In the 24-hours following the end of the Non-Invasion Pact (NIP) between Legacy and the Imperium fights have erupted across the southwestern edges of New Eden. Imperium forces rallied to defend their space in brief skirmishes in 1-SMEB and 1DQ1-A, while larger brawls took place from Aridia in the west to Paragon Soul in the south. Nearly 150 billion ISK was destroyed in skirmishes and sieges in the first 24 hours of conflict.
The first 12 hours were the busiest with fights in lowsec Aridia’s Hophib system, believed to be PanFam’s staging system. Beginning almost exactly at the stroke of midnight, while some Goons were still partying in their staging system of 1DQ1-A, fleets from The Initiative (INIT), led in part by FCs Blurkus and Dark Shines, were taking the battle to PanFam. The subcapital battle was fairly even as hundreds of pilots fought to establish local control of Hophib. INIT’s Zealot fleet fought Panfam’s Muninns to a near standstill, FC Blurkus said.
“Originally PanFam was trying to reinforce our [jump bridge] in D4KU. [FC Dark] Shines took that original fleet out and forced them off of the jump bridge in D4KU while I was coming back through the wormhole and engaged a hostile rupture fleet in Fountain en route to help the Zealot fleet. PanFam declined to enter D4KU and instead attempted to engage the Goonswarm Fortizar in Hophib, which is on the D4KU gate. We entered Hophib and perched around until we could get a good angle on their fleet and just started brawling with them on the Fortizar, killing enough logistics and boosting ships that they were eventually forced off grid.”
Because of INIT’s success in fending off the Muninn fleet, they were able to secure the field long enough to allow a large capital fleet to siege anchoring Raitarus, destroying them before they could come online. Blurkus continued, “We definitely feel real good about the op, and we did continue further and stay awake to finish off those anchoring Raitarus in Hophib. General line-member morale is super high and it was probably the best first five hours we could possibly hope for in this war. It’s definitely going to be a fun war and it’s something that INIT has been waiting for for a very long time.”
Nearly 12 hours later, more Raitarus were destroyed by a second combined Imperium fleet in Hophib, denying PanFam critical front-line production ability. The battle report for the first 12 hours of Aridian fighting can be found here while the additional Raitarus are here.
Paragon Soul Theater
Other Goon fleets were busy in Paragon Soul. While Test Alliance Please Ignore’s (TEST) leadership appeared content to wait to start the war after the NIP elapsed, the Imperium took the fight to iHUBs across the region. The Imperium reinforced 42 entosis timers in Paragon Soul and Esoteria, 10 jump bridges, nine cyno beacons, and a number of citadels, including a Sotiyo. Karmafleet FC kocicek said, “Basically the op was a roaring success in my opinion. Yeah, we lost a little bit of ships but trading a loss in ISK for a blanket glassing of Paragon Soul is hilariously in our favor. Legacy will try and swing it as a win from the ISK war, but they ran away with their tail tucked between their legs terrified in TCAG as we were leaving.”
A little later, the Imperium sent another Kikimora fleet into Paragon Soul, only to be out-dueled by a TEST Muninn fleet. Just hours later, another skirmish broke out as more Imperium siege fleets reinforced TEST citadels. INIT FC Dark Shines explained, “We had fleets out in Paragon Soul reinforcing structures when [TEST] formed to counter the fleets. We formed a joint fleet and headed down to support the fleets already down there. TAPI cynoed in as we were jumping into O-97 and the fight kicked off on the gate. [Goon FC] Asher [Elias] was two jumps away with his Jackdaw fleet and burned to the fight as TAPI prepped their capitals to jump in. We exchanged blows for a few minutes with Asher landing and engaging the Muninns. Shortly after, a cyno went up and TAPI capitals landed on grid. We stayed engaged for another one to two minutes, but ultimately withdrew as the caps were a little too much.”
When asked about his reaction to the fight, Dark Shines said, “Personally I wanted the fight so I was happy. INIT had been running fleets since 22:30 the previous day and we had a bunch of fights versus Panfam so it was great to get another. We could have done a little better on the overall engagement but the caps landing at the end will always tilt things a little.”
While the fighting was less intense elsewhere, a few small skirmishes broke out across the Southwest. In Querious, some Imperium Jackdaws out-dueled TEST Caracals. Goons also lost two Fortizars to Snuffed Out in Sinq Laison, but they were taken without a defense. The biggest fight outside of Aridia or Paragon Soul took place in Period Basis’ TCAG-3, where a fight over a Goon jump bridge saw TEST and their allies sniping away at an Imperium defense fleet. Goon reinforcements were too slow to materialize and the Ansiblex was reinforced. One of the last skirmishes of the day was a cheeky PanFam Cormorant fleet wiped out by smart bombs in the Goon capital of 1DQ1-A.
As far as other strategic objectives, Legacy Coalition successfully anchored two staging Keepstars with the help of PanFam super capitals in Catch’s FAT-6P, just a few jumps from Queriouse. After the second Keepstar was onlined, the first one was transferred over to Northern Coalition (NC.).