World War Bee: A Six-Month Summary, Part 3

2021-01-20

Header art by AnuranonthecoucH

This is the final part in the summary of the first sixth months of the world’s largest internet spaceship war ever. In part one we covered the main actors and a brief history of the complex relationships that exist in nullsec New Eden. Part two covered the stated reasons and goals of the warring parties. It also went into some detail about the size of the respective parties, in the amount of space they control and in member count. This final part will describe major events of the first six months of World War Bee.

Losses for Each Coalition

This is another hugely contentious issue for some. Again we urge caution in reading too much into these numbers as they can differ wildly, depending on the sources used. But it is hoped that in the fullness of time things settle a bit. But, being sixth months in, it is probably worth the risk to see how each of the sides are fairing. In this campaign tracker we see another source of numbers.

The one we will focus on will be the total ISK value lost by each side. Also added in are losses per capita. Note that the numbers used now are subject to change as the campaign tracker is updated.

Total ISK LostISK Lost per Member
PAPI (Attacker)58.3 Trillion622,863,247
The Imperium (Defender)50.7 Trillion1,116,740,088

Data should always be treated with a fair degree of caution. However, no matter how it is presented, the Imperium has lost both space and ISK on scales not seen before. Massive numbers of pilots have been gathered by PAPI and it would seem their plan for nullsec is coming true. But how did we get here?

War on the Road

In the seventh month of the war, we can safely say a lot has happened. I will list some of the major events so far.

June – Given that the Imperium had uncovered the plot to attack them, they had an opportunity to move assets to “safer” locations. They moved assets from a key system (J5A) in the region of Fountain back to Delve. When history books are written, as they surely will be, they must mention what happened before the “beginning” of the conflict in July.  Imperium prepared well and that has had a butterfly effect.

July – Action was seen mainly in Fountain with the Imperium member The Initiative (INIT) delaying far more numerous attackers. However, Fountain was systematically ground down, primarily by Pandemic Horde (PH), with key infrastructure being destroyed. Legacy tried a pincer movement attack, moving forces into Querious, but those attacks were often repelled and Legacy made few gains, certainly nothing to match the success of PH in the north.

August – The inevitable happened as Bastion and INIT lost their former home in Fountain and withdrew their capital ships back to Delve. New Eden lore also played a part, with the precursor to the creation of the new Triglavian region Pochven, aided by Imperium pilots. The change to New Eden geography upset logistical routes to the south and made it more difficult for PAPI to resupply.

September – PAPI deployed their first Keepstar in the region of Querious, which was still controlled by the Imperium. Fountain was recovered, in name at least, by the Imperium, although the region was left undeveloped. PAPI’s two-pronged attack was abandoned and a major move op was accomplished, as PAPI leadership decided to stake all bets on destroying Delve through Querious.

October – Big fights, big stories and world records. PAPI finally gained a foothold in Delve itself. World records were broken with the largest fights ever seen. We also saw political intrigue and drama, with Red Alliance leaving PAPI and Army of Mangoes pulling back from the front lines to defend space belonging to Legacy.

November – PAPI continued to destroy iHubs owned by the Imperium in Delve. PAPI also placed another Keepstar in the system of T5Z, a system right next to 1DQ, the home system of the Imperium. More drama in the sudden disbanding of the Requiem Eternal alliance, a PAPI member, by a discontented director.

December – Another PAPI group, The Watchmen, collapses, stating “war pressure” as the cause. A steady game of flipping iHubs continued with the Imperium losing ground. The month closed with a significant turn of events in the battles relating to the system of M2-X. In these battles, the Imperium managed not only to kill a massive amount of PAPI Titan forces, but also to trap many more in a hell-camp that continues as of this writing.

For a week-by-week accounting of the war, see the fine series of articles on INN by Ban Syrin. Here’s a link to his first article regarding the war.

All is Revealed

It is not hard now to see why Vily, PAPI/Legacy Military Director, was so keen originally on taking space from PanFam. Vily considers Oasa and the “Drone Lands” in general to be the very best space in the game. His reasoning for this is a list of perceived benefits. For instance, that space is closer to hisec with a good transport route. Vily’s second choice in space was Delve and its neighboring regions. So, it is not surprising that Vily first approached the Imperium, wanting a joint attack against PanFam, only to be rebuffed. He then approached PanFam to oust the Imperium from its space. 

Of course, Vily is insistent that it was the Imperium that gave Vily no choice other than to attack it.

In this revelation, that TAPI was making a land grab at the expense of their once-valued neighbor the Imperium, any pretense of a “just” or “virtuous” war was thrown out of the window. This war is all about ISK. Or perhaps more accurately, this was all about ideologies regarding ISK.

The Imperium believes that ISK should belong to the members. The mechanisms that the Imperium developed to enable this ideology have proven very successful. The Imperium was able to do more, with less space, than any other group in the game (I pointed out in Part 2 that the Imperium controls fewer regions than others, and yet, until the war, outproduced everyone else). TAPI, the driving force of this invasion, has a very different set of beliefs. For Vily, all assets belong to the alliance or coalition. They are his to put into play. Line members won’t get it right, so it will be Vily who decides how and where assets are used.

Wrapping It Up

This brings us current. Without a doubt World War Bee is proving to be quite the record breaker. Twice in fact. We now find ourselves at a most interesting point. Against every expectation, the Imperium is not only still standing, but is now finding itself in the unusual position of “not losing.” The situation is still dire for the Imperium. But with the super capital forces of PAPI currently pinned down in M2-X, the Imperium have some respite to gain some more breathing space and reset PAPI’s progress. This may be crucial, given the increasing financial costs to all parties.

Is it too late to get involved? No. The turning point for the Imperium’s recent fortunes was done by players less than 30 days into the game. It was their actions that then led to the trapping of tens of trillions of ISK of PAPI capitals. Quite the story and one that is uniquely theirs. What would you want your story to be?

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