I have written a handful of opinion pieces through my time playing Eve and most have been battle reports or on the subject of Eve politics and whatever trends may be in play. Although I would not claim myself to be prophetic in any sense of the word, I did predict several key events 14 months ago in this article.
I’ll just make a quick run down on the predictions:
1. An invasion of the North.
Goons did indeed invade the North and placed themselves at the helm of the old Northern Coalition. Those of you who do not know, many of the people from the old Northern Coalition (NOTDOT) are still there. They simply traded who the lead was. This will be important later in the article.
2. An invasion of Delve
Happened, Twice. First with the “freeport invasion”, and secondly with the kicking out of Nulli and the escalation to war against AAA.
3. The olive branch.
Happened several times and I can’t help but smirk knowing that 4S Corp is within the CFC… Vi lukav Srpske. Vuk Lau may be a more patient Milos Obilic.
Point 4 could more or less be lumped in with the other three.
First off I need to dispel any notion of bias concerning the subject of the article due to how easily some people get flared up. I fly with a corp that deals in small gang PVP. We like flying SBs and within the last six months we’ve bombed and harassed CFC, HBC, NCdot, AAA and various allies of all those groups. We operate under NPSI (Not Purple Shoot It). I’m as impartial as they get while still involved in 0.0.
So now to the heart of the article. This will be an opinion piece and analyses of the CFC Invasion of Tribute, The Mittani, the use of propaganda and other various tactics. Aside from enjoying Eve for the pvp sake, I also like to dabble in a bit of history and sociology, figuring out what happened and then why and why it keeps happening or why it ceases. As a point of analyses, I find The Mittani to be quite a fascinating entity. I’m not being a fanboy here I am simply working with what I see. Mr. Vee, Elo Knight may be a great FCs, Shadoo is also respected in that sense along with fulfilling a Henry Kissinger-on-speed archetype, Makalu yells, welps T3 fleets and has long boring stories about how amazing he was/is, but beyond that I do not know all that much. Some may take that as a sign of weakness while others may accuse me of attempting some sort of false Socratic humility. The truth falls somewhere in the middle. The point is, if The Mittani has any talent concerning the subject of Eve, it is making himself heard.
By the way, I don’t buy into this whole concept of “The Mitens vs Alex Gianturco” as the former being an in game persona while the latter being the real person, kind and well spoken twenty/thirty something year old. If by “my in game persona” vs “the real me” one means “the crap I feel safe saying behind a computer monitor” vs “oh wow I better watch my mouth in the real world, that guy can probably rid me of any possible concern that I would have too many teeth in my mouth”, then yes, that is a divide I can respect. And everyone’s level of risk aversion changes depending on if we are behind a monitor or in person, be they sad lonely fat neckbeard loser by day, devil-may-care firebrand by night or the most badass army veteran that plays Eve out there. There are different risks each of us takes in game, that we would not make out of game, so in that sense I am not faulting The Mittani in anyway that I wouldn’t fault anyone else.
Perhaps one of the most prevalent memories I have concerning Mittani, would be when he had his interview/debate via voice concerning the CSM with Riverini and whoever else was there to moderate it. I don’t think I listened to the whole thing but I remember in one instance when they were both being asked questions and Mittani had the chance to ask Riverini something. He asked him an impossible question at the time. “How would you fix the bounty system.” This is the sort of question you ask to make sure the other person fails, and to which there was no answer to. Of course Riverini tried the best he could but fell short of solving the issue. However, when Riverini flipped the question back on him, Mittani simply ignored the question and began on some other subject. I remember sitting back and thinking “Yeah, this guy is a politician.” As an e-politician, propagandist and self admitted student of Sun Tzu’s Art of War, it is important to know how the guy views himself, and from that we can and understand with reasonable accuracy some of the actions taken.
