Hard Knocks Falls on Hard Times, Again


On December 15, 2018, at slightly before 01:00, The Initiative again took the…err…initiative in J115405, also known as Rage. Following up on its very successful attack on the Keepstar named Fort Knocks, The Initiative was looking to destroy the second Hard Knocks Keepstar. This Keepstar had the name of “Unassailable Wealth”.

Reducing this Keepstar to its final timer had been a relatively quiet affair. The Keepstar Doomsday device pulsed every 10 minutes or so, with a steady stream of bombs emanating from its heart. The resistance by Hard Knocks in the form of an actual fleet was lacking, as were their valued allies.

By 01:18, the Keepstar erupted into a ball of flame and twisted metal. The wormhole community felt a great disturbance in the Force, as if millions of voices suddenly cried out in terror and were suddenly silenced. It is feared something terrible has happened. And something terrible had happened…well, for Hard Knocks, at least.

As the blast wave filled the night sky, containers and ships were spewed forth. Hundreds of items appeared, countless hours of effort jettisoned for the victors to claim as their own. By 01:40, the Keepstar grid had been cleared of the debris by Initiative members. It was another prize well-earned. While the former possessions of Hard Knocks were being looted by Initiative members, there was a special display given to observers of this win. The Initiative fleet made an impressive display of piloting, or organisation, by arranging their ships in the formation of their alliance logo. Yet again Initiative demonstrated its competence in a manner many elite groups could only view with at least a little envy.

Initiative has declared that it intends to purge all traces of Hard Knocks from J115405. Towers, citadels and even the customs offices, everything would be destroyed. Many of the remaining structures are also poised to die in the very near future.

Perhaps most interestingly is what the future holds for Hard Knocks. The shock waves of this incursion by The Initiative are even being felt by other wormhole residents. The safety that wormholers felt in spooky space has been rocked. Could it even be that other nullsec or lowsec entities will now look to wormhole space for the ever-sought-after content? It is entirely possible that the Hard Knocks nullsec rental empire will now find itself under threat. Especially given that Hard Knocks has been claiming that it can only field 100 pilots or so. Does an alliance that can only field such numbers really deserve to hold an entire region full of renters?

Only time will tell what the future of Hard Knocks truly holds. There has been rumours that they will fold into another entity. But at this time there is no significant change in their numbers according to Dotlan.

In all of this I can only but wonder if the fate of Hard Knocks is tied into their lack of faith in Bob. For we all know that Bob is cruel and unforgiving to those whose wills are tested and found to be wanting.

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  • The Yzzerman


    December 15, 2018 at 9:45 AM
    • Guilford Australis The Yzzerman

      The coping mechanisms we humans develop to rationalize extraordinary events that lie beyond our comprehension are truly remarkable. Thank you for providing us with an example of that phenomenon.

      December 15, 2018 at 1:20 PM
    • Carvj94 The Yzzerman

      Explain? Otherwise your comment is dumb.

      December 17, 2018 at 2:22 AM
  • Gray Doc

    Very informative article. The bubble are by INIT pilots is as amazing to me as the destruction of the KS. The organization needed to pull that off, and to get the sun for the eye, boggles the mind. The Star Wars quote was very apropos as well.

    December 15, 2018 at 11:12 AM
  • General Thade

    Another question is if they intend to populate the hole after its burned to the ground. There is a lot of PVP possibilities in that C5-C5 chain, and a decent amount of ISK too.

    December 15, 2018 at 7:36 PM
    • Moomin Amatin General Thade

      Now I know that you are a wormholer. So my question to you is, do you want Initiative to move and and to play the wormhole game?

      December 15, 2018 at 8:34 PM
      • General Thade Moomin Amatin

        It depends. If they plan out insanely out numbering people then no. In wormhole space unless its a gang, fights between large groups are coordinated when they come in contact with each other. They will call the doctrines, what logi, capitals or not, and the numbers. If INIT brings 100+ dudes against 50 dudes, then we dont want them here. If they play somewhat fair tho and they are not complete jerks, then they are welcome to anokis 🙂

        December 16, 2018 at 12:17 AM
        • Moomin Amatin General Thade

          An interesting answer.

