Battle Report: BlackOps In The Backfield


The Initiative crushed any hopes of a PAPI sneak attack during the last assault on the O-EIMK constellation. Before the first Keepstar started unanchoring, a major battle engulfed the Imperium’s last remaining systems. Critical to that fight was the clash between the Initiative’s Ishtar fleet and the highly-touted PAPI Tengu doctrine. Despite excitement on behalf of the attackers, the drop behind enemy lines was a total failure, with INIT destroying almost all of the Tech 3 Cruisers for the loss of one Ishtar and a few heroic interdictors.

T3 Cruisers Melt

The battle report shows a crushing loss to PAPI who had pinned their hopes on these T3C fleets to destroy cyno jammers and attack the more vulnerable systems behind 1DQ1-A and 3-DMQT. The first target was N-8YET and the task fell to BRAVE and Voltron. Bridging in around 80 Tengus and Lokis, they set about their task, but before they could begin they had to re-fit from the Covert Subsystem & Nullifier to the combat fit. The Initiative were aware of this: expecting to find a Nestor in system, they did not need to wait long.

Combat footage from N-8 as INIT catch the Tengu fleet. (Ava Orlean)

Brave unable to refit

Although commanded by Dark Shines, the INIT fleet contained a number of their FC team. As soon as the T3C’s entered system, INIT FC shvo had scanned them down. Warping at zero, he was able to bubble half the fleet before they could refit. The Nestor had not arrived yet. The Ishtars dropped sentry drones and proceeded to tear through the unprepared fleet. Sixteen Tengus were destroyed, including both Shattered Armor and Kel Drosto, the two FCs commanding the operation.

With the BRAVE fleet in disarray, with their Nestor cloaked deep in system, they regrouped and attempted to continue with their mission. But with half the numbers they had planned for, and most of those unable to fully refit, they were at a serious disadvantage. INIT moved a small group of Dreads from 3-D to add extra firepower, but they would not be needed. The Tengus were caught by one of the jammers. A Void bombing run deleted their capacitor and the Ishtars finished up the rest. The battle report showed INIT destroying 30bn for 900mil in losses. The fight for N-8 was over, but neighboring systems were still at risk.

Video by Ava Orlean (INIT)

While this fight continued, Goonswarm FC Elo Knight had 150 Muninns in 8WA-Z6. This time it was the turn of the NCdot Loki fleet. With only around 60 in fleet, they were faced with a huge disadvantage from the start. The Muninn fleet quickly ran them down and they, too, were caught mid refit. A quick fight resulted in 20 of 55 of the Lokis being destroyed. The remainder were scattered across the system, with a few unlucky pilots being caught attempting to escape through the 1DQ1-A gate.

The Tengus that had been masterminded by Pandemic Horde leader Gobbins had resulted in complete failure. It was highlighted on The Meta Show that these were being sold at 950mil per ship, despite a Jita Buy price of 650mil. Not only did they fail to achieve their objective, but they were slaughtered so fast it released the Initiative subcap fleet to cause havoc elsewhere. “I tried to warn them,” was Dark Shines’ comment on their new doctrine.

INIT moves from defense to offense

With the fight in 1DQ raging on, Imperium leadership decided that the best use for The Initiative wasn’t to reinforce, but to do their own drop behind enemy lines. Heading back to 3-D they reshipped into Muninns and bridged straight into T5ZI-S, PAPI’s staging system. With PAPI ships dying in the hundreds during their frontal assault, many pilots braved the time dilation to re-ship and take the gate back into the fray. What they were not expecting was 250 Muninns camping the gate.

INIT camp the T5ZI-S gate.

“We just wanted to see what all the containment fuss was about,” said Shines. Any reinforcements were quickly destroyed as PAPI scrambled to make an organized response. They brought in their own Muninn fleet that was engaged with the battle; INIT won again, with 16bn killed to 5bn lost. It was then that rumors of the Keepstars unanchoring began to reach the fleet. Y2-ANO in Fountain was one of them, in INIT’s home region. Seeing that the battle was won, with PAPI having lost the will to fight, INIT broke off from the battle and headed to Fountain.

August 2, 2021: A Day that will live in memory

The extraordinary events on the 2nd of August resulted in the rapid collapse of the PAPI Coalition offensive. The day saw the fragmentation of several major alliances and a crushing blow to morale. PAPI had placed their hopes on their new doctrine, coupled with their ability to jump behind the bubbles. The plan did not succeed. Combined with the steadfast actions of Goonswarm pilots at the gate, these battles sealed victory for the Imperium in what will be known as the last battle of PAPI’s offensive. The war has now turned and the Imperium become the aggressors.

