The Rise of the Wolf - A History of the Wolfsbrigade Rise to the Top in the Caldari Militia
All this data is potentially out of date, and should be taken with a truckload of salt
- 1 Author
- 2 Original Eve-Online Forum Thread
- 3 Chapter One - State of The State
- 4 Chapter Two - The Rise of the Snake
- 5 Chapter Three - The Gallente Armada
- 6 Chapter Four - Chooo….Chooo….Chugga Chugga Chugga Chugga
- 7 Chapter Five - Where wolves fear to prey
- 8 Chapter Six - The Fox of Yria
- 9 Chapter Seven - The Pendulum Swings
- 10 Chapter Eight - Bishop Takes Rook
- 11 Chapter Nine - Running with the Wolves
- 12 Chapter Ten - The Caldari Dream
- 13 Final Chapter - From the Shoulders of Giants
- 14 Epilogue
Original Eve-Online Forum Thread
Chapter One - State of The State
Prior to my joining the Caldari FW the State of Caldari Fw was in decline. The ERA of great Caldari PVP corporations such as the 22nd Blackrise, NOD, COW, Space Pervs and others was over. The days the Caldari owned all of the Gallente / Caldari warzone were long gone and most of the great FC’s that period were known for had long left to other conflicts in EVE.
When I joined the Caldari Militia (July 2010) the State PVP corps were trying hard to deal with a much superior Gallente fighting machine that had not only superior numbers but superior pilots. While this by no means implies Caldari had no good pilots it is just to say the Gallente had many more good pilots to bring to the table. Couple this with superior numbers and few of Caldari’s finest had incentive to risk any good ships in PVP as the risk of being ‘blobbed’ was just to high. The Gallente had a stranglehold on the main highsec entry point to the conflict zone Tama.
With the Caldari losing its senior pilots many a new pilot for the State was put off by the fact that the act of jumping into lowsec without a proper fleet was near suicide. In Tama the main threat was a Gallente Corporation by the name of Bi-Polar Bears that was the forward most base of operations for the Gallente, Essentially right on the Caldari doorstep. Bi Polar was beaming with high SP pilots that made it a hobby to farm the Nourvakieken gate (Caldari highsec Entrance) for killmails. The leadership of the Bi Polar Bears was sound in the hands of a pilot named Eddie Valentino. When word got out that Tama had easy ganks and was a great place to boost killboard stats pirates as well as Gallente flocked to it in droves. This made Tama one of the most dangerous systems in EVE for a very long time.
On the Caldari side of the pond a great void was left by the lack of the great Fleet Commanders of the glory days of the Caldari and internal fighting was a normal occurrence while the many ego’s bumped into each other each with his or her take on how things should be amended and who should have the final say.
Another factor that led to this downturn was in fact a much superior intelligence and counter intelligence network the Gallente had set up. Spies were rampant as well as people seeded into the Caldari Militia to sow infighting and the hiring of mercenaries against any Caldari corporation that started to get on its feet was commonplace.
Something drastic needed to be done the problem was who would assume the leadership role within the Caldari and set the groundwork for a leaner meaner war machine to counter the Gallente superiority on almost every level of the war at this time?
The answer was simple, no-one in particular. This was the middle ground needed. A confederate of Caldari corporations each with an equal say was the answer and as such the Caldari Defense Initiative (CDI) was born.
The CDI was the brainchild of a charismatic pilot named Hidden Snake. Hidden Snake was one of those people you either loved or hated. He founded a corporation known as the Inglorious Bastards that at the time of my entry into Caldari FW was the top killing corporation of the Caldari. Along with the remaining members of the CDI a more solid body within the Caldari Militia was forming. Intelligence was being organized and shared, external and eternal enemies of the Caldari FW corporation were faced with this confederation of pilots.
To me a pilot new to the world of EVE pvp and faction warfare; Hidden Snake and the Inglorious Bastards were larger than life. After being on a few general militia fleet operations I was shown glimpses of a world beyond what I saw in general militia chat and random gangs with no rhyme or reason. There was a private world within the Caldari that was secretive and organized, they had the keys to all the intelligence channels and the best of the best pilots flew in their fleets. I was hellbent on becoming a part of this upper echelon of Caldari PVP as running around in general milita fleets lacked anything looking like cohesion or strategy, the bare minimum needed to conduct a war. Let alone a war against a much superior Gallente fighting force.
To me Hidden Snake had all the keys and winning his favor was my number one priority if I was to experience Caldari faction warfare to it’s fullest.
Chapter Two - The Rise of the Snake
As many a FW pilot has found out rising to the ranks of ‘trusted’ pilot is not something that is done overnight. This leaves many a pilot with a sour taste in their mouth and supports the theory that FW is very ‘clique’ ish.
Never was this truer than in the case of the Caldari that are by default a paranoid race. Many a time the CDI was branded as a tool for alienating newer pilots that were not able to get into the ‘cool kids’ club and in the beginning my task was made harder and harder by random accusations of being a ‘spy’. While painful and disheartening I stayed the course and hoped my actions would disprove any random accusations as I racked up as many Gallente killmails as I could with what limited ‘good’ fleet access I had.
I took the ‘the less I knew the better’ approach as I knew deep down that the newer pilots are easily looked at in scrutiny when something dreadfully wrong happens or information relating to a particular fleet or operation leaked out. After racking up a decent amount of Gallente killmails and rolling with as many fleets as were available to me over a period of two months I took it upon myself to evemail Hidden Snake to ask to join the Inglorious Bastards. As previously mentioned as a new pilot flying around in Condors and Merlins I did not expect to be even given the time of the day but I knew that being in I.BS. was going to be my way into the best fights this side of the struggle so it was a long shot but I shot I decided to take.
To my surprise I was given the nod by Hidden Snake to apply to I.BS. and while some of you may think it is funny I still see that day as one of the best days I had in eve and recall fist pumping silently on my PC as I knew I was on the right track to fulfill my goals of being a factor of the Caldari war machine and not just another ‘noob’ in the meat shield.