          For me a tough fight has much more meaning than something that is arranged beforehand. During The Casino War The Imperium was outnumbered around 4 to 1, but at no point did The Imperium stop fighting. Sure The Imperium had to move in order to build what was needed, but this was only after over half a year of being assaulted by most of Eve in the north. The SIG deployments that I and many others enjoy so much often have us fighting similar odds. Not only do we fight 4:1 against us but also under a capital umbrella. These are a lot of fun and are really tough. Even to just stay alive takes a lot of skill and effort. Fighting against such odds really does mean that you have to test yourself. You have to be really creative with the assets you have available. New doctrines and tactics are developed.

          Recently we have seen The Imperium come back from being on the ropes just a couple of years ago. With back to back victories against Panfam in the south and the north. The meaning from such wins and the stories that many members have created for themselves feel very real.

          What you seem to propose with your answer is something that would have robbed me of my stories should nullsec adopt a similar policy. Pre-arranged fights in affordable doctrines lessen greatly the risk. A big part of Eve for me is the risk. It is what makes it so unique. I mean if there is no risk then why not just go and live on Singularity?

          I appreciate that you are in fear for your chosen style of play and you should be. But I also think that you should remember that for many years HK and LH have come through wormholes and ganked many nullsec pilots. Often outnumbering their prey many times over; you could even call it blobbing. HK have also taken to creating a nullsec rental empire. I did not hear you complaining then and I have to ask, why not?

          So in all of this all I can say is “we are not here to ruin the game, we are here to ruin your game”.

          December 16, 2018 at 6:43 AM
          • Carvj94 Moomin Amatin

            So your gonna be a dick to all wormholers cause a few high class groups did fleets in null? We don’t get the luxury of retreating in wormholes. There’s no “GF” when we get evicted. We exist in groups of less then 60 pilots and we lose EVERYTHING in one go when get kicked out. We do gang skirmishes between each other for fun and respect each other’s homes so I don’t appreciate it when null dudes say they want to kick over our sandcastles for fun. You guys get enough of that when you boot 100 man alliances from their sov for no reason other than boredom. No need to cause trouble in our space. Too many barren and unoccupied J-space systems as is.

            December 17, 2018 at 12:56 PM
          • Moomin Amatin Carvj94

            Having an exit strategy in Eve is simply good planning. The rewards from WH life are reflected in the risks. Also I am finding hard to understand why nullsec evicting a WH group is any worse then Whers evicting a different WH group. By all accounts that has happened plenty of times in the past.

            You use “we” as if you represent all Whers. Yet WHers make incursions into nullsec, to the extent they even setup rental empires. There are groups in both J and K-space that are keen to keep it empty so that they can insert renters or have additional protection by the virtue of lower player density. The Imperium as a whole is not one of them. Hence the creation of the Querious Fight Club.

            If you want to see what The Imperium thinks space should look like then come to Delve. If you want to see the other end of the spectrum then look at somewhere like Outer Passage. The contrast is quite stark.

            December 17, 2018 at 1:20 PM
          • Carvj94 Moomin Amatin

            What exit strategy do you think is possible in a wormhole? An eviction is the exact same situation as being hellcamped into the wrong end of a pipe system except you can’t cyno anything out and if you fail you lose everything in that hole with no asset safety.
            Wormholes groups by a large margin don’t evict wormhole groups. We set up brawls for fun and don’t touch structures unless they are low power. Your thinking of several groups in high class groups. Which low class dwellers combined outnumber at least 8:1. And while I don’t represent all wormholers I represent a low class group that outnumbers HK by double and maintains ties to over a dozen other groups from various classes. Conservatively I’d say 400 individual players among our “allies”. So I can tell you with confidence that you don’t understand wormhole politics at all and your just stereotyping us based on HK who are fairly unique.

            December 17, 2018 at 1:59 PM
          • General Thade Carvj94

            Like I have said before, WH space has a culture. If nullsec does not want to follow that culture then they are an extreme threat to J-space. A big problem with this eviction was they brought thousands of players to evict 60 dudes, and called it a challenge/even fight. Nothing about that is even. I dont think there should be even odds in EVE, its not that type of game, but if you want to have fun, coming with 4000 dudes to shoot a few structures is not my idea of fun, but others might say otherwise.

