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The Economist ~ CTRL sacrificed on the altar of common sense

Dan 1,809, 09:44 od Iain Keers


Dear friends,

A couple months ago I moved back to Poland from Slovenia to publish an article about CTRL. In fact, in the months I’ve been here I’ve published two (here and here) about the alliance and its prospects as I saw them. As you probably know by now, I am not a fan of the alliance, and I felt it was doomed from the start.

The huge stumbling blocks of differing goals and ambitions, differing cultures and a history of being enemies stretching back years tripped the alliance at every opportunity. When Poland announced today it was leaving the alliance along with Spain, it wasn’t so much a shock as a relief for me. The alliance was based on concepts which were interesting but ultimately relied on a bonding that never happened between the allies. With no real external threat, the alliance tore itself apart as each half stretched the hand of friendship whilst continuing to fight proxy wars abroad.

The future for the alliance system now seems inevitable. The original focal point of CTRL- a NAP between SPoland and BRUSA need not be scrapped, but it seems inevitable that the USA will drift back to EDEN, with MPPs being slowly dropped and informal alliances reappearing. The former ONE countries never lost their close ties, and now what has persisted for a long time as a close friendship has the potential to go further.

The problems with ONE were not in most cases problems with countries. The problems were systematic, to do with the way the alliance was organised and structured. It was simultaneously too weak to enforce unity, and too strict to allow compromise. It encouraged cliques, it encouraged infighting and by the end countries were being used as tools in power struggles between leaders that drove the alliance apart.

The lesson learned from the ONE disaster should be that the purpose of an alliance is to represent and co-ordinate synergistically, so the whole is greater than the sum of the parts. To do this you have to look at power proportionally. In the ONE alliance a frequent event was the inactive leadership of Sweden being used as a proxy vote by one side or another, since the actual CP rarely turned up to vote, or if they did was disassociated from the ongoing politics and was easily swayed. The presence of small, weak and inactive countries in the ONE leadership was a major problem, and meant that votes were disproportionate to the actual importance of the country.

Now this might sound cruel or undemocratic, but it’s not. Coming from a very small (and very active) country, it’s always frustrating to be lumped in with other countries our size that boast a mere handful of top class leaders. But we still have to accept that it’s not only impractical but ridiculous when four countries representing 60% of the damage and population of an alliance can be over-ruled by a half dozen barely active proxy vote CPs who are stampeded in a certain direction by ambitious alliance politicians. Any future alliance to emerge from the ruins of EDEN/ONE/CTRL must have at its heart a system whereby the importance of a country is reflected by its political clout. Whether that means associate membership, or weighted voting, is a decision to be made by leaders in future. But the illusion of equality was a disaster in ONE and we should learn from it.



Another problem with alliances is the push of responsibility for military leadership from the MoD/CP to the alliance Military Command. This makes the job of the MC impossible, and almost nullifies the purpose of the MoD themselves. Where possible priorities should be discussed by MoDs between themselves- again easier with a smaller number of states involved. One solution to the MC problem would be to appoint an MoD as MC, thus combining the roles. By rotating the position, you prevent one country hogging priority whilst putting the most active and involved people in charge of setting military priorities. Smaller countries, or affiliated members wouldn’t need to be on such a council except as observers. If you compare the UK, for example, which has perhaps 200 fighters in organised MUs to Serbia- which has more than 2000- you quickly realise that being MoD in a small country is like being a MU Commander in a larger one. Lack of representation again isn’t a problem, and there’s nothing stopping talented people in small countries progressing within the alliance.

Another thing we need to learn from ONE/CTRL is that the function of treasurer/central bank/liberation fund/tank fund is essential. We had a small tank fund in ONE and it proved to be the single most effective military tool we had- and it was tiny in comparison to the Phoenix Central Treasury which preceded it. Not only is financial understanding more important than ever, but the use and distribution of weapons in a MU-based military module is the most efficient way to direct damage. Up-scaling and centralising this must be a priority for any alliance which wants a rapid response system to deal with RWs, late night battles and surprise attacks.