The Caldari being outnumbered and out gunned at the time adapted to Guerilla warfare Tactics and never was this more the case than in the Inglorious Bastards. Hidden Snake. Much to the dismay of the Gallente hit and run was the name of the game and Hidden Snake and his bastards were called every name in the book for not Standing toe to toe to the Gallente Armada and providing the Gallente with killmails. Indeed the notorious ‘cloak on a hurricane’ tactic worked in not only surprising the hell out of the random soft side of the Gallente armada unintentionally revealed but provided for some hilarious taunting in any system local an I.BS. pilot entered into.
As my time in the Inglorious Bastards moved on the ‘AWE’ I had held for Hidden Snake began to fade as I saw another normal person and not the ‘larger than life’ rockstar picture I had painted for him as a general militia pilot. He was by no means the best Fleet Commander to fly under but took the concept of fast hitting hard hitting ‘wolf packs’ to new heights giving the guerrilla ‘hit and run’ school a run for its money. That being said he had a certain aspect of genius to him as he knew exactly how to adapt tactics to ensure the majority of his fleet made it out alive and by god he knew exactly just how to **** off the Gallente be it in space or on the forums. The persona he portrays on the forum is nothing like the real Hidden Snake but I was not complaining I enjoyed someone sticking sticking his knife into the Gallente colossus foot each and every time he could.
At the time the best Fleet Commanders of the Caldari flew under the Bastards flag and where would I be mentioning the history of the Inglrious Bastards without mentioning Gunny, Superchair and Aurora Nyx.
Gunny was an off and on Fleet Commander for the Caldari that knew the in’s and out’s of where and how to strike the Gallente and that remains to the day of writing this one of the brightest stars in the Caldari constellation. His only problem in my opinion was he demanded a lot from his fleet members and poorly fitted ships in his fleets had a way of raising his blood pressure to the point of just raising his hands in dismay and leaving EVE for days or weeks at a time. But deep down he is true blue Caldari that the Inglorious Bastards were lucky to have and if I am not mistaken the spacelanes of Blackrise still witness him flying around and leading random gangs to this day.
Superchair was another ‘go-to’ fleet commander and was a pillar of Caldari fleet operations although he did suffer the same fault Gunny did in expecting only the best fittings and tactics from his fleet members. This gave him a ‘fitting ****’ reputation and many a fleet he ran was half an hour late because he wanted to make sure each and everyone of his pilots was ‘perfect’. When thing went his way wow you were promised a great fleet fight but god help you if things wnet south in a Superchair fleet as his fits of rage stuck the title of ‘emo-chair’ to him. While I do stick this title on to him affectionately I hope he knows I mean no harm in mentioning it here. Another star in the Caldari constellation I do believe he still roams the Caldari/Gallente warzone running fleets when he feels like it.
Aurora Nyx was the unknown soldier of the Inglorious Bastards. Hidden Snake was terrible at running day to day tasks for the Bastards and handed his trust and the keys to his corporation to Aurora Nyx. Hard not to give Aurora Nyx a Nod here as he was always behind the scenes making things happen as a diplomat and day to day administrator to the powerhouse of pilots that became the Inglorious Bastards.
Last but not least the Inglorious Bastards at the pinnacle of their existence set the bar high for kill racked up and would not be far from the top three if not the top of the Caldari corporations when taking into consideration the shot one year timespane of their ‘true’ existence.
Chapter Three - The Gallente Armada
As mentioned in chapter one the days of Caldari Glory were over. Gone were the days of complete control of both Caldari and Gallente space in the conflict zone. It is said that the pendulum of power within the Caldari Gallente conflict is always swinging one way or the other.
When I joined the Caldari the pendulum was fully tilted towards the Gallente creating an Armada of power that was born from the battle hardened veterans of the Glory Days of the Caldari. No other faction has accomplished the feat of complete control of the conflict zone aside from the Caldari. If you look closely through the medals of the most senior Caldari pilots you will see a medal given out by the Caldari State Itself to those that were Caldari soldiers at the time of this amazing feat. But those days sadly were long gone.
After months of being on the receiving end of the Caldari surge a new breed of Gallente was born. Meaner, Smarter, More Bloodthirsty and Vengeful Gallente pilots now made up what I can best describe as the Gallente Armada.
To understand the nature of the beast one must understand that in the period from June/July 2010 (when I joined) The Gallente have exerted complete control of the main space-lanes used by both combatants.
Villore was the main staging point for new Gallente pilots. Just a few jumps out of Dodixie it provided the main base of operations for fleets leaving into the conflict zone through Old Man Star (the closest conflict zone entrance to Dodixie). Unlike the Caldari version of Old Man Star (Tama) any Caldari force projection to the Old Man Star choke point was short lived as it would usually be in the form of a fleet that would fly out of Nourv and could not hold up a camp on the Villore side for long before the fleet was either disbanded or had to run from an overwhelming Gallente response. The main reason for this is the fact that After the Cult Of War corporation left Enaluri and the conflict no Caldari corporations have set up forward Caldari bases so essentially most if not all of the Caldari Fleets had to either be short lived fights in Tama (under the iron fist control of both Gallente and Pirates) or had to take the long route into Blackrise Low Sec through Ichoriya providing a little element of surprise every now and then but seriously cutting down on response time if that route was taken.
Further down the conflict zones pipes two Gallente corporations set up the the core of the Gallente’s forward base of operations in Heydieles, percussive diplomacy (AKA SLAPD) and the Quantum Cats Syndicate (QCATS). Gallente pilots easily set up shop and an advanced base in this low security space with easy Access to Tama from the two pipes that led to Tama. Specifically the Deven pipe and the Abune pipe.
Another base was set up in a State Protectorate station of all things in Nisuwa by Shadows of the Federation, a famous Gallente corporation that was the main powerhouse of the Gallente Armada. The Nisuwa Base (essentially deep into Caldari Space). From a tactical standpoint this was yet closer to Tama (only two jumps away) and provided rapid reshipping options for Gallente Fleets patrolling and responding to any Caldari Force being prepared from Nourv to go through the Tama Choke point. It was also a slap in the face to any Caldari by the Gallente and served as a constant reminder of exactly who was in control at this point and time in the conflict.
