Cobra (group)/CivilWar

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COBRRRAAA!!!!!
We are going to do whatever the fuck we want.
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War Declaration

Goribus declared on the PKA:
See, the boys they like a good chase and they're not going to stop. Hell, I probably couldn't stop them if I wanted to. This is going to end one way now. It's going to end for you just the way it ended for every group that I've ever stepped to. You're going to end up humiliated and broken. And depending on how sensible you are you may or may not end up griefed out of the game. But this is you we're talking about, so I'm going to go ahead and assume that you're a complete idiot with no sense. Worst case scenario you're going to end up quitting UD and this group of yours is going to be disbanded.

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TheOriginalCobra MemberList 2012-12-02.jpg

Aftermath

I say then that the arms wherewith a Prince defends his State are either his own subjects, or they are mercenaries, or they are auxiliaries, or they are partly one and partly another. Mercenaries and auxiliaries are at once useless and dangerous, and he who holds his State by means of mercenary troops can never be solidly or securely seated. For such troops are disunited, ambitious, insubordinate, treacherous, insolent among friends, cowardly before foes, and without fear of God or faith with man. Whenever they are attacked defeat follows; so that in peace you are plundered by them, in war by your enemies. And this because they have no tie or motive to keep them in the field beyond their paltry pay, in return for which it would be too much to expect them to give their lives. They are ready enough, therefore, to be your soldiers while you are at peace, but when war is declared they make off and disappear.
- Niccolò Machiavelli: The Prince - Chapter XII, How Many Different Kinds of Soldiers There Are, and of Mercenaries

This event isn't of much interest as a PKer war. It was fairly standard hide&seek stuff which doesn't yield much interest.
The interesting insights to be gained from it are rather in the field of group leadership. There are some lessons to be found about how UD groups operate, how they grow, and how they do fall apart.

It was a war of two very different groups:

  • Sally's Cobra had organically grown over the course of 1-2 years and had committed members who had been constantly with the group.
  • Annabell's Cobra consisted originally of a small number of old members who had gone MIA for months and years.

The effect that this had was already apparent in the attempted forums takeover, when the entire current roster (with the exception of the newest recruit) sided immediately with Sally. Given the choice between a leader who had organically grown into the position by the approval of said members, and a leader who had gone MIA for many months and attempted a takeover without sanction by the members, it was to be expected that this would be the course they would take.

To compensate for this numerical disparity, Annabell's Cobra had to pad its numbers by snatching any metagame friends they could. While this resulted in a large roster for a brief time, these mercenaries had only a very casual commitment to their group. They hadn't an organically grown group culture and group structure to relate to, nor was their leader chosen by them. It was to be expected that they would go MIA or leave as soon as other diversions came up.
That was what happened, and replacements weren't able to compensate for the turnover as freshly snatched members lost interest into the group as quickly as they had been snatched.

Thus, the reason for the total decay of Annabell's Cobra wasn't so much in getting griefed by the opposing side (although that was certainly a factor), but rather in the inability to build a stable group with a committed membership that backs up the leader. It would likely have fallen apart on its own even if there hadn't been added external pressure by getting constantly PKed.

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