The last and most important lesson we need to learn regards the influence of non-elected citizens from various countries. Nearly every battle at the end was on the lines of CPs asking “why is such-and-such a citizen from my country in HQ when I don’t like them?” The old argument that CPs do not select HQ needs to be binned with finality. Presidents should choose HQs, and that includes everyone from the SG to the lowest advisor. Advisors should be reviewed every month, should require sponsorship from a core member and the assent of all members. They should be banned from interfering in local politics, and in fact should be politically neutral. If an advisor from Serbian party A is in HQ, and Serbian party B is elected, they need to be able to work with both equally well. This would do much to crush the feeling of an isolated elite which dominates every alliance.

In conclusion, CTRL is dead and I’m glad to see it go. It represented an impractical escalation of what was a perfectly well functioning NAP. It existed for over a year but never once acted as an alliance. It was however exactly the shake-up we needed post Terra/ONE and has changed the political scene in Europe forever. From here the European nations have a number of choices. Either reform a new alliance like ONE, continue on with the current loose affiliation or build a wholly new alliance based on the principles I’ve mentioned here. I might be a little biased, but I know what I’d do.

Here’s to the future

Iain


“You see things; and you say, 'Why?' But I dream things that never were; and I say, 'Why not?'”
-George Bernard Shaw

 

Komentari

Jimbojoy
Jimbojoy Dan 1,809, 09:44

Pertamaxxx

Invalidation
Invalidation Dan 1,809, 09:44

IMPERIUM

ivan.sk
ivan.sk Dan 1,809, 09:49

''If an advisor from Serbian party A is in HQ, and Serbian party B is elected, they need to be able to work with both equally well. This would do much to crush the feeling of an isolated elite which dominates every alliance.''


good luck with that : )

fagyan
fagyan Dan 1,809, 09:49

uUu TUP uUu

Maze87
Maze87 Dan 1,809, 09:51

Tesla > Edison, true story though voted

Talon Karrde
Talon Karrde Dan 1,809, 09:52

Great ideas and it'd be good to see them implemented in the next alliance.

Danie Fox
Danie Fox Dan 1,809, 09:58

''If an advisor from Serbian party A is in HQ, and Serbian party B is elected, they need to be able to work with both equally well. This would do much to crush the feeling of an isolated elite which dominates every alliance.''

Interesting, as it could be applied to you in the future.

EmperorNauf
EmperorNauf Dan 1,809, 10:01

Actually CTRL served it's purpose (:

Iain Keers
Iain Keers Dan 1,809, 10:02

Even when I campaigned hard against a UK CP, once elected I've always backed them to the hilt in the alliance.

UK comes first for me (:

RaviMirza
RaviMirza Dan 1,809, 10:04

well oh well

Israel Stevens
Israel Stevens Dan 1,809, 10:07

In this article: Keers talking out his ass. Which is apparently the normal thing to do.

Iain Keers
Iain Keers Dan 1,809, 10:09

In this comment ^

Someone butthurt they bet and lost.

alpho
alpho Dan 1,809, 10:16

so just your regular dead newborns

ObIiterate
ObIiterate Dan 1,809, 10:17

This ambition was far beyond any of the dimwitted blockheads trying to make it happen.

Phantom Pain
Phantom Pain Dan 1,809, 10:30

Time to CTRL+ALT+DEL then.

elbandido
elbandido Dan 1,809, 10:31

almost all alliances are dead

Sean MacDiarmata
Sean MacDiarmata Dan 1,809, 10:48

Fantastic article Iain

Plainswalker
Plainswalker Dan 1,809, 10:50

All I can say is, who cares...

vukio
vukio Dan 1,809, 10:53

An, an eUSA, old coward, now will run to EDEN like a little b..ch. With them and eTurks, I wish all the luck to EDEN.

vukio
vukio Dan 1,809, 10:57

eUSA proved how much they care about anybody, they were yelling about brotherhood and than left eCanada to be crushed by ePoland, they were telling lies to eFrance and eRussia just so they use them as a buffer zone to protect their original territories and eventually left eFrance to be crushed by ePoland when they found new interest, there is so many stories like this... so I wonder how will they use EDEN.

