War Reaches Amarr Throne Regions
AMARR - War has reached the Amarr throne regions. The Star Fraction (SF) alliance have brought their conflict directly to the heart of the Amarr Empire, issuing a declaration of war against the Amarrian loyalists Praetoria Imperialis Excubitoris (PIE) which was quickly answered by declarations against Star Fraction by Vigilia Valeria (VV) and Aegis Militia (AM).
The declaration of war was not unexpected as Amarr forces had observed Star Fraction moving large numbers of ships and supplies into the region in the proceeding weeks. In what can be seen as both a strategic move in advance of a potential protracted campaign and a political statement, Star Fraction also established offices for member corporations at the Emperor Family Academy Station orbiting Amarr VIII.
Determined to prove "that (they) can and will operate against loyalist forces in the capital of the Empire and throughout the surrounding systems, constellations and regions," Star Fraction have positioned their attack as an assault on the Amarr Empire itself. Citing PIE as supporters of a "corrupt, capricious and oppressive empire", Star Fraction seeks to prevent them from spreading the influence of the Empire by disrupting their activities in the Throne regions. However, it is questionable as to whether they can enforce activity within these regions as a prime concern for the members of PIE, who have repeatedly stated that they are not responsible for policing every Amarr resident’s activity.
Early accounts of the new war seemed to favor the Star Fraction alliance, although accurate and independent accounts of ship losses for either side have been impossible to obtain. Publicly, only Star Fraction are disclosing the current hard assets lost to battle. Calling their initial campaign against PIE and the Amarr loyalist forces 'Operation Judas Goat', Star Fraction managed to maintain an apparent superiority in fleet battles, sending enemy battleships and command vessels down three times as often as they lost one of their own. As in any war, views of the battle differ by which side of the conflict is being addressed, and in Amarr no one as of yet is willing to admit to losing the field. "It is going as expected," explained Admiral Lallara Zhuul of PIE. "They sit in Amarr claiming to own it, while we go about our business of protecting the Empire from more important threats than porn peddlers and delusional pod pilots that believe that technology is somehow a way to divine." If disruption of Amarr activities in the core regions is one of the aims of Star Fraction, the Amarr forces are all unified in their voice that this has not occurred, with Zhuul noting that their ability to "(keep) Brother Joshua safe during his travels is a clear testament of that."
With the Amarr loyalist alliances suffering from a lack of consistent organization in their defense efforts as the command structure between the three participating allies solidified, Aegis Militia were often at the forefront of the battle and paid a heavy toll as a result. Of the engagements to date, "several have gone in Star Fraction's favor, but we're learning from it and getting our organization and tactics up to snuff" explained Yoshito Sanders, Grand Colonel of the Aegis Militia. Almost a full two thirds of the ships lost to the insurgents in the first week of the war were Aegis Militia vessels, and nearly half the battleships, before the Aegis Militia declaration of war against the Star Fraction lapsed due to "a minor clerical error," according to Sanders.
Week one and 'Operation Judas Goat' came to an end with PIE and Vigilia Valeria standing alone against the smaller but so far more successful forces of the Star Fraction. However, the balance of power in the war was soon to shift in favor of the Amarr. In a move that surprised no one in the region, Curatores Veritatis Alliance (CVA) declared war on The Star Fraction, coming to the aid of their long time Amarr allies and putting their significant combat experience to immediate use as they delivered fleet superiority for the Amarr forces for the first time in the war. While overall statistics favor CVA only slightly, they sent SF command and battleships up on flames at double the loss rate of their own vessels.
As Star Fraction moved to 'Operation Slaughterhouse' following the war declaration from CVA, the next entrant into the battle would come as something of a surprise to everyone involved. A mercenary coalition known for their habit of declaring war on empire corporations for sport and profit more than their desire to fight for an ideological cause, the Privateers nevertheless waged a week long war against Star Fraction pilots in the region. While there was some speculation that an Amarr alliance had paid the CONCORD fees associated with their war declaration in return for the support of the brigadiers, the Privateers did not participate in any organized, cooperative efforts with the Amarr fleets, and indeed suffered heavy losses on their own. Their participation also did not generate much interest from the Amarr forces, with Zhuul describing them as akin to "4 wild furriers in sack; they see nothing and bite at everything that they can reach." Whether they were paid to partake in the fight or if they simply miscalculated the potential for profiting from the chaotic situation inherent in any conflict is currently unknown. Privateers’ leadership has yet to comment on the nature of their involvement.
Two weeks into the occupation of Amarr by the Star Fraction, and with the Aegis Militia still out of the battles, the Caldari Independent Navy Reserve (CAIN) launched 'Operation Cascade Fire' and threw their fleet into the fray. Loyal allies to the Amarr forces and no friend to the Star Fraction despite an existing cease-fire agreement, their joining the war in the throne regions was regarded as more a matter of when than a matter of if they would engage. "I think at this point it is hard to say who has an overall advantage," explained Captain Svetlana Scarlet of CAIN. "That will become more apparent as the weeks go on I'm sure.” The full impact of their presence will be felt in the coming weeks, but if operational hurdles such as command structure between the alliances can be overcome, their fleet should provide a significant boost for the Amarr cause. "Star Fraction's major advantage is that they are very well coordinated," Scarlet continued. "They also have a significant logistical advantage -- they have access to a great deal of money and advanced technology, far more than CAIN or the smaller Amarr paramilitary forces at the very least."
A common complaint from both Amarr and Star Fraction forces is the unwillingness of the enemy to engage in actual combat. Lord Sidyous of CVA was direct in his assertions that "it's (more) difficult to find Star Fraction fleets rather than difficult to fight, and at times we do find it frustrating that the Amarr authorities allow their kind to dock especially considering how vocal they are against the Empire." Star Fraction are also dismayed at the lack of actual engagement, said Tatsue Nuko, Star Fraction Alliance Officer, complaining that "sadly, quite a few of our intelligence checks on loyalist forces - most notably those carrying PIE colors - display them hiding in Providence to lick their wounds with a token force of a few pilots left behind."
There is no apparent end in sight to the conflict. With severe ideological differences separating the two sides and a history of conflict already established, a settlement seems unlikely. Unless Star Fraction can begin to have a demonstratable impact on Amarr alliance activity in the region, it is unlikely the loyalists will feel the need to dedicate the resources required to driving the insurgents out.