Tuesday, April 12, 2011

The Curse of Victory

I was all set to publish a largish piece on Pandemic Legion (PL). However the Drone Russian Forces (DRF) have hired PL to assist the Drone Russian invasion of Northern Coalition (NC) space (apparently, one can never have too many rental systems). Since I'll be a tad preoccupied with shooting at them, anything I publish about PL at present will be taken in that context. So that tome of Eve scholarship will have to be put on the shelf for now.

Sorry to all the regular readers for that. 

Why is PL mucking about in low truesec space when they have Delve and Querious for the taking? Well, ironically, victory in the larger sense is a bit scary for the PL leadership. They are afraid that without a diet of constant mayhem, the Pandemic kids would go soft and lose their edge. And there's some truth to that. Eve history is full of bad-ass PvP alliances who took a rich territory, settled down to make the ISKies and then got fat and sloppy.

Having quashed Bobby Atlas' recent attempt at a comeback in Querious and turned aside a half-hearted invasion attempt by Against All Authorities and friends, victory was looking just a little too easy for Pandemic. With their membership's pockets full of ISK after a month or two of ratting in Titans, the PL leadership was looking for a way to have it all - a carefree life of making mayhem and a bunch of Delve technetium moons cheerfully generating vast sums of income at the same time.

Just in time, the Legion's only steady customer, the DRF comes up with a contract. Like as not PL leadership solicited the contract. Six hundred billion sounds like a lot of ISK, but it's small potatoes to an alliance with the riches of Delve and Querious at its disposal, or to the DRF with its vast empire of rental properties pouring ISK into the alliance accounts. It's pretty much a nominal fee for either alliance, but PL's leadership was anxious to get their rank and file out of PvE Havens and into some serious fights.

So, PL needed the action and the DRF is PL's only client of significance. DRF probably could have gotten PL in the fight in exchange for Krutoj's button collection. I hear it's quite nice.

The NC has shown they can beat either PL or the DRF. Even the DRF reinforced by Raiden[DOT], Evoke and NorthernCoalition[dot], and backed up by every bribe and threat Krutoj can bring to bear have had a tough go of it. That, my friends, is one very tough bunch of carebears. PL's entrance onto this fracas will make for some interesting play.

And they say there's no PvP in nullsec.

As I've mentioned elsewhere, the NC has a lot of carebear in its organizational DNA. Pandemic Legion's lineage is, on the other hand, largely griefer. Fighting the DRF is just another day in nullsec for the NC. The DRF needs another block of flats to rent out. Nothing personal. On the other hand, the NC takes a certain glee in tangling with the Pandemic boys.

See, if PL wins a fight, well that's what everyone expects. They are, after all, the masters of the metagame, the l33t uber-PvPers, at least in their own minds. But when a bunch of carebears hand them their collective ass in a fight, you know that's got to cut deep. That's the risk PL runs every time PL takes the field against the NC.

Nobody will remember if Pandemic Legion wins. Everyone will remember if they lose.

Legio Pandemica delenda est


  1. Big question: When you say NC, does that still include BFFs GoonFed and TEST, or no? If not, one wonders what role - if any - they will play, as at least erstwhile NC members?

    Interesting times loom ...

  2. Hopefully Goons and TEST will hit em where they're not...strike at those new PL holdings in Querious and Delve. I do wonder about DRF with the anom changes. So many of their corps are dependent on those anoms. They are bound to lose a lot of corps and systems that are no longer sustainable. They are already overextended. Now that AAA has failed to expand into Querious, AAA will look enviously at the Tenerifis region that was stolen by their White Noise neighbors. There is no better time than now to hit em where they ain't.

  3. There are no tech moons in Delve.

  4. Unn Mordardottir is right as well, you went from saying, "I'm not going to talk about PL....but let me devote 10 out of 11 paragraphs to talking about how, even if we edge out PL in 1 or 2 fights why we are awesome sauce."

    Bad post.

  5. I was all set to correct your passive paraphrastic, thinking that "legio, legionis" was masculine. Why do genders not make sens?

    Also, will PL really matter here, because it seems like the major fights are just lag-fests, meaning that PL can do little if there are 1500+ in system...

