Jim here. As a Minmatar with Caldari loyalties (well, not really; my only loyalty is to Ironfleet, but I live in Caldari space and consider it my home) I was amused this morning to see this thread in which various butthurt-sounding 0.0 alliance types scoffed at the Caldari militia for having tangled with the Red Alliance. Supposedly they are a bunch of nasty 0.0 types, but I never heard of them until militia FC Boromor pounded three of their carriers into space scrap. Anyway, the thread quickly filled with prophecies of doom to befall the Caldari militia, and especially with warnings that we need to quickly learn all the 0.0 politics so that we don’t “aggress” alliance operations by our very presence in “their” low-sec systems.

I don’t got much truck with politics, so I posted this:

Hi, I’m Jim Bridger. I’m an empire guy. I don’t know squat about alliance politics or “the rules”. Nor care.

After a few days in FW it’s clear to me that popular FW fleet commanders are going to wield the power (inside their area of operations) of old-fashioned barbarian kings. People like me will flock to their banners so long as they are winning and making the fleet operations fun. And we pretty much will follow them anywhere, and shoot at whatever they tell us, so long as it stays fun.

Last night FC Boromir (not sure about spelling so I gave him the heroic one) screwed up and told us all to jump through a gate that turned out to lead into Gallente highsec. We jumped. (This “we jumped” being the key information in this story.)

The FC cursed, apologized, organized our withdrawal under Gallente faction navy fire, stood at the gate tanking the Navy until he had all his peeps out that were getting out, and promised to take care of the (astonishingly few) casualties. He’s an instant legend for taking down the RA carriers, he will have a hundred-man blob to play with any night he cares to say “x up” in Nourv local. We, the newbs of the Caldari militia, will follow him anywhere and shoot what he tells us. We won’t care about the politics, because we’ve got nothing to lose and because it’s fun.

There will be other FCs like him. They will be accountable to no one but the people in their blob. Their power will ebb and flow, but the good ones will always have a fleet. And the more famous they are, the more expensive will be the ships people will be willing to risk under their command. I’ve been bringing T1 thrashers because that’s what I can afford to lose forever. But my effectiveness has been low. I’m starting to think, what can I bring that this FC needs and will use?

My advice for the alliance diplomats? Identify the popular FCs and bribe them, or reach an accomodation. Boromir would (I’m just guessing) love to have a thousand fitted t1 cruisers sitting in a hangar in Nourv — the alliance who delivered that would get a lot of consideration from him during FW operations, I’m guessing.

I was skeptical about FW, but the more I see of it, the more delighted I get. CCP has upset the applecart in lowsec, but done it in a way that leaves lots of room for delightful chaos, astonishing events, and epic fun.

The post got a couple of positive comments, but I was really surprised by the convo I got in game. A benefactor hailed me, complimented the post, asked a bit about my ship preferences and skills, then told me he was “cooking up” a large number of Thrashers for me, to be delivered tomorrow. He also deposited more than sufficient ISK into my wallet for me to fit them. So it looks like I won’t need to be scrounging the Ironfleet hangars quite so hard!

I thanked him nicely and promised to explode all of those thrashers in Caldari service. Which, I expect, I shall — although I did join three different fleets for sweeps through Gallente space today without losing a ship. No killmails either, but I did put carbonized lead into several expensive enemies, and earn some victory points in Minor Facilities also.

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