A week ago today, the news broke on INN. Test Alliance fleet commander ProGodLegend proclaimed that starting Saturday 12th January, Test Alliance would be officially deploying to Oijanen and pursuing a war which would either destroy Pandemic Horde or force them to cease contesting the high sec markets forever:
“We’re going to keep hitting them until they either go away, or get tired of it and give up in high sec.”
According to a leak on Reddit this afternoon; Test’s Skymarshal, Vily has called the invasion to an abrupt end, with an attempt to re-define what was originally billed as a serious fight for Pandemic Horde’s survival as ‘banter’:
“Alright ladies and Gents, yesterday was rough and while we have had plenty of successes in the North, it’s overall been a rough week. We have hit a strong wall of supers and caps, the entire panfam super fleet to be exact, and it’s very evident that mistakes have been made
So, lets stop, reassess and work both inward and outward. The first thing to identify is what are OUR goals. This isn’t a fight for our life, it isn’t even a fight for money or relevance, we have already won those battles, this is a fight over grudges, insults, banter and just in general for fun. Its about returning the favors we were paid in for so much of 2017 and 2018.”
Test’s five day deployment has been a string of humiliating losses, with 220 billion ISK’s worth of capital ships lost in a fight over a POS, and another 630 billion lost in a failed Fortizar defense. PanFam’s willingness to field their superior supercapital fleet leaves Test Alliance stuck between two difficult options: attempt to fight PanFam with titans and supers, risking even greater losses; or call the invasion off altogether. It appears that they’re choosing the latter.
Vily’s alleged address attempts to spin their campaign as a success by tracing the line back into the fall of 2018, suggesting that they’ve taken over vast amounts of the highsec market with their Perimeter Keepstar. The reality shows a different story; at the time of writing there are over 100 large skill injectors and 50,000 PLEX cheaper than the lowest price at Tranquility Trading Tower.
Perhaps the most alarming statement in Vily’s address is that Test’s FCs and line members are tiring after less than a week of campaigning:
“To change our tempo means we will continue to run the raid fleets more as hunting roams and less as constant around the clock fleets. These are draining on horde but also draining on our own membership and FC’s. There will be a continued push to enjoy the area, but we not longer need to exert pressure to the point where we are stressing our own membership as much.”
Since they formed Imperial Legacy with The Imperium last summer, Test have been routinely criticized as a Goon pet; meaning that they have no relevance outside of their alliance with Goonswarm Federation. This sudden surrender of what was supposed to be a fight over Horde’s right to exist, or at very least to exact concessions over the high sec markets, has done little to dissuade their critics.
With all of that said, Test have a very healthy income from their southern regions, with Esoteria typically in the top 3 income regions for mining and NPC bounties in the Monthly Economic Report. They’ve built several keepstars and expanded their coalition with the acquisition of Federation Uprising. What remains to be seen is whether Test can find the ability to turn their numbers and income into independent military success.