The last six months have seen two major changes to the sov map. First, in the summer, the Clusterfuck Coalition (CFC) and the fledgling Honey Badger Coalition (HBC) teamed up to take Delve, Querious and Period Basis. Arrayed against them were the forces of the Southern Coalition (SoCo). What was hyped to be the next Great War turned into a rout. Internal stress fractures doomed the SoCo as much as Dabigredboat hell camping the 319-3D station. Nulli Secunda, the sovereignty holder of Delve was one of the first to leave, citing maltreatment by the SoCo leadership, Against All Authorities (-A-). They moved to Amarr space and joined faction warfare (FW), which was very broken at the time in terms of ability to make ISK, to fatten up wallets in preparation of taking space elsewhere.
While the Southern War was ongoing, albeit against weakened SoCo forces, Northern Coalition. (NC.) violated the OTEC treaty. The CFC declared war against NC. and redeployed to the north. By this time, S2N had moved away from FW due to low morale; their line members were anxious to get back into a real fight. They teamed with NC. and Black Legion (BL) in the earliest phases of the war, joined later by Raiden. Together, the so-called Dot Bros dug their heels in and stubbornly resisted the CFC’s advance. For a while, it seemed like they might. Then, the CFC changed tactics and SOLAR Fleet (SOLAR), along with other members of the Drone Coalition, opened up a second front.
The war that had begun in early August was over by mid-November. The CFC occupied Tribute and Vale of the Silent, space that formerly belonged to NC. and their renters. S2N and NC., who had become close during the Northern War, were looking to take space again and to get back into the sovereignty game. Gorga, the leader of the N3 Coalition, explains the reasoning at the time:
“NC. and S2N didn't want to operate alone, as we know that it is impossible to stand up to a bigger group without a group that at least has some sort of size and can pull numbers as we require to win…. We were looking at building something in the south before the north came to a decisive conclusion, so we were building the coalition well before taking space.”
So, S2N and NC. worked to form a new coalition, to be based in the south, occupying the power vacuum that the fall of the SoCo left. They took the lessons learned from the south and north and incorporated them into their new coalition. Gorga again:
“We have taken our lessons ... and put them together to help us not repeat the mistakes that others have made when working with some very independent groups. We've used the lack of C2, lack of communication, lack of mutual respect that was amongst the entities of the former SOCO and have turned them into strengths of our group. We are still growing and have a large number of growing pains, but we are very dependant upon each other and share a lot of common interests in the way we approach enjoying the game.”
Building a coalition is not easy. I asked Gorga how they determined who to invite. He responded:
“We determined who to invite based on their history with the group, who has worked with us in the past, and who we knew. HUNs, Pangu, were natural given our history (S2N and those groups have been working together for a long time), others we have decent relationships from the former SoCo or from the north. COW and HONOR are the only 'new' upstarts in the group.”
With the new coalition being formed, it was time to announce the move to the south. Barnsy, The Mittani.com’s own writer and S2N member, describes the mood of the alliance as “very” enthusiastic, even though “taking sov again, we knew, would suck.” In practice however, taking sovereignty from -A- proved to be simple, if boring. “We'd take 2-3 -A- systems a day and no one would show,” Barnsy continued. S2N had gotten their revenge on -A-.
The coalition was solidified with the current membership: Nulli Secunda, Northern Coalition., Nexus Fleet, HUN Reloaded, Pangu Coalition, The Kadeshi, Nulli Legio, Nulli Tertius, Echoes of Nowhere, Mildly Sober, Mildly Intoxicated, Cult of War and Spaceship Samurai (S2N, NC., RAX, PANGU, THOR, OPSEC, T2N, E0N, KUNTZ, TWATS, -COW-, and HONOR). Once they were settled in, it was time to settle old grudges. N3 would go fight SOLAR.
“This war was sparked by SOLAR's incursion to treat Unthinkables (INK, Neo Curse Coalition member) like shit, trying to invade them, but the making of this war started back well before that with SOLAR's handling of Gypsy. Nulli/NCdot involvement with them in the north is a large reason why we are now involved in the east. SOLAR made us fight on two fronts to defend tech in the north and seemingly worked with the CFC on a number of issues. This is more speculation, but nonetheless, the SOLAR support (indirectly) of CFC isn't something that we felt should left unpunished…. The initial phases are over. SOLAR has lost Cache and Insmother. The arrival of the CFC alliances in the area (FA and Razor) does nothing to change that. Red Alliance (RA) has been practically able to do most of the fighting on their own recently and a lot of grinding.” -Gorga
He is, of course, referring to the deployment of Fatal Ascension and RAZOR Alliance (FA and RZR) to Great Wildlands to assist SOLAR along with the rest of the Drone Coalition. N3 has been allied with RA for this conflict. Gorga elaborates on the relationship:
“It's not a 'bff' relationship, there is some distance we'd like to keep, but as it currently stands we'll support RA's efforts. The RA of today is not the RA of even a year ago, different leadership and different approach. We're not big allies, but we'll support them as much as we can.”
The fortunes of war may be changing for the new N3 coalition. As mentioned, FA and RZR have both deployed to support the Drone Coalition. In addition, the Drone Coalition has put itself on full war footing and deployed in force to 1I5-0V. Whether this war will be a trial by fire for the N3 or just another wet firecracker remains to be seen.
Many thanks to Gorga for the interview and to Barnsy as well for providing the grunt perspective from N3.