Aset fell yesterday afternoon (GMT). To say this was an epic struggle is not exaggerating it. It was the Stalingrad of December 2012's Faction Warfare between the Amarr and Minmatar militias.
Pre-Retribution hotfix to FW, when the great farming hordes polluted FW, the whole of upper and most of lower Metropolis lowsec was all Minmatar sovereignty and heavily contested - in essence a great farm for Amarr and Caldari farming alts who were not at all interested in flipping the systems, but would instead tick over complexes for LP's and convert them at stupidly low rates.
When Retribution dropped, a bunch of systems in the lower metro area got flipped by the Amarr, mostly because of the addition of a connection between Kurniainen and Ibrabata, and Eszur and Sisiede (this being, more or less, in line with the ideas promulgated by Pinky Feldman and others).
Ushra'Khan retook isbrabata almost immediately, but as the days wore on, it was clear that we would need more than one lightning strike to dislodge Aset. The strategic importance of Isbrabata as the chokepoint to the Bleak Lands was abundantly clear, but Aset even if it was 'behind' Isbrabata turned out to be equally important.
Military strategy in EVE is similar to normal Military straegy. You have to eliminate the pockets of enemy left behind after an advance, or they can disrupt your rear echelon and paralyse you. Aset has seven gates, to seven Minmatar-controlled systems. The Amarr in Aset, supplied by neutral freighter runs much like Stalingrad was supplied from the air, had plenty of ships to burn and plenty of opportunities to make LP's plexing in the seven systems surrounding Aset. The Minmatar lacked the cohesion and fire to take it, and were constantly sapped by having to decontest the seven systems around Aset. For 2 weeks or more, Aset was basically decontested and the various systems around it fluctuated between 30 and 70% contested.
Ordinarily, this wouldn't be a real problem. We all like good fights, and there were a lot to be had around Aset. Frankly, though, no one likes being AWOXed by cockbags who exploit the mechanics of the game to create shell corporations they flip AWOXer alts in and out of, to assassinate 'fellow' militia members who cannot retaliate or risk getting their corps and alliances boooted from FW. When Ushra'Khan and Iron Oxide both tanked out of FW due to these cockbags (and, admittedly, some ill discipline in people who just opened up on the AWOXers), enough was enough.
We started mobilising a week ago. My preparations for BUGRY's part in the war? Propaganda, and moving a single Maulus, a single Vengeance, a single Crucifier and a half dozen navitas in to Isbrabata.
We began the fight over the weekend. Strategically, we agreed there was no need for good fights for two reasons. One, this was about conquest. Two, we wanted the cockbags out, so we weren't wasting hours of our lives orbiting buttons in the region for virtually no LP gains. So we teabagged into Local with as many numbers as we could, and the Amarr began throwing ships at us.
Here, we began to see the metagame changes which had occured in Retribution come to the fore. Early on, when the bodycount wasn't reaching 250 per 24 hours, the Amarr would use attrition to win plexes. They would leeroy Coercer after Coercer into superior odds, knocking frigates out and knocking destroyers into deep armour. They would redock while people had to jump nextdoor to get repairs, and eventually they would wipe out the forces in the plex, and we'd have to leeroy into them. This favours the defenders.
The addition of a single navitas to one of these fights changed that. Save a Punisher in 20% hull, and rep his armour back up while the guy is getting his next Coercer, and you have saved a loss and a 2.5 minute reship. This preserves your strength in the plex. Soon enough, after frittering away a dozen Coercers for no gains whatsoever, the balance began swinging our favour.
I cannot give a blow-by-blow; it was just too intense a fight and I spent far too much time glued to the computer screen. however, I lost only a single Maulus', a navitas, a Crucifier. BUGRY's losses in the last week were about 56 and of those 21 in the Aset battle; the ISK efficiency was around 90%. For December, the corp has 244 kills already. This attests to the ferocity with which the Amarr defended their key toehold system.
On that note, I will say a bit about our foes. The Amarr militia, save for Cynthia Nezmor and alts, were by and large great opponents. We had huge advantages in most timezones, but Fweddit would come and set our efforts back marginally when they rolled in with their fleets, and we found them very difficult to take. Tengu-boosted shield fleets of 20-40 with 1/4 to 1/3 logi frigates were incredibly tough; Fweddit may be a corp of guys flying cheapfit cheap ships, but clearly there is a lot of skill brewing there, as their fleet discipline was always improving, their logi frigs would land reps well, and we would routinely get teabagged. Good fight, guys, and look forward to fighting you again.
As for the rest? All i can say is we are so glad to see you sulking off back to Siseide and Egghelende, after all your AWOXing was for naught and your shitty smacktalk and false bravado came to nought. Sure, we blobbed you. We blobbed you because we have more friends than you. Maybe that should be your lesson.