EVE Online Alliance Tournament XII Day One

 
The first weekend of Alliance Tournament XII was a great setup for the rest of the event. We saw a lot of what we expected, but still had a few surprises. I don’t think anyone was shocked to see the popularity of the Eos & Gila, but what I really liked is that each team had their own spin on the same core idea of heavy drones, answering difficult questions such as what support ships do you need, how much damage do you need and what kind of tackle is going to work best? Everyone was making different decisions, both clear and subtle on the strengths and weaknesses of these setups, and that’s exactly what makes this tournament so exciting. Everyone knows what’s “good”, but some teams evidently know and can implement it better than others. In this write-up I’ll be including links to the awesome Null-Sec.com battle summaries, including their amazing 3D-replay using Crest APIs, though note that the Null-Sec matches start from match “0”, whereas I list them starting from “1”. Match 1: Clockwork Pineapple vs. RAZOR

  Null-Sec summary and replay. RAZOR brings a very focused “core” drone setup, with only eight pilots. Three Eos, three VNIs and a Malediction. Clockwork Pineapple (Groon) brings their flagship ‘Geddon in a more traditional Gallente face-blasting DPS setup with a large amount of frigate support, including Cruors to web down targets for the Astartes. RAZOR manages to only ban one ship, the ‘Geddon, which Groon pushes out anyway by choosing their flagship. RAZOR start by sending all of their drones onto the Groon Oneiros where it struggles to hold reps, barely surviving in low armour until the drones are pulled off it. Damps are spread on the RAZOR team, but after you have given your drones the order to attack, it does not matter if you lose lock. After a little dancing, RAZOR’s Oneiros gets nuked by the insane DPS output of the Groon team, whereupon they start chewing through the Eos & VNIs. Amazingly with an Eos down RAZOR manages to retaliate and take down Groon’s Oneiros, and the fight becomes a DPS race to win on points, where Clockwork have clear advantage by having more ships to lose and higher DPS. As soon as something on the RAZOR team gets webbed, the Astartes obliterate it, despite RAZOR managing to take out the frigate support wing. Final score: 60 – 35 Match 2: Ineluctable vs. Exodus.

  Null-Sec summary and replay. Ineluctable, playing in the tournament for their first time, had one hell of a mountain to climb. Exodus have only participated in two Alliance Tournaments, but by god did they perform. In ATX they were knocked out by the winners Verge of Collapse in the semi-finals, after a run of killing far more experienced teams, and in ATXI they took third place behind the favourites of the past few tournaments, HYDRA and PL.
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It’s in match two we see our first Gilas of the tourney, with both teams fielding Scimitar-supported Gila comps combined with Worms. Where they differ is in choice of command ship – Vulture for Ineluctable and Claymore for Exodus. Elise was losing it in the commentator Skype channel, excited to see his favourite ship of the moment, the Orthrus, on field. The remaining slots were filled for Ineluctable with Keres while Exodus brought the more typical Maulus with a Crow. When the match starts the Exodus team immediately counter-damps Ineluctable’s Keres, while knocking their Scimi into structure. Paragoda magically lasts another 30 seconds before going down, but Ineluctable don’t manage to take anything out while their Scimi dies. After the Scimi is down, Exodus make quick work of Ineluctable’s Worms, a significant portion of their DPS, at which point the match is just Exodus cleaning up the field. Final score: 4 – 100 Match 3: Affirmative vs Pasta Syndicate

  Null-Sec summary and replay. I have to admit, I was really sad to see Affirmative lose this match (and how their Vargur was fit). Greygal, one of my favourite people in New Eden, their Team captain and badass Maulus pilot for Agony in last year’s tournament, was easily the most enjoyable interview I did to learn about this year’s teams. She is unbelievably passionate about the game and her group of players. Affirmative brought a peculiar Vargur / flagship Rattlesnake combo with no dedicated logi, supported by Vexors and Merlins. Meanwhile, Pasta fielded a more typical triple Eos Oneiros setup with their flagship ‘Geddon, and the possibly scariest anti-frig support we’ve seen in the form of three Heretics and two Talwars. As the match starts, the Oneiros of Pasta gets tackled and killed quite quickly, but in the meantime the Heretics go to work on Affirmative’s frig support and the Flaglesnake goes down without a fight, much faster than expected. After that, Affirmative’s Vargur dies almost as quickly. Affirmative tried to clear the Heretics of Pasta to protect their support after the Oneiros kill, but they realise too late that the neuts from the ‘Geddon were going to be the death of their BS, and fail to kill it before running out of ships. Final score: 21 – 100 Match 4: Choke Point vs. Quebec United Legions

