Since the first week of July, the PAPI coalition has rampaged through various regions of space on a warpath with the end goal of reaching the fabled Fortress Delve. First, the region of Fountain fell to invasion with the help of PanFam. Soon after, the regions of Querious and Period Basis came under fire. Though there were early engagements in defense of these regions, they soon fell as quickly as the first. This left only one region for the taking, Fortress Delve.
After weeks of propping up the Imperium as an invincible entity hole up behind walls that could not be penetrated, the PAPI coalition finally got to see the man behind the curtain. Unfortunately, the reality was nothing more than a Wizard of Oz style parlor trick and the Imperium bit off largely more than they could chew. Objectively, the war has seen very little in the way of fights recently with the Imperium opting to remain tethered on their structures as countless structures are destroyed in front of their faces.
The most notable structures that have been destroyed this passed week are industrial complexes worth billions upon billions of ISK. These include a Sotiyo and Azbel from Merch Industrial. Three other Sotiyos (1, 2, 3) as well as a Draccous Fortizar. One of the biggest surprises on the deaths of these structures is that they have seen relatively little action in terms of fights. For a coalition who is expected to pay in blood for each timer, not much blood has been spilled on the PAPI side as none of the final timers and very few of the initial timers saw any fighting.
There have been several large-scale engagements over the infrastructure hubs in the region. Typically, we’ve seen the Imperium come in flying kiting doctrines, like Cerberus, and attack whatever entity is weakest on-grid in the engagement. They typically manage to get out of harm’s way before the rest of the fleets can warp over and engage. However, there was at least one instance where the Imperium paid a sizable amount of ISK for their hubris. That’s right, there has been so little action in this region lately that I am reporting on battles with a total ISK cost less than 50 billion.
Above, we can see the most updated map of Delve and clearly PAPI is spreading through the region like a fire through a field of dry grass. As the Imperium holds up in Helm’s Deep, E3OI-U, their infrastructure is falling apart. Soon, all that will remain is the E3OI-U pocket where Myrmidons and other subcapital ratting ships are plentiful.
Moving forward, expect to see fighting happening over the IHUB timers as they are reinforced. The PAPI coalition’s primary objective at present is to hold onto the IHUBs long enough to install cynosural jammers in the systems. These jammers prevent anyone from lighting cynosural fields in the system, meaning that PAPI can control the incoming flow of capital and supercapital vessels. We saw this in the recent anti-fight in 49-U where an Imperium Keepstar was destroyed.
The Imperium will look to continue to force fights where they can while flying compositions that make it easy to disengage. They will not take losses if they do not have to which is a strategy that has been employed by nearly every alliance to exist within EVE Online. This is not a bad strategy. It is, however, unfortunate that the slow-burning of the region is being touted as a victory by the Imperium’s figureheads on their flagship shows with comments that equate to “Didn’t want that region anyway”.
Because this war is being fought primarily over IHUBs at this point and what that means in regards to cynosural jammers, it is unlikely that we see battles on par with the supercapital showdowns we saw previously. The longer the war drags on, the less likely these battles become.
As another huge update to the war, it seems it has been decided who will take Delve after its current residents are forcibly evicted. Turns out that Delve is a kind of ancestral home for the dinosaurs and that TEST will be moving into the region. They’ll also be taking over the regions of Querious and Period Basis. The claim is that they can use it better than the Imperium can and time will tell whether that is true or not.
As always, we’ll keep you updated with the latest on World War Bee 2 with fact-based reporting and absolutely zero spin. Perhaps a little bit of bias. And remember, no step on snek.