I think the best way to explain how I feel about ‘Aegis Sov’ is to tell my story as a very small corporation/alliance holding sov with little/no standings in the later part of 2016. In September and December I was involved with some sovereignty campaigns which I found incredibly fun, and at other times incredibly frustrating.
My Aegis Sov Story
In September 2016 me and a friend of mine, Tikktokk Tokkzikk, set ourselves a challenge. Could a small corporation of incredibly dedicated pilots hold sovereignty in nullsec in the current climate with little to no standings with the local groups, our secondary goal was to test if the Quantum Flux Generators actually worked, as our dream was to have a Bovril style corp nullsec constellation that had heavy traffic from wormholes for roaming, fights and for easy logistics.
Enter Wicked Creek: Wicked Creek was a region with a significant power vacuum. September marked the aftermath of WWB. GoonSwarm Federation had moved to Delve and were just starting to remove the remaining alliances after LUMPY’s departure and building infrastructure. TEST Alliance and SLYCE, the two previous dominant powers in the region, were now firmly entrenched in their new homes up north. This marked the perfect opportunity for our 20~ man corporation and new found alliance, Top Tier, to try our hand at taking sovereignty.
Our target for this campaign was Sock Puppet Federation, a previous ‘friend’ of TEST who decided not to move, and better yet, they were building supers in Wicked Creek. Sock Puppet Federation at the time were just shy of 300 members in their alliance, yet they owned in excess of 20 systems in Wicked Creek. They were hilariously over-extended, taking up most of TESTs old constellation while still trying to hold onto their own old space at the same time. Wicked Creek also was breaking down, RANE were a dying alliance, and pressure from opposing alliance’s Manifesto, Broskis autistic blackops drops from Curse and Feign Disorder turned the region into a warzone where no-one was particularly interested in helping anyone else, for now.
So me and Tikktokk fired up our Entosis lasers, and successfully entosis’d most of the R-M719 constellation the initial timers were mostly uncontested, as you might expect from a 300 man alliance that is over-extended. Most of the danger actually came from Broski trying to black ops drop our Osprey Navy Issue and Thrashers doing entosis work. The R-M719 constellation was important because, a) It was a large constellation with 9 systems, b) it was relatively hard to camp, only 1 real choke point existed, while also being a fairly ‘long constellation’. It was going to be difficult for a large single point defence fleet to move around, c) many of the systems were big systems which resulted in long warp times.
When the timers rolled around, SOCK responded with a 30~ man Ferox fleet with more logistics in fleet than we had in our fleet including boosting alts and scouts (that were mostly 3 boxed by both me and tikktokk). The Typical small gang experience. However, SOCK made several mistakes that allowed us to win an ADM 3.7 timer. The first mistake is that, while they were content on chasing us off nodes with their 25 man fleet, they never split it up, for every node they contested, we had 4 more nodes being entosis’d. They mostly entosis’d in the backend systems towards TEST’s old U-H staging, AB killer, the 3rd human we had in fleet, was doing a good job decimating the trash entosis ships they had doing defensive duty, T1 frigates/RLML Caracals with a launcher replaced for an Entosis link etc. While we also did lose entosis ships occasionally too, we were much better organised than SOCK. We had spare ships ready to go in our staging POS, where as every entosis ship we killed took 45mins to an hour to be replaced, if it was ever replaced. There were no entosis links on the market in WC so it was incredibly difficult for an unorganised entity like SOCK to get replacements.
Eventually, despite being outnumbered almost 4:1 in active ships on field. We had won a timer, successfully onlined an I-Hub and TCU. and took the station in the next 2 days. Aegis Sov worked, an overextended single point alliance that was unorganised both logistically and militarily, could not hold their system even with a relatively high ADM like 3.7, vs a group of dedicated and organised attackers. The fighting was incredibly tense and fun and lasted 3-4 hours, but I was enjoying it the entire time, communication, positioning, scouting and logistics all played a part hand in hand, reshipping multiple times, this was the Aegis Sov dream, it was one of the most enjoyable battles I had in eve.
