The Disbanding of Band of Brothers

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12 October 2010

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BOB – or Band of Brothers, was once a huge alliance in the EVE Online universe.  At their height they controlled vast swathes of the games territory, and even when several other power blocs united against them they refused to surrender.  Pushed back in to their home systems of delve they fought on against their epic war that stretched on in to stalemate.

After months of open warfare involving thousands of players and spanning countless battles BOB remained as defiant as ever…

That was until, in a masterstroke of corporate espionage, a single agent of their greatest enemy – Goon Swarm – dealt them a single crippling blow that shattered their alliance.

All alliances in EVE are effectively a conglomerate of smaller corporations (read guilds).  These are independent entities but are all tied to a single leadership and financial structure.  Goon Swarm’s plan was simple; they targeted one of BOB’s corporations and were able to persuade its leaders to defect to their cause.

Now, the game mechanics of the time meant that individual corporation directors had the ability to control many aspects of the overall alliance.  Therefore, Goon Swarm’s tame corporation had a dagger to the throat of BOB.  They, concocted a plan, positioned all their forces and then in the early hours of the morning they struck!

Firstly their agent within BOB used his privileges as a corporation director to disband the alliance. Then he and other agents passed on intelligence which enabled Goon Swarm to access several protected installations and rip off or destroy trillions of ISK worth of BOB assets.

Now on the face of it disbanding BOB doesn’t sound so bad, all the client corporations (with all their ships, players and individual assets) still existed, and could easily reform and fight back – right? Well it’s not that simple…

When an alliance holds an area of space in EVE, they are able (over a period of months) to extend their control using a system called sovereignty.  Essentially it’s a rating which shows how much control you have over it – with a higher rating you are able to build more powerful defensive installations and also gain other buffs which enable you to raise cash, build bigger ships etc. 

Effective defence against a determined foe cannot be sustained with a fleet of ships alone; you need to use your ships in combination with high sovereignty and defensive installations to really put up a good fight. With its disbandment all of BOB’s sovereign systems instantly reverted to unclaimed space.  Its once impregnable fortress had become wide open to attack.

…Which is exactly what GoonSwarm did, in a ballsy move they abandoned their home territories and moved lock, stock and barrel in to BOBs former space.  BOB in the meantime was in disarray, trying to regroup and work out what the hell to do – they were in no shape to put up an effective fight.

In the weeks that followed, BOB put up a desperate fight.  They tried desperately to regain some their former territory.  But this was a fruitless struggle; their loss of sovereign territory put them at a huge disadvantage and denied them a financial and logistical base. And eventually they were left with no choice but to call off their counteroffensive – Signalling Goon Swarm’s victory and the end of the war.

In a final footnote, As well as destroying their alliance and invading their territory, Goon Swarm also created a new dummy alliance with the name Band of Brothers.  This meant that the name was reserved, so the old BOB forces couldn’t even claim that back as they reformed… Pwned!

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