  Null-Sec summary and replay. This was our debut “down to the wire” match. Quebec brings a three ‘Phoon team (with Harold in the Flagphoon), supported by a T1 Logi!? Caracals, Keres/Crow and two probing frigs make up the team’s abundant mids. Choke field a three-man Rattlesnake team supported by a Scimi and the ever popular Caldari frigate pick-n-mix. Neither team has much to show for their previous AT entries, so this was a great match for both to show off their skills without getting immediately stomped by one of the big names.. We start with Choke Point damping the Quebec Caracals to save their frigate pilots from the nasty, nasty RLMs, but they soon trade a Harpy for a Crow. Quebec then focus down a Rattler, losing only a Keres in the process. With some really irritating jams landing on the Choke Merlins, the match descends into chaos; Kaleesa tries to MJD his Rattler onto Harolds Flagphoon, but boundary violates, shortly followed by Choke’s final Rattler. Choke manages to jam the Curse at this point, making their Scimi’s life a bunch easier, trading ships down until it’s just Merlin/Scimmi vs. the Flagphoon. The Scimi tanks the ‘Phoon fine, but the match ends up going to points, giving Quebec the victory. Final score: 85 – 83   Match 5: The Tuskers Co. vs. Cynosural Field Theory.

  Null-Sec summary and replay. This was definitely the match I was most looking forward to from the set I was down to commentate on (the first half of day one). Here we have two very well respected TQ PvP corps who are at the top of their game in polar opposites of what you might call “small-gang” PvP. The Tuskers are known throughout the universe for their frig to cruiser solo skills and excellent fit analysis, while if you live in Placid you’ll be familiar with Tinkerhell’s personal super fleet or Adrestia messing with you. Tuskers bring a huge amount of DPS in the form of two Eos and three Vexors, supported by an Oneiros, their Flag-geddon and the “death to all frigates” set up of three Heretics, with their final two spots filled by Maulus. Cyno bring triple Eos, their own Oneiros, and an Ashimmu which doubles as a great neut and web ship, supported by a fleet of Ishkurs, two Maulus, a Vengeance and Malediction. The match starts by Cyno dropping a crapton of rep drones, but not much happens short of the Tuskers Heretics trying in vain to volley either of the two Maulus. Seven minutes in, and the Tuskers finally MJD towards the Cyno team, whereupon they manage to pick off both Maulus and the Malediction. Tuskers then choose to focus on the opposing team captain Tinkerhell in his Oneiros, who tanks like a champ but finally goes down. The Tuskers capitalise on their position and quickly chew through two of Cyno’s Eos, while Cyno finally try to apply DPS to a target, that of Bei’s Eos, but have already lost too much DPS to scratch the paintwork. This match was a perfect example of Cyno perhaps playing a little too conservatively, while the Tuskers took the time to consider what they wanted to do to the comp facing them, discussing how to execute it, and then doing so with precision. Final score: 100 – 0 Match 6: CAStabouts vs. The Initiative

  Null-Sec summary and replay. As soon as I saw the CAS team land I put in our commentator Skype channel that this match was insane. CAStabouts’ alliance exists only for them to participate in the AT, as they are a group of players who stay in the Center for Advanced Studies NPC corp to introduce new players to PvP and nullsec, primarily roaming about Syndicate. After two unfortunate runs in the NEO as the CAS 8, they bring only six pilots to their team, a tinker setup consisting of their Flagglesnake, a Scorp Navy, two Tengus, a Vulture and a Basi. The Initiative bring a setup more prominent in the first weekend of two Eos and three VNIs for a huge amount of drone dps, an Oneiros for logi, two Ishkurs, two Maledictions, an Executioner and a ‘Ranis. That match itself was sadly quite dull, neither team could break the reps of the other, meaning we went to reverse TiDi. In that situation it is so much harder to react to broadcasts given the tiny amount of real time before what you’re trying to rep dies. As soon as TiDi hit the CAS lost their Tengu, with the rest of their team following in short order. Final score: 0 – 100 Match 7: The Unthinkables vs. Feign Disorder

