Tag Archives: Imperium

Winter War in South New Eden

After the giant mess of the M-OEE8 Keepstar battle, Circle of Two announced that they would be pulling out of the north end of null sec.  Neither they nor their allies, TEST, would defend their remaining holdings in Tribute or Vale of the Silent, allowing Pandemic Legion and NCDot to scoop up great swathes of the two regions to turn into rental space.  Same as it ever was.

The question then became where would these two alliances head.  They vowed to stick together to take new space, but there was speculation as to where.  The decision has finally been made; CO2 and TEST, joined by FCON and The Drone Walkers… not sure why they are showing up, but there they are and their space in Tenal is being taken… will be attacking the Stainwagon coalition, which is spread over the regions of Paragon Soul, Esoteria, and Impass along with bits of Feythabolis and Catch.  According to the Coalition Guide, Stainwagon is made up of:

  • Soviet-Union – 2060 pilots
  • Against ALL Authorities – 1151 pilots
  • Desman Alliance – 956 pilots
  • C0VEN – 1038 pilots
  • Good Sax – 306 pilots
  • FEDERATION OF INDEPENDENT STELLAR SYSTEMS – 1409 pilots
  • pwn-O-graphy – 275 pilots
  • Wings Wanderers – 1335 pilots
  • The Afterlife. – 656 pilots
  • Kids With Guns Alliance – 2435 pilots
  • Swords of Damocles – 374 pilots
  • The Volition Cult – 2408 pilots

That gives them a combined total of about 14K pilots. (Yes, pilots don’t necessarily align to actual people, but it is the only measure we have.)  You can see those alliances grouped up in the south on the current influence map from the usual source:

Null Sec Influence - December 30, 2016

Null Sec Influence – December 30, 2016

TEST, CO2, FCON, and the Drone Walkers bring over 17K pilots to the fight and represent a smaller leadership group, which may make them effective beyond their numbers against the dispersed Stainwagon Coalition.

The alleged political reason for Stainwagon being the target is their past friendship with Goons, though if that had to count against alliances then we’d have to bring up TEST, CO2, and FCON as fellow members of that club as well.

The REAL reason is more likely contained in a quote from TEST (and former GSF) FC Vily over at EN24 that I would sum up, in my own words, as “Nothing personal, but they have space and we think we can take them.”  Ever a good enough reason for war in New Eden.

Some alliances the Stainwagon coalition did indeed come out in support of the Imperium during The Casino War (part of the Russian complication in April which also saw the Drone Walkers show up) and that relationship has been maintained, including allowing the Imperium to pass through the Catch region to hit FCON on occasion.  In return the Imperium will be coming to their aid to fight against what has become known as the Circle of TEST coalition and whatever hangers on they bring.  The Imperium has over 20K pilots on their roster, which is some weight to be throwing around.

War is coming, which is always good for the game.

But there is also a strategic question to consider.  Circle of TEST has stated that their goal is to find space where they can build up their super capital fleet.  Currently PL and NCDot have dominance on that front, having bounced back easily from their losses at B-R5RB just about three years back.  That is PL and NCDot’s ace in the hole, the fall back “I Win” button when the outcome of a battle is in question.

Right now the Imperium is on a crash capital and super capital building binge to close that gap, and have had time to setup and rebuild in Delve, something that PL and NCDot no doubt see as a threat.  But will they allow another defeated enemy in the form of Circle of TEST to also setup shop in the south and begin cranking out capital ships that may trim back the advantage PL and NCDot hold?  Or does conflict in the south suite them as the build their new rental empire in the north?

And what of the powers closer to hand?  The Imperium has already declared themselves in the fight.  Will Provi Bloc and the Drone Region Federation be content to left Circle of TEST move in so they can build up an offensive force in their back yards?  Provi Bloc generally keeps to itself, and the DRF has some animosity built up against Stainwagon.  Will third parties piling into the area change any of that?  Do the new neighbors look good or would they prefer the status quo?

