Week 14 of World War Bee had 12 battles and 20 total hostile actions, per INN’s tracking, down slightly from last week’s 11 battles and 26 total hostile actions. Querious and Delve dominated the headlines with multiple major fights in NPC Delve and SVM-3K, a key entrance point to Delve.
The ISK split in the war zone in the Southwest spread again slightly after the major fights to 64.3% to 35.7% for the attackers. In theater, 29.4 trillion ISK has been lost in theater, up about 5.5 trillion ISK since last week, with 278,500 ships being killed, an increase of 32,000 ships. Across New Eden, since July 1, the ISK divide is 52.6% and 47.4% for the attackers, with 38.2 trillion ISK with 334,400 ships lost, an increase of 5.2 trillion ISK and 36,000 ships. The war populations are roughly 53,000 for the Imperium and 150,000 for PAPI. The average ship cost 114 million ISK, up from last week’s 111 million ISK. A rough estimate of the real world cost of the war is no less than 531,000 USD/398,000 GBP/446,000 EUR.
There were nine battles in week 14 that exceeded total losses of 20 billion ISK. The Imperium accomplished its objectives three times, PAPI accomplished their objectives twice, two battles were a strategic draw, and the two mid-week Keepstar fights are classified as inconclusive, as both sides claimed competing definitions of ‘success.’ Additionally, no less than three PAPI titans were killed in disparate parts of New Eden, unrelated to the major war effort.
The two major theaters are the North (Fountain and the border with Aridia and Cloud Ring as well as northern Delve) and the South (the rest of Delve, Paragon Soul, Querious, Stain, Period Basis, and Esoteria).
THE NORTHERN THEATER
The Northern theater’s actions have largely been relegated to an afterthought for most of the warring coalitions, as The Initiative (INIT) and The Bastion have largely reclaimed the bulk of Imperium sovereignty in the region, and mostly removed iHubs from competing groups. Tuesday did see a Goon Athanor killed in Fountain by Snuffed Out.
THE SOUTHERN THEATER
Week 14 kicked off in the South with a Horde kitchen sink gang in 1DQ1-A getting caught on a Sotiyo and crushed, losing 5.4 billion ISK to 762 million ISK. Later in the day, a Goon Rorqual gang was caught and killed in Period Basis by a TEST Muninn fleet, losing nearly 20 billion ISK for 1.2 billion killed. To cap off the leading day of the war’s bloodiest week, the Imperium turned aside a PAPI incursion in SVM-3K, a preview of later action in the week. Imperium leadership caught wind of PAPI groups forming up ahead of the fight and pinged to expect action as most of the Imperium’s iHub vulnerability windows opened. SVM-3K represents a critical border system from 8QT-H4 in Querious into Imperium-owned Delve.
Imperium leadership declared that they believed PAPI was attempting to complete an entosis hack by gating 1,300 or more players into the system, a battle that was covered by INN on Twitch. PAPI representatives on hand for the broadcast and subsequently have said that the battle was just about creating a good fight. The Imperium lost 78.1 billion ISK while killing 40.5 billion ISK in the fracas, but prevented any entosis hack from happening.
Monday was largely dominated by the first Fraternity Keepstar attempting to anchor in FWST-8 in NPC-owned Delve. Any group can anchor a structure in NPC space and be within capital jump range of two-thirds of Delve, including the Imperium’s capital of 1DQ1-A. Imperium scouts caught the drop fairly quickly and had both capitals and subcapitals on-grid inside of the 15 minute initial anchoring timer. It appeared that both the Imperium and the bulk of PAPI forces were caught largely unaware, as many of PAPI’s capitals and subcapital forces arrived roughly in tandem with the Imperium. Over the six hour siege, the Imperium was able to keep the Keepstar timer paused and poured enough damage into it to kill the massive citadel. The final tally showed the Imperium losing 929.2 billion ISK, including hundreds of dreadnoughts, to 109.7 billion ISK of attackers and third-parties, excluding the Keepstar, which did not appear on the battle report and represented about 180 billion ISK.
Fraternity began onlining a second Keepstar in FWST-8 soon after the loss of the first one, believing that the Imperium would not be equipped to mount a second siege immediately. Imperium leadership declined to offer battle in the initial vulnerability window and set the table for a fight 24 hours later in the second vulnerability window.
Overnight, FCs on both sides made preparations for the fight. INN covered the massive fight in depth. It was reported that CCP confirmed that 8,825 real-life players representing 11,258 characters took part in the fight, with peak concurrent players at 6,557. The fight lasted almost 14 hours in some form or another as both sides gave their all in an epic marathon.
