Header art by Cryo Huren
Wow, what a weekend it has been.
PAPI member alliances Pandemic Horde (PH), Brave, and Test Alliance Please Ignore (TAPI) all held alliance meetings the weekend of April 24-25. I will summarize the key points, as there are over four hours of recordings involved. I do encourage you to listen to them, especially if you fear “spin.”
This has been very well covered by INN. The most important takeaway is that the big 1DQ battle, that everyone was expecting, is probably not going to happen. Gobbins, the leader of PH, also stated that there would be another PH Townhall prior to attacking 1DQ. To read some of the discussion of that strategy, you can find it on this reddit site.
This update was very similar to the PH Townhall. Dunk Dinkle focused on this current “phase” of the war being “the slow blade [that] will penetrate the shield” of the Imperium. As with the PH meeting, the expectations of a grand battle in 1DQ were dismissed. No such battle is likely to take place. Dinkle then noted that Brave is doing great and victory is all but assured. Dinkle did have an interesting segment regarding honesty, in which he made some statements about the “spin” coming from the Imperium. The obligatory reddit posts came in rapidly, showing, as always, truth is in the eye of the beholder.
Of the three, the TAPI presentation was the least clear cut, perhaps because their two main leaders – Progodlegend (PGL) and Vily – don’t always agree. Progodlegend, military director of Legacy, did the bulk of the talking. PGL discussed at length the ways PAPI are winning and Goons are all panicking. He also said that the war was almost done, and that the light was at the end of the tunnel. Later, Vily said the war’s end could take another eight months. It was unclear if he was clarifying PGL’s previous statement about the war being almost done, or taking exception to it.
TAPI supercapital SRP is still an issue, with titans still not being replaced from the M2-XFE battle. But PGL said that those replacements were a low priority, as they were not going to be used in the near future. PGL also noted that more carriers could be used, and that all tools have to be available.
Looking at all the leaders’ positions, we can summarize the PAPI message: 1) Don’t look for an end to the war for some months; 2) PAPI’s main strategy will be to “test” the Imperium’s response times, and eventually wear them down psychologically, hoping Goons pilots stop logging in, where PAPI’s huge advantage in numbers will then be used to eventually win a foothold in the remaining contested systems; 3) Subcaps will be used more than in the past, so don’t look for the mammoth Armageddon-type battle that sets world records and makes international headlines.
Questions Worth Asking
How many phases are there in the PAPI plan?
I’ve lost count of the phases, especially if we count move-ops as a phase. Are these plans the final phase?
Why are PAPI only now planning how to attack 1DQ1-A?
1DQ was there ten months ago, and PAPI knew they had to take 1DQ to complete their agenda. If you are in PAPI, you must truly have to hope that these plans were established long ago rather than on-the-fly. But if that pre-planning actually took place, why, at the beginning of the war, did all the leaders expect the war to be over in 6-9 months? We’re well past that mark now, and all these leaders – Gobbins, Dinkle, and Vily – state that the war could go on for many more months.
Why have the Goon numbers not dropped by 30% and more?
We can see from the Gobbins’ statement above that the key to the 1DQ assault strategy will be to hope that Goons stop forming in large numbers. I’ve never heard of such a war strategy, in games or real life, and it’s taking me a while to wrap my head around this one.
If I understand this correctly, a win for PAPI in 1DQ will not depend on anything that PAPI does. It entirely and completely rests on what Goons do or not do. Silly me – I thought strategy had to do with what the aggressor did. It’s like a heist movie: all the thieves get together and plan to rob the Louve of all its masterpieces. One guy says to the leader: “What’s the plan, boss?” And the leader says, “Well, we just wait till it’s unguarded.”
You haven’t seen that film? Me either. To the members of PAPI, I ask: are you comfortable with that? Please explain that one in the comments you love to leave and I just love reading.
Why have Goons not run away, as PGL said they were doing back in his December SOTA?
Let me remind you of what PGL said. These are his words, quoted at some length, so you can’t accuse me of spin:
“Goons don’t really have that much left, so they’re looking for other things to do. It’s looking like they’re looking for the door. Any time your main lead FC is taking his SIG and is pulling away from the war and leading 30-man fleets, instead of harassing us or doing anything to stop us from burning shit down, you know you’re kinda burned out. And that’s basically what happened. Initiative has a . . . deployment [sound muffled] in Catch. When they did that move op we went and poked Fountain a little bit and instead of even attempting to defend Fountain, which is something they spent a lot of time retaking and building the infrastructure, they pinged their guys to move their ships into NPC stations and abandoned Fountain. So, they really do not want to be involved in this war anymore. They are looking to take the next step.”
I would like to point out that the dream always seems to come back round to Goons running away or ceasing to log in. I hope you won’t mind a little scripture, with modifications: As it was in the mind of PGL, so shall it be in the mind of Gobbins. (Book of Moomin: 4:13). Will we be looking back on Gobbins’ speech in five months with the same mystification we have about that PGL statement?
Why do the PH, Brave, and TAPI war timelines all seem to contradict each other?
Three major voices all doing a war update on the same weekend clearly suggests this event was planned in advance. Since that is clear, I can’t help but wonder why they aren’t on the same page. Will this final phase of the war last a couple months, or another year? And why would that vary so widely? I guess the obvious answer is because it clearly depends on when Goons stop logging in with massive numbers, and the various PAPI leaders have a different “feel” about when log-in nausea might properly begin. Vily, the former Goon, is the least optimistic, evidently, about when Goons will just stop logging in so that his dream of living in Delve unopposed may be fulfilled. Or perhaps he has other reasons for believing the war could go another year?
