Wasserfee brings a new interview series to New Eden Report, about less-visible groups.
Dear Capsuleers of Tranquility and citizens of New Eden,
I present to you: “Project Decloak”
It’s a project that aims to present smaller, not universally known alliances to a broader audience. The first alliance to be portrayed is going to be:
[FLEEP] Iron Armada
Living in: Sov Null/NPC Null/Lowsec
Operating in: Sov Null/NPC Null/Lowsec/Wormholes
Created: 12 May 2015
Current members: 292 (approx. 60-70 real people)
Activity rate: ~15% Krabbing, ~85% Warfare
Diplomat/Other Leadership: Bowfa Doze
Coalition: – None
Playstyle: Casual | 1 — 2 — 3 — (4) — 5 | Pro
Hello Tridgit, thanks for taking the time to answer a few questions and tell us a little bit about your alliance!
Can you tell us the general history and story of Iron Armada? How did you come together as a group?
Over our four and a half years, we’ve had many evolutions on our group. I first started Iron.Guard in highsec, after the fabled halloween war (N.B.: A large war in 2013-14 with CFC (now Imperium) and friends fighting against N3 Coalition and Pandemic Legion, the famous bloodbath of B-R5RB was an event in that war). I wanted to get a break from the TiDi fests of the super bloc warfare, and at that time it was CFC/RUS or N3. Nullsec was a boring two-sided stalemate, and I wanted to try my hand at something new-ish. I’d been in massively innovative alliance in the past, like Cruel Intensions or Cry Havoc, I’d been in huge blob entities like the CFC or N3. I’d flown under and against some of the most exciting or dynamic FC’s in the game, as well as been a part of massive strategic machinations of others. So why did I start up a highsec newbie accepting corp? Irons first moves honestly were to get back running with our own feet under us, and simply having fun. Myself and a small group of friends formed the initial core of Iron, and I sold the super I had at the time to bankroll it. We had so many lessons to relearn, and a whole bunch of new ones to fall headfirst into. Management, strategy, doctrinal flows, who we are friends with and how to avoid getting stomped by others…
Iron evolved fairly quickly into a lowsec entity, and we moved to Nalvula, which was semi-quiet lowsec space, not too far from Faction Warfare, and close to some nullsec entities for roaming, and you still had local missions for isk. Was fun, but we outgrew it reasonably fast, and we did a short move over into Passari for a stint in faction warfare. This honed some peoples small gang skills, but the org overall was not healthy or happy there, so we picked up and moved to Syndicate.
NPC null crucible of the time was really active. We had the Eve University nullsec campus in PC9, 404 Alliance and our friends in one pocket, CAStabouts and Clockwork Pineapple on one side, some LowSechnayaSholupen friends on the other, with some heavy hitter lowsec entities all within jump range. It was at this stage that Iron really started focusing on objective based PVP. We sieged moons with dreads, hilariously had active titans in corp at the time, woke up early on weekends to fight enemies off timezone, and all round learned a fuckload of lessons really quickly.
After a few months in this area, IronGuard became Iron Armada, and we diplomatically gained the Tinnimerci constellation in Cloud Ring. The Aegis patch was about to hit, and it was our time to step into nullsec to learn the hard way how the new sov mechanics would work. From Day 1 we ended up dealing with aggression from everyone around, daily fleets harassing and entosising our stuff, also constantly fighting the local enemies of FWEDDIT, as well as the faction warfare people that would swing in for content.
We ended up suffering a director level betrayal here, almost at the same time that we got word that Pandemic Horde would be joining WAFFLES in their aggression against us. So we packed up over a couple days, and safely extracted out before we could be evicted.
This was a period of time when we had entertained the idea of having corps within Iron. After a short stint back in syndicate, Iron made the commitment to move all the way to Molden Heath on the other side of the universe. It took us weeks to really start making progress and gaining a foothold, but we started, and we ended up cleansing the entire region. We took every moon worth taking, brought in a few corps, had the betrayal of one allie, who we purged from existence with the help of our newly moved in friend Dropbears. It was a fantastic time, until the content ran out. Iron had grown, we had actual respectable fleet sizes, and we won campaigns. We had logistics, multiple titans, activity and then rapidly ran out of targets. The lack of warfare then was very bad for both Iron and Dropbear. Dropbear collapsed due to internal drama. Iron decided to shack up with our very recent enemy Feign Disorder and re-enter the sovnull game. It was at this point we had our internal reckoning and all corps except the main one were purged.