The most recent propaganda offensive by The Mittani, has been this concept of “all the NCDOT can say is that we’re not winning fast enough. Elo, Elo Elo.” The backdrop to all of this is of course the events of the past few months. With NCdot’s betrayal of OTEC (or the other way around, depending of who you ask) their eviction order by the CFC was set in motion. For the most part the CFC has been successful, as far as taking objectives has been. They had a large showing for pretty much all Timezones and easily outnumbered Dotbro coalition. UMI-KK went to the CFC after some pull and push spanning several timers across the north. The momentum that once carried CFC seems to have slowed down however, and that’s indicative of several important things.
CFC is more prone to get tired than DOT Bros.
They’re not used to a big stand up war. When was the last time the CFC fought an opponent that actually put up resistance? Can anyone name them? Whitenoise? Invasion(s) of Delve? Burn Jita and the Ice ganking campaigns were more challenging than any of those. CFC rolled over their minuscule opponents and beat their chest over an already dying corpse. That is not to say that there is no talent in what The Mittani did. He polarized elements within the old Northern Coalition to his side as their war against the DRF went from bad to worse, and essentially used the Russians to perform a coup. In come the Goons, pick up whatever pieces are left and eventually expels most of the DRF invaders installing himself the leader’s cozy seat. Now was all this planned? Probably not. Did he know how to profit from the events regardless? Obviously. Anyway…
CFC, specifically Goons, do not have the appetite for war that the Dotbros do.
Don’t get me wrong, there are elements within the CFC that are highly PVP oriented. But by far the rank and file CFC member is not. I’m not saying that as an insult, but simply as a matter of fact. The CFC’s strength is their numbers. Now people can complain all they want about blobbing, this and that, but that is part of the game. If Eve is meant to be a kick in the teeth that is more “realistic war” then of course being outnumbered is a regular part of that. Simply complaining about numbers will never get anyone anything be they Dotbros or SoCo.
By all means if your enemy outnumbers you, whining about it is about as stupid as the Wehrmacht complaining about getting “blobbed” on the eastern front or during D-Day. The CFC have a spectacular logistical engine and the level of organization and complexity would rival many things you would see outside of Eve.
They have put their numbers to great use, but even so the Dotbros are still getting victories and slowing down the CFC invasion. The fact of the matter is that everyone expects NCDOT and their allies to lose this war. Some thought they would fold in a couple of weeks, some think it will be months later, the point is that the war is lost for them eventually. This of course may be true but I wouldn’t say it is a sure thing. The fact that The Mittani came out full blast to address something like “not winning fast enough” shows that he sees this as a threat on some level, perhaps he would not admit it, not even to himself, but actions speak louder than words.
Not Wanting to Win Anyways
And that brings us to the heart of the article. How Not Winning Fast Enough translates into Losing Slowly. Think about that for a bit. Let it conjure up – God Forbid – the Japanese Invasion of China, Vietnam, Afghanistan (Soviet and US invasions) and of course Iraq. Prolonged wars is not profitable even if everyone is “in it for gudfites.”. Yes, I know EVE is a game, but given its uniques traits, it often mimics real life analogies. Short quick decisive victories like what the CFC is generally used to, gives them an air of invincibility. The fact that Dotbros have been the only ones willing to stood up and actually put a decent fight, has changed that notion. Stupid losses of supercaps and failures to gain any vital ground by CFC is wearing on their morale and their excuse of “Didn’t want that anyway” is really no different than when Vince Draken stated that he “didn’t want that tech anyway.” It’s non sense on both sides. One can say it is not a matter of isk but I really don’t believe that, and even if it were, there is also the issue of “the principle.” Both propaganda machines try to curb the effect of their enemies while maximizing their successes. The CFC failure in H-W… an important system to NCdot was a failure. However, the CFC did gain PNDN and they try to play it up, even though PNDN is not all that relevant to begin with.
