Sunday, March 18, 2012

PL Loses a Titan: Reading Between the Lines

It always amazes me, how in one breath militia pilots talk about small-gang warfare without all the political drama crap of nullsec blocs, and in the next they are talking about some drama bomb militia has recently unleashed. (Or they are screaming the drama from the top of their lungs.)

This weekend, members of militia downed a Pandemic Legion titan, and I wrote about it here. It is true that leadership from all four militias met together to discuss such an operation. It is true that they met to discuss a plan hatched by Amarrian FC, Predator Elite. It is true that the plans that were discussed were not the plans that ended up happening. It is true that the titan kill ended up costing those involved significantly in lost Dreadnaughts.

However, it was not the whole story.The whole story is a story of politics. It is a story of inter-militia drama and back stabbing. It is a story of corruption, hatred, and war.

It is a story that makes me glad I was far away at the time --oblivious to any plans to go after Pandemic Legion--oblivious to any drama --oblivious to anything except roaming around with some Late Night Alliance friends, looking for some fun pew.

A careful eye would not need me to tell this story. A careful eye could easily put the pieces together for themselves between the various public postings, rantings, trolls, and rebuttels posted from the forums to Eve New 24.

Speaking of EVE News 24, I hooted aloud in laughter when I read this post, where Heretics speak of their 'involvement' in the titan kill. I did not laugh because someone outright told me that Tweety Bird was a known troll who had been reported previously for blatant racist and other public derogatory remarks.

I laughed at the idea that people would believe that the Amarr militia would entrust their cynos --cynos for a titan bridge and major capital drop--to a bunch of trolling pirates that the Amarr can't stand.

 I laughed because moments before, I had watched a FRAPS of the fight, where this character named Tweety Bird was obviously trolling in local during the op.

-10 to Riverini for posting this drivel on his 'news' website.

The titan was killed by two primary corporations: Wolfsbrigade of the Amarr Empire, and Shadows of the Federation of the Gallente Federation. There was a smattering of other Amarr/Gallente involved, but the killmail clearly shows that these two corporations were the dominant involved parties.

Reports by members of Wolfsbridgade and reports from Shadows of the Federation clearly show that there was previous planning. But this is kind of confusing since there are confirmed reports that planning also took place between all four militias -- planning of a much different kind.

While militias were planning a four way collaboration, Wolfsbrigade and Shadows were obviously planning something far different --something that did not include even their own militias. The back stabbing that took place within the Amarr militia, where Wolfsbrigade FC First General purposefully upset an op planned by fellow Amarrian FC Predator Elite was complete.

It was not a matter of luck or good timing, it was a matter of clashing Amarrian FC egos. One source told me that First General talked to Predator Elite during the op -- letting him know what was going down at a precise moment where Predator Elite would not be able to offer support, or respond in any way--a clear attempt by FG to rub his fellow FC's nose in his own superiority. A chest beating and back stabbing of epic proportions that could lead the Amarr to the brink of civil war.

However, with all this drama and nonesense that was obviously going on, there was yet another side of the story amongst this mess -- that of Pandemic Legions.

There are two things I know about Pandemic Legion's side of things:

1. The titan pilot was offline. Whether he rage quit or dropped connection, I do not know. However, I wouldn't be surprised if he dropped, as the guy running the FRAPS dropped also during the fight.

2. Pandemic Legion took less than one siege cycle to respond. One source said that they were on field with their capitals and super capitals in less than 3 minutes. Even if they were nearby preparing for another operation, this is extremely impressive. "I can't even log on and get into a ship in that period of time." someone from Late Night Alliance said, commenting on PL's response. "Let alone get cynos on field and organize a massive capital/super capital counter drop." 3 freakin' minutes.

It will be interesting to see what comes out of all of this mess. I freely admit that the idea of a four-way inter-militia operation is an intriguing idea, though it sounds like it would be somewhat of a blob-fest, red and blue mess of epic proportions. However, I seriously doubt that even without the backstabbing plans of Wolfsbrigade that it would really have come off. Most FW pilots can't even play nice within their own militias -- let alone play nice with pilots they've been shooting for years.

