Header art by Major Sniper
In this continuing series summarizing the events of World War Bee, the never-ending story depicted in the art, we look at the meta surrounding the PAPI war of “extermination” against The Imperium. If you need a refresher of the numerous events of World War Bee, then you may want to check out my 6th month summary part 1, summary part 2, and summary part 3. But let me give you a quick recap here.
In what has now turned out to be a war to create a blue rental empire, PAPI planned to “exterminate” the Imperium, though PAPI’s war goals have shifted many times since July. Currently, Legacy is doing a land grab, assisted by almost every other major nullsec power. Quite the plot twist from the starting position of PAPI pretending to be the good guys protecting New Eden from the “evil goonies.”
The forces of PAPI began the war by clearing structures and iHubs, first in Fountain, then in Querious and Period Basis, eventually moving into Delve itself. The iHubs conquest allowed PAPI to control system wide cyno jammers that would stop capital class ships from being able to jump in at will. This “anaconda” approach came to an abrupt halt after the battles of M2-X.
M2-X was a series of engagements over a single objective, the Keepstar in that system built by the efforts of “Bigandblue” and their fellow corp mates. Much has been written about M2-X, but a couple of details really affect the meta within Eve. PAPI leadership insisted that loss in M2-X was not their fault, but the fault of CCP’s poor servers. However, this argument does not hold up under scrutiny. PAPI’s move to blame CCP was considered a mistake by the well respected commentator and PAPI member Elise Randolph, as Eve history had made clear that those excuses looked very thin. Any bloc level FC knew what was coming. The reason PAPI lost M2-X was that they did not want to log back in after the normal daily scheduled downtime (DT) during the Keepstar armour timer. This was a decision made by the PAPI FC team, though Vily has stated a number of times that he personally did not agree with the decision.
PAPI were understandably very sullen after the events of the final timer for the M2-X keepstar. Despite PAPI later rescuing the bulk of their super forces from M2-X, a sizable chunk remained trapped for another month. Here, the Imperium has yet again exceeded all expectations as the “hellcamp” they ran in M2-X still held over 130 supers and titans. This “hellcamp” entered its third month before The Mittani called an end to the operation. It was another history-making achievement by the Imperium, the likes of which had never been seen before in New Eden.
The events at M2-X were pivotal. If only for the sudden realization, by at least some in PAPI, that this war will cost them an insane amount to defeat 1DQ. This was underlined by announcements by CCP confirming the magnitude of the loss in the January Monthly Economic Report.
A New Reality
With the historic defeat of M2-X, PAPI’s momentum was halted for a time. Again, commentators were quick to press opinions about what the Imperium should or should not do. However, the Imperium were very measured in their response. The Imperium knew only too well that the events of M2-X were far more impactful than the killboards would indicate or that PAPI leadership would publicly admit. Perhaps the Imperium were mindful of maxim: “never interrupt your enemies while they are making a mistake” maxim.
Despite the setback suffered by the attacking PAPI forces in M2-X, the rest of “the plan” seems to be moving along quite nicely. Three quarters of regions are subdued completely. PAPI forces have also been distributed to cover problematic areas behind the front lines.
This above image is not some future vision that PAPI has in mind for New Eden; rather this represents the current reality.
The Imperium has no illusions that the PAPI forces aligned against them are not still vast and motivated. The Mittani has even encouraged members to “find your F2,” which is indicative of asking members to do more than be F1 monkeys. Whether this request will be effective in the long term remains to be seen. The Imperium are still holding true to their plan: make this war of “extermination” as painful for PAPI as possible.
Around the Horn of the Alliances’ Actions
PAPI, post M2, have fallen back to picking the low hanging fruit available in the many remaining structures owned by the Imperium in Delve. Some of these structures can provide quite the haul, which is both a testament to the wealth – and stupidity – of the Imperium. With this approach PAPI are again relying on securing cyno jammers in Keepstar systems. When they have this advantage, they then intend to attack and kill the Imperium Keepstars one by one, a time-consuming process to say the least. This point indicates that the rumours are valid that PAPI plans to exist for a considerable time to come.
We should be cautious when believing any narratives put forward about this war.
It is best to turn to Dotlan and Zkillboard. While far from perfect, they are at least consistent in the tales they tell.
For the Imperium, the loss of TCUs, iHubs and structures continues at a regular pace. Keepstars belonging to The Imperium have largely been left alone, but other structures have been vastly reduced. But given the length of time that members of the Imperium have had to move structure, you have to wonder if they care about them at all. The Imperium have stated that these structures were simply a sign of the wealth that has been passed onto their members. Still, we can safely say that things look grim for the Imperium. They still have the beacon of hope that is 1DQ.
