Art by Major Sniper
The fall of Fountain was lauded as a major accomplishment by the attacking PanFam forces. It would be dishonest to pretend that losing Fountain and the structures in the region did not hurt, despite many assets being evacuated beforehand. It was a necessary decision by Imperium planners that the region be ceded, and fortunately the structures destroyed were lost prior to the upcoming Quantum Core changes. Fighting in 3 to 1 odds across multiple fronts required some territory to be strategically ceded.
Our enemies mocked the Imperium at length for not deploying super capital assets in Cloud Ring to fight over regions of mere peripheral importance. Today we can see the wisdom in that decision, as having done so would have left us open to attack in Delve. Likewise Fountain was ceded with a similar mindset. We let the enemy tire themselves out grinding structures while we saved our strength for the fights that really matter. Imperium leadership always understood this would be a war where we needed to pace ourselves and not spend needless effort on defending every single thing. Prior to the Drifter invasion last year, we likewise glassed Tribute and Vale of the Silent, which belonged to PanFam at the time. Unlike PanFam with Tribute and Vale, the Imperium was able to reclaim Fountain systems in rapid succession. As of writing, almost the entirety of Fountain has been reclaimed.
Flags in the Dirt
Nobody is claiming that this is in and by itself meaningful. A flag in the dirt does not much count for anything regardless of whether PanFam or the Imperium plants it. But it does at least illustrate the ease with which the Imperium can spring back compared to Panfam. When the Imperium glassed Tribute and Vale, PanFam ceded the territory almost completely, aside from some minor proxy groups. They are just now regaining some minor influence in the area via unorganized and informal relations. When the Imperium lost Fountain, PanFam was unable to capitalize on this to any meaningful extent. Without an occupying force in Fountain, PanFam is building sand castles on the edge of a beach only to be knocked down by the waves moments after being built.
The Imperium was prepared for its attackers to have a much better strategy, and for us to win through endurance over the course of months. Instead the attackers’ strategy has been found lacking, and the Imperium’s endurance has not yet been tested. Taking 2 to 1 losses when outnumbered 3 to 1 is something the Imperium can continue to endure. As PanFam has to continually rebuild their losses and transport them to the front, Imperium is doing everything faster and more efficiently right from home.
Not A Stable Base
PanFam’s wealth comes from its massive renter plantations to the east. Individual players who have no interest in defending each other’s corp mates when they get tackled, let alone PanFam’s interests as a whole, are not a stable base on which to build a war effort. The Imperium’s wealth comes from its players, and by ensuring its resources stay in the hands of its line members, the coalition as a whole is much more resilient.
As the attacker’s momentum wanes, the Imperium’s veteran players are coming back to the game. This is in stark contrast with the distrust and suspicion that pervades the Legacy camp regarding Vily, and the TTT and where the wealth is going. These kinds of wars are about durability and commitment. And with PanFam unable to capitalize on their gains, not to mention Legacy failing to even make any gains, the war is in a state beneficial to no one else but the Imperium. In the end the metrics that truly matter are not the number of flags that are planted, or even just the amount that are destroyed. Instead the metrics that matter are the people that make up one’s community, their commitment to one another, and the determination they have to see things through.