It’s interesting being the token Hordeling on the INN team. I got to see a bit of both sides of the war, even though I was heavily involved with just one. With the success of my previous article regarding my opinion on the War in the North so far, it was brought to my attention that similar articles were in demand.
However, at the time of writing this article, I personally had a lot on my plate and had not participated in anything significant over the past week or so before the Imperium withdrew. Because of this, I didn’t feel I had much to add. After some discussion with another member of the INN team, I thought I’d give some questions to Horde and see what kind of answers I would get. So I sent the following ping (after checking with Gobbins).
I apparently was not ready for a number of responses I got. I posted the above ping and ran some errands. When I got home, my discord was full of new private messages with everyone, from FCs to regular line members, wanting to give their perspectives. It makes me laugh at how much I did not think that through! In hindsight, I probably should have done some kind of survey tool, but it didn’t occur to me.
I would like to thank everyone who responded, and it was interesting to hear a wide variety of perspectives even from my own side of this conflict. I will list the question in the title of the section and then provide the various corresponding responses along with who gave them. I am eager to share the responses, even if it is a bit out-of-date now. Here are the answers to my survey, in no particular order.
What has your general opinion been of the war/goons encroaching on the north? Or Perimeter?
“I am happy for the conflict. It’s nice to fight against larger fleets instead of the normal small gang roaming.”– Zierk
“It’s definitely been nice to have somebody willing to go and throw away isk in the name of content. Propaganda or reasons be damned, what is the point in krabbing for months if you aren’t going to put your neck on the line and use it? The initial strategy was good imo, choosing to invade when the North wasn’t home. It’s a shame Test went home, if they had pulled GoTG or somebody else elsewhere while Goons were fighting, maybe things might have gone differently.” – Alcoholic Satan, Horde FC
“Goons look at any criticism that it must be biased, because they were GOONS and not because they were, in fact, making blatant mistakes. A lot of this is the blind trust that they have in their leadership, that what may seem like an extremely poor decision MUST have some deeper meaning that they aren’t privy to, but they trust it must be there. In regards to the goons deployment their main issue but at the same time the only thing preventing them from utter humiliation was a clear lack of defined objectives. They had some small token victories (Or at least defeats they were able to spin that they weren’t trying to win anyway and were instead doing something else) but in reality it was reminiscent of goons when they were in sarannen, they will withdraw after accomplishing nothing but claim mission accomplished. The first failing was in regards to the doctrines they brought and the intended purpose OF them. They revolved entirely around fighting on HOSTILE citadel grids which only really happened twice outside of hisec, they initial reinforced a sotiyo two separate times, but besides that they only real citadel fights were their own, when they were attempting to anchor fortizars/astrahus. Armor canes with 3 CCC rigs and armor phoons are very poor doctrines to accomplish anything besides structure bashing under cap pressure, of which nothing happened. Jackdaws were capable however with the easy counter of ferox’s or even caracals those too turned into a poor doctrine that traded out EXTREMELY poorly for anything they engaged.