The Imperium elected to deploy some unusual tactics, moving away from their capital-heavy assault from the previous day, and utilized more battleships, bombers, and even ratting-oriented drone boats. During the fight, Bastion hackers managed to reinforce a dozen or more TCU and iHubs in the primary entrance constellations into Esoteria, TEST’s home region and including the iHub in D-PNP9, TEST’s capital system. The siege cost the Imperium 1.5 trillion ISK in exchange for 394.5 billion ISK killed, excluding the 180 billion ISK Keepstar, which once again did not appear on the battle report. INN covered all 14 hours of the fight on Twitch and interviewed Imperium Sky Marshal Asher Elias on the Meta Show on Saturday. Of particular note, CSM member Brisc Rubal asked him when he decided if the Imperium was all in no matter the cost and Asher replied “at about the 40% mark.”
Wednesday’s action was largely about fleets trying to get additional assets off of the old Keepstar grid, whether players safe logged or disconnected and stayed offline. The first battle had the Imperium successfully interdict PAPI assets trying to escape FWST-8, killing 52.8 billion ISK for 19 billion ISK in losses. In the second battle, PAPI’s Nightmare battleships, Jackdaws, Eagles, and Muninns pushed the Imperium’s forces back through various gates, which allowed the final stragglers to escape, killing 51.2 billion ISK in Imperium ships to 33 billion ISK lost.
Thursday was a slower day as the sides each held serve on most of their defensive iHub timers created during the Keepstar fight Tuesday, with the Imperium defending Period Basis and TEST largely protecting Esoteria. Roughly mid-day, Fraternity baited another fight in FWST-8 with a freighter appearing to warp to grid and feinting a Keepstar drop. Each side scrambled a response fleet and fought to a draw, with the Imperium losing 11.6 billion ISK to 11.2 billion ISK for PAPI. The most unusual action was a PAPI fleet that successfully gated into SVM-3K, catching Imperium leadership flatfooted as the PAPI fleet warped to a cyno jammer and began shooting it to cover for an entosis hack, where they reinforced the critical iHub. PAPI lost 3.9 billion ISK to the Imperium’s 5.8 billion ISK loss.
Friday began when an INIT Kikimora gang dunked a Horde hacking defense fleet in Querious, as INIT and others won the major entosis node fight, killing the iHub and the Jackdaw response gang. The iHub was 30 days old, just five days short of allowing PAPI to online a jumpbridge that would allow them to cross quickly into parts of Querious bordering NPC Delve from their staging systems. INIT killed 5.6 billion ISK for 637 million ISK in losses. Later in the day, TEST/Legacy brought two Muninn fleets into Period Basis to contest the UR-E46 iHub timer, next to the critical border system of TCAG-3 to Paragon Soul. The Imperium brought Muninns under FC apple pear and Feroxes under FC XoB Codie to defend, but by the time they had arrived, the TEST/Legacy counter-hackers had mostly won the node fight and the Imperium defense hackers were unable to achieve grid control. Once the smoke cleared, Imperium had won the subcapital fight but lost the nodes.
Once the bulk of the TEST/Legacy forces had been killed or chased off, the Imperium’s Muninn fleet turned back towards Delve while the Feroxes went into UR-E46 and discovered a TEST POS with some deep space transports waiting. The remaining TEST/Legacy forces elected to move into UR-E46 as one of the deep space transports left the POS to drop a new iHub. Quickly, the Imperium’s battlecruisers and hackers warped to the new iHub and began to counter-hack under TEST/Legacy’s opposition. FC apple pear then played his trump card, lighting a bridging cyno in system and bringing his Muninns on grid, scattering the TEST/Legacy remnants and chasing them back into G-M4GK while the Imperium claimed the iHub once more. The Imperium lost 9.5 billion ISK in the node defense fight, while TEST/Legacy lost 19.6 billion, including the cost of the new iHub.
Saturday had heavy action in SVM-3K as PAPI attempted to destroy the cyno jammer in system ahead of the major iHub node fight. The two sides exchanged blows but the Imperium finally chased the PAPI forces off with 10% left to go on the cyno jammer, killing 53 billion ISK for 45.7 billion ISK in losses. INIT member Legs uploaded a video of the action to their YouTube channel. After the slugfest, the Imperium was able to successfully defend the nodes virtually unchallenged as critical gate camps kept PAPI out of the cyno jammed constellation. Sometime after the node fight, Imperium leadership took a Rokh fleet into 8QT-H4 to fight on an Imperium Fortizar against 3 to 1 odds, losing 11.5 billion ISK for 6.5 billion ISK killed.
ELSEWHERE IN NEW EDEN
During the second Keepstar fight on Wednesday, a Fraternity Erebus was killed in Derelik to a dread bomb and others. Shortly afterwards, another Fraternity pilot with a similar name also lost a titan, this time a Ragnarok in Curse. Thursday, a Horde pilot lost an Erebus in Everyshore to the Ivana Trading Federation.