Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Of Tactical Retreats

Warfare has always been like the tides back on Penirgman's Vashreon Coast...advancing, and retracting in predictable fashions. Geo politics within the Eve Cluster moderates the warfare in the nullsec systems quite effectively...and often with much foresight. Several months ago, GBC Alliance members held many cluster regions...but now that is all lost to the predictable reaction when a group expands too quickly with too much success.

Today, Band of Brothers is in control of only its home region of Delve, and many of its allies are broken and shattered across the cluster. From what I can tell, the leadership has purposely retracted its military footing over the last few months in the form of a Tactical Retreat...something hardly ever lectured upon in Amarr War Colleges. While I may not be formally trained in such strategy, I can tell it is being executed with deadly precision. The basic maneuver is to fight a series of skirmish battles across several sectors while pulling your most valuable assets back to the home regions...allowing the enemy to become flush with victories. These victories are key in exploiting their belief that they are invincible...which leads to serious errors in strategy.

Once back in Delve it was clear the hammer was coming down...with BoB leadership authorizing the formation of the largest capital fleets I have ever seen...including Empire Navy Fleets. The Coalition was allowed to gain a toe-hold in Delve so they could easily bring forth new reinforcements, and they were utterly crushed by superior tactics and advanced ships during any major battles. It is remarkable to see the ignorance of the enemy as they continue throwing vast fleets to "Grinder Alley"...the route from QY6 to PR- sectors. BoB leadership is obviously banking on continuously destroying Coalition fleets until their stockpiles have run out. Nothing I have seen has led me to believe the leadership present in the Coalition realizes that it cannot defeat BoB in Delve, but that is really what BoB is counting on.

It reminds me of the guerrilla actions of Matari slave revolts on Amarr Prime...but instead of tunnels and secret caches of weapons, the Alliance uses cynojammers and jump bridges. The extension of planetary warfare on a macro scale to fleet operations of this magnitude is surprising. I suppose in essence...the term "war is war...nothing else" is very apt.

Already a Red Alliance Titan was destroyed...with another trapped in NOL (I suspect). Well over 70 enemy tower installations have been destroyed and looted. Only one can guess the level of ship destruction that is still going on as I write this. The conventional wisdom in Eve is that you cannot fight a defensive war and survive, but once again the Alliance is proving the 'CW' wrong.

Fractures are starting to show now within the ranks of the more informed enemies. Mercenary Coalition has taken a 'fake contract' to attack a weak northern alliance that I suspect will allow them to distance themselves from Delve. Several northern alliances have already pulled back seeing how many ships they have lost. Red Alliance has moved into offensive operations within the eastern drone regions. I will not even go into the recruiting that BoB is doing from these alliances...but it is 'robust' after proving who had the sharper fangs. When you are heavily outnumbered but still come out victorious...that has a lasting effect on your legacy.

On a personal combat crews have never seen so much action. In particular, my flagship the EVOL Blackguard, a Damnation class Command Ship has scored numerous victories recently....including 21 in a patrol operation to Fountain. To say I miss the Fountain region is and I believe it is my true home within the Eve Cluster. Having a patrol there was a great morale boost to my crews and me personally. Ever since the retreat, BoB has given up control of Fountain to focus on operations in Delve. On that one patrol, we came away with 60 victories and only 9 losses...fighting 2:1 odds. Lions indeed.

I hope to keep this journal more up to date in the future. The tactics and scale of warfare in the south is truly an event worth documenting for future use...history is being made here, where a few stood against the many, and came out with unbridled glory.


Congo Sovereign said...

Very good analysis - I tend to agree with you on the "battle fatigue." In fact I write about it on my blog as well -

I think the formal tactical theory is called a Hedgehog defense - defenders deploy in depth in heavily fortified positions suitable for all-around defence.

This is a key tactic in any retreat (withdrawl for those less inclined), and the Germans did it the best on the eastern front in WWII.

Good post -- maybe you might add my blog to your list. I like the "role-playing" element of the blog - I tend to refer to real-world events as they relate to my Eve life.

Smak said...

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