In EVE Online, Fleet Commanders face a difficult challenge in ensuring their fleets forces are safe and adequately prepared for Player-versus-Player (PvP) operations. Every time an FC undocks their fleet, there is some uncertainty regarding the nature of future threats and potential losses. The main concerns for FCs, beyond winning the objective, some of the main concerns that fleet commanders need to take into consideration regularly during operations. However, intelligence about any opponents’ fleet composition can affect the choice of doctrine, and can also change the result of an operation, or even an entire deployment.
Ahead of the Imperium fleets deployed in the recent war in Tribute, Imperium Recon and Allied Scouts Special Interest Groups (SIGs) were deployed to assist in the safety of wartime operations. I spoke to Moomin Amatin, member of Thunderwaffe & the developer of the current Goonwarm Recon group, about the role of Scouts and Recon during the preparation for and the war in Tribute, and the importance of gathering adequate intelligence for Fleet Commanders during fights.
Who is Moomin Amatin?
Moomin Amatin joined the Imperium in 2013, and he first became known during the Casino War, where he spent a large amount of time helping Space Monkey’s Alliance (SMA) get stuff out of their home station. Moreover, his scouting saved Imperium capital fleets from being ambushed by Panfam capitals during the Co2 defection. After these achievements during The Casino War, he was instructed to join Recon, and soon after became the sole remaining Recon director. He helped rebuild the Recon group after that conflict, as it was suffering from significantly reduced interest and membership while Goonswarm Federation made their new home in Delve. Once the Recon section was working well once again, he retired from his role as director, as he felt “that was a good way to prove what I had helped build actually worked.” He currently serves as a ‘consultant’ for the Recon SIG within the Imperium.
What makes Moomin different?
The primary thing that marks Moomin as a stand-out individual, alongside a number of other players within GS Recon, is not simple trust, it is a proven capacity to deliver good and reliable information to the fleet commanders. He sees the essence of scouts/recon as “all the roles that support the work of the fleet commanders and coordination teams within the Imperium. Scouts provide intel on hostile fleet form-ups and movements, but they also travel with the fleet to advise the FC. Recon is a lot more involved and requires more work. Recon will find out everything it can about what our enemies are doing in space. This could be to find out all about their structures, where they live, what they do, who their friends are, and who they are fighting with.”
Additionally, Apple Pear, one of the major Imperium fleet commanders, finds Moomin to be one of the best scouts in the Imperium. Apple Pear is convinced that Moomin’s information, and of course that of other scouts, is critically important to having a full picture of the battlefield and being able to make good decisions so he can win a fight or secure an objective.
So Moomin Amatin and the Scout/Recon forces are the Imperium’s “James Bond”?
Moomin laughed at my question as he explained that “the really big difference between Recon/Scouts and the Black Hand is that Recon only believe what we can actually see. We do not just believe what people tell us”. Nonetheless, he has to pod me now, as I know who he is…
Even a new alpha pilot can join the Allied Scouts!
“Even the newest of new pilots can start to scout,” confirmed Amatin. That is how he started out – in a simple Slasher. He did not even have a cloak, to begin with. This led him being the plus one or minus one scout for the Imperium main fleets, with only . However, he states that “getting into Recon is a different matter. The pilot will need to prove his trustworthiness and reliability. After that, the pilot undergoes a complete and deep character check.”
Every Imperium FC knows Moomin Amatin and trusts his information. How does a new scout earn his place in this critical role?
“Trust is a thing that is earned. It is not always easy to come by either. For me, it was just getting out there and doing a good job in keeping our fleets safe. I know that there are many FCs who are happy to know that I am scouting for their fleet, but the trust is something that you have to work on with each FC. You can lose all that trust by making a single error as well. If that should happen, then you have to simply get back to scouting and try not to make the same mistake again. I have been really lucky as I have never gotten a fleet welped in all the scouting I have done, so far at least.”
Scouts & Recon prepare for the war in Tribute
We read on Reddit and gaming forums that the Imperium is not relying on Panfam’s killboard to evaluate this war because they removed the rigs from many of their Citadels. However, the Imperium is able to track the losses of Panfam in Tribute because Recon scanned the stations before deployment to evaluate Panfam’s potential ISK losses. Moomin Amatin confirmed this statement, saying that “before [the Imperium] deployed the main forces, Recon had already looked at all the hostile structures within the regions we were interested in hitting. We scanned everything of interest and made notes on it all.”
You can see the value of structure kills made during the Tribute campaign here. Yes, that final total is more than 4.2 Trillion ISK.
Panfam was not engaging Imperium forces; does that makes your action less of interest?
From being one of the most active scouts within the Imperium, Moomin Amatin shifted his focus and became a tutor. The very best thing for him about the recent conflict was to sit back and watch new people get involved. On thing Mommin continued to say is that the most important aspect of his gameplay now is to “help [new scouts/recon] learn new things and let them know that they were doing a great job. This war was a lot easier for our SIGs than when I started back in The Casino War. It has been a lot of fun for me to watch the thing I helped build work so well with new people coming in.”
If you are an Imperium member and you want to be part of the Imperium’s scouting forces, you can apply here.