Knives out on the frontier

Trying to catch a falling knife is a risky business. This is my attempt at capturing a story that began several years ago but continues to evolve and to affect my home in Placid. As you will see, this particular knife has blades on both ends for me and I honestly don’t know if now is the best time to try catching it but, given this month’s elections, it seems as good a time as any.

The personalities involved go back much further but I will begin with the events that caught my interest. In YC 119 an informal coalition of Federal Defense Union (FDU) alliances conquered and then settled in large parts of Cloud Ring, as told in this wonderful account of an ‘Accidental Empire’. The area become known by its new masters as ‘Galmilistan’. A number of alliances were involved but the three most important to this story are Pen is Out (WANGS), Villore Accords (GMVA) and Federation Uprising (FEDUP). Like or loath the FDU, and it tends to be one or the other with us Placid locals, it was an inspiring story that made what happened next particularly shocking. Almost immediately after the foundation of Galmilistan, the settlers of this new frontier for the Federation turned their knives on each other. This is the story of what happened next and how that feud continues to reverberate across Placid today, as told using the words of leaders from each of the alliances involved.

Pen Is Out has always looked down on FEDUP as an alliance, and the internal tension had always been there for many years. Pen Is Out dropped the Gallente Militia, and roughly a month later declared that they were resetting all of Galmil. Not long after, they started making attacks on our Cloud Ring sovereignty, coordinating with Snuffed Out who was attacking our Pure Blind space simultaneously.” says CaseyLP (Alliance Director - XMETA / FEDUP).

When asked for an explanation as to why WANGS turned on their allies, Ouso Borghese (Senior FC - RDRAW / WANGS) consulted internally but was not able to comment beyond referring to an interview at the time with Tek Stalker (CEO - RDRAW / WANGS) and Silver Suspira (Alliance EO - XMETA / FEDUP). Perhaps because GMVA was not directly involved in the eviction of FEDUP, first from Cloud Ring and then Placid, Rinai Vero (Diplomatic Director - AISA / GMVA), is more expansive, “Unfortunately, both FEDUP and AIDER have engaged in campaigns of slander against GMVA after suffering losses against RDRAW. Their leadership would rather blame us for their misfortune than confront the consequences of their own mistakes and blunders. It’s a shame, because AIDER and other FEDUP line members have fought bravely for the Federation in numerous campaigns, only to have those accomplishments sullied by the traitorous choices made by their leaders to openly aid Caldari terrorists.

Vero is referring to the events in May YC 121 and more recently, which have seen FEDUP and a former FEDUP member corporation Aideron Robotics (AIDER) participating in operations by enemies of WANGS and GMVA against their former allies in Galmilistan. After its eviction, FEDUP left the FDU and moved about as far away as possible to rebuild in Immensea. Some time later, several FDU loyalist corporations, such as AIDER and Sons of Luminarie (GFSL) dropped out of the alliance (with varying degrees of acrimony) and returned to the CEMWPA war zone. While they may have disagreed over the importance of loyalty to the FDU, it is clear that neither FEDUP nor AIDER have forgiven WANGS for turning on them in Galmilistan or GMVA for failing to take their side. Here is CaseyLP again, “While we’ve never partnered with Rogue Caldari Union directly (only indirectly through Templis), Templis on the other hand has always respected FEDUP through our years of fighting with each other, much more so than our Galmil allies ever did, and so old enemies became our new allies. We still maintain friendly status and will help them occasionally, especially against Pen Is Out and Villore Accords, who we see to have backstabbed us and treated us terribly, especially while we were in Galmil.

In May YC 121, FEDUP returned to the war zone to clash directly with WANGS and GMVA. These former defenders of the Federation joined a fleet led by State Protectorate (SPROT) aligned alliances Rogue Caldari Union (CURB) and Templis CALSF (CALSF) attacking GMVA structures. At the time, some were outraged at this betrayal of the Federation, despite having been involved (or at least complicit) in the original eviction of FEDUP. However, the degradation of CURB and CALSF forces over the second half of YC 121 seems to have prompted a more phlegmatic view. “On some level, they think they have to get revenge on us all because we evicted them from nullsec and forced them to go elsewhere. All jokes and such aside, from our perspective this was a war they started, and then didn’t like the outcome. They will consequently join in any blob against us (no matter how distasteful in my personal opinion) – but will never fight us, GMVA, or the rest of Galmil on their own.” comments Borghese.

