One of my all-time favourite films is The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp. At the start of the film, Major General Clive Wynne-Candy is arranging a mock battle for his Home Guard units. The “war” is to start at a pre-arranged time.
One of the commanders on the opposing side of this mock battle gets it into his head to gather a bit of intel, to jump the gun. Be proactive. He determines where Clive Wynne-Candy will be before the start of “hostilities” with the intent to capture him. And he successfully does so.
Clive, faced with what he sees as insubordination and unsportsmanlike tactics, starts blustering loudly “War starts at midnight! War starts at midnight!”
The lesson being, there are no rules to war. No sportsmanlike conduct.
I’m quite convinced that the surprise will not be that Goonswarm and Test go to war, but rather when the war begins.
There are quite a few that believe strongly that the leadership in both alliances will never let war come to pass. There are others that believe that a “shooting off some steam” battle is inevitable, but will contain a bunch of rules and regulations, off-limit systems and the like. Two forces this size, I don’t think any such rules would hold for long.
I think an all-out war is likely to happen in 2013. I think the posturing, especially from the Test side of the equation, is already beginning. I don’t think Goonswarm leadership is all that interested in war. They’ve nothing to prove. They’re the famous, much-respected parent in this relationship. Test, on the other hand, is the underachieving child, always living in the shadow of the parent, people always wondering if they’ll ever amount to half as much as the parent. Test, has something to prove, even if only to themselves.
So, the other day, the escalation in posturing began. What began as a Test/Fatal Ascension squabble, well, those tendrils are beginning to creep out further afield. A Jabber broadcast to the Test faithful went out:
We are disabling all CFC access to our jabber. Diplomatic inquiries through J5 indeed. This is keeping with the tradition of petty escalation and overreaction that we all know and love so much.
But, to adapt to this new environment we’ve created a new group called CFC (VIP). This will be exclusively used for CFC chillbros that we want to keep around. Reply with recommendations for CFC duders to add to the list.
I’d recommend you all delete API keys in Goon services.
What does all this mean? Nothing yet. But where there’s posturing on one side, it usually doesn’t take the other side long to up the ante (or to fold their hand altogether.)
Some are thinking that Goonswarm may have folded to Test’s raise, when today the following broadcast went out from Razor to their members:
RAZOR HAS BEEN RESET BY MUCH OF THE CFC, I SUGGEST YOU STAY DOCKED. BECAUSE OF THRASHER. YOU’RE WELCOME.
So far, nobody is quite sure what is going on here. As of this writing, Razor Alliance is still set blue to Goonswarm Federation. It may be a case of other CFC member alliances overreacting. According to sources (Fweddit membership is so broad, that, yeah, I got me sources), Razor started attacking blues with a Thrasher fleet. Except, this should not be a problem. It’s an old Goonswarm tradition that blue-on-blue violence is okay in Thrasher fleets. So it might just be a case of CFC member alliances not being aware of the tradition.
Or it might be Goonswarm trying to provoke Razor into doing something stupid, so that their space can be given to somebody else. Test Alliance, for instance. Test is tech-poor, compared to the CFC. So their posturing may simply be towards getting some valuable tech for themselves. I don’t see Goonswarm playing this game, though.
The Razor problem seems unrelated to anything happening with Test and Goonswarm at the moment. And it’s likely already sorted itself out.
As for Test’s removal of the CFC from their intel channels, and the recommendation that Test members remove their API keys from Goon services, well, that’s interesting and I’m curious how this might escalate further.
One thought on Pandemic Legion. I think Test puts more faith in the Honey-Badger Coalition than Pandemic Legion ever has. I think the HBC has mostly been a Green Card marriage from Pandemic’s perspective. Their ticket to some good, low risk, fights.
If war did break out between the CFC and HBC, and if Pandemic Legion’s technetium moons were put under threat, I think it would take less than a heartbeat for Pandemic Legion to file for divorce, and then sue for peace with the CFC.
Pandemic Legion is not the sort of group that would ever put their income at risk for a conflict they’re not invested in. Pandemic Legion has never been invested in much beyond their own well-being.
You can read more of Poetic Stanziel’s opinions at his Poetic Discourse blog.