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. :smug:

“ares stiletto raptor claw
none were a match for the old jackdaw”
– ibid

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~

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  • DrkyDrky

    Well this is inspiring.

    November 26, 2020 at 9:27 AM
  • Winston Archer

    Not having a dog in this fight or basic knowledge of nullsec warfare, I appreciate a well written article explaining both in simple terms. Well done and thanks. o7

    November 26, 2020 at 11:15 AM
  • Guilford Australis

    PAPI has two factors working against them:

    (1). Massive inertia in Delve. Goons enjoyed years of prosperity before CCP decided no one should be allowed to make money in nullsec. The average line member is not moving this crap anywhere. I suspect PAPI underestimates the sheer willpower and incredible investment of time it would take to uproot The Imperium. Good luck milking PAPI line members for 18 months or two years of that kind of commitment. Gobbins has already announced to his alliance that Horde’s only remaining objectives in this war are to sack 1DQ and kick over Fountain again on the way back north. Piggles and Vily are the only people left in the coalition still trying to make big ball-swingin’ claims about a total conquest of Delve.

    (2). Wars in which the only thing required of defenders is that they refuse to leave are extremely difficult for invaders. If Horde does what Gobbins indicated and heads home after bringing about the humiliation of 1DQ, TEST will be left holding the proverbial bag – and will be a particularly tasty target for The Imperium since they’ve already convinced their line members to deploy all their big toys right onto our front lawn.

    I basically agree with the idea that PAPI assumed we’d pack up and leave after a handful of Keepstars and titans died. I think sitting on our asses in Delve and refusing to move has been the most effective momentum-killing strategy we could have adopted for this war.

    November 26, 2020 at 12:10 PM
    • The sheer number of Keepstars alone would make most people just ignore the area and walk away. Either it’s armed enough to still take out a not small number of ships or its fit to take several more minutes outside of TIDI to take out a layer.

      November 26, 2020 at 11:14 PM
    • Garreth Vlox Guilford Australis

      ” I think sitting on our asses in Delve and refusing to move has been the most effective momentum-killing strategy we could have adopted for this war.”

      I think when people look back at the war this will picked out as the single biggest deciding factor in the war. In every previous war I can think of or was a part of at some point, the classic “I’m gonna lose all me shit” panic sets in and the defender breaks and there’s a massive clown car style exodus of members and corps jumping ship and what is left is burned down in days instead of months.

      But when it comes to goons for a lot of people that’s just not an option, I have to much shit across all my characters to just move it all out and I’m sure as shit not going to willing asset safety my shit to lowsec and pay the markup on that service. This leaves with no choice but to fit to the last ship and mod I have here. I think Panfam never even considered that response from goons as a possibility given their tendency to run away from a war the second they start losing, and TAPI just assumed that we would fold like they themselves have every time they started losing a war.

      November 28, 2020 at 8:49 PM
  • kwnyupstate .

    The fact that PASSPI won’t engage Imperium with equal number fights shows they have no confidence in the quality of their members or leaders.

    Imperium attacked several keepstars and was strong enough to take huge losses to win an objective; PASSPI is too scared to attack even a SINGLE keepstar and accept losses.

    It is much easier to encourage winners to fight than to encourage a huge coalition of long time losers to spend countless months in an attempt to finally win something. It is much easier to encourage people to fight who’s home is under threat than to encourage people because you got fired from a job and are a disgruntled former employee.

    When PASSPI loses, and they will, they will be the laughing stock of EvE forever because they had the largest force ever assembled and lost. I predict some of their alliances will disband and no longer be viable and not the imperium.

    November 26, 2020 at 8:31 PM
  • Simon Chui

    Here it is, the Stalingrad of this war. Insert Enemy at the Gates memes here. 1dq is where the Imperium is most heavily fortified, and also where PAPI supply lines are most stretched. The snek has stuck its head deep into the beehive, and now it’s surrounded by angry bees.

    What is the real Delve? Figured it out yet? What do you call a container with one narrow opening? Surprise, Delve is a snake trap, and 1dq is the bait. You’ve caught a big snake now, don’t let it wriggle back out.

    November 26, 2020 at 10:08 PM
  • Mick


    Listen to Lynn Minmay and be inspired to great success!

    November 27, 2020 at 1:11 AM
    • Arrendis Mick

      At least it wasn’t “Stagefright”…

      November 27, 2020 at 4:37 AM
  • mbox

    I’m very proud to be a goon through this war effort. My best Eveonline years were measured in my time as -a- member until this war. Now, I hope my efforts measure to goons’.

    November 27, 2020 at 4:11 AM
    • Moomin Amatin mbox

      You stand on the shoulders of giants dear. Now is your time to add to not only your story but to that of The Imperium. This is YOUR Great War, Fountain War, Casino War. This is how you become a blooded goon.

      November 27, 2020 at 6:19 AM
  • Deni'z von Meanace

    While its nicely written i see one key ones for me – this war is up to Horde’s next move. And while silly villy can throw words how successful test is the only powersource for legacy is Horde’s arms.

    November 27, 2020 at 10:35 PM
  • Andy Preston

    Ooh here’s the spin from the fireside chat in action. “Be nice to brave and everyone else, blame TEST for everything!”
    Except… u forget Absolutely everyone listened to that fireside And heard you say that was your plan lol.

    December 1, 2020 at 7:30 PM
    • Moomin Amatin Andy Preston

      TAPI approached The Imperium to make a deal to attack Panfam. The Imperium said no. PAPI with 100k chars more than The Imperium have followed the lead of TAPI. Any fool knows that PAPI could be in 1DQ right now if they so chose to. TAPI have declared Delve, Querious and Period Basis to be the best space in the game. This war seems to be a mechanism for them to take it as they could not do it on their own. There is no need to sow any dissent. Anyone actually looking at what has happened knows that what I have said is true. Everyone agrees that any agreement with TAPI in the future has little value. I certainly will not bother to come to their rescue as I have done before. I may come for other reasons though. But thankfully TAPI is next, door.

      December 3, 2020 at 8:14 AM
  • chthulan

    My morale seems to be sky high. PAPI is leaving. We’ve won.

    August 3, 2021 at 6:17 AM