Wednesday 31 December 2014

A return to Magic: The Gathering, this time online

My Christmas present to myself was a starter pack in Magic: the Gathering Online.

I have a long and rather complicated relationship with this game.

I played obsessively and competitively with the paper version about 20 years ago. I won two national tournaments here in the UK. (Not quite US standard but still pretty good). I spent about £5000 in the 18 months or so I played which seems to me a ridiculous amount of money for a game. (By comparison I have 5 accounts in Eve and pay about £90 a year, paying for one and getting isk for the others as I play).

So it's with an element of trepidation I get back into it.

So what's the attraction?

Magic is quite simply a very good game on many levels. It's fun, it's utterly absorbing, it's competitive and rewards competence and dedication. It also has an astonishingly deep metagame with an economy more complex even than Eve's and wonderful stories of shennanigans and bonhomie.

After some research it seems you don't need to be much better than average to more or less pay your way through the game. In fact if you're above average it's very possible to "go infinite." To play competitively you pay in a currency known as "tix" (a virtual item properly called an Event Ticket) and that wins you boosters depending how well you do, which can be sold for more tix. Win enough boosters and you take out more than you put in.

Of course there's a great trap in Magic and it's the hidden secret of most game economies. Most people don't cash out. And it's very easy to say to yourself "oh I have spent £200 but I've got cards worth £200 so I haven't really lost anything," then you stop playing, never cash out, and you've still spent £200 but you never got £200 back for your card collection. This is why cards like the notorious Black Lotus are so expensive because most copies of the card are sat in storage somewhere gathering dust (well hopefully not literally - dust is mildly acidic!)

$5000 for a small piece of paper with a picture of a flower. Ho  hum....

The attraction for me is the complexity and seeing how well I can do. I'm not particularly bothered about having access to all the cards, as I was when I was a serious competitive player. (The danger though is that if I start playing it a lot I might get sucked back in). So for me that gives me the chance to eventually become a big fish in a small pond so to speak, ie a player who wins quite often but still hangs around the little leagues.

It's also a wonderful game, tense, utterly absorbing and a test of intellect.

I certainly haven't given up my other games, still playing Eve and Hearthstone but at some point the latter might have to go. Hearthstone feels very light after Magic, usually I know if I'll win or lose in 2 minutes in Hearthstone.

Next post I'll explain how I'm going about getting started with links and a strategy.

Monday 15 December 2014

The circle is now complete!

The circle is now complete, the pupil has become the master.

My first article was just published on TheMittani.Com.

Sunday 23 November 2014

Bah, I feel like Liddell Hart

Most people have heard of the Blitzkrieg, the terrifying, tremendous revolution in military thinking that Germany introduced at the start of the Second World War. The idea is to punch through the enemy line by concentrating force on a narrow section of the enemy front (called the "Spearpoint") then drive tanks and motorised support through the gap to get behind the rest of the enemy front line soldiers and overrun their rear support areas like canteens ammo dumps and command bases.

Far fewer people know the story of the origins of the sensational new military doctrine.

A British officer, Captain Basil Liddell Hart, invented it and attempted to convince the rather traditional officials at the Ministry of Defence that it would work. Having recently been through the First World War where aggressive audacity was brutally punished by defensive positions based on machine guns and barbed wire there weren't many takers. It was in Germany where there was more of an appetite for a fresh approach.

Tank warfare guru Liddell Hart

In null sec it's very difficult to get fleet doctrines adopted by one's alliance. Theorycrafting doctrines is a job a lot of people want, so often it gets allocated by seniority even if the people coming up with the ideas are not active FCs. There are a lot of moving parts to implementing a doctrine from importing the ships, persuading pilots to own one, reimbursing them and of course taking them out and using them correctly.

So like a lot of FCs I come up with good ideas from time to time that my side leaves in the In Tray to moulder and gather dust.

While I was in Test I tried quite hard to get the alliance to adopt sniper cormorants. It was a real struggle, I got kinda half way and even ran a few cormorant fleets but people weren't turning up in the right ships and none of the other FCs were using the doctrine so it withered and died. I even took it against Mr Vee where I was able to out-manoeuvre his Jaguar fleet and keep the Cormorants in range to shoot while being out of range to get shot but we didn't have enough people in the right ships to apply effective dps. A few weeks later CFC introduced its very successful Harpy fleet - small rail sniper ships just like Cormorants which have been a spectacular success ever since and remain one of the CFC's most used doctrines.

Tonight we formed against NC. in Fountain to fight over a timer that they didn't want to contest. They formed in drop and blap Claws, a new doctrine not seen in null sec before. Eve Uni used to fly a similar Thrasher doctrine. The idea is you land, align, shoot then warp off, the whole process taking under 3 seconds. The Claws get one shot off, with the very high alpha of artillery and then are gone before anyone can shoot back (unless specially designed for fast lock). Even our instacane was not able to lock them in time and get a shot in.

The devastating Claw class interceptor.
The Claws did really well, killing about 16 CFC ships including this tengu. While we balled up in our blob we watched them perch above us, pick a target then warp down to it and kill it. For example, this scimitar. Note how negligible is the damage caused by the other interceptors in the gang. It was all about the Claws.

No Claws were lost in this battle.

Why am I feeling frustrated?

I'll just quote myself from a post I put in the Bastion forums after my friend Idoru and me had been theorycrafting on voice comms:

Here's a high skill, high damage variation. In this you don't point at all, you simply kill them. It's a concept for a fleet of only Clawtys. 576 volley damage at 27 km, 288 volley damage at 38 km (most inties can't even lock that far!). With close range ammo they do 1008 each volley damage allowing a fleet of 20 to warp to the bad guys, one shot a cruiser, then warp out immediately before most things can even lock them.
(Bastion forums, June 11th 2014)

Now I know how Liddell Hart must have felt when the German tanks chased the British Expeditionary Force out of France in 1940 using his ideas on Manoeuvre Warfare.

Wednesday 5 November 2014

Jumping is hard now.

FC: is anyone not clear to jump?

[20:51:18] BuffFresh > x
[20:51:19] Althurus Vendrius > x
[20:51:20] Odin Valknir > x 3hrs
[20:51:24] Jelle K > x
[20:51:24] Krestianin > x
[20:51:27] THE PROPHIT > X
[20:51:32] Minchurra > the red one you mouthbreathers
[20:51:32] Hirotakimora > the timeeerrrrr
[20:51:33] Julia Starling > the orange one
[20:51:33] Odin Valknir > yes thats reactivation timer
[20:51:38] Odin Valknir > YES THATS THE ORANGE ONE
[20:51:44] Raven Seer > rip
[20:51:48] Zen'ya Zoku > o7
[20:51:51] Odin Valknir > my blue is 23hrs
[20:51:55] Havoc Faux Amatin > why is ccp making us math hard
[20:52:14] h4kun4 > they wanna make eve a geek game again
[20:52:18] JohnyRingo > Odin Valknir you need a break lol
[20:52:30] h4kun4 > ohwait
[20:52:35] JohnyRingo > cuz its gonna go up now..ways up
[20:52:53] Odin Valknir > i cant jump till the orange timer goes away anyway
[20:52:58] Odin Valknir > so i may as well drop from fleet
[20:53:03] Adrie Atticus > hide in the tower
[20:53:16] Odin Valknir > my orange timer is 3hrs so lol

Tuesday 4 November 2014

I've started a corp: Officer Training School

I'm delighted to say I'm giving running a corp a try. I've had experience in previous games of running guilds - in Star Wars Galaxies where we acquired a certain notoriety and in Rifts where we couldn't quite progress in the raids fast enough to retain our useful players. I also co-founded a WoW guild that was server first for several years.

The Officer Training School is a corp built around a playstyle - intense interest in Eve tactics with a bunch of enthusiasts testing out different doctrines tactics and fits. Nullsec is a great environment for this kind of play as we see all sorts of pvp from big fleet fights to small skirmishes and solo combat.

Anyone interested in joining or simply in talking to us join in game channel OffTS

Wednesday 15 October 2014

Blackbird, blackbird

But I know, too,
That the blackbird is involved
In what I know.

- Wallace Stevens

The blackbird ecm cruiser is one of the delights of Eve gameplay. In the CFC coalition we use it to play a minor role in our ecm fleets. These mostly rely on Celestises and do jamming. Personally I love the knowledge that by jamming someone I've ruined their night.

In full tidi, which applied for the op where I took there pictures, a jam cycle lasts 200 seconds after which it takes about 50 seconds for a tengu to lock up a target. 4 minutes of another player's life, cruelly annihilated every time my modules work.

Our blob will block out the sun!

The brightness of the right 2 jams shows they are active, jamming out two hostile FCs

With our info links up my range was 246km. Hard to jam Slippery Petes though

Woot, all those tengu wrecks!

In the end I collected 81 million isk worth of salvage and loot.

Thursday 9 October 2014

A correction and an apology.

I said in my last article The Bastion has always aimed to be a rapid deployment alliance. This is not quite right. We aimed to be a force projection alliance.

Packing up our carriers with ships, go somewhere, and get an early foothold is a little different from responding rapidly.

Of course in Phoebe that again might get revisited.

Wednesday 1 October 2014

So Someone Tied Lead Weights To The Bottom Of All The Carriers...

(Internal post I thought might interest the rest of you: )

Carrier jump range reduced to 5 LY  with perfect skills and a cooldown timer on chain jumps.

I actually rather like this but of course it has big implications for our alliance.

First rapid pangalactic deployment needs to be reassessed. We may need to deploy to Delve by flying to Delve in interceptors then using local resources rather than bringing a carrier full of ships each. Effectively JF's may take over the strategic role of Carriers with an expectation that people defending a broad space (like Vale to Delve) will need to have ship stashes at multiple locations.

Next we are now a real flank. We are right bang next to PL/NC. space and the rest of the CFC can't get caps here fast. So our flank, consisting of Razor, us and Co2 gains tremendous strategic significance. We must be a rock, a real bastion.

And here's why I like it - the challenge, the danger. We really could lose all our space if we are asleep at the wheel the way the old Northern Coalition did. We can;t count on a massive blob to save us.

At the same time it's a real chance to shine. If we can be the rapid deployment alliance that we've always aspired to be and which we've achieved so successfully in the past then we can show the rest of the CFC and the rest of Eve how amazing we are.

It's game on. This is CCP's attempt to make holding an empire that's an entire side of the map big impossible. CCP's attempt to break our coalition.

Challenge accepted.

Tuesday 30 September 2014

BB#59: A fleet commander's guide to bookmarks

The current blog banter is on terrain. That's a pretty big topic and I'm going to focus on one small part of it for one small part of the community.

A fleet commander has a big learning curve. One in fact that never truly stops because fights are so different and the complexities such that permutations are endless. I wouldn't want to put anyone off starting just by grabbing a few of your friends and roaming about until you find someone to shoot. I do think though that after you've run a few fleets it's natural to want to take it to the next level.

Once you've decided you want to improve and develop an edge over other FCs then one of the ways you can do it is by collecting bookmarks. Tactical bookmarks are one of the most important tools in a good FCs box and great FCs will usually have extensive collections of bookmarks in the systems they usually fight.

The simplest use of bookmarks in nullsec is for travelling without getting bombed or bubbled. Make a bookmark 200 km to 250km off a stargate and you can warp a fleet of ships to that gate without worrying about a dictor jumping in and bubbling the gate, or decloaking and bubbling which can be a set up for a pipe bombing attempt. (This is where a bubble traps your fleet all on the same spot and bombers decloak and launch bombs about 9 seconds before you land. You land, you're trapped, 1 second later the fuse burns out on the bombs and they blow you up).

In Eve a tactical grid is by default around 250km - 300km in radius. For this reason it's best not to make your grid bookmarks over 250km from the stargate as you may be unable to see hostiles at the gate from your perch. (Perch is another name for tactical bookmark). You also don't want to make your bookmark so close that you can't jump in then warp up to your tactical. As ships appear 15km around a gate this means the minimum safe distance is 150km (minimum warp) +15 km or 165km off the gate. Any closer and you risk leaving some ships behind when you fleet warp up to your tactical.

Tactical bookmarks may be made further out if you're anticipating a big fleet fight. All those objects on the tactical grid extend the grid and may make it possible to be on grid while a lot further out - 500km - 700km and still on grid is not rare. So if you're setting up to attack or defend a structure you want to make several bookmarks around the structure at warpable range as well as a couple relatively deep if expecting a big fight.

One of my favourite setups is this:
200km behind
200km in front
200km left
200km right
200km above
200km below
(all relative to the sun. In other words if you're at the 200km behind bm and you look at the sun you'll see your starting point 200km away right in front of the sun).

With the starting point (stargate or whatever) this gives you 7 warpable points in a diamond shape. Since you can warp to any of these at range this allows superlative mobility around the grid. Suppose you have ships with 100km range and your enemy is in ships with 50 km range. Set up 90km above. He'll jump in. Start shooting when he decloaks. If he's faster he'll probably burn right at you. When he gets to a little outside his effective range warp your guys to a new sniping spot. If you warp to the Left 200 bookmark at range 100km that should put you about 100km from him again and you can resume sniping. He may try instead to probe you and warp. Well you can anticipate him warping so have your guys align and as soon as he starts to warp his fleet warp yours. He'll land where you were, you land 100km off and start sniping again.

Fights between experienced FCs are often cat and mouse games of positional tussling. My advice is never concede positional advantage when you don't have to. Keep bouncing around the grid until the fight is on your terms.

If you don't have bookmarks prepared then you can use fleet members or alts to provide warp ins. A cov ops is a very good alt for this. Always have them moving so when people warp to them your cov ops won't get decloaked. Interceptors are great for providing positional warpins even against fleets with good damage projection. Against ishtars which, depending on fit, usually hit out to about 80-100km I used an interceptor to fly 120km behind them giving our FC the ability to warp to me at 100km and land 20km off the ishtars. You can even dangerzone your mobile Warp To ship into the hostile fleets range so long as you coordinate hitting the Fleet Warp with telling him to warp out well.

Making bookmarks is often done solo and painstakingly. A very fast interceptor is the best ship - a Claw or some such with nanos in the lows. You may prefer using a covops, I have a overdrive fit Cheetah I sometimes use for this. The Cheetah is safer for bookmarking hostile poses.

No description of terrain use would be complete without mention of one of the most important in-game aids - the system map. Looking at the geography of the system, the layout of the planets, stations and stargates helps a lot when preparing bookmarks there for fighting. In fact there's a technique that can be quite useful based on system geography. For snipers and bombers it can be nice to have a bookmark saved with where it aligns to in the name. Suppose you make a bookmark 50km behind a stargate in line with planet 5. Sit there in bombers. Enemy fleet jumps in. Align P5, decloak, launch bombs, squad warp the bombers to P5 (or to an in-line safe that you had previously bookmarked). Your bombers instawarp which not only protects them but means your bombs won't get aborted due to hostile fire so much.

Have fun with terrain if you're an FC! It's one of the things that distinguishes a good FC.

Saturday 9 August 2014

Newbie question

Newbie questions are the best questions. I saw this in Jouvulen today:

"Why is some1 in a cargo container?"

Great to see Eve is as perplexing to new people as ever.

Monday 4 August 2014

Silly season

From Hansard (via BuzzFeed), the record of proceedings of the UK Parliament, 21st July 2014:

Mike Weatherley: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice if he will bring forward legislative proposals to ensure that cyber criminals who steal online items in video games with a real-world monetary value received the same sentences as criminals who steal real-world items of the same monetary value. [205872]

Hattip: QBlog

Thursday 31 July 2014

We petition the obama administration to:

Launch A Naval Embargo Against the Nation of Iceland Until WhenIaminSpace is Unbanned on EVE.


It's real. American direct democracy in action. Might make a pleasant change from invading countries for their oil. 

Currently it's still 99919 short of the 100 000 needed.

Tuesday 29 July 2014

Interceptor Mastery class

I recently gave a class and ran a tournament around mastering interceptors.

There's a bit of a backstory.

I took out an interceptor roam and we caught a tengu on a gate. He was baiting us - showing off his ability to tank us. I doggedly kept us on him for a long time battering away at him then sneakily brought in heavier ships while he was aggressed. He frantically tried to deaggress and jump out but we just managed to blow him up in the nick of time. He even posted a youtube video showing that from his side he deaggressed in time but the gate wouldn't let him jump. Some desynch or lag. I've no idea whether he successfully petitioned his loss but in any event no one has asked us to hand the loot back and it got given to the FC.

Now I'm not really used to people giving the FC loot. I suppose I could just quietly sell it off but I thought I'd rather give it back to the alliance in some way.

Next night me and Myara were out hunting Mordus blueprints and fights in low sec. We picked up a Garmur bpc before dying in glory to some local denizens.

A Garmur was worth a little under 200 million isk.

Well that's a coincidence.

I bought Myara out of his share and built the Garmur. I fitted it up then shipped it out to nullsec a few weeks later, real life being hectic. And I wanted to run some kind of tournament.

Now I'd noticed that some idiot died in a Garmur to an afterburner tech 1 frigate so I wanted the tournament to teach the prizewinner how not to lose his ship so easily.

I ran a class on Interceptors slightly delayed while we chased some random trespassers, killing a VNI

Class covered practicals in
- manual orbiting
- slingshotting
- range management
- evasion
- jousting

We then held the tourney. If players broke a rule they got eliminated. The rules were slowly introduced one at a time making it more complicated

Rule 1: Keep 100km of the marker
Rule 2: Maintain a point at all times on the designated Catcher (some failed this because of cap issues or range management.)
Rule 3: Don't get scrammed by The Catcher (pro Catcher caught a few of them, yarr!)
Rule 4: Participants can foul other participants using their scrams (Substantia got a really dirty scram in on Senshi to eliminate him in 3rd place).

Winner: Thomasina
2nd: Substantia
3rd Senshi

Thomasina won a t2 fit Garmur

The video is here. In the video notes are links to sections of the class so if you want to see just that section click the link. The video starts with me stationary in my Crow and the pilots trying to orbit me at 20km without using the orbit button - they have to double click space to fly their ship and watch the range.

The tournament was great fun to run and the class and tourney really put people through their paces!

Well that looks familiar...

A few days ago I posted a summary of a battle I was in on Reddit.

Yesterday a rewritten version appeared uncredited on TMC.

A snarky comment, that I appear to have written my first TMC article, was censored.

Ho hum.

Sunday 20 July 2014


Eve player PuppyUK of Macabre Volum in the Northern Coalition. alliance was killed recently in a motorbike accident.

Our thoughts are with his family and friends.

Here is PuppyUK on top form entertaining his fleet a few years ago (NSFW, so NSFW):

Friday 18 July 2014

The Battle of 9P4O-F, 16th July 2014

Nice video on youtube of this fight from the same perspective I had in my tengu.

The fight begins with Bastion/EG jumping it to an Ishtar fleet of XDeath and friends. We had tengus they were in ishtars and some other drone boats like VNI. The tengus began killing ishtars and VNIs, XDeath began killing our logi. The tengus moved in closer and early on in the video you'll see the pilot ammo switch to Antimatter.

Razor brought in a bunch of proteuses repped by carriers but had some problems positioning, somewhat to the displeasure of our FC. He felt they should have lit a cyno in the fight instead of trying to warp carriers around on what had become a very heavily bubbled grid.

Nulli added ishtars to the already impressive wall of russian ishtars. Not sure why people are giving them grief, seems a basically sound way to support a temporary ally.

I guess the key to the fight was that the ishtars were shooting scimis and recons at long range while we went in close and used antimatter. So high damage ammo with rails v moderate damage long range drones (I want to say Bouncers but not 100% sure). I have to say our logi did a stand up job of tanking the fight out.

EG/Bastion paid 14 scimis and some recons which was pretty light compared to the damage we dealt out. From our perspective in the tengus it was an absolute turkey shoot, firing non stop pretty much for what must have been close to 50 minute (my first kill died 48 mins before my last). We didn't always manage to break reps but their logi found it difficult to apply reps in time so 3 out of 4 targets died before they caught enough reps. Our FC did a great job of moving on to new targets.

After winning the subcap battle we brought Dreads in to reff the ihub so hopefully we'll get a rematch soon.

Eventually we cynoed in Scimi reships and Xdeath and Nulli had to flee the field. An enterprising attempt from a member of CO2 to hoover our loot failed sadly when someone blew up his mobile tractor unit.

It was fun as hell to fight in and I added a page and a half of kills to my personal killboard. I burned my guns to 90% damaged, repaired them and burned them to 50% again before we finished. (Slightly twitching at the lack of overheating in the video but it doesn't seem to be such a thing in nullsec as it is elsewhere).

Props to XDeath and Nulli, good fight.

I didn't take any screenshots but here's a picture of a tengufleet from a few days earlier.

Sunday 29 June 2014

BB57: Survival of the fittest

Drackarn pointed this killmail to me recently and proposed the following for a blog banter:
Obviously that is a not just a bad fit, its horrific. But the guy might not know any better. We get these all the time circulating social media and corp/alliance chat. How do we educate players on fitting? This guy has been playing four months and can fly a BC, but has no idea how to fit one. What could be done to help bro's like this?
Furthermore, what (if any) responsibility do veterans players have in finding these players and instructing them on the finer arts of ship fitting? If it exists, does it extend beyond them into teaching PvP skills, ISK making skills, market skills, social skills, life skills...

And another question you can think about is this: do purposely wrong fits, aka comedy fits or experimental fits or off-meta fits, offend you or your corp? Would you, like Rixx Javix when he was in Tuskers, face expulsion for fitting your ships differently than the accepted standard?

"Its the difference between streaking and getting caught with your pants down." - Kirith Kodachi

So not long after I wrote about hull tanking Kirith calls a Blog Banter on fitting. I guess it's already obvious where I stand on the issue.

So let's start by exploring the alternatives - a simple fitting system. You have 10 points. You can spend some on speed, some on tank and some on firepower. So for instance a kiting caracal might be 4 mobility 2 tank 4 firepower, a brawler maller might be 5 firepower 5 tank.

Does anyone want this?

Does anyone want to scrap our marvellous and complex rich spaceship engineering for some dumbed down version?

I love fitting ships. It's a great minigame. "EFT Warrior" or whatever you want to call it. I think people get frustrated because in a group game not everyone can be the fittings person. It's hard to get your special clever doctrine idea adopted in a corporation or alliance setting. What's more "kitchen sink" fleets where everyone flies their own individual choice of ship and fit are terrible and get taken to the cleaners by doctrine fleets.

So fitting is great, fitting drama or fitting constraints are what people chafe at. The Rixx incident in Tuskers was a case of a strong willed individual not being willing to fit the required doctrine. That's not really a fault of Eve's fitting system, it's an issue about people. It even resolved well imo - the individualist went on to become his own boss, forming Stay Frosty. Now that's very like what happens in people's professional lives. Someone works for a boss, hates it, goes to start their own business, becomes a success. I'd call that working as intended.

Now the thing with Eve's fitting that's so great is that there's a cycle of innovation. Dull hidebound doctrines lose to clever imaginative new ideas. Those new ideas become doctrine and individuality and divergence becomes frowned upon. This leads to stagnation which opens the door to innovation.

Now it is hard to be at that apex of alliance power where you're the person coming up with the new fits. It's going to tend to be the most experienced FCs who get to play with new doctrines, and the larger the organisation the harder it is to be one of the people who gets to say what everyone else flies.

Saturday 21 June 2014

Real men hull tank

For a long time in Eve hull tanking has been a joke. There are modules but they were pretty terrible, especially hull reppers which repair about a tenth of what an armour repper or shield repairer would do.

Forget everything you know about Eve tanking and just consider this:

APPLE style tanking:

mod that boosts apple resists by 30% costing 32 cap per 10 seconds.
rig that boosts apple hit points by 15%

PEAR style tanking:
mod that boosts pear resists by 20%, cap free
rig that boosts pear tank hit points by 15%

BANANA style tanking:
mod that boosts banana resists by 60%, small boosts to the resists of the other tanks, 1 cap per 30 seconds.
rig that boosts banana tank by 20%

Holy crap banana tanks look good.

Now let's look at it with the Eve info:

Shield style tanking:

mod that boosts shield resists by 30% costing 32 cap per 10 seconds.
rig that shield hit points by 15%

Armour style tanking:
mod that boosts armour resists by 20%, cap free
rig that boosts armour tank hit points by 15%

Hull style tanking:
mod that boosts hull resists by 60%, small boosts to the resists of the other tanks, 1 cap per 30 seconds.
rig that boosts hull tank by 20%

Now let's review hull tanking:
- unbelievably good resist all mods
- outstanding rigs
- mediocre +hit point option (Reinforced Bulkheads)
- shockingly bad active tank mods (Hull reppers)
- poor rep drones (hull rep drones rep half as much as the other rep drones).

If we just take the really good modules we get a skeleton Eve fit as follows:

Damage Control II

Transverse Bulkhead I
Transverse Bulkhead I
Transverse Bulkhead I

This fit leaves almost all your main module slots free while giving you a hull tank with 60% resists and 173% of base hull hit points for the ship type.

Now here's a thing I didn't know and you may not: Gallente ships have lots of hull hit points. It's a racial thing.

So now we're looking at Gallente ships which can make good use of the other slots. In general this approach is best suited to ships which need a bit more tank but can really use all of the slots. This probably means ships that are on the small size, it's less useful on a large ship with many slots like a Dominix.

Here's a fast aggressive Taranis tackler:

[Taranis, hull]

Damage Control II
Magnetic Field Stabilizer II
Overdrive Injector System II

Limited 1MN Microwarpdrive I
X5 Prototype Engine Enervator
Warp Scrambler II

Light Neutron Blaster II, Void S
Light Neutron Blaster II, Void S
Light Neutron Blaster II, Void S
[Empty High slot]

Small Transverse Bulkhead I
Small Transverse Bulkhead I

2 Hornet EC-300s

It uses the extra slots freed up to get more speed and damage while packing the mids with mwd and tackle. It has 4.5k ehp which is fairly high for an inty, it has 236 dps which is exceptionally high for an inty and it moves over 4km/s. It can web scram and ecm jam.

If you armour tanked this you'd lose damage and speed modules, plus a plate would slow you down, if you shield tanked it you'd lose a web and need an auxiliary power module to give you enough grid, costing you either your overdrive or your mag stab.

Here's another particularly evil fit: a cap stable triple neut tristan with 122 dps and 5.1k ehp. It will neut out a half cap tristan in 8 seconds!

[Tristan, hull]

Damage Control II
Drone Damage Amplifier II
Overdrive Injector System II

Small Capacitor Booster II, Navy Cap Booster 400
Warp Disruptor II
1MN Afterburner II

Small Unstable Power Fluctuator I
Small Unstable Power Fluctuator I
Small Unstable Power Fluctuator I

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

Hobgoblin II x5

Last but not least I present a beast of a Vexor: 882 dps, 2 web, scram, 1663 m/s, 17.3k effective hit points.

[Vexor, hull]

Damage Control II
Magnetic Field Stabilizer II
Magnetic Field Stabilizer II
Drone Damage Amplifier II
Drone Damage Amplifier II

Experimental 10MN Microwarpdrive I
X5 Prototype Engine Enervator
X5 Prototype Engine Enervator
J5b Phased Prototype Warp Scrambler I

Heavy Neutron Blaster II, Void M
Heavy Neutron Blaster II, Void M
Heavy Neutron Blaster II, Void M
Heavy Neutron Blaster II, Void M

Medium Transverse Bulkhead I
Medium Transverse Bulkhead I
Medium Transverse Bulkhead I

Ogre II x2
Hobgoblin II x1
Hammerhead II x2

Spare drones 10 Warrior IIs

(Image borrowed from Tiger Ears)

Saturday 14 June 2014

Nullsec: The Cold War heats up

A very large battle was fought yesterday in Delve in QY6-RK, at the southern end of the CFC Empire.

The N3 coalition responded to The Mittani's recent claim that there would be no summer war by reinforcing a LAWN CSAA - a large POS module capable of building titans or supercarriers. The CFC responded in force - I was part of a massive armada that included over 200 Megathron battleships. At one point on the POS grid there were 1290 ships - here's a D scan of ships on grid during the fight. According to the final battle report there were over 1000 from the CFC against just over 600 from N3 and HERO. Local peaked at just under 2000. Tidi was 10% for most of the battle.

These charts show the isk loss over time. At first N3 was winning the isk war but the battle turned and they took heavy losses disengaging.

Now politically it was a good time to test the CFC. CFC alliances Gents (in which I had found myself) and Li3 had recently collapsed with a new alliance, The Bastion, formed from the ashes. A reddit troll that FA had collapsed was widely believed. Two key corps left Razor Alliance. From the outside it may have looked like much of the CFC was close to failcascade.

However the reality lies in a term Gevlon coined: fleetbears. Most of the CFC happily rat or mine most of the time, making us look like easy prey to people who pvp all the time but we do get into our big ships and field strong numbers for key operations. "Carebears" who fleet up for, say, CSAA saves. A typical CFCer is ratting his way into a titan or super, occasionally pausing to join a strat op if it gets heavily pinged on jabber. This is quite simply a playstyle that works for many of us and to some extent the specific corp or alliance ticker doesn't matter so much as being able to rat in nullsec for the most part in peace and getting SRP-assisted defence when the Coalition is threatened. As The Mittani said when The Bastion was formed "For years we have noticed that corporations move around within the CFC, but almost never leave it."

The Bastion has proved to be a good home for most of the alliances it took in. We have active fleets and a core of aggressive pvpers and experienced players. And of course we do lots of ratting.

And the familiar issues that I found difficult to bear while I was on the side that opposes the CFC struck in full force. Pandemic Legion has spent the last month blowing up the ships that their allies need for the war, with a "friendly reset" of Nulli, much like the friendly reset of Test last year which led so rapidly into Test going broke in the Fountain War. There's a lack of coordination - while everyone in the CFC came to the op yesterday no one from Test was on the report and only 8 people from PL. Spaceship Samurai didn't come. Brave brought no more than Fatal Ascension and in much cheaper ships. Black Legion, MOA and Pasta brought low numbers and seemed equally happy to shoot either side.

This is why I left that team - it's frustrating if you want to win to see half your side not trying or even working against you.

The battle itself was a heavy defeat for N3 with over 43 billion isk lost and many T3 strategic cruisers killed. causing pilots to also lose skill points. It was also a great day for the salvagers and tractor units - at least those who weren't blown up by jealous friendlies.

Personally I added to my tally of celebrity kills by bagging both of Nulli's main FCs and picking up the leader of INK. I also bagged 14 T3 Cruisers.

The CFC got to the field first and set up around the pos. It was quickly repaired by carriers leading to a strategic win before the battle began. Our FC was very concerned about bombers so we formed by orbiting the pos shields in our battleships making it difficult for a single bombing run to kill a large clump of battleships.

N3 countered our apoc/megathron fleet by using protei and legions. They were armour tanked and were using their mid slots for tracking disruption, hoping that the low sig radii of the strategic cruisers would make them too difficult for the battleships to do effective damage to.

I think they basically got the maths wrong. First of all it's difficult to effectively ewar if you have lower numbers. No one tracking disrupted my Mega for the entire fight - there just weren't enough of them to cover us all. Next they're not bonused for tracking disruption - it would have been better to get Brave to come in Arbitrators and Crucifiers if they had wanted this tactic to work. Next Megathrons and Apocs both have ship bonuses to tracking - we're the battleships this tactic works least well on. Finally we simply weren't having trouble hitting. The primaries were double webbed and painted - hugely lowering their ability to sig tank us.

I do really admire the ballsiness of the N3 who gave this a really good shot but fighting out-numbered may work 3 v 5 it doesn't usually work in large battles.

Fired by the win the CFC's new Sky Marshall, Blawrf McTaggart has announced an aggressive campaign over the weekend. Expect more fights today.

(Hatip to reddit user /u/korniax for the beautiful screenshots).

Tuesday 10 June 2014

Damn you, Gevlon Goblin!

My evil campaign against Gevlon's minions of justice was doubly foiled yesterday. First the news broke that Darwin's Lemmings would not be deploying to Oasa, foiling my cunning plan to surgically remove their plasma pocos and buzz them daily with interceptor gangs.

Then I fell victim to my own favourite tactic as a MOA interceptor gang entered my new ratting system. With hindsight I realise this system has a flaw - it's very large. I had just started a long warp when the first neut appeared in local. By the time I landed there was an interceptor in the site already. I got pointed. I aligned out and tried to kill inties with Precision Cruise missiles and a gecko. Oh for a rapid heavy missile fit and a mobile depot! I also had a Domi alt and we had a raging battle - myself and my alt versus around 18 interceptors, funded by Goblin trading profits.

I drew blood killing three of them but their damage was too much for my overheated reps and my mjd trick was unsuccessful. Bye bye to my shiny new Rattlesnake! To add injury to injury they even killed my pod. They also got the domi

No doubt there'll be a smug Gloating Goblin post tomorrow morning. Good fight MOA!

Monday 9 June 2014

The Lemmings decided not to jump after all

    For a week or so I've been polishing my missile launchers in anticipation of the arrival of CFC arch-nemesis, Darwin's Lemmings, in nullsec, just 31 jumps from where we live.
    Hello Everyone,
    Darwins Lemmings is closing its doors !
    Our Plan to deploy to 0.0 will be canceled we simply dont got the members we need to be sucessfull in 0.0.
    We kicked the asses of some of the biggest alliances in EVE for a half YEAR !
    We washed away their Pocos in High Sec (The M8s who fly with us since we founded know what fun it was to outplay several goon FCs!) But the most important thing we did we where sending a message "RESISTANCE IS POSSIBLE" ! The most of the CFC laughed about us when we start called us
    "Pubbie Shit Lords" and unrelevant ! I didnt hear the Pubbie Shit Lord thing for months now :). Iam proud of everyone of you who became a PVP Guy during the last Months. It was a lot of work with some alarm clocking for me (during the poco wars) but i would do it again ! So i hope everyone of you had fun and learned something about PVP.
    You will find me always at the side of the underestimated !
    fly smart !
    doc know
    My Corp " The Red Barons" will do a 1 week break for recovering and then we will join a merc Alliance to keep up the pressure at the CFC in high sec !
    The Red Barons currently accepts applications. If you want to fly with us in the future then send in a application. If you dont meet the requirements but you are willing to focus on Logistics (Guardian) or Recon (Falcon) then send me your application (with a full api + eveboard (with password) maybe we can do something.

Wednesday 4 June 2014

Perspectives on Eve

(4:12:06 PM) callduron: i enjoy the phrasing on both sides
(4:12:15 PM) callduron: for example this on TMC
(4:12:17 PM) callduron: Less than five months into their holy crusade, Darwins Lemmings <.GRR.>, the centerpiece alliance for Gevlon Goblin’s “GRR Goons Project”, has called it quits.
(4:12:28 PM) callduron: will be this on Greedy Goblin
(4:12:56 PM) callduron: after 5 glorious months .... has declared victory and op success and is taking the fight to the next level

Scouting for dummies

Tuesday 3 June 2014

Hello Test Alliance my old friends, I've come to welp with you again.

(6/2/2014 8:08:01 PM) callduron: !ping all Fleet Type: Inty fast roam || Formup: TVN docked by 19.20 eve time || FC: Callduron || Reimbursement: Peacetime || Duration: approx 2hrs || Comms: BASTN OP 6|| Notes: we're won't be in Kansas any more, Dorothy

1) To serve and protect Krestianin

2) En route


3) The battle of V-3


The battle of HED-GP



FC's ship looking battered after hard night out.

Someone mentioned a wormhole going from our home in Vale out to Amarr space and I thought to myself "hmmm, that's near the new home of my old friends from Test Alliance Please Ignore."

I formed a small gang of inties with 2 guys in frigates who can't fly inties yet.

Just as we were leaving we had a call for help from Krestianin who was being hunted in his pod a few jumps away by a couple of frigates so we raced down there on our white horses and chivalrously rescued his expensive pod. We charged him a Police Pursuit Comet to be paid to our newest player, a cheap price for our service and protection.

Back on track we headed to the wormhole and most of us bookmarked it ok and it took us to Domain. We burned to Provi where CVA formed up a gang. They actually blocked us from going where we wanted to go so we went an alternative route. They raced us down that pipe too and got ahead of us so we simply turned around and burned the way we'd wanted to go anyway.

We next encountered a Nulli caracal fleet. We tried dangerzoning with their fast tackle a couple of times but didn't get a kill and lost one of our frigates. We raced ahead of them but they headed the same place as us - V-3, Brave's form up system. In V-3 we bounced around trying to pick off loose targets at the edges as Brave fought Nulli. After a while Nulli left and we bounced around fighting Hero, murdering a handful of ships. I got to take a few potshots at my old boss, Sapporo Jones.

We moved on to check out Test's mighty new space empire in YHN. Sadly the cupboard was bare - no one in system, no brave ratters out restoring the finances, no one for us to play with there. We pinged the SBUs just for fun then took an afk break. I guess you could say we went for a dump in Test's new space

We headed up to HED-GP. We camped the gate for a bit then a Deimos came in and aggressed. We took the fight but he was supported by a second Deimos and we lost a few people who went within web/scram range. We bailed. (Note, blaster Taranis not optimal in kitey Crow fleet).

Then boodabooda and another Test guy came in so we maneuvred into position to play. We were trying to manoeuver around Booda's cruiser and pick off his inty friend but he motored like a man on a mission. They started reinforcing and we were a little low in numbers so we bailed.

[22:01:03] BoodaBooda u scare?

Yes, sadly we were.

This time.

We ran back through high sec and got home just in time for Kith's ishtar fleet.

I enjoyed the repartee with Test

[20:56:05] Durpmen Durps You a nurse in the old peoples home now?

[20:57:42] Callduron he he think so

[21:03:05] Giovanni Titus how are you doing?

[21:03:16] Callduron really good they're leeting me fc

[21:03:23] Giovanni Titus  haha, rip

Low sec goes nuts!

Very entertaining in low sec, right now, I just FCed a 3.5 hour roam.

We got a ton of fights, found a Barghest bpc, sold it for 1.5 bill in Jita, found an offline pos, killed the SMA for a free Rokh and Cyclone.

So many low sec systems are buzzing with activity and half the names in local are flashy.

If you've nothing better to do tonight low sec is where it's at!

One of my alliance mates made a short video to celebrate.

Saturday 31 May 2014

BASTN frigate roam

This is a repost of an internal After Action Report. I'm Callduron.

As Callduron brought his hawk fleet home Ahriman made the mistake of coming on comms to say hi and got talked into taking out a low sec fleet. It was conditional on Callduron handling paplink and aar so this is being written by Callduron.

We formed a small gang of T1 frigates in Piekuri, 4 of us fairly new to low sec pvp.

And we did rather well!

We showed the new guys the ropes with some d scan hunting and Ahriman going ahead to bait fights/hunt. Ever bloodthirsty, Callduron spotted a cyno for our first kill.

We then met 2 incursi but Ahriman tore through them so fast the rest of us barely got there in time to whore.

We then camped inside a novice plex in a very busy system. An incursus came in to us but he was stabbed, followed shortly after by 2 slicers. We just got a scram and web on one as they burned off (he reached 9500m where the scram fails at 10km) and we killed him. The other was doing well until he got suckered into getting too close as we spread out around him and we webbed and scrammed him and soon killed him although he killed a merlin.

They came back in comets while we were looting and we killed them again for the loss of a firetail and an incursus. They shipped up to afs but we declined any further fights after a spirited exchange of views in local. Seems they really didn't like losing!

Amusingly the loud mouthed guy went straight off from fighting us to lose his daredevil 10 minutes after. I guess it wasn't his night.

We were winding down now so we headed back to Piekura with Cik reshipping in Jita and coming back. Just before we got back to base Callduron spotted a blinky yellow stabber on a gate. Call called for backup and sat at zero. The Stabber also had backup and a Vagabond turned up. Call jumped. The Vaga jumped and aggressed, Call jumped back and Ahriman and Call tackled the Stabber and started killing it. Ahriman was doing the lord's work with neuts so naturally got primaried first and went down just before the Stabber. Meanwhile Cik had joined for our team and a gnosis had joined for the bad guys, with the Vaga jumping back in. We killed the Stabber but lost our frigs, a respectable outcome.

So 6 T1 frigates (4 of them new to low sec) killed 4 faction frigs and a cruiser plus 2 incursi. oh and a cyno, let's not forget that. Great fleet Ahriman Taredi!

Heads up to everyone - Ahriman Taredi regularly runs these fleets on Friday nights.

BASTN Hawk roam

Repost of an internal After Action Report.

I formed us up in Hawk doctrine then did a short training drill in TVN to show my new logi anchor how I wanted him to position (relative to a jetcan labeled "BAD GUYS".) After the fleet positioned flawlessly we blapped the can for our first victory of the night.

Intel was received of a wandering Tengu so I took a chance on him choosing the MC60 pipe and burned us there quick but he had chosen a different direction. That was actually fine as it was a more interesting way to travel to where I wanted the fleet to go, we took the NCG jb and headed into Geminate.

Senshi had mentioned a new alliance moving into Gem called Flame something so we were heading to pay them a visit. En route I couldn't resist checking out the heavily ratted system of SV- but it was practically empty and besides my devious plan of having a dictor bubble the station was spoiled by their dastardly tactic of not having a station.

True confession time - I had slightly messed up my fleet comp. I assumed that someone would be coming in a random interceptor or frig that I could use as a scout but no, everyone was perfectly in hawks bursts plus one dic one eaf. You know what they say about assumptions....

I used two ab hawks as my scouts (Minchurra and Sploink). They did a wonderful job.

We did some interceptor fleet style shotgunning of ratting systems as we headed for FLAME space without any catches. In Flame's new station system I had my scouts play docking games for 5 minutes to see if they could convince a Deimos to slowboat off the station but he let them shoot him without taking the bait.

We moved to Flame's other systems looking for kills without luck and I decided to take us back via BWF or FDZ for a bit of danger. En route we did some shotgunning and actually got someone on grid with a rorqual which for some reason was in a grav site but sadly it entered warp just as senshi was about to scram it.

We then happened across what at first glance seemed to be a fight in OEY-OR. With hindsight it was a couple of roaming neut cruisers from Choke Point and a strong XDeathX hac gang (about 40). I took us bravely into the fight and the XDeathX FC panicked and told his guys to burn back to gate. We shot a Caracal (I thought we killed it but kb says no so he must have managed to jump out in deep structure) and we killed a Hurricane and his pod. Expert work from our logi prevented any losses.

Now I assumed we'd be in real trouble so meanwhile I had been anchoring the fleet, burning us out of the bubbles. As soon as the Cane died I warped us out to a planet. making a safe on the way then took a long warp to a second planet making 2 more safes. I bounced us into one of the safes and aligned the fleet by burning out a little ahead of them, aligned to one of my safes, then having the fleet anchor by approach to approximate an align. (Quite a neat technique, I came up with it on the fly).

The hostiles were a bit reluctant to jump into us. They pushed a sabre and a couple of inties in for a look so I took us back to the gate and we alligned out. After we took a few potshots at a sabre their tackle ran back to gate. Despite having twice our numbers and bigger ships they didn't want to come in, possibly because a similar FCON gang was also in the vicinity, possibly because he was worried all their tackle would die.

I wasn't going to go into them, I wasn't going to send in an ab Hawk to scout so I thought about it for a couple of minutes then took us out of Geminate the back way to 9-G. As I said at the time what we did was equivalent to a 14 year old kid running up to Mike Tyson, punching him in the leg and running away again - we killed their cane and extracted without loss against a fleet superior in both numbers and comp.

We burned back home and it was pointed out to me I'd forgotten to pap so after a heroic feat of frantic multitasking I managed to get a paplink put up just as the fastest people were docking.


Fun fleet, it was actually more entertaining than the killcount suggests because we moved fast and had a continual chain of possible kills. It felt good to draw blood then disengage against a much superior fleet.

One small room for improvement. I did say "load scourge fury" as we were in warp to the ahac gang but most people didn't. Dps on the caracal and the cane was a bit lower than it could have been. I also don't think people were overheating enough. (If you're on the cane kill compare your dps with top dps).

I'd also ask a couple of Hawks to switch their scrams for webs next time. 8 scrams and no webs isn't optimal. (assuming no one brings a hyena).

What was an absolute delight was people's willingness to step up to responsibility. I delegated a lot and people keyed up willing to be scouts, anchors, to take particular anoms on shotguns and so on. Very good work guys.

Thanks for flying Air Callduron!

Saturday 24 May 2014

Tuesday 20 May 2014

BASTN Inty roam

This is an After Action Report for a fleet I just ran for The Bastion. I really enjoyed myself. I'm not technically a CFC FC yet but hopefully that will happen soon.

I took a fleet out partly for the fun of it and also partly to test a few of our systems.

I believe Carneros pinged it but for some reason I didn't get the ping. I do get goon ones.

Spamming in alliance chat got me some people, spamming in our Bastn jabber channel got me some more, I think I had 10 inties and 2 T1 frigs in the end.

We burned to Cobalt Edge then raced to the system with the most recent ratting on dotlan. Spooked a lot of miners and a few blingy ratters. Some close ones but no kills. We then headed to another busy looking system and caught a Drake and a Hulk - sadly the Hulk got away before we could establish secondary points. The Drake didn't nor did his pod.

We then headed to Oasa where we found 4 carriers on D scan but didn't get a tackle. We did get a legion who was belt ratting on the way home. Higuise heroically pointed it until he died. Still inty for legion is a decent trade.

We got some superb angry Russian rage in local for that kill which I'm reliably informed meant "I kill your mother and rape your sheep." (Don't have the chat open, might have misremembered the order).

We then stopped off in Venal on the way back to get Higuise a noobship and accidentally found a fight. It was a very messy fight - we killed an Ishkur and put a loki into half armour but we had people missing/reshipping so we disengaged and regrouped. We lost a couple of inties and a frig. TRI got very mad and camped some of our guys into station with Onyx, T3s etc so like a true brave and loyal leader I told them they were on their own and led the rest of the guys back home. 3 velators were sacrificed to send people to TVN the quick way.

We nearly caught a cynabal 6 jumps out but it too got away and that, as they say in showbiz, was that.

- ragged comp
- superb fleet discipline
- non bubble immune ships coped well with our extreme pace (except the pod)
- we lost at least one to not disengaging. More practice with inties will reduce losses.
- upbeat friendly chat
- no paplinks available
- I'd like people to be able to get peacetime SRP later on please. (Total losses 3 inties and an atron).

I'd like more doctrine conformity (but I guess we need a doctrine first, right?) but otherwise went super smooth and made a lot of bad guys mad while entertaining us.

Also can I be a FC please?

Saturday 17 May 2014

A Newbie's Guide To Being A Pangalactic Superwarrior

written for my new alliance, The Bastion [BASTN]

Hello new person!

Welcome to this corner of the internet.

Before we go too much into specifics let's have a quick recap on how the internet works. Here's a reddit post about kittens.
Currently 3043 people like this post.

Here's a brilliant and technical analysis of Eve physics from an expert space warrior
Currently 24 people like this post.

Expressing this numerically, if you're a kitten THREE THOUSAND more people like you than if you're an expert space warrior. You're more than twelve thousand percent more liked.

We can put this into a mathematical expression:

Kittens > expert space warriors. By tons!

If your Eve life ever feels difficult or frustrating just remember this simple, empirically proved statistical fact - you're twelve thousand percent better than the narky bitter vet who shouted at you. And that's awesome.

Down to details, it may seem daunting that you're in an alliance that jumps across the universe to fight people. There's two important things that help you though, in fact the game mechanics advantage new players in this.

- you can deathclone to anywhere your corp has an office. When we deploy we normally rent an office at or next door to the target system.

- you can operate in almost any fleet in a tech 1 frigate. With a brand new character you just need to learn the microwarp drive and the warp disruptor to be a really effective tackle frigate pilot. Ewar frigates (Vigil, Crucifier, Maulus and Griffin) are also super fun and really really useful.

Let's recap - we can get you there. We can get your ships there - just ask a friend or your corp to get someone with a carrier to help move your ship. You'll probably have to change the ships' names to [Yourname]'s Slasher etc.

It's also likely that our market wizards will stock the deployment market with newbie friendly ships - these are often on alliance contracts.Some corps will have ships available, find out how your corp does this.

Once you get there your enemy is inactivity and your main weapon against this enemy is sociability. Talk to people. Make sure you have all the IT things sorted - jabber mumble. Get a microphone and talk to people.

Practice practice practice. Go out with one other person and practice tackling them burning perches and warping back, scouting and so on.

Now very occasionally there will be fleets you can't come on. Black Ops fleet work by teleporting ships but they can only teleport ships that fit covert ops cloaks so the minimum to be part of the operation is usually a Stealth Bomber. If in doubt ask the FC (Fleet Commander) if you can be of use.

Now once in a while you may get shouted at. As a FC let me explain why. We work in horrible conditions, we have to listen to multiple audio channels where different people are talking at once, while multitasking a ton of complex things. We have to monitor local, private chats, jabber chats. We have to know what the bad guys are doing, just did, are about to do and might do. In addition there's often aggravating alliance spacepolitics which makes us grumpy. (In one of my former alliances I was the senior active FC and our Recon people still didn't consider me spaceimportant enough to give me any actual recon).

FCs get grumpy.

So we might yell shut up or something but it's because we're busy stressed people in the middle of doing a really hard job.

If we annoy you please remember where we started this discussion - you are literally and provably TWELVE THOUSAND PER CENT better than us. We're internet nerds, you're kittens. So neer neer ner neer.

If you get really pissed off then please a) sleep on it. (A lot of times if I think I was rude I'll contact people after a fleet to apologise). b. raise it with your corp ceo or a diplomat. (No need to just let it go, newbie relations is really important - a FC may need to be made aware he's doing his job wrong). And finally c) if you really can't stand a particular FC simply stop joining his/her fleets. There's lots of other fleets to go on.

On to specifics, how you have fun as a new player in fleets:

- stay alive. Tackling is not a matter of just burning into a huge blob of ships and dying, often your best first move is to get 200km off a fight and watch it. A Tackler is often most useful at the end of the fight when the bad guys are trying to escape. One of my favourite memories is a fight when I was flying a Crow, which is a glorified tackle frigate and I caught two battleships at the middle and end of the fight then caught the enemy FC at the sun in his Damnation command ship and got his pod too. My tackling caused about a billion isk damage to them and turned a loss into a disaster and all because when I got shot at early on in the fight I warped off to a random planet then back. I actually warped off to survive three times before I landed all those juicy tackles. So keep alive - you're important.

- be prepared. Trying to set up IT or something during a fleet sucks, get everything ready and working before. Make sure there's ammo in your ship etc. Nothing wrong with taking it out for a test flight (unless we're camped in by bad guys).

- understand intel and geography. A big part of Eve is simply learning the map. Have dotlan open during fleets and check where we are as the FC moves the fleet about.

- have isk. In addition to pvping it's good to work out some way of making money. Looting during combat can help although if you missed a juicy tackle because you spotted a wreck of something expensive the FC might get cross. never mind, you're a kitten. If you don't have isk and you need it just ask people for some. You can pay it back down the line later when you're some superfat space cat.

- everything is free. Newbie ships are often given out free and if they aren't free then they cost isk which you can get just by asking veterans for free money. Effectively while you're new when you want to pvp you can do so for free so don't let money be a reason not to take part. Later on it's nice to have money for fancier ships or whatever but T1 frigs are so cheap there's no reason for a space holding alliance to see people left out because they can't afford one. In the grand scheme of things the 10 rifters you lost in various dumb ways are insignificant compared to the value of the moons we hold because you and the others are active.

- be sociable. People who burn out in this game burn out because they get frustrated by the many problems the game throws at us. If you ask for help we can fix pretty much anything. And people like looking after kittens.

- keep busy. If you don't have work ask for some. In a t1 frigate you can check whether moons have towers (mind you warp off quick before it shoots you!), you can build up our bookmark collections, you can roam and see if you can find something your size to fight, you can grab a few friends and just fly around looking for trouble, you can camp gates, you can rob ESS ratting thingies, you can take a siphon and steal the bad guys' valuable moon goo, you can rehearse tackling and flying techniques on jettisoned cans. (Try orbiting a can at 20 km only doing manual piloting). Even a simple thing like reporting names in intel channels can be very useful.

Saturday 10 May 2014

CSM Voting Results - breakdown

Round beginning - 36 candidates remain
31294 votes, 10432 quota
Initial talley:
  4314 "Sion Kumitomo"
  2944 "corebloodbrothers"
  1915 "Sugar Kyle"
  1692 "Steve Ronuken"
  1655 "progodlegend"
  1521 "Ali Aras"
  1453 "Matias Otero"
  1418 "Mike Azariah"
  1171 "corbexx"
  970 "Major JSilva"
  959 "DJ FunkyBacon"
  857 "Mangala Solaris"
  853 "Psychotic Monk"
  828 "Asayanami Dei"
  786 "mynnna"
  775 "Xander Phoena"
  691 "Aram Kachaturian"
  653 "James Arget"
  645 "Gorski Car"
  602 "DNSBLACK"
  528 "Jayne Fillon"
  518 "Proclus Diadochu"
  483 "Podli"
  474 "PsychoBitch"
  437 "Alner Greyl"
  355 "Awoxing Pizza-Spymaster McBlushooter"
  324 "Angry Mustache"
  266 "Einear Lightfingers"
  235 "Azami Nevinyrall"
  201 "riverini"
  190 "Psianh Auvyander"
  162 "commander aze"
  141 "Karen Galeo"
  97 "Xenuria"
  93 "Ramirez Dora"
  88 "Karma Bad"
  Elimination: "Karma Bad" with 88.000000 votes


I bolded the candidates who went on to become CSMs.

Some pretty interesting things emerge.

Condolences to Psychotic Monk and Asayanami Dei who came 13th and 14th respectively in the first round but didn't make the final 14.

Well done to the CFC for ordering their ballots efficiently enough that they got guys in despite their polling 15th and 16th in the first round.

I suspect what's happening here is the power of the full list of 14 names. For people who didn't simply copy a list 14 names is quite hard. I picked a bunch of people I liked but that only got me to 8. Then it was just people I dislike or people I'd never heard of. I think a lot of people simply didn't fill out the 14 and that's possibly part of why Mynnna and Xander got in simply by being on many people's ballots while not first choice.

So the low turnout (31k votes out of "500 000 subscribers" - probably including Serenity players who would not be eligible to vote) may actually be even lower once things get down to to the last elimination round.

In fact here is the last elimination round.

Round beginning - 3 candidates remain
18936 votes, 6313 quota
Initial talley:
  7784 "Ali Aras"
  6055 "Sion Kumitomo"
  5097 "Steve Ronuken"
  Elected: "Ali Aras"
  Transfer from "Ali Aras":
    Votes: 7784.000000, Factor: 0.188977, Excess: 1471.000000
    726.240108 votes to Exhausted
    587.719681 votes to "Steve Ronuken"
    157.040211 votes to "Sion Kumitomo"
  Elimination: "Steve Ronuken" with 5684.719681 votes

So only 18936 people voted for a full set of 14 candidates.

Also interesting is that Ali Aras came 6th in the first round and finished top. While she wasn't top on as many people's lists as other candidates she did manage to appear on most voters' lists.

Some conclusions I have:

- it's dangerous to assume that views of the CSM precisely represent the Eve player base. We've had ongoing disputes for some time between one end of the playerbase spectrum that can be characterised as extrovert/event-attending/pvpers and introvert carebear soloers

- only 31k/500k accounts voted and many of those, especially the nullsec and wormhole guys will be multiple accounts. That's about 6%.

- one could argue that it's not right to count the Serenity server as those players are not enfranchised. I don't agree. They are still Eve players, CSM influence on how Eve develops still shapes their game. It's probably a really bad thing that those players are disenfranchised, if there are major cultural and attitudinal differences between that small subsection of the Eve playerbase that is vocal and Western and the Chinese players.

- 40% of voters didn't complete the full ballot (including me). A significant proportion of those who did were probably copying someone else's lists. This means a small number of people, those who make the list, are having a very large impact on the election results.

- Steve Ronuken who just missed out last year did amazingly well. This echoes Jester who failed 3 years ago then got a sackful of votes last year. Standing for the CSM even if you don't get in seems to help future campaigns.

- Mynnna got a surprisingly low number of votes. One expected his Goon constituency to vote for Sion first Mynnna second as per instructions but he went from top last year to barely scraping in this time round.