A Difference of Goals
But why is a long war bad for CFC and not bad for Dotbros? Because the latter has different goals they need to accomplish in order to be successful. CFC can take the territory, but DOT Bros only need to win fights to show their opponents weakness. Any loss DOT Bros have is easily attributed in the eyes of “the public” to blobbing. Any victory Dotbros have is a work of great leadership and talent. The bottom line is, a Dotbros victories are worth more than CFC ones. The CFC can push on and take territory, but they do it at the cost of many more ships using outdated doctrines and providing morale boosting kills for Dotbros. In essense, as long as Dotbros still want to fight, the CFC is slowly still losing.
Pilot for pilot, Dotbros pilots are a somewhat better. This is due to various factors. Skillpoints don’t tell the whole story but it is still a factor. Perhaps it’s simply that Goon pilots have grown too accustomed to being unchallenged and have a bad case of atrophy while Dotbros routinely engage in more challenging fights. The Goon doctrine is also outdated and there doesn’t seem to be a remedy for this in sight. Goons know this, Dotbros know this… the question is, do the other entities within the CFC realize this which brings me to my next point to consider…
Imagine the CFC without Goons.
That’s right, keep everything within the CFC except Goons. And then replace that with… how about Dotbros, and do a little bit of territory redistribution. Now compare those two possibilities as if they were two entities that could exist at the same time. Which one is the better coalition? It is interesting to consider simply due to how the cultures of these two entities clash. It isn’t that other coalition members such as Razor, have a culture more similar to Goons. On the contrary, their similarities run more in line with the Dotbros, and is more “military oriented” the same way Goons and TEST culture is much more similar on other levels.
Of course Mittens has created a very successful propaganda campaign stating how “well” they treat their coalition members as equals and everyone has a say, while Dotbros are elitist pricks that are more in love with the sound of their own voice than helping their allies out. Perhaps a bit of everything portrayed there is true, but simply treating the higher tier leadership in a coalition well, does not mean the lower ranks will not notice the many slaughters they are lead to either intentionally or not. At least intentional slaughters can be attributed to “didn’t want that anyway” but the unintentional screw ups are not as easily forgotten. And naming a fleet a welp-fleet doesn’t makes it any funnier losing them. If anyone here want to contest me that constantly losing ships is actually a fun thing to do in game, please raise your hand and tell me which is your home system.
On the other hand the Dotbros have such an strong impression on the CFC than is not rare to hear someone to compare then to the 300 Spartans in a Pandemic Legion fashion back before PL got TEST to meatshield for them. (Perhaps NCDOT is Black Legion’s more talented meatshield? That’s another article) Propaganda wise they’ve been somewhat successful at that but where they’ve really been much more successful has been with their actions.
So you may be asking, “that’s all nice Seraph but what the hell are you trying to get to.” To simplify it very much, the longer the war in Tribute lasts, the worse it is for the CFC, and everyone involved in a leadership position worth his salt knows this. Dotbros just have to resist and they’ve been doing well. What will be the game changer will not actually be the CFC. I firmly believe that given enough time, the Dotbros can hold a good portion of Tribute and Vale and may even expel their invaders. More realistically some sort of agreement could be reached.
The important player in that aspect isn’t Vince Draken or Mittens, but rather SOLAR who has been pounding the eastern front of the Tribute/Vale war. Perhaps I have a soft spot for skilled underdogs, resistance fighters and what not which lends to my personal cov ops preference, but everyone has to admit that although tactically not sound, it is impressive that Dotbros can to some degree fend off both the CFC and Solar+allies offensives. What would happen, if Solar and Dotbros can to an agreement? With those sort of numbers the article written right now, may be taking place in Deklein.
So with all of that, we will see how well The Mittani handles the Damage Control. I firmly believe that any entity that grows to big and powerful, eventually corrupts. The “noble ideals” of the upstarts come to be simply propaganda tools as they become successful and win. This happened with Goons and Dotbros are no different. However, for the time being, I can’t help but be impressed with Dotbros, especially Black Legion. Their pvp talent is nothing to ignore. In the same breath I can say that the CFC logistics and abilities to maintain the campaign has also been just as impressive. The question is, how much longer can this be maintained.
- Seraph IX Basarab