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Delta1212

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Well, I didn't have as much time to post event-by-event updates this past weekend as I thought I might, so I'll just do an overall recap of the events of yesterday and today a year ago.

April 19th, 2009 was a Sunday. I'd been up pretty much continuously since Thursday by that point, and I was rnning on raw adrenaline. The weekend had been taken up with activity that revolved pretty much exclusively around the goal of keeping us from getting crushed. A good deal of time was spent discussing diplomatic strategy regarding the talks and how the were going, and the rest of the time was taken up in attempts to build and organize a coalition that would be capable of winning in the event war actually did break out.

The talks had been interesting. (You can find most of them here in a saved copy of Sponge's Tattler article). They started with TORN and TPF demanding that OV come clean about what they had done, but not being very specific about the details other than that it was regarding Blackstone Collusion. The accusations that were thrown out in the talks included signing a secret treaty, passing intel about TPF to Blackstone, knowingly harboring and building up Blackstone nations in OV and accepting a screenshot about NPO war chests. The part of all of this that is interesting is that all of it except for the NPO line was completely abandoned by the end of talks, and the only actual evidence present were logs that SethB posted himself of the conversation in which he received the screenshot.

This lead pretty much everyone in the fledgling coalition channel at the time to conclude that the whole thing was a fishing trip designed to find something to pin on OV. The fact that the alliance that claimed the CB at the end of talks and declared war over it wasn't even one of the instigating parties who claimed to have known what OV had done was a pretty major indicator.

Now, to switch over to the coalition side for a bit. Organization was a bit hectic. We simply weren't prepared for events to heat up this quickly. There had been a few incidents over the last month or so that looked like they might blow up and had brought a few of the core alliances together so we had some idea of who was on our side or not, but nothing had escalated to the level this had and at the rate that it was moving. It wasn't just a handful of alliances interested in finding a way to avoid getting stepped on, it was them and their allies and everyone who wanted to topple the existing political order because by the end of the weekend, it wasn't just a backroom diplomatic incident, everyone on the planet knew something major was going on and the details weren't a very well kept secret. (The afforelinked logs were published publically on the 19th in Sponge's Tattler). The level of arguing and dissent on the forums had risen markedly over the past few months in comparison to the prior year, but that weekend saw public clashing on the level you'd expect to see when you're already at war.

Propaganda was flying about, taunts were tossed across both sides of the aisles and the whole world was staring over the edge of a cliff and waiting for it all to topple over. In fact, I recently stumbled across a sig I made in response to mhawk's repeated quetioning of whether they were sure of an answer and specifically the line "<mhawk> alright thats your final answer to that/"

Final-Answer.gif

Fun times all around.

Anyway, the coalition channel swelled to the bursting point and the forum we had set up was a bit of a mess. At some point, there are just so many vioces that people don't know what the hell to do with them all. That's where I have to tip my hat to Archon. He stepped up where everyone else was pretty much either unwilling or unable and provided the initial kick that got people to start doing what needed to be done in terms of organizing something out of the chaos we had. Once everything got rolling, it built on itself pretty well and by Sunday, we were pretty optimistic. Any war still looked like it might be a bit of struggle, but we had some decent enough organization going, TOP and MHA were both confirmed to be leaving Continuum and while talks were still a bit rocky, there was no CB with anywhere near the strength we had feared might be possible when events had kicked off.

It was right about that point that we almost died. Sunday is when Chill decided that he thought the CB was valid and would oppose Grämlins' entering any war that was started over it. In case you don't know who Chill was or understand why this is relevant, suffice to say that he effectively had veto power over any Grämlins war declaration at the time. With Grämlins suddenly seeming to be out of the game, a lot of other alliances started to sound iffy about their involvement in the coalition. You could literally see that first domino wobbling. A lot of time was spent yelling, screaming and pleading with Chill from all corners and I even got word of Ejay leading something of a revolt within Grämlins that had an overwhelming majority in favor of the war, but none of it really worked. By that evening, SF had basically decided we were going to get stomped and started going around finding who we could count on to go down swinging with us. We'd pretty much figured months ago that we'd probably wind up going FAN in that kind of situation, and I even started talking to a few members I knew wouldn't want to fight an indefinite war letting them know they might want to get out early on in the fighting. It was not a pleasant time. There was chaos in the coalition channels, and quite frankly, if the attack had happened that night instead of the next, I don't think we'd have won.

