This war with FIX has got increasingly weird.
We came down south a few months ago with a clear plan, the very first step of which was to batter FIX into submission in Querious as quickly as possible so we could move on to the second and thrid stages of our plan without getting our supply lines through Gehi/A2-V27 harrassed.
To be honest FIX were crap when we first came down, timid as hell, wouldn't fight without the big blob or without one of their top couple of fleet commanders on and when they did engage we just slaughtered them. Amusingly one of their guys actually told me one evening that despite outnumbering us 2:1 and us hanging our arses out so they could warp in on us and pick the range, they couldn't engage until CougarOne showed up!
So we started to drift into the next stage of our plan and never really brought the hammer down on FIX. Although they were a bit crap to start with they were always polite and respectful with no smacktalk in local.
With 20:20 hindsight we should have moved en-masse into 9CG, taken that station and then moved on to take the rest of Querious. However, the friggin game wasn't helping because of the insane lag taking stations at that time. Funny now that I think about it we changed our usual tactics for fighting 0.0 based alliances which really gave FIX a break.
After their crap start though FIX started improving a lot, responding faster, getting a little bolder and even engaging without Cougar being there! In terms of kills and losses and battles won FIX made some great steps forward.
FIX caught another lucky break for 5-6 weeks as well and I don't mean this in an arrogant way at all but I took a break from Eve and like any corp when the CEO is not around BNC went through a pretty slow period. So I don't mean 'FIX got lucky cos I wasn't around and I r uber" but they did get the benefit of our campaign stalling a little as BNC had a quiet period.
When I came back to Eve and BNC started getting much more active again BNC, RKK and RN fought FIX more and more together and a pattern started to develop. FIX had learnt some tactics they liked to use, had got more confident and were more willing to bring it on. This led to some pretty good fighting with one clear characteristic i.e. both sides gave each other a lot of respect and the aftermath was always good natured chat in local.
A fairly strong mutual respect between the BoB corps and FIX developed, leading to some posting on the forums that probably made half the rest of the community stick it's fingers down their throats lol!
I could list a lot of good battles and talk about the details of the war raging backwards and forwards but that's covered in other places and isn't the purpose of this particular blog entry, suffice to see we've had some really good fleet fights from the small skirmish to the 50 vs 50 slugfest.
Recently BNC took a little time out of the fight to do a couple of other things, had a quiet couple of weekends on the trot and didn't hit FIX much at all. We actually started getting messages from FIX asking if we were ok and when would we be coming to visit again, they missed us! I've never had that from an opponent in Eve before now except the smacky "bring it you tards we're gonna own you" and that was certainly not the tone from FIX.
So now we come to Eve's second birthday and that damn Titan event! I was reading the forums from work when I figured out an event was going on and then saw a post that we were NAP'd with FIX. Naturally my response was "WTF?" so I jumped on irc to find out what was going on to discover that we had indeed NAP'd for 24 hours and were going to participate in the event together.
I dashed home from work as early as I could, logged in and jumped on TS to find a 70-80 pilot BoB/FIX fleet working together, us all on FIX's TS server and a shared channel set up in game! Weird!
We actually had a lot of fun working with FIX and they were a blast to hang out with. At one point in the event when it became apparent that it was getting politically very messy indeed with friends and allies having totally conflicting objectives we actually considered ditching FIX in the middle of Fountain to team up with our more traditional allies. The fact that this consideration didn't get much support and that we stuck by the FIX chaps speaks volumes.
So after downtime the day after the event our NAP ended and we're back to killing each other but and it's a big but... our shared chat channel remains! How weird to be sharing a chat channel with your enemy and shooting the shit with them when you're still trying to blow them up! We now have this direct open channel where we can tell each other what a good fight we just had and have a laugh about people doing silly stuff, getting ganked, having crap ship setups etc..
This is simply the strangest conflict I've ever participated in during my nearly 2 years of Eve. Compared to the GNW which was filled with vitriolic forum ranting, smacktalk in game that would make your eyes bleed and strong genuine dislike (I would say actual hate from some people) between antagonists, this war with FIX is like going on holiday to Ibiza for a week with some mates!
I have no clue how things will progress but it's been a lot of fun, continues to be a lot of fun and hopefully will be a lot of fun in the future!