Cleansing of the North
Well, it looks like someone in the MBC agreed with me, because the North is now clear of all Imperium claims. All sov is gone. On the other hand, PL seems to keep dumpstering their capitals (although the idea that this comes at a “bad time” for PL, considering their wins on Sov – something they claimed they were never going to own ever again – seems like a stretch: bias alert). So I guess that clearing the north of TCUs and such may not have been enough? Or perhaps PL cap pilots are overconfident?
There’s doubtless plenty of reddit posts suggesting “mission accomplished“. So, sure, we’ve seen MBC kick goons out of their null sov. Except… not? Outside of M-0 when C02 was still pretending to be allies of the Imperium (I’m expecting the MBC to do the smart thing and turn around to kick them out of Trib any day soon) there haven’t been many major battles worthy of note. No cap/super brawls, just ganking of travelling idiots. Very few large battleship wars, just a bunch of silly frigate fights. And if goons got “kicked out” why were they already gone before MBC arrived? This is less “mission accomplished” and more “goons couldn’t be bothered with us” (Seraph is right in that ‘Fabian strategy’ is not the right name for it this time). Yay, we ground a bunch of structures, and killed some left over morons. “Go us”? Yeah, you could spin that as “they took the eviction notice ahead of time”, but then you’re doing the mirror of mittens and riding that spinmaster 5000. Please don’t do that. It’s disappointing.
Don’t get me wrong, the MBC now owns the north, and I don’t expect to see goons try to retake it too soon (again). But claiming victory just because the map has changed seems a bit premature. Sure, objective one is complete (remove goon sov claims from the map) so that’s got some kudos. And yeah, goons aren’t using caps for a while now. But the overall mission is not complete, just one objective thereof. The only way for the MBC to truly achieve “Mission Accomplished” is to crush and eradicate Imperium utterly, and to break them completely. Keep them bottled up and bored, not for a month, but for a year or longer.
Which, of course, won’t happen. A bored goon is a quitting goon. A goon with content – *any* content – will stick around. If the MBC really sought to eradicate the *goon menace* they’ve done it in the worst, most ham-fisted way possible at this point. And MBC leaders are now making any excuse possible to avoid the fact that they screwed this part up (“well we never wanted to remove them from the game, just null” – yeah, and I’m a russian aluminium magnate!). Sov gone, but now goons are going to spend the next decade playing this game specifically to individually hunt down, separate, grief, crush, demoralise, and destroy every single enemy in the MBC. And given that the MBC really don’t tend to work well together when not hunting goons, and in fact actively dislike each other sometimes (see: snuff vs shadow), then. Well, hurf or not, Mittens may actually have a point (ditto about the gambling sites, hypocrisy or not) – a broken clock is right twice a day, and whether you think he’s broken or not, he’s right on these two points at least.
This EN24 article covers a lot of the salient points of the issue – especially the part that goons without Sov are still quite nasty. Nastier, possibly, as much like PL when they gave up Sov, Goons are now free to ride bicycles, and murder anyone. Losses like this don’t help, but given the counter-kills on PL caps (and even in that battle a number of expensive ships were lost by PL (a carrier, several T3s and T2s, and a couple other nasties) in return for murdering large numbers of crappy T1 hulls plus all of two goon carriers) I think it’s safe to say that Goons will still be quite cheerful about the expensive stuff they keep murdering on their own undock. Especially with the (comparative) success of the hurricane fleets in recent days. Expect to see more of these every time they see PL capitals to murder – a BC is cheap for most Imperium line members, while capitals, especially FAX hulls, are quite costly to an individual.
Embarrassing and hurting the wallets of specific and individual PL members is going to become a go-to strategy for hurricane fleets. They won’t care about losing T1 rust buckets if it means a shiny new capital explosion and slapping egg onto another PL face. In big fleet battles, I never have. Whether it’s wormholes, level4s, exploration, or other insanity, paying for something like a BC hull has never been a big deal. It’s when you deploy T2 or Battleship+ doctrines that it starts getting wallet-hurty (and even then it’s not a big deal if you know how to make money properly). But t3 hulls (lost of SP) and capitals (properly fit ones cost crazy isk) do hurt, and tend to make the news. Whether this will have an impact in the coming weeks of this new phase of the war, I don’t know. For some, it will, as they find they lose more and more to the Goon war machine. For others it won’t as they manage to take out and reap their own collection of Goon corpses. The final tally should be fun, though.
Don’t declare victory yet! There’s more explosions to come.