That said, finding out who will go on a hopeless death ride with you tells you a lot about who your friends are. There was one conversation I had with Tulak, for example, where I pretty much went about trying to talk him out of it and hestill committed, anyway. Things like that stick with you.

Of course, by update we'd stumbled upon an argument that brought Chill around. Essentially, the CB was that OV had accepted information, and the only way to have found this out was to have accepted information, so we'd ask for mhawk or his informant in exchange for SethB and if they shot that offer down, Chill would support coming in to defend.

By Monday, April 20th, things had calmed down considerably. Our coalition had held together, we actually had a plan for the negotiations and the drama of the night before actually had many of us feeling fairly confident in the resolve of our friends should things turn sour.

Now, as regards a name, a lot of suggestions got tossed out on the coalition forums. I don't remember most of them. I do know Archon wanted The Revolution, and that was mildly popular. Whether or not that would have been a better name, I'm not entirely sure, but at the time, all it did was remind me of an old alliance (also name The Revolution) that, for various reasons that don't need to be brought up in-depth here, I didn't particularly like. So I tried to think of something else instead and suggested Karma. That got a lot of support in the channel, and then pezstar gave us the banner and the name stuck.

Talks resumed that evening. There were several rounds of negotiating including an offer on our part of two weeks of war against SethB which was rejected and, somewhat amusingly, cited as being an offer NPO gave us which we had rejected by many general membership after the war had started. There wasn't a resolution reached, but by the time Moo pinged out, we had pretty much figured there wouldn't be a war that night and people were starting to sign out and go to bed. We took the time to discuss options and came up with an offer we figured might actually have a decent chance at being accepted for when Moo got back. Of course, I no longer have any idea what in the world that offer was going to be any more because about five minutes later NPO started hitting OV. The coalition channel pretty much erupted at that point. People were laughing, screaming, and wondering where the hell the DoW on the OWF was and shouting about the fact that the negotitions hadn't been officially ended yet.

When the topic was posted seventeen minutes after update, we all got a second shock. The logs quoted in the OP were from the talks that had taken place the day before and completely ignored the ones that had been on-going and which were being mediated by a member of TOP. It should be said that before this point, we'd all pretty much been crossing our fingers and hoping that TOP would stay out of the war. That changed quite fast. In fact, I laughed out loud upon reading Feanor's post in that thread and it's stuck with me ever since. Granted, Crymson and a few others' behavior in backchannels pretty much wrecked my image of TOP during the war, but I've always liked Feanor and at the time I could have kissed him. I pretty much spent the rest of the hour repeating "We just won" in a slightly giddy sleep-deprived voice in the Skype call I had going at the time (shout out to that call which made the whole build up period that much more fun).

That was easily the single most intense weekend I've ever had in this game.

Side note: I tried to be as unbiased as possible, but considering this involves a recounting that includes my thoughts and feelings at the time, it would be difficult to have presented this entirely objectively without losing out on a lot, so expect various people to have a different perspective on events.

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Heh. Just realized how you copied Feanor's post in the DoW on C&G.

Wow.

You have no idea what you just did.

Wow.

You have no idea what you just did.

Hard to say which was the greater blunder.

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Heh. Just realized how you copied Feanor's post in the DoW on C&G.

Hard to say which was the greater blunder.

Karma, not a single doubt.

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That said, finding out who will go on a hopeless death ride with you tells you a lot about who your friends are. There was one conversation I had with Tulak, for example, where I pretty much went about trying to talk him out of it and hestill committed, anyway. Things like that stick with you.

So you're insinuating that you guys were on a "death ride" and going to be on the losing side?

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Oh man, i dont think i still have the logs from HoW but Xiphosis had a pretty momorable quote ill have to pester Fireguy to see if he still has it

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So you're insinuating that you guys were on a "death ride" and going to be on the losing side?