PAPI members may have additional questions to ask. Why does PH say they will not use caps, but TAPI says they will? That’s a major difference, my fellow players. Please account for it in your welcomed insightful comments.
TAPI leadership said they had the largest super cache in the game; yet four months later they have not SRP’d all their supers. How do you reconcile that contradiction? If they have the titans, why don’t they just give them to those who lost them? What am I missing, PAPI people?
Will we get answers for any of these questions? Perhaps they will be deflected, derided, or ignored as “Goon spin.” Labeling a question as “spin” does not answer the question, though it’s easier for sure.
What has changed for the Imperium after the many PAPI meetings this weekend? The simple answer: nothing.
In the opening statement of World War Bee, The Mittani – leader of the Imperium – made it clear that the Imperium was vastly outnumbered and would be on the back foot. Here is the original statement from June of 2020. Please note that The Mittani concludes with “We will be outnumbered, we will lose titans, we will lose Keepstars, but no one can fight a war of annihilation quite like us – and at a fundamental level, no one enjoys it quite like we do.” There is no mention of goalposts being set. What would constitute a win, then? Survive the war of annihilation. That’s the goalpost, which has not changed.
Yes, sub-goals were created, such as trying to prevent PAPI from planting a Keepstar in Delve, and those subgoals subsequently failed, but the main goalpost has always been to avoid annihilation. PAPI failed on April 27 to destroy the armor timer of a jump bridge. Has PAPI therefore failed in their war goal? Of course not.
Adapting to changing circumstances is the hallmark of great leadership. When The Imperium sounded “The Horn of Goondor,” it was not a knee jerk reaction. It was a call to arms with a very clear objective; resist extermination by the blue donut. The Mittani made it very clear that by using the Horn of Goondor he was going “all in ” with the defense of 1DQ1-A.
Commentary: The Truthiness Challenge
A large part of the PAPI propaganda has focused on portraying everything that comes from the Imperium, and from INN specifically, as being fabricated. This is especially apparent in more recent communications from PAPI leadership.
In creating the World War Bee Summary series, I took great care to label the sources I used, noting their strengths and weaknesses, in portraying what I perceive to be the truth. All sources, such as the ones above regarding PAPI statements, have been linked so that you can hear the words spoken by PAPI leadership.
Please note: I want you to listen to Gobbins, Dunk, PGL, and Vily. Hear them and ask yourselves questions.
I have taken great care to make sure that when anyone, in the future, reads the INN reporting they will have a very fair account of World War Bee. I am only partly writing for you, the present-day reader. I’m writing for readers five years from now who look back on this event in EVE history and want to know what happened, and more importantly, why it happened. The “what” will be pretty obvious. The “why” is a more interesting question, by far, and does demand a more rigorous mind.
Regarding “truthiness,” as I already noted, that is in the eye of the beholder, but that does not mean the truth relies on pure opinion, based on nothing at all. Provide evidence – that’s what I have tried to do. I frequently point out what PAPI leaders have actually said. I then interpret it, which you are also free to do. Let’s look at a few examples:
Remember that Vily asked the Imperium to take out PanFam first. Every utterance from Legacy, if not all of PAPI, must take that fact into consideration. Any war claim must account for the fact that Legacy wanted to team with Imperium to wipe out PanFam. PAPI commenters rarely address this, or when they do, they just note that perhaps Goons should have agreed to do that. All other casus belli are meaningless without taking this statement into account. Why are we having WWB? It has nothing to do with Goons being this, that, or the other. Rather, it entirely depended upon Goons refusing to back Vily’s plan to attack PanFam. “Too big,” “causing stagnation,” etc. Those are spins of convenience because Goons said “No.”
You just need to prove me wrong on this single point to make me change my mind.
I cannot speak for all of the Imperium, but speaking only for myself, this war has been amazing so far. Some call this “just a game,” but it is more than that for many. It is a hobby, a thing to be invested in with no expectation of return other than the enjoyment you get from it. The stories every member of the Imperium has so far of World War Bee are truly epic on the gaming scene. Unlikely ever to be repeated, at least on Tranquility.
When the Horn of Goondor sounded, I rushed back into the game. Prepared everything I would need for the defence of 1DQ and stocked blackops ships in NPC Delve. I was under no delusions concerning the Imperium’s prospects. I have always planned, since September 2020, to defend 1DQ and to slow PAPI progress everywhere else as much as possible. If 1DQ is lost, then I plan to fight from NPC Delve. Seven months have since passed since I came back and I still wait to defend 1DQ. Seven months more time to move anything I wanted to move, or unanchor anything I wanted to unanchor. Seven months to find new ways to make ISK in an unforgiving null economy. Anything I lose is what I choose to lose. Just like The Mittani, and so many other Goons, I am “all in” on this one.
Winning is not currently an option for me. Until PAPI members listen to what their leaders are saying and actually look at the map, they are beyond the reach of reason. This war will last as long as PAPI leadership can convince their members that Goons have to be destroyed.
However, as ironic as it may seem, to “not lose” is a simple task for me. All I need to do is avoid extermination – and I do that by logging in, looking at my alliance ticker, and shouting in local “:CONDI:”.