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"Weak" CBs

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jerdge

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Im not saying to STFU because anyone manufactured a weak CB. Im saying STFU because weak CBs have been, and will always be the norm on CN. It was a conflict that everyone KNEW was going to happen eventually, who gives a flying crap how it started. There is not one power base EVER in CN, that has not acted on a WEAK CB. Thats why CBs are flipping stupid.

Source: Which ally will act first?

I take inspiration from Rush's posts (there are many others before and after that one) to try discuss what CBs are, what they represent in CN and what part they play in the fun we have (or don't have) when playing this crazy game.

First of all, what is a CB? Most would probably disagree on the details, but I think that most of us can agree that a CB is some incident/offense that is cited as the reason some party is going at war for. For example, the attacks on a nation protected by the MK were the CB of the last big war.

Note that this definition doesn't in any way mean that the CB is the "real" reason someone goes to war for: it's just the reason that is cited as such by the attacking party.

Also note that this definition doesn't necessarily mean that the reason is sound either. Just to inject a bit of reverse Godwin's Law, let's remember Germany's terrible CB for their attack against Poland in WWII: if crappy CBs got used in Real Life we can certainly (OOC) accept them in CN too (of course, making all sorts of complaints is fair game from an IC/RP POV!)

I definitely disagree with the theory that a CB doesn't need to be sold as "just" by the party acting on it: justice is necessarily implied when you talk of a "casus belli", simply because that's what that expression is meant to mean. MK's "Save Dave93" CB was probably a bit too evidently done in jest, but it was anyway formally a "real" CB as the DoW and a large part of their public discourse was, at least initially, centered around the defence of their sovereignty. Considering the joking attitude, that would have probably be too weak for several others (it would have just looked as a way to dress a CB-less aggression with some mockery), but it was IMHO OK for the MK's "lulzy" style (which, like it or not - and I can personally appreciate it in little quantities only - is legitimate gameplay - we don't have to be "realistic").

Examples aside, it wouldn't make us any good to reduce our terminology to a newspeak-like blob with limited expressiveness, especially considering that we can use other better suited terms for what other we want to say (e.g. "reason", "conspiracy", "imperialism", "warmongering", "defence", "anticipatory attack"... Whatever you want to say.)

It's not difficult: call it a CB if it's one!

I thus totally disagree with Rush that there are only "weak" CBs and that their quality isn't important. As Bama put it in that very discussion, controversy is necessary for our fun and, should lazily-manufactured CBs (or the complete lack of them) become the norm, we would all quickly become quite bored of our discussions about wars (which are a large part of the activity on these forums). "Stupid" CBs can maybe work, at times, but there's a level of stupidity beyond which any and every debate becomes simply absurd. Cross that line and you'll lose a significant part of the fun associated with global conflicts.

There's also no need at all to give up on having meaningful CBs, as they're really cheap to obtain. CN is largely based on imagination: it doesn't really take that much of an effort to make up something to justify what you want to do anyway, especially as often there's some suitable "raw material" (= not too ancient incident) already around, and/or it's relatively easy to bait/provoke others. If I am not mistaken the LSF recently intentionally provoked NoR exactly to get the war they wanted: I don't see why anyone else can't cause/fabricate/exploit some other incident as well.

If purely strategic reasons are all you can come up with, instead, just go with them and be happy. But please don't call them a "CB", or at least be ready to accept that people will criticize you from an OOC angle if you try to do that: they're right. If your purely strategic reasons anyway work to convince your side/allies, you'll be fine... And "being fine" (victorious) isn't a necessary goal for playing, anyway (be my guest and go with your own style).

On the other hand, if your adversaries openly explain their attacks with purely strategic reasons, it doesn't make sense to (OOC) cry foul for their lack of a CB. There's no rule in the game about CBs being necessary to act, and an OOC criticism would in this case be unfair. Just avoid looking stupid and confine your criticism in the IC/RP realm.

(I hoped that I explained my POV without too much unneeded blah blah... :blush: )

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I just spent 15 minutes typing out a long response, only to get a "no permission" thing from the forum. Sorry, jerdgy.

EDIT: In short, CBs used to serve the purpose of political justification for a war. IMO, the definition of a CB is an action committed by the defending alliance which allows the attacking alliance to assert that the defending alliance committed the first aggressive or unconscionable act and thus should be the one held responsible for the war. What a good CB really does is give alliances who do not want to defend the defending alliance a chance to save their skins without facing too much embarrassment. The inverse is also true with bad CBs (see: Karma War). Now, however, the political dynamic of PR in CN has been lost because all that remain here are the partisan core members of alliances, meaning that no amount of logic or good posting is going to sway the fate of an alliance or war over time.