Did you read the fairly large paragraph right before that where I explained how it looked like the coalition was going to collapse before the war even started and we were planning on going FAN? The issues were resolved by the next day when the war actually happened, but at the time, yes, we thought we were.

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So you're insinuating that you guys were on a "death ride" and going to be on the losing side?

If NPO hadn't attacked during peace talks there was a pretty big chance the war would have been drastically different.

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Karma, not a single doubt.

Agreed, TOP at least came out brining their opponents down a few pegs, the foces of Karma came out with a smaller NS, but comparetively a lot more powerful than they were before the war.

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So you're insinuating that you guys were on a "death ride" and going to be on the losing side?

Look at the logs in NPO's DoW from me. Those were from a query with the "mediator" after talks ended, and in the portion thats missing I also noted that if need be it would just be VE going down with OV. Delta's more then correct to say that we thought this could be a loosing fight, and we thought that all the way through till CoC/TORN backing out. NPO obviously knew all that to an extent, seeing as the logs of my query with the "mediator" are posted in their DoW. Really, really makes you wonder why they would intentionally and/or be sloppy enough to do something that would solidify everyone (like attack before talks ended).

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Sorry, don't buy it. Anyone who saw the stat charts leading up to this war knew you held a considerable advantage heading into this war. There was no way the Coalition was going to break apart, I even recall you, yourself, making an essay on NPO's impending demise.

You guys had a discernible advantage, at the very least. Easily.

If we can bring in kingzog, who studies the stat charts as well, I think he'd agree with that assessment.

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Sorry, don't buy it. Anyone who saw the stat charts leading up to this war knew you held a considerable advantage heading into this war. There was no way the Coalition was going to break apart, I even recall you, yourself, making an essay on NPO's impending demise.

You guys had a discernible advantage, at the very least. Easily.

If we can bring in kingzog, who studies the stat charts as well, I think he'd agree with that assessment.

The stat charts were all garbage from what I saw. Most of them made ridiculous assumptions about who would be joining which sides. Maybe if you could actually bring up some of the charts that made it look like Karma's game before NPO attacked during the negotiations, but I would be really surprised. Until the NPO fudged the bucket it was at best a very close game, but it looked pretty dicey.

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Sorry, don't buy it. Anyone who saw the stat charts leading up to this war knew you held a considerable advantage heading into this war. There was no way the Coalition was going to break apart, I even recall you, yourself, making an essay on NPO's impending demise.

You guys had a discernible advantage, at the very least. Easily.

If we can bring in kingzog, who studies the stat charts as well, I think he'd agree with that assessment.

Yes, right up until Chill said Grämlins wouldn't come in and a ton of people started backing away on Sunday the 19th. This is all common knowledge stuff. I should also point out that those stat charts were complete BS. A large number of significant alliances like MHA and TOP weren't confirmed for our side until after NPO declared. The ones that put a huge advantage on our side were best case scenarios. The declaration during peace talks involving the largest fence sitter at the time as a mediator, the denial that those talks happened in the belated Declaration, the attempt to pull out within a few hours of declaring, TORN's subsequent withdrawal from the war and the cancellation of pretty much all of NPO's MADPs pretty much set up the best case scenario that no one thought was possible.

Yeah, I did think we could win prior to that. But it went something like this:

17th: Tough but winnable.

18th: Tough but winnable.

19th: Chill, what the $%&@ are you doing we could have won!

20th: Ok, we can win this.

21st: Holy !@#$, did that all really just happen?

It was for one day there that we really thought we were going to lose because a pivotal alliance was saying they wouldn't defend. Without Grämlins' support we were going to lose the entire Citadel and MHA. That right there was enough to scare a whole lot of people, which would have meant even more losses. Losing Grämlins by itself would have been a major statistical loss at the time and the political repercussions would have been devestating. We all thought we were royally $%&@ed. The coalition channel was in complete chaos. You have absolutely no idea how tenuous the whole situation was in the days before the war began. We were balancing whole swathes of people that didn't get along and were only there because they liked the Hegemony less on a knife edge.

