The second great Caldari/Gallente War
As I addressed in my previous Faction War article, the mechanics of control of systems in Faction Warfare, and how easy it has been to take and hold systems, has swung dramatically since Inferno’s revamp. Clear lines of “winner” and “loser” were very difficult to draw on the Caldari/Gallente warzone. Both sides were able to successfully swing the systems in their favor, and spike their control level to do high tier 4 and 5 cashouts. The quick fix released prior to Retribution seemed to lock the warzone in stasis, causing offensive actions to be difficult to impossible.
When the changes that were coming to the system were announced. Both Caldari and Gallente schemed as to how to best swing control in their favor before retribution. Leaders on both side understood that whoever happened to have the spike at the time, would have a dramatic advantage leading into their future war efforts. The Caldari plan seemed to be to remain patient and allow Gallente to maintain control of the warzone, starved of locations to offensively plex. When time comes they could flip the systems in the week leading up to Retribution, and own the warzone with freshly uncontested systems.
Unfortunately for the Caldari command, no one expected that the warzone would be locked down early, and that the system would be even more difficult to make progress in than previously imagined. The Caldari bided their time, attempting to maneuver themselves into position so that they could capitalize on the changes that would be implemented with Retribution.
On the day of Retribution’s release, the Caldari made their move and seized Vifrevaert. The goal purportedly was to use this victory as both a moral boost, and a rallying point for further momentum to take back the warzone.
All For Naught
As it turned out Vifrevaert provided very little tactical advantage for the Caldari. Station systems are critical in Faction Warfare due to station lock outs, and taking missioning systems is even more important, as it starves the enemy of money and opportunity. Vifrevaert was neither of these. Meanwhile, in another section of the warzone, the Gallente started a massive counter effort to secure systems that were taken during the little time Caldari had earlier to flip systems that were still vulnerable.
This venture by the Gallente was tremendously successful. The final death knell was that Kraken., Hallanen and Enaluri’s primary defender, withdrew from the warzone to join WHY so Seri0Us in Null-sec. Before downtime could even register this change was occurring, both systems fell to the Gallente army. Unlike Vifrvaert, these two systems were missioning station systems and represented a substantial loss near the center of the warzone.
Since then the Gallente war machine has lumbered on in a seemingly unstoppable fashion. The Caldari, clearly demoralized by watching their efforts be for naught (Vifrevaert returned to Gallente control in less than a week), has been unable to amount any meaningful defence, and the Gallente continue to take multiple systems a day since their counter offensive began.
However, as the they approach tier 5 status, things will become progressively more difficult for the Gallente. Reduced to fewer systems, Gallente plexers will be unable to hide their presence to Caldari patrols, who will be much more concentrated. Furthermore, the LP cost to raise systems goes up as a faction gets closer to total dominance. At some point Caldari will gain enough traction to hold ground, and likely push back. Many Caldari have said that the reason they are in this position is due to bad luck, or CCP conspiracy with the warzone lockdown. Over time, the Caldari’s superior numbers may wear down the Gallente advantage. What they need right now is a strong leadership to unite the fractured organizations within their militia.
We may see an equilibrium struck, but more likely the pendulum will begin to swing again. The history of faction warfare shows us that no sides dominance is permanent, and I salute all of the men and women out there diligently working to turn ISK into explosions.