The forward most Gallente Base was set up in Tama (as previously mentioned) by the Bi-Polar Bears. This base provided constant pressure on the Tama chokehold for any Caldari pilots entering the conflict zone and an easy forward scout post for the Gallente to report any Caldari Fleet composition to the remaining Gallente pilots based out of Heydieles, Nisuwa and on the rare occasion of need Villore.
From an outsiders point of view the Gallente seemed much more in harmony than the Caldari with much less internal bickering on who was in charge each Gallente corporation was contempt with having a base of operation and a flight of pilots that can easily rely on reinforcements from other corporations. As well as a relatively safe passage route to Gallente highsec all the Gallente Corporations had easy access to the pool of new Gallente pilots if they chose to recruit as well as a reliable logistics chain.
I was always perplexed by this as from inside the Caldari it always seemed a struggle between Caldari CEO’s and corporations as to exactly who was in charge was going on at one time or another. To me the Gallente seemed much more in sync than the Caldari.
To add to the Caldari woes at the time very few caldari pilots were willing to set up base outside of nourv as any attempt to move in the conflict zone by Caldari pilots was quickly dismissed when faced with the Gallente Armada in firm control. Again I point to Hidden Snake for pushing the Inglorious Bastards hard to set up a base in low security space to get beyond the Tama choke point as he fully understood that repositioning his fleets to have a launch point that could come into Tama from another gate, any gate, other than the Nourv gate which as previously mentioned has turned into a harvesting ground for not only the superior Gallente Armada but the droves of Pirates looking for easy ganks from the much younger and less experienced Caldari Pilots. The Space Marines (another Caldari Corp) set up shop in Ichoriya if I am not mistaken as well as Dark Pangolin and the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse setting up shop in Enaluri. The only hindrance to those lonely Caldari outposts was the lack of pilots willing to move out there from nourv.
As it stood, something drastic needed to happen in the general Caldari pilots mentality of hording together like sheep in Nourv and change was on the way.
Chapter Four - Chooo….Chooo….Chugga Chugga Chugga Chugga
Caldari Battlecruiser: Drake
Of the meticulous craftsmanship the Caldari are renowned for, the Drake was born. It was found beneath such a ship to rely on anything other than the time-honored combat tradition of missile fire, while the inclusion of sufficient CPU capabilities for decent electronic warfare goes without saying.
Yes the mighty Drake. A spaceship worth its weight in gold that has no problem standing toe to toe with practically any other ship in EVE. It urges the pilot to push further, be bolder and launch himself headfirst into battle confident his ship is true.
While the use of drakes in combat in EVE was gaining momentum far and wide throughout new eden I would say the pendulum began to tilt slowly in favor of the Caldari when a corporation named Draketrain exploded onto the Caldari scene.
The leadership of Draketrain was mostly a band of tight knit friends from the space perverts and forum warriors. The later corporation was renowned for outstanding tactics and innovations that pushed the edge of combat to the very edge of EVE game mechanics if not in some cases slightly over that edge. Mostly remembered for the Lowsec Doomsday Video (one of the first applications of the disco fleets in eve) on youtube, the Leadership of Draketrain knew how to fight, when to fight and most amazingly seemed to bend the reality of EVE to their favor time and time again.
The battle doctrine of Draketrain was simple if not obvious from the Corp name. DRAKES.LOTS OF DRAKES. So many drakes that when they undocked they formed a silver train of pure Caldari might that came out of the station like a giant snake. If you ever seen a Draketrain up close you know exactly what I am talking about.
Looking back on the overview of the conflict zone I wrote in chapter three a release was needed to ease the strangle hold the Gallente had on the Caldari to allow the Caldari some breathing room to get back on its feet. While the Caldari CEO’s fought and debated for ages on where the best option to set up forward bases to ease the chokehold on Nourv, some even setting up shop as far away from the other as possible to somehow assert himself as the big Caldari Cheese, Draketrain was having none of it and achieved something never before done and never attempted again in Faction Warfare.
Caldari innovation? Draketrain leadership brilliance? An answered prayer? Or just sheer dumb luck? My guess is as good as yours but what they did next was the equivalent of a person on the ground being beaten to death by someone else and landing a square kick to the throat of the attacker.
Draketrain set up their base of operation in Villore. Yes you read that correctly Villore the Gallente Highsec route leading to the conflict zone. Sheer military Genius? Your guess is as good as mine but one thing is for sure. They cut off the Gallante Armada’s supply line to Dodixie making moving to and from Gallente highsec a logistical nightmare for the Gallente pilots. They showed no mercy what-so-ever to the newer Gallente pilots gathering themselves and their combat experience enough to hopefully one day be able to live in low security space under one of the Elite Gallente Corporations Flag.
To the astonishment of all involved in the conflict Draketrain came up with a secret formula to not only shrug off the Gallente NPC Navy but add to that the potent combinations of logistics and recon ships wraped in a ball of OMG SOOOO MANY DRAKES made only the most well organized Gallente fleet stand a chance of even standing toe to toe with Draketrain. The secret formula Draketrain used to be able to operate in Gallente highsec with near immunity? That remains to this day one of the most guarded secrets of the Caldari State. I even recall being in a Caldari Faction Warfare Fleet in Gallente high security space being part of a POS bash, of a POS, in Gallente Highsec Space. Iet that sink in for a minute people.
The Gallente Armada was not pleased to say the least. The mighty Gallente Armada threw everything they had to remove Draketrain from Villore but no matter what happened Draketrains presence in Villore was there to stay.
Another leg up Draketrain had over other Caldari corporations was that they had such a command structure that they cared not about any potential Gallente agent infiltration into their corporation. In fact they flaunted it to all and begged the gallente to send their spies to join Draketrain. In the times of deep background security checks, constant pilot behavior monitoring and Caldari paranoia exercised by the CDI through solid intelligence sharing among the few that needed to know Draketrains in your face method was unheard of. Anyone could join draketrain. No API checks, screening or interviews needed just click ‘apply’ to the Draketrain corporation tab and you were in. Provided of course you could fly a drake.