The circus that was the opening to this war was an unbelievable blessing for our side, and that was after the near complete collapse of the coalition from the day before had been rectified. You can ask essentially anyone who was in the coalition channel that Sunday what it was like. This isn't exactly new information.

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Sorry, don't buy it. Anyone who saw the stat charts leading up to this war knew you held a considerable advantage heading into this war. There was no way the Coalition was going to break apart, I even recall you, yourself, making an essay on NPO's impending demise.

You guys had a discernible advantage, at the very least. Easily.

If we can bring in kingzog, who studies the stat charts as well, I think he'd agree with that assessment.

I think your still going off the assumption that there was some sort of prior conspiracy amongst those who would be Karma and that somehow we engineered the situation leading up to it to our advantage, when in reality it was a completely volatile ad hoc coalition that literally almost fell apart the moment of. Beyond that, despite what some people's sense of pride may want to believe, even when we viewed it as winnable the more pragmatic people in the group always kept in mind that it was going to be close, and going to be tough, and thats because realistically it was originally close and going to be tough. Never pay attention to those silly little lists, they leave so much unaccounted for. And, whenever a situation is arguably close there is a chance for a loss, so even in our most optimistic of times in those few days leading up to it we still all had a nervous laugh at best.

In the end, their demise was made impending by their own hand.

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You guys don't realize the variables that were there at the time. There was the ODN going with IRON or CnG, they ended up going with CnG and threw off their Blood Brothers Pact. Then there was Polaris, who appeared to favor our side but then swung to STA's side, understandably. Those were the two big ones. Yes MHA and TOP were big fence sitters but when ODN and NpO swung the other way it was decided then. Even if Citadel stayed neutral, it would've been tough. Also MHA was a death blow, they came in late. Though I doubt MHA actually made a decisive impact considering how awful their war record is.

And I understand you were on edge, we all were because we knew what was going to happen and what the impacts of this war would be. However that doesn't change the fact many saw this as their best ever chance to take down the Hegemony and the bandwagon on your side to go against them was incredible well before the OV incident. Just because you were on edge, doesn't mean you were in any real danger of losing, at least in my opinion. I think the only advantage we had was in SDI's not accounting the swing alliances, that's about it though.

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No, we did realize all of the variables, and the reason we had such a large advantage is that they all swung in our favor. But the majority of those variables didn't fall with us until NPO had declared. We didn't know where they'd be. And if we didn't know where all of the swing alliances wwould fall, they certainly didn't know where each other would fall.

Now, if they all decide to come in, we'd easily present the best opportunity to topple the Hegemony. But what if some of them join the other side? All the swing alliances can see for sure is our core. Now, that's still a pretty good size, and the best shot at winning any opposition force has had in years. But now, Grämlins pulls out and takes a number of allies with it. Without them, we're not so large. In fact, that scares away some of the bandwagon, which means we lose even greater numbers and the more that pull out, the more pressure there is for others to do so.

I'm not saying that any alliance which decided to withdraw from the coalition would have caused a domino effect, either. Grämlins was a statistical heavy hitter, but more importantly, they were a political linchpin. The whole Citadel sphere was basically linked into the coalition through them, and Gre pulling out would have put a lot of pressure on quite a number of alliances to back out.

If we had taken a hit like that right at the start, what exactly do you think the odds of all those swing alliances deciding to jump in with us would be? We had no idea at the time that NPO was going to make the strategic blunders that it did, so as far as we could tell, we had lost the momentum that we'd need to pull the bandwagon effect. People don't bandwagon onto a side they think is going to get stomped. The entire bandwagon effect is based on the trend of joining up because you see others doing so as well. If you are shedding members, people don't jump on the bandwagon. They bail.

Now, looking back, it might have been possible to salavage the war without Grämlins, especially if everything else played out the way it did in the opening, but at the time, we definitely believed we were going to get crushed when Chill declared he'd be against the war.

