INIT Plays 3-D Chess with PAPI


Art by Major Sniper

The Opening Gambit

The Initiative. recently taught PAPI war planners a lesson regarding how to successfully anchor structures, not through force, but through deception. The move is known as a gambit in chess. Make them think you are moving one way and strike where they do not expect you. As the dust settled from another unsuccessful Azbel pawn move by the PAPI Coalition, INIT leadership were half-way through their gambit to protect the gates on 3-DMQT–call it a king’s side castle. In a multi-day operation, kept secret from all but the lead fleet commanders, INIT drew their enemies’ pieces north, then swiftly relocated their own pilots and anchored a Keepstar on the gate to the O-EIMK constellation.

Following the highly pinged operations during the UK Bank Holiday, where the Imperium destroyed Azbels #17 and #18 in 3-D, the Initiative purported to plan an attempt to online their own Azbel in the Pandemic Horde staging system of R1O-GN. The structure, one of many placed across the Dronelands during INIT’s deployment, was designed to generate a response from Pandemic Horde, which it did. PAPI formed in large numbers during their prime time, and assembled their deployment HQ of Uemon with a full Muninn fleet and then set out for Etherium Reach to contest the 1900 EVE timer.

Since the initial excitement of the Initiative’s deployment north, where they were met with a ferocious welcoming party from Pandafam that destroyed the first two Fortizars, tensions have remained hot. PH, having viewed the destruction of Catch and Immensea, clearly understand the threat posed by the so-called “dead alliance” if left unchecked. Trading pieces daily, structures have been anchored and destroyed, ratting and mining operations have been targeted, and jump bridges destroyed. But apart from a few one-sided engagements, there have been no major escalations from either side.

INIT Muninns move into hostile territory. (Image: Legetus Optiox Narbonensii)

With PAPI reeling from yet another unsuccessful week in their ongoing quest to clear Delve, combined with the ruthless application of anti-PAPI memes on Reddit’s “Meme Monday,” their line members needed a win. Despite the costly but successful Chinese TZ assault, which anchored the two Azbel’s destroyed this Monday, PAPI has not followed up with any additional moves. With ships fresh and ready for a fight, Pandemic Horde, Northern Coalition, Fraternity and friends jump-cloned home to once again “eliminate” the perceived Initiative threat before it grew out of control.

Initiative’s lead FC, Dark Shines, had prepared for this very gambit. Calling for a strategic operation, INIT formed a full Muninn fleet plus support in Uemon and undocked, heading deep into enemy territory. Upon entering Horde space, fleet comms were filled with scouting reports – there were at least 300 NC. pilots in the next system. The chess board was set, the players ready, but Dark Shines announced that they were too late, that INIT should have formed earlier. Spies from both sides undoubtedly fed this disinformation back to their handlers: INIT needed to punch up and re-ship to a new doctrine. Swiftly, all INIT pilots they fell back to Uemon, where they were ordered to dock up and wait in capsules.

Only then was the true plan revealed. With over 1000 PAPI pilots having jump cloned north and descending on the INIT Azbel, Dark Shines ordered all INIT troops to death clone in the opposite direction – back to Delve. Horde and NC were stuck like a bishop trapped behind a pawn, unable to make a counter play. Once back home, INIT switched into subs and supers and proceeded to anchor a Keepstar off the E-V gate in 3-D.

INIT Titans control the grid.

The Middlegame

With the Keepstar onlining, on Tuesday June 1 at around 1900, PAPI attempted to disrupt proceedings with their own spoiling operation during CN/AU TZ. Around 1000 pilots, from all alliances, once again pushed into the O-EIMK constellation. With the Imperium’s focus on 3-D, PAPI entered through the T5Z gate into 1DQ, clearing bubbles as they went. With two fleets of Cerberus from TEST, AOM and Siege Green, Muninns from Horde and FRT, and a combined support Jackdaw/Harpy fleet, they made their way to the 1DQ > 3-D Ansiplex. With the majority of the Imperium’s fleet in 3-D, PAPI held an initial numbers advantage.

