior staging system to aid SOLAR. Which will it be?