Pandemic Horde Townhall 2020-12-13


Header art by Cryo Huren

Gobbins – the leader of Pandemic Horde, a member of the Panfam coalition – gave a “Townhall” on December 13, 2020. PH is a key member of the PAPI mega-coalition that is hell bent on the destruction of the Imperium. In fact, it is reasonable to say that PH is the deciding factor in World War Bee. When they say it is done, it is done. PH, all along in the war, has been far more reasonable in their goals of causing economic harm to the Imperium, a goalpost they set and have stood by. They have accomplished that goal and more besides.

Note that this Townhall was held on the same day as the “War Update” given by Progodlegend, a leader of The Legacy coalition. You can read The Legacy war update here and my analysis of it here. As with The Legacy war update, I will summarize the PH Townhall, which will save you from having to listen to the full two hours plus. However, the time seemed to pass more quickly listening to the Townhall than to the 20 minute address by Progodlegend. As always, we urge you to check the sources for yourself and by all means leave your comments below. The whole recording can be found here.

Gobbins’ View of the War

My very first impression when listening to the PH Townhall was that it was more like a shareholders meeting, or perhaps a co-operative, than a SOTA. The sense of accountability was strong. In the opening seconds a format was presented and a process outlined for handling questions from the troops.

Gobbins presented the main topics that were to be covered. For the sake of brevity, I will only cover the elements that directly affect World War Bee. Further, I will be paraphrasing, so do check the source material to draw your own conclusions.

The first topic covered was World War Bee. Gobbins delivered a very clear and fair assessment of PH’s performance so far and what PH intends to do in the future. This topic was also covered later in even more detail, with an explanation of the impact PH’s efforts have had on the Imperium so far.

The Importance of Jammers

The strategy of destroying Imperium iHubs and jammers was explained as a key factor in limiting losses and maintaining the greatest amount of control in forthcoming battles. Gobbins went over how their current strategy was working, slowly. By owning more iHubs, PH establishes a defensive posture; maintaining control of the iHubs for 35 days enables a system wide cyno-jammer to be installed, which reduces risk from strikes by the Imperium’s capital fleet. Gobbins noted that there are two key areas remaining: 1DQ and the E3 pocket.

Gobbins clearly stated that his objective for World War Bee revolved around causing economic harm to the Imperium. His justification for this objective was that the Imperium had gotten too far ahead of other coalitions economically. This current war addresses that problem, but also provides opportunities for revenge. He noted that deleting goons from the game would be “unwise.” It should be noted that this last statement does not align with the previously stated goals of The Legacy coalition, which called for extermination.

Most interestingly, Gobbins put some parameters for future plans. He stated that after the three weeks remaining in December, if PAPI had not made progress on the iHubs, a change in tactics would be warranted. He did not elaborate, but the citadels and structures within 1DQ are a formidable set of defenses. The intent to move things forward, however, is now very clear, at least on the part of PH. If the war continues into January we can expect to see some new tactics, which would be refreshing. Whether that will involve the new PH Onyx doctrine, dread alts, or something else altogether is as yet unknown.

The headshot attempt on 1DQ was explained as PAPI just taking a chance on the anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor. But 1DQ is definitely a goal of PH. The interesting bit here is that Gobbins states killing more infrastructure now has significantly less value than it used to. The damage has already been done and has already impacted the economic machine of the Imperium that ran uninterrupted for so long. He advises that there is still some value in killing industrial citadels, but far less than before.

PH Must Take the Economy Into Consideration

The general economy of New Eden was another key topic of the Townhall. Changes aplenty have taken place in how capsuleers make a living in null sec. Gobbins felt that CCP had greatly reduced the ability of those in nullsec to extract wealth. This was a concern not only for PH, but for every alliance living in nullsec. He went on to say that any sensible alliance should take these economic realities into consideration and plan accordingly.

Again we heard confirmation of TAPIs desire to move into Delve. Gobbins did say that the timetable for this to happen was not exactly clear. He did state that PH would be returning home at some point, although no precise timeline was given. This marks some of the first public conversation from PH about what will follow World War Bee. Clearly, PH leadership is looking beyond the current war.

