Far too often I see a common misconception among my fellow Goons; this recurring dream that, at some point, PAPI will turn in on itself and kill each other. I can only chalk it up to wishful thinking, as it would make the war much easier for the Imperium. But the reality is far more grim for PAPI, and ourselves, than most people understand.
On the home front, as of this writing, it is May 17, and the Imperium holds one constellation, O-EIMK, home of the capital system 1DQ1-A. PAPI, after a Keepstar-killing super-spree, has yet to make any notable gains in the past three weeks. Their raw numbers in the fights of late have been roughly even with the Imperium’s numbers. So let’s get to where the chess pieces are.
Location, Location, Location
One of the PAPI members, Legacy Coalition, has moved into Period Basis and Querious, and with limited success is also in living in Delve itself. Vily, much like the Conquistador Cortez, allowed their home regions to burn, in an effort to put all of Legacy Coalition into the front lines. Legacy Coalition has no home to which to return. However, Legacy by itself is no match for the Imperium. They know it and the Imperium knows it. As a result, the unity of PAPI is directly linked to the survival of Legacy Coalition. Having let their homes burn, Legacy has made that reality quite apparent to its members.
Another PAPI member, PanFam lives in arguably the most remote area in nullsec on the opposite side of the map from Delve: The Dronelands. Fraternity, an ally of PanFam for quite some time now, lives in PanFam’s former regions of Branch (itself quite remote), Tribute, and Vale of the Silent.
How PanFam Got There
After the Imperium campaigns of 2018 in the northern part of nullsec, PanFam retreated into the Dronelands, the furthest it could get possibly from the Imperium. Though ultimately the campaigns were losses for PanFam, they were able to survive through, in my opinion, a successful Fabien strategy. After the “Glassing of Tribute,” the Imperium had no interest in invading the Dronelands, in part due to the Fabien strategy. But other factors included Imperium’s need for a common enemy to provide on-going content. If you enjoy playing a game, you don’t exterminate your greatest opponent; you want them to exist so you can have great battles over and over and so that you can talk trash, etc. It’s content. Imagine any MMO game with no boss fights or worthy opponents. You’ll stop playing, probably. The interest in the game lies in the violence of great wars, and the threat of violence and preparation for violence, during peace time. And finally, Imperium’s campaign up north was far away from home, and extended invasion would have left the Imperium open to a counter-invasion, due to how far away and long-lasting the campaign would have been.
PanFam, being a rental empire, moved as far away from the enemy as it could to preserve that empire, nor did it deploy until very recently. PanFam, for the last few years have, as an organization, stayed home to protect krabs and renters. So, at this point, based on their actions, you must understand that PanFam’s recent priority has been safety: safety for its renters and safety for its krabs. With that in mind, let’s take a look at a possible outcome of WWB.
PAPI Takes 1DQ1-A: The post-war Nightmare and Stalemate
When PanFam returns home, they will be surrounded by blues and empty space in the remote area of the Dronelands. Having myself been deployed to Geminate for years fighting PanFam, considering their actions over the years, I disagree with the notion that Pandemic Horde is a PvP focused alliance. As their actions over the years have demonstrated, PanFam seeks passive income through renting and krabbing, as well as maintaining their status as landlords in their society. Peace will make the renters and the krabs happy, so I expect PanFam to be quite happy with this potential outcome. Only time will tell. However, life in PanFam space is generally pretty boring for PvP.
Life will be quite different for Legacy however. If Legacy Coalition manages to secure a Mutual Defense Treaty with PanFam, they will be in a similar position as the Imperium was after the Casino War. They will have changed dance partners, but the tune the band is playing is pretty much the same. They will be the little brother to a larger, more powerful, alliance on whom they depend for security.
The Imperium, bitter from its defeat, will likely keep a considerable amount of forces in NPC Delve to harass Legacy’s progress. However, any major deployment by the Imperium will see PanFam, bored to tears in the Dronelands, rush to Legacy’s aid. As the Imperium noticed during the Delve Miracle, harassment only leads to the strengthening of the friendship machine and a robust industry to replace losses. Should the losses be sustainable for Legacy, they will not only see some action, but be strengthened by it.
For anyone cheering for this outcome, due to the assumed Mutual Defense Pact, the optimal play for the Imperium will be to “blueballs” on a strategic level. Any colonization attempt in another space by the Imperium will see similar actions: “If the Imperium gains territory, we’ll blue up again to evict them again.” The so-called “Warden” system. With only two major coalitions left in nullsec, on opposite sides of the map from each other, and with the Imperium banking on those two disintegrating faster than themselves, it’s going to be pretty dull for quite some time. Whether or not the Imperium strategizes along that line, and whether that is “good for the game” is yet another article.
PanFam, WinterCo, and Legacy have no desire to turn on each other. PanFam seeks passive income through peaceful renting, WinterCo seeks income through peaceful krabbing, and Legacy wants to continue existing and rebuild. It is in PAPI’s best interests to remain a blue donut for now. So, don’t dream of internecine battles within PAPI. That’s probably wishful thinking.