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In my short time here I think I have seen the valid/invalid CB play an important role in the way people act and what people do. The trouble is you have to be patient to see it. The way I see it can be crudely described as follows;

Every alliance in the game has a certain amount of points. These points are added to by its popularity, treaty partners, its own power etc. They are lost due to unpopularity, unreliable partners and poor ability to fight war. To win a war those at the top need to have more points than those at the bottom to beat them.

If an unpopular CB is used it reduces the number of points that alliance has. It loses popularity, it reduces the chance of future treaties, and it weakens the loyalty of that alliances treaty partners. Alternatively, those that have a popular CB will gain points in terms of popularity and treaties.

The crux of the matter is that a weak CB is mostly used to achieve a planned aim, and only those with a lot of points are able to carry out such plans. So the lost points don't lead to a defeat, it merely lowers the alliance in the theoretical points standing. However, eventually, the lost points will make it vulnerable to defeat. The bad CB won't cost the alliance the war it is fighting. It is what may cost it the next war however.

A case in point is the GOONS Kaskus war. GOONS certainly lost a lot of points in that war in terms of popularity, respect and possibly loyalty. Kaskus certainly gained them in terms of respect. Does this means GOONS could be defeated in the war? No. Does it make it more vulnerable to future attack? It may well do.

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Lol, I feel like I've gone over this a few times.

CBs matter a LOT.

Nearly all alliances are chained to both sides of any conflict. A CB determines where they chain onto. Nobody wants to be on the unpopular side of a war.

There are plenty of strong CBs, like defense of an ally, defense of a member (who was raided/rogued). You can simply not defend an ally, citing coalition warfare like so many others do. Coalition warfare is a decent CB, and so are pre-emptive strikes. A good reason of most of the pre-war treaty movements is determining where these CBs fall when a weak CB triggers a global war.

Nobody ever questions a CB if it's strong enough; it's why Legion-Tetris didn't expand, why the 6 Million Dollar war didn't, why Nordreich has a clean hit on LSF now. This war and the TOP-NpO war were both equally hopeless, but it expanded because it was a poor CB and people felt the need to defend their pride over that. LSF is salvageable, but the CB on them is too strong to be worth helping.

I'd say that the real difference between MADPs and MDPs are how strong a CB has to be before they'd defend the treatied ally. A weak enough CB will automatically be considered an "aggressive war".

The only reason why you wouldn't want to argue about CBs is if you've already lost the argument.

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Nearly all alliances are chained to both sides of any conflict. A CB determines where they chain onto. Nobody wants to be on the unpopular side of a war.

Not everyone follows the CB, though. Some people just want to "win," while others are too scared to make a stand for what they think, or they're just in it for their friends, or whatever. I mean, just look at the last war. There were several alliances, most notably NPO, who looked down on MK's CB, yet they still fought on MK's ~side~ of the war.

Nobody ever questions a CB if it's strong enough; it's why Legion-Tetris didn't expand, why the 6 Million Dollar war didn't, why Nordreich has a clean hit on LSF now. This war and the TOP-NpO war were both equally hopeless, but it expanded because it was a poor CB and people felt the need to defend their pride over that. LSF is salvageable, but the CB on them is too strong to be worth helping.

That's one reason why people make up/push weak CB's, though. If someone is foolish enough to give out a legitimate CB, the war never expands. So at least making up CB's adds something which every game like this needs: controversy.

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Nobody ever questions a CB if it's strong enough; it's why Legion-Tetris didn't expand, why the 6 Million Dollar war didn't, why Nordreich has a clean hit on LSF now. This war and the TOP-NpO war were both equally hopeless, but it expanded because it was a poor CB and people felt the need to defend their pride over that. LSF is salvageable, but the CB on them is too strong to be worth helping.

That's one reason why people make up/push weak CB's, though. If someone is foolish enough to give out a legitimate CB, the war never expands. So at least making up CB's adds something which every game like this needs: controversy.

Correct me if I am wrong, but I think you just said that people push weak CBs to give the other side a better opportunity to gather support. While this may have happened, at times, I think that the very most of times people don't bother coming up with anything better just because they think they don't need it for their ends. Involving the intended main target(s) has usually been done via preempts, rather than with provocation/baits.

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Right, because the alliances at the center of wars (at least since I've been around) have been alliances who know better than to take bait or do something /that/ foolish. So I think that some alliances view not having 100% support as OK as long as they're getting what they want. That's what MK just did. It's what TOP did the previous war, etc.

Or hey, maybe they're just bored and want to lose support. To see what they can get away with.

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Or hey, maybe they're just bored and want to lose support. To see what they can get away with.

There is that little problem with "courage" that plays the foil in your scenario. Lots of people with big Epeens on planet bob, very few are willing to act outside of accepted norms. Even when the peak is clearly past and we are in decline you have nonsensical posturing that amounts to little more then a dossier on collective stupidity.

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