A quick response from the Imperium FCs saw a large form-up with carriers supported by Eagles jumping back to defend the Battleship Superhighway. However, even early in the battle it became clear that the server “weather” would be interfering with both sides’ lethality. Modules failed to cycle and fighters lacked their usual punch. With both sides trading evenly on the jump bridge, PAPI forces secured the T5Z gate and brought Rorquals through with Azbels in their cargo.

In an attempt at their own gambit, PAPI anchored three Azbels in the constellation, in MO-GZ5, N-8YET and 8WA-Z6. The one in N-8 was destroyed by bombers. The other two will online on D-day, Monday June 6, a day off for USTZ. This attempt to online is likely to be highly contested. PAPI then decided that they had achieved all they could and began to evacuate through the T5Z constellation. Jackdaws attempted to defend from further Initiative bombing runs, but once they aggressed, they were easily picked off by the closing Imperium HACs and Feroxes.

The overall battle once again saw PAPI anchor Azbels, lose the ISK war 61bn to 28bn, but fail to make any significant progress unless you count planting the Azbels as forward momentum. It’s getting harder to see these moves as forward impetus, as 18 Azbels have subsequently been destroyed without onlining.

The Initiative’s Keepstar: “Babylon 5-Bil” in all its glory.

The Endgame

Following the successful anchoring of the Keepstar, it was now up to the Initiative to ensure it onlined. Forming over 500 pilots, in a mix of Titans, supers and sub capitals, they stood watch on the E-V gate to prevent any potential incursion. Legacy formed a small fleet of Retributions, but there was no other attempt by PAPI to attack the system. With a Keepstar now online, it causes further problems for the mega coalition in their attempt to crack into 1DQ.

Tactically, a Keepstar allows a faster reaction from Imperium supers and titans; the larger range allows more ships to remain safely on tether; and the proximity to the gate reduces travel time for fighters. Further, the Keepstar has its own doomsday weapon. In addition, this move reduces the Imperium’s areas of interest in 3-D from three down to two.

The tactical picture may cause additional problems for PAPI, but the main issue remains their lack of will to contest. Throughout the siege of O-EIMK, they have made inroads towards achieving objectives, only to fall back within moments of completing them. A Keepstar that was onlining, right next to their entry point, would have been an opportune target for them. But the gambit worked. The Keepstar is online. PAPI line members, across all their various alliances, must now be asking themselves “If we can’t kill that Keepstar, how can we kill a rigged and armed Keepstar in 1DQ?” As the siege approaches its 5th week, these conundrums will be causing sleepless nights for the PAPI leadership, who look at the 3D chessboard and ponder just what their next move might be. They thought checkmate was in their grasp – they’ve made pronouncements accordingly. And yet they seem to be staring stalemate right in the face.

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  • Moomin Amatin

    It was the 17th of April that the “siege” was announced by PAPI leadership. Since then any progress by PAPI has been “technically” undone.

    This is an amazing play by INIT. It is the largest :CONDI: you can put in game. Some may argue that there is no real advantage in having a KS in 3D. But I am not sure that was really the point. This also serves as a measure of PAPI will. That will has been shown to be wanting at the very least. Also INIT put 10 times more chars into fleet than Brave normally do. Who is the dead alliance now Dunk?

    June 2, 2021 at 10:00 AM
    • Guilford Australis Moomin Amatin

      I think it was also Dunk who predicted INIT’s deployment to Catch was an attempt to get one foot out the door so they could leave The Imperium. (That was six months ago).

      June 2, 2021 at 11:38 AM
      • Alaric Faelen Guilford Australis

        When this war first kicked off the PAPI people were all about how Init would fold, Init would leave the Imperium after losses, etc.
        Yet they have been staunch allies and fierce warriors all the way. Unlike all of PAPI who is largely comprised of backstabbers, botters, and dipshits that lose whole capital fleets for months at a time.

        Maybe that is the real root of this war. Init are true allies and equals while TEST was never more than a pet alliance hitching their wagon to anyone they think can carry them to victory.
        Maybe there was a reason why Init were equals and TEST were good little doggies.

