The Imperium Strikes Back


In the early hours of March 13, less than a week after abandoning the M2 hellcamp and within hours of the fall of Big Disco’s Keepstar, the Imperium struck back against PAPI’s conquest of Delve. For the for first time in many weeks, the Imperium fully contested an offensive sov timer in their home region, fielding multiple fleets to take an IHUB in the Karmafleet constellation of SG-CTQ, reinforce three more, and win the ISK battle (37.2 billion lost to 68.6 billion killed). The Imperium took the IHUB in PS-94K, a Keepstar system, and in so doing stopped the clock on PAPI’s ability to place a cyno jammer in that system and bash the Keepstar unopposed.

The fight was kicked off by Imperium hackers attacking the nodes for the PS-94K iHub. “GSFOE [the Imperium’s dedicated entosis SIG] formed to do the node contest for the PS-94K IHUB,” Imperium Cerb fleet FC Dave Archer said. “When hostiles showed to have weak numbers, Mike Flood formed Muninns to buy time for the hackers. I then returned to 1DQ to form Cerbs to go in and assist the Muninns.”

The Imperium fully committed, fielding five fleets: Muninns under Mike Flood, Cerbs under Dave Archer, Jackdaws under Gnomagin Dallocort, Tornados under Aritzia, and Hackers under Agent Culson. “We were poking around the edges with a small fleet, and TEST formed Muninns,” said an unnamed Imperium coordinator.So we committed, and it escalated from there. We started with like 80 Muninns each.” As the fight developed, the Imperium fleets were well coordinated in their tactics. “Tornados were the top damage across the board, Muninns stood and brawled, Cerbs sniped logi out from under the hostiles, and Jacks/Tornados tore shit up in every system they could get to,” said the Imperium coordinator.

“It was a wicked fun fight,” said Muninn FC Mike Flood. “Hostiles came in with an even sized Munnin fleet to fight my fleet on one of the nodes. My fleet was able to reship faster and continue fighting pretty quick,” he said. Apart from the Munnin brawl, PAPI appeared hesitant to take fights, which may have cost them the night. “Outside of the main engagements with their HAC fleets, they where extremely risk averse,” said Imperium Jackdaw FC Gnomagin Dallocort. “Their Jackdaw fleet [ran] from ours while outnumbering us. If they had just engaged they could have won the objective as at one point they had reached 92% of winning the hack.”

Multiple Imperium FC’s commented that they are able to engage PAPI and win even when outnumbered; this in turn may explain PAPI’s reputation for not engaging without a massive numbers advantage. “Fleets like these probably explain PAPIs thing about not fighting without a heavy numbers advantage,” said Mike Flood. Dave Archer agreed. “They are getting beaten by hostiles that a lot of the time they are outnumbering.” The unidentified Imperium coordinator was more direct: “Their numbers have been, to put it bluntly, terrible for the last week. They’re very obviously having some fleet fatigue. Forming up 400 dudes to killmail whore on Sotiyo #584 is gonna mean people stop showing up occasionally.”

One additional factor in PAPI’s failure to bring overwhelming numbers may have been a conflicting IHUB timer in TEST’s capital system in Esoteria, D-PNP9. “The second they disengaged TEST went running to Esoteria to prevent them losing the IHUB in D-P,” said Dave Archer.

This is the first major engagement the Imperium has taken since freeing its forces form the M2 hellcamp, a factor that may have influenced the Imperium’s ability to contest the fight. “Not having to worry about M2 is helping as we no longer have to think about what they will do in M2 if we commit,” Dave Archer said. “It opens a lot of doors for us to operate more freely.” In addition, the Imperium’s recent focus on members being more than simple simple line pilots (learning to “press F2”) has meant both more hacking and more support ships on the field. “The F2 revolution is increasing turnout in a lot of secondary roles—GSFOE being chief among them,” said Dave Archer. “In the short time since it was announced everything from entosis to booshing hostile fleets has seen a massive uptick, and it really shows,” he said.

Dave Archer said that booshing in particular (the practice of teleporting groups of ships with a Command Destroyer’s Micro Jump Field Generator, which can be used offensively against enemy fleets to disrupt their positioning) played a large role in last night’s fight. “There were several times that groups of hostiles were booshed off allowing us to start picking off those groups while they are away from the rest of the fleet,” he said. Archer’s Cerbs got the killmail of the night, killing Legacy leader Vily’s FAX which was providing logi support for PAPI’s subcaps.

