Header art by Cryo Huren
Over the past weekend, PAPI members Fraternity [FRT] and Army of Mangos [AoM] clashed and shot each other, despite both organizations being allied together in PAPI. Here’s the battle report. Analyzing the BR, we see a mixture of PAPI members, FIRE coalition, INIT, and a host of other entities. The battle involved close to 1,000 pilots and over 114 billion ISK was lost, but much of that carnage happened when PAPI members fired on each other. AoM, the Legion of xXDEATHXx, and assorted allies, lost over 83 billion ISK when the dust settled.
The erstwhile strat op was a fight over an Ansiblex jump bridge in NX5W-U, but clearly once in Feythabolis, FRT decided that their strategic objective could be met while also killing AoM. Since AoM were primarily in Nightmares, many other PAPI-affiliated groups piled on and also fired on each other. AoM was soundly soundly beaten, though the Ansiblex bridge was also lost.
The location of the battle is particularly interesting, as we have seen a number of changes to system ownership in the region of late. This latest move, by FRT and FIRE, has been to secure space previously held by the rental group Invidiae Gloriae Comes, formerly a part of LegacyCo. If this seems confusing, given that FRT, FIRE, and LegacyCo are all in PAPI, let me try to explain a bit better.
A Larger Context
The battle makes more sense when placed in a larger context that goes beyond the framework of WWB. The tensions between AoM and FRT have been well described, ever since those two groups arrived on the Tranquility server. On the Serenity server, AoM and FRT were effectively the “winners” of the server with regard to nullsec. They created a de facto blue donut, with arranged fights only, and always with agreed costs being authorized. There is far more to this story, and luckily for you, it is told very well here.
The current leader of FRT is Noraus, an interesting character who is a frequent guest on a number of EVE-related shows. Noraus has (supposedly) only ever played on Tranquility. Noraus spent some time in NC.’s Destructive Influence [DICE.], and while there, he appears to have developed a good working relationship with NC.’s leader, Vince Draken. Either way, FRT has always tended to be friendly toward PanFam, for reasons that reach back to their earliest history.
AoM has had a completely different experience coming to Tranquility. With FRT already having long and storied relationships established, the options available to AoM were more limited. However, they did not want to work with FRT. Rather, they gravitated toward working with one-time enemies of PanFam and FRT, Legacy Coalition. Relationships between LegacyCo and AoM were further improved when LegacyCo was at war with FRT in 2019. As actions define organizations, we can safely say that AoM are very much aligned with the interests of LegacyCo at this time.
When Former Enemies Become Allies
Since the start of World War Bee ten months ago, we have seen both AoM and FRT make incursions into each other’s space, and they have never set each other as “blue.” These incursions have reportedly been perpetrated by both sides, and both sides have claimed wrongdoing on the part of the other. Generally, this animosity has been via proxy agents and cloaky campers. On the front lines, the disdain each group had for each other was more than apparent. Often they would take pot shots at each other, and local chat seemed to get quite heated between the two.
In order to de-escalate tensions between AoM and Frat, other PAPI leaders have been silent when both groups became less focused on the front lines in Delve, even though that is where Goons are based. Indeed, AoM were sent back from the front lines towards the end of 2020, ostensibly to provide a rear-guard action. They were sent to protect the eastern regions controlled by Legacy Coalition, back when LegacyCo still claimed to control all their former holdings, as well as Fountain, Delve, Querious, and Period Basis. FRT, meanwhile, returned to the north to establish a new home region and suppress the usurpers, primarily the Freemen of the North, who were upsetting FRT’s rental operations.
PAPI leadership has finessed these moves and has stated that FRT and AoM haven’t been much involved in WWB due to time zone differences. Further, both FRT and AoM leadership have said that they are committed to PAPI until the end of the war. Clearly, though, this present war is not their only concern.
Positioning for the Next War
No matter what occurs in the future regarding WWB, AoM are suffering losses in this war, as evidenced by this recent friendly fire incident. FIRE may have won the strat op event, but AoM paid for it. This outcome may give AoM pause for thought. They are (or should be) watching FRT grow stronger and stronger. History is replete with examples of groups that watched former enemies grow strong, hoping for a good outcome. In almost every case, “appeasement” did not end well.
Of course, Delve and World War Bee are still very much of interest to Frat and AoM. Both have a vested interest in being successful in their respective land grabs. But FRT, at the very least, seem to feel they are in a strong enough position to announce their plans to their membership. This is quite the move, given the current state of World War Bee.
While the above-referenced document is in Chinese, and the Google translation leaves a lot to be desired, we can parse some things from it. First, FRT feels comfortable with its position vis-à-vis WWB. Noraus notes he hasn’t been to high level meetings lately, but that the impending strike on 1DQ “Maybe . . . the last climax of the war? I think it’s still far away but I don’t care. . . . WWB2 is not our only consideration and content.” That last bit is the important part.
Noraus, and FRT in general, are clearly thinking beyond the end of this war. They are positioning themselves for the new EVE after this war ends. Also, from the maps included in FRT’s plans, you can see that Frat has an interest in areas other than Delve. No matter what Google does to the translation, we can’t miss that Esoteria is circled in red and, as Noraus notes, “People in the red circles should be careful about FRT.”
Is the “next war” already being fought?
It will be interesting to see if the hostilities between Frat and AoM continue to escalate. We can speculate regarding the causes of the 100+ billion loss in Feythbolis. Perhaps restless pilots, bored with structure bashes, wanted something more interesting to do and thought, “Hey, let’s shoot these guys that we were shooting in 2019. That’s better content!”
Perhaps, we are seeing that as this war winds very slowly down, the conflicting interests of PanDaFam, FIRE, FRT, and LegacyCo become more obvious. Perhaps more senior PAPI leadership will step in and demand that the respective parties behave themselves. Perhaps, the kids will be left to create havok.
Regardless, stay tuned to INN for all the latest news in New Eden.