By my count, the not-yet-retracted war by VampireZim’s CLDRI against Ironfleet Towing and Salvage is the ninth war declared (by the Zimster, his alts, allies, associates, and for all I know, buttboys) in pursuit of vengeance for something that happened more than two years ago.

I’m not sure, it could be more. Ironfleet has had at least one mercenary dec us for reasons never explained.

In all those nine wars, my entire losses to date have been one day-old alt in a shuttle, popped, then caught again in his reaper, and podded. I think, but am not sure, that one of my old corpies from back in the day may have lost a small ship also. I also had some giant secure cans go missing during the first war, but I’d count those as a loss for the other side, given the time and missiles needed to blow up a giant secure can.

As the Six Fingered Man in The Princess Bride might say: “Are you still trying to WIN? You’ve got an overdeveloped sense of vengeance.”

So, I know you’re all wondering. What terrible misdeed did Ironfleet Towing And Salvage commit on June 21, 2006, in our massive rumbling fleet of three, yes THREE awesome and fear-inspiring Caracals and one Maulus frigate, piloted by a fearsome crew (that’s us) of intrepid salvagers, the oldest of whom (me) was all of two months and nine days old?

Aside: now that I see it in print, that date of our infamous crime is precisely two years prior to the recent (now-retracted) wardec from BLOOD. Coincidence? Could be. Maybe not.

Ah yes, the crime. You want to hear about the crime.

To tell you about the crime, you have to understand that when I started EVE, most missions were taking place near the stargates, so that when you travelled anywhere, you would see these vast “canstellations” of loot cans. I quickly discovered that the ISK from cleaning those up was vastly better than from anything else a noob pilot could do. Yeah, sometimes an irate Navy Raven pilot would lob torpedoes at my Condor, but that was more exhilarating than dangerous.

I did try mining (boring) and mission running (same) and ratting (great until I ran out of challenging rats in high-sec). When I tried to go to .4 space for better rats, they started spawning cruisers with heavy missiles; since I was in a destroyer with low skills, that ended badly. I never even got a chance to meet a pirate, lucky me. So I went back to cleaning up canstellations, and started saving up for a Caracal so I could have some of those heavy missiles for my own. Yes, friends, my ongoing enthusiasm for heavy missiles can be directly traced to about sixty very bad seconds in Horrkenson when I lost my first destroyer to some Gurista pirate cruisers.

Right about then, I had some friends who were interested in the game, so I gave them some timecards and set up Ironfleet Towing And Salvage, bought them some frigates, pointed them at the canstellations, and told them to get to work.

Which they did, after a fashion, but unlike me, they also enjoyed mission running. So they did that too.

Then came the fateful day when I was warping from moon to moon in Eitu, trying to find some of the famous Player Owned Stations (POSs) I had been reading about on the forums. Found some, too. And one of them, interestingly enough, was out of fuel, offline, and had no force field. It did, however, have several labs, a ship assembly array, some silos, all kinds of stuff.

The POS belonged to an outfit named Caldari Manufacturing Corp. Member count: 1. Founder and CEO, you guessed it: VampireZim.

And that’s when my salvager instinct kicked in. What would happen, I wondered, if I blew up some of those labs and silos? Would candy fall out of the pinata?

I hit the forums. There I found an interesting thing — there was a dispute going on about whether Concord would respond to an attack on a high-sec POS. Some said yes, some said no. And nobody seemed to know whether loot could fall out; again, some said yes, some said no.

I figured it was time to conduct some salvage science.

First thing I did was jump in an Ibis and go shoot at a (different) POS I had found. Ping, ping, ping, the peas from my civilian Gatling peashooter struck it, buffet after puny buffet.

Concord did not trouble itself with this modest problem.

So I called in the troops. By now Ironfleet could muster three Caracals and a Maulus frigate in space at one time, so at an appointed hour, we all showed up and began blasting POS modules. Each one took awhile, but we had plenty of time.

By the time we had blown up perhaps a third of the modules, I was receiving an urgent communique from one VampireZim. It was at that moment that I encountered my first EVE smacktalk. (Before that, I had been a smacktalk virgin.)

