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.