The ATXIII Experience of a Complete Bastard

Get a look behind the scenes of an up-and-coming AT team with this guest write-up by Bastards. pilot Takeda Kashada. -Niden What a fucking brilliant experience! This is how I wish to start this article and even though we’ve been knocked out cold I still stick with that statement. A few months ago Nashh Kadavr, CEO of The Bastards, asked who would be up for a challenge unlike any before: to compete in this year’s Alliance Tournament. Initially everyone was all pumped up. “YEAH! LET’S DO IT!” came the cries on comms during the nights following this mail. Then reality started to kick in. Can we do this? Can I not get divorced in the middle of such a big time commitment over these weekends? How much do babysitters cost these days? Most of us have families and with that comes a lack of game time. Could we manage this? Is it worth signing up and putting in a shit showing like CODE. last year? Individually we all weighed up the option and gave our answers to Nashh: we had a team. We are far from a professional AT team, and we had to work really hard to try and build a team around our low numbers, limited budget, mediocre skill points and varied time zones. So began our practices: what an eye opener. Many thanks to our scrim partners for the lessons handed down, sometimes by a brutal ass whipping. A special shout out for Shadow Cartel for showing us our first bomber tinker composition and then murdering us with it. Our EFT warriors rushed off to try and copy that comp the very same night. For those of you who haven’t taken part in an event such as the Alliance Tournament, trust in me when I say it is a massive task to be undertaken. The fitting and composition building is a mind boggling affair and someone who loves doing this is worth his weight in ISK. Then you take all that theory crafting and lay it on the line during practice.  You tinker, tweak, refine and go again and again and again until you are happy with how it performs, and if not, then you scrap it or shelve it for a time when it can shine. After a relatively short training schedule compared to some of the big boys, it came down to match day. Hands shaking and arse clenching doesn’t come close to describing the experience. Throughout my time in EvE I’ve done a few high risk things, put a few billion on the line like it’s no big deal. When I stepped into that stealth bomber for our first match I was all nerves and adrenaline for the next 10 minutes. Calls came down in comms about the countdown to being moved, double checking fits, ammo, implants. We are ready. All of a sudden we’re dragged from the comfort of our ship hangar and slammed down in the cold harsh darkness of Jove space, arranged in a strange perfect line, equally spaced out and equally as worried. CCP then gave us instructions to follow, warp between 0-50km, mess up and you risk being moved to 0, things like that. You won’t believe how careful all of us must have been on getting that warp-in correct. It is something everyone has done a million times on TQ, but this time it carried serious consequences. Over the next two weekends we fought four battles, and each was really tense but a great experience.

First match

Our plan here was to not mess up and look like complete idiots, which I think we managed to pull off. The match took the whole 10 minutes of normal time and then we entered reverse TiDi. Reverse TiDi means that time speeds up over the next few minutes until it maxes out at x10 normal speed. None of us had experienced this before and I can tell you that this is something you cannot prepare for. Initially as we entered reverse TiDi we did well, ripping apart a Tristan frigate. As the match went on and the speed increased we struggled to target call effectively. This led to our doom. Dead Terrorists didn’t falter like we had and with superior target switching they went through us like a hot knife through butter. Massive kudos to them, they showed us what we should have done during that situation and beat us soundly 100-5 points.

Second match

  The Bastards. team POV and comms After our last match ended in a devastating loss we were determined to put on a great show and fight tooth and nail for a win. With that thought in mind we turned our sights to the enemy’s Onerios logistics ship. The countdown reached zero and off we went. The composition we fielded is based on a high speed, high damage rush, and boy did it do the job. Our screening tackle caught a Griffin and melted him as the main DPS body caught hold of the logistics and went to work.  One minute into the fight and we’d killed a support frigate and the logistics, great job! Then came the cleanup work. We went through them one by one and came out with a flawless victory. Morale was at an all-time high and we achieved our objective of winning one match.

Third match

We can fucking do this! That was the feeling all week on comms and Whatsapp. We may have been fighting in the kiddie pool area of the Alliance Tournament, but we could still win and get our name out there. As we landed on the field we saw that CAStabouts had fielded a double marauder, double Fleet Typhoon and a six frigate support wing. To be honest, as we looked at the other team we weren’t one hundred percent sure we could win this, but you don’t come to the fight and then chicken out. We decided that we would go down swinging everything we had. If they were going to win, they were going to pay with blood. The match started and CAStabouts MJD’d over to our Scimitar and removed it inside of a minute of the start. Now we were in deep shit. Our main DPS core aimed right at the enemy links and removed them almost right away much to the scorn, then praise of one of the commentators. Now the fight was on. We traded ships back and forth and the points lead changed along with each ship. Eventually, all that was left on field was two Sleipnirs, two Cyclones, and a Merlin versus two Golems, a Kestrel, and a Breacher. The Cyclones and the Merlin were lost, traded for a Breacher and a Golem. We’ll take that trade every day. At the end of a brutal fight we stood victorious but battered.

Fourth match

We all had a beer, bio, and a rush to Jita to fit up a new comp. Yes, we were new and left ourselves a little short on time. After a short discussion on comms we decided against bringing our now well praised, high octane shield rush setup and decided on a Rapid Light Missile tinker variation we liked: Barghast, Vulture, Tengu, 2 x Cerberus, Onyx, 2 x Caracals and the lesser spotted battle Badger. Lets rock this fight or go out in style! Then came the banning process in which Agony chose to ban out the Tengu and Cerberus. In all fairness to Agony, I’m not sure if they maneuvered us into a corner and forced us to bring the shield rush or they just got lucky with bans; I’m leaning toward the former. Anyways, our bomber tinker was out of the question due to pilot numbers and the RLM tinker was aborted due to the excellent banning. That left the shield rush which had served us so well … until now. We got called predictable but it was a mix of inexperience, lack of prepared compositions, and being out played at the ban stage. Looking back at the match now, it wasn’t exciting to fly in and even more boring to watch, but hats off to Agony, they deserved that win 100%. I just wish we could have gone down swinging instead of tied up and bent over.   After taking part in these four matches I can again say that without doubt, this was one of my best experiences in EVE. I implore other EVE players to try to do this, even if only once in the entire time they play the game. You will have something unique to talk about on comms on those late nights, when at meets drinking with other players and in general passing with people in game. I would like to extend many thanks to our various practice partners for showing us things we hadn’t even thought about, to CCP for creating this epic PvP experience, to Bei Artjay and the guys from KICK, Sir Squeebles, Chessur, Apothne, and Elise Randolph for getting excited about how we flew and making us feel really positive. One more final thank you is to my fellow Bastards who put in effort above and beyond what I thought possible in a very short period of time to give me my gaming highlight of the year. If people want to stop by and chat or insult me, join the Dbastards channel in game or find me @TakedaKashada on Twitter. If you want to do it in person over a beer, just start talking to me at this year’s EVE_NT player gathering in Nottingham.
Tags: Alliance Tournament XIII, ATXIII, Takeda

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Takeda Kashada