        June 2, 2021 at 4:36 PM
        • Noxsucow Evony Alaric Faelen

          As a goon, I appreciate your comment about Init being our equals. Even the largest alliance without numbers or proper fc or pilots can be weighed and left wanting. I’m proud to call Init my ally.

          June 2, 2021 at 5:29 PM
        • William Doe Alaric Faelen

          I knew coming into this war when I heard the reddit plebians fervently projected their wishful thinking that INIT was going to abandon the Imperium, it was obvious that wasn’t going to happen. Looking at things now, nearly a whole year later, PAPI is really the coalition of pure cope.

          June 2, 2021 at 11:49 PM
    • Jeet_Kundo Moomin Amatin

      It’s conveniently aligned to the ihub too

      June 2, 2021 at 11:49 AM
    • EbilFairy Moomin Amatin

      I dont even rate Dunk as a leader. He and his silly alliance of scrub noobs have done nothing but ride off the backs of others. They have done very little if not nothing to to get where they are now and what they have is certainly not a reflection of Dunkies abilities other than to say yes Sir, no Sir to Vily and his pack.

      June 5, 2021 at 12:05 AM
  • Guilford Australis

    “Legacy formed a small fleet of Retributions” to contest an anchoring Keepstar defended by 500 titans and supercarriers. *Slow Clap.*

    I see PGL’s ingenious plan to counter The Imperium’s supercapital fleet with assault frigates is going swimmingly.

    June 2, 2021 at 11:15 AM
  • kwnyupstate .

    The keepstar placement is awesome. Ask PAPI that very question where if they can’t destroy this keepstar what hope do they have in 1DQ?

    June 2, 2021 at 4:26 PM
  • Seir Luciel

    Gobbin’s recent announcement:

    Quick siege update :

    Last announced plan was the siege of the Last Constellation. This is still our goal.
    In the last month we have tried different combinations of approaches and doctrines, with no breakthrough so far. A bunch more stuff is in the pipeline for testing (see below) so try to fit it in your skilltraining if you can. As per the last townhall, expect this siege to be a long one.

    Remember that the assault on a final, fully cynojammed constellation is the greatest challenge in eve. Expect any of these fights to be difficult for the attacker side. Expect server issues. Expect most of the fighting to be in Delve, but also elsewhere in eve wherever we find enemy assets hidden in other regions.

    The flipside of this is that for us to defend against push backs has also been easy so far. In Delve the most our enemies have accomplished when they tried pushing out has been reffing jump bridges. In drones, everything INIT has bragged about on reddit (azbel anchors, sov refs and the one renter that flipped) was quickly shut down by our forces so far, without having to send back any capitals let alone supers. But I don’t want to disparage init for it, like us they are slowly poking for weaknesses and trying new things while dealing with the challenge of attacking a fortified chokepoint.

    I think Goons are trying to make this sound more significant than it is. At this point, after many, many keepstars, what’s one more?

    June 2, 2021 at 5:17 PM
    • Malcanis Seir Luciel

      Have you considered that gobbins might be trying to make things sounds less significant than they are?

      At the very least claiming credit for “shutting down” INIT is pretty laughable considering that we strolled into R10 with about 60 guys and reffed the ihub with no more resistance than a couple of harassing bombers.

      June 2, 2021 at 7:38 PM
      • Seir Luciel Malcanis

        I generally assume all leaders try to inflate achievements and downplay problems. That’s what leaders do. However, it doesn’t take a leader to convince me that Goons are in 7 systems will little way of getting out.

        June 2, 2021 at 9:12 PM
        • Guilford Australis Seir Luciel

          On the contrary, Seir. Goons have discovered the phenomenon of stargates, unlike our neighbors in T5ZI.

          June 2, 2021 at 9:15 PM
        • Vertigoe Seir Luciel

          you make it like Goons are looking for a way out. If we decided to leave who is gonna stop us? With PAPI’s aversion to using supers and titans, I am gonna go out on a limb and say no one. We will just login and jump out just like we did in Saranen.

