Double the Fronts Double the Content…right?
Remember how we said NCPL just let Fountain fall? Here’s one of the consequences. Imperium forces had a highway going from Delve through Fountain to the north allowing them to carry out quite the successful campaign last year. They tenderized the north with a massive harassment campaign through their SIGs and Initiative. When the time came for Goonswarm proper to fully deploy, Darkness and their coalition were already exhausted. Sure NCPL made a show of force and fought against the Imperium but they did so within the context of a previous strategic mistake in Fountain. To make matters worse, they divided their energy fighting the Imperium but also against TEST and Legacy in the south. The war in the south was not relevant to NCPL’s strategic needs. In fact, even as a best case scenario, if they managed to collapse Legacy and TEST, the remnants would simply merge into the Imperium. The northern front did matter and in the end we saw Imperium forces press favorable peace terms.
“B-but muh content…two fronts is twice the content!”
This is the mentality people who only think on a short term tactical and not a long term strategic level think and say. The better option would have been to focus up north or at most send a detachment to hit Imperium assets in lowsec, or even hitting logistical structures in Fountain. But since NCPL wanted the “content” of F1 mashing against TEST, now they get to enjoy the “content” of losing space. But I’m getting ahead of myself here.
Venal Concerns and Half Measures
In the last quarter of 2018, a conflict of sorts developed in Venal between Black Legion and the local residents. Black Legion’s modus operandi as led by Elo Knight was to hit just about anything that moves. This included Ranger Regiment in Tenal as well as Darkness/GOTG in Branch and Dek. There was no real strategic calculation on the matter. However Gobbins, leader of Pandemic Horde, had been less than happy with Sort Dragon and his coalition bending the knee to the Imperium. Combining Pandemic Horde’s numbers with Black Legion’s capabilities, the duo handed Darkness/GOTG and Ranger Regiment a number of defeats. Some rumors/speculations say the goal was to install the Circle-of-Two remnant in the north as a reliable anti-Imperium entity. Whatever the reasoning NCdot and PL were uninterested and uninvolved in such matters busying themselves with other distractions. Fast forward to a few months ago, Sort’s Darkness led coalition is working in parallel with the Imperium against NCPL. They just ignored Sort and figured “Yeah…this will totally be fine. No need to address this issue.”
Nobody can accuse me of being “pro-Goon” but having watched the nullsec meta for nearly a decade I can say Goons actually have some kind of long term strategy. Is it well planned and refined by some puppet master pulling all the strings? Yeah right. But they still have some kind of idea as to what they want to do. As noted above, a large part of Goon success is the strategic weakness of their prime counterpart and rival, NCPL. Long term strategies require one to have the ability to defer gratification. This is also a sign of intelligence over all. In any case NCPL never really needed to exercise this method prior to Skill Injectors and capital proliferation. They could simply rely on having bigger better toys that only their veteran pilots could fly. With the game shifting to favor PvE oriented alliances, NCPL needs a new way to approach things. Faceplanting and then saying “lol at least it’s content” Doomchinchilla style will lead NCPL to ruin. “It’s just content m8” is not going to be good enough unless you’re trying to be a shadow of your former shadow.
PL’s membership has had a huge shake up in the past few years losing some key corps and people in the process. Losing Doom was probably a net positive but it’s uncertain if Hedliner will lead the alliance in a better direction. For NCdot the leadership table was always quite small and the doors to it locked. I got a sense that the leadership wasn’t interested in the game or the alliance, but felt like they already invested so much time and effort they had to continue playing their role in NCdot. This had the effect of producing a leadership style that basically hated to play Eve but didn’t want to give up what they had accomplished. They’re too disinterested to make good strategic decisions but also won’t step aside and let anyone else take the lead. The day Eve shuts down or NCdot dies will be the happiest day in Vince Draken’s life.
This concludes part 3 of the series. Part 4 should be out soon.