Just some catch up on things from The Casino War this week, most of which I missed.
Black Thursday in UMI-KK
The Moneybadgers invested a good deal of time and effort after the betrayal at M-OEE8 reinforcing systems in Fade and Pure Blind which all came out in a great mass during Euro time on Thursday.
The foe prosecuted those timers in force and, as has become the norm in the last week, The Imperium was heavily out numbered. In the face of that, the closer an objective was to our staging system, the more likely it was to get a fleet out to help it.
Unfortunately for TNT, systems in Tribute were also under attack including our capital system of UMI-KK. We were easily the furthest from Saranen. Still, our allies managed to scrape together an interceptor fleet to help us fend off the assault, leaving us only out numbered on the field by about 10 to 1.
While the hostiles didn’t get everything they came for, they killed the ihub in UMI-KK and freeported the station. In addition we lost three TCUs, which is what changes the ownership on the map, and had a station freeported in Pure Blind.
CCP, getting in on the war to promote the game, included the battle in an episode of The Scope.
We were given notice by TNT leadership to pull non-essential items out if we could, but to otherwise have alliance specific doctrines and entosis ships ready to go in the region. I had the foresight to jump my carrier out just the night before, since it was in a front-line system. Meanwhile the enemy camp of UMI-KK has been sporadic at best so I was able to fly out four ships to our back up staging station and three more all the way back to Saranen.
The next timer for UMI-KK comes up later today. We shall see what becomes of our capital.
State of the Goonion and VFK-IV by Next Week Maybe?
Yesterday was April Fools, and I couldn’t tell if it was an auspicious time for a State of the Goonion. As noted in the episode of The Scope above, people were waiting to hear what The Mittani had to say. (Also, they included a nice little “more info” button on the video.)
The Mittani’s speech… and I like to picture him in my mind just as The Scope illustrated him using his in-game avatar… was short, coming in at under eight minutes. War is no time for bloviation. (I’m sure it is up on SoundCloud somewhere by now. I watched the replay on their Twitch channel, where the speech doesn’t actually start until 8 minutes into the recording.)
Most of what he said was unsurprising. A change of tactics to deal with the unfavorable odds we face in nearly every fight. A return to the Megathrons of Baltec Fleet. Siege bombers to attack enemy infrastructure. Clouds of interceptors to harass when we are out numbered. A couple new allies to help us out.
And then something of a bomb shell.
The Imperium would not be defending VFK-IV. We haven’t staged out of VFK for ages, nobody lives there (so the ADM isn’t great), and so we wouldn’t be expending effort to salvage a system that is little more than a symbol.
VFK has been a rallying cry since the anti-Goon headshot attempt back in 2011 and reached meme status when “VFK by February!” became the shorthand slogan for the White Noise pronouncement that they would clear Deklein of Goons. And the allure of the system is such that I wasn’t sure we could make that message stick. Talvorian Dex wrote a long piece on his blog about the importance of VFK as a symbol, likening it to Stalingrad in the comments. (The station there used to be named “Mittanengrad” until it was renamed to honor Sean Smith/Vile Rat.)
Instead of VFK, The Imperium would be headed to UQ9-3C in Branch to defend the staging system of our allies in the north. Oh, and we are already on the way there.
That turned into a huge brawl, but only after the ihub had been saved. The enemy had to slog all the way up there, then fight through tidi to come to grips with us. They managed to freeport the station, which was a blow, but we still have access to everything of ours in it and they have to come back again if they want to finish the job.
And, while our foes were locked in that tidi morass, VFK-IV came out of its reinforced state and was saved in what was essentially a non-event. If the Jabber info was correct… I was at work when this happened… only MOA showed up in any force to assail the system, and they were chased off almost immediately. As I noted yesterday, MOA can take systems… so long as they have a thousand allies flying cover in the area. Alone, not so much.
So maybe next time.
Circle of Traitors
Yesterday saw the release in the Goonfleet forums of a 99 page document consisting of diplomatic chat logs between GSF/Imperium diplomats and Circle of Two and some annotation by Sion Kumitomo, chief of the diplomatic service of The Imperium. It covers the arc of the relationship from CO2 coming to the CFC, hat in hand, looking for a home for its 300 pilots, grateful for any help, through much incompetence (one of their officers was systematically robbing them blind), to a feeling that the alliance deserved more than they were getting and demanding that be changed.
In what must be no surprise to anybody at this point, the document is already up on Reddit. The reaction there is predictable. Sion, already hated, is accused, by turns, of making it all up, of selectively editing, and of being a horrible obsessive for even keeping chat logs of diplomatic interactions with other alliances. The whole document is too long and I doubt most of the comment authors read more than a paragraph. The whole thing will be denounced and dismissed.
Which is fine. This document wasn’t for them. It was for us.
If you have no context, you can spin it however you want. If you lived in the coalition for the last few years, much of what is in that document will link up to events that happened at the time and the behavior of CO2. Things like bad participation in coalition wars, provoking our neighbors in contravention of agreements made, complaining when others do exactly what they did (like recruiting ITAI from another alliance), and generally being dicks to my alliance, TNT, demanding our space from the coalition.
Goons, despite their espousal of a Realpolitik philosophy at times, have their own sense of honor. They can look past enemies of the moment and work with them when the situation is right. They keep their agreements. And they remember when people betray them.
Goons have a frenemy relationship with Pandemic Legion. Despite him being a long time foe, they can work with Elo Knight. Despite some of the acrimony of the Fountain War, they didn’t go hunt TEST to extinction, or even go out of their way to attack them afterwards, save for a couple of Reavers deployments for good fights. Despite the rhetoric at times, it generally doesn’t get personal… unless you betray them.
This document was to lay down the reasons why the war against CO2 is now a forever war, how CO2 were helped, given chance after chance, with bad behavior overlooked, and, while the alliance was spending enormous amounts of time and ISK to defend them they chose to betray the coalition. The only question is really why we didn’t kick them a year ago.
It doesn’t matter what happens in the broader war at this point. If the Imperium is swept from its null sec holdings and has to evac to low sec, if the super capital fleet is lost, if other allies defect and we have to all hide in a system in the far end of Feythabolis under Russian protection, Goons will still take time to go out of their way to hit CO2 no matter where they live.
The document ends with the the following:
Best possible friends. Worst possible enemies.
And they mean it.