Art by Cryo Huren
“We shall go on to the end. We shall fight in Delve, we shall fight in T5Z, we shall fight in 1DQ, and E3O-I; we shall never surrender, even if, which I do not for a moment believe, this Region or a large part of it were subjugated and starving, then our mining empire in highsec, guarded by CONCORD, shall carry on the struggle, until, in god’s good time, the rebuilt Imperium, with all their power and might, steps forth to the rescue and liberation of Delve” – Angry Mustache, channeling the spirit of Churchill
Backs Against The Wall: How We Win
We have reached the fulcrum phase of this war: the enemy has now staged next door to us and is preparing for assaults on 1DQ1. Their strategy – which depends upon defending their iHubs in Delve for 35 days straight – has faltered against our relentless counterattacks as we trade hubs each day.
TEST has announced their intention to abandon Esoteria and relocate to Delve and live on top of us. As CCP continues to nerf the nullsec economy and with the Quantum Core patch approaching on January 12, everyone involved in this war against us is under tremendous strain.
Despite everything thrown at us, we are on track to win our war. If we hold out through this period, victory is ours. If we falter, we will lose absolutely everything we have. This is the most critical period of the war, where the consequences are cranked up to maximum for both us and the enemy, where every ship, every moment counts.
And we will win our war.
I use that language – ‘our war’ – carefully. As the defenders, the Imperium faces two hostile blocs, blocs with different aims, casus belli and victory conditions.
Panfam wants to kick our ass because we have, in the past, kicked their asses. Legacy seeks our annihilation as an online gaming community, our removal from EVE Online itself, and to live in the region we now call home. Panfam – Horde in particular – has been responsible for blowing up a disturbing amount of Imperium citadels and have done the yeoman’s work of this war. While Panfam does the work, Legacy’s leaders run victory laps on talk shows while complaining behind closed doors about how tired they are.
Our war is one of survival itself, holding Delve against impossible odds against the largest conglomeration of bads in the history of online gaming. And we will win, barring fuckups, treachery, or other black swan events.
However, if shit goes completely sideways, let the record show that Panfam should get the credit for any win. The reality of this war from the very start was that Panfam would come out a winner. No matter who loses, Legacy or the Imperium, Panfam’s position will be strengthened. I tend to keep track of the macro-level stuff in terms of expected value, and in almost every scenario this war was extremely +ev for Panfam.
If I was in their position, I’d try to smash our faces in as much as possible too. If one of their war goals is to get us to admit that they have thoroughly glassed tons of our shit and done tremendous economic damage to us, we will not argue against this: we are fighting for our survival against Legacy and absolutely everything we have is being sacrificed towards achieving that goal. And we’ll do it again.
Meanwhile, TEST has outdone themselves in this war in one critical way – as you might expect from a group that calls ~middle management dino~ their mascot, they have become the bureaucrats and middle managers of this war, taking the credit for someone else’s work. Their biggest achievement has been freeloading on their allies’ labors, siphoning their way to success while taking credit – and naps – for themselves.
Panfam may be fighting to blow up a bunch of our shit – and have succeeded at that – but against Legacy we are fighting for our home, and more importantly we are fighting for each other. We will win, because our people continue to man the battlements and show up for timer after timer. We will win because there is no one else who has, year after year, war after war, been willing to weaponize their stubborn endurance/autism more than we have. We will win because of your continued determination in the face of pressure that would instantly shatter lesser coalitions.
I am incredibly proud of all of you – keep it up, we’ve got this.
“One-ship two-ship three-ship four
How did Goon win their losing war?”
— Children’s playground rhyme
Legacy Remnant Space
7L9-ZC, Omist, YC 123
The Doom Clock
Our path to victory depends on destroying enemy infrastructure hubs in our systems with Keepstars before 35 days pass. If an iHub survives more than 35 days, and thus hits the appropriate strategic index in the system (level four), the enemy will install jammers and then use the cover of a cynojammer to attack our Keepstars. If the enemy is baited or frustrated into attacking our Keepstars without a jammer, we believe those engagements favor us and that we can make them pay a terrible price – that’s how we get their supercap fleet, on defensive Keepstar timers in unjammed systems. But if we fuck up, the hostiles will put jammers over our Keepstars and try to delete them the low-risk Legacy way.