And my, how the smack was smacked! Sadly I do not have the chat logs any more, so I cannot give you particulars. But names were called, and threats were made, and we were all going to die repeated and bloody deaths until we were podded out of the game and left wallowing in freakish misery forever. Or something like that.

It was not a communique calculated to preserve his assets. Heck, he could have probably offered us three million ISK in ransom and we would have gone away stupidly happy, but we were too clueless to ask and he was too frothy to offer.

As well hung for a sheep as for a lamb, we kept on popping POS modules. And VampireZim kept on convo-smacking.

By the time we’d blown up about half the modules, we were (a) low on missiles, and (b) not seeing any loot cans. And my corpies were starting to worry about the retribution. Just about then, VampireZim switched from threats to pleading; now, he was saying, if we’d only stop shooting, he’d take back all the violent death threats and promise not to declare war on us. Otherwise, of course, we’d be wardecced into freakish misery, etc.

So we stopped shooting. And told Zim we’d accepted his generous peace offering.

About two minutes later (why were we still there? I have NO idea at this time), Zim’s Nighthawk (and yes, it was the first time any of us had seen one) came screaming out of warp and began trying to blow us all to hell, which apparently he had blinky red rights to do in consequence of our aggressive salvaging behavior in regards to his former assets.

We left, hurridly but in our ships. And contemplated our first lesson in EVE honor.

Eve honor, Lesson One: VampireZim does not have any.

Naturally, the smacktalk from Zim continued. Doomed, doomed, we were all to be eternally doomed. EVE was over for us. Zim and his big brothers and his ebil pirate friends and their mommas were all going to pod us repeatedly until the pod goo runs clear, or some such. I wish I had those chat logs. I was civil but unsympathetic, as I remember it. Zim probably remembers it differently.

Then came the first of many war declarations:

2006.06.22 08:35
Caldari Manufacturing Corp has declared war on Ironfleet Towing And Salvage.
After 24 hours fighting can legally occur between those involved.

That was swiftly followed by an utterly ridiculous and somewhat extortionate demand for compensation:

I have declared war on your corp and you will be getting a second declaration from my sister pirate corp. This war will continue until you pay Caldari Manufacturing 250MILL ISK. Until then, we will hunt you no matter where you go, you and your 3 ALTS.

BTW, in our chat, when I mentioned re-embursment, I meant, on your part, not mine, moron. Your re-embursment is 250MILL, until then I hope you dont mind being shot at where ever you go.

See you in my sites.

The chat reference is to an exchange I no longer have, but I remember it; he said “Reimbursement WILL be paid” or something to that effect, to which I replied in an admittedly feeble attempt at humor: “Oh, you are going to reimburse us for the missiles we spent?”

Apparently he didn’t find this funny.

The “sister pirate corp” declaration was not far behind:

2006.06.22 08:53
Blood Raiders Dominion has declared war on Ironfleet Towing And Salvage.
After 24 hours fighting can legally occur between those involved.

Now, the reasons I called the reimbursement demand “utterly ridiculous” are twofold. First, I believe the amount was way out of proportion to the damage we did. More to the point, I’d be surprised if Ironfleet Towing And Salvage had fifty million in total assets at that time. We couldn’t have paid if we wanted to, which we didn’t.

Second, as I told VampireZim, paying him anything at all was looking like a fool’s game, since he’d already broken his word once:

LOL, pretty funny — since you don’t honor your commitments, what possible advantage could there be to paying you “reimbursement”?

You already said you wouldn’t declare war, and accepted valuable consideration for that promise. If you break that promise, why would we assume you’d keep the next one, and end the war if we paid your demands?

Obviously, we can’t believe you. So, it will be a cold day in hell.

Cordially —


My skepticism seems to have been well-founded, because Zim’s very next email made it clear he never intended to honor his promise to drop the war if paid:

First of all why the fuck would I honor a promise to someone who has attacked and robbed me? I have declared war, the vote is on and in one day you will see everyone in my corp blinking red, just before your ship explodes.

Which turned out to be a grandiose promise. I think he got a target lock on me, once; but to this day I have never lost a ship. I did have an alt that one of his alts caught coming from Minmatar space in a shuttle; he blew the shuttle, caught the alt again in his reaper, and blew the reaper, podding the day-old alt. This is all the satisfaction VampireZim has ever had from Ironfleet Towing and Salvage.

