The Oregoon Trail


It appears that despite moderate gains in Pure Blind,  the Imperium, or more accurately Goonswarm Federation (GSF) has decided to move on to newer, hopefully less badger-riddled pastures in an as of yet undetermined part of nullsec. This was not an unexpected development for some, who had been expecting it to occur since the initial falling back to Saranen, but it was surprising to me. I had expected Goons to obstinately fight and await the ‘cracks’ to widen.

it offers tacit admission that they have lost the war

We had already seen some level of splintering of the forces of the MBC, with the Lowsec Voltron that had formed the tip of the spear completely imploding in late May/early July. Plus, it offers tacit admission that they have lost the war, or at the very least, this theatre of the war. This, more than anything, is something that I had not expected to be given. Not through any arrogance of individuals or sheer hubris, but simply because having to accept that there are challenges that the alliance cannot successfully face can shake an its confidence in their leadership, a force which can be highly degenerative to the authority of the alliance, even when the call made is undoubtedly the correct one.

The direction of this new deployment is not yet known, and whilst I’m sure a great many are hurriedly plying the trade of secrets and spycraft to find it out, I am sorry to say that I have no grand insights or leaks to share regarding this.

Still, this ambiguity has an interesting impact that I’m not sure is entirely beneficial to the goals of the move. The most immediately occurring thing being that every region barring the north-north and north-west are effectively put on notice that they might be in danger of being the next target region of what is still a very strong alliance. Even now I imagine that the smaller powers in these areas are quietly discussing anti-Goon defence pacts and the like, to ensure their own positions and the local balance of power for as long as possible until the more nomadic and dedicated elements of the MBC migrate to continue the battle in a fresh theatre.


[Above: The extent of the ‘area of threat’ from the unannounced deployment. Click to enlarge]

the Imperium – even if GSF does not want to admit it – is dead

Before I go into the exact where’s and why’s of GSF’s potential destinations however, I would like to explain why I am calling them the GSF and not the Imperium, as has been their preferred nomenclature and what I have stuck to calling them these past few months. That is because the Imperium – even if GSF does not want to admit it – is dead. It was a defensive coalition, based around strong holdings in the North. Counting down the list of GSF’s former coalition mates reads more like a mixed obituary and divorce proceedings than a list of allies at this point;

SMA – Almost completely collapsed with only a 300 man DUST corp holding it above the 500 man mark.

CO2 – Turned to the side of MBC and holding a larger chunk of previously Imperium space.

RAZOR – Functionally WIdot-ed previously with the acquisition of 4S and fully so with the leaving of both Roving Guns and Gladiators of Rage to MC. & CHAOS respectively.

FCON – Left the Imperium on ‘good terms’ to find a new home within either the Vanguard coalition or Stainwagon depending on what day it is and who you ask.

TNT – Seems to have kept relatively steady.

BASTN – Down nearly 700 members this month alone.

This leaves GSF almost entirely alone in terms of being a strong, self-sustaining alliance within the Imperium, and whilst I would expect them to still lug around the alliances and help them to not cascade to the point of actually becoming non-entities, even the façade of being a coalition of equals is now almost painfully obvious in its falsity to an outside observer. This will be done not for sheer bloody pride, but to ‘prove’ to any potential new allies that they will care for them even through hard times, which is a prudent choice. That said, I would expect it to be thoroughly mocked on reddit in the coming months.

So, with that housekeeping out of the day, it’s on to the billion ISK question. Where might the Trail of Oregoon lead, and why would they be heading there?


The west, especially the southern west seems to be a popular guess. There are many very fractured regions here, from Fountain, Delve, Querious and even Period Basis, all of which would be a challenge, but certainly not an insurmountable one if GSF can effectively transition the power they radiated from Saranen down to a similar staging location with access to these regions. The one issue that will be found here however, is the ease by which certain powers which plagued them previously will be able to rotate into these regions and provide support to the existing locals. Of all these regions, I would definitely say that Querious is most likely to be the target, especially if the famed Corps Diplomatiqué can peel away a member of the ‘Querious Fight Club’ onto their side, but Delve has fertile NPC null staging and Fountain a chance to strike at the edges of the HBC without fully engaging it.

