Week eight of World War Bee was remarkably quiet after the last couple of weeks of frenetic structure bashing. Total hostile actions were down double digits as PandaFam and TEST/Legacy re-positioned major strategic assets, and allowed at least one major timer to elapse without a fight. After re-staging super capitals, PandaFam and TEST/Legacy used their new firepower in Fountain to begin reinforcing the remaining Fountain Keepstars in earnest, effectively nullifying any potential subcapital response that the Imperium might elect to put up. The ISK divide in week eight was still holding steady at 37% for the Imperium and 63% for PandaFam and TEST/Legacy. Particularly worth noting is that roughly 2.5 trillion ISK of the Imperium’s cumulative losses were structures in Fountain. So far, the war has destroyed 15.6 trillion ISK and 163 thousand ships.
Across New Eden, since July 1, the ISK divide remains almost exactly even with 21.1 trillion ISK and 197 thousand ships destroyed. The Imperium’s 53k pilots continue to do war against the Blue Donut’s 145k pilots, a roughly 3 to 1 difference. The average ship cost about 107 million ISK. A rough estimate of the real world value of the war’s destruction is no less than 275,000 USD/206,000 GBP/231,000 EUR.
Week eight’s action included five battles with more than 20 billion ISK lost, where the Imperium achieved their strategic objectives three times (one of which was capitals dropped on subcap fleets in northern Delve), with TEST/Legacy counter-dropping dreads on a Stain Russians dreadnought fleet once, and NullSechnaya Solupen (NSH) dread bombing a Fraternity Erebus and Hel.
The two major theaters are the North (Fountain and its 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
Week eight began with PandaFam jumping a fleet of Augoror Navy Issues (ANIs) into the Delve border system of ZXB-VC from Fountain where they were met by a Goon Baltec fleet. The Baltecs held grid while the Imperium put together a capital fleet. Once the Baltecs successfully pinned down the ANIs, the caps dropped and cleaned up the field, with the Imperium annihilating the invading fleet, losing 1.7 billion ISK for 16.9 billion ISK destroyed. Also on Sunday, a Goon Tatara was destroyed in Fountain. Monday’s action opened with PandaFam again testing the waters in ZXB-VC, albeit with Feroxes. Again, the Imperium deployed Baltecs, a doctrine of Bhaalgorns and Megathrons, who held the field while the Imperium readied a capital response fleet. PandaFam improved their ISK differential but they lost 19 billion ISK for 8.6 billion ISK destroyed.
Tuesday in the North was quiet as a group of PandaFam Leshaks tried to reinforce a faction Fortizar in LBGI-2 but got punished by the station gunner and a Cormorant fleet was met by an Imperium Ferox gang. Wednesday had a skirmish on an Imperium Fortizar in 4HS-CR, the Imperium losing 2 billion to destroy 3.2 billion ISK. Thursday was much busier in the North for PandaFam as they continued doing structure bashes, including using super carriers and Titans to reinforce the shield timer of the KVN-36 Keepstar. The Imperium also lost six citadels in Fountain, three undefended Tataras and three undefended Fortizars.
Friday was a bit quieter with only an Imperium Cormorant fleet getting wiped in ZXB-VC, some structure bashes, and three undefended Tataras. The week ended in the North with a relatively costly structure bash for PandaFam, as they lost 10.5 billion while destroying a faction Fortizar in J-RQMF with Titans and super carriers on the field.
The Southern Theater
Saturday in the South began with a small skirmish on the Imperium side of the Querious/Catch border, with Karmafleet’s 49-U6U gate camp catching a Legacy Caracal fleet, destroying 1.8 billion ISK for 1.1 billion in losses. Slightly later in the night, USTZ, the Karmafleet gate camp and an Imperium Harpy fleet found kills on the Legacy side of the border, killing 5.4 billion for 3.9 billion ISK in losses. There were a pair of skirmishes in FAT-6P, the PandaFam and TEST/Legacy staging in the South. One was Imperium Muninns and Cormorants out dueling TEST/Legacy Jackdaws, Muninns, and Eagles. The Imperium killed 3.8 billion for 2.6 billion in losses. The other fight was a small Imperium gang going big game hunting, killing 7.4 billion ISK for 346.3 million ISK in losses. Other action included a Cormorant duel, and a pair of Goon Harpy fleets getting smart bombed.
Monday had no battles to speak of, while Tuesday saw a PandaFam kitchen sink gang getting wiped by Imperium Jackdaws with capital support. Tuesday also saw an Imperium Harpy fleet get revenge on a smart bombing fleet, killing 12.9 billion ISK for about 650 million in losses. Imperium FC John Hartley posted a video of the action on his YouTube channel as the Harpy fleet baited the cyno for the black ops battleships, then dueled from range.
