Yesterday, TheMittani released a simulcast alliance update to the Goonswarm forums and TMC.com that contained a whole bunch of announcements. While I am going to post about some of them affecting the null-sec game, one mention, in particular, stands apart from the others.
That, of course, was the formal declaration of war by the CFC against the ruler of the Amarr Empire. The section where he speaks about this is short, and is worth repeating in its entirety.
The first act of our new Imperium: we formally declare our undying loyalty to the True Emperor of Amarr: Maximilian Singularity VI, First of His Name. Anyone in New Eden declaring for the False Empress Jamyl will be violently disabused of their heresy and their territory forfeit. Until the CONCORD-protected zones declare for the True Emperor, we'll have to content ourselves with enforcing the True Emperor's truth across Providence the moment that Fozziesov goes live. We grant Providence the opportunity to reflect upon their sins and seek redemption by bending the knee, just as I have.
Now, it’s absolutely certain that the Providence campaign is nothing more than a test flight of FozzieSov mechanics. Through it, GSF and allies can learn what works and what doesn’t in attacking and defending a region GSF has no long-term desire to hold and which doesn’t threaten its home. If you think otherwise, look to the timing; GSF is announcing an invasion two full months in advance… hardly the “keep your cards close…” approach that leads to successful attacks.
And this, after all, is the point. The CFC wants to attack an area of space that will grant the highest chance of an active defense. They want fights, cunning, and counterattacks. This is very much an experiment in FozzieSov… and like any good experiment, you want to emulate the conditions you’d find in a real-world scenario as much as possible to gain accurate, true results. In an experiment, you aren’t looking for success, you’re looking for insight.
Which is, of course, why the CFC announced a name change to The Imperium and declared allegience to a member of Amarr society who – according to the roleplayers – isn’t even a legitimate contender for the Amarr throne. He’s providing a narrative – on all fronts - to force ProviBloc to fight the CFC. While a null-entity may roll over when the CFC invades with the intent to conquer it all back when the coalition leaves (which would deny the fights that will allow both sides to truly learn from the conflict), that same null-entity – who has a propensity for the RP aspect of Eve - simply cannot justify handing space over to a rival faction in what is effectively being declared a civil war. The political decision says to dock up, but if ProviBloc does, they’ll be invalidating all of their RP heritage.
That, they simply cannot do. TheMittani clearly wants to learn how FozzieSov will function in a real, stress-filled, emergent way, and he’s not willing to wait. He’ll do what it takes to force an opponent to fight his coalition so he can accelerate those lessons on someone else’s front lawn instead of his own.
The choice of ProviBloc is a wise one, if you look at the decision from that perspective. After all, ProviBloc doesn’t show the appetite for large-scale conquest. They’ve been pretty happy with their region (more or less) for quite a number of years, and they’re unlikely to begin expanding – certainly not to invade the CFC itself. Of all the null entities, ProviBloc poses the least threat, yet still has the stomach for a spirited defense. They’re the perfect sparring partners. After all, both partners learn something in a spar. Far better that you enrich an enemy who doesn’t threaten you than one who does.
For that reason, I’m going to reserve judgment on the name “The Imperium”, as well. I’m a bit suspicious about whether it will stick long-term. It fits nicely with the Amarr Civil War theme… almost too well. But it does sit on a press page much nicer than Clusterfuck Coalition does. With TMC.com and the increased press the CFC has been getting as the hegemonic coalition in Eve, I see a lot of reasons why a name change is in order.
And it’s not as if The Imperium instills any “we’re the good guys!” vibe compared to Clusterfuck. This isn’t an attempt at redeeming their image, despite what the last line of the alliance update says. “Goonswarm 2015: We are not here to ruin your game, but to ~enhance your immersion~”. Tongue firmly lodged in cheek.
This is a really smart play to force an enemy into a position in which he simply must fight you, through which you can gain valuable experience in a new sov system that no one else will have. This is why the CFC thrives… it has organization and foresight that it uses to gain competitive advantages. And experience with FozzieSov is definitely going to be a competitive advantage.
On a side note, I personally voted that we should call the coalition, “The Coalition”. After all, what would be more arrogant or fit more perfectly than to identify yourself as the archetypical coalition? THE Coalition? Some other alternatives were the Checkbox Coalition (so named for the checkbox folks filled out to vote for a name), Mittens’ Kittens (which my wife favored), and “Look we all know democracy is a total sham and you'll just do what you want”.
But, hey, I’ll go with it. He cited my favorite empire, with it’s lovely Golden Lion Throne, Sardaukar, and the Landsraad (which totally needs to be the name of collection of alliance and corporation leaders).
So, all hail the Imperium. The content must flow.