  Null-Sec summary and replay. I’m fairly confident the Feign Disorder team decided to play the “how many drone boats can I get on one team” game when looking at this year’s point cost. They won. An Eos, three VNIs, a Vexor and three worms is one hell of a lot of drone DPS. Their support consisted of the ever-popular Oneiros and a Cruor for some lovely webs to help apply that big paper-DPS number. The Unthinkables brought another triple Eos, triple Vexor setup, supported by a combination of Keres and Maledictions, mirroring the Oneiros logi. When the match starts The Unthinkables go straight for the jugular in the form of Feign’s Oneiros, while Feign go for the more lightly tanked support. Split fire means Feign trades a Oneiros for a Malediction, but quickly remedy this by focusing down the Oneiros of their opponent, in which time Unthinkables kill a Vexor. Both teams then start trading support ships, trying to remove the total power of their foes as quickly as possible in an attempt to win the DPS war, but with the majority of The Unthinkables smaller ships down they have trouble stopping the Worms from burning through the rest of their team. With only a Keres left to shoot, Feign decide to finally start working on the Eos and catch the Keres while they’re at it, losing all but one of their Vexor backbone but securing the match. Final score: 72 – 100 Match 8: SOLAR FLEET vs. The Devil’s Warrior Alliance

  Null-Sec summary and replay. Mixing the old and the new, Devil’s Warrior Alliance has never entered the AT before and SOLAR have a long history with it, participating in ATs seven through ten, though admittedly getting knocked out early each time. Devil’s Warriors seemed to take inspiration from this by mixing some old school Minmatar battlecruisers in the form of two Claymores with their triple Gila, triple Worm team, supported by a Scimitar logi, two Merlins and a Stiletto. SOLAR bring their own Trila (triple Gila? No? I’m trying it out) with two VNIs for damage, supported by a Sleipnir for links, Scimitar logi and the odd mix of Kitsune/Algos/Merlin. The Kitsune is rocking three Minmatar jams, exactly what the Devil’s Scimi and Claymores did not want to see and it is instantly a giant pain, jamming Sivor’s Claymore. SOLAR goes straight for Devil’s Scimitar and destroys it before the first minute of the match is up, while Devil’s Warriors get the Kitsune as quickly as they can because they know the threat it poses. Despite the SOLAR Scimitar surviving they lose two of their VNIs, a large part of their DPS, but manage to kill all their opponents’ Gilas and Worms. In short, if you have reps and your opponents don’t you’re in a pretty good position. SOLAR snowball to victory, holding reps on the Gilas and the Scimitar itself while finally taking down the two Claymores. It’s also worth noting that the Sleipnir was feeding the SOLAR Scimi cap throughout the match, making it a lot easier to deal with the neut pressure applied by the Devil Gilas. Final score: 100 – 32 Match 9: THE RONIN vs. Dead Terrorists

  Null-Sec summary and replay. Both of these teams are old school AT veterans, Dead Terrorists competing every year but last since ATVI, and Ronin competing on and off since ATIV. Both teams are rock solid, with consistent last 16 / quarter-final performances, Ronin going beyond that last year and making it to the semis where they lost to Exodus, then being eliminated by Darkside, two top tier teams. In short, if you can take out either one of these teams you’re setting yourself up to do damn well in the rest of the tournament. Dead Terrorists bring us our second ‘Phoon team of the day, and of course no armour team this year is complete without at least one Eos. Supporting this is a Proteus and a mix of Purifiers and Tristans. Ronin break out their Flag-gorn, two Eos and a Vexor for the mandatory drone DPS, all supported by a Guardian for logi and an unusual mix of jams and damps in the form of two Blackbirds and a Maulus. Their anti-frig is also pretty fierce, consisting of two Heretics and a Talwar. Combining jams and damps is a sure-fire way to make any pilot want to throw their monitor out of the window. You get jammed, then with scan resolution damps take half a year to lock your target again, only for another jam cycle to hit when you finally relock. Ronin do an amazing job spreading their EWAR at the start of the match and keeping it up throughout, one of the scariest abilities to have. The Dead Terrorist Proteus is immediately jammed, damped and neuted by the Bhaal leeroy-ing in, while DTs first try a Blackbird, then a Vexor of Ronin, but Ronin hold reps. Ronin’s support start shooting the heavy rep drones, a key point, then go after the typically poorly tanked Tristans and Purifiers. With the Vexor and Blackbird not breaking, Terrorists try going after Ronin’s Bhaalgorn, but with a significant portion of their DPS gone they barely dent the armour. Dead Terrorists continue to haemorrhage frigates, managing to take out only a single Ronin Heretic. The Ronin can’t break the tanks of the heavier Terrorist ships, especially with all those rep drones assisting the near permajammed Proteus, but Ronin already have a point advantage which they play safe and maintain until time runs out. Final score: 17 – 4 Match 10: Moist. vs. Easily Excited

