Welcome to Jester's Trek.
I'm your host, Jester. I've been an EVE Online player for about six years. One of my four mains is Ripard Teg, pictured at left. Sadly, I've succumbed to "bittervet" disease, but I'm wandering the New Eden landscape (and from time to time, the MMO landscape) in search of a cure.
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Monday, July 16, 2012

Pride goeth before a chainsaw to the face

Call it being cool under pressure.  Call it trying not to think about the fight ahead.  But in the hour before our match with Pandemic Legion, the chatter on our Teamspeak was about Mechwarrior Online.


After all, there wasn't much to talk about.  We were in our Execution comp: DPS, DPS, and more DPS.  E-war was for the other guy.  Our comp had been modified from the original plan to reduce its cost in points, but that was deliberate.  We knew that to advance, we had to beat PL and we had to beat Kill It With Fire.  But even if we scored two wins, our rather anemic performance against RvB meant that we weren't doing that great on points, either.  So we needed some bonus points.  But we didn't need to talk about any of that.  Every one of us knew what was at stake.  So, we talked about Mechwarrior Online.

Nobody outside Rote Kapelle gave us much of a chance.  I heard later that the odds against us ran anywhere from 3.3 to 1 to 11 to 1.(1)

The comp name is a play on words, of course.  Execute is a noun with two major meanings: to perform in accordance to a plan, or to put to death.  This comp was about both.  We'd be putting Rote Kapelle's core strength on display, our ability to fly ships well, get on target at the right range, with the right ammo, the right damage avoidance, and the right tactics.  The boundary was only on our minds as something the other guy would have to worry about.  This time, 11 out of 12 of our ships warped to the beacon at zero.

Common view of me when practicing this comp

It's not a comp without risks, of course.  During practice (more on that after AT10), I brought a lot of Enyos and Iskurs home in low structure.  Today, I asked for an Enyo.  I got an Ishkur, which was OK with me.  I like both.  I still have a fondness for "green and covered with blasters."  But the Ishkurs were on tackle duty.  With our Bhaalgorn/Oneiros/Oracle comp, I'd proven myself an aggressive tackler but still able to keep a frig alive.

We also talked about what to name our ships.  Diseases?  Roman Emperorors?  Even an hour before the match, we still weren't decided.  The ships were delivered to us named after OPEC countries.  That was a play on the new OTEC commercial being played during AT10, the PL logo in those commercials central and prominent.  I drew "Iraq", probably because of a certain Information Minister.  Then someone brought up Elise Randolph and his Taylor Swift fetish.  There was some laughter, then we quickly all renamed our ships after Swift songs.  I chose "The Story of Us".

I'll get "Iraq" back if we get out of group and end up fighting Goons, I suspect.

Before I even knew it, we were on the field.  Our entire comp cost about 1.4 billion ISK.  PL's comp cost literally one hundred times that: four 30-billion ISK frigates and a 20-billion ISK flagship, plus assorted debris.  Put another way: we found out later that their four Vengeances had more ISK invested in the Dread Guristas rockets in their cargo holds than we had in every one of our ships and everything in them.  Did we know PL was bringing such an expensive comp?  Yeah, we were vaguely aware of it.  "What's a Malice?" someone asked.  "AT prize ship.  It's a super-tanked Cruor," someone else said.  "Then we ignore them," was the order from our FC.  Cap wasn't something we needed much, either.

We were a lot more concerned about the PL ship names.

"That's their flagship, Flaghorn," I said.

"Who's flying it?" the FC asked -- there were two Bhaalgorns on field.

"B'reanna," someone else said, "26 kilometers away."(2)

"That's the primary then.  When we start, all your DPS on B'reanna.  Guys, we kill these two Bhaalgorns, we've won this match," the FC said.

We'd practiced against both Bhaalgorn- and Vindi-heavy setups.  We knew we had the DPS to break the tanks of two of either, even in the teeth of full Guardian reps.  Therefore, we'd ignore enemy logi to start.  After we learned a bit more about the Malices before the match started, the FC said "Sturm, that means you're dead," naming our Scimi pilot, "That's where this is going.  Sorry about that, but there's nothing we can do."

So, did it ever occur to us to specifically go after and destroy the Malices?  Nope.  We were focused on winning the match.  That meant killing the Bhaalgorns.  Killing Malices only ever entered our minds after both PL Bhaalgorns, the Guardian, and two Vengeances were down.  "I'd like to kill a 30-billion ISK frigate," the FC said at that point, almost as an afterthought.  By that time, the Malices were doing everything possible to protect themselves.  And that was pretty easy, because they're fast, tanky, and were sniping at us at 40+ kilometers with Medium Beam Laser IIs.  By that time, we only had one, maybe two tacklers left.

Maybe PL was looking to put on a show, but we weren't.  Pride didn't go before a fall, pride went before a chainsaw to the face.

