The following opinion piece makes assumptions about the tactical and strategic nature of various alliances within New Eden. The motivations, targeted entities, and overall objectives are likely to change rather quickly. Take this piece with a grain of salt.
A recent announcement from within the Imperium shows that the currently dominant NullSec coalition will be deploying it’s full might into an as of yet undisclosed area. Wording within the announcement made quite clear that the two phase operation to come would involve both NullSec and LowSec space.
The Imperium (CFC) have a long history in EVE; from their surge into the coalition level game alongside Red Alliance in the Red Swarm Federation, to the formation and evolution of DekCo from a regional coalition into the Imperium we know today. Throughout that history, they have developed a long standing attachment to NullSec space. Over time as their coalition grew, the “ease” of living in NullSec became ingrained in official policy. The only common exception being the creation and defense of a POCO empire in areas convenient to their power base in Deklein. The Imperium often choosing to not engage in LowSec warfare, even when striking at their enemies who may have based there would have served their interests. But, this is clearly about to change. The continual evolution and shifting dynamism of LowSec is now moving towards a cold war style of play wherein power blocs and “blobbing” are the order of the day. This announcement is likely a tacit admission at least internally that the Imperium wants to further diversify between LowSec and NullSec holdings.
The announcement laid out a two-phase plan involving both the taking of sovereignty and moons from as of yet unnamed enemies.
It seems like the obvious targets for the Moon phase will be NullSec/LowSec r64s and space controlled by Pandemic Legion and it’s allies primarily. This idea seems the most likely as taking and holding valuable moons and other assets from groups like Pandemic Legion will require consistent use of Capital ships. The use of which was specifically stated in the announcement. And realistically speaking, the only group willing to go toe to toe with PL Super Capitals in a protracted campaign would be the Imperium currently.
As for the taking of Sovereignty, it seems very unlikely that the Imperium would wade into the bog of Balkanized NullSec regions that exist in various areas of New Eden. The most obvious target is a full purge of Cloud Ring, this means purging the region of Pandemic Horde and WAFFLES.
The secondary target of this plan will likely be the various LowSec power blocs like Shadow Cartel, Psychotic Tendencies and others. Many of whom hold moons in the area that could not only offer a quick ISK injection into the Imperium’s coffers, but will provide plenty of content for those involved.
The Imperium has deployed to Cloud Ring recently, but only as a token assault on the area to force fights out of the region’s inhabitants. This announcement indicates a coming campaign by the Imperium that will dwarf the scale and intensity of previous Aegis Sovereignty engagements.
It seems that Imperium may be setting up to cut the head off of some of their old enemies. However, it is also likely that the announcement is a fake out ahead of a Imperium-ran wargame in Cloud Ring, or some other unexpected outcome.