Julianus Soter (Alliance EO - GMVA, also running for the Presidency of the Federation) is fairly dismissive of FEDUP and says his focus has moved on to the brewing confrontation with AIDER and their allies Intergalactic Space Hobos (.BUMS) and Ishuk-Raata Enforcement Directive (I-RED). “AIDER is enlisting in .BUMS fleets as an attempt to damage or harm WANGS while WANGS is engaging structures in Placid which have access lists that allow SPROT aligned pilots to dock. However, AIDER sees this primarily as an opportunity for them to inflict revenge for recent Athanor losses to WANGS after a failed diplomatic negotiation occured. It’s all rather ridiculous in my opinion and echos almost exactly what occured between WANGS and FEDUP back a couple of years ago. People can’t get it into their heads that they have to make bargains and deals in lowsec, form friendships, and relationships, to survive in this chaotic area. They can’t just charge through like a ■■■■■■■ isolationist state and hope to succeed. Instead of an opportunity, they saw a threat, and now they have zero structures in space and are trying to wage this bizzarre guerilla campaign.

Perhaps that gives Federal voters some insight into General Soter’s thought process. So, what exactly is the nature of GMVA’s friendship with WANGS, what is the point of the campaign by .BUMS and I-RED in Placid and how does AIDER justify its current choice of allies? More from these characters and, I hope, Executor Hinkelman (I-RED) and Drake Arson (.BUMS) in ‘Part 2’ below.


When asked for his reaction to Part 1 of this piece, Beynex (CEO - AIDER) obliged in immediate and strident tones. He was furious at the suggestions above that AIDER’s motivation for the current conflict against WANGS / GMVA is driven by bitterness about the fragmentation of Galmilistan. He points instead to the attacks on AIDER athanors referred to by General Soter in Part 1 combined with an ultimatum to either commit to defending WANGS structures or pay rent.

I was sent the following:You guys just rebuilt yourselves, do we really have to destroy everything you rebuilt or are you going to play ball now?AIDER has never been a corporation to bow to the demands of a larger group attempting to bully us into submission. At this point we knew that WANGS would continue to attack us as long as we refused to be extorted for either our pilots time or ISK. The Federation can claim the sovereignty of the systems in the war zone, but they will never truly be free as long as WANGS has a boot on the neck of the war zone and everyone in it. AIDER is not the only group that has realized this, and that is why we and many other groups who choose to call this area home are now fighting their oppression.

AIDER appears to have timed its resistance well in that its conflict with WANGS / GMVA is escalating just as the campaign in ‘lower’ Placid by .BUMS and I-RED has reached a successful completion. As the crisis on Intaki Prime was unfolding last year, these two alliances extended their combined forces from Solitude and Syndicate respectively to defeat Hull Penetration and Panic Attack, who had together dominated lower Placid for some time. War makes for strange allies but .BUMS and I-RED seem to agree with AIDER, perhaps for slightly different reasons, that WANGS’ power needs to be challenged.

AIDER has normally been on the other side of I-RED’s interests, still is. However it would seem that WANGS’ recent push to rid Placid, Black Rise, Essence, and the Citadel of all competition has forced a cooperative effort upon us,” explains Alex Hinkelmann (Alliance EO - I-RED). Drake Arson (Director - .BUMS) agrees, “Whether you be a space poverty person (like us), an elite L5 funded pilot, or whatever, it’s pretty clear that lowsec is better off when the power is balanced.