  Null-Sec summary and replay. Moist’s setup here felt really dated – three domis supported by a Tengu and some Maulus, but given the point increase on the Domi they can only field T1 frigates to complete their comp. Easily Excited bring an AF-supported triple VNI, triple Vexor setup with Damnation links and an Oneiros for logi. Despite the well spread damps of the Moist team, their frigate wing is obliterated in the first two and a half minutes of the match by the Easily Excited drone swarm, a great decision giving them a nice point advantage to potentially sit on, forcing Moist to try something or face losing the match. Sadly, despite pounding at various ships there seems to be nothing Moist can do, gaining only one point due to Easily Excited bringing a 99 point setup. Final score: 1 – 100 Match 11: Ushra’Khan vs. TEST Alliance Please Ignore

  Null-Sec summary and replay. This was a match of perception for me. Ushra’Khan have a long history in the AT starting all the way back in ATIII, meaning a lot of people consider them to be a very highly ranked team. However, if you actually look at their results they’ve always petered out in the first few rounds. TEST on the other hand are widely known on TQ for their pride in being more awful than anyone else, but last year managed to win two of their matches before being knocked out.
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Ushra bring two Rattlers to the field, with Scimi logi and Nighthawk links, supported by triple Hawk and triple Worm, making for a very tanky team. TEST’s team is similar to the one we saw from Devil’s Warrior Alliance earlier, mixing double Minmatar Command Ship in with a Gila/Worm team with Scimitar logi. Both teams try to nuke each other’s Scimi, however, Dante from TEST manages to survive for a good 40 seconds where Ugleb from Ushra melts almost immediately. TEST quickly capitalise on their lead by taking down a Hawk, then the Nighthawk, then going to work on Ushra’s frigate wing. Ushra go for Faife’s Sleipnir which takes a long time to die thanks to his ASB, despite not having logi support. One of the best things you can do in the AT for your team is to die as slowly as possible, which TEST’s pilots manage to do very well here, allowing them to gain a huge advantage by the four minute mark. At this point each team starts trading mainline DPS ships, a Gila goes down for TEST, Ushra loses a Rattler, and the pure ship advantage is enough to make it an easy win from there for the TEST team. Final score: 47 – 100 Match 12: Tactical Narcotics Team vs. A Nest of Vipers

  Null-Sec summary and replay. When we saw each team land on grid, we knew this match was going to be something we would likely not see again for a while. Both teams bring setups of the like we had not seen this year, without using the maximum possible number of pilots. TNT bring an insane DPS shield setup of Navy Domis, two VNIs and an Ishtar for DPS, supported by a Scimitar, Celestis and Flycatcher. Navy Domis don’t get the point bonus like it’s brother the regular Domi, but it’s bonuses are split between guns and drones, so while they may have a great DPS number on paper, it can be very hard to apply without a strong wing of tackle. ANOV bring triple Tengu with a Paladin of all things, supported again by Scimitar logi, two Garmurs, a Talwar and a Kestrel. ANOV start off the match well by damping TNTs Celestis, meaning it can’t apply its own damps. Both teams try to break each others reps for a few minutes, but nothing breaks until TNTs Ishtar is traded for ANOVs Tengu. Here TNT decide to burn their Navy Domis in on the battleball of ANOV and get their second Tengu kill, losing only their Celestis a few seconds later. After a little more back and forth we get to the 2 minute mark and the points are even with neither team really breaking anything. The TNT’s Scimi is barely keeping Jeraggerjack’s VNI up, while the Navy Domis are struggling to get on top of anything. Thankfully (for TNT), ANOV’s Paladin randomly launches himself, careening over the edge of glory, giving TNT the point advantage and the match. Final score: 63 – 37 Match 13: LowSechnaya Sholupen vs. The Camel Empire

