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 23, 2012

You win some, you lose some

Yay!  Alliance Tournament 10 is over!  A big congratulations to Verge of Collapse on their victory, and an equally big congrats to Hun Reloaded for showing that playing the AT meta-game is more or less unnecessary if you can execute a single comp well enough.  ;-)

I want to try to wrap up my thoughts about AT10 today and tomorrow.  After that, things will get back to normal around here.  Quite a back-log has built up and though some of the things I wanted to write about are now stale, others are still quite valid.

First though, I'd like to cover our final two matches from my perspective.  First up, our match with Kill It With Fire, which Rote Kapelle won, 125 to 28Tedra Kerrigan doesn't like us very much, I guess.  Everything Rote did in this match was "unfortunate" and we "paid for a victory" according to the ISD article accompanying the match.  Someone should remind this person that ISK doesn't always win AT matches.(1)

From our perspective, everything in this match went according to plan.  That particular comp was one of our main three or four comps and we felt it was quite strong against a variety of opponents.  We had a very good idea that KIWF would bring a double Vindi set-up against us.  In our practices, we'd found that the double Kronos/Vindi comp beat double Vindi very consistently as long as we were super-aggressive about it.  So that's what we did and it worked out just fine for us.  Every one of our ships warped in at zero, which left my little Incursus in a rather unfortunate position once we all landed...

Ummm... hi.  Please don't hurt me.

Fortunately, that Vindi had bigger fish to fry and the frigates were mostly left to ply our trades.  We were really pleased at how well our plan worked out: both enemy Vindis died in 55 seconds.  Partly, this was due to the fact that both KIWF Vindi pilots activated hardeners right away.  Important tip about armor-tanking ships: you don't have to and you shouldn't activate hardeners until you're actually taking shield damage.  At that point, you can make the decision whether to overheat your hardeners!  It wouldn't have changed the outcome of this fight, but it would have allowed the KIWF ships to live a little longer.

I got to have a bit of fun after this match was over.  Both of our Kronoses were smart-bomb fit, of course, and many of our frigates took more damage from friendly smart-bombs than they took from most of the enemy fleet.  Your humble narrator, meanwhile, found a place to hide on the far side of the enemy Vindicator from our marauders.  As a result, I avoided virtually all of this early damage.  Again, didn't much matter overall in the match, but it was fun.  I also got to demonstrate my intent from the PL match.  Once I was one of the few frigates standing and brawling superiority was assured, I burned out to break hostile frigate locks.  That didn't work so well against PL Malices, but against Enyos and Ishkurs it worked fine.  I then prepared to move in to tackle the last remaining KIWF frigate.  It turned out not to be necessary.  A Vindi plus Null ammo is deadly.  So I uncharacteristically got to bring a ship home.

Overall, a great fight!  Thanks very much for bringing it, KIWF!  We were really concerned that you might try to push us out of the group stage with some sort of turtle comp.  You have the respect of everyone in Rote Kapelle for not doing that.  o7

I've already written about how all of us were on the edges of our seat during the PL fight.  All RvB had to do to advance was score 36 points.  Winning or losing was irrelevant.  36 RvB points would have ended our AT10 run.  PL pulling damage from the RvB Eos in the last few seconds of their match and holding it at half structure for 10 seconds was nearly the death of a lot of Rote pilots.  ;-)  gg PL.

That brings us to our last match of the tournament, which we lost to Verge of Collapse on their march to the championship.  Again, we had a pretty good idea that VoC would either bring a brawling comp or a full Caldari jamming comp to our match.  We'd tested our double Kronos/Vindi team against jamming attacks and with some modifications felt it could stand up just fine to it.  To give us more thinking time before engaging, we made the decision to warp the frigates and our logi in farther away than we had against KIWF.

I've got to hand it to VoC: they flew their comp perfectly against us.  Enemy frigs would dart toward our lines and pull back, dart toward our lines and pull back.  Our response to these tactics was probably not as crisp as it could have been.  We also completely underestimated the enemy Sentinels.  Those were the MVPs of the match as far as I'm concerned.  Their ability to put several bonused tracks on each of our battleships, combined with those battleships having to attack smaller targets not under MWD probably decided this match.

Because our frigs were ordered to stay in the back field until the enemy Scimi exposed himself, I didn't see much of this action.  I spent all of this time using my tracking disruptor, popping the odd enemy Hornet EC-300 that went for our logi, and waiting for that Scimi pilot to make a mistake.  He made that mistake, so our frigs pounced on and rapidly murdered him, which was all to the good.  But by that time, the VoC Sentinels and Keres had negated much of our DPS and our logi pilot, respectively.

