This month began with a paired set of goals. Amarr aimed to reach tier 2 and push Minmatar down to tier 3. With a 14 to 56 planet count Amarr had a tall order ahead of it. Adding to the challenge many Amarr systems began the month at very high levels of contest.
The Strategy: Firefighter Blitz
The strategy adopted by Amarr was simple and straight forward. Offensively: the Blitz. Rush to capture a system in the absolute minimum time required and commit any and all assets needed. Defensively: the Firefighter. With so many systems sitting anywhere between 50 and 70 percent contest Amarr simply did not have enough bodies to lower the levels of all systems. Instead, the choice was to wait for a system to reach a critical level where it could be flipped in under 24 hours then pile in and deplex that single system down to 30%. Often it was multiple systems that were threatened, so the numbers were split to the systems in danger. Thus, the Amarr played two roles – acting like a firefighter running from hot spot to hot spot, and blitzing at any available opportunity to capture a system. To explain Amarr’s conundrum statistically at the end of the month, 7 of 20 of their systems are above 50%. Meanwhile Minmatar only has 2 systems over 50%. If the number is expanded to above 40% contested, we’re looking at 11 of the 20 systems for Amarr versus 3 of 50 for Minmatar.
The firefighter strategy was remarkably successful, and had a very fortuitous side effect of consolidating regional plexes into the 3 core systems of Amarr: Arzad, Kourmonen, and Kamela. With all the region plexes locked up in “safe” areas for Amarr, the time for Minmatar to take a system was predictable and allowed Amarr to let systems slide to the 80s before committing forces to defense. This additional buffer was discovered near the end of the month and allowed Amarr to commit the forces necessary to snatch a trio of systems one after the other from Minmatar, while knowing their otherwise vulnerable systems were safe.
The month started off exceptionally slow in respect to planets changing hands. With Minmatar ending August with 5 system captures in 5 days and the warzone itself averaging a system changing hands every 2 days, many expected the trend to continue – but this was not the case. Instead it was a full week before the first system changed hands. Sosan was a very significant +1 for Amarr as it showed Amarr could hold off the Minmatar advance, deal with the high contest levels in systems, and push for offensives. However, Sosan going from 40% to captured in two days pushed Amarr to dangerous limits. As Amarr forces were finishing their offensive, 1 system reached vulnerable and 2 others were close. By the skin of their teeth, Amarr was able to D-plex these systems, though it was at the cost of any offensive ability. The near entirety of Amarr forces were committed to deplexing for nearly a week. The moment these systems were out of the fire, Amarr blitzed and took Asghed. Like Sosan, Asghed went from 40% to captured in 2 days. As before, multiple systems ended either vulnerable or were highly threatened by the time Asghed. It took one week of dedicated efforts until Amarr was able to blitz for a third system. Sathogas took 3 days of concerted effort for Amarr to claim the system.
At this point, the trend of capture a system and a scrambled D-plex was expected, and many on the Minmatar side were planning for events a week in the future. Then, Amarr changed the playbook. Knowing that systems could be left as high as 80% before they were truly threatened, efforts were placed on Minmatar’s Uusanen and Aset. Both systems fell two days after Sahtogas. The cost was multiple systems climbing into the 80s, but Amarr proved up to the challenge, as they were able to hold every threatened system. Aset marks the first system in Minmatar space that Amarr has captured in over two months. To be clear, Amarr held systems in Minmatar space but did not make any positive gains. Rather, it lost all systems in the regions of Heimatar and Metropolis. To polish off the month Amarr claimed Arayar.
Fights AKA Content
The month of September, in terms of fights, was even more action packed than August. The Minmatar/Amarr warzone saw a nearly 25% increase in kills and losses for both sides – and the action continues to increase. The addition of new third parties only helped to escalate things in both the quantity of fights and the usage of capitals. With Triage Carriers and Dreadnoughts becoming a semi-familiar sight for the larger fights, many battleship doctrines were shelved as they were unable to cope. Taking the place of Battleships were Pirate, Navy, and T3 Cruisers. All sides showed varying levels of success with new doctrines and usage of capitals. It is expected that the quantity of fights in October will reach new heights, and there is a certainty that it is only a matter of time until the first Super is lost.
Amarr was successful in its goals of reaching tier 2 and pushing Minmatar down to tier 3. With the loss of 6 systems Minmatar is hard pressed to reach tier 4, and Amarr holding tier 2 is a real possibility. Over the past two months Amarr has reached a net positive of 11 systems, capturing 16 but losing 5. At this point it is safe to say Minmatar dreams of total warzone control will remain simply dreams.