The announcement of the PAPI withdrawal from Delve following Monday’s final drive against 1DQ1-A has led to an upsurge in activity in the region.
Some of that is to be expected. PAPI will have move ops running and the Imperium has a few regions of space to reclaim. We were certainly wasting little time in Delve, lighting up ihubs and TCUs with enotsis ops the next day.
The systems highlighted with the orange aura have been targeted by the Imperium. (Some of which have already been taken since I took that screen shot.)
Some of those systems likely don’t concern PAPI very much, but they can’t let them all go because the Imperium has a plan.
After committing to more than half a year of stubborn defense in an attempt to convince PAPI that they should pack up and go home, we’re now trying to make that evacuation as costly as possible. We aspire to turn an orderly withdrawal into Napoleon’s retreat from Moscow if we can.
Around Delve, Querious, and Period Basis the Imperium has been dispatching fleets to destroy Anisblex jump bridges belonging to PAPI in order to hinder their movement.
More than 20 have been destroyed since the end of the big battle.
And if the Imperium succeeds in taking the ihubs in key systems, PAPI won’t be able to simply throw up a replacement Ansiblex, so they have to form up and defend some systems rather than just moving home.
This was the case in 1-SMEB, a key system in Delve as it is the gateway to Aridia, a low sec region that is also the shortest route home for many of the PAPI alliances. The Imperium being able to block that system would me at least some hazard getting through or a need to re-route moves through Fountain or Querious, extending the route home and leaving more opportunity for mishap.
When the Imperium started hitting the 1-SMEB ihub, PAPI had to respond. And when they started spinning up fleets we responded in kind. Once again we had more than 2,000 people in a system battling over an ihub.
That kicked off when I was busy with work, but carried on long enough that I could jump in to the fight. When I was ready there was a call for interdictors to hold down the hostiles, so I jumped into a Sabre I had in my hangar, insured it because I was sure it would get blown up, and headed to the fleet titan to get bridged in.
The instructions for dictors were pretty simple; get on the enemy fleets and bubble them so that couldn’t leave. In I went.
I managed to deploy a few bubbles and take a few potshots with my gun, but the node was not reinforced, or so I guess, and the fight degraded performance beyond what the 10% tidi number indicates. Lots of people were having problems with modules not cycling down. My interdiction sphere launcher went to reload after the first three bubbles and never finished.
PAPI’s guns managed to cycle on me however, and I lost my Sabre as expected. I had plenty of time to file for reimbursement while waiting for my ship to finally explode. I got paid before the animation finished. Then I waited for my self-destruct… 2 minutes in 10% tidi is 20 minutes in real time… which let me watch the battle for a while.
Then I reshipped back in 1DQ. But I didn’t get back in the fight. The results had been decided and there was no reason to throw more people at the node.
We won. We reinforced the ihub and killed a lot of PAPI ships to according to the battle report. Objective and ISK war.
There is also a John Hartley video of the battle, if you enjoy those. I like the music choice.
Losing that ihub match means PAPI is going to need to take a break from packing and come back to contest that ihub today at 19:52 UTC, or about two and a half hours after this post goes live. We shall see how that turns out.
Meanwhile, along with ihubs and Ansiblex jump gates, fleets have also been setting timers on structures that TEST has been trying to unanchor. Setting a timer makes them start the unanchoring timer from scratch again, even if we don’t contest the timer.
The reason for this is pretty obvious. PAPI’s biggest claim to victory is the amount of destruction they imposed on the Imperium. We want to hold those structures in place to give us a chance to even up that score a bit.
So the war is not over. There is still a lot of work to be done on both sides.
Addendum: The 1-SMEB ihub fell to the Imperium.