Even more insidiously, I think we forgot how effective Sentinels are as neut platforms, too.  As I said, they were the MVP of this match.  It's painful for me to rewatch.  By late game, I was sticking to Gods Coldblood like glue, applying tracking disruption, my pitiful DPS, and NOS when I needed cap, waiting to see if our Vindi pilot could kill him and pull it out.

Nope.  So I used the last of my cap to MWD about 45km off our Damnation, hoping some of their DPS would follow me, and happily, some did.  Again, gf, Verge and if you gotta lose, losing to the AT10 champs certainly takes some sting out of it...

One survivor

Ah well.  Great fun all around.  Bring on Alliance Tournament XI!  I'll have more AT stuff over the next 36 hours or so.

EDIT (23/Jul/2012): Oh, I almost forgot.  Our ships for the KIWF battle were named after things that died in a fire.  Our ships for the VoC battle were named after alliances in EVE that have collapsed.  I named my ship for that one "Gentlemen's Club"...

(1) Though it sure helps!  More on that later.


  1. Everyone forgets about Sentinels!

  2. Tedra doesn't seem to do it in later matches either, like I pointed out yours the other day. In HUN vs Gosfathers, HUN outpriced -DADDY- nearly 3 Billion to 1.2 Billion: http://at.eve-ic.net/10/index.php?view=match&id=121

    Also doesn't do it in the VoC vs Mildly Intoxicated report, despite being outmatched 2.566 Billion to 1.534 Billion.

    Not that I really expect great journalism from the AT volunteer site, but opinions need to stick to their owner. Unless they're going to be used in every case. It's kinda like implicating you guys as cheaters just because they don't like you.

    Well, silly eve is always silly.

  3. As a spectator thanks for taking part and providing us with such a fun spectacle. A lot of food for thought - I'd never even have considered flying a Sentinel on TQ but the AT showcased a lot of ships that most people don't rate. EAFs were also interesting as were Griffins.

    One day I'd like to fly in an AT but I feel I'm years off. I don't think I'd be able to be a useful team member without a ton of pvp experience. The number of mistakes made were shocking, even by these pvp veterans. It's no place for a newbie!

  4. Your match against Pandemic Legion was one of the highlights of AT 10 -you guys have every reason to be proud of your performance!

  5. Stabs, the main reason EAFs/Griffins are rarely flown on TQ is opportunity cost.

    Most of the time, you simply get more out of other ships (recons, for example -> curse, rook or blackbirds for simple long-range ecm) if you want Ewar. In the tournament, they cost more points though.

    Yes, EAFs are very valuable force-enhancers, but by the time you can fly them well, you are not that far from being able to fly the even more awesome recon cruisers.

    But if you have newbies in your corp, by all means, put them in griffins, crucifiers or mauluses.

  6. Hi!

    I would really like your thoughts on the HUN setup. It has performed so solidly till the last match that it is nothing short of a miracle in my eyes.

    A lot of people dismiss it because... - well because they lost at the last match but I really think their setup and dedication behind it would be worth a lenghtier blogpost, don't you agree?

  7. I got really annoyed with the commentators saying they always brought the same thing. Vargur yes, but the modules especially in the support changed the whole fleet. Suspect they brought too much ECCM to the final.

    1. It's easy to argue that as a big ol' yes: Hun brought 16 ECCM mods to the final by my count.

      That said, a lot of people figured Verge might see if they could get PL's "hard counter" right, probably including Hun themselves.

  8. I think the sentinels were the MVP of the whole final day for them. They were largely ignored in almost every match, and made a HUGE difference.

    I hope the ;) indicates you were joking about HUN using "1 setup". 2 Vargurs, a Tengu, and a Scimi, do not make a whole setu, just like a Vindi adn lots of gallente assfrigs don't. They made excellent adjustments to their composition, swapping ou ta 3rd vargur, loki, sleip, and consistently modifying the utility slots on their frigates (adding ECM burst against the widow team, for example). They had an excellent chance at winning the final, even though their tengu's subsystem bonuses didn't work.

    1. I agree in principle, but the Hun core was really the 4400 DPS tank of each Vargur. See my follow-on post about their comp specifically. I'd be interested in your opinion.

  9. I find it interesting how separated w-space is from k-space. No one seemed to know who VoC was, and they were underestimated at every turn.

    However, among w-space entities VoC is very well known for their pvp prowess, so it was no surprise to see them make it into the finals. Many of us multiplied our already fat wallets by by taking advantage of their anonymity--one guy from AHARM supposedly made 15 billion ISK by betting on them every match.

    To be fair, I respect almost all of the teams that made it to the finals, and Rote Kapelle was my second choice. You guys had a very good run, and I would've loved the final to be VoC vs RK.

    I guess I'm just surprised that no one took VoC seriously until so late in the game.


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