Although small by EVE standards, the Battle of Kourmonen on May 7, 2014 marks a shift in Amarrian fortune. A skirmish by most estimates, the Battle of Kourmonen or perhaps, more accurately, the “Battle of the Kourmonen-Huola Gate” was nonetheless a historical affair. There were no titans, no large capital fleets, and the amount destroyed was a pittance in comparison to the Waterloo of B-R5RB, but it underlined the ability of alliances within the militia to work together.
According to In Exile FC Jericho Willis, the battle commenced when an Imperial Outlaws fleet with a Winmatar contingent engaged a BLUNK force, destroying a Vexor, Vexor Navy Issue, and three Exequrors. BLUNK then reshipped into battleships, T3 cruisers, guardian and T1 logistic support, and an assortment of attack battlecruisers, daring the Amarrian militia fleet to re-engage through smack talk in local. Attempts at dividing the BLUNK force by luring them into a medium complex failed, prompting the combined forces of Imperial Outlaws and Winmatar to bring more pilots online. BLUNK decided to maintain a presence on the Kourmonen side of the Huola-Kourmonen connection. Making the decision that they did not want to engage BLUNK on a gate, the Amarr joint operations fleet jumped into Huola, hoping to negate the BLUNK logistics advantage by forcing BLUNK into point-blank range. However, BLUNK did not follow the Amarrian fleet into Huola and based on estimations by Jericho, the BLUNK fleet was pushing at least 10,000 dps. Jumping between a novice and medium complex in Huola for roughly half an hour, scouted by a BLUNK shuttle pilot, and frustrated at the situation the Amarrian fleet contacted Shadow Cartel to arrange a temporary blue status to better engage BLUNK.
Shadow Cartel responded in kind by hotdropping an Absolution fleet into the Blood.Drunk camp on the Kourmonen gate. In the words of Jericho Willis, “Frustrated, we contacted Shadow Cartel and arranged a temp-blue to punish BLUNK for being cowardly asshats. We jumped through, engaged, and ended up in a situation where neither side could break the other’s tanks until Shadow Cartel showed up around a minute and a half in. BLUNK fled and we brought down the Geddon Navy Issue, Brutix, and Vigilant before peaceably parting ways with SC.” Snitches Laden, a pilot flying in the BLUNK fleet in the Armageddon Navy Issue had this to add, “We were patrolling the Huola Gate in Kourm and had a rather substantial force we were facing down. After a long pause the action commenced and Shadow Cartel cyno’d in their Absolution fleet upon us. Being outnumbered and outgunned we were ordered to break contact.” Furthermore, according to Snitches Laden, Anslo from Scope Works watched the battle from a 200km perch. As Snitches Laden recounts, “With his rag tag band sending them out as sheep to the slaughter,” Anslo allegedly took credit for Shadow Cartel’s actions “as if he was their puppet master.” Imperial Outlaws then finished the night by reshipping into Tristans and killing a Proteus. Incredibly, the only recorded Amarr loss was a Kestrel.
Although the conclusion to the battle was ultimately decided by Shadow Cartel intervention, Imperial Outlaws’ ability to effectively engage the Blood.Drunk fleet was made possible by the timely reinforcements provided by Winmatar. This willingness to help fellow militia pilots best characterizes this particular engagement, because it demonstrates that teamwork allows crusaders to tackle odds that a single organization may be unable to face. Regardless, Shadow Cartel’s intervention was easily the turning point in the battle, but hopefully the engagement can serve as an example to future intra-militia operations.
Jericho Willis was optimistic of the future of the Crusade. He noted that In Exile and its alliance Imperial Outlaws is becoming active again, taking its place on zKillboard as the third highest killing alliance in the militia. He added, “Given the fun fights we’ve had nearly every night this week with BLUNK, Iron Oxide, LNA, and others, we expect activity to increase even further. Not all is doom and gloom for the Amarr.” Commenting on Imperial Outlaws and Winmatar being set blue to one another, Odysseus Olacar of Winmatar’s Biohazard had this to add, “A lot of Amarr groups have been skeptical of our time in the Amarr militia and with this mutual act of bluing between our two groups is further proof that Winmatar is fully committed to the Amarrian Militia and its Corps/Alliance success and committed to the complete eradication of the Minmatar Militia.”