Politics and warfare of EVE has always fascinated me. The richness and depth of how it plays out in EVE is awesome, with so many turns, twists and room for true strategic playing. With the exception of Provi Fight Club (2010) politics, I have never been involved at high levels and seen directly what’s behind the curtain. I have a fair bit of political knowledge and experience combined with many years of gaming so I think that most times I can piece together a larger picture from the many smaller bits of information. Not always, but I am going to use what I can and know to go out on a limb and tackle the Imperium invasion of Providence.
When Imperium earlier this year announced they would invade Providence it didn't come as a complete surprise. Already when Fozzie-sov was announced Goonswarm members wrote on EVE Online forums that they would go after Providence as proof that Fozzie sov was bad. It took them some months but finally The Mittani found a narrative he could deliver. Guess his extensive background in LARP’ing helped him here. With the storyline secured and CFC rebranded into The Imperium, they only had to consolidate their holdings and build a fortress in the North. They spent the next few months doing this by withdrawing and recruiting. They especially recruited miners and ratters to get high ADM indexes. But their pvp’ers don't want this type of gameplay, they want to have action. And that's where Provi comes into play.
Providence region and coalition is the perfect target for the Imperium. It’s the nullsec region in EVE with the most stations, densely populated, a coalition of 10K members and is famous as a hotbed of activity. It’s also a region with a rich history of roleplaying and the fights between Ushra Khan and CVA. Provi Bloc are known for coming out to fight and have been fighting Brave, PL and NC. at various times since summer 2014 with Spectre fleet roams coming in 2-3 times a day. All of this combined plays perfectly into to what the Imperium wanted and needed.
All the coalitions need to understand and find new strategies for sov conquering and defense post Aegis expansion. N+1 was no longer a guarantee for success though still is a major factor in determining the outcome of an invasion. The Imperium are trying something new and have given each of their member alliances the task of conquering constellations. A little bit later in this post I show that they resort to N+1 when they can’t get this tactic to work properly. After so many years at being best in educating F1 monkeys it's difficult to turn that around.
Ruining other people’s fun and game has always been a major thing in the CFC and still is. So leveraging its size to roll over Provi is playing to that attitude of destroying other peoples enjoyment. Criticizing Goons for this leads to being branded as a ‘Grrr Goon’ poster, which is a real smart way for them to say that all the rest of us are just jealous of Goon success. If we are jealous we shouldnt be taken seriously; ridicule the opponent is a potent weapon in PR work. Nobody can deny that they have been very good at this game since they inherited Deklein from TCF back in 2010.
Goons know how to use all tools to carry out a campaign. Political, military, economy and covert operations/spies are used highly effectively and they have since 2010 never lost a campaign. The closest they came was when fighting NC. over Tribute but by sheer perseverance and accepting losing battle after battle they wore NC. down and won the campaign. Their basic plan to conquer Provi looks solid enough and 2 days in they have delivered on their promise to reinforce everything. What's nice to see is how Provi Bloc are fighting back. I kinda envy Provi bloc. They get constant content and fights every day. The players there will get loads of experience in small gangs, large fleets and sov warfare.
24th of August was the first day of the campaign and if it hadn't been for N+1 factor in favor of Imperium it would have been terrible for them. As seen by this Battle Report they lost way more than they killed and only through sheer numbers managed to succeed. They fielded around 800-900 pilots against approximately 350 locals across the region. Imperium’s good friends Legion of xxDeathxx showed up in a 120 man ishtar fleet(and was murdered) with another 130 or so from PL, Soviet Union, brave etc third partying the fights. Losing close to 300 (close to 400 if you count ships lost by xxDeathxx) ships when fighting 4 or 3:1 is bad but on par with how most Imperium alliances perform. Co2 was and usually are an exception to this. They have taken almost no losses in the first few days of the campaign. Day 2 was better for them but trend of losing a lot of ships when having the advantage of 3:1 continues.
2 days into the campaign this looks like an extremely bloody and fun affair. N+1 is still a winning ticket but having to spread out forces much more it seems that the underdog gets a lot more time to bite before being beaten down. I am looking forward to see how all this develops.