Effective immediately, Pandemic Horde has deployed to the Delve region under operation “Delve Blitz.”
In Gobbins’s post about the Alliance-wide deployment, he stated that the goal was to hit Goon assets in their homeland. Specifically, Horde is putting pressure by entosising I-Hubs and bashing citadels, as well as increase camping and ganking ratters, to include “whales” (larger ships). The operation is also intent on blocking the ability for inhabitants of Delve to make ISK via AFK cloaking and hunting with the intent of reducing ADMs.
Gobbins states that “by hitting valuable assets in Delve we open a second front and force goon’s hand into constantly jump cloning or downright panic and cut their deployment short in order to run home and prevent beans from setting their carpet on fire.”
This deployment also is seeing another installment of the experimental “Soviet Deployment System,” or having the corp provide the ships and the line members just need to get themselves to staging. This likely will be a very useful tactic as it dramatically lowers the need for large logistical operations such as seen during the Imperium deployment to the north a few weeks ago. Another facet of this deployment will see an organization based on time zone. This will increase the frequency of ops, as well as being easier to access for the beans.
In a clever way to incentivize beans to be down in Delve while needed, there is a schedule set off by significant tax breaks and increases. M-Th: 30% corp tax, F-Su: 3% corp tax. This should significantly encourage people to be in Delve for the first four days of the week and allow in keeping Horde’s strongest days, the weekend, to be especially for home defense.
Something to else to consider is that this deployment has been called near the end of summer. This is significant for Americans, given that school will be starting up again for many players in the next few weeks. Not only should this see more people involved (likely in EVE in general) with people returning from vacation and such, but the split schedule will optimise Horde’s ability to defend their own space. The first day of the deployment has already been under way and so far looks to have been successful.
This deployment seems to be Horde’s response to a perceived pitiful deployment by the Imperium, in an attempt to put pressure on its opponents. Strategically, this will force the Imperium to make the choice of protecting their homes as well as pursuing this “Dirty War.” I expect this to be spun as “Horde can’t handle the heat at home”, but that’s not how it looks on this side. The Art of War is about making your enemy meet you on your terms, and I expect the Imperium leadership to understand this. If this is to be a truly “Dirty War,” such strawmen should be left in the field. Controlling territory is what matters.
Panfam has been able to control the territory that it deemed worth defending, and relinquish the territory that it had not. From the perspective of Horde, this deployment to Delve is merely twisting the knife. Pandemic Horde has already had a presence down in Delve, focused primarily on cloaky camping. The Imperium will still have its Super Fleet and may be able to employ some form of counter control, as well as use the same tactic of jumpcloning back when needed. The Imperium may very well use the same tactic and launch a full on invasion of the north. However, that does not seem to have been the plan, nor does the Imperium appear prepared to take space so far north. This new counteroffensive by Horde will be an experimental time for both sides to be sure. Regardless, with an official deployment down south, the Imperium’s peasantry can expect their farms to smell a little bit more on the burnt side, and with a hint of salt.
Update: While writing this article, the first wave of Imperium capital fleets returned to Delve. The deployment to the north is at an end. The Imperium is actively moving home to Delve to respond to the new situation.