The near-south also holds some interesting targets for the migration, with Catch offering a chance to ‘get back’ at the alliance of LennyKravitz2, the man who funded the war, and Providence offering a chance at a good fight for beginning to rebuild confidence within the alliance and the side benefit of already having a great deal of war planning done for the region. If either of these regions are chosen as the target, it will effectively be signalling that the coffers of the GSF warmachine are still full, as they do not have anywhere near the riches to look at replenishing a depleted warchest. Instead, a conquest of these regions would be one done specifically to spin a punitive narrative, and put them as far away from the MBC-held territories as they can reasonably hope to get.

The far-south is barely worth mentioning as a target. Whilst Paragon Soul, Esoteria and Fethyabolis may be ‘acceptable’ regions, they would be a nightmare to hold without owning one of the near-south regions, crippling one of GSF’s most famed assets – their logistical core. In addition, they are currently held by what is loosely considered to be a GSF affiliate in Stainwagon, though their ties are certainly not as strong as with the DRF, it may still dissuade them further.

The south-east offers much the same as the far-south, with yet more Russian aligned alliances, only this time with the encroachment of the DRF-Vanguard bloc bearing down on them. Invading this area would force them to pick a side in the war, which is something I don’t expect GSF to do. Doing so would force them to either go against the DRF and prop up a failing friend (Stainwagon), which is a terrible narrative with which to rebuild an alliance’s confidence in its leadership, or align themselves with Triumverate, an alliance which – whilst not the most prominent – was a significant participant in the MBC. As neither of these options are beneficial to them, or ideologically acceptable, and the possibilities of successfully entering in as a third party are slim to none, I would expect GSF to stay well clear of this area.

The far-east holds a little more promise, with Insmother and Detroid both offering a potentially stable home, but once again it would require stepping into an existing conflict, with all the politics that entails. However, if GSF can convince the DRF to back off and leave Vanguard to its own devices, there could be an interesting war of two fronts as the resurgent GSF attempts to wrest a new home for itself while Stainwagon fights for its life in the South-East. GSF has seen how effective pressuring several locations at once can be during WWB, and I expect that they would emulate those tactics given the chance.

The near-east is a much more interesting prospect for expansion, with Scalding Pass and Wicked Creek both being inhabited by primarily independent and relatively un-coordinated entities. With Curse offering a perfect jumping off point, this is a surprisingly attractive location for the rebuilding of the GSF’s morale, in much the same way as the near-south offers.

Attacking the north-east would risk alienating what has to be the last – if not blue – then politically neutral entity on the map with regards to the DRF, as such I don’t see that happening unless the GSF makes a critical blunder in assessing its political situation.

in all likelihood, the GSF is heading South

So, in all likelihood, the GSF is heading South. The most likely destinations being – in my opinion – Delve, Providence or Querious. There is a chance that the GSF becomes involved in the ongoing Eastern War (which has been so far hilariously overshadowed by WWB in terms of coverage), but I do not think it is likely that they will do so for simple narrative control. They need to set themselves up internally as the masters of their own destiny, struggling against a hostile universe, and crashing with failing allies and trying to patch them together doesn’t hold that image for the line members.

But, wherever they end up, there are interesting times ahead here, not just for GSF and their tag-alongs, but for the political makeup of the whole of New Eden. With the single threat that unified the MBC gone, it is likely that certain forces will follow the content, others will stay and hold their new territory, and yet others may wish to expand on their former allies territory. The real question everyone should have right now is not “Where are the Goons going?”, but “What is the MBC doing?”. If they begin to blue up and coalesce into a politically unified entity, we may see The Mittani’s prediction of a ‘He who fights monsters’ event coming true. With Pandemic Horde and TEST currently as the top dogs in the area this is currently unlikely. However, if they make a move down to follow the GSF, dominance will be handed back to Sort Dragon, whose political ambitions and scheming are much less well understood. Only time will tell exactly what he has planned for the region in the absence of these less rational actors.

Tags: goons, goonswarm, gsf, Imperium, Jin'taan, World War Bee

About the author


Jin'taan is the wearer of a great many hats, being an FC, solo PvPer, dumb suit connoisseur, member of the CSM, political commentator and prolific producer of interviews. Currently, he resides within Test Alliance Please Ignore.

  • Rob Kaichin

    “Plus, it offers tacit admission that they have lost the war, or at the very least, this theatre of the war.”

    Oh, please, let’s not do the “Years long war” crap that Mittens started doing 3 or 4 months ago. If we really have to set ‘The Imperium’s loss of the North’ in a grand narrative, let’s fit it to their forays into and repulsion from low-sec. It’s something that has narrative symmetry and poetic justice.

    Really, I’d rather we broke up each war as its own event first, before framing a narrative around them.

