Art by Empanada.
The last major blows have sounded in a war that began months ago. On September 20, 2018, a peace accord was announced. But every war has one final battle that takes place almost on the verge of peace breaking out. Congratulations Johanness, piloting a Malediction, for the corp Squad V in the Alliance of Circle-of-Two (CITW): you are the last casualty of this major Keepstar battle.
Wake Up EVE, Have Some War with Your Coffee
On Wednesday, Sept. 19, at 09:00 EVE time, Imperium forces began destroying the Darkness-owned Keepstar in system 7X-VKB. Imperium forces, under the leadership of Jay Amazingness, Kcolor, Apple Pear, and other FCs undocked a variety of fleets. These included two battleship fleets, a Muninn fleet, a Jackdaw fleet, a supercarrier fleet, a carrier/dread fleet, and a titan fleet. They expected little resistance and virtually none was offered. After 90 minutes, the Keepstar exploded.
Speaking of the lack of resistance, Jay Amazingness noted: “It reminded me a lot of the clean up skill urself (INGME) did in the drone lands a couple months ago, where the Drone Region Federation (DRF) was incapable of defending their Keepstars. I wasn’t expecting this little effort. I expected them to at least form up, maybe drop on some DCd people, but they didn’t.” This particular phase of battle was commanded by Asher Elias, but for the next three Keepstars, he handed over control to Jay and “went to bed.” Like Jay and the other FCs, Asher clearly expected no trouble upcoming.
More than Toast Is Burning
The next Keepstar to fall was in DO6H-Q. Owned by Burning Napalm, it functioned as the main staging station for the region. Therefore, resistance here increased, with some three dozen ships falling along with the Keepstar. According to Jay, this was “GOTGs main staging Keepstar for the last few months.” The Imperium strategy for the day and for the preceding rollup had been developed over time by a number of participants.
Kcolor summed it up like this: “The whole domino effect started after we switched to a ref and punt strategy. Instead of reinforcing a bunch of things at the same time and letting the enemy hurf and get massive numbers, we moved to a strategy of daily single timers. They failed to form properly for 8QMO ihub. We capitalized; their jamming strategy was broken for the C4C Keepstar constellation, which they then gave up on. We repeated this strategy with HHK or C8. They failed to form properly and we capitalized on it.”
Spaghetti and Cream Sauce, Seasoned with Destruction
As the battle went on, fleets began changing. Some new fleets came online; others changed FCs. An amusing AAR appeared on Reddit, describing the day’s events for one pilot, complete with at least two meals. The op was long and had entered its fourth hour when the 3V8-LJ Keepstar came under attack. The battle lasted 90 minutes, with two ships dying along with the KS.
With the Reddit author stocked up a spaghetti with cream sauce, the battle entered its last phase. New to the battle was Apple Pear, who began to FC first a Baltec fleet and then later a Ferox fleet. The combined Imperium forces attacked the Keepstar at C4C-Z4, owned by CITW. Other structures also came under attack, including a number of Fortizars in the area. Apple Pear, in reference to why Fortizars were also targeted, put it this way: “Because we hate CO2. And why not?”
The Day and the War Ends
After 11 hours and 30 minutes, the operation ended and the fleets headed back to the staging area at 6RCQ. Perhaps even then a few of the pilots sensed a change was in the air, which would prove true a few hours later when the peace accord was announced by Aryth on INN. As Apple Pear stated: “I love to fight but I noticed that our organization, including myself, were getting the first stages of burnout, not only FCs but also coordination and recon. So now we get to recoup for a month and then we can **** with some corps other than GOTG up north.”
Jay Amazingness also particularly mentioned the fine work of non-FCs in setting up the win: “I want to add a shout out to GoonSwarm Offensive Logistics (GSOL), recon, and our coord team. They do a lot of work behind the scenes to help the FCs pull off victories like this one.”
Looking back on the day, the FCs provided some perspective. From Jay Amazingness: “[It was] a vulgar display of power in a timezone the hostiles thought was safe.” From Kcolor: “The amount of coordination and organization displayed by not only the coord team and the FCs, but the linemembers was outstanding. It was a very large cherry on top of a very large cake and I hope we see it done again in the future.” From Apple Pear: “It was a great end to what we found out later was a great war that started for me last October. I loved it. It has been the most fun for me since I played the game.”
It’s hard to say when this war began. Has it lasted a few continuous months, or over a period of years, with long intervening buildups? Is this war just a continuation of the so-called Casino War/World War Bee? We may never agree on what to call it and when it began. But we know how the battle of the four Keepstars ended. Johanness, piloting a Malediction. As T. S. Eliot might say: Johanness, he dead. A penny for the Old Guy.