          June 2, 2021 at 9:44 PM
          • kwnyupstate . Vertigoe

            Even a nice slow moving of the capital force wouldn’t be attacked because PAPI are too poor and scared to use capitals.

            June 3, 2021 at 12:42 AM
        • Garreth Vlox Seir Luciel

          “that Goons are in 7 systems will little way of getting out.”

          I thought the whole point of you guys putting keepstars in npc delve was because that put you within cyno range of 1dq1… so if you can jump in, please explain how the goons are prevented from jumping out whenever the fuck they please?

          June 2, 2021 at 9:48 PM
        • Novartis Seir Luciel

          And it also doesn’t take even other guy to tell me that by boring everyone to death is a stupid tactic to do in a game. What? I can’t give any positive review to PAPI at all. Eve is all about risk vs reward. PAPI don’t have the balls to take the risk of using capital. Don’t get the hope high to get the reward you want if you don’t want to take the associated risk at all.

          June 3, 2021 at 2:50 PM
    • Guilford Australis Seir Luciel

      I suppose it would be too much to ask for PAPI to use supercapitals as is customary in coalition-level sov warfare. But after that one time when that bad thing happened in the System That Shall Not Be Named, all they do is yammer about the new subcap doctrines they have “in the pipeline” with which to attempt to challenge Imperium supercapitals (oh and don’t forget to train into those new doctrines which will be used a few times before being kicked to the curb like the gimmicky “blarpies”).

      I can’t imagine it’s terribly motivating for the average PAPI line member to read Gobbins assuring them that after six weeks of bashing their heads against Imperium supers during their subcap “siege” of this constellation, a bunch of new gimmicks are going to be tested in hopes of achieving a tricksy back-door victory so that major confrontation with an enemy one third their size can be avoided.

      June 2, 2021 at 8:18 PM
      • Seir Luciel Guilford Australis

        I can’t imagine it’s terribly motivating for the average PAPI line
        member to read Gobbins assuring them that after six weeks of bashing
        their heads against Imperium supers during their subcap “siege” of this

        We knew what we were signing up for; a long grueling siege. Its a game of patience, and Goons seem to be getting antsy: “What are you waiting for!”

        June 2, 2021 at 9:15 PM
        • Guilford Australis Seir Luciel

          Well, we are admittedly antsy, specifically for PAPI to use supercapitals again because it was so much fun last time.

          June 2, 2021 at 9:20 PM
        • Garreth Vlox Seir Luciel

          “Goons seem to be getting antsy:”

          Yeah, they just can’t wait for your next turbo feed I guess.

          June 2, 2021 at 9:46 PM
        • Moomin Amatin Seir Luciel

          No. You signed up to be one of the “good guys”. So how is that working out?

          June 3, 2021 at 7:01 AM
        • Jeet_Kundo Seir Luciel

          Antsy for PAPI to be something more than disappointing every time they show up

          June 3, 2021 at 8:58 AM
    • kwnyupstate . Seir Luciel

      If PAPI no longer has a huge numbers advantage they have no chance of defeating the Imperium’s capitals regardless of what awesome new subcap strat they come up with. PAPI members should ask their leaders to explain how this will ever be possible before they sign up for months and months of continued torture without any gains.

      June 2, 2021 at 9:17 PM
      • Alaric Faelen kwnyupstate .

        I get the feeling that asking such questions is verboten in PAPI- a quick way to be ostracized and shouted down by the hard core kool aid drinkers.

        When your answer to hundreds of your peoples’ supers being held captive by the enemy is “Train an Alt”…….I can’t explain why everyone didn’t just go home right then. “Train an Alt” is basically “go fuck yourself, I got my super out already”.