            December 17, 2018 at 4:04 PM
          • Guilford Australis General Thade

            Wormholers don’t seem keen to acknowledge that they themselves warned INIT they would all band together to repel the threat to HK.
            Additionally, HK made it extremely difficult to judge their actual numbers by dispersing members and allies into about 10 different shell corporations, *and* they are known to have nullsec allies whom they call upon to blob their enemies in both wormholes and nullsec. It was reasonable for INIT to believe their Keepstar smash could turn into a 2000-pilot Wild West fracas – and frankly I think they hoped it would. The largest estimate I saw of players on grid during the final timer was about 1400, not 4000 and not even 2000.

            I understand that this was not a wormhole-style fight and the wormholers don’t like this kind of thing being taken to their front lawn. Fine. Nullsec alliances don’t like having wormholers rage-roll into their space to blob their miners and ratters, either.

            December 17, 2018 at 4:52 PM
          • General Thade Guilford Australis

            Okay, I understand your argument. But you killed trillions of assets with 1400 peeps, and once and a while we will come to your space and kill a rattle or a few mining barges. Your cap umbrella and our numbers keep anything like a rorq slaughter or a D-W beacon attack from happening. You cant really compare the two or call the rage incident “revenge”.

            December 17, 2018 at 4:56 PM
          • Guilford Australis General Thade

            You’re right, of course. My broader observation is that wormholers want to be able to bring wormhole culture to nullsec whenever they feel like it, but they don’t think nullsec culture should ever be brought to wormhole space. And it does hardly seem like the two can coexist – given that the population of nullsec is several times larger than J-space, we have a much higher destructive potential and less incentive to observe the courtesies of wormhole culture.

            Hard Knocks exemplified this incongruity. They wanted a nullsec rental empire and nullsec allies but didn’t want their Keepstar getting kicked over by nullsec enemies. I just… can’t quite reconcile the two sides of that equation.

            December 17, 2018 at 6:16 PM
          • General Thade Guilford Australis

            Okay I get what you are saying now. These cultures cannot mix, and contact between them would result in the death of one, and you could prob guess which one would die. HK overstepped their boundaries, and setup a rental empire. They made a mistake, but the main fear is the the INIT or goons will start to enjoy kicking WH sandcastles, and will start to burn the rest. INIT got taste for WH blood, and I would not doubt if they want more.

            December 17, 2018 at 6:30 PM
          • Axhind General Thade

            There is no risk of that. It was one year of effort by INIT. I doubt that they are motivated to repeat that constantly and goons have attention span that utterly prevents anything of the sort. At least for non strategic things and evicting WHs is not a strategic operation (except HK and laserhawks who are PL shits).

            Safest way to make sure you are safe is not to bother us. Ganking our miners and ratters seems like fun but sooner or later you will piss off someone enough that they will organise some payback. Us being that much stronger than WHs just means that you are really playing with fire when attacking us but in the end it is your decision as it was for HK. They made the wrong one apparently.

            December 18, 2018 at 9:59 AM
          • The reality is, Goons operate constantly in wormholes. Whether being wormholers like some of us are, explorers or pathfinders or fleets just passing through, we’re there all the time. 99% of the time, we’re not interested in kicking over other wormholers sandcastles en masse. When we’ve done it, it’s usually been our wormholer types, bashing in someone’s shit for fun (they’re in low power) or for a strategic reason (we moved into a hole or they pissed us off enough times to evict them). Very rarely have we bat phoned the whole Imperium space empire to join in.

            Hard Knocks made themselves get on the black list because of their actions during the Casino war and afterwards. They were an enemy of the Imperium and made themselves that. So initiative took it upon themselves, to shoot them out of the skies and well done to them. Do you see all the other wormholer groups now being invaded and evicted by the Imperium? Nope! Case in point, we’ve operated in j-space for years with far greater numbers than Hard Knocks and the typical wormholer view of us is, we don’t exist. That low profile, footprint means we’re not knocking over your sandcastles on a regular basis even though, just our wormholer groups could probably do it on their own.