All the hostility directed at WANGS made me wonder how its smaller partner, GMVA, feels about the association. Rinai Vero holds understandably strong views about allegations of undue influence by a ‘pirate’ organisation. “At no point has WANGS taken any action or made any demand that GMVA compromise its independence or it’s commitment to the Federation. Whenever we have participated in WANGS fleets, our participation has always been voluntary, and never coerced. We have the autonomy to decide on a case by case basis whether the objective of any WANGS led fleet is one that benefits GMVA or the Federation, and choose whether or not to participate accordingly.

WANGS itself has a nuanced position, holding itself apart from the militia but professing support for the Federation and pointing to support given by its opponents to State loyalists - all of which is set out in the combatants’ own words in this fascinating exchange on a GalNet discussion board.

Now for the knife catching part. Relationships between many local capsuleers may be tested, if we are forced to pick a side in this conflict. I have seen GMVA deploy in defence of both Intaki Prime and capsuleer friends’ structures in recent months. I-RED’s decade of commitment to economic development in Syndicate and Placid has to be respected, as should the role played by .BUMS in driving out the menace of Hull Penetration and Panic Attack (although I do wonder if we are out of the frying pan and into the fire on that front!). One might have thought that there was enough space for all of them to co-exist and perhaps even suggest that their combined resources would be better directed in a unified effort against the real threat to everyone in the region, The Initiative, but that appears to be naive.

AIDER folks are fun to fly with and have a nice enthusiasm for war that matches well with our veterans,” says Arson. Hinkelmann is more circumspect but the message is essentially the same, “We hope to deter both GMVA and WANGS from encroaching on legitimate economic development in the area. We know the abilities of these organizations and fully expect a long protracted conflict.

Personally, I can understand the accusations of disloyalty to the Federation levelled by WANGS and GMVA against their detractors while at the same time sympathising with the resentment prompted among those detractors by their heavy handed approach to any serious competition in the region. Sadly, all sides appear to share the same relish for power and money and, let’s face it, killing that afflicts very many capsuleers. I know I am in no position to judge those weaknesses without being a hypocrite but then again I am not running for the Presidency and I do think it is reasonable to ask, in this election week, whether General Soter’s part in this debacle is relevant to his candidacy. At the risk of cliche, with great power comes great responsibility, in both Federal and capsuleer politics alike.


Wow, that’s quite a pose from General Soter. Is that his official campaign picture ?

There are many pirate alliances in low security and lawless space, and WANGS are just one of them. However, it is not a secret to anyone that they crawls on the floor, kissing boots of their masters - gallente terrorists, the most infamous of them being Villore Accords.

I do remember, actually, when the Federation Uprising took the stand against the Gallente menace and joined Caldari forces to fight off the gallente occupants, WANGS and other negative elements taking the Gallente side.

But, let us be honest, even as menacing gallente terrorists as Villore Accords are simply nothing by themselves. An alliance like that represents no threat against the State, and that’s why they need a personal hammer - those pirates, who are ready to sell their honor for couple of bloody gallente isk.

While I do consider WANGS a threat to civlian life and altogether for low security space, I still want to remind everyone who the real culprits here are. Villore Accords. A well known terrorists, pirates and neverdowells, that are infamous not only because of their criminal activities, but moreover - for their service to the criminal inhuman mass-murderous regime known as Gallente Federation. Warmongers by allegiance, pirates by way of life. It’s not a surprise a criminal groups like WANGS stick to them.

Good summary of some of the history involved in our little corner of lowsec. Looking forward to further fighting.


Part 2 is now included above.

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It has certainly been interesting watching the events that precipitated this story develop over time. Villore Accords has been, and remains, one of the most independent capsuleer organizations in New Eden. Although modest in size and power compared to the larger Alliances and major coalitions, we have a record of accomplishment in the Militia conflict and in holding sovereignty in Cloud Ring that speaks for itself.

I have been proud to fly with GMVA for most of a decade now, and I know that even more accomplishments lay ahead of us in the decade to come. Our greatest strength comes from the community we have built among our own members, but we have also worked to build and maintain friendships outside our alliance. Some of those friendships have lasted years. The tree of faithlessness bears bitter fruit, and it is telling to us which friends have kept faith and which have turned their backs.

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