Sheltark Sykari’s recent return to EVE Online has ignited a flurry of activity in Black Rise, culminating in the ascension of Awesome Alliance to the highest scoring group of pilots in Tama.
The Great CRUSADE has taken to Tama like a psychopathic fish to community waters. They have plenty of accomplished solo fighters, but really shine when group tactics come into play. There are multiple active pirate groups preying on the populace of low security space, but for the moment, Sykari’s alliance is sitting in the champions position, despite stiff competition from Rogue Caldari Union. Jockeying for third are Hole Control and Dock Workers.
Although Sykari is more the spiritual leader of the corporation, the kills are relatively evenly spread between top performers leading The Great CRUSADE by Stony Roberts, BooBoo Pedel, and Art Gravy.
Quite a few of the alliance’s pilots are accomplished solo fighters and established streamers in their own right. Uncle Brigade showcases expert tactics and creative engineering and Art_Gravy regularly streams 1 vs. many engagements, often somehow coming out on top in exciting fashion. Given the notoriously steep EVE Online learning curve, some of the accomplishments captured live by The Great CRUSADE are difficult to overstate.
Sykari, the leader of The Great CRUSADE, streams his antics daily. Although he may not necessarily always have the highest individual kill count, The Sheltark Sykari Shit Show, is quickly becoming one of the top sources of factional warfare content in Black Rise. Low-security space is often regarded as entry-level content with great beginner challenges in combat. For many, this is absolutely the case; although they started in high sec, the typical capsuleer would likely travel through low-security space at some point during their career. For more still, low-security content is the main experience of combat in EVE Online.
There’s a tradeoff in everything we do in New Eden. Usually it has to do with cost, efficiency, and preference. The most powerful and expensive ships are usually reserved for specialized purposes to minimize risk and keep costs low, while the smaller, cheaper vessels can be replaceable, if a little less efficient. From what we’ve seen in the war so far, those soldiers that create a sustainable supply of ships, weapons, and ammunition are uniquely prepared to last against even the most powerful, well-funded enemies.
In Tama, the top alliance uses very inexpensive ships; recent engagements saw masterful precision in deployment of kestrel-class and atron-class attack frigates. A Merlin, piloted by Abel Damu, fearlessly defended a Small Caldari Outpost against an infamous Dragoon-class destroyer commander. Taking heavy damage and holding out for reinforcements, Damu recounted his experience.
“Tha Dragoon commander came at us twice,” he explained, looking over his shoulder at me while he strained to tighten a bolt on the small transverse bulkhead. “We got him the first time, but he came back with another 60 million ISK dragoon-and reinforcements.”
Capt. Damu went on to explain how, after some coaxing, an infamous commander from The United Caldari Space Command(.), sacrificed an expensive destroyer for no gain against a Merlin-class frigate costing less then 3 million ISK. The Merlin survived the encounter, and the Dragoon fell without scoring a kill against the swarm of frigate reinforcements. The move, referred to by Sykari as gangbanging, was successful against multiple targets. One on one fights are rare in EVE Online.
Eventually, UCSC organized a counter-strike, using a well thought out fleet composition to engage The Great CRUSADE in a Small Caldari Outpost. The fighting started with a single Condor-class frigate, commanded by Kento Bento Box, punched into the acceleration gate alone. Although directional scanners confirmed that UCSC were quickly approaching, they had unfortunately entered the engagement piecemeal. Kento Bento Box was engaged first and fell quickly to rockets and blasters. Before long, the rest of the Condors were all within range to counter, their rockets shrieking and blasting in all directions.
“I remember getting into position right next to the beacon, where the ships’ nav computer likes to throw you when you approach one of these outposts,” Damu said, after a few puffs of a cigarette, held between fingers smeared with black grease. “The first Condor fell, hard, then the next. By the time I’d switched to the third we started taking heavy damage. It was MrLamblambs, at less than 500 meters. We had good range on the blasters but the shields just wouldn’t hold.”
Capt. Damu went on to explain how there were some casualties, but since the previous patrols were so successful, any letters to the families of crew members will have hardly a sting due to the dividend payments. Deeply religious, Damu elaborated on the necessity of sacrifice for a deeper purpose. Although many have died so far in the Holy War taking place in Black Rise, the rhetoric of The Great CRUSADE confirms that Tama will continue to burn; at least for the immediate future.