Wednesday saw a duel over the 4-07MU Ansiblex in TEST/Legacy space, with an Imperium Ferox fleet trading 7.9 billion in losses for 6.5 billion killed, including the jump bridge. Additionally, a cheeky PandaFam Cormorant fleet got blapped in the Imperium staging of 1DQ1-A. Thursday was a bit busier as it kicked off with an Imperium Baltec fleet beating up on some HACs in Catch, killing 15.1 billion ISK for 2.5 billion in losses. Later in the day, some Imperium subcapitals trekked deep into Catch to support a Stain Russian dreadbomb but they got counter-dropped by TEST/Legacy, with the Imperium and affiliated groups losing 88.4 billion ISK and killing 33.5 billion ISK.
Shortly afterwards, Imperium Sacrilege and Muninn fleets formed to defend an Initiative Raitaru in the Legacy border system of 4-07MU against a number of assorted TEST/Legacy fleets who killed the citadel, with TEST/Legacy destroying 12.2 billion ISK in exchange for 4.3 billion ISK in losses. Thursday closed with a PandaFam bomber gang getting killed off of an Astrahus in NPC Delve.
Friday was fairly quiet. It began with a border scrap across the Querious/Catch line and ended with The Initiative and French ConneXion catching some dreadnoughts in Querious, killing 20 billion ISK for 2.3 billion ISK in losses. Saturday saw a Caracal slap fight at the 49-U6U gatecamp, then shortly afterwards, Karmafleet caught some Legacy dreadnoughts gating through. The Imperium killed 8.9 billion for 1.4 billion in losses. Saturday closed with a PandaFam Cormorant fleet getting crushed on the T5ZI-S gate.
The biggest news of the day was a Legacy entosis hacking fleet getting caught in Period Basis. The Initiative senior FC Dark Shines said “it was the second fleet of the day for us. Legacy rage formed and tried to entosis the systems around TCAG-3 that we had prevented them [reinforcing] a few hours earlier. We counter rage-formed alongside Goons [then] burned down to try and stop the hacks. Goons had a smaller fleet burning around killing hackers while my Muninn fleet, with Elo [Span]’s, engaged the Legacy and TAPI Muninn fleets.”
“After an initial skirmish on the TCAG-3 gate in VYO-68 legacy and TAPI warped off, Legacy withdrew from system with Elo’s fleet burning to cut them off,” continued Dark Shines. “But TAPI wanted to go for round two and warped to close range on my fleet. We burned into them and started brawling, [with] Elo’s fleet turning around and jumping in to assist. TAPI warped off but one of our guys, Sedjan Shix, managed to drop a bubble on the back of the Tapi fleet, bubbling a bunch of them including [TEST military director Progodlegend]. With Legacy already burning back to Catch, (TEST) exited the system toward Stain. We followed and killed whatever we could catch.” When the dust settled, the Imperium killed 32.9 billion for 6.1 billion in losses.
When asked about the pace of the war slowing down, Dark Shines said, “It’s anyone’s guess as to why. The only people who know the real reason is PanFam’s leadership to be honest. I can tell you when we have lost momentum in previous deployments it makes it very hard for both FCs and line members to keep going, I suspect that’s what has happened here. The set backs on the Keepstars in Y-2ANO and KVN-36 will have put a speed bump on their highway into Delve.”
“Now, this could all be part of some master plan,” he offered. “[But] honestly I don’t believe that, not because of who the hostiles are or anything, it’s just everything I’ve seen has screamed ‘not really planned out fully’.” He also recommended checking out this past week’s The Meta Show on INN’s Twitch channel. He explained, “Asher made a good point [on The Meta Show] – the realization of having to attack Delve is suddenly dawning on them. Again, I have no proof, but part of me wonder if their plans were for Goons to be abandoned alone in Delve once INIT and Bastion lost Fountain, instead of a united Imperium.”
Elsewhere in New Eden
Sunday was an odd day in Kor-Azor as an NSH dreadbomb erased a Fraternity Erebus Titan and a Hel supercarrier in Perbhe, despite the two sides both fighting the Imperium together in the Southwest. Imperium observers were surprised as the ostensible allies nuked the PandaFam supercapitals, but NSH sources tell INN that they believed the supercapitals were “blue tanking”, a practice of false flagging characters so that they can pass through otherwise hostile space. Looking at the pilots’ alliance history, the pilots’ corporation was most recently in Initiative Associates and their corp switched to Fraternity two days previously. NSH decided, after some internal debate, that these were fair targets. Saturday, a Goon bomber fleet wiped a Brave mining gang in Impass, killing 2.1 billion ISK in industrials.