Tag Archives: Moneybadger Coalition

How Will We Know if We Have Won?

The question came up in the comment thread on Friday’s post about victory conditions for the war.  Rather than waste more time in comments with an off-topic thread (which about six people might bother reading) I figured that would be a reasonable topic for a blog post.  Why keep that old fire burning when you can set a new one?

Victory can be a strangely intangible thing in a video game where you can never actually destroy or remove your foe from the game.

Sometimes it is clear.  I think all sides agree that the CFC won the Fountain War.  In the end TEST agreed that they lost and, after one final spectacular battle, packed up what they could and left.  TEST and its allies stopped fighting.  The war was over.

And there are times when things look like they are going one way and yet end up another.  I think all sides agree on is that the battle at B-R5RB was a major victory for the CFC/Russian coalition.

Wait, what?

Even during the fight PL had gone to their welp logo

We’ve all seen the infographic by now I think.

The war itself though… After B-R5RB the Russians imploded, the coalition collapsed, and the area we were fighting over became part of the vast NCDot rental empire.  A victory for PL and NCDot.

Oddly, the loss of that rental empire as jump fatigue and Fozzie Sov began to come into play wasn’t really seen as a loss for either that I can recall.

The Moneybadgers are #Winning

By any metric you care to look at you can demonstrate that the MBC is winning the war.  They have a huge and diverse coalition.  They are taking space.  They can assemble numbers that The Imperium simply cannot contest.  They go where they please and drop supercaps on us if we form in any significant numbers.

Still I am not sure what their victory condition actually is.  I am not sure they have a satisfactory answer to the question I insist on asking at project planning meetings, “How do we know when we’re done?”

I have heard a range of answers that include:

  • Take VFK-IV
  • Take all Goon sov
  • Take all Imperium sov
  • Break up The Imperium
  • Break Goonswarm
  • Remove The Mittani from GSF leadership

Honestly, I think they could legitimately claim that just forming this coalition was a victory of sorts, since people have been saying things along the lines of, “If everybody just banded together against Goons…” for over five years now.  I wonder who first posted such a statement in the official forums?

Anyway, with a multilateral alliance like the MBC, there are many voices claiming to represent the group.  Who really speaks for the coalition?

Meanwhile, the problem with most victory conditions that I have heard is that they seem to assume that The Imperium is going to be good sports and go along with them the way TEST did at the end of the Fountain War.  Taking all of our sovereignty is a great headline moment, but if everybody high-fives and goes home after that, The Imperium is going to still be there and is unlikely to let the status quo sit unchallenged.

The Imperium – Welcome to Afgoonistan

Victory for The Imperium, on the other hand, is somewhere well over the horizon.  Reddit may mock The Mittani’s “hellwar” and “Goonhammer” metaphors, but he is clearly not selling us an easy win.

The Imperium is going through a paradigm shift.  After years of being fat and happy back in a safe homeland, where whole groups never deployed and devoted themselves to ratting, mining, and industry, we have had to shed all of that very quickly.  Deklein is falling, peacetime reimbursement is a thing of the past, and our reach from the Quafe Factory Warehouse in Saranen is limited.

Deklein - April 18, 2016

Deklein – April 18, 2016

That alone has caused players to leave The Imperium.

The immediate goal of The Imperium is simply “don’t lose.”  We cannot lose if you don’t buy into the enemy narrative, don’t give up, and keep getting into fleets to attack the enemy where we can.  We cannot face the enemy head on, but they cannot be strong everywhere at once.  As they take more territory they become more vulnerable to counter-hacking.  Pandemic Horde found out over the weekend that setting up shop in a station in Fade to rat and mine was inviting trouble.  Reavers and Bomberwaffe were able to sting PH pretty hard while reinforcing various sov structures in the region.

Small victories have to sustain us.  This is helped along by the fact that, for Goons of a certain era, being the underdog is just the natural order of things and they welcome the return of that situation.  Being the insurgent is a more natural role for them.  And, of course, when members of the coalition against us are busy shooting each other… in Iitanmadan or down in Providence… that simply buoys our spirits.

Something About Victory

So who wins and how?

I think the Moneybadgers could clear out Deklein and Pure Blind, setting all the ADMs back to 1.0, legitimately declare victory, and move on.  They would have made a tangible change to the game and could legitimately claim to have defeated The Imperium as it was at the start of the war and the north would remain chaotic for some time to come.

To hit any of the bigger goals, such as breaking up The Imperium or Goonswarm, would require the coalition to sit, in force, on Saranen for a long time.  I am not sure the coalition has the wherewithal to manage that.

On the other side, there has to be an admission that the old Imperium is dead.  With the current state of the game, there won’t be any return to holding all the space we had before.  The only victory is in not losing and coming out the other side of the war able to exert control over null sec space within easy reach of our staging base in Saranen once the Moneybadgers tire of sitting on us and move on to other ventures.  We win by being around to fight another day, by emerging from the crucible or war intact and hardened, and by simply refusing to admit defeat.

