GSF Update: All This Has Happened Before

2013-08-14

(This is an internal alliance update for the Goonswarm Federation. It was written by Endie. )

The Fall of the House of Drake

Indulge me, for a few minutes, and travel back with me in time. Back through the spiralling vortex of history past the Birth of Black Jesus, the building of the pyramids, God’s hilarious after-thought of adding dinosaur fossils to fuck with Creationists and into a hazy pre-history where DurrHurrDurrs roamed the forums.

Only a matter of a few months ago with what was, in retrospect, a slightly unwise sensation of ten-pint invincibility, Test announced to the world in general that they could have the lot of us, and invited the rest of Eve to “step outside, now”. They were egged-on by various people from the east of the game, none of whom, surprisingly, turned out to have their best interests at heart. When they reset the bulk of their allies, vaguely-interested bystanders across eve were applauding their bold decisiveness. Now, requests for help from erstwhile allies are greeted with the sort of disgusted expression they’d see if they asked ProGodLegend for a shot of his mum.

As recently as May, Test held Delve and Fountain directly, and Period Basis and Querious through allies. They had the richest space in the game, and they had the CFC to the north suggesting a new partnership: a deal was agreed between Mittani and Booda to dispose of the bloated and putrefying corpse of Raidendot, and exciting prospects lay to the east.

Enter Viktor, the man who put the “villain” into Villiance. I told Viktor, personally, of Booda and Mittens and their new deal, and watched his response. I then went to Mittens and Tector and said “Viktor is going to backstab us.” The fact that this happened was annoying. The fact that this was later justified with weapons-grade bollocks and doctored logs about the CFC planning to use Querious as a springboard to invade Delve was the sort of fiction that gets alliances killed.

Within two weeks, Test found that valued and reliable allies Raiden were, in fact, dead and that NCdot (helped by PL and us) were going to take Querious.

A week or so later, and the CFC had moved into Fountain and Test were living in lowsec.

Eight weeks more, and Test are dying, Fountain is gone and if you believe that the Dreddit flag will fly over NOL in another fortnight then the Church of Scientology would like to know if you have any spare cash needing looked-after.

A Series of Unfortunate Events

We entered this war with a lot of “disadvantages”. This is using the word “disadvantages” in its sense of “things we fucked up on a grotesque scale”. We hadn’t been to war in forever. Our fleet doctrines were awful: Tempest Fleet Issues were unreplaceable while HAM Tengus were, outside of the hands of European Goonion, what we might call “situational” (where the situation in question is “the opposition FC is clinically retarded”).

Our logistical wing was largely inactive, crippled or absent at the start of the war, and we launched into war without the sov hardware in place to lock down even the initial systems that we knew we would get from Sort’s sov-drop. This nearly led to the loss of our new station system in 4-EP. And we were the first alliance to lose a station egg since FIX in 2006, who at least had the excuse that theirs was bugged for 24 hours and that they had forgotten to say Alliance Evensong and were being punished by a vengeful creator. Expect the j5Anderton Faln Memorial Station to rise again, some day.

For much of the first week of the war, Mittens was away at E3 pursuing his dream of being the first gaming journalist with a daft goatee to win the Pulitzer prize. This left Sion, theAdj and I to sprint around trying to calm the traditional “we haven’t won yet oh God we are doomed” sentiments of certain of the US TZ directorate, and it is important to realise that none of us like them very much. On top of this, our UK contingent was rocked by the shocking news that David Cameron intended to ban any porn harder than late night, female-oriented erotic thrillers with mood-rock soundtracks. Morale was low.

Luckily, and with the same ruthless courage that led to them kicking a bunch of “culturally incompatible” corporations from their alliance but letting them stay in Fountain (those corps, in Riot, repaid test with a reset this week), Test reset the HBC but left them with four station systems in Fountain. They were then outraged and surprised when sov in these was dropped a few days into our attack.

Much was made by the enemy of our inability to hold those stations but we never intended to try to do so. The point of those station systems was to add at least sixteen extra timers for hostiles to grind through while we messed with their SBUs (I can say this with absolute certainty since I made that call while Mittens was away). Those systems were there as a glacis to protect 4-EP, and hostiles fell for it, lavishing time and effort on pointless systems. Meanwhile, Boat took time off from welping fleets with the metronomic monotony of Lindsay Lohan’s car crashes to take another constellation or so in which we could generate defensive timers and grind down the enemy while they unironically and with a straight face mocked us for “not winning fast enough”.

Goonswarm is a CIA Front

One of the ways that Goons traditionally kill enemies is to make their leadership distrust each other. As usual, we had spies in Test. In fact, to say there were spies in Test is to say that Americans tend to be a touch portly or that Koreans don’t make trustworthy dog-carers. Midge and I had a steady stream of sources, agents and disaffected directors (at least one of whom is still in place) turning up. For a long time we were able to eavesdrop on Test’s command and recon channels thanks to Perdition’s Ghost, and Sion, Mittens, theAdj, our FCs and myself would take turns listening out for where hostile fleets were, when they were about to bridge, whether capitals were formed and so on. Annoyingly, when we had our capital welp PG was being ignored as he tried to warn us.

Now, something that sums up the haplessness of our enemies: take a look at this corporation on dotlan.

Looks normal enough, doesn’t it? Just your average sov transfer corporation that spent the last year in Test Alliance and was kicked just as the war was running down. Just your average hostile corporation that Test leadership left in their alliance throughout a long war so that its members could be granted roles to offline SBUs every time we wanted to blueball a huge hostile form-up which – bafflingly! – we didn’t even bother to form up for. This meant we never had to risk our roles-holding dreddit agents in order to defend systems.