So we will be going into the new year with a new war with its own set of New Eden-wide political and alliance questions.  A new chapter in the ongoing tale of null sec space. (I’m tentatively tagging this as “Stain War 2017” until a better name comes up.)  And, of course, there will be propaganda, sometimes the best part of these wars… especially when TEST is involved.  I grabbed a couple of samples from /r/eve:

Coverage of events so far:

Losing 600 Billion ISK on Your Own Cyno Beacon

I have to laugh at us in the Imperium.  The past weekend’s big story was the huge, hours long time dilation Keepstar battle in M-OEE8 that had over 4,400 people in system at one time and where an estimated 266 billion ISK in ships were destroyed.  That was Sunday.

And then on Monday the Imperium lost ~600 billion ISK in ships destroyed in its own staging system on its cyno beacon, including a Revenant super carrier, the second one we’ve lost in a week. (The first one.)  Remember when losing a Revenant was a rare and newsworthy event?

Sir Edmund's Revenant on the field in happier times

Sir Edmund’s Revenant on the field in happier times

I was at work when all of this went down, and I haven’t seen anybody try to sum things up in a single post anywhere yet, but the story on comms seemed to run liked this:

-There was a known hot dropper in the system watching the cyno beacon (a POS module that allows jump drive capital ships to jump to it, which makes it an obvious spot to watch) waiting for some unsuspecting capital to jump in, at which point he would light a cyno and his buddies would drop in and kill it.

-Knowing this, somebody decided to bait the hot dropper with an empty industrial of some sort.  I saw a jump freighter mentioned, but am not sure if that was true or not.

-The camper took the bait and cyno’d in his team.

-We responded with a huge overkill force including titan pilots looking for kills.

-Pandemic Legion, which had bought a pile of dreads that TEST left behind after Progodlegend’s  ill fated “let’s attack Delve” campaign earlier this year, dropped the whole lot, with some support (e.g. faxes and tackle Rorquals), on the fight.

While PL lost their entire force, which was expected, they managed to take out 3 titans, 4 super carriers, 2 carriers, a fax machine, and some small stuff including a number of fighter squadrons, which count as kills.  That left a battle report which summed up as:

D-WF70 - Dec. 5, 2016

D-WF70 – Dec. 5, 2016

My summary is probably off.  There was something about how the forces were positioned that helped out PL, but nobody has written up yet that goes through the battle in detail.  Reddit is just full of well earned smugness at the moment.  I’ll update this with links should somebody break the situation down.

But the net result is that the Imperium lost a lot of ISK in the form of supers yesterday.  We would own the whole “most valuable kills in the last seven days” banner on ZKill if it hadn’t been for Wolverine007Miner’s Viator.  Meanwhile, most of the initial hot droppers got away.

So that was a moment worth noting.

The Mittani has been saying that since Ascension and the update to Rorquals, we have been mining the shit out of Delve, an assertion supported by the November economic report, which shows over 2 trillion ISK in value having been mined out of the region.  The next closest region was The Forge, in high sec and close to Jita, which saw 1.35 trillion ISK in mining.

With all those minerals, and the new engineering complexes, which let you queue up many super caps for production, it seems like super proliferation is going to be a worse issue than ever.  I am sure we will be adding to the problem.

Other posts about the battle:

Addendum: Jay Amazingness (Sir Edmund) and the video of his Revenant loss.

Executive Outcomes Leaves The Imperium

It was announced in a broadcast earlier today that the alliance Executive Outcomes is leaving the Imperium.

Executive Outcomes - August 10, 2016

Executive Outcomes – August 10, 2016

EXE is the fifth alliance to leave the Imperium since the Casino War opened up at the start of the year.  EXE takes with it a little over 800 members.  The Imperium and EXE have reset each other through mutual agreement, so we may be shooting at each other as time goes by.

No longer blue to us...

No longer blue to us…

This change has been in the works for a while.  Even I got wind of it a couple weeks back and had the graphic above ready to go on July 25th in anticipation of the news breaking.  Certainly EXE hasn’t been showing up in fleets of present on battle reports of late.

As far as Imperium alliances go, EXE didn’t lose that many members over the course of the war, though they were a smaller alliance to begin with, sitting at over 1,000 members back in January.

