The weekend just past saw some gigantic confrontations between Goonswarm (and their allies) and the Against All Authorities (-A-) & BoB/KenZoku block in Querious.
-A- and their allies (Systematic Chaos, Stain Empire, Red Overlord and Coven) had been slowly but surely pushing Goons backwards (working alongside the BoB Coalition) during the early part of the year after BoB ended its MAX campaign in late 2008 and refocused on the South.
Then Goons managed to disband BoB (in the process destroying the alliance's sovereignty based advantages in Delve) and launched a full scale offensive to evict BoB/KenZoku from Delve and Querious. Initially, BoB resisted the attack, but the sheer scale of attacking forces and the PR-8CA debacle (most of BoB's capital fleet was trapped in an NPC station in the PR-8CA system and couldn't escape) allowed the Goon coalition a relatively free hand in claiming BoB's former home territories.
During this process however a lot of people questioned the commitment of -A- and their allies to BoB/KenZoku as they did not appear to deploy any of their significant forces in the defence of Delve and Querious. Some proposed that -A- had abandoned their ally. Certainly -A- and friends took advantage of the situation to sieze several abandoned Goon regions and as a result now control much of Southern 0.0 space.
Two weeks ago -A- finally hit back directly against the Goon coalition. The first thing they did was break the month long Goon coalition blockade of PR-8CA - the system in which many BoB/KenZoku, pilots and capital ships were trapped. This allowed BoB/KenZoku to evacuate many of their assets which had been under siege - giving the alliance back some of its teeth.
Then last Thursday -A-, backed up by their allies and BoB/KenZoku, launched a signifcant attack on 49-U6U - a Goon system in Querious. 49-U6U is important to -A- as it has a stargate connection to the Catch region (an area controlled by -A-) and could be used as a stepping stone by Goons and allies in any invasion of -A- homespace.
Over the course of the weekend gigantic numbers of pilots (1,500+) have been fighting for superiority in the system with -A- playing a leading role.
These two Youtube videos have been sped up by 750% and compress several hours action into a more reasonable timeframe. They depict a -A-/KenZoku attack on a Goon POS. (if you are not an EVE player bear in mind that these views are zoomed out from the individual ships in order to reduce lag)
Part 1: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-9REDXTdOK8
Part 2: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hobcc...eature=related
Obviously with so many people crammed into one solar system lag was signifcant. It is fair to say that just 2 years ago any fight involving over 200 people would probably have crashed the server so kudos for CCP for making great strided in this area.
Due to lag, the number of kills for both sides was lower than you would expect for several hours of heavy fighting in front of a POS - neverthless these are the largest fights EVE has seen to date! However, from what I can tell, the fighting seems to have been pretty inconclusive so far!
With -A- now seemingly committed to the anti-Goon fight and with BoB/KenZoku having got their ships back (but more importantly retaining +3,000 members despite losing all their space) it looks like 'The Great War' is back on!
Here is a quick Paint map I made up of current state of play in the Southern regions of EVE:
Alliances within the green lines are -A- and BoB/KenZoku aligned. Alliances behind the yellow lines are Goon oriented. Of course this is a bit general and doesn't really convey the nuances of EVE politics - but it should give a basic understanding of how (at least territory wise) the front lines are looking!