Black Thursday, The State of the Goonion, VFK, and Circle of Traitors

Just some catch up on things from The Casino War this week, most of which I missed.

Black Thursday in UMI-KK

The Moneybadgers invested a good deal of time and effort after the betrayal at M-OEE8 reinforcing systems in Fade and Pure Blind which all came out in a great mass during Euro time on Thursday.

The foe prosecuted those timers in force and, as has become the norm in the last week, The Imperium was heavily out numbered.  In the face of that, the closer an objective was to our staging system, the more likely it was to get a fleet out to help it.

Unfortunately for TNT, systems in Tribute were also under attack including our capital system of UMI-KK.  We were easily the furthest from Saranen.  Still, our allies managed to scrape together an interceptor fleet to help us fend off the assault, leaving us only out numbered on the field by about 10 to 1.

While the hostiles didn’t get everything they came for, they killed the ihub in UMI-KK and freeported the station.  In addition we lost three TCUs, which is what changes the ownership on the map, and had a station freeported in Pure Blind.

CCP, getting in on the war to promote the game, included the battle in an episode of The Scope.

We were given notice by TNT leadership to pull non-essential items out if we could, but to otherwise have alliance specific doctrines and entosis ships ready to go in the region.  I had the foresight to jump my carrier out just the night before, since it was in a front-line system.  Meanwhile the enemy camp of UMI-KK has been sporadic at best so I was able to fly out four ships to our back up staging station and three more all the way back to Saranen.

The next timer for UMI-KK comes up later today.  We shall see what becomes of our capital.

State of the Goonion and VFK-IV by Next Week Maybe?

Yesterday was April Fools, and I couldn’t tell if it was an auspicious time for a State of the Goonion.  As noted in the episode of The Scope above, people were waiting to hear what The Mittani had to say. (Also, they included a nice little “more info” button on the video.)

Join The Imperium and save the Galaxy. Service guarantees citizenship. Would you like to know more?

Join The Imperium and save the Galaxy. Service guarantees citizenship. Would you like to know more?

The Mittani’s speech… and I like to picture him in my mind just as The Scope illustrated him using his in-game avatar… was short, coming in at under eight minutes.  War is no time for bloviation. (I’m sure it is up on SoundCloud somewhere by now. I watched the replay on their Twitch channel, where the speech doesn’t actually start until 8 minutes into the recording.)

Most of what he said was unsurprising.  A change of tactics to deal with the unfavorable odds we face in nearly every fight.  A return to the Megathrons of Baltec Fleet.  Siege bombers to attack enemy infrastructure.  Clouds of interceptors to harass when we are out numbered.  A couple new allies to help us out.

And then something of a bomb shell.

The Imperium would not be defending VFK-IV.  We haven’t staged out of VFK for ages, nobody lives there (so the ADM isn’t great), and so we wouldn’t be expending effort to salvage a system that is little more than a symbol.

VFK has been a rallying cry since the anti-Goon headshot attempt back in 2011 and reached meme status when “VFK by February!” became the shorthand slogan for the White Noise pronouncement that they would clear Deklein of Goons.  And the allure of the system is such that I wasn’t sure we could make that message stick.  Talvorian Dex wrote a long piece on his blog about the importance of VFK as a symbol, likening it to Stalingrad in the comments. (The station there used to be named “Mittanengrad” until it was renamed to honor Sean Smith/Vile Rat.) Over at Reddit, there was something about VFK perhaps being the biggest battle in the history of New Eden.

Instead of VFK, The Imperium would be headed to UQ9-3C in Branch to defend the staging system of our allies in the north.  Oh, and we are already on the way there.

That turned into a huge brawl, but only after the ihub had been saved.  The enemy had to slog all the way up there, then fight through tidi to come to grips with us.  They managed to freeport the station, which was a blow, but we still have access to everything of ours in it and they have to come back again if they want to finish the job.

And, while our foes were locked in that tidi morass, VFK-IV came out of its reinforced state and was saved in what was essentially a non-event.  If the Jabber info was correct… I was at work when this happened… only MOA showed up in any force to assail the system, and they were chased off almost immediately.  As I noted yesterday, MOA can take systems… so long as they have a thousand allies flying cover in the area.  Alone, not so much.

So maybe next time.

Circle of Traitors

Yesterday saw the release in the Goonfleet forums of a 99 page document consisting of diplomatic chat logs between GSF/Imperium diplomats and Circle of Two and some annotation by Sion Kumitomo, chief of the diplomatic service of The Imperium.  It covers the arc of the relationship from CO2 coming to the CFC, hat in hand, looking for a home for its 300 pilots, grateful for any help, through much incompetence (one of their officers was systematically robbing them blind), to a feeling that the alliance deserved more than they were getting and demanding that be changed.

