Conditions: Given high sec area in Minmatar space with access to low sec routes.
Standards: Continue to enjoy the game while still participating in war activities and minimizing losses.
Three weeks was the total length of wars declared against us. I was much more comfortable than previous wars, but at the same time I was rather disappointed with how the war was conducted on the part of the antagonists. The war started when a GCC T3 cruiser pirating in low sec was killed and the alliance leader pilot got upset and declared war on two of the alliances involved in the kill.
The enemy has a reputation for PVP and for having a significant number of neutral friends in the system of Rens and the system's outlying area. Our Alliance was briefed on the enemies habits and we made what preparations we thought appropriate. The war started and sure enough the enemy had a very strong presence in Rens and neighboring systems. Surprisingly though the enemy didn't seem to take much interest in conducting operations at our home systems.
The second day of the war the enemy brought in a mercenary alliance to bolster their numbers. Initially we did pretty good. We had a few losses here and there but in the main they were losses that occur as part of the learning process. One ill planned fleet was lost which ended up being the majority of our total losses for the wars combined. The pilots meant well but their eagerness to engage in combat was not tempered by knowledge of the strong defenses in Rens. Overall the first week of the war was mostly going our way if you ignore the poor judgement to go into the enemy's headquarters.
The enemy reinforcements were much better about coming into our areas but the time zones never seemed to line up for a good fleet action. We'd camp their online personnel when we had the numbers and they'd come around when they had the numbers. Neither side tried to engage without having an advantage and so very few actions occurred. Eventually the initial war was retracted however the mercenary crew added another week to their war. A few days later another war was declared by 4 members of the initial group who apparently had some form of internal split and broke away.
We had very little trouble with the four man war and the mercenary crew only carried their war for the second week. During that time a fleet of our allies got together and had a good action against the mercenary group resulting in the destruction of several enemy ships with little losses to our own forces. This mostly evened out our losses and actually gave us a slight advantage in ISK lost. The second week of the war finished up and saw the end of the mercenary involvement but the original alliance that started it all decided to declare another war against us.
Now we were at war with two groups (4 man splinter and original group) and they continued their odd habit of only blockading the Rens area. This was an inconvenience at most because we used neutral friends to assist us in getting equipment from the trade hub when desired. Eventually the wars were both invalidated a few days apart and peace has sprung forth. All in all a fairly boring war and illustrates several of the problems with the war declaration system.
1. Better understanding of when to initiate a fight and when to avoid pitched battle.
Sustains:1. High moral.
2. Patience to ensure fights were on our terms.
3. Communication and interaction with allies and friends
Personal notes: The only interesting thing to happen to me while solo was the offer for a 1v1 fight. I was in a Hawk on a gate and an enemy Jaguar came in and locked me. I immediately punched the gate and moved away. The pilot sent me an evemail informing me that I was chicken to avoid a 1v1 but I was close enough to his home area, and there was plenty of time for him to have neutral allies either boosting or providing RR, that I felt the fight would never even be close to fair. Added to that is the fact I don't have great weapons skills for dueling so I was outclassed both in ship fitting, location, and his experience at dueling. Running is smart even if it's not always the bravest of actions.
Enemy notes: I was extremely disappointed with the way the opposition conducted themselves. They declared war and then they promptly sat in their home system and failed to mobilize. We were at war for three weeks and during that time there was one fleet action and that was with a mercenary group hired to fight the war. Everything else was very low scale combat with only a couple of participants. Maybe their alliance leader was content to point at the war and feel better about the loss of his ships, but it wasn't aggressive game play and greatly reduced my impression of their capabilities.
War declaration mechanics: This war highlighted to me some of the more glaring faults with the current declaration system. There is no "win" category to allow the targets to try and remove the declaration early. There is no requirement for combat so the people declaring a war can sit in station and simply annoy the targets. In the end I think that if you are going to declare war then you should be required to fight a war. Having the ability to fight anywhere in the game can be useful, but you should have to fight or end up paying a penalty and having a loss declared against you.