The HBC (Honey Badger Coalition) is dead. As it was originally created, the HBC was a community with a herd type mentality, rather than a rigid military style command structure. As the HBC grew by leaps and bounds to encompass most of the south, an attempt was made to bring the HBC more into line with a traditional coalition, with a central command structure under the leadership of Sort Dragon following Montolio’s meltdown. They never successfully made that transition, as tensions between TEST and Pandemic Legion causing Sort Dragon to reset PL’s blue standings in the coalition after certain PL pilots decided to shoot blues over a diplomatic incident. This resulted in Sort Dragon leaving PL and going to his alliance, Here Be Dragons, to lead the HBC.
Sort Dragon had barely moved into his metaphorical office when an incident occurred at FanFest. Insults were hurled, the honors of ladies insulted, and gauntlets thrown down. Sort Dragon declared that the HBC would go to war with N3, specifically Nulli Secunda, in an announcement that used much of the same language that the deposed Montolio had used. This backfired, as there were several entities in the HBC that opposed this plan.
TEST alliance withdrew from the HBC following some threats from Sort Dragon on what would happen if they did not toe the party line. Those threats included removing TEST leadership and replacing them with people more loyal to Sort Dragon, which is about as absurd as the tail wagging the dog. In addition, according Phreeze, there were some issues regarding Unclaimed and Tribal Band that came to a head, as well as Raiden “fucking off to parts unknown.”
The departure of TEST killed the HBC, much as the departure of the United States would kill NATO. All the other issues were just icing on the proverbial cake. It is not totally clear how the internal power struggles occurred, but a new group has emerged in the southeast: The Dinner Squadron.
We talked to Phreeze, the self described “informal diplomat of sorts” of the new The Dinner Squadron (TDS) to find out just what the political landscape of the southeast looks like. Much thanks to him for talking to us.
The Dinner Squadron is organized more along the lines of a community or confederacy of blues, with each member alliance working together for common defense. This is probably all TDS can do at this point until they get situated. Offensive wars take a considerable amount of effort and coordination.
TDS also seems to be following the Pandemic Legion model of leadership. Phreeze states that there “is no rigid leadership figure. There is no despot or public figurehead to sling poo at, per se.” While Sort Dragon is involved as an alliance leader of Here Be Dragons, he might not be calling the shots for this new entity. However, as long as TDS leadership does not “care to comment on the inner working of the Squadron,” uncertainty will reign.
Phreeze did have a few things to say regarding TDS’s relationship with their neighbors:
The Dinner Squadron is a relatively small, local coalition. Far from being the bloated carcass of the HBC or the overbearing colossus of the CFC, TDS is simply invested in the cordial relations of its members and the vigorous defense of its territories. You won't see us declaring ‘war’ over any perceived slights, nor declaring a fatwa on Test and friends for withdrawing from the HBC. Most of our leadership and alliance remain on cordial terms with TEST and their leadership, with some exceptions of course.
The current membership of TDS, according to Phreeze, consists of The Initiative, Unclaimed, Cha Ching PLC, EntroPraetorian Aegis, Here Be Dragons, Insidious Empire, WALLTREIPERS ALLIANCE, Ethereal Dawn, and Orchestrated Alliance. Dingo’s list includes a few more, though, and Phreeze does admit that he might have left a few out. Additionally, the Squadron is most likely still in a state of flux, as it's still being created. A solid list might be a few weeks away.
In any case, TDS has a good amount of players; in the area of fifteen thousand different characters. The collapse of HBC triggered a vacuum that needed to be filled, and the remnants' successful coalescence into The Dinner Squad might make EVE nullsec a quad-polar world.