At 03:02 EVE Time, Roushzar, a system in the Devoid region, was liberated by 24th Imperial Crusade forces. On the face of it, the system seems a blip on the radar. DOTLAN shows that while some fighting did occur in the last few hours before the system flipped, it was nothing like the conflagration that has characterized Huola. In most respects, the system seems rather insignificant, except in one important aspect: The system is one jump away from Huola itself.
A number of Amarrian pilots recognized the strategic value of Roushzar early in the Burn Huola campaign. Credited by many for ninja plexing Roushzar at least to the mid-70 percent range, these pilots included–but are not necessarily limited to–Christine Peeveepeeski of The Amarrian Commandos’s Imperial Fedaykin [TMFED], Thorin Matarielle of Shirak Skunkworks [SWKS], and Bienator II of madmen of the skies [YMAD]. FactionWarfare.com reached out to Bienator II to obtain his thoughts on the liberation of Roushzar, and the wider Burn Huola campaign.
With the Huola campaign ebbing and flowing–both sides reluctant to engage superior numbers–the fighting peaks and has its lulls. For Bienator II and his fellow pilots, these lulls were the perfect time to plex in Roushzar, “We just plexed Roushzar whenever there was nothing to do in Huola.” On the strategic value of capturing the system, Bienator II stated,
“Many of our squadron didn’t dock in the last week so having stations where we can repair the ships is a nice addition, especially attack battlecruisers since repping those guns with paste is very inefficient.” For the future of the campaign, Bienator II is largely optimistic, “Next stop is Huola–let’s hope it doesn’t fall too quickly. It’s like EVE in arcade mode, we all had a lot of fun so far.”
With the aforementioned pilots plexing the system up to the mid-70 percent range, pilots in Amarrian Vengeance [AVNG] and WINMATAR. [WMTR] were impressed with the effort and decided to divert their full attention to Roushzar. Over an 18-hour period spanning most of July 17 and including the early hours of July 18, Amarrian pilots ground out the plexes, braving Minmatar resistance. Interestingly, that resistance was very light during the actual I-HUB bash. Led by WINMATAR. Biohazard [-BIO-] Dog0fWarr, the WINMATAR. fleet deployed Vexor Navy Issues and Ishtars, which supplemented additional militia forces that included attack battlecruisers and stealth bombers. I Whip My Slaves Back and Forth [J4LP] provided coverage in the plexes as the bash went on, utilizing Federation Navy and Police Pursuit Comets with logistics frigates to hold the plexes against token Minmatar resistance. Indeed, the resistance was so light, that a mystery 24th Imperial Crusade pilot jumped an Archon in for the bash, safely extracting after the system had been flipped.
The consequences of the fall of Roushzar have not been lost on Amarrian leadership. Templar Dane of Amarrian Vengeance [AVNG] stated, “Many of the groups that have been coming did not anchor a POS [in Huola] and were not willing to. Now they have a place to reship quickly.” Aslon Seridith, of WINMATAR. [WMTR] Biohazard [-BIO-], agreed with Templar Dane, though he noted that the success was one that required little to no effort on the part of Amarrians, “The Minmatar were forced to defend their system against our push to 60% [in Huola]. Our allies used that moment to raise Roushzar. Minmatar had to choose to either deplex Huola or deplex Roushzar. Obviously, Roushzar was given up and with little effort it was taken.” Aslon Seridith was optimistic as to the logistical opportunities Roushzar offers to the 24th Imperial Crusade pilots wishing to join in the bloodbath of Huola. He concluded with, “This is EVE’s summer war, which hundreds of pvpers are enjoying themselves with… showing EVE how much fun FW can be. Regardless of the war outcome: This has been a great time already for everyone involved.”
Although Minmatar sources could not be reached at the time this article was written, through the local smack talk and propaganda in the forums, many pilots of both sides are in agreement that Burn Huola has resulted in some of the best pvp to reach the Amarr-Minmatar warzone in years.