I was just really getting into Space Engineers, I think it stands a good chance of ranking in the top three of my 'Games that are kind of like Minecraft including Minecraft' list. The other one is Seven Days to Die, both of them lots of fun but in very different ways. Too bad this is an Eve blog and I have Eve things on my mind!
Last Monday I was convinced to come play a little Eve after many months away. Amarr had just started their most recent push to take the long time Minmatar home system of Huola. Within minuets of patching and logging in, I was fleeted up and headed out to fight.
Amarr has tried to take Huola before. Most times it was some new group on the block thinking they could do it easily, other times it was yelled and shouted about but no real effort put in, and still other times we used an “assault" on Huola as a distraction to claim another system we wanted. Every time these attacks failed, the Minmatar claimed victory and clogged up the forums, blogs, militia chat, and twitter with claims of their ultimate superiority. Those of us in the loop just chuckled and laughed at them quietly. We knew that it was good propaganda to keep the average Minmatar happy, but that was good for us and our desire for fights. Myself and the leaders of another alliance who shall not be named went as far as quietly discouraging any plexing in Huola. The less they had to deplex their home, the more the Minmatar would possibly, maybe, once-in-awhile, leave and partake in pew-pew with us and ours.
The Minmatar historically had four home systems: Dal, Auga, Arzad, and Huola. The first Amarr took was Dal. We remember it as the Dalamo. It took us over a month to finally get it due to those pesky Russians and their timezone. Weeks of mindless plexing and some good fights later, the resiliency of the Russians started to slip. Amarr forces pushed their advantage and took the system evicting hundreds of Minmatar who called Dal home. After it fell many of them moved Huola.
Auga fell soon after to the likes of TMFED and Skunk Works who rather like that system. Many of the Minmatar occupants moved to Huola.
Arzad was a blood bath for Amarrian Vengeance for a few weeks as Flyinghotpocket ground down the occupants will to live. Then the hammer fell in the form of a 100 man fleet one weekend finishing it off, evicting the Minmatar residents. Where did they go? Huola.
Every time Amarr took a Minmatar home system they made Huola stronger. It is 'Fortress Huola', almost every single Minmatar corp or Alliance has a stake in its defense.
When the offensive first started the Minmatar were basically caught off guard even though they knew about it in advance. They probably assumed it would be another light hearted effort that they could brush off. Then the system shot up 40% plus. Panic deplexing and calls to allies and friends went out. In the days since, the system has been repeated plexed down to 0% in the Russian and part of EU time zone and back up in others. The same thing happened in Dal and Arzad.
I have no doubt the diehard Minmatar groups will keep fighting for every plex and deplexing whenever they can. The not-so-diehards will get bored and slowly drift back to whatever else they do in Eve. Huola will be a battle of attrition played out over weeks and possibly months if Amarr can muster the staying power to keep the pressure on. Eventually the Russians will crack like they did in Dal, if the Amarr can push them that hard for that long.