Tipping point

Four systems were taken from the Amarr by our fleets a day ago, a record since I rejoined. It’s brings much joy to see us able to do it, but also as we flip each system, I get more and more restless even though we appear to be doing very well.

Will the resistance against us grow? Some people think the Amarrians are letting us take their systems because they just don’t have numbers anymore. Well, I like to call myself an optimist, but when it comes to serious spaceship business, I will look at things in the worst possible light. Which in this case means they are letting us take systems because they want to crush us when we try take the important ones.

Hmm. Well that’s no good. What can we do NOW to work around this possible situation?

It’s hard to know exactly what to do really. SP is a factor; most of the Amarr’s more active pilots undoubtedly have higher average SP than our pilots. I mention this first just to get it out of the way. I don’t believe in being held down, or holding myself back, because of SP problems.

What other paths can we walk?

God, it’s hard to say. When you start looking for ways to win a war in a game as complex as EVE Online, the answer isn’t ever going to present itself simply. The interesting thing about it all is information asymmetry. Essentially, I don’t know what the other parties who may be involved in the war right now or perhaps in future, know. I don’t see the biggest picture, so to speak. Which makes things interesting. It’s like trading on the share-market. You don’t know EVERYTHING about a public company except perhaps common knowledge and what they reveal in their financial reports. Investing in that company therefore comes with a measure of risk.

It’s similar here. Every plan we make comes with a risk that it will fail or be only partially achieved, because we aren’t omnipotent gods.

There are two obvious strategies I can think of off the top of my head that the Tribal Liberation Force (This is the Minmatar FW corporation. The Amarrian FW corp is the 24th Imperial Crusade) could employ to achieve victory.

1) Take the easy systems force, then siege the systems the main Amarrian corporations have chosen to be home.

2) Attempt to break the Amarrian ‘strongholds’, then sweep the board clean.

Of these two options, the second appeals to me. Does it work with what we have in terms of power and organisation? I would hazard a guess at no.

Could we develop our militia into a stronger entity? Yes, that could happen. It’s been a few weeks of fleets and slowly, slowly I’m starting to see people begin to follow the FCs into fights that look doubtful. The shift in perspective takes a while, since naturally as humans we’re risk-averse. By which I mean, we are not afraid to take risks, rather, the returns simply have to be greater for us to take more risk.

The returns in winning the warzone, not many see like I do. I believe it’s worth every sacrifice. Others, not so much. Most simply see warzone control as an opportunity to get more ISK, and PvP more. Their minds are on the short-term. I have a dream.

I think the hardest thing for me to understand after I returned to FW was that we’re a militia, not an army.

And by definition, a militia is

a military force that is raised from the civil population to supplement a regular army in an emergency.

The key part being “raised from the civil population”. This is not totally applicable in EVE, but the meaning it conveys is close enough. A militia is less organised, less structured and more chaotic than an actual army. I don’t want to fight that. I don’t have the willpower, nor the resources, to change that.

And I suppose I have been. I’ve been letting myself get frustrated at the lack of cohesion within the militia, when instead I should embrace it. Embrace the chaos, make it our strength. Most people will disagree that ‘chaos’ can be a valid organisational tactic. I admit, I’m a bit skeptical. But it won’t be pure chaos. And yet, it won’t be perfect coordination either.

Let me put it to you another way. I’ve been running militia fleets, open to all, and I have no doubt spies access our comms every day. But what information can a spy glean from an open, kitchen-sink fleet?

Where it is? Great, give us fights. If you bring too much, we’ll run and leave you hanging.

What it is? Lol, okay, form a perfect counter to a kitchen-sink. I’ll look forward to seeing your… greasy-oven. What am I saying? I don’t even know anymore.

The idea is, the ‘chaos’ of a fleet without any real doctrine benefits in that an enemy cannot perfectly counter it without spending a LOT of time thinking about it, so in the end they will either simply bring more members/or more powerful ships, or bring the same number and class of ships, but with an organised composition. Against a kitchen-sink fleet, most would assume the organised group wins.

But will it? Every single time? As always, as with most things in EVE and real life, the true answer is much more complex than what you might suspect at first.

Does this mean we’ll not have a plan of action? Not quite. But we won’t have every step planned out. Perhaps we’ll improvise here, and modify there, until the final result is a Frankenstein’s monster of efficiency, compromise, blood, sweat and rust.

…I wonder if this was how the first engineers hammered out the plans for the Rifter.

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I'm just a poor boy, but I'd like some commentary~

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