EVE Online World War Bee update: The Imperium shatters

Recently we’ve been following the story of the biggest war in gaming history kicking off inside EVE Online and its far-reaching consequences for the EVE universe. The conflict that has come to be known as World War Bee has seen EVE‘s largest and most dominant military power (known as CFC or The Imperium) face off against a huge coalition of alliances calling itself the Moneybadger Coalition. The story so far reads like something out of a sci-fi novel, except that it’s playing out right now inside EVE Online, so if you’ve missed it, then I recommend going back and reading our coverage of the war from the beginning.

In our last report, the Imperium was up against a wall and unable to match the fleet sizes fielded by MBC. The group walled itself up inside the uncapturable lowsec system of Saranen and switched to guerilla strategies, employing interceptor and stealth bomber fleets. Since then it’s lost billions of ISK in strategic assets, it’s given up dozens of star systems and stations, and it’s been shedding members by the thousands. The Russians have unexpectedly entered the war, director level spies have been discovered, and Goonswarm’s home fortress in Deklein is under assault. Now The Imperium itself looks as if it may be shattering, and its only hope may be to consolidate its power into one massive super-alliance.

Read on for an update on the latest from EVE Online‘s World War Bee, the toll it’s taking on the alliances involved, and The Imperium’s plan to form what players are calling a super-alliance.

warnorthIgnoring the war didn’t work

The Imperium has been up against a wall for most of this conflict, making a strategic decision to hold back its war assets and allow its territory to be captured. Key systems that many expected to erupt into the largest battles EVE has ever seen are being captured without opposition. Imperium players who want to fight an actual war have found limited gameplay opportunities, and member alliances have been left undefended by their allies. Thousands of players have left Imperium alliances over the past few weeks, and three major alliances have now officially severed ties with the coalition.

Circle of Two switched sides early in the war, and more recently SpaceMonkey’s Alliance and Fidelas Constans have called it quits. SpaceMonkey’s Alliance has been a priority target in this war due to a dispute with MBC financier Iron Bank. The alliance has now lost almost all of its territory and stations in this war, and over half of its membership has already abandoned ship. Fidelas Constans got off a little lighter, losing only 1,000 pilots but facing a war on multiple fronts in the Branch region with no hope of defensive support from allies. SpaceMonkey’s alliance now plans to rebuild in the Outer Ring region, while Fidelas Constans will soon go on the offensive and capture some nullsec space for itself. Both alliances leave The Imperium on good terms.

territoryThe battle lines are drawn

World War Bee has already made a huge impact on EVE‘s political landscape, with Razor Alliance, Tactical Narcotics Team, SpaceMonkey’s Alliance and The Initiative being essentially wiped off the map. Goonswarm’s home in Deklein is now being captured, and its Titan construction facilities have been destroyed. The war also took an interesting turn when it became clear that new Russian alliance DRONE WALKERS was seizing the opportunity to capture the Tenal region from Razor Alliance. They’ve now drawn the ire of fellow Russian alliance Legion of xXDEATHXx, potentially drawing them into the conflict.

Every group involved in this conflict seems to have its own set of priorities and goals. Some in the MoneyBadger Coalition will be content to wipe the Imperium’s alliances from the EVE sovereignty map, while others have said they won’t rest until Goonswarm Federation itself falls apart (a goal that can’t be achieved through brute force). There are even those calling Imperium leader The Mittani a tyrant and people hoping for a full-scale revolution against the coalition’s leadership. Several people in Imperium leadership positions have leaked alleged chat logs of internal discussions over the past few weeks, and one Goonswarm director-level spy who had been leaking information to Reddit throughout the war was unmasked by an IP sniffer trap.

shipsIs forming a super-alliance the answer?

The Imperium seems to be sticking with its plan to cede territory now and then unleash retributive hell, hoping that the MBC won’t remain a united front forever. In an article entitled “Forging the Goonhammer,” Imperium leader The Mittani announced plans to absorb willing corps from departing allies directly into the Goonswarm alliance to create a massive super-alliance. Consolidating into one huge alliance makes sense for defense, as Aegis sovereignty makes it difficult for two allied alliances to defend each other’s space directly (even though attackers have no such difficulty).

