God Forgives, -A- Forgotten
Posted by Corelin
When I was part of CoW our survival was guaranteed by two alliances. Atlas and -A-. Clearly this was a while ago. CoW was shattered, along with Primary. and Gentleman’s Club, which presaged the fall of Atlas, and the retreat of -A- to NPC null. This was a very different -A- than the creature which hides, impotently licking its wounds in god only know what space today. The -A- that existed back in the heady “A-Team” days was in many ways a prototype for the modern coalition. Multiple alliances formed different tiers, from senior members to outright pets, and differences were resolved with diplomacy and tact, not diktats and demands. At least sometimes. Recognition was given for the efforts of the “supporting cast” who gave a credible effort. CoW was never going to put up a fleet that was in the same weight class as that of Atlas or -A- and even the combination of the Scalding Ass alliances couldn’t match the efforts that -A- could project across nearly two regions to help us. Still they came. Mukkbarovian led fleet after fleet to help us as he recognized the value of both the effort to save our space, to keep up our morale, and to show the flag by dying (repeatedly, sometimes over and over) in defense of our space.
Now the hallmark of the broken -A- force is a high handedness, a different leader who may have his redeeming qualities, but is certainly not someone to count on to recognize a way to profitably lose a fleet, and yes there are times when it’s better to whelp a fleet than to refuse a fight, especially when it comes to showing your commitment to your allies. An alliance will fight for an ally who shows a willingness to fight AND die for them, even when the odds are against them. This is something -A- has given up, and something they should have remembered as Atlas lack of effort in helping its proto-coalition mates out was a huge factor in the decision to abandon the space and the coalition.
-A- refused to bleed for its allies, to back them in space or in the meta, and when the attention of HBC turned to them, when the full weight of a coalition based on, but not limited to, the largest alliance of EvE, -A- found that they could not go it alone, that without allies who trusted -A- to bleed with them, no one wanted to bleed for -A- which doomed them to a frustrating campaign, mostly spent docked in station, with few opportunities to even take the field profitably. I have joked on occasion that the best ship in EvE is friend-ship. Like many corny jokes it bears a hint of truth. Friends provide many valuable services. They offer succor, support, and most importantly, someone else for an enemy to shoot at in an emergency.
-A- also has a history of utter contempt for its enemies. This is common throughout EvE. I can understand the sentiment. I often fall for the trap myself, but one has to remember that while you may feel contempt for him, you cannot underestimate him. -A- fell for the trap, they convinced themselves that HBC could never coalesce. They convinced themselves that their finances would collapse. They convinced themselves that they could not bring fleets of pilots skilled enough to beat -A-s powerful USTZ. They convinced themselves that they could weather the storm docked up in station. They never had a plan B. They never had a plan to disrupt the enemy, to take back the initiative or to do anything but watch TEST & Company destroy themselves through their own exertions. -A- was not without success, but could not maintain it. They never made a credible attempt to make a game-changing move, to take over the narrative of the campaign, and finally, in frustration and bitterness, they broke apart. Currently the alliance still has over 2000 members, but the heart and soul of it has gone. Some fo PL, some to Black Legion. Some to no alliance at all.
Players in EvE may decry the NAPfest that 0.0 has become. They may scream about the horrors of the blob. They may wish that things were different, and many do, even within the blob, but to pretend that it isn’t effective, that it doesn’t win battles, campaigns, and even wars, is to ignore reality, and that doesn’t work well in EvE.