More emails to demonstrate The Joy Of Zim. After the bizarre robbery allegation, I wrote:

Precision in language, my good man, is always valuable. We didn’t rob you — in fact, we didn’t remove an ounce of loot.

And as for why you would honor your commitments, only you can answer that. But if you *won’t* honor your commitments, it’s rather silly to offer your word a second time in regards to war termination, isn’t it?

— Marlenus

And he replied:

You did rob me, by destroying my property. Just because your a moron and didnt know you wouldnt gain anything is not my problem.

You have robbed me and I will get re-embursment or I will take it out in the destruction of your property.

I will not honor my word against a tyrant who goes around destroying peoples property, without provocation.

You will pay, because eventually you will want to fly a better ship, unless you plan on quiting eve, you will eventually be flying ships that you WILL regret losing.

this conversation is over, pay or die.

To this day I am laughing over his ability to say “pay or die” in the same email as he says “I will not honor my word.” If he won’t honor his word, why on earth would anybody pay him? If it’s a choice between “die” and “pay AND die” I’d rather just die, thanks.

So I wrote back:

Well, as Fezzik the Giant said to the Sicilian: “I don’t think that word means what you think that word means.” You can’t be robbed if nothing is taken away, and we took nothing away.

I’ll admit, however, that you were rather heinously vandalized.

As for paying, it’s simply *not* going to happen. You’ve proven there’s no *point* in paying you anything — you admit you won’t honor your word, so what’s to stop you from taking the money and continuing all this pain you say you’re planning to visit upon us?

I’ll point out once again that you simply can’t hurt us — we don’t have anything that will hurt when it goes boom. You guys, on the other hand, do. (As I think was rather ably proven tonight.) So if the war goes on long enough, the odds are in our favor — however newbish we may be, we’re bound to get lucky eventually.

It’s entirely up to you, my young corpmates are looking forward to the war in any case. Me, I don’t much care. We aren’t flying *anything* that isn’t fully insured, and (perhaps you’ve forgotten) standard Tech I gear is really cheap. You simply can’t hurt us, no matter how many ships you pop. I figure you’ll get bored soon enough when you never find any juicy war targets.

Marlenus, over and out.

The conversation may have been over, but VampireZim was not done talking:

First of all I told you I am not a war corp, going to war with you is to defend my honor.

You will eventually be flying ships that are valuable. I welcome your attack on my POS now, I have had an army of BS attack my POS, a few frigs and cruisers arent going to stand a chance. So you see I have nothing to lose. Your entire corp could attack my one NIGHTHAWK and i would end you all. I dont intend to lose anything more.

There is no such thing as FULLY insured btw. Also insurance costs money.

Hehe, bored? NO doing missions day after day is boring, going to war is going to be FUN. Specially since I know its against a little pee on, it will be worth just seeing your ships pop in front of an audience.

It must be sad to be a man with no honor, who also can’t spell the word “peon.”

And that, really, is the last I ever heard from VampireZim. A week later, one more war dec:

2006.06.26 18:07
Murder-Death-Kill has declared war on Ironfleet Towing And Salvage.
After 24 hours fighting can legally occur between those involved.

That one actually impressed me; at the time, Murder-Death-Kill had something of an impressive reputation as a mercenary corp. Zim had been doing a terrible job of finding us (except for the AFK alt in the shuttle); I thought maybe the MDK boys would be more dangerous. I believe the CEO, one Xaeon, did manage to get in the same system as me one time; but for the most part, they did not even try to bring it. (Zim and his many alts and associates, however, did spend a lot of time following me around with location agents.)

After another week, the first two wars expired for nonpayment of war bills, and MDK retracted theirs. I guess this was supposed to lull me into a false sense of security.

Two weeks later, two more wardecs:

2006.07.08 20:36
Caldari Manufacturing Corp has declared war on Ironfleet Towing And Salvage.
After 24 hours fighting can legally occur between those involved.

2006.07.08 21:46
Blood Raiders Dominion has declared war on Ironfleet Towing And Salvage.
After 24 hours fighting can legally occur between those involved.