The plan to form a super-alliance could be a response to the recent recruitment efforts of Moneybadger members such as Pandemic Horde, Test Alliance, and The OSS, which have collectively grown by over 4,000 members since the war began. The offer has had a minimal response so far, however, with only a few hundred pilots in a handful of corporations joining Goonswarm since the announcement. The alliance is still officially the largest in the game at 18,185 registered members, but a true count is difficult to make as Goonswarm does not purge inactive members. The best estimate of relative strength we have comes from killboards, which show that 3,466 Goonswarm members have been active in PvP in the past 7 days, compared to EVE‘s second largest alliance, Pandemic Horde, with 2,342 active pilots.

revenge2While it’s clear that The Imperium is shattering and its territories are being conquered, Goonswarm Federation seems to be alive and kicking and the final outcome of this war is still far from certain. The conquered space is easy to recapture as its strategic indices get reset when the infrastructure hub is destroyed, and we have yet to see who will finally decide to live in and defend the conquered space.

The Imperium may still be hoping that fighting will eventually erupt between the various alliances vying for a slice of the newly conquered territories, presenting an opportunity for counter-attack. If the MBC breaks down and Goonswarm Federation can field larger forces than any individual alliance, it may be able to press the superior number advantage again.

Shifting alliances and political motivations could still have a huge part to play in this war as it evolves, and the only thing we can be certain of is that neither side is going to go down easily. EVE right now feels as if everyone is running around drenched in gasoline while flicking lit matches at each other, and it’s freaking awesome.

Complete coverage of EVE Online’s World War Bee

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ilovepudden
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ilovepudden

my take away is goon will deny CCP exploiting this war to drive subs. by not fighting big wars that catch eyes. they have decided to play the troll card.

hyperion9710
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hyperion9710

omg you mean biggest galactic battle in it?

Wakkander
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Wakkander

VariantReality Kherova or, y’know, different strokes for different folks. I tried eve numerous times, but routinely just found the game dull.

rioinsignia
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rioinsignia

So am I reading this right…Goonswarm are getting their asses kicked?

Zennie
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Zennie

Nyphur mysecretid hope you’re right…

Zennie
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Zennie

VasDrakken Goons are not 1/10 of 35 thousand players. I doubt they have more than 1000 players logged in any timezone including the eu/us peaks. Of those 35 thousand players 80% are in highsec, a lot  of them never heard about this war, never went into other security systems, etc. Another players are in other parts of nullsec or lowsec, not interested in war either on individual or alliance level. Another ones are in wormholes, definitely not interested in anything related to k-space.

However, this attitude is changing. More and more people on rookie help channel are asking about the war, how to join, how to do some PVP, and so on. This war brings in new people, and it brings them into nullsec. IT’s awesome.

MrVayne
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MrVayne

Smiggins OrobNinebands I assume he’s referring to the fact that the EVE server only operates on 1 second ticks, which means there’s no fine control or rapid response – the server only registers what you’re doing and responds once per second (or up to once per 10 seconds in heavy time dilation).
If you could actually change that (which I’d guess would require re-writing huge chunks of the game’s code base, a massive and expensive undertaking) you’d run into hardware limits very quickly – even with the servers only having to process inputs and send out updates once per second, it’s still fairly easy for large fleets to push regular nodes into time dilation, where the server slows down tick speed to have more time to process each one. If you increased that 30-60x or more to enable flight sim controls then basically anywhere with more than 10 people in local would be in time dilation all the time.

schmidtcapela
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schmidtcapela

Smiggins OrobNinebands
Technical limitations. Flight sim controls require far more bandwidth than pseudo-RTS, and are far more negatively impacted by latency to boot.

MrVayne
Guest
MrVayne

OrobNinebands Yeah, I’ll agree with both those points. I think there’s value in having the option to escalate any disagreement into spaceship violence, provided that there’s a significant cost associated with doing so outside of corp wars and other legal fights. Sec status and kill rights from ganking work well as such a deterrent for most players – a miner or mission runner is rarely going to want to give out a kill right that can then be used against them, for example, plus you can’t mine, mission, haul, explore or run combat sites in hisec if the faction police are after you because your sec status is too low.

The problem (IMO) is that people are side-stepping those mechanics with dedicated gank alts – they can still gank with -10 sec status, which is the only thing that character does, and kill rights are largely useless even when their sec isn’t low enough to make them free targets because they’re only flying disposable gank ships anyway and they usually go straight from a station undock to a target they’ve picked out with a non-ganking scout character. So the consequences of ganking, other than the ship loss, are rendered non-applicable to them; they’ll never have that KR used against them while they’re PvEing, because they don’t PvE on that alt.

Personally I’d love to see a player-operated solution that would allow players using it to cripple gameplay for those with low enough sec that faction police start chasing them. Imagine a bubble that only affects players with criminal sec status, for example – drop one on every station undock in Niarja/Uedama plus a few more around the main gates, suddenly CODE. freighter gank fleets are sitting ducks for anti-gankers to pop because they can’t use insta-warp bookmarks to get off grid. 
At the same time there’d be no effects on ganking if players aren’t using the tools – someone AFK mining in a Mack is still just as much a target as they were before, for example, which isn’t the case if CCP buffs NPCs instead.