To keep track of this Sword of Damocles hanging over our Keepstars, our devs have whipped together an app we have taken to calling the Doom Clock. Check it daily and spread it around.
tl;dr: we must kill hostile hubs before the doom clock for each hits 0 days. use the doom clock. hack them, go on ops to kill them, join GSFOE, do corp hacking ops, snipe their hackers, do whatever it takes to continue resetting the doom clock before it his 0 in each of those systems
This is an all-hands-on-deck strategic objective – an objective which has been defended by many of us as individuals, as sigs, and in corp ops – in addition to constant mainfleet action. We know this strategy works because you glorious bastards have been making it happen, ever since the first pubbie iHub was shat onto our front porch and then spontaneously ejected by pissed off Goons.
You guys have been killing so many of these things that the bad guys have stopped bothering to replace the iHubs we kill, and we know their hackers aren’t having any fun repeatedly getting owned night after night.
This isn’t just important and necessary – it’s something we’re pretty fucking good at.
“ares stiletto raptor claw
none were a match for the old jackdaw”
The Big Blurfin’ ~SPACEWAR STRATEGY~ Cool Zone
The war has been going on for nearly six months, and the hostile strategy has been remarkably consistent throughout. Let’s compare!
The Passpi Strategy:
- Attempt to terrify the Imperium into giving up and going away by dropping Keepstars at us, then continuing as if nothing happened when we fail to give up and go away (spoiler: this failed).
- Avoid fights where they lack an overwhelming, unassailable advantage – helldunk or blueballs all the way.
- Glass everything smaller than a Keepstar that they can blow up.
- Destroy our Ihubs; put down their own iHubs and then hold them for 35 days to enable a Passpi cynojammer.
- When a Passpi jammer is installed, deploy their supers under jammer cover to destroy our Keepstars.
This strategy is a product of compromise between Panfam and Legacy. Panfam, who have been doing the vast majority of the actual work of fighting us and blowing up our shit, does not want to wait for jammers to online. They are willing to take fights on our Keepstars without jammers and bring things to a conclusion – either we succeed in defending our Keepstars, or we lose them and get swept out of the region.
Legacy does not want to fight without the cover of jammers, because they understand – quite reasonably – that even in a scenario where we lose a titan fleet in a megabattle, we would take TEST down with us and they will have great difficulty rebuilding their strategic forces.
As we have promised that TEST is Next, they’re not necessarily being cowards or idiots about insisting upon having jammers up before risking their supercap fleet, and Panfam needs those Legacy supers on the field to win in the first place – this is why so much depends upon the Doom Clock and preventing the enemy from getting jammers online.
The Imperium Strategy:
- Use our citadels to burn out the enemy and buy time to degrade enemy numbers as best we can, accepting that a tremendous number of them will die for the cause of our survival.
- Destroy hostile iHubs to prevent them reaching the 35-day mark.
- Secure assets in Keepstars and in Helm’s Deep while digging in ever further in Delve.
- Fight set-piece battles on our Keepstars – where the force multiplier effect gives us the greatest chances of victory.
- Be richer than the other guys so the smaller hostile alliances go bankrupt.
There’s a bunch of other shit in there which I won’t spell out because that’d be dumb, but the above is obvious. Putting pressure on Legacy’s core whenever we can to degrade their organization and prepare for our revenge rampage, a bunch of metagame fuckery like deleting REQ, and the usual Imperium-at-Hellwar stuff we do also goes into our strategy.
But none of that really matters because the war has boiled down to a single central conflict: they need to get jammers up before they hit our keeps, which means they have to hold their iHubs for 35 days. We want to stop them, and so far have been quite successful in doing so. If we continue to succeed, we will win – or force the enemy to attack without jammer cover, at which point we either win or lose based on our ability to defend keeps in open battle, which is a scenario we believe is favorable to us.
T5ZI: A Keepstar Too Far
I think that deploying into T5ZI was a major error on the part of the enemy. They assumed that we would shatter and evac after T5ZI went up because gosh, yet another Keepstar in Delve – this time it’s even closer to 1DQ1!!!! – but as the enemy ignores our keeps until they can get jammers up, so too can we ignore enemy keeps until we have the balance of forces required to hit them back.
The situation reminds me of Burn Jita; as they are right next door, we have been able to dust off our Jita-style suicide ganking techniques to nuke their recons and other valuable ships on their Keepstar with throwaway destroyers. If they had stayed in YZ9, this kind of relentless harassment would not be possible.
Keep it up~