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  • Guilford Australis

    Holy Dunning-Kruger, Batman.

    PAPI’s leaders are so convinced of their own cleverness that they’re incapable of seeing how incompetent they are. They keep rolling out these stupid, half-assed subcap doctrines to try to counter supercapitals (“blarpies,” Magus fighter-booshers, gimmick Tengus) that fail 100% of the time, then boast about their “theorycrafting prowess.”

    It doesn’t help that they ask their line members to train into high-skill doctrines like the Magus and Tengu, then use them once before dumpstering the doctrine. No wonder PAPI failscaded so spectacularly.

    August 4, 2021 at 11:41 AM
    • Garreth Vlox Guilford Australis

      You have to wonder how much of each pilots liquid isk or real world money were blown injecting into these doctrines? That can’t be helping morale much seeing how much of an abysmal failure all that personal isk burning went too.

      August 4, 2021 at 1:07 PM
      • chimpy Garreth Vlox

        You have to wonder if PAPI had previously quietly cornered the market in skill injectors, to make money selling them to their members. Everything PAPI did in this war meant the money only moved in one direction. Piss poor SRP, 50% over Jita contracts. It almost seems like a pyramid marketing scheme.

        August 4, 2021 at 1:16 PM
    • Jeet_Kundo Guilford Australis

      They place so much shit on a pedestal that it should come as a surprise to nobody that they believed the coveted T3C will cut threw swaths of newbs, only at just short of 1 bil a pop to make them extra strong. This was the most half-assed “theorycrafting” I’ve seen them pull since the Abandons, Blarpies were at least effective once. What strategic genius thought that hopping into a cynojammed system at full Red Alert, with no gate flashes to indicate that mode of entry, isn’t going to immediately start scanning down for this very thing, and trying to refit would work?

      Yeah guys, I’mma let you finish your refit – lolno. I would be pissed if I were a PAPI line member, especially for the sheer amount of cumsock treatment they’ve received as their leaders, time and again, throw them to the wolves to cover their asses. The icing on the cake was getting slaughtered by Ishtars, the ultimate space potato that fleets of them have essentially become folk tales.

      August 4, 2021 at 1:17 PM
      • Carvj94 Jeet_Kundo

        Just imagine the excitement of the Imperium line members when they realized that there were a bunch of Covert ops serving themselves up on a platter. I don’t usually regret leaving null but damm I wish I was there to slap that Tengu fleet lol.

        August 4, 2021 at 3:42 PM
  • Deni'z von Meanace

    Meanwhile giving high five to INIT folks who did great job of running second major actions during PAPI fiasco.

    August 4, 2021 at 1:33 PM
  • Kyeudo

    Here’s my take on why this move failed: it tried to go too fast.

    Refitting in space leaves you vulnerable and having a lot of an unusual hull all in one place makes you easy to scan for. If you can’t do this covered by a friendly fleet, you only have secrecy to rely on.

    Instead, they should have started this days ago. First thing would have been to get one guy in to burn deep safes while cloaked. He can also get everyone in system used to there campy cloakers chilling in system.

    Second, the T3C fleet would be brought in during an “attempt” with subcaps, to hide the lack of gate flashes and camouflage the spike in local. They would then scatter to those safes across the system and log out. Refitting would then take place over hours, perhaps days, so that only a few pilots are on at any given time. Hopefully desensitized by the cloaky campers, the Imperium can only pick ships off as singles instead of catching a whole fleet. Further reinforcements can be brought in as needed, hidden, and refitted.

    Only once everything was in place would the attempt on the jammers be made, backed by a serious surge at the gates to keep the main Imperium fleets from responding.

    PAPI lacks patience and foresight, though, so they put all their eggs in one basket and tossed it in a woodchopper.

    August 4, 2021 at 5:24 PM
    • kwnyupstate . Kyeudo

      One Nestor in a system and refitting in open space uncloaked. What were they thinking?

      August 4, 2021 at 9:47 PM
      • Garreth Vlox kwnyupstate .

        They weren’t. Should have brought ammo trucks and had each person shlep their own mobile depot in, then start burst on jump in, safe up off grid and change your fit there, then regroup to fight. But that requires actual thought to be involved in the planning process.

        August 4, 2021 at 11:39 PM
    • PAPI are allergic to work, so clearly a having a bunch of people spending days preparing was not in the cards.

      August 7, 2021 at 6:12 AM
  • kwnyupstate .

    Remember the former PAPI had the best sub-cap theory crafters in the history of gaming. How could they have foreseen a loss?

    August 4, 2021 at 9:46 PM