    • Smeghammer

      To be fair rob(and I’m honestly surprised I haven’t remembered this before) we’ve also phrased the continued existence + hostility of PL/NC/Nulli(rip) as an ongoing war and/or continuation of the great war, depending on the day. Foreverwar isn’t such a new concept for us. It’s all hurf, sure, but it’s just how we’ve rolled things.

      Besides, I personally think a resurgent GSF/ rebuilt Imperium invading Deklein a year or so from now would make a brilliant narrative, for all sides involved.

      • cloaky sniper raven

        Agreed! I hope it is done! GF’s for everyone!

      • Rob Kaichin

        “we’ve also phrased the continued existence + hostility of PL/NC/Nulli(rip) as an ongoing war and/or continuation of the great war, depending on the day.”

        Honestly, I find that stupid, which is why I don’t want it happening again. It’s one of those grand narratives that’s lost touch with reality.

        It’s a cool narrative, though.

        • Smeghammer

          That last sentence is the entire point.

  • Matterall

    Holy quote pulling Niden… “it offers tacit admission that they have lost the war”, “the imperium – even if gsf does not want to admit it – is dead” “in all likelihood, the gsf is heading south”

    You should have pulled ” I am sorry to say that I have no grand insights or leaks to share regarding this.”

    I’d like to read stuff that isn’t always anti-Imperium on here. If you can’t find writers to giver variety… well. I don’t know. Considering they took out 8 Titans in the last few weeks, you’d think that would get worked into some paragraph at least.

    • Messiah Complex

      So transparent.

    • Lets_be_realistic_here

      Matterall? You’ve got some Koolaid on your lips still. There… no, up in the corner… there you go!

      This story was about Imperium leaving the North. Their Titan kills, while impressive, are irrelevant to the discussion. And after all the bluster Themittani made about taking back Deklein, destroying Horde, and taking advantage of the ‘cracks’ in the MBC, you can’t tell me this is not an admission of “Ok, we give up,” at least for now.

      • Matterall

        Fair point. o7 But the overall prob is the one-sidedness. Wish editor Niden the best, but the podcasts, and the coverage is the same thing over and over.

        • Mike Dawe

          When minds won’t change it is probably wise to ask someone outside of the argument to judge or at least help keep score

    • Jin’taan

      I wouldn’t consider this ‘Anti-Imperium’. I simply talked about the facts of why Goons are doing what they’re doing. I think the retreat was necessary and a good move, something I had not expected leadership to do unless their gains in PB were wiped. GSF is nothing if not prudent in their decisions

      • Provi Miner

        Jin you need to redo “help make eve better” how about a potato switch for big fights so people don’t have unclick 70 boxes and then reclick them after the fight 🙂

        • Jin’taan

          They have the ‘high’ ‘medium’ ‘low’ thing for a reason my friend 🙂

          • Provi Miner

            yep that’s the 70 plus buttons: much easier “quality of life” if one click big fight one click back to watching my skinned rifter go boom.

    • Imam Sarazen

      Goons helped take out 7 titans, not 8. Get your facts straight. Escalating Entropy stole the TISHU titan, not Snuff.

      • Matterall

        I can only say what I heard Asher Elias say on FIreside chat. If we’d put out a story about it it would have been further scrutinized, but this is just comments.

    • Niden

      My Goon writers keep quitting, if you’d just send some my way, that’d be grand.

      • Matterall

        Got to seek out talent and court them. I picked up a writer from Horde 2 days ago. Pulled in a piece from Gevlon, Courted writers from non-affiliated groups, etc… and that’s for TMC. It should be easier for an site unaffiliated with a side in the game, like CZ is.

    • Niden

      Also, holy shit since when is it “anti-Imperium” to simply state what Goons won´t since they have to preserve morale internally? The war is over and they lost. I mean are we supposed to pretend that their evacuation is some kind of victory like Mittens does in his fireside speeches? They’re doing what they have to and it’s the right move, but pretending like it isn’t because they lost the war is ridiculous Matt.

      • Tristan

        PS: weak excuse. You could easily have comments from a Goon FC. You just did not do you job, period. (a 25 years IRL journalist)

    • Muul Udonii

      What’s the line? “Feel free to submit something from another point of view”? Isn’t that what people who complain about bias are told on TMC?

      I think this is a fair assessment of the situation. For a long time I’ve been telling people that there is no CFC, it’s just goons and goon pets. If anyone in CFC leadership had been from a different alliance, it might have been possible to save the coalition, but as it stands, people are just not willing to be associated with the CFC’s head honchos.