The second is that there was just no clear objective to fight for, if you ask 10 goons what the deployment intended to accomplish you probably would get 11 answers. Vague objectives will not result in a victory, Test had the same lesson after their deployment/subsequent withdrawal. The narrative of “revenge” quickly turned into “Gudfites” and then “We are leaving but not because we were unsuccessful!”. To an extent your objectives DO need to be obscured because you don’t want hostile forces to realize what your plan is and make it harder for you to accomplish, however this has gone beyond that. When the two above points are brought up, goon forces will reply with “Well at least we are generating content! you should be thanking us! At least we aren’t just sitting and being risk-averse etc.” or various other versions of those phrases. To an extent they are correct, in that yes content is always good but at the same time, content for content’s sake is better suited for a random roam, or a drunk fleet, trying to build a war out of it is as unsuccessful as goons have shown. When I regularly have to remind myself that we are actually at war, that just makes me feel bad in regards to goons, because at the end of the day we are all people just playing a game, but the best claim to victory they have in the conflict is ‘Already replaced'”
– Vesica Ira, Horde FC
“I’ve enjoyed the war so far, it’s allowed us to go into Delve and get some dank frags. When goons have been holed up at home, they just spam titans on everything and that’s not very fun. As far as encroaching on the north or perimeter, I haven’t noticed it having any effect aside from scoring us some goodfights and a lot of blue balls.” – Cesaro
“It feels like we’re winning this war, but the goon line are also enjoying the content. I’ve killed tons of jackdaws lately, but they’ve caught me ratting more than once.” – Calvin Rosseau
“Free content? It’s more entertaining than shooting rats and I don’t think anyone can say they dont enjoy some good shittalking in local in the downtime.” – Raeline Alnora
“Nobody can deny that Goons have provided content, so I won’t talk so much about that. Wars are good. I wasn’t too surprised to hear of a war breaking out though because tensions had been ramping up for some time now. Lots of grr goons and grr horde on both sides. As for Perimeter, while many here are playing the loss down, including Gobbins. It was indeed a loss. Remember, I heard a speech from the Mittani about “attacking from a place of invulnerability,” so the Perimeter attack reinforced that narrative as they constantly bombarded us and kept re-shipping. It will definitely serve as a morale boost for our enemies. Attacking our highsec trade hub was a good way to mix things up, since we’ve been priding ourselves as dominating highsec trade through mafia tactics. It IS true that Goons lost way more in the fight than we did, their whole battleship fleet was wiped out and their FC’s were headshot. But they achieved the objective anyway. It’s a costly victory, but it is a symbolic victory for them nonetheless.” – Johnathan E
“Goons were nice enough to bring their content closer to home for us. Now if only they take the final step and commit their caps, so we can get the big killmails and they can go back to krabbing and mining.” – Harris Grekos
“I’ve played since before the fountain war. Fought in the fountain war and was there at the beginning of wwb, the viceroy disaster. Then the goons were something you whispered about. Never said in local Jita for fear you may catch their gaze. Fountain war they were unstoppable. Lowsec Volta we proved that a lie. We continued to prove that a lie throughout wwb. Clever yes, invincible no. Now they spin rightfully so that they have allowed themselves to become less than expected and may be needed in eve. I hope they learned and skilled many fc so they can bring to bare what we all really hoped would happen this time.” – Testament81
What’s your opinion on the Goon’s spinning the war as a win so far?
“Doesn’t matter where you are or what corp/alliance you’re in, everyone has a flavor of Coolaid to drink. What matters is if you decide to drink it or not. Propaganda and morale does win wars though, so whatever keeps their members fleeting up.” – Alcoholic Satan
“It’s kind of scummy, spinning fights to make it seem to the average line member like you are winning, but it can be effective and I guess “dirty war” applies to lying to your line members.” – Tyrion Lannester
“They are actually trying to spin the war as a win? Lulz.” – Cesaro
“It’s only natural for their leadership to speak positively at all times. I wouldn’t say that they’re technically wrong about achieving content, but the battle reports don’t lie.” – Calvin Rosseau
“I’ve seen pulsars with less of a spin. No matter what happens, Goons always win, according to plan, while their enemy does exactly what they wanted.” – Harris Grekos
“I honestly am still not sure I believe that Goons are serious when they spin this expedition as a win. That’s certainly not consistent with the SOTG message from less than a month ago. The only bit of truth to the idea it was a win is that Syndicate was abandoned but that honestly had been set up to happen before the war even began, that was a pretty isolated fight between INIT and NC. that has been going on for months. This seems just like something to help pull people back at the end of the summer, some fleets and whatnot for content but I can’t honestly believe that the Goons were serious about accomplishing any strategic objective up here. If they were serious, they’d have brought supers, if they couldn’t properly defend Delve while also bringing Supers north then they should wait a few more months, mine a few trillion ISK and then try it again without having already tried once and failed. Once the pressure comes off, and it will because the spin only keeps up morale for so long when you continue to not make any strategic progress for weeks, Syndicate will be re-examined, who knows, with the moon mining changes the whole rental concept may be reimagined or maybe there will be a content drought that makes retaking a bunch of moons worth it.” – Laurifer Verum
