Header art by Cryo Huren
If you’re an Imperium member, or a friend of that organization, your morale has recently been improved.
At downtime on New Year’s Eve, the biggest supercapital fight in EVE Online history ended with PAPI forces extracting some assets and logging out others, thus conceding defeat to the Goons, who were outnumbered, out-blobbed and thought to be on the brink of defeat.
Here are the titan losses per alliance:
- Northern Coalition (NCdot) lost 45 titans
- Test Alliance Please Ignore (TEST) lost 38 titans
- Pandemic Horde (PH) lost 25 titans
- Pandemic Legion (PL) lost eight titans
- Fraternity (FRT) lost eight titans
When we analyze these numbers, we see that PanFam lost the most titans in this fight (78+), even though Goons had publicly announced that they would be focusing on TEST’s supercap fleet first, because “TEST is next.”
But, in a rather peculiar turn of events, Goons focused on destroying PanFam’s supercapital fleet, with NCdot suffering the heaviest casualties.
So why did Goons break their promise and shoot PanFam first? After all, it wasn’t PanFam who declared that they are in Delve to exterminate Goons.
I see a few motives behind this move.
First, PanFam, not TEST, is the locomotive of this war; TEST lacks PanFam organization, determination, stamina, and morale. Destroying the PanFam supercapital fleet is like breaking the spearhead of the spear – it removes the most battle-ready and battle-capable part of the hostile forces.
Next, NCdot and PL will have a more difficult time replacing those supers, because of the increase in mineral prices and the elitism of some of their pilots who do not want to engage in mining, production, or krabbing.
M2: Rinse and Repeat
On January 2, 2021, Vily (the leader of TEST and a supercapital FC) decided to show up for the M2 Keepstar’s hull timer.
Goons were already formed, balls to the walls, hellcamping all the last known Blue Donut supercapital logoff spots. Titan pilots were anxious to press F1 to activate their doomsdays, while super pilots had their fighters out and ready to kill PAPI’s supercapital fleet once it logged in and jumped via cynos.
What happened next must be characterized as a complete disregard, on behalf of the Blue Donut FC team, of how EVE servers work under extreme load. The Blue Donut pilots who logged in were unable to load the grid, join the fleet, or control their ships. A one-sided slaughterfest ensued, claiming a large number of Blue Donut titans, somewhere between 60 and 150, with the exact number being unclear due to the server problems.
This “battle” marked a huge change in the pace of the war. The Blue Donut will only be using their supers to defend from now on, with no more offensive supercapital operations, since the risk of losing another supercap fleet would certainly bring this war to a close.
The Imperium’s success in these two fights, however, might have Goon heads spinning with too much self-confidence; they may feel overpowered, or even god-like. That feeling could lead to blunders, resulting in the loss of a big chunk of the Imperium supercapital fleet.
Outcomes and Winners
In my opinion, there are two winners in both fights in M2-XFE.
The first winner is the Imperium, as their members got a huge morale boost and experience using supercapitals under conditions of massive lag on a friendly KS. Further, the TEST titan fleet has been seriously damaged. The NCdot titan fleet is hurt badly.
I expect the week that follows those battles will be very quiet, since it will take some time for both sides to reevaluate gains and losses from those fights, and Goons will continue hellcamping the logged off Blue Donut supers. PAPI’s energy will be spent trying to extract their ships from M2- rather than attacking Delve structures.
The second winner from both fights, which may not be obvious to everyone, is Fraternity and their leader, Noraus. Perhaps he was forced to partake in this war due to pressure from PamFam, whilst having far different plans for his organization in EVE.
But with NCdot and Horde supercapital fleets depleted, he no longer has to obey his masters in PanFam and is finally free to do his own planning. He might simply sabotage their war efforts, or even openly refuse to participate in further hostilities. Who would blame FRT for pulling out of this fight after the M2 disaster?
The clear sign that Noraus has already chosen one of those options is a recent post on reddit. Fraternity dropped a Fortizar in Toilet Paper’s home system in Tribute, signaling to local residents that the long-promised invasion of Tribute is finally kicking off. The fight for Vale of Silent is already in full swing as of last week, so by dropping the Fortizar in the middle of Tribute, FRT are escalating their invasion efforts.
However, FRT using only capitals for this invasion might not be enough, as evidenced by this recent battle report showing FRT losing 128 billion ISK in a fight against Toilet Paper, who lost only 35 billion ISK. FRT needs a larger advantage in battles and the Delve war has kept their supercaps tied up far away from where Noraus really wants them.
So in all likelihood, FRT will move their supercap fleet back home to crush the resistance in Tribute quickly and capitalize on gains by obtaining the two regions of Vale of the Silent and Tribute. Then, Fraternity can finally completely break free from Panfam. Noraus’ clever strategy of not running in front of the M2- locomotive let him keep his supercap fleet intact, making his supercapital fleet one of the largest in the whole of the Blue Donut. Remember the losses from the first M2- fight: PanFam lost 78 titans. Fraternity lost eight. A freak chance or a long-term strategy? The following day, after heavy losses by other Panfam members, FRT dropped the Fortizar in Tribute.
So, Imperium can enjoy their wins in M2-XFE. But another alliance also came out as big winners – by staying behind and working to secure their own new systems.