  Null-Sec summary and replay. Despite never participating in the AT before and the Alliance itself only being formed at the end of March this year, rather close to the deadline, everyone knew Camel Empire were going to be one of the big names this year, especially after their amazing performance under their previous name ‘Thingy’ at NEO2. Speaking of names, LowSechnaya Sholupen prompted a 30 minute discussion in the caster Skype channel on how the hell we were going to talk about them without accidentally doing a Sean Connery impression. LS (which is how I plan to address them from now on) brought the third Typhoon-based comp of the day, with their Flag-gorn, Oneiros for logi and stealth bombers. Camel brought a fleet far more consistent with the themes we had seen during the day; two Rattlers and a boosting Claymore with a Scimitar for logi, supported by a heavy damp wing of two Maulus and a Celestis, tagging on the ever-popular triple Heretic gang to nuke the opposition’s frig support. Unsurprisingly, the Camel Heretics manage to vaporise all of LS’s bombers (and this a considerable amount of their DPS) within the first minute of the game, followed shortly by the first Phoon which died so fast I thought their Oneiros pilot had fallen asleep. Camel execute perfectly and with precision, following their early aggression by killing the Flagship Bhaalgorn and the rest of the team following soon after. I felt kind of sorry for LS – they drew a damn good team in the first round and got rolled. I hope they get the opportunity to show us a bit more fight in the loser’s bracket. Final score: 0 – 100 Match 14: The Kadeshi vs. The Fourth District

  Null-Sec summary and replay. I love Gallente blaster comps, so I fell in love with both these teams as soon as I saw them. Kadeshi bring a giant DPS team of three Brutix (one non-Navy), three Vexors and three Enyos, supported by a Abso and Oneiros for logi. In a similar vein, Fourth bring three Proteus and a Myrm with two Vexors and Oneiros logi, but due to the increased point usage of the Proteus (and actually using twelve pilots) they resort to two Vengeances, a Merlin and two Tristans for support. A lot of matches can feel like two swordsmen fencing, looking for openings and trying to throw the other off with a feint as to where they will strike. This match was two burly blokes getting drunk in a bar then smashing each other over the head with bar stools and whatever else was within reach. The match begins with The Kadeshi trading their regular Brutix for two of Fourth’s Vexors, then a logi trade. This is a great exchange for The Kadeshi, as they also manage to pick off two Tristans in the process. However, the Proteus has a big tank – a REALLY big tank. In the time it takes Kadeshi to burn through the first of Fourth’s three Proteus, they lose both their Brutix Navys. Xissit’s Proteus happily takes a beating while his team burns through all three of Kadeshi’s Vexors, after which their Enyos get tackled and taken down. The Kadeshi manage to take down another Proteus before they run out of ships, which is going to be a pain due to the SP loss for Fourth’s pilots, but thankfully they didn’t have another match they might want to run Proteus again in this weekend, having a whole week to retrain whichever subsystems they lost. Final score: 65 – 100 Match 15: Disavowed vs. M.I.F

  Null-Sec summary and replay. There were couple of teams on day one who subscribed to the philosophy of low-number, high-point setups, but few managed to make it work. Disavowed sadly fell into this group. They bring a Scorp Navy, two Ravens, a Vulture, Nighthawk and Drake Navy. M.I.F deploy a similar but still fundamentally different team to what we’ve seen during the day: two fleet ‘Phoons, two Sleipnirs, a Basilisk for logi and a mix of Merlins, Worms and a Stiletto for frigate support. There’s not really that much to say about this match – it’s just M.I.F slowly overpowering the reps of the Tengu first on the two Ravens, followed by the Drake, then the Tengu, the Navy Scorp and finally the Vulture, without ever being in much trouble. Final score: 0 – 100 Match 16: HUN Reloaded vs. Sleeper Social Club

