For the past seven days, the Gallente Militia has been assaulting the strategically crucial Caldari-held system of Oicx. This attack is reportedly the first stage of a broader campaign by the GalMil alliance Federation Uprising (FEDUP) against The Bloc (BLOC) alliance – as previously reported in a recent edition of the 1900 News – and it has turned into a classic faction warfare system siege. Oicx has been lighting up on the map as one of the most violent systems in all of New Eden ever since the siege started.
Even though hundreds of faction warfare players have been fighting tooth and nail over control of Oicx, a gateway from Placid into Black Rise and next door to The Bloc’s home in Eha, many denizens of New Eden know little to nothing about what a siege like this really means.
Sure, hundreds if not thousands of frigates and destroyers will die during a struggle like this, but what is it really like for the players involved?
Here’s an inside look into the siege of Oicx, as told by a couple of line members participating in the fighting on opposing sides: Jonnyw2k from Federation Uprising and Maxz z from The Bloc. They have both racked up over 200 kills during the siege itself, and although they have very different backgrounds in New Eden, neither is an old hand at faction warfare. We took the opportunity to ask them what taking part in a siege like this is really like – is it just cheap frigates, frigates, frigates all day? Is it a good entry-level playing ground for PvP minded capsuleers? And most important of all is it any fun?
All out assault – the FEDUP Perspective
Hi Jonnyw2k, thanks for taking the time to talk to us. Could you introduce yourself to our readers quickly? What kind of background do you have in EVE?
“I started off as a noob, just killing rats as my mate mined, pretty much escort duty that kind of thing. I then moved on to Eve University as I wanted somewhere “safe” to learn to play the game, and I did really enjoy it, we went out on quite a lot of roams, and I really got to learn the game there, such as fleet mechanics.
I then took a break for a bit before joining Space Monkeys Alliance (SMA) as part of the Imperium – this was around the time of World War Bee. After SMA left the Imperium I kind of lost interest in the game for a bit. I had put some time and effort into the fight for Imperium, and it felt like leaving the Imperium had nullified that work.”
So how did you end up in the Gallente Militia?
“I joined GalMil because I felt like doing something different that involved PvP, and as a relatively low-SP-pilot with around 23 million SP, faction warfare seemed like a good choice to put that SP to use and get good fights.”
Since you joined GalMil, have you been active mostly in Null Sec or in Faction Warfare space?
“I have only been in GalMil for about 10 days! Most of that has been pure faction warfare. When I joined our main objective was Covryn, then Heydelies and Indregulle, which means I have spent the past week in Oicx.”
So, now that we’ve established where you come from, let’s move on to the heart of the matter – the siege of Oicx. When did you decide to take part in the siege of Oicx?
“Capturing Oicx is the primary goal of FEDUP right now. This is the leaderships clear intent, and we are stocked and ready to fight it, so of course I decided to take part.”
What does a typical day in the siege look like for you? You log in… and then what?
“Easy. Trade FC for a ship, take fleet warps to a plex, kill the CalMil fleet inside… rinse and repeat!”
It really is a unique kind of high-paced, low barrier of entry PvP, isn’t it? You don’t even need to bring your own ship, and you’re more likely to get yelled at for not reshipping quickly enough than for not patiently waiting for the FC’s instructions.
How do you enjoy this type of fighting?
“I’d say it’s good fun, with lots of quick dirty brawls. As both sides are staging out of the same system there is none of the slowboat travelling from system to system before we get in a fight… during World War Bee in the Imperium we would be jumping into systems with massive TiDi and then spending hours waiting to get a lock on the first target. Those fights are fun and impressive, but they can be a bit tedious.”
“I think my preferred style is probably the null-sec roams/gate camps as there is a lot more variety in those situations, these fights with about 5-10 different Doctrines on each side can feel a bit repetitive after a couple of days, but hey there’s always room for surprise like the Marauder kill last night.”
I can imagine that that made a change from shooting Merlins and Cormorants. How did you get to kill a 2 billion ISK Marauder?