About a day later, Short Bus Syndicate decided to crash on Wicked Creek, and SOCKS couch after being removed from Sort Dragons Coalition. They staged from SLYCE stations who still had standings towards them from GotG. They also made a 2000 man coalition with everyone else in WC when they arrived, they could not remove Top Tier from MN- in 3 weeks, despite entosising our structures every single time they were vulnerable, despite having over 100x more pilots in their coalition than in our corp, despite having more than 10x more ships in some fleets than we had including all our scout alts etc. Because we were active, dedicated, and kept an ADM over 5 at all times, retaliated and entosised, and even won a few offensive timers against them, albeit they were of no strategic significance. Again, Aegis Sov was working perfectly. A few dedicated players who were very actively using their space could hold up, even against a 2000 man coalition, if they were generally unorganised and overextended. They eventually struck up a deal and paid us to vacate the system.
My fights with the Querious Fight Club and holding sov in Querious were a similar story. Even when an coalition as powerful as the Imperium are being called for timers, we can still win offensive timers outside US TZ during the weekday, and defend all of our timers. As long as we had ADM5+ and were active, we could hold space, despite having less than 10 characters in fleet most of the time, because we were by far way better organised logistically and militarily than the QFC alliances.
We also learned a few things about Aegis Sov that we hated however, Throw away Griffin spam for defending against entosis, and just ECM or Ewar in general, 200km rapier/phantasm Entosis ships that were designed to run away from everything. Lockbreaker bomb bombers vs T1 Entosis ships were also particularly painful and annoying, Ares with ECM burst and probe launcher that has <2.0s align for instawarp, all of this was incredibly frustrating to deal with and took away from the awesome experience that we had in general fighting small gang in Aegis Sov.
While in GoonSwarm in the Winter War, I plyed my trade, flying a solo Jackdaw specifically designed to harrass entosis ships vs 30~ man unorganised entosis fleets from the TESCO side, getting over 200 kills and doing 3b of damage to entosis ships in a week. A solo player, 1 man, 1 character could make an unorganised 20 man gang take over 5 hours to take a ADM1 timer, I love this about Aegis Sov, if you’re a small corporation who really wants a system more than an unorganised coalition does, you can have it or really make them bleed for it.
Saying that, since I’m in GoonSwarm I have been on a few Entosis timers, and I learned a few more things that I dislike about Aegis Sov that I did not consider before. For larger operations, especially defensive timers where no-one shows, or initial offensive timers there is a feel of disconnect and non involvement for players. For anyone in mainline ships or logistics, you basically sit around with your dick in your hand for 40 minutes while your few entosis ships sov wand the nodes. Usually the other side will not fight and just spam or login in a few griffin alpha characters they have lying around and try to make the process as painful as possible for you.
The recent Co2 entosis of 4-07MU is a good example of this. I was sat in a legion orbiting a gate with 150 other goons with my dick in my hand for the better part of an hour. For anyone who is not doing entosising it feels painful, you are not involved at all in the process. While repping or shooting POS shields or stations might also be non riveting gameplay, there is at least a feeling that you matter, you’re involved in the process. It’s also painfully frustrating when you don’t have enough entosis ships or one dies/gets jammed or whatever, while I do like the fact that logistics are important, nothing feels worse than having 70 people who can’t do anything while a ‘swordfleet’ or ecm burst instawarp probe ceptor wastes your time.
I think my opinion of Aegis sov is as follows: I love ADMs, I love the nodes appearing in different systems in the constellation, I love basically the entire Aegis Sov mechanics… barring the Entosis link. I dislike Entosis links entirely. They limit the sov interaction only to ships that have them fitted, they make tactics like ECM, Ewar, Swordfleet Interceptors, ECM burst Interceptors the best tactics to use excluding mainline ship players and making fights not happen, because instead of 2 skirmish doctrine fleets clashing over the nodes, you end up with Entosis Link Coward fit Rapiers/Max Tank FAX vs Swordfleet/Griffin shit as the ‘best’ options for winning the strategic objective.
With the advances in tech with Citadels, I would really, really like to see Entosis links phased out or repurposed, while swapping nodes to a DPS cap style system. It’s important to keep the things that the Aegis Sov system does well, make systems not aids to take for fleets smaller than 60 guys or without supers. If we keep the current node/capture times, but roll them into DPS caps, I think you could come up with a system that encourages fighting over entosis style running away/ECM stuff, involve more players and make everyone have fun fighting for sovereignty.
TL;DR Aegis Sov good, entosis links bad.