  Null-Sec summary and replay. HUN are an old school top dog in the AT – theyve competed in nearly every one since their debut performance beating PL in the finals of AT IV, then coming in second more recently at ATX to Verge of Collapse. HUN got hit pretty hard by fate last year in ATXI by drawing Darkside for the first round, then after a gruelling run in the losers bracket, finally being eliminated by Agony. Sleeper Social Club on the other hand have quietly been building themselves into a very scary force in the tournament, something I am proud of as their team consists largely of old friends who I learnt to fly with during my EVE University days.
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HUN bring another super-mega-ultra drone DPS comp to the field, comprised of a Myrm, Eos, three VNIs and three Vexors, along with the interesting choice of double Navitas frigate for logi and a Maulus/Taranis combo. SSC on the other hand bring another comp to make Elise wet himself a little as it has an Orthrus taking care of a pretty typical core setup for the day: triple Gila, triple Worm, with a Claymore and Scimitar, rounded off by two Harpies and a Stiletto. SSC go straight for the slow, T1 resist Myrm, taking it down super fast while HUN hammer the Scimi to no avail. SSC quickly follow up the Myrm kill with a Vexor and an Ishtar. With a jam on SSC’s Scimi, HUN tries to kill a Gila, losing another Vexor in the process. SSC then make an interesting decision to go for the HUN Eos, a very tanky but high DPS ship, trading their second Gila for it. HUN go for SSCs final Gila, getting a really useful jam on the Scimi, but SSC wreak havoc on HUNs cruisers and frigate support, cementing their advantage and taking the match. Final score: 40 – 100   Ships of the day – Worm and Heretic Worms have proven to be hard to tackle down, have a great tank, and supply their team with a  superb DPS output. Heretics have been obliterating frigates and drones alike, usually giving their team a quick advantage at the start of the match.   Apoth ♥
Tags: apothne, ATXII

About the author

Apothne

Apothne is a proud member of Sniggerdly and an experienced roaming FC. He is a Guest FC and Lecturer for EVE University and anyone who invites him to ramble on their comms for a few hours. He is currently one of the most active and experienced player commentators for EVE Tournaments, including hosting and casting AT XII-XV and all #EVE_NT leagues, as well as the Amarr Championships on stage at Fanfest 2016.

  • ughh!

    make your articles fun to read. block of text vs few pictures is dull. cut some ads, add in more of your own graphics, link some vids, enlarge the white space. your ads on AT previously did not seem to generate that much of interest. make the page display more…yummy!

  • Kamar Raimo

    Nice writeup of all the matches. Unfortunately I missed that Clockwork Pineapple vs. RAZOR match. Sounded like quite a show. I also did not see Tuskers vs. CFT. Seeing Tinkerhell smashed would have given me personal pleasure. Speaking of which, Ushra’Khan failed to deliver any of that by letting TEST win. As we all know, each time TEST wins, a cute bunny gets shot.

    I also would have wished Affirmative a lot more success. Like you said Greygal is an amazing person and the enthusiasm Affirmative bring to the fight is great. At least I know that they wont be sore about losing as long as they had adrenaline charged fun.

  • Taka

    Nice summary. I only just got to watch the matches and I’m curious as to why HUN Reloaded were allowed to have 2 logistics frigates on field? I thought that only 1 ship could have remote reps fitted for a team?

    • Greygal

      The rules state one t1 or one t2 logi, or one t3 fit for logi, or two logi frigates. The logi frigates are the only type of logi ship you can field two of.

  • Greygal

    Thanks for the kind words, Apothne! Yes, in hindsight, bringing our flagship Rattlesnake was a mistake; it was also a last-minute decision. After an older, 9-person version of our Ultima team setup was posted on the Eve-O forums 30 hours before the first match by a now-former team member (after failing to sell us out to Pasta, who honorably informed me of his attempt), we were genuinely scrambling to come up with something to bring to the first match. Ultima is our Golem-based drone team. We had no way of knowing what else had been sold or given away, and no real time to rework any of our other setups, so we decided to go with Ultima anyway and put it all on the line.

    No guts, no glory, after all!

    As the information was now publicly available for anyone to see, we knew that Pasta would likely adjust their own setup to counter us as hard as they could. From practice, we knew that two Armageddons were quite painful to Ultima, and we knew that Pasta had an Armageddon flagship. We decided to ban the Armageddon, so that way we’d only have to face one Armageddon – albeit a flagship fit one – which we knew was challenging, but doable.