Draketrain had little time for infighting and ego’s in their corporation (something that long plagued the Caldari Corporations, said Corporation Officers and CEO’s). They simply had a strict military code. This is how you fly a drake! This is where you will be at whatever time we say and if you don’t like it tough luck you’re out...NEXT…….as simple as that.
By setting up base in Villore Draketrain did the impossible. They cut off the Gallente Armada in lowsec, any pilot that was part of that Armada had better get used to being in low security space for a long time as the days of easy resupply trips to Dodixie for both pilots and gallente corporations was over. On multiple instances Draketrain would flaunt themselves so much they would camp the main Dodixie Market Stations Undock point turning both Dodixie and Villore local chat in to some of the most hilarious reads I ever had in EVE.
Did I mention Draketrain rolled in the low security space of the conflict zone?
When Draketrain rolled through a system anywhere in placid, blackrise or even Tama. People docked up VERY FAST. I was in Tama the first time Draketrain rolled through Tama. For the First Time in Months I saw Tama completely and firmly under Caldari Control for a few hours while draketrain flaunted themselves. They were leading by example in a time where the Caldari were fighting about what kind of fleet to run and who would FC, Draketrain was showing one and all that the mighty Gallente Armada is not invicible. Something that many a Caldari pilot (especially the new ones) was absolutely convinced of prior to Draketrain. They showed that the boogieman known as Gallente spies was nothing to be afraid of.
This breathed more life into the Caldari than anything in recent memory as more and more pilots flocked to Draketrains ‘all are welcome to join’ bosom. Finaly the newer Caldari pilots did not have to jump through hoops to prove that they are worthy to fly with the Caldari’s elite. With one click of the ‘apply to corp’ button they were instantly granted membership to what was by now the De Facto Eilte of the Caldari, they were part of the Draketrain.
Draketrains assertion of themselves as the leaders of the Caldari did not sit well with many of the Caldari Old Guard. Mainly the CDI officers and CEO’s would sneer in internal intelligence and communication channels at Draketrain if for nothing else but for the simple fact that they (Draketrain) was swinging the tide of the war, and sadly they were achieving what the CDI was never able to, that being to go on the offensive and knock the Gallente Armada back a step or two. The CDI was a reaction, A Defense against an overwhelming enemy. Draketrain was the Offensive Line.
The Caldari, long being broken into a million factions and cliques, was now in the post Draketrain era firmly split into two camps. The ‘cool ones’ that were made of the old CDI guard guided by the ever so daft hand of Hidden Snake, Gunny, Dark Pangolin and company and the ‘lol RP’ers’ of Draketrain guided by the hand of Lacco, Bad Messenger and Damar. This was not a two party political structure. This was an outright political struggle for the leadership of the Caldari.
Someone had to go....
Chapter Five - Where wolves fear to prey
My love of the Inglorious Bastards was not born of blind obedience to Hidden Snake. In fact I clearly remember being taunted in local by someone that Stalking Mantis probably sleeps in Blue Pajamas with the Caldari insignia splattered all over them. Other times I was called a mouthpiece for hidden snake. Understand my love for Hidden Snake and his bastards was based purely on one simple concept:
A United Caldari Front to Face a Beast Called the Gallente.
Who has time to fight with his neighbor when both he and his neighbor are being pounded into the ground by a bigger more muscular neighbor?
The recent resurgence of Caldari pilots showing up to fight the Gallente after Draketrain showed up did not go unnoticed by the old guard of the Caldari (CDI). While many a Caldari corporation and pilot belonged to this ‘old guard’, again Hidden Snake held the most Aces in the card deck.
While draketrain clearly ruled any engagement by sheer strength, a very good number of very experienced Caldari pilots remained in the fold of the Bastards, of course with exceptions here and there.
Having enough of the ‘flock of sheep’ mentality spread out among the majority of the Caldari Militia members based in Nourv; Hidden Snake made it clear he wanted to move his Aces to lowsec.
Low sec was good, low sec meant less carebear distractions than highsec, but mainly low sec meant not being forced to tunnel fleets through one solar system (Tama).
Orders were issued to move the headquarters of the Inglorious Bastards to Hysera. The advantages Hysera had over Nourv were numerous:
1-It was NOT nourv
2-It was the end system of a lowsec pipe that branched out into both Heydieles to the North and Tama to the South
3-It was 3 jumps to Tama that meant Caldari fleets that were formed there by the allstar cast of active ‘FC’s and the best of the best Caldari pilots could swing by Tama to pick up reinforcements from Nourv. Remember not everyone was willing to let go of Nourv quite yet
4-Hysera had two Gates leading to Caldari Highsec. This significantly reduced the chances of the Gallente shutting out reinforcments from Highsec
5-Hysera had a ‘pipe’ entrance from its lowsec side which meant incoming Gallente fleets could be easily spotted. Unlike Tama with possible entrances from both Nisuwa (shadows of the federation) and Heydieles (SLAPD & QCATS)
6-It reduced the ability of rapid Gallente reshipping in Nisuwa and made it hard for the the Shadows of the Federation (The most organized of the Gallente’s forces) to become a factor as any movement by them would have to be a concentrated effort of jumping through at least 7 or 8 lowsec systems before reaching it.
7-It had three stations (unlike Tama with only one) that was a plus.
Efforts were focused now on getting as many quality fleets to form up from Hysera as possible. With a new found ease of movement and the availability of many more options than the past the sight of multiple fleets leaving Hysera to engage the Gallente was getting more and more common.
With every passing day the sheep of Nourv were slowly shedding their sheeps clothes and getting a taste for Gallente blood.
I believe both the Caldari and Gallente pilots enjoyed this new found resurgence in PVP and many skirmishes were had in one day instead of the Gallente bored to tears hoping someone in Nourv would set up a fleet for them to fight. Engagements were no longer blood baths and smaller and smaller patrol gangs of sometimes two or five pilots were becoming common place throughout the conflict zone.
In essence there were far less sheep in the Caldari folds as more and more Gallente blood was being tasted.
Meanwhile; in a highsec system you probably never heard of called ‘Yria’ (two jumps away from Hysera) two wolves quietly began burrowing a new den.
Chapter Six - The Fox of Yria
You all know who I am talking about.
