Header art by Major Sniper
[Editor’s Note: Seir Luciel is a staff writer at INN and a member of Pandemic Horde. Gray Doc is an editor at INN and a member of the Imperium]
Gray Doc: When I first heard that Legacy was planning on moving to Delve, which was in a Legacy SOTA sometime in November, I could hardly believe the hubris. However, it did make other incomprehensible things clear: What was the “real” strategy behind the war? Legacy’s message on that point shifted like the recent price of Gamestop shares. But after that “move to Delve” declaration, I understood that behind all the rhetoric of “extermination” and “Goons are bad for the game,” what we actually have here is a land grab. Delve is some of the best area of space in the game, Legacy wanted it (especially TEST, as other Legacy groups will get Querious and Period Basis and therefore act as meat shields). They couldn’t get it by going to war with Imperium themselves, so they formed PAPI, to have folks like PH, FRT, and FI:RE help them do what they could not do on their own.
Seir Luciel: I think the planned move was for many reasons, not just one. One of them is, yes, to get more land and especially Delve. Delve is good space. It is one of the reasons Goons moved there in the first place. I think anyone would want to have it if they could. But that’s not the only reason.
Another thing the move accomplishes is political. If wars don’t result in some kind of resource redistribution, they start looking pointless; especially a big one like this. “Why did we do all that fighting to end up in the same spots that we started in?” a Legacy member might ask. But this doesn’t just go for Legacy and this current war. If wars don’t give victors something to show for their effort, they aren’t wars, they’re sports. EVE wars demand consequences, actual losses and gains, actual losers and winners, to be meaningful.
A third reason, I believe, is either a reaction or a prediction of the Goon rhetoric: “We are still here! You didn’t win the war, you just wasted your time! Look how great Goons are; the whole map can’t wipe us off it!” Goons make a significant point by saying this, one not to be minimized. It’s also a point that demands a response. Legacy has to move into Goon space to prevent that narrative, otherwise their return home after smashing Delve could be spun as a retreat. “They gave up and turned home! We have victory!” Goons would say.
So, in sum, the move accomplishes three things: it grabs land; it applies consequences to the victory making the war meaningful and not just for sport; and it prevents Goons’ ability to say they fended PAPI off while watching them retreat.
Gray Doc: Let me respond to those three reasons one at a time. The first, land grab: yep. But note that wasn’t the stated reason at the beginning. In the business world, some call that the bait-and-switch technique. Legacy got all PAPI onboard, then shifted the goalposts and revealed the true goal: claim Delve, Querious, and Period Basis for Legacy while Panfam gets “diddly squat.” Second, “something to show for their effort.” Phhhhhft. What will PH, which you are a member of, have to show for your effort? I feel like stopping here for you to respond to that one right now. What will you, PH line member, have to show for this war? Please remember your own words: “If wars don’t give victors something to show for their effort, they aren’t wars, they’re sports.” Respond: Don’t wait for the translation!
Seir Luciel: I’ll get to this idea of “shifted goalposts” in a second. But I can say that I don’t really see the move as a bait-and-switch so much as a condition of wiping Goons out. It’s not a bait-and-switch to tell PAPI that they will, in fact, also have to fight to take out Goons. It just comes with the deal, politically and militarily. I don’t see the move as anything different in this way.
What does Horde get out of it? I think Horde is in an interesting position in the war. Because Horde isn’t getting land in the same way, obviously they are in it for different reasons. This is one of the reasons Goons look so intently Horde’s way, hoping they will be the ones to leave first. Goons betray a deep hope, even a last hope, that Horde will leave the war and go back home. Goons would then only have to deal with a solitary Legacy, someone they have more confidence in being able to defeat under such conditions.
What will Horde show for the war? A longstanding enemy, one respected and feared, will no longer be what it once was, not for a long time and maybe never again. Different PAPI members joined this war for different reasons: some political (Brave); some militaristic (TEST); and some for historical reasons. I put Horde in this last category. It is a bit of an oversimplification to apply one reason only for each alliance/corp in PAPI, but as I see it these are the foremost reasons in the examples I’ve given.
Gray Doc: Well, you didn’t really answer my bait-and-switch point. It IS a bait-and-switch to say the war is about “exterminating” Goons, but later to say it’s about Legacy moving to Delve. But I’ll let that go.
