The Horde Incursion in FadeDysphonia Fera
Pandemic Horde, new player friendly alliance and offshoot of Pandemic Legion, yesterday announced their plans to deploy to lowsec near Cloud Ring & Fade, with the expressed goal of reducing Space Monkey’s Alliance (SMA) members, and ultimately bleed sov through the reduction of indexes in Fade. Far from being chosen for the reason of SMA being seen as an easy target, there is a fair history between the two alliances, despite Horde having not even existed for a year.
Last year, Horde invaded Cloud Ring, taking the Tinnimerci constellation bordering Black Rise lowsec. Living in the so-called pillow fortress of W-4, Horde began to carve out a niche in sovereign nullsec. Other alliances were invited to come and join Horde in Cloud Ring, with the goal being a good number of smaller alliances with compatible philosophies taking space around Horde, and all fighting one another for fun, while grouping up for important strategic reasons. It was dubbed the Content Ring.
“As it transpired, this was a ticket to Gobbins’ ruse cruise, and the so-called coalition didn’t really exist.”
This was nipped in the bud by a galvanized Mittani and Imperium, having received intelligence that Horde was setting up an anti-Goon coalition in Cloud Ring, on their doorstep. As it transpired, this was a ticket to Gobbins’ (CEO of Pandemic Horde) ruse cruise, and the so-called coalition didn’t really exist. Pandemic Horde left the north and went to Querious, after a brief spell of removing the current inhabitants, they set about rebuilding the Content Ring in the south.
The last month has seen continued Imperium interest in Pandemic Horde. Recently, KarmaFleet deployed to lowsec, supported by some members of Reavers SIG. Eventually their deployment fizzled out, and they returned to the north, which neatly brings us to present day.
The deployment, or “incursion” as it has been called, is slated to run for over a month, depending on the strategic situation, while Querious is not being abandoned. As of writing, the main ships to be used are anything destroyer-sized or smaller.
As mentioned, the goals are twofold for this deployment: to reduce the SMA member count from around the 4,110 it is currently, as well as reduce the activity indexes in Fade, leading to capture of SMA sov being easier. New players are encouraged to get a T1 frigate with a point and a cloak, and to cloaky camp the valuable Fade constellations, discouraging SMA’s members from ratting there, effecting their nullsec quality of life, as well as the system’s activity indexes, through denial of ratting and mining activities. The initial targets are the constellations of VNX-P0 & 7X-X1Y, two of the most active ratting and mining constellations in Fade.
This cloaky camping is incentivised through the usage of “papi-links”. This tracks the activity across the Fade region, and people cloaky camping can acquire rewards over time. It has been met with some scorn by people outside the alliance, comparing them to the much maligned pap-links of the Imperium, to measure activity. As of now, the papi-links are entirely optional, and are used to reward people camping SMA, instead of a metric for gauging activity, and this will not change.
There will also be a focus on the hunting of ratters and small gangs around the area, as well as making their ISK making difficult to impossible. The intent is to shut down as much general SMA activity as possible. From killing ratters/miners, to shooting people being stupid on undocks, it’s all fair game.
The deployment is scheduled to start officially in the evening of the 19th of February. However, at the time of writing there are already dozens of Pandemic Horde accounts around the targeted constellations of Fade, and more already moved to Okagaiken. Dotlan is showing a strongly decreased ratting presence today in light of this. Combined with the current campaign by TISHU against SMA, this could begin to cause serious problems for leadership and members alike.
As of yet there has been no public comment by SMA leadership or Imperium leadership at large. It is inconceivable to think that they have not discussed this since the original posting of the deployment over 24 hours ago, so expect to see a strong response to this attack soon.
The big question is what the Goons will do in response to this, if anything at all. Will they support SMA with light fleets, leading to good sized, regular brawls with Horde and others? There is also the option for the involvement of the Imperium capital fleet, being reasonably close to Saranen does put it nearby, meaning this is a potential course of action that could be taken to whittle down the resolve of the attacking forces. Of course they may decide to not intervene in any meaningful way at all, leaving SMA to fight their own battles, but I would be surprised if this were the case. The message it would send to other Imperium alliances would not be a positive one at all.
If there is further escalation in the region, we may see other alliances come to get involved in the area. They may be looking to just get some good fights, or they may be there to support allies and friends. If this does start to occur, I would expect other alliances to follow suit, no one wants to be left out of the fun after all.
The initial reaction to the deployment has exceeded many expectations. Many members have moved up to Okagaiken & Fade in advance of the deployment’s official start, with more to come. With Horde members swelling day by day, I would expect to see large numbers of newbeans in T1 frigates and bombers around Fade, both active and AFK.
“The express goal of waging a Vietnam style guerrilla war against SMA is unique to the changes that Fozziesov brought us.”
The express goal of waging a Vietnam style guerrilla war against SMA is unique to the changes that Fozziesov brought us. Instead of just focusing on offensive timers, the onus is on Horde to bring down the activity multipliers that make taking sov from an active alliance harder. This will be a good test of how an alliance can stand up to a concerted effort to undermine them, making guerrilla war playstyles have a greater effect than they have preciously. SMA will likely have to take a different approach to resisting invasion than they would have previously – no longer will giant fleets reign supreme all the time.
I feel that there will be intervention of some kind from other Imperium members, however I would be surprised to see a full escalation, including capitals, at least in the interim. If other alliances flock to join under the banner of Horde, I would expect a big response from the Imperium, hoping to return to their favoured tactic of “no fun allowed” when fighting a serious enemy. Denial of fights, and overwhelming numbers of subcapitals and capitals would follow this.
With the outcomes not at all obvious this early into the campaign, the focus will turn to third parties. The actions or inactions of other Imperium members could make or break it. Meanwhile, expect to see many dead ratting ships, and a large number of destroyed T1 frigates and bombers.