Where do I begin describing this man?
There comes a moment when you do fleet PVP. It is right after your ship explodes and you either are in warp in your tiny pod or suddenly in a station miles away. The moment when you think to yourself ‘things can be so much better if we were more organized’.
But still, where do I begin describing this man?
From my perspective he came out of nowhere and personified every wish I ever had for the Caldari even the wishes I never knew I had. He was simply the answer the Caldari needed. But before I get carried away praising FIRST GENERAL let me start by saying that in the beginning of his arrival he never claimed to be a leader nor did he ever make his intentions of becoming a leader in the Caldari war clear.
He ran a few pickup fleets (nothing extraordinary) from the general militia crowd and as paranoid as most of the old guard were the first impressions in our internal chatter was ‘who the hell is this guy?’
One quick roam under his command was enough to make anyone a believer though. I mean no disrespect to any Caldari or Gallente pilot or fleet commander when I say this but he truly was a natural, one in a million Fleet Commander.
In his early days I never remember him asking pilots to bring a certain type of ship, He would never ask pilots generally paranoid about newcomers to bring anything. He would simply undock in a Tengu, Sliepnir, Claymore, Legion, Proteus, Damnation, Macharial or anything ‘bling’ you can think of and ask for x’s to join his fleet. Any hesitation by any paranoid pilot was soon vanished when he saw that this fleet commander was basically putting his faith in whoever x’d up with whatever they could bring to protect his ship from the mighty Gallente Armada waiting but a few jumps out to eat such bling skin and bone.
Not only did he lead larger and larger fleets into battle. He teamed up with a friend of his named Tommyboy (that toon has since been sold) and started running open classes to any and everyone from the Caldari militia that wanted to learn everything from the basics of tackling to the mechanics of fleet management. These classes ran out from Yria where a lone office set under the name of a corporation called Wolfsbrigade. I would call Tommyboy and FIRST GENERAL the true founders of Wolfsbrigade.
FIRST GENERAL, This guy was the real deal.
Always the sly diplomatic fox FIRST GENERAL never allowed enemies from within the state to form. He dealt with each and every other CEO and Senior Caldari Officer with a feather and a glass of wine. This made him easily approachable and easy to get along with and soon employment offers were coming from every single corporation of the CDI, each of the Caldari CEO’s saw that this was the long lost ace of spades they needed to complete their royal flush of budding FC’s and pilots. As large as some of the Caldari Egos were I was simply astonished that he was able to decline each and every single invitation to join a corp and yet avoid injuring the pride of the inviting CEO.
I even recall Shadows of the Federation among other Gallente corporations flirting with him in local about joining them. Yes he was that good that even his opponents wanted to have him under their own flag.
Although not apparent from the beginning this fox clearly had a plan he was not sharing with anyone and was slowly setting the chess pieces up for his move. Perhaps I was not the only one with these suspicions but any discussions or apprehensions with FIRST GENERAL about his long term plans were stroked aside while in conversation with him.
On the other side of the Wolfsbrigades founding equation was Tommyboy a man with plans to take young uneducated pilots and teach them to pvp. He was a beast with the Wolf class ship. His methods of teaching were brutal and training was no holds barred as trainees where expected to lose their ships and die as part of their training regimine. Slowly but surely Caldari pilots from everywhere were welcoming this new attitude with open arms. Gone were the days of spy accusations to anyone unfamiliar and in came the days where the small Wolfsbrigade corporation would take new pilots and start teaching them to PVP instead of constantly complain about the lack of skilled pilots the Wolfsbrigade had a ‘If they are not available we will forge them’ mentality. The term spy was not thrown around as lightly by either Tommyboy or FIRST GENERAL and rest assured if they ever pointed the spy finger at someone you better believe they were right and not just tossing the word around.
Two common factors were shared by both Tommyboy and FIRST GENERAL and I have seen both do it with my own eyes.
When things were going south in one their fleets they made it clear that they will try their best to get the remaining fleet members out alive by sacrificing themselves and their bling ships to the Gallente that relished nothing more than to pound the opposing FC into the ground. The Gallente were fighting a war of attrition and killing the morale of the opposing Caldari Fleet Commander was a common tactic among them.
I specifically recall a fleet on the Deven gate led by FIRST GENERAL in his Tengu. The fleet was made up of assorted General Milita pilots in drakes/canes cruisers and frigates. The caldari Militia pulled range from the Deven gate and the gallente sat on the gate waiting. Someone in fleet yelled on comms ‘sister combat probes on scan’ and in a flash the gallente horde was perfectly within 10K of our fleet. We all knew we were screwed and unlike anything I was accustomed to FIRST GENERAL did not call primaries but gave instructions for everyone to ‘GET OUT GET OUT GET OUT’ knowing full well that he was sacrificing his Tengu for the rest of the fleet to get out as the Gallente fire would be drawn to him right off the bat.
Any other FC would have tried his best to save his ship by calling primaries in a desperate attempt to save his bling. This was not any other FC. Kind of hard not to respect him after that. I was sold on him being the real deal.
Two problems were in the way of the Fox of Yria’s plan to rise to the top. Draketrain and Hidden Snake.
Chapter Seven - The Pendulum Swings
All the previous chapters were leading up to this point. The point where the Inglorious Bastards (by now the leader of the Caldari Old Guard) began to crack.
Unlike other power struggles The Fox and Snake power struggle was not on the battlefield. It was in true Caldari fashion. It was in the backrooms and board meetings of the Caldari corporations Old Guard. While Hidden Snake tried everything he could to swoon FIRST GENERAL to join the ranks of the Inglorious Bastards, the General always maintained a soft spoken philosophy (at least at the time). His philosophy was he did not want to get involved in the petty political struggles of the Caldari Old Guard. He always stated we had plenty of targets to focus our aggression on in the field of battle and if anyone wanted to find FIRST GENERAL that is where he will be.
The Wolfsbrigade did not actively recruit at the time. This was a sly move by FIRST GENERAL as it made him look like less and less of a threat to any of the Caldari corporations biggest assets; pilots and fleet commanders.
General Militia chat was being spammed by the two lone wolfs for two things every Caldari pilot desperately wanted. Free training and fleets. Wolfsbrigade training ‘at first’ was open to all no strings attached. Wolfsbrigade led fleets ‘at first’ were adapted to the ships the fleet members brought.
FIRST GENERAL could lead any type of gang it seemed. From nano BC to ECM backed cruisers and frigates all the way up to Armour Battleships. He had no preference, no strings, any and all were welcome (unless obvious spies of course). The brilliance of his fleet commanding skills came in his divine skill to multi task. FIRST GENERAL would have separate comms for scouts, separate comms for ECM, separate comms for logistic ships, and general comms for the main body of the fleet. He would time and again broadcast a destination and have the fleet moving in towards it only to double back and start heading to his real destination. Not only did he execute these ‘Crazy Ivan’ maneuvers with his fleets but more than once he would breakdown even the main body of the fleet into colors and had these colors moving in different directions. Most fleets in EVE are a solid body moving together with the exception of scouts. FIRST GENERAL fleets where broken down spliced up and brought back together with a stroke of mastery I have never seen. The Gallente Scouts were utterly confused by his fleet movments. This seriously reduced the ability of Gallente agents that might have infiltrated the fleet to report back to their Gallente spy masters. He would have a full map of the region in front of him and made mental notes of each of every scout report. To FIRST GENERAL leading a fleet was akin to one of those ‘war room’ scenes in a movie with him standing over a backlit table with separate grids and miniature spaces ships in different colors being moved with each scouting report. And not to forget my personal favorite quality; no matter what was happening, no matter how stressful the situation was getting in combat. He maintained a voice and a persona as cool as the other side of the pillow. The only times he was liable to raise his voice in fleets was when someone was talking over incoming scout reports, scout reports the main fleet never heard. FIRST GENERAL fleets where marked by long bouts of silence while he digested incoming information, slowly moved the pieces and finally brought it all together in a symphony of destruction and focused aggression.
The Gallente Armada was swinging and stumbling to blow after blow from Draketrain to the north of the conflict zone (between Dodixie, Villore and Old Man Star) and FIRST GENERAL fleets to the south of the conflict zone (Tama, Kedama, Deven and Abune). What was once a mighty Armada was now in effect being pinched from both sides and forced to huddle together in the midpoint of their bases of operations Heydieles.
Not to be beaten the Gallente drew a line in the sand on each of Heydieles outbound gates. This line clearly read ‘only this far’ as the Gallente were disorganized by the recent changes the remaining gallente bases of operations did nothing for them but split them up in a time where they needed to band together. Heydieles is to this day the nerve system of the Gallente Armada and no matter how hard any Caldari pressure was exerted the line in the sand drawn by the Gallente was clear.
The balance of power has shifted now both sides saw themselves as more a less equals. As the space lanes from Tama to Villore were scattered with wrecks and patrols from both sides the conflict was now in full swing and PVP was on tap for both sides. It was beautiful. It was savage. It was this pilots training grounds.
Yet the Caldari still had a broken house that needed to be fixed.
Chapter Eight - Bishop Takes Rook
The game changed. The war changed. You see the thing about EVE is with every passing day your skills increase. The options of ships and tactics available to a pilot are ever-increasing. This golden rule must have slipped by the Old Guards of the Caldari Corporations that made up what remained of the CDI. This was the fatal flaw.
No longer did the Caldari have to use Guerrilla hit and run tactics against a much larger Gallente opponent. The playing field was being leveled and active PVP’ers of months past could field much more sophisticated fleets. Everything from high-tech Recon Ships, Mighty Battleships, Fleet Command ships to Fleet Logistics were now available to the Caldari pilots that in the past where stuck in frigates and cruisers, a new breed of Caldari warriors (no longer in constant fear of being ganked by the mighty Gallente), were fielding more and more of them much to the delight of fleet commanders on both sides of the struggle.
As an officer of the Inglorious Bastards at the time it was becoming more and more apparent that my corporation’s frigate and cruiser guerilla tactics and fleet doctrine where becoming less and less needed as the Caldari Pilots began to experiment with new toys and tactics they wanted a fleet commander that knew how to wield them in battle and win on a consistent basis.
While charismatic and politically adept; Hidden Snake and his tactics where being consumed by the never stopping wheel of evolution. All the while he and Aurora Nyx knew what the Bastards needed to survive as a corporation and voiced these needs loudly in corp chat. They needed Fleet Commanders; not any fleet commanders but fleet commanders that were fluent in the tactics of advanced warfare, the types of fleets that were the equivalent of standing armies instead of the equivalent of special operations forces.
Hidden Snakes Aces as it seemed where all looking around corp chat at each other then across the table to the most obvious answer. That answer was sitting back arms folded behind his head staring at them with a sly smile. It was the Fox of Yria. Why hold onto the past and the tactics of the past when the future was now sitting across from them in a small and obviously welcoming corporation named Wolfsbrigade.
The most amusing aspect of this struggle to me was the fact that FIRST GENERAL never really seemed to exert any effort into letting the pieces fall into place. He would run fleets and run fleets well and as the saying goes, if you build it they will come.
“For to win one hundred victories in one hundred battles is not the acme of skill. To subdue the enemy without fighting is the acme of skill. “ Sun Tzu
Hidden Snake had one last chance at redeeming the Inglorious Bastards and the rest of what remained of the Caldari Old Guard. It was a risk but he was never a man shy of taking risks. His solution? Drop out of the Caldari Militia and form a Caldari loyalist band of Privateers that would actively seek out the Elite Gallente corporations such as QCATS and SOTF. His vision was that the Inglorious Bastards would swoop down mid engagement with Active War decks against the Elite Gallente Pilots and Pick them off mid combat fairly immune to any other incoming fire from the bulk of the federations forces the Federal Defense Union or any other Gallente Corporation the Inglorious Bastard chose not to hunt by not war decking.
Unconventional? Check. Crazy? Check. Brilliant? Check. That was the beauty of Hidden Snakes mind. If only it worked.
The Inglorious Bastards were in an Uproar. This is madness in its purest form many argued. Hidden Snake worked feverishly behind the scenes with the Officers and CEO’s of whar remained of the CDI.