Gobbins ended by again addressing a key point of World War Bee. Goons are not going anywhere. By this, he means that the “exterminating the goons from the game” is an unrealistic fantasy that is “unwise” to hold. You cannot break a group whose identity lives outside of the game.

All in all, this was a solid Townhall that delivered the information required for action and also set expectations in the future. It starkly contrasts with alliance meetings that are built on drum banging and hollow or false rhetoric. There was spin, of course, especially in the FC segment. But that is supposed to happen in such an address, and why should their FC team not enjoy victories, either real or imagined?

PH Must Consider Post-War Plans

Obviously,  the strategic objectives of PH have been met with regard to the financial impact. The only objectives remaining are steeped heavily in pride. PH wants to make sure that the Imperium has received their message, one delivered in Delve and specifically 1DQ. Despite the prowess of PH and its immediate allies in Panfam, to assault 1DQ alone would likely be very bloody. If The Legacy does not pull its weight in these big battles, PH may well reconsider the wisdom of assaulting 1DQ. After all, such an action would only serve to advance The Legacy further, and they have already been shown to attack or delay, whichever is to their advantage and the disadvantage of their allies.

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  • Simon Chui

    An intelligent and clear-headed voice from PAPI, how refreshing! I know Gobbins mostly prefers to let his actions speak for him, but I think we need more of this to dilute the drivel, for everyone’s sake.

    On the topic of preventing the Imperium from getting too far ahead economically, I get it, but I also don’t think this war solves anything. Once Panfam leaves and Legacy are dealt with, the Imperium will rebuild. Do we plan to just do this every 5 years, mow down the tall poppies to keep the lawn even? Why don’t Panfam spend their time building up their own economy instead? And nobody has really lost titans yet. Look at the total isk lost on each side of the war, it’s not exactly catastrophic when you divide by the number of players.

    December 19, 2020 at 9:46 AM
    • William Doe Simon Chui

      Well if the original goal for PAPI was to damage the Imperium’s economy, they’ve done an OK job at it. CCP expedited that too with changes to null economy as well. If anything this may mean people who’ve resided and stayed in null basically their entire history for the Imperium may end up going to accrue wealth in low sec or high sec as null won’t be as profitable as before.

      It shows the type of leadership style and framing a message that Gobbins has compared to Vily and Piggles. Far better at phrasing the message and coming out reasonable all things considered even if you factor in the propaganda. Let’s be entirely fair, it’s Horde that basically out every coalition in the blue donut doing the most work. Add in to the fact of Horde possibly returning to raze Fountain once again while INIT is out with Stain Russians hurting TAPI in the east front of this war, we’ll see a repeat of previous events some months ago but it may just be PanFam’s last actions in the war to glass Fountain once again before going home.

      December 19, 2020 at 10:40 AM
      • Moomin Amatin William Doe

        Gobbin’s did make it clear that burning Fountain again on the way back out seems to be a waste of time. We will see what happens on that front. The one thing we do know is that at least attempts will be made on 1DQ and/or E3.

        December 19, 2020 at 11:34 AM
        • Garreth Vlox Moomin Amatin

          Personally I’m looking forward to them taking a stab at 1dq1 since a jammer there helps them not at all since we are already in system. How do they pick that fight given their “coward” style of hiding from the opposing force by use of jammers and Ihubs?

          December 19, 2020 at 11:02 PM
      • Alaric Faelen William Doe

        You are spot on with simply making isk somewhere other than null. I haven’t lost anything but ships that are replaced within a day. If that’s their idea of economic warfare, they are woefully mistaken.

        December 20, 2020 at 6:35 AM
        • We’ve lost a lot of citadels and sov-related hardware that will need to be replaced. And compared to previous years Delve productivity is in the trash can (although a massive portion of that nosedive was just general nullsec economic rebalancing).

