Rooks and Kings released “Clarion Call 3” today. The latest in their Triage series. I will admit to being a blatantly pro-R&K partisan, and this video is both their most beautiful and, upon reflection, the most disappointing. The video is gorgeous, the fights dramatic and tense. The storyline unfortunately is rather sordid with metagaming, politics, and media manipulation.
What it reminded me of was how I feel about fighting in general, and how I define a “good fight.” To me a really good fight is one I win without losing any assets of my own. I’m not a fair person. Fair fights are for losers and people crying about blobbing, cheating, or unfair actions in forums, local, or voice, are almost always on the losing side. Or spies. There’s always spies.
Historically there’s even precedent for this style of fighting. Back in the late 1600s and early 1700s campaigns would be fought like chess matches with troops marching all over Europe trying to find an advantageous position, and armies (small, professional and well trained) were so damned expensive that getting the men killed was unthinkable because it was so hard to replace them. The end result is that by convention an army in a disadvantageous position could nearly always surrender and have the men paroled to eventually fight again in the next war, rather than go through the effort of retraining them. While I don’t think that EvE needs to be quite so extreme, a FC that husbands his forces carefully and doesn’t throw them away in stupid fights will find he has more friends than FCs that regularly leroy whole fleets into a shower of blue stars.
What I admire most about the Rooks and Kings approach is their ability to look weaker than their opponents in order to bring on a fight, and then assert their dominance in a way that rarely leaves a question as to the outcome, and sometimes it’s a question of whether or not R&K will even take any significant loss.
Their is an old military adage: Win, then Fight. The theory is that if you get into a fight and then figure out what it will take to win, you have already lost most of the time. Fortunately for most of us, EvE is filled with enough amateurs that many fights are filled with people on both sides who take this approach. Winning then fighting requires a lot more work, but tends to bring about a lot more winning.
Let me lay an example on you. This fight (not my finest hour) was a thorough but-kicking by the former FWA members of Mayhem. against their former friends, FWA. Both sides had a pretty good idea what the other side was going to bring. Our side had a rather complicated plan, that fell apart when a key asset turned out to not be available when we thought it would be. The other side (Mayhem.) came in with a plan for everything we could reasonably expect to pull and frankly ripped us apart in a most professional way. They won, and then fought, and the battle ended up being less than a formality, more of an expression of their dominance, and an opportunity to kills as much as they could. Only some superb flying by a few pilots (and some quick thinking) saved us from losing a couple carriers in the mix.
Another video by Rooks & Kings shows this approach rather better than the more dramatic Clarion Call series. The video Battle in Notoras shows a fight with very small, fast, hard hitting ships well supported with Logistics ships. This fight shows a high level of dominance… and also an amusing bit where LM burns out his ECCM by not paying attention.
BTW can I change my blog banter answer to “FIX THE OVERHEATING UI!?”