The Imperium - August 10, 2016

The Imperium – August 10, 2016

Their departure leaves the Imperium with five alliances.  Goonswarm Federation makes up the bulk of the coalition with almost 15K pilots.  Then there is The Bastion, with just shy of 1,300 pilots, The Initiative with almost 2,200 pilots, the remains of Get off My Lawn, with just 207 pilots listed today and, finally, TNT, my own alliance, which weighs in with just over 1,000 pilots on its rolls.

The bulk of the Imperium is now down in Delve, save for The Initiative, which was ever a very independent group within the coalition and which is off on its own deployment.

Of the other alliances, I suppose one might question the future of LAWN, being as small as it is, and The Bastion, having been created in cooperation with GSF back in the day in order to accommodate members of CFC alliances that were folding up, but who wished to stay with the coalition.  That role could be filled by KarmaFleet now I suppose.  And then there is TNT, about which I can only say, we haven’t been WiDot’d yet!

Addendum:

EXE leaving Imperium was announced on the show “Talking In Stations” 2 weeks ago, when Sion was guest.

-Matterall on Reddit

So I guess I am about two weeks late on this news!

Second Addendum:  Mo’Chuisle, the leader of EXE, left a happy farewell message on the GSF forums yesterday, indicating that they had thought about parting ways for a while now, but didn’t want to do it in the middle of a war.  On Reddit though, he laid bare the true reason for EXE leaving:

Speaking as EXE leadership, I can confirm that the reason we left is solely due to the Imperium ruling caste’s continued tolerance of Xenuria’s existance as court jester and no other factors played a role in our decision

Pointed Towards Delve

Almost five years of deployments and move ops have instilled in me a need to get in on any move ops as early as possible.  In my experience, if you are not on a move op and at the destination in the first 48 hours, move ops quickly start to taper off and getting to the destination becomes increasingly problematic.

With that experience in mind I was up on Saturday morning and in the first fleet op I could find.

As I mentioned last week, we had been told that we would be moving out to a new home come the weekend.  That new home is Delve, a surprise to almost nobody.  Delve is where Goons go when they don’t know where they should go.  Of course, the last time we left Delve, during the great consolidation before Fozzie Sov, I was very diligent in extracting every asset from the region.  Another lesson learned; just leave stuff in Delve.  We’ll be back eventually.

Anyway, the destination was clear.  We would be leaving Saranen in Lonetrek for Delve.

The general direction

The general direction

Of course, this could not/would not remain a secret… it was announced on Reddit before we were told officially… and so the path to Delve was festooned with traps and those looking for stragglers and solo travelers for easy kills.  There was apparently a very successful batch of smart bombing battleships sitting on a gate in Aridia that knocked off a stream of Imperium pilots making the run south in interceptors.

Thus, being in a move op convoy was all the more important.  So I jumped into Asher’s subcap fleet that was forming up.  We undocked after a bit and headed out to a titan for a bridge.  We were on our way.

Approaching the titan

Approaching the titan

Except, of course, we were not on our way.  Subcap move ops to Delve had not yet… and as of this writing have not yet… begun.  We were formed up to cover the movement of supercaps as they started their way down south, a necessary if tedious duty.  I spent more than three hours in the fleet and the biggest event was when NCDot nearly caught a Leviathan off of a citadel.

We were rushed off the moment that seemed to be a possibility, but by the time we arrived the Leviathan was safely off and NCDot’s Macheariel strike force was sitting about getting hit by the citadel’s gunner.

Another bomb lands on an Apostle

Another bomb lands on an Apostle

As the morning wore on into afternoon, I had other things to do and dropped out of the fleet in a station a few jumps from Saranen.  However, given how well camped the area around Saranen has been, that ship is now effectively out of range of Saranen unless I can find a fleet to swing by and pick me up.

Later in the day things were still going on, but I remained stranded so eventually decided to clone jump back to Saranen.  Since move ops seemed to be picking up for capitals, I thought I might pack up my carrier and see if I could that moved down south.  That would be one major anxiety off my list.

