Posted Wed, Feb 27, 2013 by The Mittani
Attack, Attack, Attack: If you are in an open conflict with an enemy, be they an in-game foe or otherwise, the only sensible path is relentless, unceasing attack. That attack does not need to be overt or obvious, but you must always be acting against your enemy on a number of fronts. This offers many advantages: you can put them on the defensive, you can surprise them with your ruthlessness, and you put yourself in a better position to make peace with your foe if that option presents itself.
Cultivate Unpredictability: In politics, being predictable is death. If you see that you’re getting a reputation for a certain sort of behavior or personality, grievously violate those assumptions to keep everyone guessing. You should still remain within the implicit rules of your society - don’t cheat at cards - but don’t let your enemies get a clear ‘read’ on you. Shift between being a gentleman and the Joker and you’ll be well served. A personal example: when one of the corporations in GSF was caught selling supercapitals to neutrals and hostiles on the open market - which is not allowed - they had five CSAAs with supercaps being constructed, two titans and three supercarriers. The ‘normal’ punishment would have been to seize those ships, or buy them at-cost. Instead, we not only kicked out the corp, we torched their CSAAs, destroying hundreds of billions of isk to send a message about the unreasoning scope of our wrath.
Best Friend, Worst Enemy: The ideal reputation in politics is that you are the best possible friend but worst possible enemy. Treat your allies as well as you can afford to; be generous and always act in good faith. If someone becomes your foe, however, make sure not merely to fight them - even if they are ‘honorable’ - but to make the experience as awful as possible for them, even if they happen to be militarily superior to you. Find out what the enemy abhors and feed it to them at every opportunity. This builds a strong coalition: your enemies do not make war against you lightly; your friends know that you have their back, and you will rarely be betrayed for fear of your retribution.
Learn from the Mistakes of Others: If maturity is learning from your own mistakes, wisdom is learning from the mistakes of others. Every conflict is an opportunity to learn, even if it doesn’t involve you - try to examine the failings around you and divine what you can from them. This is much harder than it sounds - learning is hard, and much harder when we don’t directly experience the pain of failure ourselves.
Next time we’ll examine the maxims of management: what I’ve learned about how to create and lead organizations in EVE and elsewhere.