In a fireside chat with Horde’s Partisans SIG this weekend, AlphastarPilot gave a grim update on the state of the war in the north from the perspective of those who live there. Partisans has been on the front lines of the war assisting their allies’ defense – a position Alphastar said the group was never intended to be in, preferring to fight a guerilla-style war on their own terms rather than on the front lines.
In what became a recurring theme, he lamented the fact that the North’s fractured alliance suffers from a “failure to coordinate at the highest levels.” Asked about the Imperium’s current offensive against CO2 space, he said that his group can’t defend their allies if they aren’t willing to defend themselves. He was equally critical of Horde’s other allies, noting that NCdot typically will only form for their own FCs rather than participating in coalition fleets, and noting that Pandemic Legion is “very strange” at the moment and nobody is quite sure what is going on.
When asked by his group members if there was anyone else to “batphone,” the response was one word: Horde. But the consensus was that it wouldn’t do much good. Like Partisans, the larger Horde alliance prefers not to defend allies who won’t form up in their own defense. In addition, he noted, Horde is most concerned at the moment with fortifying Geminate in case the war reaches that far.
Asked outright if the North is lost, Alphastar said he believed it was. “Goons have perfected that they can stay on this permanent deployment while still having fairly strong security of their krablands,” he noted. “Unless people on our end decide to start using their brains and try to tactically outsmart Goons instead of just doing the same old feeding Muninns under cyno jammers to them, I don’t think this is ever going to change.”
Despite the Imperium’s early struggle with the mechanics of cyno jammers, he noted, once they were accounted for in strategic planning, “Goons have proven it’s very easy to take down cyno jammers – it was just a good meme the first month of this campaign where they forgot what those were.”
“Do we have a counter to a 500-grid Titan fleet,” one questioner asked. “Yeah, don’t fight,” was the answer.
The general consensus was that the war will continue until the Imperium tires of fighting it. “They’re pretty unstoppable, I’m not going to lie. It very much makes me feel like the PIBC-Serenity thing could definitely happen.”
“Even when goons fear they might lose, they just have PGL bring a fleet of TEST or something up here.”
Some members questioned the feasibility of a counterattack against Delve, “We can,” said Alphastar, “but they have their entire shield supercap and titan fleet there, which is larger than horde’s entire titan and supercap fleet.”
While the consensus was that the Imperium sits in the driver’s seat, there was also the feeling that Goons lack the “stamina” for a prolonged war and will eventually disappear back into Delve for awhile.
A Reddit thread related to the fireside prompted a spirited debate on that particular question, with representatives from both sides of the war speaking out about the motives for, and conduct of, the war’s main protagonists. Several themes emerged from the discussion.
One was that the Imperial Legacy has an innate advantage in that there are fewer groups to coordinate, giving their two main coalitions an advantage over the five-plus groups loosely allied in the north. The strength of that alliance was another key theme. The general consensus on Reddit was that PanFam made this war inevitable by attacking TEST, which turned to the Imperium as its only hope for survival, in turn giving the Imperium a strong enough ally that the two of them together have been able to steamroll the North up to this point. Part of that consensus was that TEST and Imperium forces reliably come to one another’s defense when needed, while some members of the Northern forces do not.
The tactical decision-making referenced by Alphastar emerged as another theme on Reddit. The feeling was that the Imperium is tactically superior to their foes, who tend to retry the same things that have failed in the past.
The final advantage is morale. Of course it is always more fun to be on a winning side, but one of the themes that came through on Reddit is that the very mentalities the North is counting on to eventually prompt the Goons to look elsewhere, are the same mentalities that make Goons, Goons. An alliance obsessively focused on infrastructure and economic development is not likely to become frustrated with the grind of constantly building up the resources to maintain supercapital superiority. Similarly, groups that focus on killboard statistics are likely to take a morale hit when the chips are down. As one Reddit commenter put it, “Attempting to batten down the hatches and hoping the two most autistic groups in the game get bored is certainly one way to try to win a war.”
In short, the conclusion on Reddit – both among the Imperial Legacy members who participated in the discussion, as well as some of their foes – was that this war plays to the particular strengths of TEST and the Imperium, and that they are not likely to slow down anytime soon.
Alphastar seemed to agree. “Pureblind and Fade are lost for sure,” he said. As to the future, “It depends on how long Goons want to keep doing this.”