            December 18, 2018 at 3:04 PM
          • Carvj94 General Thade

            Agree with ya 100%.

            December 17, 2018 at 6:29 PM
          • Moomin Amatin Carvj94

            Having been hell-camped and all my stuff effectively out of my reach I can tell you how I made my exit strategy. It is remarkably simple as well. “Do not put all your eggs in one basket”.

            So far your beliefs seem to be based on what has happened to what you refer to as “high class” WHers. And in reality this is just HK at this time.

            You mention you would sell systems to like minded folk. The Imperium does not even sell membership for the QFC.

            As for me knowing loads about WG politics, you are absolutely correct in saying that I do not understand them aside from a very narrow view. But that is because no one seems to be writing about WH politics in order to inform me. Perhaps you will step up to the plate on that one?

            Probably the most important thing to note about what happened to HK is that they decided their own fate by doing what they have over the years. You poke a bear with a stick for long enough then you should not be surprised when the bear gets a little miffed.

            December 17, 2018 at 5:40 PM
          • General Thade Moomin Amatin

            “But that is because no one seems to be writing about WH politics in order to inform me.”

            I have written WH articles but I have not really touched on politics because politics doesn’t really exist in WH space. It is a lot more complex, yet simple at the same time. Get rid of gates, jumping, and regions in EVE and you would end up with the same thing as WH space. Politics is a construct that the human mind created to make friends, enemies, and your surroundings a lot more easier to understand. Imagine if you woke up in a new place every day, with new challenges, friends, enemies, and opportunities. I doubt anyone would be thinking of cease fire treaties or no fire zones if you get me.

            December 17, 2018 at 6:20 PM
          • Carvj94 General Thade

            Non invasion pacts are fairly common between wormhole groups since moon mining was added. At the very least I’ve added at least a half dozen such agreements to my alliances master list myself. Along with assistance pacts.

            December 17, 2018 at 6:27 PM
          • General Thade Carvj94

            Okay, but would you agree that it is a lot less complex?

            December 17, 2018 at 6:33 PM
          • Carvj94 General Thade

            Oh fuck yea. When I flew with FUBAR way back we had a straight up written out contract with whoever the fuck our giant neighbor was at the time. Citing out detailed examples of what would constitute a breach of the of a fucking moon rental contract. Had to use a specific tower and setup blah blah. It was ridiculous since they weren’t even gonna use the moon otherwise

            December 17, 2018 at 6:43 PM
          • Moomin Amatin General Thade

            You have indeed written about WHs. But Carvj94 was on about the political landscape. I know it is no easy task as I do a nullsec roundup thing. But at least I try to convey the larger picture. I also suspect that writing about such things is a good way to get new people into WHs. Perhaps they will be less lonely then.

            December 17, 2018 at 9:23 PM
          • Guilford Australis Carvj94

            INIT wasn’t just randomly out in J-space hunting soft, sub-60-member wormhole corporations to evict for cheap entertainment. They deliberately targeted the biggest fish in the pond, and did it in response to that organization’s own provocations in nullsec. More to the point, based on HK’s reputation and the “wormhole bushido” we’re always being lectured about, INIT and The Imperium had every reason to believe HK (plus every other wormhole corp/alliance, which we were assured would rally to expel the evil nullsec invaders) would be a *very* tough target. The fact that HK’s reputation did not reflect their actual capabilities doesn’t make INIT and The Imperium “dicks” for using the force that wormholers themselves led us to believe was necessary.

            I see no indications from any corner of nullsec that this event will lead to a cascade of evictions and the burning of J-space. But wormholers might want to reconsider whether their long-held assumption that they can harass nullsec with impunity is contributing to a better or worse future for them.

            December 17, 2018 at 2:11 PM
          • God no. It was common knowledge that HK only ever really had like 50 heartbeats without Corp transfers from their Kspace allies. Though it must not have been common knowledge for the rest of you. Of course they were technically the toughest. Though I’d still say there’s a few groups in C1s who’d require more effort to take out due to connection limitations.
            Also I’ve stated elsewhere on this thread but a majority of wormhole groups only do small gang roams at most in null and frankly with how politics work between our groups we get all the fights we need with random connections so diplomacy is usually on the table if you really want a cease fire with them. Takes ten minutes to get connected to a different system after all.