As Wolfsbrigade and Shadows showed, a few pairings up might work. There are occasional corporations who, even on opposite sides of a war, can still work together on occasion. But trying to apply this on the scale of all of Faction War is a different story. There is too much distrust, hatred, and long standing vendettas.

There are too many leaders, too many strong personalities, too many FCs, too many egos. Too much arguing, too much smacking, too many accusations, too much bad blood.

After all, this is Faction War, not a Faction slumber party.


  1. I think the planning went like this. Predator Elite suggested a 300-man bomber attack from all four militias. Several FC's said it would never work. The amount of people that would be involved would mean PL would get wind of it. SoTF and WBR were talking about PE's plan and both said at the same time to each other "Hang on guys, I got an idea" in a Michael Cain accent too! Thus was hatched the plan. A smaller op using dreads with less than a dozen people knowing what was going on.

    Don't know about the FG/PE bad blood or anything that went before, but your write-up pretty sums it all up, especially the bit about too many leaders.

    "A multitude of rulers is not a good thing. Let there be one ruler, one king." - Homer

    1. That's the whole thing, there never were too many leaders involved with the actual plan. That is merely one criticism that has emerged to justify what took place. A stealth bomber attack was merely an early suggestion. A few FC's that didn't like what they heard initially moved without waiting to see the further development of the operation, and the result was the hit that happened Friday.

      As successful as it was, opportunities existed to do more than just suicide gank a Titan, but in the end that's all that happened because of impatience and lack of faith.

      Thankfully, the full scope of the plan has remained a secret to this day, a testament to the fact that ONLY the right people were informed all along.

      Susan may question the feasibility of a joint militia operation, but I do not. Those of us that have friendships that span the different factions, and were involved in the planning of the operation, simply have a better idea now of who can and can't be trusted to put aside ego and factional differences to accomplish a greater goal.

    2. I doubt the feasibility of a joint militia operation because on the scale you speak of it's never been done before. There are some people in Faction War that will just as easily backstab such an operation--a fact that people understand--and a reason that many will be reluctant to commit capitals and valuable assets for. People barely trust others in their own militias, let alone other militias.

      It sounds good on paper, and theoretically it could be fun. But no, I don't think that it would happen. People will hold back, even if they pretend to be all for it. They'll hold back in the end because when push comes to shove, they won't trust anyone that's in charge.

      And the bigger question is why? Are we suddenly turning into a Faction War bloc? Are we going to take space next? What happened to the whole 'keep Faction War for small-gang'? Why are you suddenly trying to turn Faction War into a blob?

    3. what Drackarn posts is a pretty accurate summation of the events leading up to this, essentially

      word got to a couple of SOTF FC's about a week ago that pred had mentioned a plan to kill a PL Titan, details were sketchy (at the time it was suggested that 200 or so tier 3 BC's was the way to go). The 2 SOTF FC's (and one Qcats FC) came to the conclusion that involving so many pilots in an op vs PL (who are known for their incredible spy network) would be practically impossible, it was decided dreads was the way to go.

      the very next day one SOTF FC was contacted by FIRST GENERAL who had independantly (with his own leadership team) come to the exact same conclusion and the plan was hatched and perfected from there.

      Predator Elite's plan would have failed, plain and simple, (and yes, I am aware of his plan) ... there wasn't any militious attempt at backstabbing from anyone in WBR or SOTF we were just sorely aware that if a PL Titan was to be destroyed it HAD to be kept top secret, 1 day before the op there were literally five people that knew the full story, until the cyno went up at the titan there were still only about ten people in that command channel. 30 dreads jumped to a cyno having no clue what they were about to land on!

      THAT is the only way you can guarentee the success of such an op, THAT is why it succeeded! Involving any more parties in the planning / implementation would have resulted in total failure.

    4. @Hans

      The full scope of the plan is not a secret, the fact that none of us makes it public is just due to a mild sense of camaraderie and because tbh, let PL do their own homework. Also, the full scope was pretty retarded, and had no value whatsoever, first because it would've never happened and second 'cos it involved non militia, and tbh if I wanted to be just a meatshield I'd join FA or something.

