On Sunday, nearly 6,000 capsuleers formed to fight over the Imperium-held M2-XFE infrastructure HUB (we previously reported on its reinforcement). Unlike previous fights in M2-XFE over citadels, sovereignty contests are fought throughout a constellation. Command nodes spawn for the duration of the IHUB’s timer until one side either ‘hacks’ enough IHUBs to win or the timer expires.
The NJU-QV constellation was the stage today and it is below, containing the systems KEE-N6, M2-XFE, S-6HHN, 5-CQDA, I-E3TG, and ZXB-VC. Each group fielded half a dozen fleets consisting of HACs, battleships, tech 3 destroyers, and support fleets. Muninns, Eagles, Megathrons, Cerberus’ and more filled the constellation at around 21:00 and fighting continued until around 01:00.
The Imperium lucked out with the first four nodes of the contest spawning in M2-XFE, their pseudo-staging system for the last few weeks as they’ve had their hellcamp setup to catch PAPI Titans. They were first to get force auxiliaries onto the spawned nodes which stalled offensive progress. Their fleets were engaged in the various systems throughout the constellation with larger fights taking place not only in M2-XFE but also in 5-CQDA and others.
The bulk of fighting, however, did happen in M2-XFE where the likes of Northern Coalition, Pandemic Legion, TEST, and Pandemic Horde HAC fleets held the grid on command nodes through more than 4 hours of fighting. The Imperium held a strong lead in the beginning and throughout the contest but, eventually, were overrun by the swarm of PAPI forces rampaging through the constellation. The progress of the contest was as follows:
In the end, the IHUB was destroyed and a new one placed by the PAPI coalition. Though this prevents the Imperium from anchoring and onlining a cyno jammer in the system, this also starts a new timer on the doom clock. It is now ticking down to when PAPI can anchor a jammer and, based on their recent strategies, attack the M2-XFE Keepstar once again.
In looking at the numbers on-field, an entire battle report will show that the Imperium was vastly outnumbered. It is important to remember that these fights happened on multiple grids and the battle report cannot possibly indicate how many pilots were involved in them. At one point, a Northern Coalition Muninn fleet fought against two Imperium fleets, Cerberus and Muninns and held firm in 2-to-1 odds while waiting for allied forces to arrive on grid.
To try to give a full rundown of exactly what happened throughout the fighting here would be nearly impossible to follow with fleets moving from system to system and so much actually happening in the battle. However, on the battle report for the constellation, you can see where most of the action took place:
|System||ISK Lost||Pilots||Ships Lost|
Much like it was intended, this sovereignty contest spanned the constellation instead of being restricted to just a single bottlenecked system. Each system experienced some level of time dilation (the worst of which being M2-XFE) but there was a remarkable amount of responsiveness from the server for 3,000 people being in the same system exploding each other gloriously.
As of now, TEST Alliance controls the infrastructure hub. The Imperium can continue to hellcamp for at least the next 35 days (unless they retake control of the IHUB) before the potential for a cyno jammer owned by PAPI will prevent them from doing so. Objectively, however, camping a number of enemy Titans in the hundreds for nearly 2 months would be quite the achievement.
Either way, the stage is now set for the finale of the M2-XFE saga. The Keepstar still stands and the Imperium is still camping. What happens over the course of the next 35 days will likely determine the system’s final toll on either alliance. And we’ll keep you updated as these things happen.