Guerrilla Warfare

When I get a spare moment I like reading about Eve. Of course, Eve for myself is in large part about wormholes. One of my the blogs I enjoy reading most is Invading Your Hole by Longinius Spear. As a short introduction, he is the former leader of a corporation named Semper Ubi Sub Ubi, which was a smaller corp that entered wormholes last year, and created the Down the Pipe podcast. The blog had up until recently been interesting as a window into some of the smaller, newer organizations that are out there, and how they operate and find content. I caught up with Longinius’ writing and was inspired by what he has been up to the last few weeks. Let me explain. Asymmetrical warfare in video games is something by which I have always been intrigued. Simply by design, this has mostly taken the place of numerical superiority. In a game like World of Warcraft things like gear can also be considered, but the premise is basically thus: against a superior opponent, how much variance is there in the outcome of a fight? Is it possible for strategy and tactics to play an enormous role in the outcome, or is the outcome dependent on something else?

  In the above video, one excellent player is able to defeat three. Outcomes like this give tension and excitement to the players, and especially in a game that simulates war, these kinds of results are critical to keeping an audience engaged. In this case, the audience is the entire player base, as well as extraneous media. That is why I am excited at the prospect described in that blog. Longinius has taken a much more literal type of asymmetrical warfare and decided to see how far it can be pushed. He lives out of a cloaky orca inside the home wormhole of a large alliance, bombs wrecks, kills haulers, and generally is a pain. This is certainly a way for small entities to effect large ones, and it is dependent on strategy and tactics. Longinius himself admits he isn’t the best bomber pilot, and messes up once or twice. There is the obvious question about how much effect it is possible to have on an entity a hundred times your size, and perhaps there is a point to be made. Whatever the outcome, it is certain that he is having an effect, even if it is a small one. It is asymmetric warfare at it’s most basic, where a single pilot can be a pain for a large alliance. Expanding these options can only yield more interaction between Eve players, at every level of the game. Critically, this will centre around making an alliance’s territory more tangible. What intrigues me so much about this situation is how unique it is, even in Eve. It’s impossible to have this type of effect in any other area of space, because of how easy it is for a nullsec or lowsec resident to just go make money or get kills somewhere else. For wormholers, you open up these fantastic options of guerilla warfare because you know where they live, and their game is all about where they live. For guerilla warfare to be effective, there needs to be a definitive place where the alliance exists, which is a nebulous concept in most areas of Eve. The missing piece of the puzzle is the difficulty to engage in guerilla style military engagements, even if it is possible to slap around the line members. This is part of the focus I would like to see -allowing solo and small gang pilots to have more of an option to really be the hidden hornet’s nest in the homes of anyone larger than them; not just harming pilots, but being able to hit military targets and assets in a meaningful way. If that happens, I bet Longinius will be the first one to cheer.
Tags: asymmetrical warfare, joran, WH, wormholes

About the author

Joran Jackson

Joran has a new twitter account. Follow him @SyncheofGames. When he's not writing about games he's probably playing them.

  • RielSaigo

    Winning at Eve – on any scale – comes down primarily to humble logistics.

    Which entity is motivated enough to field the right numbers at the right place and time? Who has the ships they need, and the tenaciousness to use subpar ships effectively? Who’s been trained and who hasn’t? Did we stront the tower? Who bothered to set up bookmarks in the right place, train scanning discipline, and exercise hole-control? Who’s corp has bothered to train people not to go out C3 ratting in a Raven? Who’s CEO is thinking of creative ways to utilize ECM, logi, and neuts to tip the balance?

    All these things come down to logistics. Managing money, managing assets, and managing people’s time. Good organizations that do it will often punch well above their weight class.

    I saw one small C2 wormhole alliance get invaded by another wormhole alliance 5 times their size. The first day the big alliance aggressed into the system and started burning stuff, the small defenders tenaciously baited, poked, and retaliated all morning with only about 5 guys online. At the end of the day, the big boys held the field, but they’d lost half a dozen full battleships in exchange for one battlecruiser and a couple cruisers on the defender’s side.

    Over the next week, the invaders burned POCOs while getting sniped and harrassed by the outclassed defenders who tried every trick they could to score kills. By the end of the week, the invaders had lost nearly 20 times the ISK value the defenders had. But they’d put up their own POS in the system and were attempting to build a dread and were still gloating in local occasionally.

    Out of options to evict the invaders personally, the little guys eventually broke down and hired a competent nullsec merc alliance to jump into the hole and burn down the POS. The thing took almost a week to orchestrate. Time zone, alliance mails, ship fits, voice comms, protocols, and tasks.

    When the time came, a large merc fleet was inserted into the system. At the appointed hour, they started to work on the POS, while the resident defenders took up the job of controlling the exit wormholes. Then when the mercs logged off to wait out the reinforcement timer, the defenders continued to maintain a stranglehold on the wormhole K-space exit, scoring several small kills as some of the invaders tried to exit system. Then the mercs logged back in to finish off the POS with the defenders still strangling the exit.

    People were online constantly all week during the ordeal. Some guys went nearly 30 hours with negligible sleep to keep the invaders and exits under constant observation. At the end of the day, the mercs scored a modest number of juicy kills, the defending alliance scored satisfying small scale kills against escapees and attempts to grab hole-control. And the mercs added a POS with a baby dread to their kill roster. The larger alliance was reduced to fleeing for its life out the W-space static.

    Morale, logistics, keeping guys busy and motivated for extended periods of time, keeping them supplied with tools to do what needs to be done, and teaching them not to do stupid things.

    Those can go a long way for any wormhole alliance.

    • Khin’charin

      This should have it’s article alone.
      Great read and very thought worthy.

      • Khin’charin

        *This should’ve been an article on it’s own.
        Brb, english class. 😉