While the Goonswarm Federation (and the Imperium as a whole) should be very familiar with the concept of a ‘Hell Camp’, seeing it from the victim’s side is quite a new experience for them. The latest Money Badger tactic of a near permanent undock camp in Saranen saw the isk efficiency war turn on the Imperium forces dramatically last week, but they are still managing to destroy some high-value targets (see below) that are keeping morale and their isk efficiency from reaching cripplingly low levels. Since the Imperium moved to guerilla style tactics and their ‘Fabian strategy’ (please read this) since the battle of M-OEEB, the Imperium has managed to inflict impressive damage to their enemies through the destruction of high profile targets with fleets of relatively cheap interceptors, siege bombers and occasionally undocking subcapital fleets of battlecruisers or battleships to burn down enemy carriers and force auxiliaries, and other targets of opportunity. But in the last week, Saranen has seen a large increase in camping, with the anchoring of a Pandemic Legion Fortizar 1000km off the undock of the Imperium’s Saranen staging station, effectively forming a heavily armed beachhead from which to keep the high value, slow moving ships that have been Pandemic Legion’s preferred choice for undock camping, leading to a very impressive hellcamp:
Coupled with the announcement of the loss of the last remaining sovereignty held by the Imperium in Pure Blind, you would be forgiven for thinking that this had been a bad week for them, but In his most recent ‘Fireside chat’, The Mittani (Goonswarm Federation CEO, Imperium Commander-in-Chief and a strong candidate for this year’s New Eden’s Public Enemy Number One Award) was quick to point out that even in its weakened state, the Imperium manages to flash form multiple fleets of critical mass to achieve objectives with “no notice”, taking targets of opportunity unawares with overwhelming numbers in sudden onslaught.
“It has been an extremely busy and interesting week,” The Mittani said, beginning the FS chat this evening. “We are losing sov but we are still ganking their capitals and camping their Fortizar…” “despite the enemy’s claims that we are a doomed and dying alliance.”
“We have focussed on killing fax machines (*Force Auxiliary). We had a hilarious situation where PL (*Pandemic Legion) had lost so many Fax Machines that they set up their Fortizar to camp the station.” He went on to describe how certain pilots had been using carriers improperly with poor understanding of tethering mechanic, and as a result Imperium forces managed to kill a nidhogger in US Prime last night, flown by CrispElite.
The Mittani began describing how Pandemic Legion had been camped into their own Fortizar by a new fit for their stealth bomber fleet that can now effectively strike at 90km, outside the citadel point defense system’s range. This successful strategy from Goonswarm Skirmish Commander Jay Amazingness saw 100+ bombers take advantage of the new tethering mechanics with citadels and of capital pilots ignorance of certain weaknesses regarding this mechanic to launch devastating long range torpedo attacks destroy several capital ships. This new anti-Fortizar fit to their standard bomber fleet, nicknamed piranha fleet, will be a powerful and frequently used tool against enemy citadels throughout the coming Hellwar campaigns, The Mittani warned.
Pandemic Legion and The Imperium/CFC have had a long history of rivalry dating back to the ‘Bloodbath of WBR5’, and so it is no surprise that they are high on The Mittani’s hit list, with specialized demoralizing tactics currently being used and refined by the Imperium skirmish commanders are employing against Pandemic Legion. Specifically, The Mittani compared them to elite raid guild of other games. “PL’s (Pandemic Legion’s) identity is tied up in their killboard… By blowing up their fancy toys, we are intending to keep them here forever, defending their allies.” He went on to claim that Pandemic Legion has had, in this last month, their least efficient killboard of all time, even less efficient than after the giant battle of WBR5, according to the GSF’s own study of data obtained regarding Pandemic Horde and Pandemic Legion’s activity and isk efficiency. The Mittani intimated that the current plan was to grind Pandemic Legion’s efficiency down, effectively attacking what they define themselves by and slowly chipping away at what the Legion holds most dear, their identity as an elite PVP Alliance.
It was also made clear that the aim of some tactics was to make the Pandemic Legion and Pandemic Horde’s lives as miserable as possible, that the oppression fleets in O1Y-ED attacking Horde were having a disastrous impact on the enemy, that their active members had fallen sharply since the beginning of oppression, and that the member count only remained high because inactive players weren’t being dropped. ‘PH aren’t kicking their inactives, we have created a burnout machine for PH with Bomberwaffe and Hornet squad’.