We fought great campaigns with Feign and learned a lot from them. Time was not friendly to them however, with internal activity problems due to multiple RL induced absences up top and an attempted coup. Feign decided to remove themselves from the Sov space for a while to regroup. It was during this period that Feign and Iron had ‘accidentally’ conquered a large section of Wicked Creek, which later became the battlezone for multiple wars for Iron. First defensively against The Bastard Cartel and Manifesto, then later against a group named Madhouse, and then finally withstanding a couple entities from the then Vanguard Coalition who decided to break non invasion pacts with Iron to instead pursue a war. After months of literally constant war, Iron sold the space to our then allies Fraternity and vanished effectively overnight. Back to the west.
We sat ourselves in Black Rise lowsec and decided to pick on Pandemic Horde’s installed pets in cloud ring, basically the whole previous situation, but now reversed. We had a blast there, a fantastic whirlwind of fleets with nothing on the line to cool down after effectively a year of “fight or die” war. This was in Spring 2017.
It was during this era that the fountain plan was hatched, and here we are entering summer 2018 just over a year later, and our plan of fighting/conquering our sov home as well as acquisition of faction forts is now realized.
Most of the major set piece events touched on above have campaign videos to commemorate them. They can be found at youtube.com/user/tridgit . I’m currently working on the Iron and friends vs Atlas and friends Fountain war, which is starting to get to meme worthy levels of late.
Wow, that was A LOT of detailed information. So my next question would be, which people or groups of people were important for the journey of FLEEP- be it member, friend or enemy?
I’ll start with the enemies that helped Iron be forged into what it is today. Thank you PL for having a director access person wipe us clean. You’ve taught Iron how to trust. Thank you Nocturnal Romance and Shadow Cartel and Snuffbox for teaching Iron how to live under overwhelming capital forces. You’ve taught Iron the meaning of hasty operations, ninja dread ops, and the importance of proper scouting. Thank you Clockwork Pineapple for reminding Iron that people say things and do opposing things. Thank you FWEDDIT for being a constant pest of an enemy, but being honourable, and reminding Iron that not everyone sucks. Thank you Manifesto and TBC for trying to evict us. You taught us how to stand and fight with everything on the line. Thank you Rabble for the friend turned enemy civil war. You’ve taught Iron how to choose better friends. Thank you NOFUN, your ballsy super use, oppressive cloaky camping, and complete indifference to fighting ‘fair’ taught Iron many lessons. You allowed us to see the true depth of our moral tank. You allowed us to harden under competent, determined, and hostile aggression, and we are a hell of a lot sharper for it.
For friends, we’ve had a great many during our time. Everyone helped us grow and learn in some way. Usurper. Lethal Intent. Cruisers Crew. Rabble. Dropbears. Feign Disorder. Slyce. Frat. FCORE. FEDUP.
Those within Iron though are the most important. Some people contribute time and effort towards holding up the backbone of the corp. Some dedicate time and effort towards content creation. I’m not going to call out names in public of course, but let it be known that Irons strength is a team effort.
If I would like to join you, but I am looking for a reason to join YOU out of all the possible choices, what makes you special? What can’t I find anywhere else?
We are not an alliance. We are a single corp. In fact the only 2 reasons Iron Armada is not known as Iron.Guard is because swanky logo mechanics and sov mechanics require alliance entity. This allows us to do some unique things. We have a specific culture that focuses on inclusion within the ranks, a drive to constantly improve as individuals while we adapt as an organisation, all centered around active participation. Our format allows a removal of the typical ‘middle management’ layer of other alliances, a lesson we knew but had to relearn the hard way nontheless. Iron has a strong esprit de corps that drives towards the same goals. We ruthlessly purge inactive members, or people who are unwilling to get with our program/mindset.