    • Provi Miner

      so if one side stops shooting and runs like hell as far away as possible then they really won? shit why didn’t the allies try that? to imagine war has been fought wrong for the last oh I don’t know 10,000 years. Winning is not fighting and running…… who knew.

    • James

      There is a little bias on all of the eve news sites, this isn’t knew, or unheard of, and TMC is far worst in this regard imho(no offence intended). Your rebuttal to Sions insane rant that CCP shouldn’t be able to spend money where they(CCP) see fit was actually really surprising, as TMC is often used to to push Mittani’s agenda, and Mittani has a history of telling CCP where they should spend money(for better, or worse).

      • Matterall

        insane rant? I dont think you understaood the article. Try listening to Talking In Station with guest Sion as we go over the article in detail.

        • Gate of rage

          During that podcast you find out that everything he(Sion) wrote is based on assumptions. At one point he even implied that CCP got it’s most recent loan with them assumption that the loan had to be dumped into VR related software. Where does this assumption even come from? It sounds made up, and honestly calls into question all of the assumptions.

          The podcast actually makes the stuff posted by Sion on TMC seem even more idiotic.

          Serious question….. do you think because Sion has subbed eve for ten years, that he somehow has a say in how CCP invests in it’s own future? Whether or not you, me, or Sion think VR is a good investment is not really relevant, as it isn’t our decisions, or is the employment of the folks at CCP our responsibility.

  • To be fair its not much to brag about in all fairness you basically had to become what you hated in order to ”remove” it..

    • Rob Kaichin

      Well, not exactly. No unified leadership around a single person, no unified coalition fleets, no loot-sharing.

      If “become what you hate” is “have friends”, well, they’ve gotten rid of them already.

  • Mike

    Hard to take a “journalist” seriously when they cant even name all the alliances in the Imperium.

    • Bryan Frye

      well it is a bit yellow… nor was mentioned MBC members in the various regions

  • trollsroyce

    Imperium died because they started losing. No game coalition can live through losses if the expectation of victory defines them. No amount of economical or political backbone can save a losing coalition; all other numbers become quickly irrelevant at the face of win/loss ratio.

    I’d say the lowsec killed Imperium, MBC was just an inevitable coup de grace after the loss streak.

    Similarly winning strengthens groups in a cumulative way, every victory adding up.

    It’s living on a derivate, either you are winning or dying. I guess goons are winning again; can MBC turn it around?

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  • Anonymouse

    Gonna say Goons will base out of Stain so they can’t be evicted and then use catch as the Superhighway to all fights. But mostly to dumpster Infamous. After all since they can’t hurt Lenny they will hurt his friends.

    • Messiah Complex

      This is all pretty logical, actually.

    • No one

      Would be a good move. Stains big for an npc region. Lots of stations, lvl 4s for stable income (much better than anoms) all the other usual bearing methods and access to a lot of other regions for fights. They dont have to be tied down with sov and they have friends in the area.

  • Lillik E

    Agree on the incorrect pull.

  • Riddick Yullous Khunt

    Fuck you LAWN lives.

    • Calfis

      If you can call that living bro

  • Freelancer117

    Hoping the goons will have a The Great Wild-Lands Grab, and deploy many Citadels there as New Eden settlers.

    Regards, a Freelancer

  • Provi Miner

    GF’s? well lets be real clear here…. if goons go someplace A: PL will follow B: Horde will follow C: NC is likely to follow. Now I understand short memory syndrome. However I remind you the if the goon invasion lasts more than 3 days everyone wanting content will show up. So it won’t be good fights it will be PL and NC picking winners and losers and because I suspect Lenny will bank roll it I think the goons will be on the “loser” side of things more often. Goons claim they will take even fights and I believe them however I 100% gurantee there won’t be an even fight with in 10 min of provi and goons shooting each other. So it will be the same as last time: good fight ruined by PL only this time PL will shoot goons first then Provi and if goons run then provi and PL will shoot each other.

  • trollsroyce

    The goon endgame is very clear: Getting back the supercapital relevance.

    The road there is to solidify through allies until the balance allows for getting the superfleet back in order. GoonRUS should get more and more together.

    MBC core is going to oppose the development through proxy wars and supercap deployments vs. citadels. Ultimately the rest of MBC is going to do their own thing.

    Nobody will win because EVE shuts down in 4-5 years and as it becomes more and more apparent people just move elsewhere.

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  • Kael Decadence

    Poor bees.

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