        But then you remember that PAPI leaders let their homes burn, essentially trapping their members in Delve no different than their supers were trapped in M2. I think that was entirely intentional.
        Don’t have to worry about the loyalty of your people and keeping them on the front lines if they have nowhere else to go. They made this not just a war for Goons survival, but now their own because most of them can’t just walk away and go back to krabbing at home. PAPI leaders knew their line members didn’t have the stomach for losses nor a protracted campaign of intentional boredom– so they simply ensured that no matter how badly they botched the war, no matter how long or boring the war is– their people can’t just leave.

        At this point, a rage ping for an Assault Frigate fleet to fight Goon supers is identical to ‘Train an Alt/Go Fuck Yourself’ to PAPI line members.

        June 3, 2021 at 4:03 PM
    • Sirhan Blixt Seir Luciel

      I think Goons are trying to make this sound more significant than it is.
      At this point, after many, many keepstars, what’s one more?

      There you go, once again eliding the obvious: this isn’t a keepstar that’s been safely under your sovereignty long enough to be cynojammed. Thanks for reminding us all, again, that you all can’t take any objectives that are at all contested.

      June 2, 2021 at 9:27 PM
      • Seir Luciel Sirhan Blixt

        Time will tell.

        June 2, 2021 at 9:27 PM
        • Garreth Vlox Seir Luciel

          Time has told, the last 12 months have painted a glaring picture of just how completely fucking terrified papi is of fighting on a keepstar that is in any way contested and just how far they will go to insure no one can get to the keepstar to contest it. And m2- demonstrated why they are so terrified.

          June 2, 2021 at 9:45 PM
          • Seir Luciel Garreth Vlox

            Time is still going on, despite Goon’s wanting so badly for it to stop. M2 did not go well for PAPI, but in time M2 fell. I personally watched the Keepstar explode and I’m on the killmail. And if, in time, we break down 1DQ I will be on the killmail for the Keepstar so charmingly named “dickbutt.”

            June 2, 2021 at 9:55 PM
          • Garreth Vlox Seir Luciel

            “but in time M2 fell.”

            Yeah and you only spent what? 40+ times the cost of the dead keep to kill it? Nice trade.

            “we break down 1DQ I will be on the killmail for the Keepstar so charmingly named “dickbutt.””

            So you guys still haven’t figured out which keepstar in the system actually matters yet?

            Try any harder to spin your way back to the high ground and you’re going to pull something

            June 2, 2021 at 10:07 PM
          • Jeet_Kundo Seir Luciel

            Where do we want it to stop, where is this extreme desperation to end? Having a blast. I will say that a counter-offensive would spice things up a bit, especially with PAPI more frequently taking a break between Azbel timers. What the higher-ups are planning though is not something I’m privy to but I would believe it’s in our best interest to do anything silly that may ultimately hinder an effective defense. Given PAPI’s proximity to their end objectives, we have a much smaller margin of error. That back-capping is doing a good job at diverting forces though, regardless of spin. As I had said previously in another article: it works.

            June 4, 2021 at 11:21 AM
        • Sirhan Blixt Seir Luciel

          Shorter Seir Luciel: This time for sure!

          June 3, 2021 at 1:40 AM
    • Rammel Kas Seir Luciel

      INIT seem to be achieving pretty much exactly what they have set out to do. Have fun on that bubble brick road.

      June 2, 2021 at 9:29 PM
    • Garreth Vlox Seir Luciel

      “I think Goons are trying to make this sound more significant than it is. At this point, after many, many keepstars, what’s one more?”

      Well by that logic why isn’t it dead and down with already? Maybe because it’s not “just one more”?

      June 2, 2021 at 9:44 PM
    • Moomin Amatin Seir Luciel

      The most significant part of this is that it is an admission of not only not having a plan to level 1DQ when the war started, but to not have a plan 1 year later. But PAPI leadership still strut and parade about the place declaring themselves the best and most experienced FC team ever assembled.

      Thank you for bringing this to the wider world, I hope they do not Mibbles you for it.

      June 3, 2021 at 6:59 AM
  • Deni'z von Meanace

    Wonder if Test just ignores this KS or tries to kill it while on hipe and proves that those multiple doctrines are worths the words from PAPI’s commanders.

    June 3, 2021 at 10:39 AM