Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Object Lessons

A number of folks have contacted me to ask why I tend to write about the dust-ups in Providence without covering the larger alliance and coalition goings-on. In essence; why am I writing about band that opens for the Stones when everybody wants to read about Mick Jaggar?

I began writing about Providence as a service to some friends who were outside the normal intel channels and wanted to know what was going on during the Great Eviction without having to sift through fifty different sources to get the story. I've continued to write about it because a) it contains great object lessons for metagaming and b) it's been a compelling drama.

Where the Providence chips fall is no never mind to me. It's how and why the chips fall that gets my attention. 

Speaking of which, the Providence chips appear to be settling back into place.

The Great U'K Purge turned out not to be fatal to U'K and the New Providence Holders (NPH). Ushra'Khan (U'K) members found temporary refuge with Circle of Two (CO2) and have since reconstituted themselves as Damu'Khonde (D'K). They are reported to have regained administrative control of the old U'K and plan to transfer its systems and assets over to the new alliance. As of this writing, D'K and the rest of the NPH appear to be firmly in control of the region.

It was Agony that finally dealt with the Razor Alliance armored HAC fleet that had been twisting the collective tail of the NPH. Over the weekend the Razor fleet located a small Agony battleship fleet gathering at a gate. Following their usual practice, the armored HACs warped in and engaged the Agony fleet at close range.

 Then Agony sprung the trap.

Interdiction spheres went up around the two fleets, holding the Razor HACS in place. The battleship fleet turned out to be fitted with smart-bombs which, given the extreme close range of the HAC fleet, negated their speed advantage. Unable to warp out, the Razor HAC fleet was eviscerated in short order.

Curatores Veritatis Alliance's (CVA) inability to exploit the Great U’K Purge to their advantage has left them weaker than before the Purge.

They have lost X-R3NM, their last remaining nullsec station to Atlas. Meanwhile, their remaining six Providence systems are scattered about the region and CVA’s in name only as they are unsafe for CVA to exploit. They remain a cost center, eating up CVA revenues for little, if any, return.

Genco Corporation, unable to convince CVA leadership to change direction and halt the downward spiral, has left the alliance. They remain “allies” with CVA, however Genco's plans include relocating elsewhere, so this likely means little more than a non-aggression pact. CVA’s numbers continue their decline and, without X-R3NM as safe harbor, their ability to recruit experienced PVPers is further diminished.

In effect, CVA is now a lowsec alliance.

So, what are the object lessons we can take away from all this?

1) Friends are important:

As I wrote in Barbarians at the Gate, the Dominion sovereignty rules make taking and defending systems a much more dynamic, more life-like, activity. An alliance’s relationship with others has a direct impact this facet of the EVE meta-game.

In the case of the U’K membership, their ability to call on trusted allies when they lost control of the alliance was the deciding factor in their survival. The New Providence Holders formed ranks around crippled U’K and gave them the breathing room needed to reconstitute the alliance and go on the offensive.

In the case of CVA, their tendency to throw allies under the bus for CVA’s short term advantage has lost them most of their friends. The old Providence holder alliances are scattered to the winds. Some, like Paxton, have disbanded altogether. Consequently, when the U’K purge occurred, CVA had no one to call on to back their play for gains in Providence. CVA was forced to play a back-up role to Hydra Reloaded, and ended up the loss leader in the latest Providence campaign.

Having allies has always played an important role in EVE. Under Dominion sovereignty rules, however, maintaining solid alliances (both up and down the alliance food chain) is critical.

2) Don’t be predictable:

Razor’s tendency to repeat the same tactic set with their armored HAC gang left them vulnerable to the Agony trap that laid them low. In short, the Razor fleet’s FC became predictable; which is anathema when performing hit and run operations in enemy territory. If your enemies can anticipate you, they can control the time, place, composition and tempo of battle.

And that's today's lesson.

For my next planned post I'll break away from my usual "wall of text" and use photos of attractive, mostly nekkid women to illustrate The Rise of the CareBears

Look for it.


  1. When you say 'finally dealt with' it's not like armor hacs can't be replaced. We had lost 50 earlier that same day to a similarly sized armorhac gang supported by a bunch of battleships (though in that fight we managed even kills). I can think of effective ways to put smartbomb BS on top of a hac gang though, so the question is whether the enemy is willing to innovate despite our relatively small numbers.

  2. Deep and humble apologies to the folks at Agony!

    Thanks for catching that Koz. I'll make the correction

  3. Para,

    Resupply in hostile territory is always an issue - even in EVE. The combination of cost and logistics of replacing and fitting 80+ HACs at once while in hostile territory can make it a non-trivial task unless a lot of isk and planning went into the incursion. In EVE, that's often not the case.

    I've no indications that the Razor HAC gang was active in the area after the Agony ambush. That suggests the unit became combat ineffective either due to low morale (i.e., hunting in Providence stopped being fun) or the inability to immediately replace their losses. It's also possible the HAC unit became much more tentative about engaging once burned by the Agony trap.

    If you've evidence I've missed, please contact me at

  4. As always an excellent job in keeping us informed on Providence. I am happy to see U'K up and running and look forward to seeing that bloody fist being used against Hydra to make an example of them. It is also noteworthy how admirable it was for the NPH alliances to stand by UK in their darkest hour. Truly the bonds in Providence are thicker than water.

  5. Good read.

    "Razor’s tendency to repeat the same tactic set with their armored HAC gang left them vulnerable to the Atlas trap that laid them low."

    Is incorrect, it should be Agony not Atlas