On a Fireside chat today, the Mittani announced that all capital ships are moving to the system of E3OI-U. Following this announcement, Subcapital ships will remain in the primary staging of 1DQ1-A. Asher Elias explained that the reason for this move was to give better control over the constellation. It is a system on a pipe, with only one way in and one way out (alternate outgates lead to single exit/entrance constellations. Asher says that there will be a constant gate camp on one of two Keepstars that are on either gate to keep enemies out (or in) in a strategy they are referring to as the “Helm’s Deep” strategy. The capitals began moving immediately following the Fireside chat.
One of the core strategies of the Imperium has been to prolong the attackers advance into Delve. However, in recent weeks, we’ve seen a large number of infrastructure hubs in Delve fall into PAPI control. To date, 26 infrastructure hubs are lost or otherwise reinforced in Delve and, as you can see from the map below, attacking forces are only three systems away from 1DQ though it is likely that we see some serious contest for that IHUB.
It appears the Imperium strategy continues to be to try to prolong the war as if there is no attrition on the side of defenders. However, it has been publicly stated by leaders of the PAPI coalition that the plan is, indeed, to take the war slow and steady. Both sides have enough members to handle the attrition and still maintain the defense of their home territories if necessary.
This move is a clear bid to try and gate off a portion of Delve to keep space relatively safe for earning ISK as blocking off the circled system in the map above prevents ships from reaching the northwest part of the region. Some PAPI members were questioning whether or not the Imperium had ever heard of Titan bridges but it appears they fail to see that, in order to get a bridge into a system, you have to be able to light a cynosural field. Over the past few weeks, we’ve seen the Imperium reinforce their systems with cynosural jammers, preventing any such actions from taking place. In addition to this, a Force Recon ship also must be able to get through the alleged 23/7 gatecamps to make it into the area.
Time will tell whether this is a move to posture themselves for attack or retreat as just as the system is in range of the majority of what’s left to defend, it is also within jump range of the entrance to Aridia, providing a very quick exit if it is necessary.
As a final update to this day, the Imperium Keepstar located in 49-U6U has been reinforced. This was the target that was promised to be the first of the Imperium Keepstars outside of Fountain to be targeted and that promise has now been kept.
The timer completes in around 1 day, 5 hours but we do not expect there to be any contest outside of subcapital fleets. Either way, New Eden Postcast will be live on the field tomorrow in case anything does, indeed, come of it.