In what must be no surprise to anybody at this point, the document is already up on Reddit.  The reaction there is predictable.  Sion, already hated, is accused, by turns, of making it all up, of selectively editing, and of being a horrible obsessive for even keeping chat logs of diplomatic interactions with other alliances.  The whole document is too long and I doubt most of the comment authors read more than a paragraph.  The whole thing will be denounced and dismissed.

Which is fine.  This document wasn’t for them.  It was for us.

If you have no context, you can spin it however you want.  If you lived in the coalition for the last few years, much of what is in that document will link up to events that happened at the time and the behavior of CO2.  Things like bad participation in coalition wars, provoking our neighbors in contravention of agreements made, complaining when others do exactly what they did (like recruiting ITAI from another alliance), and generally being dicks to my alliance, TNT, demanding our space from the coalition.

Goons, despite their espousal of a Realpolitik philosophy at times, have their own sense of honor.  They can look past enemies of the moment and work with them when the situation is right.  They keep their agreements.  And they remember when people betray them.

Goons have a frenemy relationship with Pandemic Legion.  Despite him being a long time foe, they can work with Elo Knight.  Despite some of the acrimony of the Fountain War, they didn’t go hunt TEST to extinction, or even go out of their way to attack them afterwards, save for a couple of Reavers deployments for good fights.  Despite the rhetoric at times, it generally doesn’t get personal… unless you betray them.

This document was to lay down the reasons why the war against CO2 is now a forever war, how CO2 were helped, given chance after chance, with bad behavior overlooked, and, while the alliance was spending enormous amounts of time and ISK to defend them they chose to betray the coalition.  The only question is really why we didn’t kick them a year ago.

It doesn’t matter what happens in the broader war at this point.  If the Imperium is swept from its null sec holdings and has to evac to low sec, if the super capital fleet is lost, if other allies defect and we have to all hide in a system in the far end of Feythabolis under Russian protection, Goons will still take time to go out of their way to hit CO2 no matter where they live.

The document ends with the the following:

Best possible friends. Worst possible enemies.

And they mean it.

13 thoughts on “Black Thursday, The State of the Goonion, VFK, and Circle of Traitors

  1. Stabs

    Nice to fly by you last night and have a brief chat.

    It’s been a very busy day in Waffles. Early EU timezone has belonged to us although I spotted Mister Vee, an all-time great FC out and about and attempting to turn it around.

    Good luck!

    Like

  2. Rob Kaichin

    “Things like […] complaining when others do exactly what they did (like recruiting ITAI from another alliance), and generally being dicks to my alliance, TNT, demanding our space from the coalition.

    Goons […] have their own sense of honor. […]They keep their agreements. And they remember when people betray them.”

    But not when they betray people, it seems.

    “(3:38:26 PM) Nina Blaze: Da Winci, it’s as simple as this (3:38:32 PM) Nina Blaze: CO2 is a member of the Imperium (3:38:40 PM) Nina Blaze: The Imperium has rules and policies (3:39:22 PM) Nina Blaze: if you want to be IN the imperium, as an alliance, corp, or member of a corp, you MUST follow the coalition policy set in place (3:39:49 PM) Nina Blaze: You have every right to argue and dispute rules and policies (3:40:40 PM) Nina Blaze: but as a member of the Imperium, whatever the end result is of discussions about policies, you’re expected to follow them at the end of the day”

    “The Imperium has rules and policies […] you must follow […]”

    Aryth poached from them, TNT harrassed them, CD handled them, and still they fought like lions for you.

    ——————–

    To be honest, the most interesting thing I got from the logs is that despite all their talk about how well-structured and organised the CFC is, it’s as full as backstabbing, betrayal and byzantine politics as the old NC was. Unironically, GSF poaches from C02, who poached from Gents, who poached from FCON. Alliances are opened and folded as coalition leaders wish them to be, even if alliance leaders don’t know that. Feuding between alliances is openly congratulated and encouraged.

    This is not the reality I expected.

    Which is a shame, because it means that the functioning alliance machine I thought we’d have to beat, well, isn’t.

    ————–

    “The enemy had to slog all the way up there, then fight through tidi to come to grips with us. ”

    Hey, we were travelling through before TiDi too! :P

    ————

    And finally, now you’re got properly steamed up from my first section.

    Sion is right about C02. They have issues, their leaders are undiplomatic, they’re a cagey group of Serbs with little attachment to the coalition.

    I think that’s why they might fit in with us better.

    There’s a line I recall Mittens saying: “and once again our enemies will fracture after two weeks, because they’re a bunch of ego-maniacs who can’t deal with each other. That’s why we’ll win.”

