Art by Major Sniper
After Big Bill’s campaign, which to some is still part of The Casino War, we have seen nullsec move into a slightly quieter period. There has still been action with some relatively large fights taking place, but these have been more the exception than a full blown campaign.
PanFam appears to have been very much on the back foot, and even something as simple as onlining a Keepstar in H-5 was not accomplished. This is surprising to some, as the NCDot Keepstar was destroyed by a sub-capital fleet while PanFam fielded super capitals and titans. Additionally, the campaign by PanFam members and those aligned to them to take Branch also stalled and ultimately failed. This is surprising, as on paper, PanFam should have been able to complete this task.
The failure of PanFam is likely a result of two main factors. The first is that GotG (AKA Dead Coalition) set all their timers to AU TZ. This is a strong timezone for the coalition, and PanFam would have needed to have timed their efforts to counter this. Secondly, Pandemic Horde space in Geminate was also under assault by SIGs and Squads from the Imperium and Legacy Coalition. We also saw Legacy making moves to stabilise the freeport trading hub in the hisec system of Perimeter. The trade within Perimeter was previously controlled by Pandemic Horde. Legacy was also the first group to online a Keepstar in hisec.
Triumvirate have also continued to suffer in this last quarter of the year, to the point they declared that they are pulling back to lowsec in order to regroup and consider their options…But their move ops did not quite go as smoothly as they had hoped. Triumvirate have also suffered a fair amount of corp turnover. Not surprisingly, the corps to abandon Triumvirate have generally gone the way of PanFam. A more cynical mind would even go so far to think that Triumvirate got played hard. They were the spearhead of the assault on the DRF, and had support from PanFam aligned entities, but once the DRF empire had collapsed, it seems that their usefulness was at an end.
We have also seen the collapse of LUMPY, V0LTA and Co2, to name but a few. The direction that the member corporations have taken is interesting, and it seems that there is almost a form of consolidation happening in the north and east. This could be an indication by certain nullsec entities that the previous methods that they employed are no longer as effective as they once were. Perhaps they are trying to adapt at last to the current meta in order to ensure their survival.
Around the Map
Looking at nullsec now, we can see five distinct influences. It should be noted that this is a rather generalised view in order to try and keep things nice and simple.
Legacy Coalition still resides in the south and continues to grow. Recently, member alliance Brave even managed to pass the 9,000 character mark. There is still a focus on industrial output in the territories under their influence. The DRF continues to crash on Legacy Coalition’s couch while they eye their former homelands in the east. Provi Bloc have for some reason decided to strain relations with Legacy, apparently motivated by Provi Bloc’s desire to completely own the region of Providence. Legacy also have continued their “content” deployment in Geminate and surrounding areas. In more important engagements and a sign of relations continuing to improve, we have seen Legacy welcome fleets from the Imperium. All in all, things are looking pretty good at this time for Legacy.
Fraternity-led Winter Coalition gets a mention as they still seem to be settling in. The meta present on Tranquility is quite different from that on Serenity, and although WC were very much aligned with the interests of PanFam in the southeast, it has not quite worked out for them as well as it was perhaps promised or expected. Generally speaking, it seems as if WC have been looking to consolidate their current holdings and to not antagonise their situation too much. There have been some very interesting, large-scale battles involving subcaps, but large scale capital engagements have not been as evident. The agreements that WC have in place are being upheld, which is a sign of either character or weakness.
Interestingly, Fraternity have not been turning up to larger events as they had been inclined to previously. Their presence was never really notable but they were there. Is this an indication of perhaps more strained relationships with those that managed to convince Fraternity of certain strategic moves in the past?
PanFam comes up next, and in this number, I even include Skill Urself. This is because it is not possible to hold the sov that Skill do without some kind of agreement in place with the other members of PanFam. The same could be said for Hard Knocks also, but they have nothing to do with PanFam at all and never have. The activities of PanFam as a whole over the last quarter have continued at a somewhat lacklustre pace. There has been a fair bit of movement with corps coming and going. Co2 have found a new home in PH. NCdot are picking up numbers. All in all, PanFam seems to be consolidating as much as possible while maintaining an elite hierarchy.
Now onto GotG. Again, they have been rather quiet on the meta front. This is completely understandable. They managed to fend off the attack on Branch from PanFam that was supposed to install Co2 into the region. There have been a number of sov transfers, which probably have been made to cater to the changes in the space held by GotG with a mind that they now lack certain “valued allies.” GotG are still secure from the Imperium for about another 3 months or so. PanFam are unlikely to try to invade Branch again in a hurry, unless PanFam manage to formulate a plan to deal with the AUTZ tank.
It seems that GotG simply intend not to rock the boat too much. This is probably a prudent move on their part. GotG know that they have the home advantage with regard to infrastructure and timezone. So why risk upsetting this stability when there is no immediate threat? On a more long-term outlook, GotG are likely to be making plans to deal with yet another threat to their space and possibly even to go so far as having an exit strategy.
As you would expect, the best has been left until last. The Imperium has continued to dominate the meta in the last quarter of 2018. The MERs have continued to be overshadowed by the Goons. The empire holdings in the south-west remain stable, and there is no existential threat looming. Although Black Legion deployed to Aridia to attack targets of opportunity, the deployment has yielded poor results. The SIGs and Squads belonging to the Imperium continue to be deployed, mainly in PanFam space in the north east. Initiative, a member of the Imperium, also managed to keep themselves busy by evicting Hard Knocks from their home wormhole system called Rage. Initiative also managed to have a little bit of fun by saving titans belonging to GotG, much to the ire of PanFam. This was probably a cheeky move on the part of Initiative, as they were less than pleased about the deal struck between the Imperium and GotG.
This concludes the 2018 Q4 round up, and who knows what 2019 will have in store for us. There is a balance of sorts at this time, but we know from history that this can change at very short notice. I do expect PanFam to continue to consolidate its position and to have a hard look at their internal workings. Meanwhile the biggest threat to the Imperium is hubris and peace, but this is a lesson that should be well learnt from their history.