          But yeah, on a personal level I don’t feel like my finances have been impacted by the war whatsoever. I wasn’t big into industry, and my mining hardware had already been gathering dust for a long time before this war kicked off. All I’ve really done is spur me to consolidate several years’ worth of Delve-output (PI, minerals, ice, etc) that was sitting in hangars scattered throughout the region and start selling it off to fuel the war effort. I’m more liquid than I was in past years and I lost a big chunk of value holding minerals and ice stuff when CCP nerfed mining sites and made Rorquals useless, but I don’t think much else has changed.

          December 21, 2020 at 12:16 AM
          • Guilford Australis Ganthrithor

            Delve productivity may be in the trash can, but never forget that it’s called “trash CAN,” not “trash CAN’T.” Even if we’re trash, we CAN still fix this. Somehow. Someday.

            December 21, 2020 at 1:01 AM
          • If there’s any group that can figure out how to make nullsec work, it’s our autists.

            December 21, 2020 at 9:09 AM
          • Garreth Vlox Ganthrithor

            I think the answer will work out to be several different approaches. fleet speed ratting of 40 or 50 people in PVP fits that can run several dozen sites in the time a single player could run 10 to the handle ADM issues. For actual money making though that’s going to be up to CCP, right now all the best ways to make money are not in player nullsec, with the exception of the odd null incursion. So unless CCP gets around to adding all those carrots them promised people will be getting their isk in either highsec, WH space or through abyssals with the most scalable opportunity being WH space.

            December 23, 2020 at 9:18 PM
      • Yeah nullsec has definitely lost its luster. I’ve been doing some PvE stuff the last couple of weeks for ADM purposes and it’s really bleak just how little money there is to be made doing any kind of productive activity. I make exponentially more off of looting now than I could possibly make off of doing PvE with four accounts.

        December 21, 2020 at 12:18 AM
  • Alaric Faelen

    I give Horde credit for actually fighting. Beats the hell out of what TEST has done in this war.
    But the obsession with limiting losses is total bullshit. They have (mostly) uncontested ratting and mining while GSF is on the defensive. They have been botting in the north and are just as wealthy as Goons but with the ability to have infinite replacements.

    PAPI in general is simply afraid of large scale fights. GSF wins as many as they lose and apparently– their members can’t handle losses while Goons simply don’t care.
    That’s why they are so afraid to attack Keeps. Their leadership has zero confidence in their line members to maintain a war where that they actually lose ships or fight 10 hour TiDi slogs.
    It really speaks to how the leadership in Horde views their members’ willingness to bleed for victory. All I see is a lack of confidence in their members. They know full well the moment they commit to attacking keepstars, their numbers are going to plummet as people simply refuse to fleet up for it.
    In their defense- it will be horrible. I don’t look forward to it either. But I’m willing to die in a fire over and over until my wallet is empty- which will take a LONG time to happen. Doesn’t seem PAPI has the intestinal fortitude to do the same.

    December 20, 2020 at 6:33 AM
    • Blame it on a combination of old BoB killboard-stat-based elitism and their summer-children new recruits: neither demographic wants to do this kind of thing. The old guys are obsessed with looking good, the new guys have no attention span and just want everything to be easy and “fun.”

      December 21, 2020 at 12:05 AM
      • Garreth Vlox Ganthrithor

        “The old guys are obsessed with looking good, the new guys have no attention span and just want everything to be easy and “fun.”

        And neither of those mentalities lend themselves to feeding a trillion in ships per station timer, 3 times per keep.

        At the rate they are going they are getting about 2 uncontested keeps per month. We still have over 45 keeps up total, remove the 2 in e3oi and the 5 in 1dq1 and you get 38 keeps, at PAPI’s current pace they are looking at 18 MORE MONTHS of uncontested keep grinds before they hit the point they can no longer avoid fighting on a contested grid.

        As much trouble as they seem to be having right now forming with rage pinging 2 dozen times for numbers I can’t imagine many of their people are willing to spend the next year and a half fighting over sov timers and bashing uncontested keeps just to get to the finish line of 7 gunned super and titan defended keeps surrounded by dozens of gunned forts which would result in 21 “feedstar” style fights.

        December 23, 2020 at 8:59 PM