Regarding what Horde gets out of it, let me see if I can parse what you are saying: Goons will be vastly, and possibly permanently, disabled. OK. But that same point should apply to Legacy as well; however, you are making a big point (see above) that Legacy HAD to move to achieve success. You are, yourself, shifting your own logic so much I can’t follow it. Legacy HAD to take over Delve to achieve success, but Horde doesn’t have to. Well, maybe this makes sense to PAPI folk, but not to me. And now on to your idea that Imperium looks to Horde with hope: “Help me, Gobbins Wan Kenobe! You’re our only hope.” Speaking only for myself, I hold out no hope that Horde will leave, nor does it matter. Eventually, unless the blue donut is to remain forever and Tranquility become Serenity 2.0, which I’ve written about elsewhere, Horde will have to worry about FRT or Legacy, so that move back home will come sooner or later. I don’t care much when that happens, because it is a certainty, and then, Legacy can face what’s left of Goons by themselves. ::Chuckle, chuckle.:
Seir Luciel: Horde is coming out of this war better than many others in PAPI. Very little has been done to Horde space, very little done to their industry and the ability to make income. If the war ended right now, how would things look? Who comes out behind, and who comes out ahead? Compare the relative positions of the major powers involved in the war as they currently stand, and tell me where Horde comes out. Think about it for a bit and it will start to make sense – why Horde is playing its particular role in the war. A great way to find out why powers do the things they do is to look at the results of their actions. Most of the time, these results were the reasons.
I will make a comparison to the U.S. in WWII. The United States joined the war (yes, only after they were attacked in ‘41) but gained very little territory for their efforts, despite having their rapidly generated military machine moving all around the world, through Europe, etc. (They do get some territory in the Pacific: the Philippines for example.) What did they gain? After the war they became the largest military and economic power on the globe. This was mainly due to the fact that Europe’s infrastructure had been demolished while the U.S.’s was untouched. Cities like London and Dresden are bombed, but not New York or Los Angeles. Europe and the Axis powers had to start building up from rubble, whereas the U.S. could move into the post-war period hitting the ground at full speed. Also, their newly-fashioned military industry (i.e. threat of force)—larger than anyone else’s, due to the reasons stated above—allowed them to strongarm much of the political world afterward. The only real resistance was by the Soviet Union, hence the Cold War.
Legacy isn’t fighting the same kind of war, but is following a different kind of pattern. Their conflict, structurally, is more a settler-colonialist war from the 1500’s: think Spain’s move into central America in search of gold (Delve). The conquistadors not only moved into the indigenous population’s land, but also killed them off in the process. Not a pretty part of history, and it is certainly understandable the kind of pain Goons are feeling right now, especially if we compare them to the Aztec and Incan empires being invaded by the Spanish.
Gray Doc: First, regarding who comes out ahead: Fraternity, obviously. You may come out far ahead of Imperium, but at the cost of allowing a different competitor to gain an edge on PH. They’ve gained new space to rent and they lost zero titans in M2, and also had zero titans trapped in M2-XFE. Of course, you can always try to form another blue donut to attack FRT. That seems to be the “go to” strategy now.
Regarding your conquistador reference, I’m surprised you went there, but it’s quite apt. How does it feel to be on the side of the conquistadors?
Cue the music! Push “play” on Procol Harum!
Conquistador your stallion stands in need of company
And like some angel’s haloed brow
You reek of purity
I see your armor plated breast
Has long since lost its sheen
And in your death masked face
There are no signs which can be seenSongwriters: Gary Brooker / Keith Reid
Seir Luciel: I’ll meet your song with a Homeric metaphor:
“And hard as it was to recognize each man, each body,
with clear water they washed the clotted blood away
And lifted them onto wagons, weeping warm tears.
Priam forbade his people to wail aloud. In silence
They piled the corpses on the pyre, their hearts breaking,
Burned them down to ash and returned to sacred Troy [1DQ].
And just so on the other side Achean men-at-arms
Piled corpses on the pyre, their hearts breaking,
Burned them down to ash and returned to the hollow ships [in T5Z].”The Iliad, Book VII