    Maybe it’ll happen again, but I don’t see it being as likely as it was before. They (and we) have made real progress this time. Real sov is being lost.

    But, still, Sion is right. Now, we need to see if we can deal with GigX and Sebastian for long enough to win.

    Like

  3. Wilhelm Arcturus Post author

    @Rob Kaichen – “…and still they fought like lions for you”

    Except when they folded up their tents and went home in the middle of deployments on multiple occasions. And we fought like lions for them, and were in the midst of doing so when they changed sides.

    “…TNT harrassed them…”

    Now you’re making things up out of thin air. Wibla got a little of his own back there, but only in exactly the same way CO2 did with FCON, and only after months of CO2 badmouthing us and demanding that the Imperium make us give them some of our space.

    “But not when they betray people, it seems.”

    If you are equating the inter-alliance frictions, which even in your own statements above you appear to admit CO2 was fully part of, with what CO2 did this week, I must stop you right there and call bullshit. Those two are not even measurable on the same scale. It is like saying it was okay for them to steal our TV because we once borrowed a pen and didn’t return it.

    Anyway, they are your problem now.

    Like

  4. Gevlon

    Tomorrow comes the March Imperium loss report on my blog. Then you can decide who betrayed whom. Spoiler: CO2 losses skyrocketed, they took huge part in the costly battles while Goons (and TNT) barely seen combat.

    Like

  5. Rob Kaichin

    It’s worth pointing out that right now, more damage was inflicted by the DDos than by the actual fight. CCP isn’t pleased, I suspect.

    But, replying to you:

    ” “But not when they betray people, it seems.”

    If you are equating the inter-alliance frictions, which even in your own statements above you appear to admit CO2 was fully part of, with what CO2 did this week, I must stop you right there and call bullshit. Those two are not even measurable on the same scale. It is like saying it was okay for them to steal our TV because we once borrowed a pen and didn’t return it.”

    I am equating them, because the fiction that was “the Imperium is good for and fair to their members” has been laid bare. It’s easy to cover up the truth when no-one can see it but you, but now everyone in the alliance can see how badly treated they were.

    If one section of a web of lies is revealed, don’t you doubt the whole web?

    “And we fought like lions for them, and were in the midst of doing so when they changed sides.”

    1,000 people isn’t ‘lion-like’ for the CFC. It’s pretty pathetic compared to what they’ve brought in the past. When 10,000 character can’t even put 100 on field, I’d start feeling miffed too.

    Like

  6. Wilhelm Arcturus Post author

    @Fucknuckle – Been The Casino War since January. CCP just doesn’t like that because it brings up the whole RMT and gambling thing.

    You going to go tell The Nosy Gamer he has to go change his post titles then?

    @Gevlon – Your numbers are always interesting, but your analysis is very much just what you want to say, while leaving things out. (For example, tackle and logi never figure in your biggest killers list, so they clearly don’t matter, right?) Also I have made no statements that TNT is anything like good. I’d be surprised if there were 400 actual individuals in it.

    @Rob Kaichin – Like I said previously, we can go around and around with this. You have already demonstrated your “Grr, Goons” credentials on numerous occasions, haunting every comment thread where they get a favorable mention, so naturally you are going to see CO2’s actions as justified, including equating outright betrayal in the face of the enemy with inter-alliance politics. You read that doc and see only bad Goons and CO2 the victim and believe it to be the objective truth.

    “1,000 people isn’t ‘lion-like’ for the CFC. It’s pretty pathetic compared to what they’ve brought in the past. When 10,000 character can’t even put 100 on field, I’d start feeling miffed too.”

    Now you’re just spouting Reddit propaganda at me, though you seem to have at least dropped the idea that CO2 fought hard for anybody besides themselves.

    Where is this “can’t put a 100 on the field?” coming from? Battle report please. Because it wasn’t at M-O88E, where Goons flew across two regions and CO2 just had to undock from their staging system for a battle in their time zone. Of maybe that big fight in Hakonen to defend CO2’s money moons? Or are you talking about fights that CO2 took on their own without any alliance broadcast? Because then you are starting to hold us to a pretty high standard, requiring clairvoyance and such.

    [Oh, wait, I see what you mean, you’re trying to make the argument that Goons should have done more at UMI-KK and ignored battles elsewhere. That logic doesn’t scan, since you seem to have set the requirement that they be strong everywhere. Furthermore, TNT didn’t swap sides because of it, not being traitors and all.]

    And yes, the “not trying hard enough” line has been running through Reddit since January when the same threads were saying that Goons should reset SMA AND that Goons weren’t sending enough people to fights so SMA should reset Goons. We now play in a game where forming 1,000 ships is “pathetic.”