About the actual match, I don't have much to say except things went exactly according to our plan.  One Bhaalgorn down, two Bhaalgorns down.  Once that was done, one PL Vengeance was close and paid the price for it.  We tried to break a second, but couldn't do it under reps.  That meant a tail-chase to run down the Guardian.  I was the second tackler to land on him.  PL was going for our Enyos which had no tackle, which was fine by the Ishkur pilots including myself, who did.  Once the Guardian was down, we found another Vengeance in close proximity and nuked him.

Only then did we think about the Malices, and we didn't think about the flagship Bhaalgorn loot at all.  Later, we learned that one of the PL Vengeances dove down on their wreck to scoop it.  The only result to that was that it put that Vengeance in my tackle range, so tackle it I did.  That ultimately cost me my ship, but given that I died to tackle an eight billion ISK frigate, I'm rather content.  ;-)

Finding 12 MBL2s firing Aurora at me from ranges of between 20 and 30 kilometers, I declared "I'm going to try to pull range."  The FC, seeing me in structure, approved.  My plan was to open out to about 75km or so to break the locks of the Malices, then see if I could sneak back in on one while they were more concerned with Sleipnirs.  Didn't work, of course.  The Malices were still hitting me at almost 50km when I died, and it's hard to maintain transversal from four spread-out targets at once.  That left me watching the rest of the match in a pod.  Again!  Still, I was a lot happier this time!  First order of business for me (again): rearrange our fleet to make sure bonuses were still getting applied.

About the now-infamous Ben Booley troll, I have nothing to say.  I wasn't involved.

Final score, Rote Kapelle 95 to 52.  Great fight, PL, and much respect to you from everyone in Rote including myself.  You made us work for it, no doubt about it!  The Local chat from our opponents afterward was 100% gracious and professional.  As for us, we did exactly what we needed to do to stay alive for another week.  Next up, Kill It With Fire, who we must beat to even have a chance of advancing out of group.

(1) One of our guys made more than a billion ISK on a 100 million ISK bet.
(2) The commentators thought it was Dancul1001 flying it, but he wasn't.  nbd.


  1. Classic. Simply classic. Respect to PL in a big way.

    GAME ON!

  2. great fight and best of luck next week :).

    Noticed that the frigate loot alone compensates for any loses you guys had. Got me thinking, how does RK and other teams handle compensation for wins/losses throughout the tournament? even split, bring your own ship etc..
    would be nice to hear more about that. just a thought

    1. Bhaalgorn loot cause the frig loot was due to his looting their own flag.

  3. Very nice work, on both sides. Good to see AT reward ships in use. Two comments: one, the official alliance site really needs better estimates of ship cost. The bhaalgorns had officer modules, and it still says the Malices cost 2.8mil... Even with very very loose estimates it was obvious their comp was a shitload more than the estimate. It's very unrealistic and really undermines how isk-effective your fits were. Two, and on the same subject, I really think the AT needs to take into account ship costs more. This was exemplified by this PL ship comp vs Rote's: shitloads of iskies should not give teams unfair advantages (granted you could debate how effective the 30bil malices were, or the faction modules, but saying they gave PL advantages over tech 2 or deadspace fits is a no-brainer). Either limit fits to tech 2 max, limit total cost of comps, or make isk a non-issue (i.e. teams get whatever ships/fits they want).

    1. "...I really think the AT needs to take into account ship costs more. This was exemplified by this PL ship comp vs Rote's: shitloads of iskies should not give teams unfair advantages..."

      and here I thought that match showed perfectly how spending ISK doesn't negate skill. why would you ever want to limit that?

    2. I think you have the misconception of the tournament being "fair", no offense. There is no rule against spying, metagaming or winning by pouring massive amounts of ISK into your comp, because that would contradict the very base idea of eve.

    3. For point two I think you need to look at AT rules before making yourself look dumb Znybar. Only the flagship can use higher then meta 5(t2) modules so it already has the limit you suggest, and for cost affecting points, this tournament has showed that cost obviously doesn't have the impact your suggesting it have.

    4. Mainly because a lot of rules are in place in the tourney to limit how much one team can buy their way to victory - the limits preventing faction and deadspace mods except on flagships, and even limiting which mods can go on them, the higher points costs for faction and t2 ships over t1 versions and so on. Allowing PL or anyone else to use incredibly expensive, effectively unobtainable unique ships with performance above anything else violates the spirit of the competition, even if it's not specifically forbidden in the rules.

    5. Are any of you seriously suggesting that having four malices DIDN'T give PL an advantage? You'd have to be an idiot to say AT reward ships aren't superior to their equivalent tech 1 or 2 variants. Jester himself underlines how much damage the Malices were doing 40km out, and was popped to prove it.

      And yes, as I said this is just a demonstration of how superior skills and tactics are over iskies, but if the AT is to be a test of skill and tactics, then isk should not be an issue, and it should be on a level playing field.

      Even if "only the flagship can have higher than meta5 modules", that still means PL could (and obviously did) fit out their flagship with officer modules that cost more than Rote's entire comp. I'd compare it to racing: it's not a competition when one team brings a ferrari and the other a ford, even if the ferrari driver puts it into a wall: you can't judge the skill of the duel if the ferrari wins.