I was able to stuff almost all of my remaining ships into it, leaving behind only a couple of combat ships for our current doctrines.  Those I figured could wait for subcap convoys and would remain available for any further cover operations we might have to run.  I also bought quite a bit of fuel for the run, just to be safe.  My carrier, packed up, was ready to move.

Hey, we have a video ad now too

Hey, we have a video ad now too

Sunday morning I was up in time to get into a capital move op led by Jay Amazingness.  The pace for that was… slow.  We had to wait for some people to jump their capitals into Saranen, and then wait for their jump fatigue to fully subside before we were able to undock and make our first jump.  But the time finally came and we were told to undock and jump to the cyno that had been lit for us.

It was at that point I had a problem.

I had never been in a fleet with other capital ships before.  I have had the carrier for almost three years now, and have jumped it to various locations in the past, but that was always in a two person fleet.  So I have always just right-clicked on my alt in the fleet window and selected “Jump To” from there.  But now I was in a fleet over 150 players strong and had no idea who had actually lit the cyno.

So I had to speak up on voice coms to ask how to jump to the cyno the fleet was going to, and immediately became “that guy” in fleet once again.  Jay, after asking a couple of questions to determine I was in the right ship in the correct location, told me to right-click on my capacitor and select “Jump To” from there.  With that bit of information, I jumped successfully to the first waypoint.  Jay was quick and efficient in his response, leaving the mockery for after.  Even a few hours later he was complaining about the sort of people who were in his fleet, citing the fact that he had a guy who didn’t even know how to jump to a cyno.

We jumped, docked up, and then we waited.  As it turned out, we were going to sit and wait for everybody’s jump fatigue, the blue timer, to run down after each jump.  That wasn’t made clear, at least not to me, for the first two jumps.  So the first time around I sat there patiently at my desk for the 54 minute timer and then while longer as people got back together and we were cleared for the next jump.

Making the next jump

Making the next jump

The second time around I asked if we were going to wait down the timer again, but got no response as I think Jay had already wandered off for the timer.  I didn’t sit there the whole time, but I kept an eye on things, lest I get left behind.  By the third jump I was fully aware of the process.  However, we hit a point where the move op was halted, just over a dozen gates from Saranen.  We were going to hold there while other move ops got people up to that point.  After that, further ops would move forward from our current location.

That left me committed to moving the carrier, with my jump clone timer still many hours from letting me shift again.  As the day moved on, more pings went out for fleets and move ops, but nothing from my location.  Then, during the evening, after a couple of pings for caps to form up in Saranen, I saw a ping in the evening that announced that caps from my location had successfully moved closer to Delve.  I clearly missed an opportunity to move on.

That is where the great move stands for me right now.  I am still in Black Rise, an awkward number of jumps from Delve.  We have gotten the word that these move ops will keep going, so I hope to get end up down south this week.  On the other hand, I don’t want to clone jump away from my carrier, sitting at an early waypoint station, lest I miss the ping that announces a move forward.  So I am sort of stuck where I am.

Last Moves Before the Big Move

After getting the word that the Imperium would be leaving Saranen for points unknown and being told to pack for a long stay elsewhere in New Eden, I started moving around to get things together.

The first thing I did, even as the fireside chat was winding down, was repackage a bunch of no longer in doctrine ships and modules and had them shipped to Jita.  I probably have to do another pass at that.  I still have too many ships in Saranen.  But at least the obvious stuff is off in Jita waiting for me to find time to jump clone over and list it all for sale.

It may be a bit before I get there.  I had other places to jump clone.  The first stop was UMI-KK, where I listed some stuff I had left behind.  Somebody got a good deal on an implant that I listed for cheap, and some mining stuff went at a discount, but other stuff I listed closer to Jita prices.  I think.  I tend to be haphazard and pricing on a good day.  If it sold already, I probably priced it too cheaply.  I also contracted a Heron to Orion Sa-Solo as a lark.  I am not sure if it was even fit, but it is his problem now.

Then it was off to my alt account.  I jumped him to D2-HOS in Pure Blind where he had one of the ratting Myrmidons that the coalition was selling back during one of our “retake Pure Blind” phases.  Designed to be able to survive and run away, I was able to test that out when I hit a bubble camp on the Mantenault gate in RQH-MY.

