Header Art by Empanada
Much has been written about the Northern War, and we all know how it ended, but what’s next and how did we get here? We reached out to participants of the most recent Northern War to take a sampling of thoughts from pilots on both sides of the aisle.
Leveraging its industrial might, Imperium forces have laid waste to 10 Keepstars and too-many-other-citadels-to-count in a decisive ‘piss off’ to its Northern adversaries. As a result, it’s established itself as the only current superpower in Eve. A peace settlement that hands Delve cash and structures worth hundreds of billions of ISK may be the final tribute, but Pandemic Horde’s decision to ignore the settlement leaves the door open for further wreckage.
Let’s look at how we got here.
How’d We Get Here?
Iron Armada CEO Tridgit believes the Imperium didn’t so much win the war as its enemies lost the war. He says, “The Imperium’s been building and moving their feet for two years straight. It’s no secret. It’s not hidden. They were in the gym lifting weights, over and over, for years. The North did not. It’s no surprise who wins when the guy who’s been working out hard for years goes up against a guy who used to fight years ago but has been sitting on the couch.”
S Tier CEO and TEST Legacy military leader Vily echoes those comments. “The Imperium won this war on their enemies’ incompetence more than any other factor,” he says.
Some of it is structural and cultural as well. Imperium Ministry of Truth member Paramemetic says, “The North has a collection of problems that, all in all, aren’t calculated to be good for the game. High among those is the reality that the biggest forces in the North, the superpowers that served as the Imperium’s counterpart, are either not really interested in playing at all, or aware that they can’t beat us in a real battle. Pandemic Legion’s leadership doesn’t play Eve anymore, with most of their active corporations and alliances having left to do other things. So PL, once the pre-eminent supercapital superpower, is effectively dead. Without PL, Northern Coalition knows they can’t field numbers that can actually beat the Imperium, and even if they could, they’d be doing so to prop up Circle of Two and others who quite obviously aren’t interested in defending themselves.”
Will Settlement Hold Minus Horde?
As reported in detail here, the not-as-secret-as-intended settlement sees the Imperium withdrawing its main fleet, SIGs/squads, and cloaky campers from Northern territories for one month, and from GOTG space for six months. This started Friday, September 29, as long as a laundry list of conditions were met by enemy forces, but Pandemic Horde removed itself from the peace settlement Saturday due to comments made by their alliance leader.
“The peace settlement minus Horde will hold as long as the various northern alliances can stick to it,” says Imperium diplomat Dirk Stetille. He adds, “[on September 29] we published a policy thread on the peace accords, which is to say that we made it an official post for all of our members to abide by. Sharp-eyed members noted that Geminate has been removed from NIP coverage, because Horde had a very public breakup with GOTG, the group with whom our agreement is with. In combination with comments from the fireside from The Mittani declaring it ‘open season’ on Horde assets in any region, I think (Pandemic Horde alliance leader) Gobbins is about to realize why everyone says ‘you should never make decisions when you’re angry or upset’.”
As reported earlier, Imperium Finance Director Aryth observes that from the North’s perspective, “they [need] their space to be secure enough to live in again or their regions [will] continue to shed members and alliances [will] continue to fall apart. They were going to lose the entire region to a wildfire of steamrolling titans/supers. We save a ton of grinding in AUTZ, and they probably save their coalition.” Signing the peace settlement was “a no-brainer,” Aryth says. “The right call in every scenario.”
Other observers believe the North will hold up its end of the settlement if for no other reason than it has no choice. “They need the breathing room to build their industrial capacity, and rebuild their titan fleets,” a senior Imperium official told INN. “Honestly, they need time to organize, because if one thing killed them in this war, it’s that they weren’t organized and singing from the same hymn sheet.”
On the other hand, Darkness CEO Sort Dragon “paid for a timeout,” according to “Talking in Stations” host Matterall. “It’s a gamble. Will his troops run for the hills, make deals of their own with the Imperium, or will they recover and rally? Who knows…who cares? That’s just the topsoil on this deal. Beneath the surface, there is a whole other calculation made by the Imperium which reminds me of Microsoft’s $150 million investment into a beleaguered Apple way back in 1997. At the time, Microsoft was a dominant company under fire by the US government for their aggressive business practices. The move was Microsoft’s way of staving off a federal anti-trust suit for being a monopoly.”
Matterall continues, “In the same way, the Imperium has to modulate its sweep of the north, and as a bonus getting some shiny Fortizars off of Sort Dragon. I’m pretty sure Tuzy, Goons’ logistic commander, is a happy man. Some of those Forts are as defensible as Keepstars, (but) the payment is just a narrative puppet show. [The Initiative. CEO] Sister Bliss was just this side of furious when he found out how lightly Sort had been let off. The real play here is not killing off the competition and staving off a CCP intervention, or even worse killing the host body they live off. By the way, Microsoft’s play didn’t work. In 1998 Microsoft was sued by the government.”