      Also, wall of politician text ..."put aside differences, make world a better place, vote me, blah"

      In the end you can politician spin it as much as you like but the tl;dr is : we thought that plan is naive to put it mildly, we developed a better plan and put it in to practice, involving mostly people that we've flown with for years and trust both as integrity and capabilities.

    5. I don't know why everyone keeps trying to relate this back to politics. :-P I have no interest in turning the militias into a bloc, or a blob, certainly not at the expense of the day-to-day small gang warfare that I’ve been working to defend at the CSM level. I have no desire to unite all of the militias in any kind of game play sense, and I couldn’t even if I wanted to as I'm not a Fleet Commander. When Pred and I first spoke, I specifically requested that this operation not be turned into any kind of campaign prop.

      I was only brought in because I know the individuals in each faction that are capable of keeping intel secure and willing to cooperate across faction lines, should an interesting enough opportunity arise. There’s no reason to imply here that the other leaders involved besides FG, Tekitha, and Lock Out were all somehow dangers to success.

      Wolfsbrigade and SOTF pulled off an excellent operation. Everyone showed bravery, skill, and coordination, and got a remarkable kill. I don’t mean to deny the participants any glory due, I just think it’s silly to keep repeating “it had to be kept secret” as if no one else gets it. The fact remains that the “na├»ve plan” responded to was merely one possibility, not some finalized (and doomed) course of action needing pre-emption.

  2. With the explosion of militia drama, it is a good thing Hans has all his militia votes locked in right now. If this had all happened 10 days ago, Hans election chances might be in jeopardy.

    1. Yeah, not really. I've said from the beginning we'll all be blowing each other up all election long, regardless of the fact that most militia pilots will be voting for me anyways.

  3. "2. Pandemic Legion took less than one siege cycle to respond. One source said that they were on field with their capitals and super capitals in less than 3 minutes. Even if they were nearby preparing for another operation, this is extremely impressive. "I can't even log on and get into a ship in that period of time." someone from Late Night Alliance said, commenting on PL's response. "Let alone get cynos on field and organize a massive capital/super capital counter drop." 3 freakin' minutes."

    Could it be possible they were using the solo Titan as bait (not intending to lose it of course) so that they could drop their bigger fleet and kills lots of dreads and other capitals?

    1. Had it been bait it would have been tank fit, which it was very much not.

    2. no he was just being retarded and we allready had a fishing fleet out (those first supers you see in the video when the erebus hits 70% shield.)

    3. PL said they had their supers out on a "fishing trip" one jump away. We got the timing very unlucky :)

    4. I wonder what kind of fish they were going for around Amamake? Perch, perhaps?

  4. Poetic,
    1stly, PL camps gates with titans all the time. They always want fights, but to say that in this particularly situation it was a specific trap is stretching it I think.

    Secondly, there has always been drama in militia. Militia differs from null-sec blocs in that in our case, our votes for Hans superseded our politics. Many in the Amarr were supporting Hans before even I knew he was running, and he's in my alliance. And those same people are people my alliance has killed on numerous occasions since, and visa versa.

    The idea, or supposition that Hans will somehow 'unite' the militias on a game-play level, or that his candidacy depends on the militias getting along is silly. We're voting for him because he represents our game style, and is familiar with the game mechanics we use on the day to day basis.
    In the meantime we will still kill each other, and there will still be Faction War drama, because, quite simply, in-game we are at war.

  5. "1stly, PL camps gates with titans all the time. They always want fights, but to say that in this particularly situation it was a specific trap is stretching it I think."

    That's fine. Just curious whether it might be the case, especially since people are so boggled at the PL response time.

  6. I would like to see a better counter built in to the game. Perhaps something with Blackops. Give them "cyno jammer" modules that can prevent anything from cynoing on their grid.

  7. This probably succeeded because it was kept quiet.

    Three can keep a secret if two of them are dead etc.

  8. If there is politics and drama involved, the question is obvious: why was this titan downed? I mean you don't just wake up one day and say "I'm bored, let's down a titan". If there is politics, than someone benefited from it. Someone had a purpose with it.

    So the question is who is using the militias as grunts against the PL?

    1. Are you really telling me you need a reason to kill a titan? Blowing up ships is a reward in itself, as the FW guys behind this op obviously understand.

    2. It is, very obviously, a conspiracy.