A little while ago, I had the pleasure to do a little research regarding the rumoured demise of the Curse Alliance. One of the people I interviewed was Gunship, ex Curse Alliance war general. While talking to him, it became apparent that he had a tale to tell. I decided to publish the tale, as it was told to me.
From CA nobody to War General.
- By Gunship
First of all, this is my story; there are thousand of stories. What you read here is based on facts (no lies), my facts, my views and my perception. Nothing more and nothing less. With that in mind the story starts roughly a year ago in a system a few jumps from Gehi.
I was then part of NGRU (Northern Gorilla Reaver Unit). We hung out in CFS (Coalition of Free Stars) space, but not part of if. The CFS had some rather lengthy procedures to do almost anything; so that's why we did not properly join together with the fact that "Tiester" seemed a less than able leader. However, we were known to help out with CFSN (Coalition of Free Stars Navy) patrols and took part in minor skirmishes in the A2 area. Still, flying with the great white fleet, numbering over one hundred battleships to Amarr was fun until it turned into a mild chaos, in a nearby system.
I can't remember who shot whose industrial ship, but that day, the Curse Alliance - CFS war broke out. We did not take part since we were not in CFS as full members and there was a secret connection between one of our members and Xirtam, which was a big secret. We happily let CA ships pass though our system, Xirtam made sure NGRU ships were clearly marked as non-hostile and we mined and hunted pirates while CFS generally got blown out of the sky (to say it politely).
NGRU now was a corporation looking around for a new home and wanted to move out of empire space in search of richer mining fields, more worthy pirates to hunt and for some to use their lasers to less peaceful means. After having looked around we decided to make the move to CA even if we lost a pilot or two. I remember having to say goodbye to Kish as one of our biggest losses.
The move to CA space was special in a number of ways. We left CFS space (the war still in progress) in deepest secret and I still remember jumping into HED-GP and feeling a cold chill down my spin as I saw the massive fleet waiting for us. Thank god it was the welcoming escort, with our entire corps fleet completely drowned in Scorpions and other exotic ships, no wonder CFS had had a hard time. We were firmly handled and asked to jump systems on command, while fast moving scouts were double checking the space lanes, mumbling about getting us past U-Q. I recall thinking - what's U-Q? We safely arrived in CL-85 and started to adjust to 0.0 space, our miners complained about the local Angels (that was even before they came out in battleships) the fighters, mostly "NGRU Storm" was busy losing battleships to the Curse Coalition and the Great Wildlands Pact. I remember having 27 points Warp Core strength on my Apocalypse so I wouldn’t to be scrambled by the amount of Scorpions flying around. However our new home system was infested by a small pirate corporation and I had to ask for help on the CA channel. A fast response unit consisting of Smith and another scorpion pilot responded with in a few minutes and proceeded to chase the intruders another 5-7 jumps away. It was a real eye opener for CA effectiveness compare with the five council meetings it would have taken CFS to decide to do nothing.
I slowly started to become more involved in fleet battles and fleet battles we did, a good one was in U-Q with our dear friends of SA. The going was a little rough but with mOo returning back from an op coming in from HED-GP it turned the tide somewhat. You see, CA politics is rather interesting; m0o was not really member of CA, since they are a pirate corporation and as you know we where not pirates apart from odd captains like Proxie or Zelota who had the odd gun misfiring at a passing ship. "You have to let the young ones stretch there legs" was the words from older pilots. However an understanding was in place and seeing a m0o ship was always reassuring for any CA pilot at the time.
Anyway fighting at home was all well and good, but with CC and GWP out of the way a little visit to FA is not the worst the doctor can recommend, and I had a great time in what was a bit of fun for a few weeks, flying along side ATUK was always fun and rewarding among all the other CA's in the area.
The conquerable stations was a pain for CA, NGRU (and also RUS) was quick of the ball and took over a number of stations to start with and we gave them away to other CA corps as we saw fit, however ATUK came and took a mining post. The short and the long was that it all got too political. In the end at a council meeting ATUK said “we know what we did was wrong, but we either keep the station or leave CA”, so they got voted out. Looking back I shall be the first to lift my hand and say it was stupid and a silly pride thing. For the record; Xirtam at the time went to great lengths to solve the dispute, but both parties was firmly grounded. ATUK said we earned the right, NGRU saying we took it first. Looking back, it was one of the first times the more industrially minded people of CA got there own way. ATUK left without a fight, and later came back; NGRU helped to vote them back in, but the first damage was done. They later left again.
M0o was kicked from CA for attacking Xetic (we had a NAP with them) another unique political decision. The war with m0o makes NGRU a little nervous and some of ours got cold feet. I decided to stay and fight and together with a few others I joined Vengeance of the Fallen.
When m0o started to attack CA, ATUK got kicked for not wanting to fight m0o. As you can tell we weren’t doing ourselves any favours. We later attacked Xetic for “allowing” m0o to use there space as a base, which makes perfect sense, right?
However even after having “lost” two major fighting corps we gained other members like Corp1. CA was still going strong. So I joined a fighting corporation and the first thing I do is, I mine. Strip mining bistot near 0-W with 10-20 Apoc’s ripping the belts apart together with another corp called backwater. It is hear I meet Foyle happily chatting away to Xirtam as an old couple. Backwater splits and Foyle’s new corp sells ships etc to the fighters in HLW giving her a “good name”. She also moves production to near FA space when required. The civil war in SA resulted in OC joining CA and it almost bought SA to its knees. DSS was a ghost town to it’s former self after repeated attacks. Older pilots will remember the changes that made frigates, specially the Kestrel, King of the hill. 4 cruise missiles, fast moving CA adopted this strategy to use it with full force. Honest Stain Alliance and CFS pilots will testify. A small rumble in VOTF happened when a few core pilots decide to split off and create their own group, Black Reign; I follow suit and join them shortly after.
