Coming off a month long streak of system captures Minmatar had to be riding high. Like a metronome each week a system was falling: Sahtogas, Sosan, Huola Auga, and Vard. Even the addition of Calibrated Chaos and Dirt n’ Glitter did little to stem the tide of station systems going to Minmatar hands. However, following Vard Minmatar took a breath to consolidate their gains, and this is what Amarr needed to get their feet back under them.
One week after Vard was taken from Amarr the falter of the Minmatar war machine was official. Amarr was holding on a meager 8 systems, and no system was showing a rise of contest level. Enter Amarr’s first offensive. The main goals being: 1) create a buffer around the staging system of Habitual Chaos (-HB-) and Praetoria Imperialis Excubitoris (PIE) in Arzad and 2) show Amarr has teeth by taking station systems.
First up was the seemingly unimportant system of Siflar. Siflar was picked as the first target of the new Amarr offensive for three main reasons. –HB- and PIE stage out of Arzad which is next door. The closest Minmatar station is two jumps out making reship times that much longer. The system itself doesn’t hold a station, so there are no established entities to contest the moment Amarr forces enter the system. From the Amarr perspective if a system without a station and such marked advantages in favor of Amarr couldn’t be taken then there would be little chance of Amarr regaining control of the warzone. For the Minmatar letting Amarr gain ground would take them that much further from total warzone control and gives Amarr a much needed morale boost. By any measure Siflar was a total bloodbath. It stood on the top 5 deadliest low sec systems. Fighting was constant, and skirmishes were the order of the day with 230 kills in 3 days. That said, it only took 3 days for Amarr to take the system from near stable to captured.
After Siflar went to Amarr control sights were set on Ezzara. All the advantages that were present in Siflar carried over to Ezzara. Minmatar were on the longer end of the supply line, there was no station to for Minmatar to base out of and it was adjacent to Arzad. All in all Ezzara was expected to fall at a similar rate to what was experienced in Siflar. In fact, Ezzara was an easier capture and had significantly less conflict. Minmatar chose using the system as a point to get fleet fights over of skirmishing over each site spawn in an attempt to defend the system, thus conceding the vast majority of sites to Amarr. Ezzara changed to Amarr control less than 72 hours after Siflar.
With Amarr morale at a high point, and belief in the numerical superiority of fleets being able to hold the field Amarr split into two offensive prongs. The first going after Lamaa and the second after Tararan. Unlike Siflar and Ezzara both of these targets were expect to difficult. Lamaa is a constant thorn in the side of Amarr because of its strategic position linking to Kourmonen and Kamela and being in the route to Arzad. Tararan is of similar strategic importance as it was the last Minmatar system adjacent to Arzad.
True to predictions Tararan was a painful affair for Amarr. With fleet actions happening with frightening regularity and skirmishes at every site losses were quite high for Amarr. Tararan also marked the entry of Hashashin Cartel for Minmatar Faction Warfare serving to escalate the losses of Amarr. On the last day of fighting for Tararan, Amarr lost its first major fleet engagements in nearly 2 weeks. Though the system went to Amarr kills were far in favor of Minmatar both in ISK and ship counts.
As Tararan was being fiercely contested Lamaa was slowly progressing in the background. Compared to the lightning rise and fall of contest level in Tararan Lamaa showed a gradual incline. With only a few major fights in Lamaa it was clear Minmatar could only push fleets at one location and were restricted to small scale actions in the second. Amarr successfully performed a two prong offensive and came out far ahead on the bet that fleet numbers would be enough to carry the day. Less than 12 hours after the fall of Tararan Lamaa also changed flags from Minmatar to Amarr.
Overall, the Amarr offensive has proved a resounding success. In 9 days 4 systems have been claimed by Amarr. Two of the systems are of actual importance as they contain stations and will act as points of supply for additional pushes into Minmatar controlled systems. Lamaa opens the way for the station system of Tzvi and the associated systems of Oyeman and Raa. Meanwhile Tararan is adjacent to the station systems of Sosan, Asghed, and Halmah. The choice is still open for which path Amarr will choose to go for the Semou Constellation which holds the station system of Tzvi and two blanks of Raa and Oyeman, or for the Jayai Constellation which is station rich of Sosan, Asghed, and Halmah.