Coldwing (one of the CDI member corporations) Led by Dan Pyre and JT133 gave snakes idea the cold shoulder.
The Four Horsemen of the Apocolypse (another CDI member) Led by Dark Pangolin and XerxestheGreat promised to think it over but were not that excited about changing the way they conducted war.
Spacetime Enterprises (Another CDI) Led by Thor Gambino and Crew promised support but in the end they had to many fixed assets in space to just up and go.
Pillow Fighters Incorporated-PINK- (another CDI) had just gone through a massive corp theft and where in no position to do anything but recover anything they could if in fact it was not the deathblow of that corporation.
It was all falling apart for Hidden Snake and I felt obligated to stand by him in these darkest of times, I could not turn my back on my mentor. Maybe I had too much of the CDI punch to drink and was intoxicated with the Old Caldari propaganda. Maybe I felt sympathy for a great caldari leader that could do little but sit helplessly on his desk amongst a pile of pilot resignation papers. Even the unseen soldier Aurora Nyx just stopped logging in. The Inglorious Bastards corp chat once full of the best of the best the State had to offer was becoming more and more of a ghost town.
At some point in time Snake might have contemplated approaching Draketrain with his idea and asked for some support but I assure you if that happened it would look something like this with me being the guy holding the cocunuts.
While I tried my best to maintain what remained of the Inglorious Bastards along with Hidden Snake I was soon given the keys to all of Inglorious Bastards asset vaults given the CEO roles and title of what remained of the Inglorious Bastards Militia Office (CDI Milita) and the might Snake himself so disgusted as to how things turned out went on an extended vacation fro m EVE. He needed it if you ask me.
Two systems down the pipe in Yria the corporation office of the Wolfsbrigade had a line two miles long. Pilots came out of the woodwork to join Wolfsbrigade and experience what it was like to fly with FIRST GENERAL. For the first time what little officers W-BR had they where absolutely overwhelmed with applications.
For the first time ever FIRST GENERAL made his first political move, he waited and positioned all the pieces on the chessboard just right and with one fell swoop; Bishop Takes Rook, checkmate. And just like that, the dance between the Fox and the Snake was over.
The Old Guard was dead. CDI was Dead.
Wolfsbrigade was born and each and every pilot that joined Wolfsbrigade brought everything he had with him they all had the utmost faith in FIRST GENERAL. His charisma was all the leadership Wolfsbrigade needed and the Fleets he provided fed a pack of wolves now hungry and growling for blood. Blood it seemed was never too far away in the form of a Gallente Militia that had no idea what was about to hit them. Every night FIRST GENERAL provided the pack with blood and the pack of wolves grew and grew and grew............
"It wasn't the beginning of the end. It wasn't the end of the beginning. It was the beginning of the beginning and the end of the end." - Ancient Gibberish
Chapter Nine - Running with the Wolves
Beaming with confidence now FIRST GENERAL would greet pilots in Caldari chat channels and fleet voice comms with ‘So when are you going to join Wolfsbrigade?’ It kind of became the unwritten Wolfsbrigade corporation motto for a short time as the few Caldari Pilots that held out from the initial surge of applications were not only left with the question searing in their minds but all the welcome opportunity to join in the making of something Epic. A young Corporation filling up with top notch pilots and top notch Fleet Commanders. Resistance was truly futile.
In fact the only thing holding me back from applying to the Wolfsbrigade at the time is that I was suddenly left in charge of a two or three man corporation that was all that remained of the Inglorious Bastards. If I could not do anything to stop the downfall of the Inglorious Bastards the least I could do is hold up one last gesture of appreciation and gratitude to Hidden Snake. He deserved at least that much.
With the CDI dead and Hidden Snake missing from action I was relieved to see Hidden Snake log on from his two week vacation from EVE as I had him on my watch list. Without hesitation I opened a trade window with him and handed him back all the mods/ships and isk that remained in the corporation hangers and corporation wallet of the once high and mighty Inglorious Bastards. Well over 3 billion isk in both hard and liquid assets. I never was a big fan of corporation thieves and by God the impact Hidden Snake had on recent caldari history demanded he be shown nothing but courtesy an honesty from my side.
A few clicks on the mouse and Hidden Snakes Alt was reassigned CEO roles of what little had remained of the Once Mighty Inglorious Bastards.
I was free of the burden of responsibility.
I was now free to run with the Wolves.
Among my hanger of ships and mods I was thinking to myself what the fastest ship I had. It came down to a Raptor or a Crow. The Raptor had a warp speed of 13.5 au/s and a Crow had a warp speed of 9 au/s, hmmmm, Raptor it is then. I needed the fastest travel ship I could muster for the trip over to the nearest station with a Wolfsbrigades Office. Not contempt with the warp speed alone I fitted nano’s to the low slots of the Raptor. I was in such a hurry to get to the Wolfsbrigades office I truthfully compared the warpspeed of both ships to see which one would take me there faster.
After submitting all the required information to FIRST GENERAL my corp chat was transformed in an instant from what seemed to be like a private chat with myself to a fanfare of all the famous pilots I loved to fly with of months and months past. W-BR corp chat was absolutely bustling with the faces of finest Caldari PVP’ers I could name off the top of my head and then some. With a corporation so young to be blessed with so much experience in such a short notice of its lifetime the sky was truly the limit.
There comes a moment when you do fleet PVP. It is right after your ship explodes and you either are in warp in your tiny pod or suddenly in a station miles away. The moment when you think to yourself ‘things can be so much better if we were more organized’.
Chapter Ten - The Caldari Dream
If I ever wanted a United Caldari Front to Face a Beast Called the Gallente then the days of dreams and wishes were over. I was watching Wolfsbrigade make that dream a reality in front of everyone. A United Caldari without internal fighting and wardecs, a United Caldari above and beyond petty political disputes and territorial chest beating a United Caldari without Ego wars. A United Caldari with shared voice comms that insured information traveled as fast as light and with a few clicks of mumble any Caldari pilot could jump into the voice comms of any other corporation.
A Caldari Army Reborn and Standing Proud.
