We knew they were going to ban the Armageddon. Matter of fact, I said before the match "I cannot imagine a situation in which they won't ban the Armageddon." So a lot of our ban strategy went into what we'd fly with various combinations of Armageddon bans, with the situation I considered most likely being that between the two teams we'd ban the Armageddon and the Dominix (exactly what happened). And in that situation, the comp I was championing was a big, green, muscular monster that smashes things. I jokingly thought of it as the "Hulk comp" (Incredible, not mining, but you know how I loves me my word-play). The thing I consider the most fun about this comp is how little time it gives the enemy to think once it's started smashing things. You blink, and your Typhoon Fleet Issue is gone and you didn't have time to think about how to prevent it.
And you all know how much I love "green and covered in blasters".
The rest of this match came down to the battle of maneuver in the first four or five minutes of the match. In a very real way, this match was again decided quite literally before the first shot was fired. Once we were on the field, we used the "Look at" mechanic to determine of the Typhoons were cruise missile or torpedo fit (they were the latter). With that information, our captain Bob Shaftoes made the decision to pull all of us back into what Apathetic Brent correctly called a "ball of death" around our logi. The idea was to make their brawling comp come to our brawling comp, see if we could determine their strategy and look for an opportunity to pounce.
|The Polaris frigate got a cool new paint job, looks like...|
Of course, Verge were operating the same way, except that they expected us to come roaring into their torpedo range, as did both commentators. We declined. It was kind of entertaining to watch poor Bacchanalian's face when he realized we were motoring away from the Verge fleet. Sorry about that, Bacch.
As they closed, we started to see a pattern emerge: the Vindicator, then 10km behind that, the two Typhoons, then 15km behind that, the support fleet. That brought us to the conclusion that there were two possible stratgies in play: the Vindicator was bait, or the Vindicator was the heavy tackle intended to hold us 10km away from the torpedo ships. Either way, that created an opening: tracking disrupt the Vind's attack range while simultaneously going within 500m of the Typhoons. With that information, Bob waited for an opening to appear, we webbed and TDed the Vindi down, then dove in on the Typhoons at super-close range. For most of that portion of the fight, I was 9000 meters away from a Vindi with a 4000 meter damage envelope. The Vindi could do no damage and the Typhoons died too fast to do much.
In a very real way, we executed the exact strategy that Verge used against us last year: split up their DPS, neutralize part of it using TDs, then attack the isolated segments of their comp. They did it to us last year with two Sentinels. We did it to them this year with a larger number of unbonused TDs tied to lots and lots of tackle. After the Typhoons were down, Verge -- by that time having time to react -- put out what felt like an enormous swarm of rep drones. Their DPS dropped precipitously, but we had to take some time to clear the drones before we could kill other ships, which I mostly did with my Valkyries as we hit smaller ships with blasters. Once that was done, the Prophecy and Guardian were much easier kills.
gf, Verge! Sorry to end your hopes. Good luck in the elimination bracket.
By the way -- if you're curious -- I don't feel at all bad about Brent down-playing our chances and picking Verge to win. He's doing his best to remain neutral and unbiased and from a team strength stand-point, it was easy to pick Verge to beat us. They beat us last year, after all. TMC picked us to lose, eve-bet picked us to lose.(1) Only CCP Rise picked us to win, and he did it only after saying three minutes earlier of Rote Kapelle that "I usually think they're terrible." Thanks Rise! I feel the same way about you. ;-) <3
Our next match is tomorrow at 20:00 EVE time, against THE R0NIN, who defeated Sniggwaffe pretty convincingly. Should be a good fight! I'm going to split my commentary on the rest of today and my day four preview into a separate post to prevent this one from growing to gargantuan length. There's a lot of stuff I want to cover. That's coming up next.
(1) Thanks to that, a lot of Rote Kapelle members made some nice bank on today's match.