This entry has been written from an ‘out of character’ perspective to discuss day one of Alliance Tournament XII.
Well that’s one for the memories. My second alliance tournament as a pilot and my first match since the fifth tournament! Nerves were high, not helped by the fact our preferred FC’s connection went very sketchy indeed ten minutes before the match started. We ended up swapping him out to fly a smaller ship (from a Rattlesnake) and hoped for the best. Luckily, he made it through the match without another disconnect!
The ship bans we were quite happy with as we got to fly the setup we wanted to start with. The big surprise for us was the lack of sensor damps in TEST’s setup! In our practice matches against other teams the meta was dominated by Drone/Damp setups which led to us gearing towards counter-damping. Although the opening matches of the AT did suggest that would be the dominant theme, there have been far fewer matches than I was expecting to go down that route. I thought we’d see far more damp-wars than we have so far. I’m not sure if we will see more of it coming in later on or if the meta is shifting away from that.
In the end, I think I let my damp-obsession get the better of me and I flew on the assumption that as the Ushra’Khan logi pilot, I was going to get damped down hard. I became a bit too focused on sticking close to my team to provide reps and didn’t give myself the range that would have kept me alive a bit longer. Losing our logi early gave TEST an edge that swung the match although we did drop their logi fairly early on in return. I’ll need to watch the recording back later but I think I miss-clicked in my scramble to lock ships at the start and sat stationary for a little while as the TEST tackle swooped down on my Scimitar. I intentionally delayed activating my MWD in order to conserve cap but may have been too slow to switch it on and pull range.
Despite all of that, and despite losing the match, our team was quite happy with our performance and thoroughly enjoyed the experience! It was pretty funny listening to the commentators talk about an early defeat demoralising teams as everyone was laughing, joking and fist pumping with adrenaline on our teamspeak! 😀
It was very gratifying to hear all of the (mostly) positive things being said about our performance (and TEST’s) on the Twitch stream. It seems we didn’t disgrace ourselves even if I am feeling that I personally flew better in practice than I did on the day. Ah well, we had fun. And that is such a relief to say as the preparation we put in for this has been stressful and frustrating. It seems that TEST got wind of the issues we have been having in getting enough players together to hold meaningful practice matches and were expecting us to field a sub-12 man tinker setup of some sort.
It has been tough. We have had a small core of hard working individuals putting in a lot of work but we have really struggled at times to get enough bodies onto the test servers to practice fleet compositions. We had good days when we felt we were getting somewhere, then we had bad days where we would struggle to get anything useful done. Tempers have run high, frustrations have gotten the better of people and less than a week ago we had a very serious conversation about withdrawing from the tournament altogether.
All of which was swept aside today and replaced with a group of guys determined to put on a good fight. And after that fight, we had one pumped up group of people ready to do it all over again. A celebratory cruiser roam set out straight afterwards. Heads are held high today in Ushra’Khan, despite what the scoreboard says. I think our team is going to be feeling pretty fired up for next weekend. So look out A Nest Of Vipers, Ushra’Khan will be coming for you! 😉