H-W :: The Breakout Fiasco

A well-known plan to liberate trapped pilots in H-W (some of them in capitals or super capitals) after downtime on 5/13 ended in disaster. Most notably, 5 super carriers belonging to southern alliances were destroyed.

An hour before downtime, I asked in one of our IRC channels if anyone could tell me if the NC had CTAs/regroups/ops planned for downtime. Molle said, “they would have to be stupid not to.”

Evacuating sub-caps would have made sense, simply to get the pilots active again, but not capitals. Losing sub-caps as they flee system is not a major concern, but super carriers are not so expendable.

Having capitals log in and use the “ctrl+q” e-warp trick to end up in a safe would be reasonable. We could have simply jumped them out from safes or log them until later, but actually fighting with caps was foolish.

NC Bubbles Anchored on an IT Staging POS

My personal escape from H-W in a hurricane was not particularly exciting. I did have the pleasure of 2-shotting Shade Millith (old IAC buddy) in his crow and taking down a dictor on the gate out of the system, but it was an uneventful trip home once I made it out of H-W.

I do not look at the decision to attack H-W as a mistake. The initial invasion was handled well and we did achieve some temporary gains. Could we have capitalized more on those first steps? I think that we absolutely could and should have.

Aside from territorial gains, there was a level of “shock and awe” that the H-W invasion caused. For just a short while, some of the NC pilots thought they might really be in trouble for the first time since the fighting began.

What we need to do in the future is engage in that scale of war-fighting when our numbers are strong across system after system. We should not camp in one spot and allow the defenders to slowly gain the advantage before engaging.

There has to be a middle-ground between only hitting the occasional moon and attempting to re-create the PR- camp in a primary NC staging system.

Some have suggested that, with Dominion sovereignty mechanics, the NC and SC are actually unable to eliminate each other (assuming both remain unified and enthusiastic) through a direct assault. Considering that only a slim window of timezone dominance over a 48 hour period is needed to save key infrastructure, that position seems likely to be vindicated.

The biggest factor will continue to be raw numbers, not high-level strategy or adaptation to the new sov-related game mechanics. The NC is flying high on recent victories and a new-found cultural unity, of which much has been said. I think that, were parts of the NC lazy about defending their fellow “Best Friends Forever,” we would see a very different result thus far.

The lack of progress in the war so far has just as much to do with the NC stepping up and unifying their pilots through a catchy slogan (which is part of an evolving NC culture) as it has to do with SC’s levels of participation and coordination, and I think it’s worth acknowledging that.

The Southern Alliances have a unique disadvantage, we’re fighting a war of super-coalitions with the philosophy that these large groupings of alliances are bad for the game. We have little desire to feign being “best friends” with our comrades of convenience and all-involved have an aura of superiority.

Some in the south speak of “becoming what we hate” and – to win this war – it may come to that.  I think it is becoming evident that giving pilots slogans to spam in local and composing a mythology to surround current in-game events is important. For an example of an organization that does those things well, check out The 2010 Edition of Goonwaffe’s Newbie Guide.


6 Responses to “H-W :: The Breakout Fiasco”

  1. +rep. I’d say that this assessment is honest to a fault; I’m on the other side and I agree with everything you said.

    I can confirm that you blew our minds attacking h-w like that, by the way. At one point a dazed-sounding FC came right out and said they had been discussing how to fix the situation in command channels for hours and didn’t have any ideas.

    The situation turned itself around eventually, but it was a serious wakeup call for us. All my combat assets were in that station when you bubbled it… I don’t log out while docked any more.

    • I think that most pilots (on both sides) were expecting the war to initially kick-off like the recent H-W invasion way back in April, but without our largest allies (Atlas and -A-) moved up North at that time we were unable to issue such a direct challenge.

      The early stages of an invasion tend to be crucial to morale. Starting off with ambiguous tactical objectives and unimpressive numbers was not helpful to our cause.

      Moreover, the approach of choking off moons seemed to take a page from the Fountain campaign. Personally, I don’t think Fountain-owning PL and the NC were in a similar enough situation to justify using the same strategy.

      Our timing also continues to be unfortunate. As PK points out (see aggressive tendencies blog) the H-W assault was envisioned as beginning earlier in the weekend.

  2. Again. Loving your posts, it’s blogs like yours, PKs and Wensley’s that got me to give EVE the third (fourth) go round that looks like it may finally have stuck.

    From the NC point of view. We had the bejesus scared out of us by the H-W attack (there was wailing, then gnashing of teeth). Then successfully breaking the seige and – even better for morale – absolutely bleeding the escaping forces (Napoleon in Moscow, anyone?).

    This weekend saw, for the first time in this war that I’ve noticed, offensive operations. I had mentioned to my corp mates before that the 30 billion (a possibly made up number) paid to get PL to attack Delve was the best move made by NC higher ups so far – because all defense is a losing proposition.

    I’m not certain whether the NC can support an offensive stance – after making that trek, I can understand the pressure that the supply line can put on – but its nice for the shoe to be on the other foot.

    • Titus Loken Says:

      yet again easley displays a level of nuetrality when describing what happened, and doesn’t come across as -IT- propoganda for which i applaud him.

      lost 2 manticores and an apoc in h-w – the apoc was when i got dc’d and couldn’t reconnect, then found from eve-mon i had an insurance payout 😦 – DAMN U NC PROBERS /me shakes fist

  3. Nitor1013z Says:

    Speaking from an NC point of view, I was scarred s**tless when I logged in from a secondary staging system to hear that H-W was being sieged (<3 roaming and being to lazy to head back). The overall feeling of the NC at that time, I feel, was an attitude to scramble everything. I found it highly frustrating, albeit a little worrying, as my combat assets were all in that system. *cough cough*

    To be totally honest, I don't think the SC could have held that system outright and end the war there (if thats what the plan was), because even if we lost surrounding systems I have a feeling that we could have gotten everyone to rally behind and retake the system.

    Love the report though 😀

  4. A video about the events in H-W was recently released, but I decided it wasn’t worth a new post. Here is a link:

    There are some errors (wrong date & footage from other systems) but it had a clear message and an easy-to-follow story.

    Decent NC propaganda vid (made by a Dreddit member I am told).

    I would love to see many more vids like this made by both sides.

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