Reeee? I’m missing something.
Do you think that “Iteron” fleet of dreadnoughts and carriers of the Imperium Marches is a queue to ice cream van?
Obviously, the supporting “S/M/L” fleets are already deployed to the North. Considering the super-cap fleet remained to defense the Delve, that’s for sure that the same size sub-cap fleet is docked somewhere in Delve to support Titans when required. The Goons controlled null-sec regions just too long to do something without Plan B.
The Tribute war is very interesting. It’s a case when neutral hi-sec players, corporations or alliances can participate and influence over war events passively with ammo, weapons and ships supply. It can be done openly at Jita/Perimeter or hiddenly through private contracts and smugglers. To control the North, you should control Tribute and Pure Blind. To control Tribute you should control, at least partially, Vale, the Forge, Lonetrek and Black Rise. Who will just drop to the Tribute, without a bridgehead, are doomed to fiasco.
There are many experienced eve-bloggers which positioning TEST and the Imperium as offenders. I remember this spring in EVE as very calm. Comparing these events to chess, first move was done by PanFam at HED-GP (July 1) and after at Seshala. Some brawls happened in Catch, Providence and Auga. The march to the North I’m marking as “Turn 2”.
Obviously, these fleets aren’t enough to take the core NC/PL systems like M-OEE8. As for me, it’s not a war at this moment, but a “crusade” for achievements, treasures and spoils. Considering extreme low Activity Defense Multiplier in Tribute and Vale the provocations at HED-GP and Seshala looks like a trap. Somebody want to lure southern alliances to the North. In this scheme, the Legacy is in the worse position, in case if Drone Region Federation will invade Impass, Esoteria and Paragon Soul. Previously some Russian alliances was kicked from there to Stain, just saying.
Anyway, this summer is hot and the August seems to be hotter. Comparing this to Combat Sites, this “Crusade for Spoils” can escalate into “WW Bee II” expedition, including all that Reddit text in popup window.