If

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings,
And never breathe a word about your loss:
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: “Hold on!”

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with Kings—nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much:
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it, -Kipling

Mike sipped his coffee and nodded as Scotty sat down.  “Just following the news, or lack of there in.”

“The Goons and Test?  There is never going to be a great war and you know it.”  Scotty scoffed.  “It is simple math.”

“Hmm?  What are you on about?”

“Look, for there to be a war someone needs to have a reason to fight.  Maybe not to the ‘want to watch the world burn grunts’ but to the upper management there needs to be a damn good reason for the effort.  So take it one step at a time from each side.  CFC/Goons first.

What reason would they have for a war with HBC/Test?  Most folks are pointing to ‘keeping themselves occupied’ as the best reason followed by ‘so they can conquer null completely’. Neither really holds water.

There are a TON of better things they could do to occupy their time than pick a fight that might not be easily winnable.  They live for curb-stomping, not ‘gudfights’.  If they want to have battles and grind then they would look somewhere other than an alliance bigger than they are, although not richer.  The same reasoning applies to the ‘finish the job mentality.  Other areas could be taken first before they go after HBC.”

Mike shook his head.  “But HBC won’t be sitting still in the meantime, waiting for their turn.”

“OK, then look at it from their side.  HBC is big because they have been recruiting left right and center.  They are big but they have yet to prove cohesion.  If they fight some small wars to trim the fat and make for a solid history of winning then they might be a dangerous foe, but not right now.  How many of their recent additions were corps that jumped from the losing side to HBC, accelerating the cascade fail of -A-?”  Scotty shook his head.  “They are a ship that has not had a true shakedown cruise, yet.  There are probably enough loose bolts and wingnuts . . . ”

Mike laughed.  “Oh they have quite a few wingnuts, I will give you that.”

“Montolio appeared to push for the war and then he steps back from the helm.  Some saw that as he got smacked down, others as he is nearing the end of his term or just too fed up and has joined the throngs of world burners.  What if it was neither?  What if it was a case of brinksmanship?  He wanted to see how the CFC would react to war on the horizon, to see who would be with him and who would waver BEFORE it came to the real thing?”

“So Shadoo ‘talking him off of the ledge’ . . . ”

“Could have been part of the theatre or it could have been Shadoo who was being tested and his reaction was what Montolio was looking for.”  Scotty shrugged.  “Doesn’t matter to us on the ground.  Wars come and go and we are the battlefield you godlings fight upon.”

“Hey . . . ”

“Well it is true, and the same goes for the alliances and coalitions.  How much of the big decisions are made so far above your pay-grade that they might as well be considered like the weather, something that happens that you can do nothing about except decide what to wear?  ‘tut tut, looks like grind . . . ‘  Sure some of the low end pilots on each side might be hoping for a big war but that is because they don’t have to organize logistics, run diplomacy, or try to keep on top of a hundred different conversations at once knowing damn well some of them are lies through and through.  Show up and shoot.  Be part of an epic battle where you wait and wait and then push a button.”

Scotty paused and looked closely at Mike.  “So, you have been down there in null, on and off, for a few months, now.  Would you call it epic?”

Mike laughed.  “No, but then I chose the losing side in a war, on purpose.  I wanted to be in that one, for all that it was supposed to be and all that it wasn’t.  Then the corp that took me in moved on and I with them.  I have had some good fleets and met some good folks but nothing that you might call epic.”

“If the great war between Goons and Test broke out, would you sign up to be a line grunt on one side or another?”

Mike opened his mouth and them paused.  “I honestly don’t know.  I have more friends in Test than Goons but I am not exactly enamoured with eithers culture.  Each have a habit of mocking and villianizing their enemies in a way I find offensive.”

“You have too thin a skin for nullsec, I think.”

Mike smiled.  “Most likely so.  I have manners and treat others with respect, never gonna get anywhere at this rate.  But I do enjoy a trip to the zoo to see the monkeys in the primate house throw feces at each other.”

“You’ve been reading forums on the comms, have you?”

“Yup, they have a thing called the tl:dr.  Summary of when words are too many for those of limited attention span.  Let me see if I can do that to your argument.

  • 1)  Goons won’t fight if it is not a sure thing and they have lots of other things they can do
  • 2)  Test is too ‘loose’ to risk it all before they get more ‘together’
  • 3)  The only people who want war are those who have nothing to lose when it happens.

I notice you didn’t mention tech moons.”

“I also didn’t mention renters, ratters, or any other income source. Each side has isk, no doubt about it.  Each side will lose (in the short term) and lose big, no matter who won the war it would be hideously expensive.  In the end the revenue stream is just that, isk, where it comes from is immaterial.  After the war then one side will have more of the marbles and pay off its war expenses quickly, the other wouldn’t be around to care.  Isk is a red herring in this argument though it will be pointed to by all and sundry as the driving force.”

“I don’t agree with you, there.”  Mike objected.  “In the end most wars happen for money, pure and simple.  It comes down to whether either side is willing to ‘toss a coin’ for all or nothing.  Right now, it looks like the leaders of PL and Goons declined to make take that chance.”

“Leaving the rest of is to wonder . . .what if?”

***************************************************************************

Lessons.

If you have not grabbed popcorn and watched the drama unfolding over the last few days you have missed some prime stuff.

Each side is calling the other side names and both of them agree that the rest of us are just vultures hoping that the two big coalitions will die in a titanic clash leaving us the scraps.

Could you imagine if the war actually took place?

But . . . here we are saying ‘If’

No good leader will risk it all on a toss of the coin, maybe his own fortune but that of all his followers?  Nah.  I don’t blame them for stepping back even if I am one of the vultures on the sideline.

But

Leaders only have so much control of their people and only the control that they have been given.  If the dogs of war break their leashes and go for it . . .

fly it like you won it

m

 

 

 

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3 Responses to If

  1. Jerod Trd says:

    My Father used to quote that regularly, he still does actually… I agree with your assessment, Goons and TEST have too much to lose from a war, and not enough to gain… Goons saw what happened to every large alliance in the past, get too big, too unwieldy, or simply don’t have an enemy?? you begin to fly off-balance and collapse… no, TEST is more valuable to the goons as a visible wolf baying at the door, ready to rip out their throat should they start to go off-balance, working as a reminder that should either falter, the other must be ready to destroy them.

    The balance will hold, at least until a third party appears to upset this uneasy ‘cold war’.

    Hopefully, the FW and low-sec crews get their acts together, and move into null… they’d make one hell of a mess… 🙂

  2. mikeazariah says:

    Sometimes I think PL might one day BE that ‘third party’

    I wouldn’t hold a lot of hope for some other sec of space moving in and kicking ass. Each of us choose our own part of New Eden and you cannot hope for all the carebears of High or pirates and faction war of low to give a rats ass about null

    m

    • Naoru Kozan says:

      As a longtime lowsec dweller I can heartily say “Fuck null sov grinds”. My only reason for going to null is looking for shit to kill. Goons and test are both great for that as their pilots are terribad at small scale-no-FC ship combat.

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