The obvious counter would of course be to use tags4sec to buy sec status back, but that’s actually fine too – it switches the consequence from “get stuck in a bubble and alpha’d by a tornado” to “spend a notable amount of ISK to buy my sec status back”; ganking is still an option, but if you want to make a career out of it you’ll need to be very careful where you operate or rat in lowsec for tags or spend a lot of ISK to buy them so you can keep bribing CONCORD.

ArmyOfMe
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ArmyOfMe

With most of CFC’s supers trapped in what is now a rapecage pos with no chance of getting them out, alliances such as PL and NCdot will be staying for a very long time. 
Also worth mentioning that Pure Blind has a sick ammount of money moons which will continue to feed those two alliances with isk.
So regions such as Deklein will be close to impossible to win back without massive losses for the CFC. 
There is also the point that a lot of alliances in the CFC might not agree if Mittens desides that Deklein will be the main focus of recapture, considering all the other homes that have been lost in this war.

Smiggins
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Smiggins

OrobNinebands   That makes no sense.

Smiggins
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Smiggins

VariantReality Smiggins EVE Valkyrie is a lobby shooter. EVE is not a lobby shooter, its a persistent world MMO with space conquest.

Elven_Seraph
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Elven_Seraph

VariantReality Elven_Seraph Well it would be lovely if they just took each other out and whomever becomes the big dog doesn’t get so cozy with CCP.  CCP used to stick up for the little guy, I remember fighting mOo (bunch of beta players that used their knowledge to dominate and destroy).  There was no concord so CCP devs manned a bunch of ships and took them out.  Then something happened and Mittani and the devs became joined at the hip.  I am fully aware of what goons are doing and have done.  I just can’t get past hating every TEST muppet out there and would join the goons for the fight just for the chance to kill Test, though I would feel all dirty afterwards.

StClair
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StClair

Sleepery  The fate of grunts throughout history.

VariantReality
Guest
VariantReality

Elven_Seraph VariantReality Cool, so if you’ve played since ’03 and have been aware of what the goons have done to New Eden versus Test and you still think Test is worse, then I’ll have to chalk you up as delusional.  Test maybe loud mouths and trash up local when they’re there but they haven’t cause the amount of damage to the galaxy that goons have.  goons are there to ruin your game after-all.  Props to the MBC from me.  I hope many deserving alliance and corps take and make the most of the once stagnant north.

VariantReality
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VariantReality

Kherova VariantReality Did you ever join a non-npc corp?  At least do something other than mining?  If you’ve never PVP’d in EVE, then you have missed a major part of the fun.  When someone begins to treat their T1 ships as nothing more than ammunition, then you know that a loss in PVP means nothing.  Just build or buy a stack of ships and out fit them with either rat droppings or cheap meta equipment.  Then go out solo or with some corp mates and just cause havoc.  When you begin to get the shakes from it and the adrenaline gets flowing, you will know what it is and why it is so amazing.  I have never played another game that has done that for me.  Even playing competitively FPS many years ago for me.  It doesn’t matter if you have 1 million or 100+ million skillpoints, you can be effective.  Skillpoints mean less than knowing optimal range, cap management, transverse.  These things you’ll learn from doing and succeeding or failing and asking questions.  I created an alt and was able to beat a 2+ year pilot in an interceptor with my 1 day old character.  It was actually my first consensual PVP that I engaged in and was hooked after that.  I was still under the impression that my industry main wasn’t “ready yet” for PVP.  It opened my eyes.
Getting into a helpful corp is a must.  Being with a helpful group that will do a wide variety of activities is the key to learning what is out there to do.  For kicks, I setup a probing T3 with a large cargo space and went around to mission systems and probed down abandoned drones.  People leave behind an amazing amount of stuff in mission sites.  Or going out into null space and running relic sites and poking around in random wormholes to see where you’ll pop out.  You can pop out in a back water 0.0 system that has no traffic and come back with a ratting ship and clear anomalies while having no one else come through the system.  Trust me, if you spent 2 years playing EVE and you never had any fun, then that was completely your fault and not the fault of the game.

SkyyDragonn
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SkyyDragonn

I’m torn. On one hand [RZR] needed to die. On the other, they could be an awesome group to fly with.

Denice J Cook
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Denice J Cook

SallyBowls1 
Hahahahahaha.  Finally, a non-gaming website has a clue about what really goes on.