These lasted three weeks before expiring for non-payment of the war bill.

The peace lasted three weeks, until the next outbreak of unprosecuted wardec Tourette’s Syndrome:

2006.08.23 09:56
Noobie Pirates Militia has declared war on Ironfleet Towing And Salvage.
After 24 hours fighting can legally occur between those involved.

2006.08.23 10:02
Caldari Manufacturing Corp has declared war on Ironfleet Towing And Salvage.
After 24 hours fighting can legally occur between those involved.

The Noobie Pirates Militia, it turns out, was founded by D34TH, one of the CLDRI boys in local tonight; although closed, it’s also visible in Max Threat’s employment history, and Max Threat is (if not a VampireZim alt) prone to logging in and logging out at the same time Zim does.

Those two wars lasted a week, no action, and were quietly canceled by Concord when the war bills went unpaid.

In all the time since, I’ve only had one conversation with VampireZim. I was in some new-to-me system looking for ore to salvage, and he saw me in local, said something to the effect of “get out of this system and stay out, or it’s war again.” Which made me laugh, seeing as how all seven previous wars had come to nothing, and also seeing as how I was only passing through.

So that’s it, the whole epic tale. Nine wars (by six different corps) later, and VampireZim has still not had his revenge. Which is why it says, right up there in the “About Ironfleet” page, that VampireZim drinks carrot juice.

The funny part about all of this is that Zim has a right to be aggrieved. But by breaking his word to us within ten seconds of the first time we ever saw him in local, he utterly destroyed any chance of a negotiated settlement for his legitimate grievance. Nine wardecs later, he’s still spending money chasing ancient grudges that he can’t possibly hope to settle.

9 Responses to “The Nine-Wars-And-Counting Grudge: A History”

  1. Ironfleet Fan says:

    He certainly isn’t a smart one. He demanded 250 million ISK in compensation for his losses. 9 wars later, he’s even worse off, assuming each wardec cost 50 million and exempting the MDK wardec which he perhaps didn’t finance, that’s an additional 400 million that he’s behind.

    But he did get that reaper. I’ll say he’s 649,999,000 ISK in the hole.

  2. Marlenus says:

    Hmmm, aren’t corporate wars quite a bit cheaper than alliance wars? The only wardec I’ve ever filed was against INDY, and that was fifty million ISK, but I thought one corp to another it was only one million ISK, or possibly two.

    Your math still works, Ironfleet Fan, but the scale of the fail (if not its tasty flavor) is smaller than you suggest.

  3. El Llama says:

    I suppose if first you don’t succeed try try again ;-). Man that guy is a real douchebag. Great story btw :)

  4. Malekar says:

    Just wanted to say that i enjoy your blog and your interesting profession in game. I myself am an “indiscriminate pvper” but i like reading your stories about a different way of playing eve. Look me up in game if you’re ever in the citadel region.


  5. Winged Nazgul says:

    Been reading this blog (I profess an unhealthy fascination with Salvaging) and also catching up on old broadcasts of Warp Drive Active. I was surprised to find this nugget there on that site and was wondering if you all were aware of it.

  6. Marlenus says:

    Nazgul, I knew Zim had some kind of videocast project, but I’d never bothered to watch it. Skimmed the episode at your link, seemed really dull. Did he mention Ironfleet somewhere? ;-)

  7. Winged Nazgul says:

    To be quite honest, I didn’t really watch any of it at all either. ;)

  8. Some Random 0.0 PvPer says:

    I’m so turning into an Ironfleet Fanboi, i wonder if there is a rehab for such a condition :)

  9. Phall says:

    Wow… just wow. I did a search on this guy and I found this. Lets just say he is at it again. This time in Star Trek Online. He started a fleet there 2 years ago went back to EVE then came back after two years and did a hostel take over. By kicking the people that help him when he was gone. And he claims he did all the work. We randomly became traitors. Our only crime was speaking out when he came back and started demoting everyone and kicking players he didn’t like. Didn’t even tell anyone about the changes. O well… didn’t take us long to get 500 members and a tier4 fleet. Toke us three months. He told us we would never get their and that he was the only “master recruiter” in star trek online. Makes no sense when anyone can spam invite.

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