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Sorry, don't buy it. Anyone who saw the stat charts leading up to this war knew you held a considerable advantage heading into this war. There was no way the Coalition was going to break apart, I even recall you, yourself, making an essay on NPO's impending demise.

You guys had a discernible advantage, at the very least. Easily.

If we can bring in kingzog, who studies the stat charts as well, I think he'd agree with that assessment.

Even my very optimistic predictions only had us slightly ahead. And that was before Chill got cold feet (no pun intended).

Just before the war occurred, there was a large dropping out of alliances on our side. Gremlins was one of the big ones who just sat on the fence. At that point we *were* preparing for a curbstomp. I know I was ready to go to ZI, and that's what I was expecting to happen.

And yes, the coalition nearly fell apart. I was there. It had a TON of internal tension, a good deal of which was caused by the Gremlins. TOP also contributed quite a bit.

I'm not sure why you think you're a more authoritative source on Karma than me, let alone Delta, but you're really not.

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You guys don't realize the variables that were there at the time. There was the ODN going with IRON or CnG, they ended up going with CnG and threw off their Blood Brothers Pact. Then there was Polaris, who appeared to favor our side but then swung to STA's side, understandably. Those were the two big ones. Yes MHA and TOP were big fence sitters but when ODN and NpO swung the other way it was decided then. Even if Citadel stayed neutral, it would've been tough. Also MHA was a death blow, they came in late. Though I doubt MHA actually made a decisive impact considering how awful their war record is.

And I understand you were on edge, we all were because we knew what was going to happen and what the impacts of this war would be. However that doesn't change the fact many saw this as their best ever chance to take down the Hegemony and the bandwagon on your side to go against them was incredible well before the OV incident. Just because you were on edge, doesn't mean you were in any real danger of losing, at least in my opinion. I think the only advantage we had was in SDI's not accounting the swing alliances, that's about it though.

Your penchant for being the underdog is a little embarrassing - trying to paint another ridiculous Pacifican war of aggression as a noble lost cause against the bandwagoning hordes? Come one, put some numbers up or shut up.

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Your penchant for being the underdog is a little embarrassing - trying to paint another ridiculous Pacifican war of aggression as a noble lost cause against the bandwagoning hordes? Come one, put some numbers up or shut up.

Really now? I never even mentioned the war or the CB used for it. We all knew NPO/TORN's CB was terrible within minutes. The amount canceling on Pacifica and its allies before the war was a bandwagon if I ever saw one. There was a huge movement and the shift in NS was clearly on the other side. All that remained of the Continuum was literally 7 alliances with less ties than SF had at the time. As for the stats charts, I'm sure someone else can bring it up. These stats even had ODN and NpO swinging on our side, I don't understand how you guys are still claiming we had a good chance had Gre not entered on your side. You always had the numbers to take us down.

Only thing that could have altered that is the fact some already predicted to be on your side would've pulled out as Delta said. But the fact is you had the better numbers going into this thing, especially since NpO and ODN two wild cards were always on your side.

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A post of mine from the CSN on April 20th:

I'm not sure about CDT, I get the impression they don't intend to fight as a bloc. Carpe Diem's non CDT treaties (LEN, GR, RoK) put them on our side.

A quick run through the war predictor excel puts it at 152M to 132M in our favor. However, it's several months out of date.

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You always had the numbers to take us down.

You're wrong. Once again, we have no reason to lie about this: We were pretty damn sure we were going to lose the war, and badly.

You trying to paint it as 7 Q alliances vs. us is, frankly, a joke. You always had half of blue, you always had all of purple, you always had CDT, you had 1v, you had parts of Q.

There's really not any room for debate here. It's quite literally a stone cold fact that we believed we would lose this war. That we believed we'd be crushed.

SF vs. CDT, 1V, Q, Purple, Blue, and assorted allies... seriously, dude? IRON and NPO *alone* were 40 million NS and accounted for what, 75% as many nations as SF had at the time? Throw in another alliance or so and you've just canceled out SF's NS. Another few alliances on Sparta and VE, and you still would have another 70 million NS left in reserve.

Are you seriously going to contend that the stats were in our favor, now?

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