            December 17, 2018 at 2:21 PM
          • Moomin Amatin Carvj94

            Just out of interest, you say HK only has 50 actual people. So do you think it is right for such a small number of players to own and rent out an entire nullsec region?

            December 18, 2018 at 9:45 AM
          • Carvj94 Moomin Amatin

            Pfft. Now way. Was a complete waste of their time. Owning sov in a constellation and renting it out? Maybe if you just like administration, but taking all the space they did was overkill and they could have made more isk doing sites if Rage than they did with rents.
            I’d say 50 people only DESERVE maybe four systems in null. Any more is over extending.

            December 18, 2018 at 1:36 PM
          • Moomin Amatin Carvj94

            Given where the space that HK is renting out actually is do you not think that is even odder? I mean not as if you can easily transit back out to lowsec/hisec unless “special relationships” exist. Have a look at the New Eden sov map to understand why I think it is odd.

            December 18, 2018 at 9:15 PM
          • Carvj94 Moomin Amatin

            Oh for sure. Getting into and out of a wormhole then to a specific system can take an hour assuming the route to k-space isn’t already marked and of course it’s thrice as hard when you live in high class holes cause more often than not you only get connections to other holes. So by trying to own sov and a wormhole you essentially have to pick which place you wanna be at for the day cause transiting back and forth is a huge hassle. Doesn’t really matter where in null that sov is either since it’s getting in and out of the hole is the worst part since the chain can open to anywhere in K-space.
            Owning sov is a full time job and maintaining a wormhole is a full time job. Having two jobs will only wear you out and make you less effective.

            December 19, 2018 at 8:42 AM
  • Carvj94

    Great. Now Nullsec will bring their “fun” eviction ops to wormhole space. Cause what we need is more space where small groups get purged by big null groups in the name of healthy content. Still no asset protection for us too so we lose absolutely everything while they lose jack shit if a counter attack was even possible cause they live in Kspace.

    December 17, 2018 at 2:27 AM
    • Axhind Carvj94

      WHs have no issues rolling WHs and then jumping our ratters or miners with fleets so I fail to see how exactly it’s so terrible when things turn around. If you don’t want 0.0 to come knocking on your door then don’t fuck with our guys and we will ignore you as there are more strategic things to be doing in 0.0.

      Can’t have the cake and eat it too. Mess with the big blocks and they will answer sooner or later. Especially now that we know it can be done.

      December 17, 2018 at 6:58 AM
      • Carvj94 Axhind

        Evictions are different from getting into brawls. Some wormholers show up and kill some ratters/miners or vice versa it’s no problem really. But nullsec doesn’t just get into brawls. They kick people out of their space for fun and it’s not equal on both sides in that regard. We lose space and all of our assets in that space while nullsec loses space and time. It’s not fair at all. Plus most wormholers don’t bring fleets into nullsec. But you can be damm sure nullsec will bring fleets into wormholes regularly.

        December 17, 2018 at 9:29 AM
        • Axhind Carvj94

          If you don’t bring in fleets to null and don’t attack our stuff then we will not even be aware that you are around. Nobody in null cares about WHs outside of annoyance to money making and as a way to get to far away places.

          Don’t bug us and we will not bug you. BTW, when was the last time a null fleet went into WH to actually do something there and not as transit to other part of null? I’ve never even heard of it in goons (strategic level fleet, not two random guys going somewhere).

          This might change now but I doubt it. All it shows is that we have capability of doing it if motivated enough. I can see laserhawks (another PL alt shit fest like HK) and maybe inner hell sitting dangerously but the rest don’t have much to fear.

          December 18, 2018 at 9:43 AM
          • Carvj94 Axhind

            Before HK’s eviction I wasn’t worried at all about nullsec coming into evic us. But you gotta remember that over a trillion isk worth of stuff dropped from Fort Knocks. I have the feeling that with the taste of that loot pinata that Null we be more interested in sieging wormhole structures now.

