Missed Opportunities

2020-10-11

It’s tough to criticize someone after they win, and win they did. A staggering number of fleet commanders and coordinators led by Asher Elias killed a defended keepstar in FWST. The battle—unlike 49-U, this was one—lasted 13 hours in a full time dilation slog. However, after the victory, Imperium forces stood down and let the Anaconda titans withdraw uncontested.

Standing down was an easy choice to make. After 13 hours fighting, the prospect of going another 8 or so until downtime did not appeal to most. The Imperium fleet commanders were fried; whether they’ll admit to it or not. The Skymarshal, Asher Elias, said that while he had good numbers of supers and titans ready to go in to FWST to try and kill some of the Anaconda titans (Yours Truly was one of them), he decided that was not the time for a super fight.

With all the ego of a combat veteran, I’m going to say he was wrong. Near the end of a long battle is exactly the time to go in hard.

Before the 19th century, horse cavalry played a major role on the battlefield. In addition to scouting duty, horse cavalry’s role was to attack the enemy’s flanks, reposition quicker than infantry to plug critical holes in the battle formation, and to run down enemies who had broken and were retreating. The excellent cavalry officer, General Patton, summed up his philosophy: 

“We’re advancing constantly and we’re not interested in holding anything except the enemy’s balls. We’re going to hold him by his balls and we’re going to kick him in the ass; twist his balls and kick the living shit out of him all the time.”

Gen. George Patton

Even though Mittens’ Kittens are on the defensive, there is still a place for aggression and counter-attacks. In fact, counterpunching after Anaconda dropped two keepstars would have signaled to them that the Imperium was indeed here to fuck. After all, digging deep and committing for another 8 hours of combat is not something most would do. It’s at that time, when everything is spent, when both sides are frayed, that battles can not be simply won, but decisively won. 

The Battle of B-R5 only happened because Lazarus Pubraven decided to go all in, even when the Mittani wanted to hold back. Holding back was the right choice in that situation, looking back. Laz made the bold choice that was only correct in hindsight. In FWST, Asher made the right choice to stand down. In hindsight, given a few weeks, no one is even going to remember it. Missed opportunities are like that.

Dear Reader, it’s valid to criticize me for Monday-morning quarterbacking, or armchair fleet commanding. I wasn’t in the hot seat and such. However, I do know one thing: the Imperium is outgunned, outmanned and they have to make an all out stand. Eventually Anaconda is going to stop faffing about and lay down in a big way. Imperium should take every opportunity to attack Anaconda supers and titans before that cataclysmic battle.

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Comments

  • In all seriousness, Asher and his team did a fantastic job. This article is only a suggestion of where to improve.

    October 11, 2020 at 6:47 PM
  • Guilford Australis

    On the other hand, the strategic objective was already won – but at great cost. The importance of the battle was demonstrating that The Imperium has the numbers, resources, and commitment to deny PAPI a foothold in Delve. Once that was accomplished (after 13-14 hours of TIDI), I can understand why pressing the advantage might have seemed to be asking too much of line members.

    October 11, 2020 at 7:57 PM
    • Eve_Osir1s Guilford Australis

      There are other options and we must keep participation up to prevent them. This is far from over and we must remain vigilant.

      October 11, 2020 at 11:32 PM
  • Simon Chui

    I would have loved to see some titan hunting, too. But the calvary analogy isn’t entirely the same thing. In the real world, the calvary and infantry are different people, the calvary reserve can come in fresh after the infantry has slogged it out. In game, you’d have the same humans switching out of their ratting alts and into their supers, humans who are already tired.

    The battle wasn’t expected to go on for 12 hours, was it? It didn’t sound like there was any planning for tactical reserves or rotating people in shifts to sustain an extended battle.

    October 11, 2020 at 9:41 PM
  • Eve_Osir1s

    I don’t think the ‘big’ one is necessary on our end at this time. Until the attackers threaten something worth the risk or a situation arises where we can ‘throw down’ outnumbered, I doubt the big one will come. With the slow pace of the war and the unwillingness of the attackers to threaten cap/super highways and supply routes (mainly the keepstars), we have the option to just wait patiently. Until the attackers remove that option, they can rot in their keepstar for all I care and cry about how they’re not getting the fight they wanted.

    With the new ‘you gotta throw down bro’ rhetoric I suspect the attackers believe that time is against them, not the defender. Having been on over 250 fleets during this war, in my own personal experience in this, the attackers have had decreasing participation (especially in the past couple weeks). For the last couple of days outside of these keepstar fights, we’ve enjoyed almost a 1:1 ratio. Which is quite the advantage if you’re the defender in this game.

    October 11, 2020 at 11:27 PM
  • mbox

    Being there at the end of the fight I would strongly counter this suggestion. We might have won the objective but we couldn’t compete with papi grid advantage. Just because you know everyone is tired, assuming that is an advantage when enemy holds a clear and undisputed field advantage doesn’t mean they wouldn’t have slugged it out an extra 8 hours themselves to protect their supers and committing your own supers without field advantage is an unnecessary risk.

    October 12, 2020 at 12:15 AM
  • Kirk Bergere

    I have a feeling both the attackers and defenders feel like they are winning.

    October 12, 2020 at 2:10 AM
  • Noob

    I well disciplined and arrayed infantry can stand down calvary.

    October 12, 2020 at 5:56 AM
  • Caleb Ayrania

    SNEK People are the attacker, and thus the one expected to do the thrusting. There is no reason for Imperium to ride the snake for its pleasure. Teasing the snake with not allowing it “just the tip” into Delve is entertaining, but prolonging the actual fucking. tl:dr this tantric edging is putting me to sleep.

    That said ofc all the manhours invested is commendable, actually on both sides, but I am not sure its really working for anybody. At this pace the war will last for 12-18 months minimum. I dont think anyone really have that level of patience and attentionspan, it will fade before the end of Q1 2021, if it does not ramp up in dedication.

    October 12, 2020 at 6:39 AM
    • As Heinlein once wrote: No Department of Defense ever won a war.
      A well timed counter attack can stop an enemy offensive in its tracks. Also, think about how one stops a bully—by punching him in his face.

      October 12, 2020 at 1:49 PM
  • Rammel Kas

    We did actually drop SR dreads on part of the super blob as the first FWST was winding down to test the new server meta. Notes were taken.

    October 12, 2020 at 11:04 AM
  • In hindsight the last paragraph should have been held back.

    October 12, 2020 at 3:25 PM
  • Moomin Amatin

    “The Imperium win against overwhelming odds in the World’s largest gaming battle ever.”
    vs
    “PAPI declare victory in World’s largest gaming battle ever.”

    The right decision was made in my opinion by all our chaps involved. Also Patton was in many respects a moron.

    October 13, 2020 at 10:47 AM