“Seems pretty typical for Goons.” – Zierk
“Honestly it’s pretty fun to read their propaganda and pick apart the inconsistencies. Much like what happens in real life, both sides stretch the truth so it’s almost like watching a minor war of attrition while fighting the actual war.” – Raeline Alnora
“The War is not a win for Goons so far if we’re talking about losses and the shedding of salty tears, and I think anyone with an objective mindset can see that. Both sides spin their stories with propaganda. The losing side just has to spin more than the winning side does. The way I see it. The Goons still have a chance to “win”, but only if they stop being obvious with their strategies. If I could push a propaganda narrative, then the narrative would be that Goons are shit at fighting “dirty wars” and they are shit at being sneaky.” – Johnathan E
“Throughout each major strategic victory PanFam has made, I held in the back of my mind that the goon leadership is probably not stupid and knew they would lose many of these battles, if not all of them, beforehand. The large set piece battles and the drawn out campaign over establishing a foothold in the north by peppering citadels everywhere could be a diversion or part of some larger plan. I just found it hard to believe that they thought they had any chance of a meaningful victory in any of these scenarios. However, as the war has gone on I have become more confident that they really are this stupid by the lack of what looked like a coherent strategy and statements they have made regarding the war. They took some moons while they were getting helldunked multiple times. Moons that unless they can hold for well over a year (possibly multiple years), won’t make back the isk they lost in the supposed diversions they made to obtain them. Also, the moon mining changes are right around the corner and these moons will likely be worthless after that. The fact that they really believe their spinning does anything other than make them look like they are grasping for straws boggles my mind. When I read them now I just sigh, shake my head, and move on. It doesn’t bother me, it’s just really just sad. I was hoping for a better opponent. Maybe things would be different if Init spearheaded the Imperium.” – Troubadour, Vet & Horde FC
What have you learned about yourself or horde so far in the past few weeks? (assuming you’ve been in the Strat ops)
“I’ve learned that time dilation SUCKS.” – Cesaro
“Not much really, just another day in Horde. We get the pings, we fleet up and roll out to shoot things.” – Alcoholic Satan
“I’ve learned that there are a lot of opportunities to shine in large fleets past being an f1 monkey, as well as the joy of flying logi.” – Calvin Rosseau
“I’m new to nullsec, but I am loving it. Horde is hungry.” –Zierk
“Horde is maturing. People have been actively fighting in serious fleetops ever since WWB started, which means people are getting experienced, learn tactics, have less questions, are more disciplined and ultimately, have more fun. That doesn’t mean we’re less of a newbean corp now than before. Just that we’re getting better at it.” – Harris Grekos
“I haven’t been on many strat ops admittedly, but the war sparked some interesting occurrences, namely the “infestation” of Delve. If the push for more roams never happened I’d never have learned I actually really enjoy taking out fleets as an amateur fc.” – Raeline Alnora
“I’ve learned that being in strat-ops, you have to learn when to think for yourself and when to do what the FC says. Generally, I’ve learned that a disciplined fleet does what the FC says regardless if it’s a bad idea. At the same time, you have to know when it’s time to make your own decision. After all, the ship you are flying is yours and was bought with your money(at least in my case). During the Perimeter fight, E-War was our greatest enemy. We also were told to neut out logi, so you have to balance all of these and make sure your capacitor is staying up. Sometimes I would lag out, the first thing I did if I got disconnected was warp to a ping and back to the main bulk of the fleet so I wouldn’t become a straggler.” – Johnathan E
“I haven’t been in a war that I’ve had myself invested in for a long time in eve. Winning is important, but they are also about endurance. Helldunking during the first few battles won’t mean much if the war goes on, people get bored, and fleet numbers suffer a week or a few later. So far, it looks like goons have been suffering from fatigue far more than us.” – Troubadour
“The fight in Perimeter actually took me from being mostly green to being mostly red on zkill, showing me that I can actually turn myself around if I ever decide to go into PvP consistently. It also reaffirmed my confidence in Horde FCing and leadership – the op was about as well handled as it could be, considering that we were pretty thoroughly outnumbered. Even if we couldn’t save the Fort, we did pretty well.” – Estrella Escatore
Have you been having fun? Is there a favorite memory from the fleet that you would like to share?