It is too early to tell whether this Imperium victory is a one-off or if it could presage a larger set of reversals for PAPI in Delve. When PAPI fully forms, they have shown the ability to win sov fights simply by having a massive numbers advantage, as when they took the M2 IHUB at the beginning of February. But with Imperium forces released from the M2 hellcamp, with Imperium line members expanding the ways in which they commit, and with the Imperium having nothing to lose, it may be that PAPI has more hurdles to cross before they fully pacify Delve than their uninterrupted progress in recent weeks would have indicated. “This was a great example of how IHUB football could go every night,” said Imperium hacker FC Agent Culson. “TEST getting trapped in Delve is the best thing that could have happened. So many bookmarks. So many staging points.”

In any case, given PAPI’s demonstrated preference to kill Keepstar’s under the protection of a cyno jammer, last night’s win in PS-94K has likely added weeks of life to the Keepstar in that system. If PAPI wants to kill all Delve Keepstars outside of 1DQ before mounting their assault on that system—a scenario Pandemic Horde leader Gobbins seemed to confirm in a leaked statement on Discord—then defeats last night may extend the war for months. And given their losses at home, it is unclear if Legacy has that much time.

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  • kwnyupstate .

    PAPI is finished. The fact they can’t win without massive numbers advantage time and time again shows what I’ve said all along that they are much lower quality players, FCs, and leadership. Second and third class eve against the pros. This war is like tons of plebs finally getting a huge mob to beat one jock who had always beaten them in everything. Even if PAPI wins I will hold my head up high and smile every time I see the CCP monument they plan to erect to remember the M-2 battles. Too bad CCP won’t literally write “RIP PAPI” on a huge tombstone and put that in space instead but I’ll take what I can get.

    March 13, 2021 at 7:58 PM
    • jerbotron5000 kwnyupstate .

      I’m just an interested gawker….

      What do you think happens next given how much sov has been stripped away from Goons? Does the war go on indefinitely with TEST and friends camped out around the Goon-hole? Does PAPI dissolve at some point due to fatigue and everyone goes home, leaving Goons to retake their resov? Do Goons quit and move to hisec? 🙂

      It is going to be really interesting. It seems like with the numbers in PAPI and their ability to freely move around nullsec and replace their assets, the war should be going more in their favor at this point. I guess there was an underestimation of just how dug in Goonswarm had become and how difficult it would be to “remove them from the game.”

      March 14, 2021 at 12:26 AM
      • William Doe jerbotron5000

        I personally think/believe when PanFam is done participating in this war they’ll just go home and relax for a bit. FRT may come down and strike out at AoM as promised and maybe even do some damage to TEST as well. Meanwhile, since “TEST is next” for Goons, they’ll be on the receiving end of a revenge campaign (justfiably so) from the Imperium. If anything they’ll be losing all the SOV gains they made in the west in due time. With 3rd party groups and other Imperium forces also messing up countless Legacy alliances and SOV, I really expect TEST and Legacy as a whole to come out worse than before the war started, it may take some time after the war’s end before that happens though. But there’s enough incentive for not only the Imperium, but 3rd party groups and an ally of convenience in FRT to lay the smackdown on Legacy.

        March 14, 2021 at 12:47 AM
        • jerbotron5000 William Doe

          Thanks for the thoughts.

          I feel like Goons would have to pickup a lot more numbers to be able to break into TEST space and pickup any significant number of systems, assuming that there is an indefinite blockade around their remaining systems in Delve. Neither Brave or TEST are going anywhere unless they’re forced out. Maybe FRT joining Goons in force is enough to push through, but then again maybe not. I’m really interested to see how it all plays out though. Kinda plan on camping in high sec making ISK until the madness is over TBH. 🙂

          March 14, 2021 at 12:55 AM
          • William Doe jerbotron5000

            This war has shown that PAPI is moreso PanFam doing a heavy amount of the work. Look at the numbers turnout from PanFam compared to Legacy. When PanFam is gone and the PAPI coalition is dissolved, Legacy(who’s already lost quite a considerable chunk of alliances these past months) will be in a weakened position despite whatever SOV gains they got from PanFam’s hard work. Do you honestly think PanFam will be so inclined to defend Legacy turf when the war ends? I seriously doubt it. PanFam just wanted to bash goon stuff and cripple their economy most especially Delve itself which is what Gobbins (leader of Horde) said a few months ago. BRAVE’s losing their home in Catch by the day and the leaks prove that despite them relocating to Querious, that really doesn’t seem like an ideal long-term home for them, let alone it being fiscally a good thing.
            I don’t think FRT will join Goons, but they may have a non-aggression pact set up with the Imperium as both entities will take their past aggressions out on Legacy space when this war is over. After all, it was Legacy who allied with Goons a few years back that forced FRT out of their space just south of PanFam to relocate far north. Revenge will still be fresh on the minds of both Imperium and FRT to get back at Legacy.

