Last weekend saw the opening salvos of the new Delve War as the Imperium forces were began their assault on the northern part of Delve and the systems controlled by the League of Unaligned Master Pilots [LUMPY].
LUMPY and allies had clashed with the Imperium in a number of significant skirmishes over the previous few days. Even thou outnumbered, LUMPY had inflicted far more damage in the ISK department than their Imperium foes having destroyed almost 52bn ISK vs losing 19bn ISK. You can see these reports in the last article.
It is a big unknown as to what ISK reserves the Imperium has to call upon. But, despite losing the World War Bee, they are probably still substantial and so may be able to absorb their losses in pursuit of the overall objective.
Since the 29th of July over 100 Imperium entosis industrials have been destroyed as the push into into the region began.
As of 1600 hours on the 31/7 fleets from both the Imperium and Delve Residents began to form near the system of RCI-VL as LUMPY’s systems were about to become vulnerable to capture. The fleets converged in the system of RCI-VL and so began the largest battle of the war so far involving in excess of 900 ships. The Imperium held the edge in terms of numbers (~460 vs ~430) and brought their sizeable super capital fleet to the field. The fleet included approximately 32 titans, 25 Super Carriers, 25 Drednoughts and 11 Carriers as a support fleet in the form of 162 Tech 3 cruisers. The 200 ship Delve residents fleet was made up of ships from alliances including LUMPY, Freedom Among the Stars [FAS], Just let it happen [FUM8], Tactical Supremacy [TIKLE], Caladrius Alliance [-000-] and ChaosTheory. [KOS]. They were also reinforced by forces from the North in the form of a 230 ship fleet made up by Northern Coalition. [NC], Pandemic Legion [-10.0] and Pandemic Horde [REKTD].
During the opening salvos of the battle Imperium and Delve Residents + Allies traded ship for ship almost equally for 10 minutes of the battle at which point the Imperium Titan and super fleet was brought into the fray (see video below) and the tides as turned. (Even with the hilariously miss-aimed doomsday.) The battle lasted for approximately 25 minutes with the Imperium losing 74 ships worth approximately 19bn and the Delve Residents and allies losing 135 ships worth 32bn. Full battle report can be found here.
The Imperium, seeking to take valuable moons in the area in order to start replenishing its coffers, began tearing down any Delve Resident infrastructure they found. This has brought other Delve residents into the fray for their first major skirmish at 11:23 EVE Time on the 31/7 over the valuable Neodymium producing 10th moon of planet six in the system of Q-HESZ. For the ~100+ ship Delve Residents Sleipnir fleet consisting of Dangerous Voltage [DV], Wings Wanderers [WSHOT], [TIKLE] and [-000-] it was a disaster. The Imperium brought approximately 180 ships which included some 19 Dreadnoughts supports by 111 Tech 3 Cruisers and proceeded to annihilate almost the entire Delve residents fleet in less than 10 minutes. The battle report can be found here.
Once the sun had risen on a new day LUMPY had managed to keep hold of 3 systems, but at the same time lost 3 to the Imperium. This included three out of four station systems and the strategically important gateway system to Delve – 1-SMEB which has now given them a strong foothold into the region from which to launch further attacks. Which, naturally they did, seeking more Delve Resident infrastructure in the region and destroying a LUMPY SuperCapital Ship Assembly Array which purportedly contained a SuperCarrer in build.
With 1-SMEB now secured the Goonswarm Federation sought to further its reinforcement of the system by deploying their first Fortizar citadel.
As the Imperial march into Delve continues to gain momentum and with the capture of a number of key systems it seems that the Delve Residents, despite a promising, start may not be able to turn the tide of the war.
Previous Articles in this series:
31/8 – The War for Delve Begins as LSH and The Imperium strengthen ties
Big thank you to Boomer Nakrar and all his hard work on his blog ‘Game Of Sov‘ without which this analysis of the war wouldn’t exist.