(Editor's Note: This piece was sent to us by Intergalaktor of Razor; it should be interpreted as both an explanation from Razor's viewpoint of the recent conflict with IRC, as well as agitprop; the usual disclaimers apply.)
As reported over the last weeks, there has been a RAZOR Alliance (-RZR-) campaign in Cobalt Edge, which most parts of the community understood as an invasion. This eventually lead to the downfall of Intrepid Crossing (IRC). As these events wrap up, it is time to explain what really happened and how things will likely continue from this point forward.
To understand why -RZR- pushed into Cobalt Edge, it helps to know some history and background of the area — more than just the knowledge that Cobalt Edge is (or was) a good roaming area.
IRC’s resentment towards -RZR- probably started back in the days of the old Northern Coalition in 2010 when Morsus Mihi and some other allies started an attack on Cobalt Edge. They staged out of RAZOR Alliance territory while they themselves were deployed in Curse. This invasion was more a half hearted attempt to alleviate everybody's boredom than a real attempt to take over all that space. However, IRC was pushed against a wall and had to call SOLAR FLEET (SOLAR) to their aid. Together with SOLAR, who originally let IRC take Cobalt Edge, the aggressors were soon pushed back out of the region.
Although no significant damage was done and the usual “roaming IRC space for good fights” continued, this might have left some negative memories in IRC leadership regarding RAZOR Alliance as a member of the Northern Coalition. When the Drone Russians Federation (DRF) invaded the Northern Coalition in 2011, IRC used the opportunity to set their sights on taking some systems and moons for themselves. While it made no difference, it was seen as backstabbing in a crucial moment by some -RZR- members.
Later on RAZOR became part of the Clusterfuck Coalition (CFC). When the CFC liberated Branch from White Noise (one of the DRF members who originally invaded the North in late 2011), IRC leadership decided to send over fleets to assist on White Noise in their defense. The reason for that might have been IRC being “a part” of the DRF or simply a fear that this might sooner or later lead to the CFC landing on their own doorsteps. However, White Noise rapidly fail-cascaded and no more IRC fleets were to be seen. Soon after, the liberation of Tenal started as -RZR- was looking to get back their ancient home land together with their CFC allies — and once more IRC came out of Cobalt Edge and turned up to fight them. Once the region was taken, IRC continued to hit -RZR- structures in Tenal. Annoyed by all this IRC involvement, and then by having to repair jump bridges and POCOs, -RZR- initiated a “payback” campaign in mid 2012 to “show IRC their place.” The CFC burned down several CSAAs and destroyed multiple hostile fleets attempting to defend. Assuming the message “must have been understood” the campaign was finished and hostilities in Cobalt Edge calmed down to the usual background noise of roaming gangs.
When the CFC decided to remove Northern Coalition. (NC.) from Tribute and Vale of the Silent in late 2012, IRC leadership seemed to have forgotten the message. They had the feeling they needed to help NC., once again in order to avoid a CFC invasion in Cobalt Edge. Hence, they established deeper relations with NC. in an attempt to fight off the CFC, and eventually killed a -RZR- CSAA in a joint operation. Unfortunately for them, their involvement was unable to prevent the loss of Tribute and Vale of the Silent to the CFC.
This is NOT an Invasion!
After the war, NC. moved to the southern parts of EVE and IRC was left alone in Cobalt Edge as the only alliance who had been involved without losing significant assets (aside from a couple CSAAs). Back home in Tenal, -RZR- had a nagging mistrust of IRC and felt something needed to be done as IRC continually pounded away at -RZR-'s POCOs, jump bridges, and smaller POSes in the A1RR area. Any doubts were thrown away once intel arrived that IRC was now scouting CSAAs in Tenal and some of their FCs were discussing how they would be able to take on -RZR- with their 3800 members. While a serious invasion of Cobalt Edge would have been the most direct and obvious approach, this posed several problems: -RZR-'s allies were not really interested in killing their “IRC farming grounds”, something like 10 midpoints were needed to move supers to Cobalt Edge, there were a lot of systems to grind, and last but not least was the wish to respect SOLAR's backyard and maintain good relations.
RAZOR learned a lot in the wars over the 7 regions conquered by CFC in 2012. Solid intel from inside IRC gave insight on how they worked and where their weak spots were, and it was decide that a war of attrition would be the best approach. This meant carebear systems in Cobalt Edge would get permanently camped, jump bridges constantly incapacitated, IRC members forced to repair structures in subcaps, and eventually the entrance systems reinforced to bait fleets out in order to completely demolish them. The goal was to cause expenses for the IRC members, demotivating them and ultimately driving them to drop their alliance. The goal was to drive a thousand or so members out of IRC, dropping them to around 2800 pilots, then sign a deal with them. At first things went slightly better than expected; the state of IRC's leadership was far worse than intel had suggested. SOLAR was busy elsewhere, and probably still upset about IRC helping NC. against the CFC instead of helping SOLAR in their fight against NC. that was occurring at the same time.
The event that really tipped the balance in -RZR-'s was certainly the HB-5L3 station fight. Expecting a lot of IRC allies to show up, CFC allies were asked to “join the fun”. The result was two -RZR- Alphafleets and Dabigredboat's supercarrier fleet roundly demolishing IRC and allies without the slightest chance of victory for IRC.
This event was not only demoralizing, it also caused IRC leadership to believe that they were up against a full-scale CFC invasion — the exact opposite of what was really going on. In a war of attrition, this was ideal. All that was needed was poking 2-3 more systems and the resulting panic was perfect. Members were leaving IRC faster than anyone could keep track, and -RZR- forces went on a little Christmas break while watching Cobalt Edge crumble apart almost on its own. With Vanguard Frontiers leaving after a rumored failed attempt to seal a deal with Black Legion., the alliance logistic and major part of IRC leadership was gone and the downfall accelerated. The aim had been to reduce IRC to 2800 members, but before you knew it they were down to 1200 members. Realizing that the war of attrition had inadvertently ripened the region for invasion simply because every non-CFC member there believed it was an invasion, the order went out to push into Cobalt Edge to “reestablish order.” Within mere days a third of the Cobalt Edge station systems were either conquered or reinforced.
Time to Reestablish Order
After arriving at the conclusion that it would easily be possible to take IRC's Cobalt Edge and Oasa holdings in a very short time, the question came up what to do with the space. RAZOR had no need for another 1.5 regions and there was no interest to get too far into the drone region's backyard. As fans of good roaming, supporters of small alliances, and saddened about IRC's fate, -RZR- started to look for a solution which would give IRC the chance to rebuild and give their more stable partner R O G U E (credited well for being the only IRC ally to turn up for fights) the chance to grow. Due to bad experience with IRC diplomats, the attempt was made to start negotiations through R O G U E leadership. They eventually approached IRC with the proposed deal, which suggested sovereignty transfers in exchange for time to move assets and a place to live and reform.
After some negotiations, everybody agreed on the following proposal:
All holdings north of CUT- will be transferred from IRC to RAZOR Alliance in order to create a buffer zone. All holdings south of CUT- will be transferred to R O G U E, giving them the opportunity to grow their alliance and have all their holdings together in one region. IRC themselves will get R O G U E holdings in Oasa and be allowed to keep the Oasa holdings of their main and their alt alliance (IRC-P), leaving them 6-7 constellations to live in and reestablish themselves. Assuming everybody sticks to the restructuring agreement, all parties involved agreed to not shoot each other’s structures to guarantee a “peaceful” co-existence in a politically stable surrounding.
With the new order we will hopefully see R O G U E as a new growing alliance and IRC managing to survive and reorganize in order to once again become fun guys to PVP with.