    Again, they are your allies, and your problem, now. Wait, not problem! They were victimized by Goons. No problem with them at all!

    We shall see how long you remain pals.

    Like

  7. Rob Kaichin

    “You read that doc and see only bad Goons and CO2 the victim and believe it to be the objective truth.”

    Hey now, we did this rigmarole earlier: here’s what I said:

    “And finally, now you’re got properly steamed up from my first section.

    Sion is right about C02. They have issues, their leaders are undiplomatic, they’re a cagey group of Serbs with little attachment to the coalition.”

    And then:

    “Sion is right”

    ————

    The “100 characters from 10,000” was related to TNT, EXE and SMA, based on a misreading of the BR from M-0. In fact, those 3 alliance brought ~150 players, plus unspecified others in an reinforcement fleet. (One of whom, I gathered, was yourself). It turns out that my estimation of the sizes of TNT and EXE is significantly wrong: I believed that both alliances had 2-3K people, with SMA at 5k. In fact, TNT and EXE were ~ 2000 and ~1000 people at that time. SMA was roughly 3.5k. All together, that makes ~6.5k and 150 + unknown people. Obviously this is more than a little different from 1 in 100.

    I’m sorry for getting that wrong.

    (It’s worth pointing out that my ‘you’ wasn’t very specific, but there’s not much point saying that now, is there? =-/ )

    ——————————

    “Oh, wait, I see what you mean, you’re trying to make the argument that Goons should have done more at UMI-KK and ignored battles elsewhere. That logic doesn’t scan, since you seem to have set the requirement that they be strong everywhere. ”

    Well, UMI was, as I recall, the most important system going. Maybe I’m forgetting something?

    Also, “they be strong everywhere?” I don’t remember saying that. Correct me please.

    —————————————

    “We now play in a game where forming 1,000 ships is “pathetic*.”

    *for the CFC. For 40k characters (probably wrong now too!), I expect much larger participation rates than ” ~200 interceptors” (from our intel channel whilst we were attacking Fade at around ~17:00 eve time).

    —————————

    Finally, I believed, perhaps wrongly, that the purpose or, I don’t know, raison d’etre, of the Corps Diplomatique was to forestall or simply end the kind of intra-alliance politicking that so beset the old Northern Coalition. Perhaps a in-game-lifetime’s worth of “most advanced, most organised, most unified, most successful, most peaceful, most wonderful, etc. etc. coalition” rhetoric every time there was a presentation by the CFC was just propaganda meant to lull me into believing exactly that, but there did seem to be an honest report by ‘your guys’ that these things were real. Certainly the tools they presented are very, very good.

    If I had the old download of GARPA I lost, I’d probably be using that too!

    But here you are saying that politics, even in the ‘most organised’ coalition, is something that couldn’t be controlled or stymied, and in some ways, should even be accepted and promoted. Sion follows that attitude with his comments regarding INEXTREMIS (because I don’t like the spaces) and TNT’s leaders’ actions.

    I really don’t know what to make of that.

    Like

  8. Wilhelm Arcturus Post author

    @Rob Kaichin – “Well, UMI was, as I recall, the most important system going. Maybe I’m forgetting something? Also, “they be strong everywhere?” I don’t remember saying that. Correct me please.”

    I said that there were battles going on in many systems between staging and Saranen, so even getting to UMI was problematic. But you are dismissing that and saying they should have tried harder there while doing whatever it took to deal with everything in between regardless of the difficulty. The implication of being strong everywhere is there. Anyway, as noted, TNT didn’t swap sides when we lost our ihub. It was just the way things had to play out on a day when the odds were against us anywhere. I didn’t call it “Black Thursday” because it was happy fun time for us. The war goes on.

    @Fucknuckle – We haven’t lost yet, so that statement seems premature.

    Like

  9. Rob Kaichin

    Damn it, just accidentally refreshed.

    I put together your initial post differently: I thought GSF was prioritising their allies’ staging, but obviously I don’t know that for sure.

    I’ll say that I didn’t mean to imply that they should be dealing with everything at once; “he who defends everything defends nothings” as they say.

    Anyway, good luck. You’ve still got supers and titans, and so the cards are still in your hand.

    Like

  10. Rob Kaichin

    Sion said on Matterall’s podcast that “C02’s leaving the coalition was expected”, which seems pretty bizarre considering the histrionics he posted.

    Like

  11. Wilhelm Arcturus Post author

    @Rob Kaichin – Hah, I just listened to his segment while I was eating lunch. He did say that, but he also said he expected them to leave amicably and not betray us in the way they did.

    Like

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