CA scientist kept coming up with new ship configurations and the dual 100mn afterburner Rupture takes to the stars and ghost fleets kills makes SA/CFS space hell. When the war with XETIC starts a new bigger and more deadly CA configuration has been battle proven. The dual MWD raven, rules the systems. The XETIC losses were extreme whatever anyone said, it got to hurt just a little to lose a little over two hundred Battleships in a week. Omega Corp extended there campaign in XETIC space and together with a few other Black Reign pilots I managed to get over 40 confirmed BS kill mail to my name in a month, hitting third place for BS kills on the excellent kill boards created by Jaabaa. Although I was pleased with my efforts, I’m also telling you this so you get a flavor for how many ships got destroyed in CA’s name.
CA council was bored. We gained corporations who assured us they’d fight. Many chose not to. Stations got put under the CA holding corporation with Foyle in charge as caretaker endorsed by the Duke and approved by the council. A mining tax of 15% was agreed on. Later, it was decided to sell 75% of all the minerals, I personally did this and it gave CA over 7 billion ISK’s, enough start the alliance and to start the CA INSURANCE fund with a 1 bill starting balance. A good idea; newer pilots had complained and the system worked by collecting the loot and auctioned it of to help pilots who lost ships in battle under a CA squad leader or fleet commander. In the four to five months the system ran it paid out just under 3 billion ISK’s and it managed to keep itself going (incoming loot = payouts). However when it turned out pilots where not prepared to fight unless they could get insurance it turned a little wrong in my view. The old saying: if you can’t afford to lose it, don’t fly it, still makes some sense.
CA has a war council, basically made up in the start of 5 of the main CEO’s. When one left, Foyle, who has been a cornerstone in looking after the CA message boards and other communicating systems, wanted the title. Xirtam disagreed, he didn’t think Foyle was suited, because she was not a fighter. Two capms came into being, those who believed a War General should be a trusted fleet commander and those who saw it more as a diplomatic title. Others extended it to 7 members and Foyle got in.
Things ticks over for a little while with Xirtam taking an extended leave of absence. When he returned it became clear that CA had become tired of one of VOTF’s members who even for CA posted once too many on the GalNet (Aneu Angellus). In short, the Council wanted him out. VOTF responded with the threat to leave if this Aneu was kicked out of the Allaince. The council votes for the proposal and VOTF leaves.
All this because of one pilot you ask? It runs deeper than that is all I know and all I care to know.
However; Xirtam who was among the leaders that formed CA and by many seen as the true leader of CA in the first place started to look for a new place for his corporation. Many other corporations came to him and said “where you go, we follow”. I assume he pressed a few buttons himself as well just for the record. It was after that council meeting (or in the end of it, I was not there) I got promoted by all to the position of “War General”, I accepted and it was a great vote of confidence, but hardly in the best of circumstances. Other problems soon emerged with Shinra getting tired of fighting the same enemies on the same path as they had done for over a year (HLW to HED-GP). Supremacy was fighting away from home while all this took place, so numbers were not great and HLW was no longer powerhouse it used to be. Yes we could still gather a big fleet relatively easily, but others picked up on the seeds of boredom and wanted to do something new. Meetings happened quickly and fast. Although, many people were fed up with “politics” and just wanted to have fun. The corporations in the great wild lands created there own new alliance, the Russian speaking corporations created RED alliance, Shinra do there own thing, VOTF, Mercenary Frigates, Supremacy and other fighting corporations flattened NORAD in a few weeks, even with NORAD getting support from “friends” it was a walk in the park.
This was although patchy my journey though CA. To not leave you high and dry here is some views and info in no particular order:
Xirtam (also known as the Dark Lord): A good diplomat for a fighter (put as diplomatically as I can). He helped make CA a true democracy, in hind sight that was possibly a mistake. However you will be hard push to find anyone who can gather another 30 battleships in a matter of minutes and bring them to the frontline battles. A fun fight was at the jump-in to DSS, Duke (OC) said “we will get slaughtered”, Xirtam said “xxxx xxxx lets jump” and we absolutely owned that gate after a good battle.
Foyle: As the holder of “CA alliance”, the alliance fund plus all the remaining minerals from the stations she is not short of a few isk. Interestingly GW did not want her in their group, properly the biggest gathering staying in the former CA. Did she become the CA scapegoat despite all she did for CA? I do think the move to become a “War General” without having fired a shot so to speak, didn’t do her any favors and her dreams of doing diplomacy with the strength of CA military was too ambitious and self serving. What she is going to do with the funds that she was trusted to hold I’m not sure she even know. Many have asked, but the silence is deafening.
Did we fight? Ohh yes… and we won far more on a whole than we ever lost.
In closing, CA was great for me, I would happily do it all again. I have been in so many great battles, had the trust and honor to now and then lead enormous fleets, gained so many friends and really lived life to the full. A final “thank you” goes to all the Curse Alliance people who made me boldly go where others feared and gave me a memorable experience.
Gunship Ex-CA War General