  6. There's talking about PL in the larger sense - What they mean to Eve and to PvP, their history, where they'll go an what they'll do. The zeitgeist of PL. That's a much larger subject - a larger post I hope to put forward once the sound and fury in the North has subsided. If you're a regular reader you know that ten paragraphs at The Edge is mere throat clearing ;)

    Then there is talking about the griefers who tried to take my home system these last few days. And even with that, not a word of the above is false.

    Bear in mind, Steve, that some powers are heavily dependent upon a reputation of invincibility. Recall the Spartans were though to be unbeatable on land. When Thebes broke them at Leuctra, they did more than defeat the Spartans. They shattered their reputation.

    Sparta never recovered.

  7. Since we are criticizing you today, I'm going to mention that I don't think Bobby Atlas had anything to do with the dot-revival. And I agree you came off like you talked about PL right after saying you wouldn't, but I also discerned you were distinguishing talking about them in the larger sense versus in relation to current conflict. You might want to edit the wording of your caveat about not discussing them, though.

    Nevertheless, thoroughly enjoyed the post and all its esprit de corps.

  8. "Bear in mind, Steve, that some powers are heavily dependent upon a reputation of invincibility. Recall the Spartans were though to be unbeatable on land. When Thebes broke them at Leuctra, they did more than defeat the Spartans. They shattered their reputation."

    PL has suffered losses. IT beat them in Fountain. The NC finally managed to blob them to death. Even -A- and friends managed to eck out very thin victory over them in Querious. Yet there they are rolling merrily along still with the reputation of being good...because they are good.

    In other words, the flaw in your story is that PL isn't surviving because of their reputation...they are surviving because there reputation is justified. They are good. Also, they are innovators and just don't rely on the same old tactics especially when they stop working. Two examples the Hellcats and the aHAC fleet doctrines. So it is also arguable that your analogy flawed on that front as well.

  9. "They are surviving because their reputation is perceived as justified despite defeats."

    Aside from Fountain, which is where I think Mord is right--they got fat and sloppy or at least bored--PL have been winning the majority of their fights. In Querious they pounded on -A- almost continuously except for one battle. Up north they pretty much ran circles around the NC for weeks. Not until the NC finally got enough guys in fleet did PL start coming up short.

    Now in Geminate and Vale yeah sure PL might face a similar problem with once exception: the DRF. The drone Russians are also bringing a giant blob. This means it will be harder for the NC to blob both PL and the DRF. And DekCo...DekCo are going after Evoke and NCdot.

    "Even the greatest combatants cannot be so talented as to survive on their combat prowess alone."

    True, but I don't think they do. They know how to run logistics and what not. Is the NC going to out logistics them? Maybe, but I'm thinking that if the DRF are making an all out push at this point it will the NC logistics system that is put to the test.

    "As for PL innovation... I don't even know what that's supposed to be relevant to. "

    It relates to Mord's historical analogy regarding Sparta. The Thebans used an unorthodox formation for their infantry. It changed the way wars were fought. Problem is PL is not sticking with the same old thing that doesn't work (that would be -A- and friends), but instead have come up with at least two new approaches to using smaller but better equipped and trained fleets against larger fleets.

  10. DRF and PL are in different time zones. DRF already owns russian time, and during US/EU it's basically PL vs the entire NC, which isn't likely to accomplish much.

  11. Right PL didn't take any tech moons and hold them for a couple of months.

  12. PL lost those moons when the NC came home. Today PL are in geminate. The NC is also in geminate.

    I know it's hard, but you'll figure this out eventually.

  13. I think Steve is reading too much into Mord's chosen metaphoric analogy. While understandably one comes to expect a certain depth of analysis in his posts, not every one of them is the Marianas Trench.

    Rather, in this post, the entire piece seems rather a more general, typical, jubilant chest beating before the battle. Given that tone, I see no reason to read so much into the analogy. There is no more to the analogy than to suggest, hey, if it can happen to the Spartans, why couldn't it happen to PL. Or, as my law school professor used to say, you've gone deep sea diving.

  14. Need Moar Fiddler's Edge! Are there any RL billionaires who play Eve and would just pay you to write as a full-time job?

  15. @StevieTopSiders -

    Ah! If only.

    Sorry the next update's been so long in coming. I'll be posting some follow-up on the recent anomalies nerf soon.

  16. +1 to your choice in topic. Looking forward to it.