            March 14, 2021 at 1:53 AM
      • kwnyupstate . jerbotron5000

        You have a graph of declining PAPI numbers over time and to finish the rest of delve they need that number like 2x Imperium numbers at a minimum. If it drops below that they will be defeated right there; if they maintain it they might get to where they need to be to to attack 1DQ. They won’t win in 1DQ because that is where most Imperium forces are located and is where they will be forced to huge battles on keepstars. All Imperium needs to do in 1DQ are log on large numbers at very well defined times (timers) and they can crowd PAPI out since PAPI knows the server can’t handle gigantic battles (M2). Imperium just needs to undock and tether and PAPI will have the same issues in M2 if they try to bring in enough forces to defeat a keepstar. Imperium have said they will go all in and they need to which means PAPI would have gigantic titan and super losses if they were even able to defeat 1DQ and PAPI alliances won’t ever risk losing most or all of their titan/super fleets since the rest of the universe will smell blood in the water and eat them alive.

        Also take a look at DOTLAN maps; PAPI have lost tons of SOV also. I would say they lost more than Imperium has.

        March 14, 2021 at 1:08 AM
        • victor hugo kwnyupstate .

          The fact that Legacy wont go back to defend their allies in Impass/Immensea/Catch/Tenerifis and Feythabolis shows how much they really weight on the whole papi thing, its pathetic at best how many numbers they get on their own.

          March 14, 2021 at 7:23 AM
      • Alaric Faelen jerbotron5000

        At some point all those not getting space in Delve, or are in the process of moving to new space, will quit the war. They have been grinding at this working on a year now and it’s long since lost it’s luster for people stuck far from home, having embarrassing defeats, and still an uphill slog to go with no end in sight.
        All so vily can pretend he’s a real boy.

        They aren’t going to break GSF, even if we lost Sov entirely we’d just move to NPC Delve and continue to murder anything that undocks there, begging them to escalate so we can further trap or murder their capitals. So they will just melt away back home claiming good fights and go back to ratting and mining and botting. Leaving test more and more holding the bag for a war they started but bungled at every turn.
        Everyone else will be safely away from Delve and all the angry bees except test who will reap what their tried and failed to sow.

        Then it’s a matter of how well the blue donut holds together. The one thing all these alliances have to consider is that they cannot afford to lose too much in this war, or they will be vulnerable back home. With everyone deployed their space is fairly secure. But once any significant alliance goes back, they are a threat to the borders of their neighbors, blue donut or not. So there will be a domino effect of alliances leaving. In the meantime, all those alliances are already going to be highly hesitant to commit to a full capital brawl having just been humiliated due to vily and piggles total incompetence. Weakening any hope of success in fights they have no choice but taking if they want to advance the war.

        March 14, 2021 at 5:32 AM
    • jerbotron5000 kwnyupstate .

      “Second and third class eve against the pros.”

      Also seems like a case of one extremely dedicated and organized adversary versus a mixed coalition with a lot less clear goals and motives. Goons backs are against the wall, and they have a simple goal: survive. PAPI has as many real goals as there are alliances in it, and some are benefiting more than others. Their overall stated goal of wiping Goons from the game always seemed a tad, uh, unrealistic.

      March 14, 2021 at 12:28 AM
  • kwnyupstate .

    The real question now is will the next story be The Return of the PAPI? lul

    March 14, 2021 at 2:48 PM
  • Brave and Severance quickly learned that the only way to deal with the wrath of Delta Sqad was to deploy caps to bash structures while the remainder of their fleets cowered on tether, as we lacked the numbers to deal with capital tanks. But with mainfleet active in Delve and ready to tear down capital ships (as has been seen), that’s not gonna be an option for PAPI in Delve.

    I’d imagine the only thing more fatiguing than being constantly asked to form up in HAC fleets to shoot abandoned Sotiyos is forming up in HACs to shoot structures while your Muninns are quickscoped out from under you by a 30-man squad of goony idiots as they laugh at you. Welcome to Good Post Country, PAPI. Thanks for giving us the craziest BRs we’ve ever seen.

    March 14, 2021 at 9:22 PM
    • Moomin Amatin Ganthrithor

      Is Delta recruiting?

      March 14, 2021 at 9:58 PM
      • Always open, the doors of
        the mead-halls of Delta
        To those who have drunk from Dalmuti’s well
        (Dalmuti’s well: the well of good-posting)
        Bravely they wield their fearsome brass (fearsome brass: Saxophones; Tornadoes)
        against those makers of shitposts
        If upvotes won wars, those men would be held in high regard
        But instead they are clowned upon
        By those whose Gooniness is greatest

        March 14, 2021 at 10:15 PM
  • Thomas Low

    This didn’t age well

    March 15, 2021 at 5:06 AM