VasDrakken
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VasDrakken

so there is 35 thousand players online right now… it is not prime time us so likely mostly Europe and Russia, Goon has one tenth of that… so even if you say ten or fifteen thousand are small little outfits fielding themselves, what are the other twenty thousand player doing, twiddling their thumbs? Clear the war is clearly entertaining everyone but they losing ships and stations that are clearly being made by someone else what if those people to be funny start selling every third asset to random groups to make it funnier… clearly goon has been playing a long time to get the four years or so it used to take to get titan and carriers but if it was simply a matter of throwing numbers they used to do that. I’d guess there is more going on than a third of the server fighting in a couple systems…

Elven_Seraph
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Elven_Seraph

VariantReality Elven_Seraph I am not a high sec miner.  I know what the goons have done as I know what their enemies have done.  Given the chance I would kill their enemies.  Loud mouthed TEST.  I have incidentally played the game since june, 03, your patronizing tone notwithstanding.

SallyBowls1
Guest
SallyBowls1

Leaked “(3:45:32 AM) the_mittani: and the internation business times is eager to print whatever i tell them”
Leads to an IBT article “‘Eve Online’: The Battle For Control Of The Most Boring Video Game In The World” Not all press is good press:

But it is almost impossible to take what Gianturco says at face value. 

In 2011, at CCP’s annual FanFest conference, Gianturco showed up drunk and at a panel discussion encouraged gamers to harass a player he knew to be depressed to commit suicide.

One reason CCP Games could be eager to see the end of Gianturco’s reign is a new project of his. Gianturco is offering other game developers access to his trusted band of mercenaries. He will hire out these players to help developers test their new games’ environments — for a fee of course. The reason for this move is to protect himself and his allies against the failure of the “Eve Online” universe.

Playing “Eve Online” is notoriously boring. 

Then again, with Gianturco, it’s hard to know what’s real and what’s just showmanship.

HDHarris
Guest
HDHarris

Kherova VariantReality i played EVE for little over half a year, and yeah never found much fun about it but /reading/ about it? That is high entertainment, friends!

schmidtcapela
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schmidtcapela

VariantReality Elven_Seraph
It’s interesting how many PvP people seem to think PvE players will universally like PvP if they only get to properly experience it.

It doesn’t work that way; in fact, in the SotA forums some of the firecest voices against expanding the role of PvP have always been from players well versed in the old UO PvP.

Ket_Viliano
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Ket_Viliano

VariantReality Elven_Seraph  Darkfall was a pure rush in PvP, I find EVE too brief for a thrill, at least most of the time.

SallyBowls1
Guest
SallyBowls1

Not all press is good press:

http://www.ibtimes.com/eve-online-battle-control-most-boring-video-game-world-2352253

But it is almost impossible to take what Gianturco says at face value. 

In 2011, at CCP’s annual FanFest conference, Gianturco showed up drunk and at a panel discussion encouraged gamers to harass a player he knew to be depressed to commit suicide.

One reason CCP Games could be eager to see the end of Gianturco’s reign is a new project of his. Gianturco is offering other game developers access to his trusted band of mercenaries. He will hire out these players to help developers test their new games’ environments — for a fee of course. The reason for this move is to protect himself and his allies against the failure of the “Eve Online” universe.

Playing “Eve Online” is notoriously boring. 

Then again, with Gianturco, it’s hard to know what’s real and what’s just showmanship.

Kherova
Guest
Kherova

VariantReality I am not playing right now, but I played Eve for at least two years looking for the fun – never found it, sorry

VariantReality
Guest
VariantReality

Elven_Seraph You’re probably a high-sec miner by your description of events but I can guarantee that the cfc/imperium has caused you more grief in the game than Test has.  cfc/goons/imperium are responsible for the Ice Interdictions, all of the Burn Jita events, a large amount of CODE pilots as well as Hulkeddon.  The cfc/goons/imperium spread chaos like the plague.
When you learn to think of your ships as nothing more than ammo, something planned on loosing, and not sink all of your isk into, then your game play will feel less scary and you’ll feel confident enough to take the fight back at your aggressors.  There is no other game that will give you the adrenaline rush and shaky hands like PVP in EVE.  Trust me, apply to a newbie friendly corp if you’re not versed in PVP and go out a few fleet engagements.  You will be hooked after your first kill.  That isn’t any hurf blurf, that is a fact and I challenge you to try it and see.

VariantReality
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VariantReality

Smiggins That’s what EVE Valkyrie is all about.