    From market intel, it seemed like that Pasta was most likely to bring an Armageddon/Gila or Armageddon/Eos setup. We knew how to fight an Armageddon/Eos setup from practice, and honestly couldn’t quite imagine them bringing an Armageddon/Gila setup, but also banned the Gila just in case (plus Gilas hurt).

    From watching their fights last year (plus I fought against them as Pizza on Agony’s team last year), we figured they would go for our small ships first then the shiny ship. At the last minute, we decided to bring the flagship Rattlesnake to buy our Vargur more time (or Golem if by chance they didn’t ban it. Would have been shocked beyond belief if they didn’t ban it!) We fully expected to lose our flagship – no doubt at all that we would lose it, in fact – but we hoped that the one to two minutes it would take to kill the flagship before they turned their DPS onto our Vargur would be long enough for us to kill enough of their DPS for the Vargur to tank the rest.

    We were not expecting Heretics. And, I hate to admit it, it never occurred to me that they would fit additional neuts in the Eos. Fail 🙂

    So, our light ships died super fast, think about 30 seconds to kill them all (we figured they would last about 50-60 seconds), and our flagship took about 40 seconds to die, as the neuts shut down everything, even his DCU.

    We primaried their Oneiros, and we should have stayed on that instead of briefly switching to the Heretics (in an attempt to keep the worms alive) then back to the Oneiros. We should have either just stayed on the Oneiros, or gone after the Heretics immediately, or gone after the Armageddon after the Oneiros died. Heat of the battle and all, things happen 🙂 If we had changed any of these primary choices, we likely would have had more of a fighting chance. Who knows for sure?

    As to the Vargur fit… in practice, the Vargur (our substitute in case of Golem ban) died faster than the Golem. We decided to do something somewhat unexpected and dual tank it. The AAR would rep while the ASB reloaded. This actually worked brilliantly in testing against a single Armageddon, but failed against two Armageddons. Knowing that they could only bring on Armageddon, albeit flagship fit, we knew the AAR would struggle for cap, but hopefully not so much that it wouldn’t keep the Vargur alive for the time period we needed it to stay alive. Like I said, I simply never occurred to me they’d fit neuts on their Eos’s. 🙂 The AAR managed to eek out enough cap for four cycles, but that was not enough time for the ASB to reload, so the Vargur died about 45 seconds after Pasta primaried it.

    The remaining pilots could not lock the Armageddon, as he was out of their damped-down targeting range, so they tried to kill some of the smaller stuff. Pinot heroically used one of the MJU’s to get in range of the Armaggedon, landing perfectly just about on top of him, actually managed to get his drones on to him, but, of course, there was no way for him to tank the damage.

    The rest, as they say, is history.

    We knew we were taking a huge risk – some would say a gamble beyond imagination – not only bringing a setup that had been posted for all the world to see, but to also field an imaginatively-fit second-choice key ship for the setup AND a flagship we knew had no chance of surviving the fight. Ahhh… if it had worked, oh can you imagine the reaction?!? Alas, we went for broke, put it all on the line, and it failed.

    No regrets, not a single one.

    Pasta’s informing me that one of my members tried to sell us out was an act of high honor that I will not forget. I don’t begrudge them at all for using the information to give them the best possible chance of beating us once the information was publicly available. They gave us a damn good fight, one we had a TON of fun fighting, and the experience was absolutely worth it, no matter the outcome.

    I’d like to thank everyone on the Affirmative team for all their hard work and amazing support and positive spirits throughout those crazy hours leading up to the fight. Being betrayed brought us closer together than we’d ever been before. The mood was high going into and throughout the match, we were even laughing at the end.

    I promised them it’d be giggle worthy, and it was!

    • Kamar Raimo

      “After an older, 9-person version of our Ultima team setup was posted on the Eve-O forums 30 hours before the first match”

      Aaah the metagame 🙂

      Nice story Greygal. I remember you telling me that you didn’t have high hopes winning much during AT, but that you do expect to have a lot of fun trying. Stories like this which even involve such metagaming back-and-forth shenanigans are truly the stuff of stories to tell for many days to come.

  • Forlorn Wongraven

    First rule about winning a tournament is not talking about the tournament.