Week seven of World War Bee continued the trend of structure bashes in Fountain and skirmishes across the border between TEST/Legacy and the Imperium. Once again, the Imperium saved a Keepstar in its armor timer, although the heroics of the fight are largely due to the server node crashing. Week seven had less action than week six, but its fights were far bloodier. The ISK divide in week seven was holding steady at 37% for the Imperium versus 63% for the attackers. So far, the Imperium and the PandaFam and TEST/Legacy coalition have lost 14.1 trillion ISK in theater, and nearly 150k ships.
Across New Eden, since July 1, the action has been more even at 49% to 51% with a total of 19.2 trillion ISK lost on 177k ships. The Imperium’s 53k pilots continue to face off against the Blue Donut’s 144k pilots, a nearly 3 to 1 difference. The average ship lost has cost 108 million ISK. A rough estimate of the real world value looks like the war has cost nearly 250,000 USD/190,000 GBP/212,000 EUR.
Week seven’s action included five battles with losses exceeding 20 billion ISK, with the Imperium winning its strategic objective twice and drawing even on the ISK war or strategic objective three times. This includes the loss of the O-PNSN Keepstar as PandaFam destroyed it but the Imperium succeeded in winning the ISK war.
The two major theaters are the North (Fountain and its border with Aridia and Cloud Ring) and the South (Delve, Paragon Soul, Querious, Stain, Period Basis, and Esoteria).
THE NORTHERN THEATER
Week seven of the war in the North began with PandaFam making a play to reinforce Bastion’s O-PNSN Keepstar’s shield, setting up action on the citadel later in the week. Later in the day, a fight broke out in Y-2ANO as the Imperium attempted to defend a Fortizar in its hull timer. The Imperium took substantial losses in the brawl against capital ships but it allowed the I-CUVX faction Fortizar to repair in a major PandaFam staging system. Monday was relatively busy as Imperium Feroxes faced off with PandaFam Feroxes, trading about even. The Imperium later formed up to shoot an Astrahus in Fountain but fled down the pipe after PandaFam dropped capitals. Goon forces were able to pick up some Feroxes on their move, trading 671 million for 3 billion killed. PandaFam killed four separate Tataras across the day and took a Sotiyo despite suffering some losses to its gunner.
Tuesday had no major action while Wednesday saw two fights. The first fight took place on the border between Delve and Fountain. Imperium FC Mike Flood explained,”I was a backup FC for Elo Span during the fleet. Horde were trying to hit one of our jump gates while we were in North Querious, so we burned home pretty fast [and] bridged into ZXB-VC as Horde jumped [back] into Y-2ANO and started forming caps. Both Asher [Elias’s] Cerberus fleet and Elo’s Muninns jumped in and began engaging the Horde Augoror Navy Issues. We mainly hazed their logi and DPS until Horde cynoed in around 40 carriers and FAXes. We only lost a handful of ships who came in late or got caught in [a tidi] tunnel. We warped onto the Keepstar after caps were dropped and then attempted to grab any unaligned caps but they were all aligned and warped off.”
The Imperium lost 14 billion to PandaFam’s 10.5 billion ISK lost. Wednesday’s second fight was PandaFam deploying to reinforce the KVN-36 Keepstar into armor against some Imperium Feroxes and bombers, trading 10.6 billion ISK lost by the Imperium to 6.7 billion for PandaFam.
Thursday in the North saw the Keepstar hull timer fight for O-PNSN, with the Imperium trading 43.7 billion ISK in ships to PandaFam’s 47.7 billion in ships and fighter killmails while losing the Keepstar itself. Imperium Skyteam FC Asher Elias was in charge of its defense and deployed the Imperium’s new Supertrain doctrine of Rokhs to snipe TEST/Legacy and PandaFam DPS Ravens responsible for destroying Keepstars. INN’s streaming team captured all of the action live on Twitch. The battle played out similarly to previous Keepstar defenses as PandaFam caps sent fighters to attack the Keepstar from the relative safety of a nearby citadel, while TEST/Legacy battleships attempted to put enough DPS on the Keepstar to destroy it. Shortly before the deployment, the Imperium handed out Supertrain Rokhs to line members, which they used to snipe the Ravens on the field to great effect. At one point, the Imperium pilots believed that they were killing a Raven every second or so, making the new counter-sniping doctrine very effective.
