Jokus Balim and an anonymous commenter both reminded me of a couple of points that I wanted to make about my post the other day about the current goings-on in Fountain. Here's Jokus, responding to a TEST fan:
When you wrote that text, did you at any point consider that if [Goons] capture those moons they deny income to the former holder? Taking a moon doesn't just mean that you have more income now yourself. It also means that you deny your opponent income, too. How long will TEST be able to keep up?The anonymous commenter added:
Keep in mind that in GSF's eyes, denying TEST income is just as important as having the income themselves, especially considering how much stuff GSF has tucked away for a rainy day. They can keep going on their reserves a lot better than TEST can, especially if you look at how TEST is fucking up the moon material market by dumping all their stock into buys in a "need cash now" move.And both of these are really great points.
During their Windows hey-day while Bill Gates was Chairman at Microsoft, he once commented that he wanted to grow the company's cash reserves to the point where the company could operate normally even if absolutely no income was coming in for a whole year. Now whether Goons can meet that standard or not, they were sitting on massive technetium and other income sources for years. There's no doubt in my mind that they can and should have a massive strategic cash reserve. TEST, meanwhile, has been rather famously been living a more "hand-to-mouth" existence that's basically fine in normal times. But it isn't going to stand up long in time of war.
Now of course the Goons have had bigger losses in the war so far, including a pretty embarrassing cap fleet whelp just yesterday. But they're in a position to keep fighting despite such losses whereas one gets the impression that one good solid knock-out punch might very well put TEST on the canvas. The question, of course, is whether the Goons can land that punch.
In the meantime, every single moon that TEST is denied... no matter how it happens... no matter who takes it... no matter whether the Goons actually benefit from it or not... is a body blow to TEST that makes the likelihood of one solid punch knocking them out more likely. For the purposes of the Goons for this particular war, denying TEST the income is just as good as having the income themselves.
Of course, if this turns out not to be the case and in the unlikely event Goons do run out of money, then a whole different set of questions will become relevant. The original Northern Coalition also sat on a massive income hegemony for years. But when they were subjected to a couple of solid knock-out punches, they claimed abject poverty and collapsed. What happened to their reserve? I don't think the question was ever answered and certainly the Goons were one of the groups that made fun of them for it afterward. I'm sure it'd be amusing to the Goons's enemies to have the shoe on the other foot.
It's just -- you know -- not very likely.