Thursday, May 9, 2013

The Noise in Nullsec

"Noise is the opposite of information."
    - Fischer Black

What remains of Honey Badger Coalition (HBC) after the departure of Test and company continues to unravel and that which remains lacks both the numbers and the organizational coherence to retain the HBC name. HBC is effectively ended and even among those alliances who've not formally announced their departure from the coalition, there's a general consensus that this is the case. In place of the HBC we now have a swarm of alliances. Some, weary of being forced to toe the HBC line,  have determined to go it alone. Most, however seem to be trying to reform themselves into a number of very loosely coupled alliances. No formal coalitions with a centralized command and executive structures seem in the making at this point. The newly separated alliances are, at least for now, embracing a live-free-or-die philosophy.

Test Alliance Please Ignore's Booda may not have been able to rope in Raiden as permanent blue after all. Word is there's been a change of management in Raiden's house and that, while Raiden's exited HBC, they won't be maintaining a long-term NAP with Test. Call it a plausible rumor for the moment. No reason given except 'other interests' on Raiden's part, which could mean they've gotten a better offer.

The primary beneficiary of these events is the ClusterFuck Coalition (CFC). The breakdown of the HBC will have CFC breathing easier and assuming no extinction-level threats to them remain in nullsec. CFC will assume ex-HBC alliances will fight among themselves, making non-CFC and non-PL regions a new thunder-dome.  That will leave CFC's leadership with the leisure to play selected combatants off against the other while they tear each other to rags; very much the game their leadership prefers. Expect occasional CFC interventions, but none that puts the CFC at risk.

There's some chatter of CFC taking on PL, the last credible threat to CFC left standing. My guess is that CFC will take no action against PL for the time being, but anti-PL sentiment within CFC's leadership could change that. However, CFC leadership isn't the type to bet the house on final Jeopardy if they're well ahead in the game. That could change if PL looks to be benefiting too much from the current upheaval.

While it's always possible that some alliances blown free of HBC's gravity well could make trouble in CFC space, CFC leadership seems to regard this as a low-probability event and one that can be dispatched with relative ease should it occur. Nascent threats will be sought out early and strangled in their cribs.  None of the former HBC alliances, it is reasoned, will want to draw CFC's attention, let alone its ire, lest they become extinct former HBC alliances.

The only real down-side for the CFC is that the HBC crash has created a cacophony of noise and an explosion of new variables in nullsec's information flows. This will make the nullsec board more difficult for CFC to predict and control.  Unexpected invasions or instability in CFC space would not be good for their post-Odessey plans for standing up an economic powerhouse independent of high sec. The absence of a coherent and controllable HBC will also make organizing cartels for controlling the price of high-value nullsec goods and materials much more difficult.

1 comment:

  1. What the imploded HBC reminds me most of is the loose coalitions that have always existed in the south (usually under -A- de-facto leadership).

    Is it a condition of the south generally that the territory itself can't support a stronger structure? Only the north seems to be able to pull together coherent political structures with staying power. We may find out in Odessey that the presence of Tech was what made the North politically feasible was an easy to grasp and easy to manipulate common interest to focus coalition efforts on.

    In a post-Tech era the newest organizing principal would seem to be building and maintaining industry power or building the classic rental empire. Are the changes Odessey is bringing enough to make industry organization a greater force than the rental empire model?