Nobody was there when I landed, so I started motoring to the gate.  Even with the afterburner lit my progress could be at best described as “stately.”  And then a couple of unaligned hostiles dropped on me while I was in the bubble, locked me up, and started blazing away.  I turned on the armor reppers and considered my options.  It looked like they would get through the armor before I got to the gate, so I spun up the micro-jump drive.  That sent me 100km from my attackers, who had followed me into the bubbles.  From there I was able to align and warp off to a safe.

After that, if I read local correctly, some Pandemic Horde guys showed up and, finding my attackers stuff, shot them up.  I was congratulated for being bait.  I don’t know how that ended up, but when I landed back on the gate a few minutes later, all was clear and I was able to motor to the gate and into low sec.  From there I flew the ponderous beast to Jita, where it and all its modules were repackaged and listed for sale.  I wasn’t bringing that on the move op.

Mymridon headed for recycling

Mymidon headed for recycling

Then it was time to wait for jump clone timers to tick down before the next moves could be made.

The next night I made another jump for another move.  Wilhelm went to YA0-XJ in Deklein, where I had a Harpy, a Crane blockade runner, and barely a quarter of a cargo load of excess junk.  I put the Harpy up on contract (I got an in-game mail later from a reader who said they would buy it at a reduced price, so I relisted it.  However, the contract remains unclaimed, so there is still an “as flown by Wilhelm” Harpy available!), loaded everything else into the Crane, and headed off on the longest of my planned flights.

Heading from YA0 to Saranen

Heading from YA0 to Saranen

YA0-XJ itself was pretty quiet, though Aryth, who is one of the Imperium reps on CSM 11, was hanging around in the system.  I don’t know what he was up to, and I didn’t hang around to find out.

The route out was pretty clear.  I did get somebody trying to grab me when I got impatient and uncloaked on the way to a bubbled gate to light my MWD.  However, by the time he targeted me I was already there and all he did was aggro himself, ensuring my escape.

Heading for the gate

Heading for the gate

I have very few bookmarks for bounces and safe spots in that part of Pure Blind, but I was able to use old corporate bookmarks for towers and jump bridges for that.  Those were available in plentiful supply, and the towers were often still there.

Another tower in Pure Blind

Another tower in Pure Blind

MOA, which holds/held/will hold that stretch of territory, didn’t bother to go through and shoot a bunch of the towers we left behind.  For the last month, every time I have bounced through the area, I kept landing on towers sitting there, unfueled, waiting for our return.  With the push into Pure Blind a bit back, GSOL looks to have gone out and fueled a bunch of them.  Of course, they are all GSF towers, so being in TNT, I can’t safe up in them unless I know the password, and the usual password isn’t always the right one.

Anyway, I managed to push through and made it to Saranen without incident.  Well, an NCDot scout tried to point me in Saranen when I decloaked, but I had warp core stabs fit, so I warped off for the station handily enough.  That Crane, which I have had for years now, will likely be hauling stuff to our next deployment.

Then it was my alt’s turn.  He had an entosis Rapier up in ROIR-Y, which isn’t that far from Saranen.  Still, I almost managed to get caught along the way.  I crashed through a camped gate, but the hostiles there jumped through with an interdictor and started bubbling to hold me there.  I did the uncloak, MWD, cloak, turn hard off previous course routine, but it looked like they might get me for a bit.  They had a decent sense of where I was and threw bubbles around that area while trying to close in and force me to decloak.  I watched one of them get within 6,000 meters of me as I twisted around to try to keep out of decloak range.  And then the range started to open up.  Soon they were well out of range and I was out of their bubbles and on my way again, arriving safely in Saranen.

And then another wait for jump clone timers.

The third night I had an easy run for my alt, but Wilhelm had a Harpy and a jump clone still stashed in QPO-WI in Deklein.  I thought about just selling it, but nothing else was going on, and it was only a Harpy.  I decided to YOLO it home or until it got blown up. (Orion Sa-Solo can confirm my prediction in advance that the ship was going to be destroyed.)