VariantReality
Guest
VariantReality

Kherova If you played, you wouldn’t profess that.

invisusira
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invisusira

Kherova found the guy who doesn’t actually play eve

lolelolols
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lolelolols

RonUSMC You mean like when TEST was given all of fountain then delve? Then joined up with Goon enemies to backstab them. Yea TEST is the victim in this. Bad propaganda is bad. Still, this was a long time coming as the game became stale and suddenly the biggest guy on the block wasn’t the biggest anymore.

ManastuUtakata
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ManastuUtakata

OrobNinebands 
They already did it. Hence, what started the ball rolling on World War Bee.

Nyphur
Guest
Nyphur

mysecretid Cheers! It’s pretty exciting to see this war evolve and consider where it might be headed. I have the distinct feeling there are some big moments still to come in this war and a lot of lit matches still to be flicked.

mysecretid
Guest
mysecretid

Brendan, you really are trance-channelling a World War II era reporter with the way you construct these articles, and the way you word your headlines, and it’s very cool.

“The Imperium Shatters”. Indeed. I can almost hear the newreel reporter announcing it now.

Of course, if the next article reports that The Mittani is holed up in a space station bunker with his significant other as the Russians close in, that will be a little too surreal, even for my tastes. :-D

But seriously. Great work, Brendan. It’s not just the stories, but the way you report the details, which keeps all of this interesting. Thanks.

OrobNinebands
Guest
OrobNinebands

They can’t without destroying the sandbox, so that won’t happen.

OrobNinebands
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OrobNinebands

That would ruin our sandbox. There are plenty of restrictions to PVP in highsec. Making security status actually mean something is a thing I could support however.

OrobNinebands
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OrobNinebands

All that, plus EVE PVE is boring as hell.

OrobNinebands
Guest
OrobNinebands

I really don’t think there is a way to do that, even of CCP wanted to.

Brendyman
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Brendyman

Smiggins Well, it does have manual flight controls and an fpp view.

OrobNinebands
Guest
OrobNinebands

Wouldn’t really work very well that way.

Kanori
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Kanori

SallyBowls1 Viceroys were never alive to begin with lmao

deekay_zero
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deekay_zero

mysecretid deekay_zero no i think you’re right and to expand i think star citizen is going to be alot less of what eve fans want in typical sto mass migration fashion than alot of them are willing to entertain for the time being, even looking at the on paper sales points of the game let alone how it may likely play out.

mysecretid
Guest
mysecretid

deekay_zero 
You can laugh at me later if I’m wrong, dk, but I can’t shake the feeling that a lot of the hardcore EVE players will ultimately be disappointed with Star Citizen, if they expect it to function as, basically, “EVE with better graphics”.
CCP maintains the EVE gamespace as a backdrop for war; Chris Roberts keeps saying that SC is his attempt to model a “living SF universe” with both PvP and PvE elements.
I suspect that, for the hardcore PvP crowd, Star Citizen will never be as fully committed to PvP as they would like.

They may well still play Star Citizen, for the PvP it will have, but for the “full PvP experience” they crave, I suspect that EVE will still be their preferred game destination.

Or not. I’ve been wrong before. Often. :-)

Cheers,

mysecretid
Guest
mysecretid

melissaheather Nordavind 
Heh. And it’s Melissa for the burn!
Well played. Well played <claps> :-D

mysecretid
Guest
mysecretid

Ket_Viliano SallyBowls1 
“the spreadsheet of space” :-)
+5 Internet Points for you, Ket. Spend them wisely. Heh.

Zennie
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Zennie

Zariarn MrVayne It simply doesnt work that way. No ganking, no fear of sudden death means no stories, no progress. If you want to play EVE in a relatively safe environment, you can try test server.

Zennie
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Zennie

Zariarn melissaheather MrVayne Seems like it would be a game for you, although you will inevitably get bored. Stories “I shot this asteroid really good” are usually less interesting than “I was chasing this guy” or “I was chased by these guys and I survived because”

Zennie
Guest
Zennie

Zariarn When I was busy in real life and didn’t have enough time to play EVE on the level I wanted, I’ve joined a factional warfare alliance. It was fun, I could log in anytime , log off anytime, jump on the fleets anytime. You absolutely don’t need to spend more time for PVP than you’d do for PVE.

Silvercat18
Guest
Silvercat18

Goons are the typical evil villain mastermind who throws his allies and henchmen under the bus to save his own skin. Any group that joined the imperium shouldn’t be surprised that they never sent help when things actually got serious.
Similarly, goons are now realising that saving their own skin at the expense of others isn’t going to win them a war. They can fiddle, but Rome will burn.

Smiggins
Guest
Smiggins

If only it used flight sim controls and not RTS controls.

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