The war so far: The Clusterfuck Coalition (CFC) and the TEST Alliance engaged in a massive battle--the largest battle in EVE's history--but it ended suddenly when server issues resulted in thousands of players being disconnected. But that wasn't the end of the war--far from it. For the full story, check out the previous parts of GamesRadar's series on EVE Online's Fountain War.
Enraged over the abrupt ending of the Battle of Z9PP-H, CFC forces renewed their offensives. Z9PP-H and its neighbor EI-O0O finally fell to CFC attacks on July 9, exactly one month after the CFC invasion began. With the fall of those two systems, CFC forces finally secured their beachhead in Fountain. They would not be pushed out.
Nearly a full week after Z9PP-H BoodaBooda released a “State of The Alliance." The address recapped the war up to that point, and discussed the events at Z9PP-H: “It could’ve meant the end of TEST capital fleets for weeks, or maybe months" The speech was also remarkably candid about TEST's financial woes, explaining that TEST would have to request private donations in order to continue the war. Finally, BoodaBooda pleaded with his fellow TESTies to log in and fight
“If we’re going to continue enjoying the hell out of this war, everyone in TEST has to want it. We need to be intensely focused, we need to be as strong as possible, we ALL need to give this war 100%."--BoodaBooda
Despite CFC victories behind the front, Allied forces were still able to prevent further CFC advances by virtue of N3's supremacy in the Australian time zones. However, increasing activity by SOLAR FLEET threatened N3's ability to remain in Fountain. Worse still, the annual Alliance Tournement began drawing off many of Pandemic Legion’s best pilots and fleet commanders.
Goons on the Move
In the end, it was the outpost at 4-EP12--the last of the systems Sort Dragon had gifted the CFC--that proved decisive in breaking the deadlock. After nearly a month of development and construction, the CFC completed work on a “jump bridge," on July 19. This piece of infrastructure allowed CFC forces to completely bypass TEST's front lines. The stalemate was over.
The CFC breakout wasn't the only bad news for TEST. N3 was again forced to defend their southeastern territory against SOLAR FLEET. What’s more, Pandemic Legion essentially left Fountain altogether--but not before recruiting Beffah, TEST's military leader. Despite its claimed 12,000 member, TEST proved to be a bit of a paper tiger--few of TEST’s pilots logged on to defend Fountain during the CFC’s breakout. Without the aid of N3 and PL, TEST proved unable to field any significant resistance. In the face of overwhelming CFC advances TEST leadership decided to make a symbolic last stand at TEST's historic home: 6VDT-H.
Prelude to 6VDT-H
Tormented by real-life computer issues, disappointed by poor participation rates, and disquieted by what she described as a “cult of personality" centered around TEST’s leader BoodaBooda, Beffah resigned as TEST’s military director. She joined Pandemic Legion on its way out of Fountain.
Her replacement, Ingen Kerr, did not make any serious plans to defend Fountain. Indeed, by this point the war was going so badly that TEST leadership dismissed the idea of saving Fountain entirely--but they could still give it a hell of a send-off. Kerr rallied TEST’s flagging members to make a symbolic last stand at 6VDT-H. Two days before the battle he laid out his plan:
“We’re forming and under no circumstances are we standing down. If we are outnumbered 50:1, still we’re going in. We've been told that forming for this timer is stupid, that this is exactly what the CFC wants us to do, that we are--to turn a phrase--exactly where they want us . A smart alliance in our situation--12,000 facing off against three times that number--would probably look for other options. But we are not a smart alliance. We’re TEST. This is what we do."--Ingen Kerr.
Next Time: The largest battle in EVE Online's history takes place (and the servers don't even crash or nothing).
The story concludes in EVE Online's Fountain War - The largest battle in gaming history and its aftermath!