Ok, let’s say, I would’ve now joined you guys, what would a typical day/week like for me as a normal “line member” look like?
During Krabtime (~15%) we probably have a wormhole dive fleet, or people just hanging out on Teamspeak playing other games. A few people will be making ISK. Basically time for yourself. We try to keep this to a minimum though.
During Pewtime (~85%), probably log in to one of the daily fleets, or being frantically asked by an FC to do XYZ cause :shitshappening: and :fuckingforgotsomethingimportant:
If you’re fighting so much: Do you have an industrial backbone or how do you finance your warfare activites?
Irons industrial backbone is at the corporate level for some things, and the individual level for others. The corp does buyback for PI and salvage and we produce things for the corp with this. Individuals do reactions and other things with our moon income because we don’t tax the moons directly, so there’s a lot of freedomfor individuals to make money. We have open access for all members to make money how they wish, building Supers, diving wormholes, mission running, smashing anomalies, relic hunting or mining.
In the beginning our income was focused on mission running at the individual level and me simply wallet tanking at the org level. As we grew and fought for moons, things started to turn around, but no matter where we went, we ensured there was at least a couple ways for ISK to be easily made at an individual level.
Change between time of Interview and Publishing:
In the mean time, Iron.Associates has been created, which functions as a sibling-wise alliance that is home of multiple industrial corporations. The main focus is to produce ships for Iron Armada and keeping up ADMs in Fountain.
Where is “home” for you?
Home for Iron is where the activity is. We own sov in Fountain, but that’s only means so much. We conquered it the hard way, and held onto it despite local storms, so I guess I can’t fully write it off as not being our home, but we truly are a PvP first org, so sitting in Fountain kills our ingame activity until we mobilize for fights.
Who was or is your favorite enemy? And why?
Iron as an org I think universally will say Atlas Alliance and the Tartarus Coalition. We found ourselves in a situation against opponent that on paper was much larger than us, in fleet was roughly equal to us, and capital firepower was roughly equivalent to us. Probably the most fair fight anyone could possible hope for in a full eviction war, and we diplomatically ensured it stayed an even fight.
Let’s turn the question around and shittalk a little: Who was or is your LEAST favorite enemy? And why?
Probably NOFUN. Every time we fought them in combat we learned a hard lesson, so in hindsight they are good for you if you survive and are canny enough to actually learn lessons. During their eviction attempt on us, they used supers when you didn’t expect it, assembled subcap fleets specifically to counter ours, were relentless in trying to cloaky camp, and shameless in doing anything to win a fight (including calling in phones to win fights out of timezone, or using questionable game mechanics, or even manipulating others to bend to their will), and always had spies seeded into the groups they fought against.
Speaking of assembling fleets: If you could (un)balance one ship, which one would it be?
Triage. I like the “not a carrier” part of the force auxiliaries, but give me combat refit back and also lets simmer down on these tanks eh?
If you would need to give a personal and special advice for a new player, what would it be? (No standard stuff, please!)
Don’t be afraid to learn hard lessons, just make sure you actually learn them and do not get discouraged. Making excuses is what soft and ignorant people do. Find out the ‘why,’ and learn to either avoid that thing or use it to kill someone else. Welcome to Eve.
That’s kind of half-standard. I’ll let you get away with it, though.
Okay, since you are very detailed in answering, I don’t really have to ask a lot more “serious” questions, so how about some (maybe) funnier ones?
In (an Eve) war everything is allowed: Yes or No?
Yes (within game mechanics)
Okay: Who would you rather team up with: RED or XIX? And why?
Before the recent war I would have said “XIX, because money”, but now I’ll say neither.
Who would you rather team up with: PL or NC.? And why?
Neither to be honest. If pressed to make a choice, it would be NC. because they have some cool people in there and that’s better than nothing. Where’s Manny these days? Or Killah? Those guys are cool and a pleasure to fly with.
Coke or Pepsi?
Coke, specifically the Vanilla one.
We should totally team up then. Anyways, thank you for spending a little bit of time to answer my questions!
If you guys have an own opinion about Iron Armada, don’t be shy to comment. But it’s Eve… I doubt I have to say this, you would anyways.