Maegalodonus
Maegalodonus Dan 1,809, 11:03

interesting article

Danie Fox
Danie Fox Dan 1,809, 11:03

They never got what Ctrl was about, read the US CP's latest article:

"there is no way the USA could function" [not being able to fight] "the two countries who have been our fiercest enemies for years."

Death and Taxes
Death and Taxes Dan 1,809, 11:35

Iain.

All alliances are doomed to failure if they are run by politicians. Having CP's take responsibilities for military strategy is laughable, as the there is a revolving door of them with different agendas and egos. The only solution for stability in alliances is to have a stable high command made up of MU commanders weighted by influence. Whether these are MOD's or not is irrelevant. These position should be permanent. That way, decisions are made that make sense militarily.

Iain Keers
Iain Keers Dan 1,809, 12:14

/me shrugs

I'm speaking from three years experience in alliance HQs.

AppleMan
AppleMan Dan 1,809, 12:23

I don't know why we bothered to change the names from ATLANTIS and PHOENIX, why're still pretty much along those lines.

The more things change the more they stay the same.

collinfigures
collinfigures Dan 1,809, 13:10

good!

MachakTheDestroyer
MachakTheDestroyer Dan 1,809, 13:15

good one..

SrogiLusnia
SrogiLusnia Dan 1,809, 16:52

vote

Ice Killa
Ice Killa Dan 1,809, 16:59

You summed it up. Great article, great explanation.

Although I believe CTRL failed not so much due to cliques being made, but more due to the stupidity of certain individuals unable to express patience when it was most needed. After all giving ultimatums to a country that is deemed as one of the strongest and most stable after all isn't a sign of good health.

The system you have presented in your article and was partially used in former Phoenix and ONE is in theory good. The problem is...

Ice Killa
Ice Killa Dan 1,809, 17:02

it gets abused, people tend to suck in to the HQ, individuals with absolutely no credibility are in the HQ simply because they share good relations to the top members of the alliance. In a way, yes, you can call it elitism, as was the case in Phoenix - definitely. Same old individuals being part of the HQ for few months on end without any real function in it. Feherlofia Koppany once upon a time wrote an interesting article describing how he feels about it.

Good ideas are hard to implement.

chriswen
chriswen Dan 1,809, 18:47

its funny because I thought you weren't military

ExZilYon
ExZilYon Dan 1,809, 18:52

My experience from other games that are somewhat similar to this one tells me that alliance should be lead by 3rd party people decided by government and oposition from one country. That way inner conflicts won't get into alliance plans and alliance would work as it should.... On top of that most of the people that are "out" of politics are usually great planners and tacticians. Yes after some time those people will get tired but new will come.... I am sure there are people like that in here.

Niemand
Niemand Dan 1,809, 23:29

Voted!
Can we learn from the past when ambitious fresh people are needed at the same time?
(Yes it is possible, but very difficult!)

BorowikSzlachetny
BorowikSzlachetny Dan 1,810, 06:54

o/

xenophob
xenophob Dan 1,810, 08:28

CTRL? Wha'ts that?

Cosmin7
Cosmin7 Dan 1,810, 11:57

LoL, that aliance has resisted only 1 mounth, great work CTRL;)

Chuchi
Chuchi Dan 1,810, 12:13

Some great points over here.

Cosmin7, in a month we have butthurted more than EDEN in 2 years

hesar
hesar Dan 1,811, 04:51

an interesting point of view
definitely CTRL was not an alliance but just conglomerate of countries tired of figthing always the same 'important' fights
but i think that creating , so called CTRL, was refreshing for global politics in erepublik

Mary Chan
Mary Chan Dan 1,811, 04:52

~hyuu~

Always a worthy read.

 
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