After giving up on pirating I recently joined a corp in the Important Internet Spaceship League Alliance, BDEAL for short. It is quite a change from my days in Agony. Holding space and having blues can actually make for fun times. Since BDEAL is part of the ClusterFuck coalition which is Allied with the Norther Coalition, 0.0 has suddenly changed from a dangerous place to one where I could Jump-bridge across all of in a mater of minutes. Each system being filled up with a swarm of blue.
One aspect of being part of this huge nap-train is that I have been on many fleets led by many different kinds of FCs. Most notably I was in a fleet led by, and mostly populated by the Goons.
In Agony comms discipline is king. As anyone who has attended one of their classes will know they have a very structured way of calling intel, ordering warps, calling e-war and generally running a fleet. Even is so-called de-centralized gangs, conversation is kept under control and discipline is respected. In short and Agony fleet is the exact opposite of a goon fleet.
The goons have a well deserved reputation for blabbing on and on about body parts and other NSFW topics. Members routinely ridicule other members and discipline is non-existent. Even the FC will go on and on about special snowflakes and what not. If I had to guess maybe 5% of comms is dedicated to EVE, the rest is just the something awful forums put to voice.
Interestingly enough this goon-fleet started to track and be tracked by an Agony gang. Agony is now allied with NC-dot and is causing a mess in the Venal region. In short Agony was the enemy. I had earlier pop'ed one of their Cyno-alts earlier in an unrelated encounter, and was mildly amused as my friends were being tracked by the Goon scouts.
The main concern for the goons was a fear that the Agony fleet was going to light a cyno and titan bridge a NC-dot fleet on top of us. Although this is something Agony does rarely, it has happened and their new friends may helping them. After bumping along for a few systems it seemed (through the above mentioned chatter about womans body parts) that we were jumping into them.
So how did the drunken, undisciplined, lewd and rude Goon fleet perform against a disciplined Agony fleet??? Agony was obliterated. A few ships got away, but three BC and a recon were destroyed.
The fight was over as soon as it started. The goons (and BDEAL) outnumbered agony at least 3-1. Agony should have never pressed the engagement on those terms.
The interesting thing for me was the way the goons operated. Although their lack of discipline was apparent, what was also apparent was why they are such an effective fighting force in New Eden.
1. Follow orders: When the FC wanted someone to do something... they did it. Ask someone to check the next system.. and they did. If not they get ridiculed so they do it right the next time
2. Structured Fleet Management: Although they seem to have their own odd terminology for it (magic snowflake or something) they set up the watch list and the fleet correctly to maximize bonuses and keep vulnerable ships repped.
3. Excellent Scouting: Through alts and blues they knew exactly where the agony fleet was at all times and knew it's composition
4. Big Picture: The goon FC was probably right. Agony should have had a cyno and a drop ready from their allies. Goons do that all the time and expect it. The goons know when and how to use their allies.
5. Aggressive: The goons will enter a fight irregardless of the consequences. The FC figured we were going to be wiped out when we engaged. Turns out he was wrong. EVE PvP does not really reward cowardice.
So in short, everything you have ever heard about the goons is true.... they are lewd, crude, undisciplined, goofing off most of the time and if you underestimate them.... you are dead.