This is an interesting situation, as N3 has allegedly hired BNI to effectively be a meatshield for N3 and it’s allies. This directly counters the rhetoric from January of this year where Diplos for HERO said “We are not going to be getting involved in any N3 vs CFC conflicts over their space or structures.”
There is a very interesting reaction on all sides from this development. CFC and N3 members are split on what this means for the fights as a whole. Some BNI members are cheerful, others are somewhat suspect of the prospect of switching from getting blobbed by PL to doing the same with the CFC.
The mentality from the BNI perspective is the one I’m most interested in, as that is the one I would consider myself most in line with. For me, this deployment sets a precedent for BNI being a more mobile and experienced alliance. That does rely on how the future fights go in Delve. Listening to the chatter in comms and on Reddit, the deployment indicates that N3 pulled PL off of HERO temporarily to allow their numbers to help in the reinforcement timer in ZXB-VC.
The mindset of the newbro is a complex thing, and it’s always hard to get a good read on what people are thinking in EVE. I imagine that a lot of HERO members are not particularly happy with the idea of a newbro-centric organization becoming de facto mercs. I don’t see many noobs as having a mentality like that of other merc groups, and as a result feeling like they’re even less effective in blob fights. Given that they might not feel as tenacious about fighting in a war against an irrelevant enemy for what is effectively lining the pockets of the alliance. A lot of people couldn’t give a shit how the alliance makes money, but paradoxically they seem to be apprehensive about being the lap dog of a more powerful entity for money. Simply put, a lot of line members don’t understand why alliances do this kind of thing. I believe that null sec politics make it a reality that a lot of alliances will at some point have to do something they don’t want to for ISK. It’s no secret that HERO hurts for income streams on an organizational level from their constant losses and often destructive lack of organization. So maybe this could be a good thing.
The thing that I think may cause a problem is the way in which this will change the public perception of HERO. It’s now possible that the CFC will see them as a threat due to their interference. There very well may be a proxy war on behalf of the CFC from any number of other entities in HERO’s future. It would genuinely not surprise me if the CFC paid someone to hit HERO SOV to keep them out of the fight in Delve.
The other outcome I see as somewhat less likely is that the presence of HERO will do little to change the outcome of the fight, meaning that the “invasion” of Delve will end up in a CFC victory. What comes after this is impossible to know for certain. But the “weaponized boredom” tactics the CFC uses are going to make an overall loss for N3/HERO a possible reality. However, the cycle of HERO potentially being asked to come back and act as an Ewar meatshield for N3 has no begun.
I listened to BNI comms during the fight (unable to login to game directly) and I’ll attempt to give a short AAR on what transpired. On comms, some members played right into the hands of the CFC, and wished they could go back to fighting PL.
N3 actually were able to win the timer itself before CFC even showed up in the system. The CFC, counter to their recent rhetoric of being against “gudfites”, decided to go in simply for the content.
As HERO broke the news that they would be third-partying, they burned into position in a nearby system to be bridged by an N3 Titan. Sadly after several members bumped the bridging titan causing a delay, the HERO fleet landed into a CFC bombing run, resulting in a large number of the smaller ships being destroyed. It was also alleged that the Titan pilot somehow mistakenly moved the fleet into the wrong place, making the losses worse. The fight resumed on the Y-2ANO gate against the CFC fleet, after constant skirmishing in the border system. CFC brought a Dominix/Ishtar fleet with various types of T3s and frigs, along with Archon support. The fleet doctrine for HERO seemed to be Tengus/Eagles, and their support frigs and Logi. N3 brought a mix of T3 Cruisers, Logi, and bombers. Over 1200 pilots were involved in the fighting during the main engagement. Total ISK losses were around 30 Billion ISK. The majority of this being lost by N3, having lost 20 Billion. HERO losing slightly less than 2 Billion, and the CFC taking around 7 Billion.
After a bit of positioning and a lot of TiDi and technical issues from the number of drones on grid, the HERO/N3 fleets exchanged losses with CFC. The ultimate outcome of the fight was a strategic victory for N3/HERO, despite nothing much happening. However, the CFC scored a huge win in terms of ISK. The ultimate loss for HERO was the combined loss of a HERO Archon and the loss of an Aeon, both to PL.
Here’s a rough Battle Report for the main clash.
A Video of the fight from HERO’s perspective: