Friday, 31 July 2015

[Podcast] Cap Stable 74 with Callduron and Oaa Rhaawii

The Brave Alliance Tournament team featured on another podcast this week:

Cap Stable Episode 74: The Quaternion of Q


 We were delighted to be part of their show and they asked us interesting questions.

Sunday, 19 July 2015

One day in the life of the Brave Collective.

A lot of people seem to be wondering how Brave is getting on. Have we collapsed completely after leaving sov? Are rumours of a resurgence arising from a return to the alliance's low sec origins true?

I'll tell you about yesterday's activities and let you decide.

18th July 2015

2015-07-18 00:36:16 A junior FC pings a Talwar roam.

2015-07-18 01:46:23 A FC calls for a Caracal fleet for a fight in Aunsou, our staging system.

2015-07-18 02:33:41 A FC calls for torp bombers for black ops hot drops.

2015-07-18 04:19:46 A FC randomly decides he'd like to visit the Eve Gate and pings for destroyers to go on a roam to there.

2015-07-18 12:25:16 A ping goes out for torp bombers. A corp has tackled a carrier and needs more dps.

2015-07-18 16:40:35 A cruiser fleet is called in Aunsou, led by a guest FC from NC., one of the top pvp alliances in the game.

 2015-07-18 18:00:52 (Tournament squad only) Our Alliance Tournament practice starts, a 2 hour training session where we play a number of other alliances on the test server. Squad members only (although the squad is currently recruiting a select few more pilots).

2015-07-18 20:31:09 POCO bash.

2015-07-18 21:04:15 A Dojo class teaching manual piloting with our AT squad, open to everyone. We got a number of people very new to the game. 5 members of the squad are there to help teach and I ran the class. 4 people won prizes, one person got horribly murdered by the MOA guys who decided to hunt us. Of the people who won prizes one won for making a pun that made me laugh, 3 won by managing a trial that had them hold scram on my Moa, while orbiting manually, while dodging my smartbombing as I tried to slingshot them while we were being probed down and hunted by hostiles!

2015-07-18 21:11:36 One of our senior FCs, Extrems pings for Talwars to fight in Aunsou.

2015-07-18 21:35:58 Time to ship up in Aunsou, Extrems pings for cruisers.

2015-07-18 22:25:17 Carrier tackled ping goes out, the cruiser fleet has found ludicrous amounts of content as half of low sec piles into our system for a massive punch-up.

2015-07-18 23:16:43 Things have quietened down in Aunsou. However an interesting glitch has occurred, giving FC Extrems the chance to mess up someone's night. Inties and fast attack frigates are called for a long range roam.

Here's a video of the fights that Extrems FCed in Aunsou:

In addition to all that we had corp stuff going on (my corp was involved in a Syndicate v the rest of the universe punch up over a Black Omega moon), I taught a newbro the basics of Jita station trading and we have our usual permanent defence fleet running with no FC and a fly whatever you want approach running in our home system (except when the big fights in Aunsou happened then everyone jumped across to get in the properly run fleet).


What did your alliance do yesterday?

(If it was boring join Brave Newbies if you want to talk to our recruiters or just fly down here to Aunsou and shoot someone).

Saturday, 18 July 2015

[Podcast] High Drag ep 54, featuring Callduron and Avaren Dias.

High Drag is always excellent and should be on your list without me needing to recommend it.

Still the last episode is of special note because I'm on it.

First time I've been on a podcast, was really good fun.

Wednesday, 1 July 2015

Brave: The WOKA-4 plan

In Brave we have a problem. On the one hand many of the high skill point pilots want sov null with the ratting and mining opportunities and the epic large scale battles. On the other hand we are an alliance that recruits large numbers of very new players and we want to give them opportunities to develop in an environment that isn't as brutally hard as a backs-to-the-wall, last-days-of-Rome all-out sov defence.

One solution that has been suggested is to split the alliance into a newbie friendly lowsec campus and a separate sov section.

Here's a look at how we could do that using systems right next door to each other: Okagaiken, a system in Caldari faction war space and W-4NUU, a system in Cloud Ring. Effectively HERO would have 2 capitals, 2 adjacent market hubs, a conurbation collectively known as WOKA-4.

Cloud Ring: one of Eve's prettiest regions

Now Cloud Ring has its own inhabitants but my suggestion is that instead of fighting them all we ally with as many of them as we can, building the kind of relationships needed to hold sov space. Waffles won't blue us; on the other hand we might be the last best hope for J4LP now that they're no longer protected by The Imperium.

This would position us very near to PH, Karmafleet and Waffles and not all that far from RvB, Stay Frosty and E Uni's low sec and null sec campuses so there would be plenty of fun content for our newbros.

Sov in Cloud Ring is for the most part pretty awful but there's a silver lining to that in that we are more likely to be able to compete for it. Plus things may change in phase 3 of the Sov Revamp where CCP will be looking at nullsec rewards. If we can get Fweddit (J4LP) on board there's the possibility to peacefully gain access to Cloud Ring's only good constellation.

This plan combines the advantages of my previous Nennamaila plan with a genuinely attainable sov project.

Diplomatic content: developing links and alliances with major players in the region - Caldari and Gallente militias, The Imperium, Snuff Box, PH/Waffles/PL. Dealing with Cloud Ring sov owners: Waffles, Lethal Intent, J4LP, SMA, Iron Armada.

Here be chickuns!

Sov: in Fozziesov the only way to protect space is to live in it which means that although some null superpower could throw us out of Cloud Ring if they want (and from time to time this surely will happen), we can just shrug, focus on lowsec stuff and then reconquer W-4 after they move on. This means we can to a certain extent keep assets in sov space as they can't, in the long term, be trapped so long as we remain interested and based in WOKA-4.

This means we can at last perhaps have a relatively peaceful period for those who want to build up isk while retaining the availability of content for people who want it.

Moons: Dotlan lists 12 R64s in Cloud Ring (no dyspro) and just 1 in Black Rise (but Black Rise data lacks 0.4 systems).

Jump bridge/caps: from W-4 most of Cloud Ring is conveniently inside jump range.

High sec access is fairly easy - the nearest system is 5 jumps away but watch out for Waffles gate camps in Kinakka. Jump freighter access from Jita is very easy.

Cloud Ring is like Catch - a crossroads region - with exits to 5 other null sec regions and 2 low sec regions.

I think this is a strong option for Brave and HERO offering all types of content and isk-making opportunities. Pvp would be fantastic with a much broader range of challenges including fights against people much weaker than us.

Alliance Tournament: Captain's report stardate 2015.06.30

Well it's been a funny old week in Brave's AT squad.

Tuesday practice - cancelled due to lack of people.

Thursday practice cancelled due to lack of people.

OK, screw this time to do some management.

Now I am the grandson and great grandson of farmers and there's an old farmer's trick that works wonders with stubborn mules.

First the carrot:

We will give out prizes based on contribution.

Everyone in the alliance: CCP will be giving out medals to every character that was a member of the participating alliances on the first day of the tournament. CCP Logibro confirmed to me all 15000 of us will be getting a medal from CCP. The better the team does the shinier the medals so think of the newbros when we warp to the arena on August 15th.

All other prizes are for squad members. If they decide to cash out please give first refusal to fellow squad members, second refusal to members of the alliance otherwise I don't care who you sell it to.

1st-3rd place: 12 ingame Alliance Tournament Medal inventory items are given to teams that come
1st-3rd. These will be allocated to the 12 people who contributed the most and don't count against other rewards.

If we win: Alliance Tournament Cup becomes property of the Brave Collective for 1 year.

Plex, ludicrously OP prize ships and ship skins. - all this stuff goes in a pool. We will list the squad by contribution. Top person gets an item, then the next then the next.

Teams that place between 17th and 32nd will receive 5 PLEX
Teams that place in the top 16 will receive 15 PLEX

Ship skins
10 Nightmare skins per win that are pretty rare and look like the Fiend/Imp.

Ships Feast your eyes! (linked above)

Example. If we come 4th we get 3 Fiends, 3 Imps, about 60 Nightmare skins and 15 plex. So handing them out to a 30 man squad we'd give:
top contributor - choice of Fiend or Imp, 2 skins
2nd - choice of Fiend or Imp, 2 skins
3rd - choice of Fiend or Imp, 2 skins
4th - choice of Fiend or Imp, 2 skins
5th - choice of Fiend or Imp, 2 skins
6th - last ship, 2 skins
7th-21st - 2 skins, 1 plex
22nd - 30th 2 skins.

More realistically we may get something like this:
10 skins, 5 plex so
1st-10th one skin
11th - 15th one plex
16th-30th nothing

We may even (loss - loss) get this:
1st-30th nothing apart from drama cynos on the subreddit.

Oh and I'm neither guaranteeing myself in nor ruling myself out. If I boundary violate like a dumbass and knock us out I probably won't count my contribution that high but if I do well you better believe I want one of them sweet sweet Fiends! Same for Tosan and anyone else who gets roped in to do management stuff.

Then the stick:

Guys I love you.

You know I love you.


We had to cancel 2 practices this week because of low turnout. So we're on a cusp - are we going to take this seriously or is it just a casual thing where people rock up on the day and get owned, shooting off fireworks as we go down?

You know me well enough to know where I stand on this.

Now I have a queue of people knocking on the door who would love a chance to take part in what I think is going to be an amazing experience for us. Not to mention people who wouldn't mind a shiny Nightmare skin.

So from here on out if you're really apathetic I'm going to replace you. (Still love you tho).

The rule is: if you don't show up to practice over a 14 day period you're out.

Now that's not megaharsh, it's just 2 hours a fortnight. Holidays illness are fine. Please notify me if you can but if I kick you then you rock back up and say "I've just been in hospital for 3 weeks" I'll reinstate you asap.

Now it's possible some people think "I'm a kick-ass player, I don't need to practice."

If you're a kickass player we're not practicing so you can get good, we're practising so our weaker 
squad members can get shored up by you. Suppose you're a fantastic tackle frigate pilot. Well we might want you to guard our logi. The logi however might be a bit raw and sits in the wrong place or comes too close or doesn't know what to do when damped. Well you're his partner - you talk to each other and practice how to deal with those situations. Maybe he needs to come in - so you anticipate what he's vulnerable to and tackle it right, telling him to go left. Once the damps are off he wants to pull range but he's tackled. So you peel.

The team within a team which is you and the logi you're protecting can't do all this unless you've learned to play together and when to key up and talk to each other.

When you intervene like this as a manager you never know quite what's going to happen. Will it work? Will it blow up in your face? So it was a nervous team captain that turned up to the Saturday practice, the most important practice of the week, the one where usually we play another team.

Pandemic Horde had turned up and we agreed to practice a few matches against them. Like us a newbie organisation, unlike us, advised and trained by tournament experts and past winners, PL. So no pressure then.

And we rocked them 3-0.

Now don't read too much into this we were both a bit short-handed and our comp was rock to their scissors. Still it felt damn good.

The PH squad are now friends and will be future practice partners and I'll be cheering loudly for them in their matches. Their captain is ex-Brave player Broodalpha.

Sunday saw another good practice and tonight another. Activity is up, skill is up, we're still making a lot of mistake but we're now all actively helping each other fix mistakes with people comfortable enough with each other to point things out and to accept criticism gracefully.

I'm sure there will be more hiccups and dramas to come before we nervously step out in front of the watching eyes of the whole of New Eden but if you're wondering if things are going well with the AT Squad?

Why yes, I do believe they are.

Tuesday, 30 June 2015

The Expendables: a fun fleet doctrine for young and old

Here's how to fly a very cheap but very effective fleet doctrine.

The idea is to screen your fleet from enemy dps using targeting range damps, then hamper their lock speed using scan resolution damps then zerg them down with small high damage blaster atrons.

The atron is the fastest frigate when microwarpdriving, able to achieve an overheated speed of 6003 m/s without gang links.

Blasters are the highest damage weapon.

This cheap comp packs an effective punch.

Here's how to fly it:

1) use a blank clone or at least a cheap clone - if you have expensive implants your head costs more that your fleet.

2) have a stash of these ships.

3) warp to near a target, range damp and scan res damp the targets. In fleet v fleet combat you should be spreading your damps across 3 targets near your name so Miguel might damp Leo, Meo and Neo.

4) rush in with the atrons and shoot it lots. In most cases you want to concentrate firepower on one target but in some situations you may be asked to spread tackle (against a weaker fleet for instance).

4a) Mauluses can just chill at long range or can come in a little. There's no need to be closer than 30km and it's good to be aligned out. The ecm drones are utterly horrible on some poor shmuck who is heavily damped, he'll never want to fight a maulus again.

Heat early, heat often.

5) Casualties self-destruct, grab a new ship and race after the fleet (the fleet doesn't wait for them).

70% atrons, 30% Mauluses

Both fits cost around 3 million isk. Feel free to use cheaper/easier to fit substitutes or more expensive if that's how you roll.

[Atron, Expendable]

Damage Control II
Magnetic Vortex Stabilizer I
Overdrive Injector System II

5MN Y-T8 Compact Microwarpdrive
X5 Prototype Engine Enervator
J5b Phased Prototype Warp Scrambler I

Anode Light Neutron Particle Cannon I, Caldari Navy Antimatter Charge S
Anode Light Neutron Particle Cannon I, Caldari Navy Antimatter Charge S
Anode Light Neutron Particle Cannon I, Caldari Navy Antimatter Charge S
[Empty High slot]

Small Transverse Bulkhead I
Small Transverse Bulkhead I
Small Transverse Bulkhead I

Cargo: Caldari Navy Antimatter Charge S x960

[Maulus, Expendable]

Damage Control II
F-89 Synchronized Signal Amplifier
F-89 Synchronized Signal Amplifier

5MN Y-T8 Compact Microwarpdrive
Low Frequency Sensor Suppressor I, Targeting Range Dampening Script
Low Frequency Sensor Suppressor I, Targeting Range Dampening Script
Low Frequency Sensor Suppressor I, Targeting Range Dampening Script

Drone Link Augmentor I
Drone Link Augmentor I

Small Transverse Bulkhead I
Small Transverse Bulkhead I
Small Transverse Bulkhead I

Hornet EC-300 x4
Hornet EC-300 x2
(use Hobgoblin Is if you can't use ECM drones)

Saturday, 27 June 2015

AAR: Strat op EWar 2015.06.26 The Battle of 1-5GBW

I volunteered to do the ewar fleet today alongside Blue Ice's Eagles and Tengus and Scythian Painspike's Bombers. We had been banging the drums for a big form up - no less than a Supercapital Ship Assembly Array was at stake here.

One of me newbros rather plaintively told me that he only had an Atron and could he bring that. Sure he could, I said and fiendishly made him my scout. His confidence wasn't improved by someone explaining that it meant he would be committing suicide on our behalf.

He did a great job and we arrived in system without incident and set up bookmarks all around the POS. Then we just chilled out there and waited.

And waited.

I had someone reporting intel to me as our main fleet engaged on the F-88 but it sounded like caps. After a while I was told there were Legions there too. I keyed up on Global to ask whether they wanted the Ewar fleet there and I think things got a bit flustered as they realised they'd forgotten about us and wanted us there 10 minutes ago.

We had some fun and games trying to position but eventually BL solved it for us by warping their Dreads to the pos we were desperately trying to rep up in time.

Main fleet warped there and then my ewar fleet got there too.

I kept us out a bit waiting to assess what BL had. Dreads close to the pos, a legion fleet covering them.

I put us about 100km off but people were complaining about not being able to target so I burned us in a bit closer. We got a solid 5 minutes of disruption but then we got a bit too close (70km-ish) and the mighty half a billion isk strategic cruisers decided they were fed up of having their fun ruined by T1 frigs costing about 1 mill each.

I made 2 mistakes. I took us in too close and I didn't have my crucifiers on watch list. I asked if they were ok, couple of minutes later I asked if they were ok again, still ok. couple of minutes later asked if they were ok - all dead. I should have used my watch list to help me realise I needed to warp out and reposition.

Bovril had very kindly provided us with 1000 frigates to reship into. Unfortunately the wires must have got a bit crossed because they weren't fit and they weren't crucifiers. Still people cheerfully grabbed them and went back in for another go. Not long after we discovered that F-88 was clear and we could shop there for actual modules, significantly improving the efficacy of our ships.

About that time I was asked to supply some webbing frigates to Blue Ice's fleet and as I only had 38 people and all the Crucis were dead I just told everyone to move over to his fleet and web his primaries.

I refitted my svipul to ecm burst and web and rushed to say hello to my friends in BL but they didn't appreciate being ecm bursted so I found myself in a pod.

I was told there were no Crucifiers in the restock ships but then I happened to find one among the 4 ships I scrounged so I gave that a whirl. I just put 3 targeting range scripts in, a mwd and 3 tds. I then tried simply keeping at range 135km on the legions as I think their max range is 110km or so. It worked like a charm so I'll definitely be looking to do that next time I run ewar.

Now earlier on I had suggested to my guys that they should td Baki Yuku, an old friend of mine with ginormous wallet and a notoriously bad temper, and ask him for 10 million isk to get them to transfer the tds to someone else. He seems to have taken it poorly and apparently many newbros were told to "F*** Off Scrub" then blocked. :(

As I was sitting in my cruci tding Baki and some of the others I had a variation on that idea.

[16:12:52] Callduron > hi
[16:12:54] [redacted] > Damn you. :P
[16:13:01] Callduron > for 10m I'll put it on Baki instead
[16:13:40] [redacted] > Really? Ha! :P
[16:14:01] Callduron > it's a bargain tbh
[16:15:18] [redacted] > Done. ^
[16:15:20] [redacted] > HAHAH!
[16:15:40] Callduron > pleasure doing business :)
[16:15:48] [redacted] > Are you not Fcing?
[16:16:04] Callduron > i was fcing the ewar guys but most of them are dead so we merged
[16:16:18] [redacted] > I see.
[16:16:25] Callduron > overheating triple td on baki
[16:17:13] Callduron > ha ha he broke anchor to try to get in range of me <3 p="">
 [16:17:20] Callduron > give him my love on comms
[16:17:23] [redacted] > ^
[16:17:28] [redacted] > I will after the fleet. :P
[16:17:37] [redacted]> Going to be a while. This is. :P
[16:25:28] [redacted]> GF ^

So guys new strategy for next time - td everyone who isn't Baki and offer to move it to Baki for a reasonable fee.

After the fleet I found this in my mailbox:

From: [redacted]
Sent: 2015.06.26 16:11
To: Callduron,
Hi you are probably busy with the op, just wanted to let you know that youve been nothing but great today. This was my first time ever flying with anybody else and I had a great time. I think I know now what up and down means... and that I should warp to a perch and not into a bubble of death.
Thanks again for pulling me in that way. You are great :)

Makes it all worth while.