A United Caldari that Could actually now field Capital Ships fully confident it had the support it needed something unheard of just a few months earlier.
It did not matter what Caldari corporation you belonged to. If you needed help then help is what you got. If your POS was attacked you better believe at least 900 Million Tons of Battle ready pilots and ships was there to support you the second it came out of reinforce.
50-80-100-120 Man Caldari Gangs were becoming not a dream but something Pirates and Gallente had to deal with.
What was once only whispered in hush tones between young and wishful Caldari Pilots was now a reality for all to see.
When FIRST GENERAL or anyone in Wolfsbrigade asked for x’s in the general Militia chat for a ‘FIRST GENERAL FLEET’ the number of x’s was literally a mile long and took more than an hour just to organize into a fleet. I am not exaggerating. No shortage of People wanting to Experience a Wolfsbrigade Fleet.
This was not limited to the Caldari Militia. Even the Local Pirates wanted nothing more than to avoid being on the receiving end of a Wolfsbrigade Fleet. If pirates were not at the very least asking for blue standings they were docking the f*** up when they saw a Wolfsbrigade Fleet in local.
This brought a new level of PVP to Blackrise. When Wolfsbrigade finally moved to Enaluri it became the Capitol of Caldari PVP. Wolfsbrigade pilots and anyone blessed with living in Enaluri rarely needed to go to Jita. Wolfsbrigade Pilots did not go to Jita. Jita came to Wolfsbrigade Pilots.
We had an internal mailing list where all a pilot needed to do was drag a certain fitting to an evemail and less than 24 hours later his ship was on contract for him. Mods rigs and all.
Pilots flocked to join Wolfsbrigade from not only the Caldari but from Pirates in the Region and even Gallente pilots applied to join Wolfsbrigade.
An unspoken agreement was in place between Draketrain and Wolfsbrigade. Not only did they avoid fighting each other but they eyed each other with a mutual sense of respect. They knew that if they needed each other each would lend a helping hand. Not that any of these two parties needed any help to be honest.
Draketrain became so massive and organized that they started roaming nullsec to gank Supercarriers and look for someone, anyone, willing to face the Wall of Drakes usually reserved for the kind of fights seen only on SOV wars.
Wolfsbrigade became so massive that they actually started shooting POS’s in lowsec begging for a fight, begging for someone to drop a carrier or a dread fleet. They actively sought Large POS Towers with Faction Guns and Faction Mods to shoot and haul said faction mods away to fund the Wolfsbrigade warchest.
I recall a time when Wolfsbrigade wardecked a pirate corporation for nothing more than the fact that one of their pilots was camping the Ichoriya Gate and just happened to be in a smart bombing Raven. This Smart bombing Raven just Happened to Destroy the pod of a Wolfsbrigade Pilot named Rigel Vex peacefully on his way to highsec to buy something. Destroying a full set of expensive implants.
This cannot stand! This Will Be Dealt With!
The pilot was personally convoed by me and asked nicely to reimburse Rigel Vex for his lost implants and given 2 days to remove his corp pos from Ichoriya (the same POS he safed up in his cute little Smart Bombing Raven) his answer was:
“Lol Faction war noobs”
Less than an hour later all of his corporation received a nice little evemail informing them that Wolfsbrigade has declared war and them. It is not like we needed to declare war on them. We were in lowsec and I assure you Wolfsbrigade pilots had no qualms about going pirate against anyone. The wardeck was just to let them know exactly where their next fight was going to come from.
The POS was removed-Forcefully- and More than enough isk in loot was picked out of what remained of the corporation hangers to reimburse our pilot and keep our war machine funded for weeks to come. I personally transferred the reimbursement to Rigel Vex from the corporation Wallet.
You might think I am exaggerating. I assure you Wolfsbrigade Killboard is not hard to find.
Final Chapter - From the Shoulders of Giants
Towards the End of Wolfsbrigades time in The Caldari militia Wolfsbrigade simply became too big of a beast.
For a long period Wolfsbrigade leadership had a problem that any Pilot in EVE would love to have. Wolfsbrigade was to Strong.
If Wolfsbrigade came out in Full Force no one in their right mind would undock and face them. A fully decked Wolfsbrigade fleet was the equivalent of an Armored Battalion shaking literally shaking the ground.
What was once the Mighty Gallente Armada controlling the Space lanes from Tama to Old Man Star was now The Mighty Caldari Armada controlling the Space lanes from Tama to Old Man Star .
The Mighty Caldari Armada Made up of Draketrain and Wolfsbrigade.
It is unhealthy for a PVP corporation not to have fights. If a PVP corporation does not get fights then the wisest thing that corporation needs to do is move somewhere where there are fights.
And Blackrise was simply not big enough for Wolfsbrigade.
If you ask me I believe Wolfsbrigade outgrew even the wildest dreams of its founders.
The time for Wolfsbrigade to limit itself to the Caldari Gallente conflict was over.
Although this is not the whole story of the Wolfsbrigade and other chapters exist and are being written everyday it is the end of this story.
The story of Wolfsbrigades rise to the top of the Caldari Militia.
The Rise Of The Wolf
I am no longer a part of Wolfsbrigade. But for the time I spent in Wolfsbrigade I was literally flying among giants. I was blessed to fly under the flags of the best of the best Caldari War Machines.
I merely wanted to document a short time period in the life of the Caldari-Gallente Conflict for past, current and future Soldiers of both sides.
When you are flying through the Space from Tama to Enaluri to Old Man Star rest assured you are flying the same space lanes of countless battles.
You are treading on the same ground that giants walked and did battle in.
You are being watched by the spirits of countless Caldari and Gallente Soldiers that took it upon themselves to hold either the Gallente or Caldari flag high. If you listen closely you can hear their whispers. The Spirits of Thousands of Soldiers before You watching over your battles and edging you to fight harder.
What are you going to do?
Who will write the next chapter in the Saga that is the Caldari and Gallente War?
That is a legacy I hope the new breed of Gallente and Caldari Pilots continue.
The future is now yours now go out and shape it.
I am a Caldari Pilot.
My Name Is Stalking Mantis. And I once Flew With the Wolfsbrigade.