      Think to yourselves: what do you want in a tournament? The best team to win. Metagaming is part of this obviously, because it falls into the realm of tactics. Isk, however, is both separate to ship-flying ability and tactics. It's against the spirit of competition. That's the same reason skinsuits were banned in competition swimming: they gave an unfair advantage, regardless of skill.

    6. So maybe for AT 11 a new rule of - No Previous Tournament Prize Ships Allowed

    7. @Znybar - your argument is flawed.

      Not to knock the RK team, but the pilots on the PL team are among the best of the AT competitors, in terms of both skills and tactics. PL isn't a P2W team and RK didn't beat them via "superior skills and tactics".

      PL lost this match because their big ships + logi couldn't deal with RK's superior DPS. Period. I don't care how much ISK you spend on your Bhaalgorn, it isn't going to stand up to four Sleipners. And no frigs - awesome or not - are going to change that equation.

      RK's setup was simply better than PL's setup. And, this match proved conclusively that ISK doesn't matter.

      I will give high kudos, however, to RK's FC and pilots for not getting distracted and going after the Malices. There are plenty of FCs and pilots (like MBIII) who would have gladly thrown the match, in order to get on an AT prize ship KM.

  4. Mind sharing with us, what the ben booley troll is?

    1. Lol, missed the match? He was the guy who didn't turn on his ASB until he hit like 2% shield.

    2. Yeah sadly, but I do get this saterday off. So finally be able to catch the tournament.

  5. Favorite fight of the AT so far. I was super psyched about it, although I will be completely honest.... I wanted to see a Malice pop REALLY bad. I admire the professionalism of your team, I'd have called primary on them so fast its not even funny. XD

    I mean... even if you didn't win the fight(and therefore drop the tourney) you still get to go down in history as the team that killed four unique ships. You can't get those things back. Talk about tearing down the walls of the elite nullsec-ers... I kinda thought from your (Rote Kapelle's) site that that's what you're all about. Correct me if I'm wrong, of course, and sorry if I am.

    Also, no offense meant to PL, they fought well and it was epic to see AT ships get use... I'd just love to see em pop. XD

    1. Do you remember who killed ev0ke's frekis? I don't.

      The only people who make a lasting impression are those that WIN the tournament. No one remembers the fleetcomps used to do it.

    2. Circle of Two fielded the frekis in AT 8 (twice).

      I am very impressed to hear that you guys never even considered worrying about the Malices, Jester. I am pretty sure that was the main thing PL was angling for with that comp because it was certainly weak if you fought it properly and ignored the frigs as you guys did.

      Great work beating them - try not to sound TOO smug about it would you.

  6. All Respect to you guys! Great job! I was also wishin' and hopin' to see a malice go kaboom, but in the end you did the right thing!

    Liked watching you hang on to structure in the Ishkur for such a long time, good flying!

  7. Are you going to elaborate on the 8 points difference you did(/n't) threw PL in a seperate post Jester?

    1. We went in 8 points down because you get those points, plus 25%, as a bonus if you win. Because we won, we got 95 points instead of 85. In the models we've been working, those 10 points may very well be extremely important.

    2. I thought that points don't matter at this stage.

      I seem to recall the commentators stating that, in the case of a win/loss tie, the winner would be determined by who beat whom in the group matches - ie. if RK and PL were to tie with two wins each, then RK would be ranked higher, because they beat PL.


    3. Sadly, no. There has been lots of talk about this and we're pretty sure we need to have more points. ONLY in the rare case that we all get 2 wins, AND that we have the exact same amount of points as RvB or PL those results matter

  8. I've been pulling for you guys and was sad to see you drop one to RvB. The PL match totally made the tourney for me so far. Good luck against Kill It With Fire on Saturday!

    Oh and the comms of the RK doods in the lobby was hilarious.

  9. You missed the most important part...You stayed in bounds...

  10. Why do you think we went with a balls deep team? I didn't want to have the temptation to fly out of bounds again :P

  11. Just a note Ripard, one of our guys (me) made 4.2 billion by betting 1.25 bil of /borrowed/ isk on us. -Vend

  12. Wonder if anyone is running tracking links on the Oneiros or Scimitar?

    With all of the tracking disruptors being successfully used during this AT, you'd think they would be of more value than the cap transfers of the Basilisk or Guardian.

    Also, with the 12 man format this year, I'm surprised that not many teams seem to be dedicating at least a frig or two to backup/defend the logi.

    1. Is this a joke? Logis don't need tracking to shield transfer or armour rep. (Unless I really don't understand the mechanics).

      Tracking disrupting a logi is simply a piloting error.

    2. Tracking links are applied by logis to other ships, just like shield transfer and armor repping.

      Think of it as a remote tracking computer or remote tracking enhancer.

    3. I love tracking disruption for this reason, no one ever thinks of it or even notices much when it's on them, unlike ECM or damps which visibly unlock all your targets.


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