“Yes! Last night/this morning (8/21) was the best memory yet. It was the structure timer on our Perimeter Fort and Goons kept reshipping and reshipping. We killed the same dudes 4+ times. I feel like maybe if we had brought mass ECM instead of mass Scan Res Damps, the fight would’ve gone differently, but who knows. It was definitely a nail biter. There were a few times, even when structure had hit 7% that we thought we were going to save it, then they just kept ticking away at it with logi drones, and even brought in a reinforcement Cane fleet.” – Alcoholic Satan
“Bashing astras and a claw fleet warps to 0 with aggression timers. Like shooting fish in a barrel.” –Tyrion Lannester
“Absolutely. Favorite memory so far is dumpstering a new Nyx pilot down in Delve alongside PL. I’ve also gotten more kills this month than any other month in Eve so far, and the month is still young! Also, if you use my quotes – you must include ‘Daemon Belial is gaypwnd’ somewhere in the article.” – Cesaro
“Being part of my first fleet op in a response fleet in the X5 battle last weekend flying a NBI – Tackle merlin and managing to point and Web Hudders before being gloriously destroyed after lasting way longer than I thought I would. My pod even made it home safely to the Krabstar.” – Ajani Isayeki
“Well, the war has been fun! My KB has exploded. Strat ops are awesome and Fielding the largest BS sub cap group on the first timer was amazing to be a part of even though I’m just logi XD. It has been a lot of fun shooting them! My favorite memory was picking up a Blue loot from a goon ship after we popped a Cane fleet of theirs that was worth 40mil and then selling it in Jita to pay for all my losses so far from the war!” – Legacy Chonis, Horde FC
“It has been an absolute blast. Easily the top highlight was the cap brawl just the other day, it was my first time seeing something like that even having been at M-O.” – Calvin Rosseau
“It has been tons of fun, the fleets with Capri and KillahBee were the best!! They have so much knowledge and make fleets so much fun and the fact we dunked goons made it even better. I almost don’t want this war to end so we can have more of these fleets with these two fine FC’s. Favorite moments, sitting at the station in Hakonen dunking goons and getting bridged home by a Molok!” – Andre Naskingar
“The War has been fun overall, the fights are great and I have gained comradery with my fellow Hordelings by fighting with them. War makes the bond between yourself and your alliance greater. I’m sure the same is true for Goons” – Johnathan E
“Leading beans to hit secondary objectives during Hakonen pt.2. We managed to take a few citadels down and still get to Hakonen in time for last hits on the fort. The beans had a lot of fun despite it being rather unglamorous work because they felt like they were an important part of a bigger plan. I know the goon plan is to try and fatigue us with citadel spam, but I don’t think they understand that hordlings will stay up late and even skip work to bash structures down if they are owned by goons. Goons really underestimate how motivated horde is by the prospect of inflicting blows on them and the fact we are in a war defending our space amplifies that.” – Troubadour
“To be honest, the “goon invasion” doesn’t really have good memories. Most of the time they run away as soon as the odds seem to balance up. The last “gudfite” we had was in Perimeter, for our citadel’s armor timer. Machs against phoons, we started with a short range fit, and started bleeding ships immediately. Now, THERE comes the difference from almost 2 years of Horde experience. The FC (I think it was Steadyo there) disengaged, swapped our doctrine to long range and we pummeled them to an almost even loss ratio. Still they got the timer (which they considered a huge victory). Now, if you are asking about a favorite memory from the last year, I’d put our double bombing run in Provi, under Storm Delay, right on the pedestal. Storm positioned us perfectly, people were flying with gusto, Abaddons and Maels killmails kept coming and coming… a fantastic piece of work!” – Harris Grekos
While I may hold different opinions to some that have been shared here, I know I enjoyed hearing so many points of view. I have to admit: the answers to the fourth question have been my favorite. While the war may be over, these raw responses present an interesting perspective. Thank you again to everyone who gave their two ISK!