So off I went.  Deklein was, as usual, pretty quiet.

Harpy on the move

Harpy on the move

Likewise, Venal was empty, though there were plenty of GSF citadels strewn about the place.  I was able to stop at one of those to tinker with my fit.  This was an old Harpy and one of the guns was offline,   That done, it was into Tribute and then into Pure Blind for the run down the pipe where I hit another bubbled gate.  This time, however, there was no escape.  A Garmur pointed me as I was turning away from the bubbles to try and warp off.  I was too far from the gate to make that, so I targeted him back and started blazing away.

Go little Harpy, go!

Go little Harpy, go!

I did manage to strip away his shields, however he had friends arriving to help out, which only sped up what was already a foregone conclusion.  The Harpy went boom and that was that.  That Harpy was the last asset I had left to fetch from our former home.  I am sure I have bits and pieces of things strewn about Deklein, Tribute, Pure Blind, Fade, and Branch, but nothing important.  Certainly nothing worth bothering about.  So I am about ready for the move, along with what is left of the Imperium at this point.

The Imperium - July 21, 2016

The Imperium – July 21, 2016

For those who will miss Goons in the north, fear not.  It appears that DARIUS Johnson and his “True Goons Only” club is arriving even as we are leaving.

Another Goon brand

Another Goon brand

They got a few systems transferred to them from Pandemic Horde.  I suppose that is one way to get sovereignty.

Now living in Fade

Now living in Fade

Anyway, shooting Goons will still be a thing in the north.  They won’t be as plentiful, but it will still be an option.  Pandemic Horde has you covered.

Now I am waiting around for the destination to be announced and the move ops to begin.  There is always the new 7.0 patch in WoW to keep me busy, along with the occasional op.

Shooting another tower

Always something to shoot

Wait.  Shoot a tower.  Wait some more.

RAZOR Leaves The Imperium

It was announced in a broadcast earlier today that RAZOR Alliance would be leaving The Imperium.

RAZOR Alliance - June 11, 2016

RAZOR Alliance – June 11, 2016

RAZOR Alliance held sovereignty up in the Tenal region, along with The Initiative and Executive Outcomes until the Drone Walkers broke off from Legion of xXDeathXx back in April to join the offensive against The Imperium.

RAZOR is the fourth alliance to leave the coalition since the war began back in January.

The Imperium - June 11, 2016

The Imperium – June 11, 2016

As when SMA left The Imperium, RAZOR is retaining blue standings with The Imperium.

RAZOR takes with them over 1,200 capsuleers, down from over 3,000 at the start of the year.

RAZOR has always been one of the more independent alliances within The Imperium, conducting their own deployments, including the one that pushed Intrepid Crossing over the (Cobalt) edge back in 2012.

There hasn’t been any word (leaked) yet about what RAZOR’s plans may be.  They had been working with The Initiative and LAWN in the Syndicate region to drive out The OSS and control the money moons there, and they appear to have picked up a system in Cloud Ring.  We shall see where they end up.

Meanwhile, rumors about the war’s end continue to seem premature.

How Will We Know if We Have Won?

The question came up in the comment thread on Friday’s post about victory conditions for the war.  Rather than waste more time in comments with an off-topic thread (which about six people might bother reading) I figured that would be a reasonable topic for a blog post.  Why keep that old fire burning when you can set a new one?

Victory can be a strangely intangible thing in a video game where you can never actually destroy or remove your foe from the game.

Sometimes it is clear.  I think all sides agree that the CFC won the Fountain War.  In the end TEST agreed that they lost and, after one final spectacular battle, packed up what they could and left.  TEST and its allies stopped fighting.  The war was over.

And there are times when things look like they are going one way and yet end up another.  I think all sides agree on is that the battle at B-R5RB was a major victory for the CFC/Russian coalition.

Wait, what?

Even during the fight PL had gone to their welp logo

We’ve all seen the infographic by now I think.

The war itself though… After B-R5RB the Russians imploded, the coalition collapsed, and the area we were fighting over became part of the vast NCDot rental empire.  A victory for PL and NCDot.

