Welcome to Jester's Trek.
I'm your host, Jester. I've been an EVE Online player for about six years. One of my four mains is Ripard Teg, pictured at left. Sadly, I've succumbed to "bittervet" disease, but I'm wandering the New Eden landscape (and from time to time, the MMO landscape) in search of a cure.
You can follow along, if you want...

Thursday, July 21, 2011

One man can make a difference

Warning: there isn't much of a point to this post.  ;-)  It's just some musings that probably don't mean anything.  You have been warned.

Early in World War II, there was a period that Winston Churchill calls the Twilight War, but which most historians call the Phoney War.  Wikipedia incorrectly dates it from 3 September 1939.  It really started about a month later, in early October.  It lasted about six months.  Poland had just fallen, and there started an almost amusing philosophical argument among the combatants about what should happen next.  After all, though the UK and France had declared war on Germany, those war declarations were just an automatic response to the military alliances and guarantees that both countries had given Poland earlier in the year.  Neither country sent Poland so much as a scout plane.  The UK contented itself with a few bombing raids, most of which dropped fliers.  France invaded Germany.

Oh yes, they did.  On 7 September, they had more than 40 divisions on the German border, with 50 more available.  The Germans had less than half of that, and their true striking power was in Poland.  The French struck into Germany toward the Rhine valley.  Over the next five days, the French army penetrated about five miles into Germany, meeting only light resistance.  On 12 September, they met with their British allies in council.  What happened at that meeting, nobody seems to know.  But the next day, France declared that their invasion had succeeded in its intent of drawing some German divisions out of Poland -- which was untrue -- and they fell back a few days later.  That invasion is now forgotten.

Poland finally fell after more than four weeks of hard fighting.  And for the next six months, the UK and France continued to not attack Germany.

Hitler gave some speeches asking for peace, which were roundly rejected by the democratic countries at war with him.  But then, those very same democratic countries weren't exactly covering themselves with glory, either.  In the democracies, the philosophical argument soon erupted around whether autocratic systems -- the National Socialism of Germany and the Communist dictatorship of Russia -- were inherently superior to democratic systems, particularly in their ability to fight wars.  After all, in an autocratic system, it all came down to one man.  Hitler said invade Poland, so Germany invaded Poland.  To attack Germany, meanwhile, required a lot more people to agree on just how to do it, and indeed whether they could or should do it at all.  Hitler was only too happy to fuel these doubts with a series of veiled implications in his own speeches.

Which brings me to the amusing spectacles over the last week or so in VFK-IV.

It's been kind of entertaining from an outsider's perspective to watch the NCdot/Raiden/Ev0ke/PL blob face-plant in Deklein.  Their attack on Goonswarm territory was just about as effective as France's invasion of Germany.  Why has their attack been so ineffective, and why are they giving up on the campaign so soon?  After all, this same coalition took severe losses in their initial attack on Geminate during the early invasion of the NC but kept going despite those losses.  Presumably, others will look into this.  For myself, I'm content to sit back and chuckle at the spectacle.

But I'll bet a good portion of the problem is that as the supply lines stretch, it's becoming harder and harder for the four major alliances attacking Goonswarm to coordinate their actions and attacks.  Goonswarm is quite a bit more autocratic.  Mittens himself has written that an autocratic system is the only one that makes sense in EVE Online, and that's a position that I happen to agree with.  I've been part of both democratic and autocratic alliances in EVE, and the autocratic ones are always, always superior.

Unless the autocrat quits EVE, in which case that alliance has a major problem on its hands.

This topic came up in my thoughts because in his victory-but-let's-keep-fighting message to his own troops, Mittens brought up my most recent 0.0 alliance, Get Off My Lawn:
LAWN and FCON will finally be given rights to their local territory; LAWN will expand from one tech moon to six, and FCON will receive the four tech and six neos – rights denied them in their own space by the NC. SMA will be restored to its pocket and its moons. I do this primarily out of the kindness of my heart; the statistics of the Battle of VFK showed barely 1% attendance from the Pure Blind holders. Having been notified of my displeasure we have already seen better attendance; those who show up in the right ships at the right time will be showered with love and riches (like TNT and FA); those who do not show up will meet the same fate as OWN and BCA. We are not the NC – fight and die with us or get the fuck out.
And yes, it's true that my old friends from LAWN weren't exactly asserting themselves.  In the battles of July 16, 17, and 18, LAWN never fielded more than about a dozen ships, and fewer than five ships was more typical.

When I was in LAWN, it was more typical to have 40 or more ships for a fleet.  And when a battle was guaranteed and on a good day and time, such as the fight on the 16th?  LAWN could field a fleet of 60 without any trouble.  Nor were expensive or high-skill ships a problem for LAWN; the last major battle I fought with them in early April, we brought 60 ships, more than 40 of which were T2-fit alpha Maelstroms of just the type the Goons are looking for.  After these fleets were over, we'd look over the participation from various entities and pride ourselves as being one of the top contributors in terms of both total ships and ships of the right type.

So what happened?  As I said, this blog post doesn't have much of a point.  ;-)  You were warned.  All I will say is that after Gentlemen's Club lost Mya ElleTerego to RL commitments, GC's typical fleet sizes were cut in half, then cut in half again.  GC was swept from Scalding Pass soon after.  Some alliances rely heavily on their alliance leaders.

One man can make a difference.

So, congratulations to my friends in LAWN on the new tech moons.  But I sure hope you guys can get it together to actually defend them.


  1. That space wasn't given out of kindness, but from a lack of anyone better to which to give it. The news of WIDOT and Mostly Harmless disbanding had many small alliances thinking Cloud Ring, Pure Blind and Fade were empty or at least in severe disarray. The scavengers moved in to grab whatever they could. The Mittani seems to understand this. He wants the sov maps to show Deklein and surrounding regions as solidly occupied to stop the opportunists.

  2. The Mittani did have one incredibly good point: to keep Pure Blind and Venal from being staging points for hostile forces, they need to be occupied by strong alliances, not the scrubs that the NC had in there. (I attest to this as a member of Mostly Harmless. We almost never went on the offensive, and our defensive ops went poorly without goon support.)

  3. I told that one man the same thing just this week. Tis sad...

  4. This is a very one-sided view on LAWN. Back in the day, the sanctums were good and ISK was steadily pouring in. Back in the day, LAWN was a NC pet but there was no threat to sov. Fun roams could be held every day.

    Now, it's hard for every gnome to make any decent money and fun roams have to be postponed because LAWN's very home is under direct threat. Sov has to be defended and it's an annoying grind.

    Not much a single man could change about that fact.

  5. @JH: Typically, when one's home is under direct threat, one joins fleets to defend it, whether those are "fun roams" or not. It happened well and frequently when LAWN was under threat by PL. Hell, LAWN took a fleet and camped PL into X-7O station! Granted, the camp was rather brief. ;-)

    One man can make a huge impact on that.


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