TRIBE Coup Retrospective: Triumvirates and Leeches

As covered previously, a coup was attempted recently within Tribal Band [TRIBE], one of the larger sov holding alliances within the HBC. A failure cascade was narrowly averted, with timely intervention provided by TEST Alliance diplomats.

Now that things have settled down, we caught up with Tallianna Avenkarde, former Head Diplomat of TRIBE and current advisor to Triget, for a better understanding of the situation.


TRIBE came into existence when two alliances (The 99 Percent and The Aurora Shadow) decided to merge together. Leading this new organization was a ‘Triumvirate’ of three players, those being Aura Ikku, Triget and Kagenotenshi. “I have been against the Triumvirate since Tribal Band's inception,” said Tallianna. “EVE history has proven time and time again that space democracy is doomed to failure.”

Despite Tallianna’s opinion, evidence suggests that while all three leaders were active and involved, TRIBE functioned healthily. The system was designed in such a way that all decisions required a majority vote, meaning at least two of the three leaders had to agree to a course of action.

Understanding the dangers inherent in democratic deadlock, TRIBE leaders knew that limiting themselves to three leaders would ensure that there could be no "tied votes." Just before the "TRIBAL Spring" occurred, though, Kagenotenshi went missing, and with him that vital 3rd vote.

It was only a matter of time before the leadership process ground to a halt.


The issue that exposed the weakness of this system is fairly common amongst EVE alliances: fleet participation. “66% of TRIBE’s fleet participation came from 8 corporations,” Tallianna explained. “In their eyes, the other 50 corporations were somewhat parasites, leeching on the works of others."

TRIBE is a rather large alliance, even in the Age of Coalitions. Its membership hit nearly 5000 at peak, and at the time of this writing, Tribal Band posesses 46 member corporations. Grimbold, who led the attempted coup, came from the "group of 8," and many could empathise with the disgruntled group, including Tallianna and other TRIBE members. However, with the Triumvirate missing its third, deadlock-breaking vote, Aura Ikku and Triget couldn’t reach a mutual decision on how to approach the issue.

“The deadlock in the Triumvirate made it difficult to come up with decision on how to measure alliance contributions,” Tallianna says, “which led to the leech corporation issue not being addressed, which led to dissatisfaction in the better corporations." Tallianna also explained that the average member was probably unaware of the rift between the various leadership members until the attempted coup.

With the issue left unaddressed, Grimbold and the other leadership members of the Group of 8 decided to take matters into their own hands, and attempted to seize control of the alliance. “I think Grimbold just wanted what he felt was best for the alliance,” Tallianna explained. “By the end of it, he saw the logic in Triget becoming sole dictator."


When HBC leadership noticed that TRIBE’s recruiting standards were poor and they had more than the usually expected number of awoxers (to the mixed annoyance and amusement of most HBC members) the decision was taken to get involved. The HBC (presumably Montolio) gave orders to Dr Kang, an experienced TEST diplomat who had been managing the TEST feeder alliance “TEST Friends Please Ignore”, to provide assistance and guidance to TRIBE and help them resolve the situation.

From the start of his time with TRIBE, it is alleged that Dr Kang was vocally opposed to the Triumvirate. Tallianna claimed this resulted in his being “stonewalled from a very early stage by certain elements of leadership,” though Tallianna refused to say which elements specifically.

Despite the system clearly having deadlocked, Aura and Triget were still, to a greater or lesser extent, in favour of the Triumvirate system. For the general TRIBE membership, too, there seems to be a certain measure of pride in their space democracy. It is part of their alliance culture.

When asked if TRIBE at any point felt that TEST was interfering in their affairs, or managing instead of supporting, Tallianna denied it was the case “From the get-go we were assured that it was only advice and not orders,” he said, “but ignoring blatantly obvious issues would not be smart.”

In the end it would appear Dr Kang’s advice was taken on board and the Triumvirate was abolished, which considering what we have learnt of the situation seems to be a small miracle.

We contacted Dr Kang on this issue; however, he declined to comment.


The outcome of the whole affair has been to place Triget in charge of TRIBE as sole dictator (adding the Triumvirate to the long list of failed EVE Space Democracies), with Grimbold in charge of assessing corporation value and participation, along with the authority to remove those not pulling their weight. Tallianna explained he was happy with the outcome, but disagreed with "the execution of it all."

With Grimbold clearly having been placed in a very powerful position within the alliance, Tallianna was asked what was preventing another attempt at a coup. “The [attempted] coup showed that Grimbold didn't have the absolute support he thought he had.” Furthermore, “History has shown that Triget learns from his mistakes, and also has an uncanny ability to turn these sorts of political duels to his advantage."

With TRIBE’s political stability temporarily assured in the form of a new iron fisted dictatorship, and firm measures to assess participation under the hand of Grimbold, it seems that things have settled down. TEST showed its commitment to keeping TRIBE as a valued member of the HBC by donating 20billion ISK to help with TRIBE’s financial difficulties.

Of course, a week or so later, TRIBE was robbed for 44billion worth of assets. There is still much work left to do.

Hailed as both a "posting god" and a terrible poster I am a member of Executive Outcomes giving me access to two coalitions to bombard with good/bad posts. Out of game I have a Politics & International Relations degree and work in Risk Management.