And before Test’s allies get too judgemental, they should cast their minds back to when their SBUs went offline as well.

On top of this there was the lucky windfall of taking down N3’s renter space and feeder alliance mid-war. Much was made of how this definitely didn’t matter and how we had merely awoken a sleeping giant and oo we were for it now, but the momentum shifted further in NCdot’s absence, we reset a lot of progress and each hostile fleet after that was just a bit smaller. We suffered a crippling attack of misguided World War II analogies but, once we weathered that storm, the rest of the campaign was a lot simpler. In the eternal words of Sun Tzu: “that wasn’t so fucking bad now, was it?”

Basically, the GIA, diplomats working with Russians and others, and consistent fuckups by Test bought time for the rest of the bloc to work out their issues. By the end of the war GSOL was capable of quietly and quickly towering all 26 moons in Test’s staging system before they noticed, while we could put 1000 megathrons into a system, drop a dread fleet on top of that and still have the best part of a couple of hundred supers on standby in case of an escalation. Test did us a huge favour in letting us fix a year’s worth of problems in two months and we came out of this war incomparably stronger than we went into it. Whether it was Z9PP or 6VDT a combination of Vee, Laz and Vily with a bazillion fleets packed with Baltecfleet doctrine ships proved virtually unbeatable: who could have guessed?

What if Lee Won Gettysburg?

There has been a lot of debate as to whether an HBC-backed assault on Goonswarm space back in March – the von Montolio Plan – would have been more successful. It’s the sort of counter-factual that can be debated forever, but I think it boils down to this: would Test, NCDot, Nulli Secunda and the massed ranks of N3 allies have been more successful if they’d only had the doughty warriors of Entropraetorian Aegis and the stern-faced legions of Ethereal Dawn on their side?

Not so convincing, is it?

Where Are They, Now?

And so the circle of life continues: less than forty seconds after completing another successful invasion, Goons are tearing themselves apart on the forums over hair-splitting Goonier-Than-Thou principles. Razor are proving how much better they are than Black Legion (at replacing lost dread fleets). And you can tell where Test are by the lazily circling vultures impatiently watching them dragging themselves towards what they are assured is the sparkling waters and shady palm trees of the oasis of Aridia. The location that Test has chosen is so ridiculously horrible that the only rational explanation is that Booda really is making good on his original, stated desire to kill Test and purge the J4Ds from Dreddit.

Test have announced a purge of a bunch of corps that they didn’t want, and some of the ones who have been asked to stay have left or plan to leave, too. At the moment, the less picky alliances of N3 and the CFC are eyeing-up test much as a daytime TV viewer would eye up a sixty-second trolley dash through the clearances aisle of a discount supermarket. Maybe we’ll even pick one up as a keepsake of our favourite campaign in years, like coming back from the Alps with a leg-cast or Spain with a stupid hat and a huge straw donkey stuffed with cocaine.

Viktor Villiance showed his colours by stealing 20 billion or so from Test a few days ago, claiming that he “needed it for something”. Presumably it’s all gone by now on some new converse trainers and the Mumford & Sons box set, but this just adds to the reasons for his considerable unpopularity. Not in the CFC or N3, though! That man gave us Fountain and Querious and I want every single one of you to write him a nice thank-you letter with a picture of you in your new, Serpentis-ratting battleship.

Test, in general, is being robbed on what amounts to a daily basis, although the pickings are getting increasingly slim as the results of their impressive donations scam are distributed amongst the remaining directors as they leave. The shelves are getting pretty bare at Crazy Booda’s Wacky Warehouse of Discount ISK.

As usual, leadership across the range of hostile alliances suddenly found that their calendars were really busy and they had some home improvements that really needed doing. I always find it tremendously heartening that our invasions encourage people to get out and spend some quality time with families that they might not have seen for a while.

What happens to Delve is, for the moment, still a matter of debate but if Test drops sov we’re not going to let NCdot have it.

Dear Leader RMTed a batch of our new renter ISK last week and is currently taking a well-earned week’s break doing lines of coke off the thighs of Costa Rican hookers while gazing at the Carribean sunset. Which just means that his jabber connection is a bit flaky, the nerd.

Rental

When the N3 renter alliance was disbanded we were astonished that the thieves (now, like Test agent Perdition’s Ghost, in Bat Country: the premier retirement location for Eve’s most untrustworthy and unreliable turncoats) made off with 400 billion ISK of that month’s income. Suddenly, N3’s boasts of 800 billion a month rental cash, and PL’s claims of more than 400 billion a month of slumlord rents, looked a lot more plausible. That’s about 15 trillion ISK a year. 15 trillion ISK a year that we don’t have. Fountain moons are nice and all, but not that nice.

I know that some of you – especially the six or seven occasional rental scammers who it turns out have been dramatically low-balling yourselves for years – are vociferously opposed to renting, although I have yet to see any particularly persuasive reasons beyond “it is ungoony but I don’t know why”. Therefore, I think we are now in a position to make this simple offer: if you can come up five hundred billion ISK a month, payable on the first of the month, then we’ll scrap the whole shebang. That’s how flexible we are: we’ll even discount it to a bargain five trillion a year for a lump sum payment.

I know that there are CFC members who rent from others in Eve, just to have a system to themselves. Consider the advantages of doing so with us, instead, since you’ll be able to use your CFC alts for logistics.

The rules are just being finalised, since the first version was an act of sociopathic lunacy that was apparently aimed at hurting anyone dumb enough to rent from us under it, but that is being fixed in order to make the program competitive and profitable. Remember that you will get a cut of the first month’s income if you introduce a renter.

This article originally appeared on TheMittani.com, written by Submissions.

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