Oddly, the loss of that rental empire as jump fatigue and Fozzie Sov began to come into play wasn’t really seen as a loss for either that I can recall.

The Moneybadgers are #Winning

By any metric you care to look at you can demonstrate that the MBC is winning the war.  They have a huge and diverse coalition.  They are taking space.  They can assemble numbers that The Imperium simply cannot contest.  They go where they please and drop supercaps on us if we form in any significant numbers.

Still I am not sure what their victory condition actually is.  I am not sure they have a satisfactory answer to the question I insist on asking at project planning meetings, “How do we know when we’re done?”

I have heard a range of answers that include:

  • Take VFK-IV
  • Take all Goon sov
  • Take all Imperium sov
  • Break up The Imperium
  • Break Goonswarm
  • Remove The Mittani from GSF leadership

Honestly, I think they could legitimately claim that just forming this coalition was a victory of sorts, since people have been saying things along the lines of, “If everybody just banded together against Goons…” for over five years now.  I wonder who first posted such a statement in the official forums?

Anyway, with a multilateral alliance like the MBC, there are many voices claiming to represent the group.  Who really speaks for the coalition?

Meanwhile, the problem with most victory conditions that I have heard is that they seem to assume that The Imperium is going to be good sports and go along with them the way TEST did at the end of the Fountain War.  Taking all of our sovereignty is a great headline moment, but if everybody high-fives and goes home after that, The Imperium is going to still be there and is unlikely to let the status quo sit unchallenged.

The Imperium – Welcome to Afgoonistan

Victory for The Imperium, on the other hand, is somewhere well over the horizon.  Reddit may mock The Mittani’s “hellwar” and “Goonhammer” metaphors, but he is clearly not selling us an easy win.

The Imperium is going through a paradigm shift.  After years of being fat and happy back in a safe homeland, where whole groups never deployed and devoted themselves to ratting, mining, and industry, we have had to shed all of that very quickly.  Deklein is falling, peacetime reimbursement is a thing of the past, and our reach from the Quafe Factory Warehouse in Saranen is limited.

Deklein - April 18, 2016

Deklein – April 18, 2016

That alone has caused players to leave The Imperium.

The immediate goal of The Imperium is simply “don’t lose.”  We cannot lose if you don’t buy into the enemy narrative, don’t give up, and keep getting into fleets to attack the enemy where we can.  We cannot face the enemy head on, but they cannot be strong everywhere at once.  As they take more territory they become more vulnerable to counter-hacking.  Pandemic Horde found out over the weekend that setting up shop in a station in Fade to rat and mine was inviting trouble.  Reavers and Bomberwaffe were able to sting PH pretty hard while reinforcing various sov structures in the region.

Small victories have to sustain us.  This is helped along by the fact that, for Goons of a certain era, being the underdog is just the natural order of things and they welcome the return of that situation.  Being the insurgent is a more natural role for them.  And, of course, when members of the coalition against us are busy shooting each other… in Iitanmadan or down in Providence… that simply buoys our spirits.

Something About Victory

So who wins and how?

I think the Moneybadgers could clear out Deklein and Pure Blind, setting all the ADMs back to 1.0, legitimately declare victory, and move on.  They would have made a tangible change to the game and could legitimately claim to have defeated The Imperium as it was at the start of the war and the north would remain chaotic for some time to come.

To hit any of the bigger goals, such as breaking up The Imperium or Goonswarm, would require the coalition to sit, in force, on Saranen for a long time.  I am not sure the coalition has the wherewithal to manage that.

On the other side, there has to be an admission that the old Imperium is dead.  With the current state of the game, there won’t be any return to holding all the space we had before.  The only victory is in not losing and coming out the other side of the war able to exert control over null sec space within easy reach of our staging base in Saranen once the Moneybadgers tire of sitting on us and move on to other ventures.  We win by being around to fight another day, by emerging from the crucible or war intact and hardened, and by simply refusing to admit defeat.

Of course those two victory conditions are not mutually exclusive.  They could both come to pass and each side would claim their own victory.

Are there other victory conditions possible for either side?  Can you ever truly declare an unambiguous victory in New Eden if your foe refuses to acquiesce?