This announcement comes after the recent and unexpected move of the infamous Stunt, a notorious solo ratting ship ganker famous for his ability to wreak havoc in Deklein (against Goonswarm Federation) before the evacuation, has moved to join the GSF and the Imperium, and is training a new squad to use his tactics to engage enemies as effectively as possible in Astero frigates and Stratios cruisers, which has lead to kills such as this, which has been an amazing boon for Goonswarm morale. Back in Saranen, the art of Trolling Pandemic Legion has taken on a new turn; after the failed Goonswarm 10+ Citadel drop last week, which saw a massive response that destroyed all but two of the Astrahaus Citadels, goons have continued to drop citadels, but with a twist; The Mittani publicly announced their anchoring of another citadel, mentioning it on his public channel, Themittani.com, but intentionally formed no fleets to ensure it got online or to defend it. According to The Mittani, the reaction was predictable; enemy requests for aid were sent all across New Eden, as ‘Goons are pinging for max numbers, going to be a fight!’, which of course, they weren’t. This led to a massive 1000+ pilot Money Badger fleet turning up and finding a solitary Astrahaus with nothing in it and no fleet to fight; estimated total formup, patrol and return time three hours, wasting three thousand man hours and making the Pandemic Legion the Alliance that cried Wolf. He was also quick to note that another Astrahaus would be coming online that night, and assured listeners ‘But I swear to our enemies, we will form up and fight for our Citadels tonight!’
These troll like tactics have lead to Pandemic Legion applying a wardec on the Imperium, a move which will allow for easier killing in highsec (if one of the many PL Jita camps catch an Imperium Freighter), and should prevent gate and station sentry guns from attacking their fighters during undock camps, but officially wardeccing the Imperium was met with glee from the Mittani, who responded by opening the wardec to help from allies, which essentially allows anyone who wishes to take a shot at Pandemic Legion to do so, free of charge, by joining as an ally of the Imperium. The Mittani insinuated that there were many small forces in Jita and hisec that would very happily take some free shots at an unsuspecting Legion, and urged them to band together to take the Legion down.
When opening the floor to questions, several about the upcoming campaign were of interest.
“Do you promise not to pull us off PL this time, like we did after WBR5” one GSF member asked, to which The Mittani replied “No, this is a Hellwar, there will be no mercy.” He went on to elaborate what he wants to do for the immediate future with Pandemic Legion. “I want to keep these guys stuck here, losing their shiny toys, losing capitals”, and pointed out again that their Killboard not only showed a worse isk efficiency since WBR5, but also that the Legion of Death is blowing up undefended Pandemic Legion towers near their space, adding to the pain of camping Saranen.
When asked about their former allies, it was made clear that Fidelas Constans (FCON), while their departure had been more honourable than Circle Of Two, had made pacts with certain enemy alliances and as such were now counted as another enemy on the list for retribution. It was confirmed that Circle of Two are still very high on that list, saying “This is going to be a process of years of vengeance”, and later, when asked about Deklein, GSF’s former home, added “We’re going to take back Deklein and we are going to be really fucking nasty to Darkness when we do. We are perfecting our tactics on Horde and we will be taking those to all of our enemies one by one till we have crossed them all off of the list.” “We are encouraging fremen to hit Deklein – with new additions to Hornet squad, they will be hitting harder, murdering bad guys while hacking.”
Mittani also went on to add that “This is not the first time we have lost all sov, we did so in the Great Exodus, Leaving Delve, in the Great War – this happens to everyone, eventually; big alliances usually fall apart, but GSF and Imperium are different, we won’t fall apart – We want to make everybody that came at us pay. The enemy declaring victory is irrelevant – sov loss is inevitable, now we can go on the offensive without defending anything. A good defense is a good offense.”
The Imperium has seen a lot of losses over the last week, and over the last weekend (21st and 22nd of May), the battles in Saranen showed a large downturn in Imperium isk efficiency, as shown by this battle report.
While Saranen is not the only theater of war the Imperium is currently operating in, it is clear that their enemies’ tactics are working just as well as The Mittani claims his own to be. Despite repeated calls of victory from various quarters, the war continues, with the Imperium making significant gains in the last few days, namely the destruction of eleven Pandemic Legion Apostle Force Auxiliary ships from 00:00 Eve time on the 24th of May to 23:57 on the 25th, the battle report for which can be found here.
While the claims for victory from the Money Badger Coalition can be considered accurate where sovereignty is concerned, the Goons are proving that they are willing to keep fighting, regardless. Whether the Mittani’s claims regarding Pandemic Legion’s fortitude and isk efficiency are proved true, remains to be seen.