“Well, the funny side of that Kronos kill for me is that I lost a Gila to it earlier that same day, while I was playing station games with a Venture. It was then spotted running a Large plex on its own, and we kept eyes on it while we got ourselves ready – sorting out cyno alts and the logistics of making sure we had everything in system to kill it.”
“I wouldn’t say our formup took ages, but long enough that it would have been able to flee and dock up if CalMil had had spies in our comms at the time! In the end, it was a fun surprise kill.”
Defending the Flag – The BLOC Perspective
Hi Maxz z, good to talk to you. So where do you come from in New Eden, before you became part of The Bloc alliance?
“Well I started playing eve in 2012, back then it was a real struggle for new players having to learn how to survive in EVE. You only had 21-day trial period, and if you had not subscribed by then you could not play anymore. I ended up doing missions, ratting in highsec to try and farm some ISK. I used that ISK to buy a Cruiser, which was the limit of ship type available for trial accounts, and started running DED sites. I got some lucky loots, made a few hundred million ISK and then invested that in station trading. I had to create several new trial accounts like that before I was able to raise enough ISK to buy my first PLEX – I think back then it was around 400, 500 million ISK.”
Right, so did you stay in highsec for a long time?
“I did a lot of random stuff like mining, lowsec belt ratting, joined an industrial corp which does a lot of ice mining in the Domain region, and I mined ice for a full month… then got bored of that and started dueling random people at the Amarr and Jita undock. Thats where i started my PvP career! I really just wanted to learn more about other ships, weapon types,… and I got lucky, because the people that killed me started giving me advice on fitting ships for PvP.
Still, I took a break after a few months of this, and only came back much later, because I wanted to try out other areas of the game. EVE just has so much to offer, and I still haven’t tried everything yet – nullsec, wormhole stuff and real fleet fights are all things I haven’t experienced yet.”
How did you end up in faction warfare, and Caldari Militia specifically?
“I was part of a random PvP small gang group for a short while, and then got interested in faction warfare because I had read about it. The idea of having an enemy that you can kill anywhere in space – highsec, lowsec, doesn’t matter – really appealed to me and so I enlisted in the Caldari militia NPC corp, just out of curiosity really.
Then after a couple of days of fooling around and not really knowing what I was doing, there was a public gate camp fleet advertised in the Militia chat channel. I never did gate camp before so I burned over to that system and promptly died jumping in Tama! Of course I didn’t know it was permacamped… but the FC of the public fleet – who was a Bloc pilot – gave me a safer route and I ended up enjoying the gate camp fleet so much that joined Bloc and started a new life in lowsec. I’ve been active in CalMil for about 5 months now.
How did you find out about the siege of Oicx?
“Well, our CEO, CPTRINGO, basically told us that GalMil had returned from nullsec and was going to hit Oicx hard. And I just joined the defense fleet to get some quick kills.
I’d say that worked out quite nicely – you have 279 kills in the last 7 days according to Zkill!
“Yes. And when I saw that FEDUP really means business, and the numbers that they bring, I just got more determined to help. They seem to have plexing fleets out 24/7.”
What’s life like for you defending Oicx?
“Well, I am in a fairly quiet timezone actually, so when I log in there are very few people online. As soon as one of the FCs gets online, we go out and start slowing down the GalMil progress, holding them while our numbers grow and we eventually start to plex the system back down.
As for what I do – depends on what the FC needs, really. I will fly anything depending on the situation. I did do a lot of ECM yesterday and it was a hell of a lot of fun. We really did kick their butts. That’s also what is so cool about these kinds of siege fights – we fight for hours, non stop. It’s a constant meat grinder. The Bloc has ships it hands out to us, and we have a lot experienced FCs who rotate.
Most of the time we have fewer numbers than the Gals, but we are usually able to take them on, kill more of them, and win the fights.”
Clearly, morale is still high on both sides of the battlefield. The fighting in Oicx continues (BR for day 7). It’s anyone’s guess who will win this battle of attrition – will ship stocks run out on one side? Will spirits falter on the other?
Stay tuned to find out, or sign up with one of the militias to experience this fast-paced, new-player-friendly action first hand!
Featured and secondary image credit: Razorien
Faction warfare graph credit: Dotlan