            December 18, 2018 at 1:27 PM
  • Eli

    Having spent a fair bit of time in the past, either living in Thera, living in a wormhole or exploring or finding pathways through j-space, I find the idea of ‘the wormhole community’ to not really be correct. It is more like several wormhole communities if that’s a thing at all. Then again, being a member of the Imperium, perhaps I was always on the ‘outsiders’ side of this so called community.

    One thing I do know is that Hard Knocks had contacts with quite a number of these groups and anyone not in this select grouping, was fair game to them and they evicted wormholers whom they took a disliking to, without mercy.

    So when someone did it to them, I’m sure some wormholers in their circle did their best to save them. However, I’m equally certain there’s a great many wormholers out there, that will now breathe a sigh of relief.

    As for Initiative or the Imperium, we have always been the outlaws or ‘outsiders’ whether in nullsec or wormhole space. For us, this is business as usual. Hated by a large number of groups for what we are. That’s only made us stronger. Hard Knocks could learn a lesson or three from that now that the tall poppy syndrome has but cut down to size.

    December 17, 2018 at 2:36 AM
    • Carvj94 Eli

      You’re somewhat correct. HK didn’t actually evic often and when they did they only targeted wormholes class 4 and up. Most groups from low class holes we’re somewhat indifferent to HK’s eviction since run ins were very rare.
      That said when an outside force uses overwhelming force to crush a wormhole group just for fun it’s sets even us tame low class dwellers on edge. Hopefully this won’t become a precedent for further invasions so we can just keep to our skirmishing lifestyles. Most of us left null because we were sick of changing systems constantly so we’re very protective of our homes.
      So overall I’d say it’s par for the course with null using more force than needed to pick on a much smaller target for fun and kicking them out of their space with no intention of using it themselves. Which go against everything us wormholers stands for.

      December 17, 2018 at 1:11 PM
      • Eli Carvj94

        But see, this is where you’re wrong. We’re not an ‘outside force’ if by that you mean wormholes. The Imperium has been in wormholes for as long as I’ve been playing and long before that. Sure we keep a low profile, but we are there. I don’t know why people keep making the mistake that we are purely a nullsec force. Our HQ is there in Delve, sure, but Goons operate in all security spaces.

        Most of us are operating in Class 1, 2, 3 and 4 holes so we probably rarely run into Hard Knocks but Goons are very much part of the fabric of wormhole life.

        December 18, 2018 at 1:10 AM
        • Carvj94 Eli

          Imperium dabbles in wormholes at best. I’ve lived in them 5 years and I’ve only seen a goons living in a wormhole less than 10 times. While I’ll give you that owning a hole technically makes you a wormholer it doesn’t make you good at living in it and it doesn’t mean you should go around calling yourself a wormholer.
          Of the times I remember seeing Imperium wormholes they usually had low powered structures in them and led to low level evictions. I have a couple rattlesnakes from a seemingly abandoned imperium hole earlier this year. No defenders and it dropped over a dozen rattlesnakes and haulers. So I don’t really consider the imperium to be competent at wormhole life. Which as I’ve said elsewhere sucks because for many in the imperium wormhole life is great if you like small gang fights.

          December 18, 2018 at 5:01 AM
          • Eli Carvj94

            So by your definition, Imperium who has more wormholers than Hard Knocks, ‘dabbles’. So therefore, by your own admission, Hard Knocks are also just dabblers. If by ‘dabblers’ you mean, the quality of our wormholers you have no respect for, that’s an entirely different issue. Respect is in the eye of the beholders. For instance, I have no respect at all for Hard Knocks self-destructing all their ships rather than fighting. They are true cowards to me. That doesn’t mean I can completely dismiss them from being wormholers. Just because they dabble in Rage whilst also existing in Nullsec, doesn’t define them as non-wormholers. You really have to come up with a better definition dude. You’re clutching at straws at this rate.

            Also, in the past 5 years, you clearly haven’t been living in wormholes or you’d know of Holesquad by now.

            December 18, 2018 at 2:39 PM
          • Carvj94 Eli

            I’m saying imperium sucks at wormholes yea.

            December 18, 2018 at 7:58 PM