The Mittani and Goonswarm (GSF) leadership gave the State of the Goonion (SOTG) address yesterday, laying out their current situation, followed by their strategy going forward. Between 600-700 players piled into comms to hear the dense 20-minutepresentation, followed by 40 minutes of Q&A. The Mittani talked about the successes in recent days, but also explained why the Imperium decided not to fight in the 2O9G-D. The major takeaway of the meeting was that the Imperium will use a roman style advance, with slow but solid gains, to march their way back to their former home in Deklein.
Two days ago, a major form up of Money Badger Coalition (MBC) members was too great to challenge, resulting in the first null-sec Keepstar successfully deployed. It belonged to Darkness alliance, but was guarded by Northern Coalition (NC), Pandemic Horde, TEST, Spectre Fleet and other groups. Darkness leader, Sort Dragon, took to the airwaves and hosted an “Ask Me Anything(AMA)” on reddit.
The Mittani said he underestimated the goodwill left between MBC members. Recently, former members like Pandemic Legion (PL) had been killing TEST, while NC and others sniped Pandemic Horde. A TEST Aeon was killed by PL as recently as today. The skirmishing has not yet broken the coalition, they made a strong showing to defend the Keepstar.
Despite MBC’s tactical victory, the Imperium has generally been winning small skirmishes and taking back some sovereignty. Both LAWN and Goonswarm (GSF) currently hold systems, with GSF holding more systems than rival, NC. Still, sovereignty is not a hard measure of success since it is not seen as a priority and flips often.
During the SOTG presentation, FC Asher Elias highlighted recent victories wherein Darkness was soundly defeated in an even match, and a seperate fight where both NC and Tissue lost two titans each. The July 1st fight reportedly, marks the most titans destroyed in a single fight since the battle of B-R. Snuffed Out, a former MBC member, aided the Imperium for that encounter.
The Mittani laid out future plans while at the same time addressing the lack of money making opportunities for members.
The Imperium will claw its way through Pure Blind and into Deklein by taking contellations in a concentrated way, and dropping multiple citadels while raising the ADM indexes as high as possible, as quickly as possible. All forces will concentrate on one system at a time, not moving to the next until the indexes are high. They take a small step forward, dig in, then step forward again. By destroying MBC ihubs, they wipe out existing defensive indexes (ADM), and plant citadels in strategic locations, especially between gates. The use of standing fleets consisting of mining and ratting ships will raise the indexes back up, making it difficult for MBC to reverse the progress. This has the added benifit of allowing Imperium members to earn ISK by ratting and mining constantly. The ice and ore can be sold to brokers through a sponsored buyback program, and the resources gathered will help build and fuel citadels for further advancement.
Even though the fight in for the Keepstar in 2O9G-D was not a part of the new strategy, the Imperium did want to stop the XL citadel. Unfortunately for them, that encounter played to MBC’s strenghts. MBC forms for large fights, but has trouble with smaller ones. What worked for MBC during the invasion of Imperium space was that they only needed to coordinate a few big fights using an easy comm technology, Discord. This allowed diverse fleets to come together with little effort, but it was not as helpful for smaller grinding fights, where centralized comms are not utilized. MBC may not blue-up for small fights and lower tier FCs do not have the same long standing relationships the block level FC’s have.
The dropping of multiple citadels creates strategic one-man armies with multiple timers, something MBC has been reluctant to waste time on. From a citadel, one player can take on a fleet, and if the citadel is destroyed the assets within are protected by asset safety mechanics.
The Imperium will trim down to hard-to-hit ship doctrines as they concentrate on taking down enemy infrastructure in few neighboring systems. They will also use “fremen” (DUNE sand warriors) to ambush sov wherever possible. These actions reduce defensive indexes softening the systems. FC’s are abandoning battleship fleets that too easily get torn to pieces by fighter drones. Their fleets will be tanky, small-signatured cruisers and smaller. The Imperium have determined that CCP game design favors the extremes: large or small ships, at the expense of the middle. Ship replacement program will continue, and a new incentive program for FC’s will reward any FC that destroys enemy infrastructure.
Corp Diplomatique (the GSF diplomatic division) will reach out to strengthen allies and find new friends. Progress has been made with Russian alliances, and good relations continue with White Legion and Snuffed Out. Also counted among allies is Brothers in Arms alliance, a break away alliance formed from corporations from C-o-2.
The Mittani signaled the change from a defensive war to an offensive one by calling for their “prime time” to be set back to US timezone. The change will be in effect, starting Monday.
Finally, The Mittani is looking for volunteers to explore making a second attempt at a gambling site. The first attempt was shelved because they already had a strong income source, and they didn’t want to get involved in gambling, but the success of IWI has rekindled the idea.
Essentially, the Imperium wants to play to its strengths while putting pressure on MBC weaknesses. By using its massive numbers and appetite for ISK making, the Imperium plans to quickly build defensive indexes, aided by citadels as forward operating bases. If MBC uses its coordination to pull huge numbers, the Imperium will probably stand down, repeatedly. Over time, the forming and reforming without a fight will reduce MBC participation and coordination. The key advantage for the Imperium is they are one military structure that works at any size, while MBC is made up of many alliances that form ad-hoc fleets, and most of those are large.
The Mittani said that the fabled “Horn of Goondor” won’t be used until this new strategy is proven. He is well aware that calling for reinforcements for untested results will weaken the horn’s potential. That is the tactic he uses on enemies. If the Imperium starts chalking up wins, the horn will be sounded, and the call will go out for more help. He said, when referring to allies, “there are never enough,” and that is the current state of EVE: numbers still wins the day.
As for the gambling site, that is more complicated than it looks. If successful, it will bring in massive financial help, however there is a deeper play here. The Mittani believes that CCP thwarts them when they become too successful. He has many examples of game changes that were introduced to stop their exaggerated success in one area or another. If the goon-casino is successful, The Mittani believes casinos will get nerfed or banned, and that will spell the end of unregulated gambling in EVE. Regardless of the outcome, it is a win.
Like the ancient legions of Rome, the Imperium is on the march to reclaim their once great empire, one step at a time. The landscape has evolved so their footing may not be as sure as it once was, but if they manage to burn their enemies out of their lands, it will be a victory frozen in time, commemorated by future sons.