Of course those two victory conditions are not mutually exclusive.  They could both come to pass and each side would claim their own victory.

Are there other victory conditions possible for either side?  Can you ever truly declare an unambiguous victory in New Eden if your foe refuses to acquiesce?

Contemplating that Last Stand at VFK-IV

After the black week that was last week for The Imperium, which saw many billions in ship losses, sovereignty taken from us, and the evacuation of a whole region, our foes, the self-proclaimed “Allies” (or the “Moneybager Coalition”) have been beside themselves with joy.  If you wander over to the EVE Online subreddit, it is full of propaganda and self-congratulation to the point that an outsider might consider that the war is over.

It almost feels like the bottled up emotion of years of losing to Goons at places like B-R5RB and 6VDT-H, years of being being driven from this region or that (or being driven out of Delve repeatedly in some cases), has been released and everybody there has burst into a rousing rendition of “Ding-dong the Witch is Dead!”  The “VFK by Date X!” meme has been revived yet again.

The wrecks with the red sun in the background

They even built a monument to our victory… and I was there

However, that metaphorical witch is far from dead.  Even some of the joyful news being presented isn’t all that good for our foes.  For example, cheers about Razor losing a huge chunk of players might seem less of an event to toast if you were paying attention and noticed that those players moved to The Bastion. (From DOTLAN)

March28Alliancemovements

The alliance that is losing its home in Vale of the Silent actually grew.

Meanwhile, there is a long road ahead for anybody planning on defeating The Imperium.  Even without Vale of the Silent, there are a lot of towers left to reinforce, a lot of entosis work to be done, a lot sovereignty left to grind.  The “Allies” have their work cut out for them.

As I said last week, that alone gives me hope.  As a coalition, we have a reputation for being able to hold out and grind through such things.  Our endurance for the arguably un-fun aspects of sovereignty warfare is prodigious.  Forming at all hours of the clock is no big deal, boredom is our friend, time dilation is practically our natural environment.

Our foes… not so much.  They couldn’t even camp the Vale evac effectively; an opportunity lost.

TEST at least wants sovereignty in the north, something nobody else seems to care about.  They will at least stick around on that basis alone.

Pandemic Legion and NCDot want fights, not sov.  However, unless they want to fight Russians, they don’t have a lot of other choices if they want to bring their supers into play.  They’ll be around for a while.

But everybody else on the bandwagon… well, we’ll see how long they stick with things once it gets down to nightly entosis runs and whole fleets sitting on a single node watching that one guy with the Fozzie laser orbit his target.

And then there is the wildcard in the whole scenario.  CCP will be introducing citadels into the game soon, and nobody knows how that will change the face of the war.  But it is a big enough feature to make Gevlon rage quite the game.  I guess Mordus Angles is going to want some of that IWantISK largess soon.

I am not all that prone to pseudo-patriotism and jingoist pronouncements.  It is an uncertain time.  War has come to our homes at last.  Tribute, my own home region, is now on the front lines.  Outcomes are not certain.  We could lose.

But I also believe what I have written here has a basis in fact, born out by the history of the game and our coalition.  We certainly haven’t lost yet.  The login page for my iPad has a screen shot of the north from back when I joined TNT and entered null sec and a lot of us lived together in a much smaller space, at war with White Noise and Raiden, with NCDot on our flank.

The core of the CFC of old

The core of the CFC of old

We have a ways to go before we’re shrunk back to that small of a space again.

If we do lose, I want to be there when it happens.  If my corporation falters, I’ll join another.  If our alliance gives up, I’ll join KarmaFleet.  And if we end up with our own last battle, our own 6VDT-H, I hope I’ll be able to undock and join the fight.

One of the more fatuous questions that keeps coming up on Reddit is “Why?”  Why fly, fight, or whatever for the people so heavily vilified on Reddit, as though that were some objective measure of the world, as though, to put it bluntly, their own shit didn’t stink.

Still, there is an answer.

For about four and a half years at this point a small group of people, the “leadership” for whatever value you care to ascribe to that, has spent a lot of time setting up a situation where a space tourist like me could log in and experience null sec for better and worse.  And, more specifically, whole pile or fleet commanders have logged on night after night, people like Laz and Reagalan and Asher and MisterVee and Lyris and Papusa and Boat… very much Boat… have formed fleets and undocked to shepherd people like me around through the various aspects of the null sec experience and, even when I do stupid things, don’t kick me out or refuse to take me along.

What kind of person would I be if I turned my back on them the moment the going looked rough?  So I have nailed my colors to the mast and will go down with this ship if it comes to that.

Plus, you know, it is fun to be part of space history.  Nobody writes books about Faction Warfare or low sec gate camps.

We shall see what happens at M-OEE8 today.