The story for PAPI is somewhat more complex. Given the vast number of members of PAPI, it is best to describe the larger groups that form it. These sweeping generalizations still contain general “truthiness.”
FI:RE pulled back their super capital fleet to the East. Subcapital ship support was to remain staged in T5Z to support the continued efforts of PAPI forces. The forces attacking FIRE’s holdings were soon subdued and the FIRE homelands have been secured and are ready for renting.
Winter Coalition also had issues with smaller alliances causing trouble in the region of Tribute. Fraternity, lead alliance of Winter Coalition, declared that they would be moving back to Tribute in order to stabilize the rental regions of the north. With the treaty in place with the Freemen, Winter Coalition are free to do what they will.
The situation for The Legacy is a little more complicated. Despite PAPI loudly declaring that The Initiative, Bastion and other Imperium-aligned alliances were as good as dead, TAPI seems to have a zombie problem. As we all know, zombies have a habit of multiplying very quickly, so caution is probably wise. The Legacy has made moves to consolidate their forces in order to focus on conquering Delve.
The moves by The Legacy are worth looking at in a little more detail.
Immensea – Rezda Regnum and Vindictive hold token space in the region and the situation is looking grim for the future of both alliances in maintaining a hold on the region.
Tenerifis – The presence Requiem and Vindictive have in the region is looking more stable than other parts of The Legacy’s vast holdings. The efforts of the Imperium’s forces in Catch may have an impact on this region in the future.
Impass – Brave and Requiem are feeling some pressure in the region. Again the region of Catch is likely to impact on the future fate of Impass.
The situation for a number of other Legacy owned regions is also looking a little precarious. Catch has always served as a gateway to the other regions in the south. With The Legacy continuing to lose control over Catch, it is only a matter of time before logistic routes become more complicated.
Catch – Brave has only a handful of iHubs remaining. The fate of Catch is all but certain. TAPI has stated many times that Catch would be defended and held. The current reality starkly contrasts with that failed promise.
On Saturday, March 6 2021 The Mittani, leader of The Imperium, announced that the M2-X Hellcamp would be lifted. His rationale was based on two factors. First, PAPI now is able to use a system jammer to control when supers can jump into the system. This game mechanic would make it difficult for the Imperium to effectively defend the Keepstar. Second, the Imperium has shown that it can sustain the longest running hellcamp in New Eden history, eclipsing all previous such endeavors.
The Mittani also relayed to all members that the path to victory was still very clear. The Imperium would simply refuse to be “exterminated.” With such a foolish statement offered by PAPI leadership so early on, the Imperium accepted the gift of a nonsensical war goalpost.
The messaging from PAPI has become more consistent in the last two months. Noraus, the leader of Winter Coalition, stated that PAPI is going to exist for a lot longer than people realize. This has also been a sentiment echoed by other PAPI leaders, such as TAPI Military Director Vily from The Legacy. Vily also stated that the current objectives of PAPI are varied and undefined. When pressed on this, he would offer nothing more than that the Imperium was too strong and had to be reduced. This alleged caucus belli is very enlightening, though, as Vily months ago said that The Legacy first approached the Imperium to displace PanFam from their homelands. Only when the Imperium said “no” did The Legacy approach PanFam. So, something about the public rationale for this war just does not add up.
What is clear from the PAPI narrative is that they now have a reason to keep PAPI formed for as long as The Imperium exists. Here might be the true genius of the rhetoric of “extermination.” As long as the Imperium exists in some form, PAPI members can justify being the blue donut we see in the image above. The purpose for all this space? Will it be for all the smaller alliances to grow in just as those member alliances of The Legacy? Or will it be rented out, as has been the case so many times before?
The PAPI War Machine
The events of M2-X were indeed impactful on the last two months. PAPI gains were undone, although some commentators feel that the Imperium should have done more. With The Legacy abandoning whole regions in order to commit to Querious, Period Basis and Delve, one has to question how much The Imperium needed to do to sate the desires of those who called for asymmetrical warfare.
PAPI are back firmly in the camp of “hell dunk or blue balls.” The mistakes of M2-X are likely to be in the front of any PAPI member’s mind in future engagements. Caution is now likely to be the modus operandi for the rest of the PAPI campaign. They cannot risk another M2-X debacle. Therefore, the 6+2 of the title may well turn into 6+3, or 4, or more.
This concludes this chapter of events in World War Bee for now. We are still poised for drama and destruction aplenty and there is time for anyone to join the side of their choice. Will you fight for those who look to exterminate some and rent to others? Or, will you fight for those who are the best content generators in the game? You have time to decide, as PAPI promises to be around for a good while yet.