Friday in the North saw one of the most talked about fights as the Imperium defended the KVN-36 Keepstar’s armor timer, trading 32.6 billion in losses versus 48 billion for PandaFam and TEST/Legacy. Undoubtedly one of the most controversial defenses as the reinforced server node crashed in the middle of the fight. By the time the first combatants reloaded the grid, the Keepstar repair had resumed with five minutes or so left. PandaFam’s carriers were unable to reconnect to their fighters in a timely manner as they warped back to grid and they cynoed out, leaving a bad taste in everyone’s mouth. INN streamer LifeshifterX called it “a dirty win” during INN’s live coverage of the fight.
Early indications had capsuleers thinking that the last actions that broke the server during the crushing time dilation was Dave Archer losing a Jackdaw fleet to smartbombs because those kills were the last seen on zKillboard.com. Imperium observers also took special note of TEST Senior FC Progodlegend losing two Damnations in the fight, neither of which had rigs installed despite both ships being named “Rigs in Cargo”.
The fight itself was an evolution of the previous Keepstar battle, with PandaFam and TEST/Legacy adapting to the new Supertrain by deploying larger battleships for attacking the Keepstar and then using the carriers’ fighters to protect the Ravens. Clearly anticipating additional bombing runs, the attackers also parked some Jackdaws in amongst the battleships and fighters to provide an active defense in addition to keeping at range from one another. As the fight unfolded, the Imperium struggled to dominate the battlespace as the mounting DPS from the attacking battleship fleets halved the armor health of the Keepstar in startling time. With the brutal time dilation, many players expected the fight to lag on for many, many hours, but the server collapse roughly halfway through surprised everyone especially since Imperium leadership announced that they had fully anticipated losing the timer fight itself.
Saturday was mostly a day of structure bashing in the North, although there was a minor skirmish in Y-2ANO where the two sides traded about even, although Imperium Skyteam FC Jay Amazingness’ pod represented about 1 billion of that Imperium loss. The structures lost Saturday included an Azbel, a Tatara, a Sotiyo, a Fortizar, and the final death of the I-CUVX faction Fortizar.
THE SOUTHERN THEATER
Action in the South was quieter than the bloody North and kicked off Sunday with a brawl in Period Basis’ I6M-9U as the Imperium fought off a TEST hacking fleet, killing 10.1 billion while losing 2.2 billion. During enemy vulnerability timers, the Imperium’s GSFOE SIG, which specializes in entosis warfare, destroyed four iHubs in Querious. Monday was a bit more exciting as TEST caught two Goon dreadnoughts in border system TCAG-3 before the Imperium dropped capitals in defense. The Imperium also formed up Hurricanes to defend a Raitaru in Catch’s border system of 4-07MU, killing 10.7 billion for 5.3 billion in losses which include the citadel. Other fights on Monday included border scraps in TCAG-3 and then ZXB-VC twice. Monday’s highlight for the Imperium was undoubtedly the three GSFOE hacking fleets which rescued all 25 of the priority Imperium iHubs coming out of reinforcement. TEST/Legacy set up more than 30 timers for Monday during the Y-2ANO Keepstar armor timer fight.
Tuesday saw Imperium Muninns fight Legacy Feroxes and carriers to a draw in Catch with roughly 3.8 billion in losses on either side. Goon Cynabals were on grid in FAT-6P as a Tactical Supremacy dread bomb nuked a Brave Hel. The Imperium also had a Ferox fleet get mangled by an NSH Nighthawk gang in AJI-MA. Wednesday was relatively quiet as a Muninn fleet from The Initiative (INIT) attempted to fight the HED-GP iHub and a Goon Jackdaw gang brutalized a Legacy Jackdaw gang. Thursday was also calm in the South as an INIT Kikimora fleet got pipebombed in T5ZI-S and the Imperium out-dueled a Legacy fleet across the 49-U6U/4-07MU divide, killing 10.4 billion for 5.6 billion in losses.
Friday rounded out the quiet week in the South with The Initiative killing three Legacy Ansiblexes in Catch and Imperium FC Dave Archer was smart bombed again after the Keepstar fight. Saturday had no major action of note.
AROUND NEW EDEN
The highlight of the week was no doubt Tuesday and Wednesday as a Triglavian invasion popped up in Niarja, a critical system on the route from Amarr to Jita. The Imperium discovered that a Brave leader posted an all caps ping on an internal Discord server saying that the system falling to low sec or null sec would be detrimental to their logistics operations in high sec space. Imperium leadership deployed their Incursion squad to grind sites for the Triglavians, and for the next 12 or so hours, they finally ground down EDENCOM’s will to fight, achieving Final Liminality. The system, for the foreseeable future, will have no CONCORD defense, forcing freighters unwilling to risk ganks to divert some 30 systems to transport goods between Jita and Amarr.