My Top Ten Ships

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These are my Top Ten PvP ships according to zKill as of today. I thought I'd run down the list and make snarky comments about each ship. I've never been one to focus on a single ship, I typically fly numerous ships even when I don't have long to play. The other night I had 45 minutes to play Eve and I think I undocked in five different ships at various times.

#10 The Kestrel (113 Kills)
I haven't flown the Kessie seriously in about 2 years. I still have a couple fitted up and will undock in them sometimes, but they are not as reliable a T1 Frig as they used to be. Nothing against them, but the hole that scram kitting used to enjoy has been plugged by changes that have happened over the past two years and that has hurt the Kessies over all usability in my opinion.

#9 Firetail (118 Kills)
These kills are much more recent than the Kessie. The FT is in my "regular rotation" currently and I love the ship. It has always been a reliable choice for PvP but it has recently become even more reliable. This is primarily because it has more flexibility now than it enjoyed back in the day, when you'd typically only see fast, kiting versions around. Now the Ancillary Repper has opened the door for more brawly, scram-kiting fits. The Firetail is an exceptional ship and I really enjoy flying it.

#8 Dramiel (121 Kills)
The Dram is always in the rotation. I tend to fit mine more expensively than I used to, so it doesn't get as much use these days. That isn't the reason I don't fly it, the reason I don't fly it has more to do with my impact on local than anything else. A lot has changed for me over the past five years, these days any fights I get in a Dramiel or a Daredevil are probably not going to end well for me. Mostly people just run away.

#7 Daredevil (137 Kills)
Same thing with the DD. I love my Daredevil and I am ace when flying it. But sadly me in a DD generally causes two reactions, 1) Run Away, or 2) Blob. As such it has seen a diminishing role in my regular rotation. Sad, but them is the facts.

#6 Capsule (208?)
Can someone explain to me what this stat means? I've killed 783 Pods and I've lost 139 Pods, so it isn't that number. Is this how many ships I've killed when I've also exploded? Not sure tbh.

#5 Tristan (234 Kills)
The Tristan is, in my opinion, the best T1 Frigate for Low Sec PvP. Despite the idiots who speed fit theirs and stay far away and try to kite with the damn thing, which it truly sucks at. Otherwise the Tristan is a versatile box that can be fit many, many ways and has great survivability. Unless you are caught by one of those annoying kiter people. But then send them drone love and they usually run off.

#4 Drake (309 Kills)
The majority of these kills are in Null Sec, since I rarely fly a Drake in Low. Especially during the last few years. I do have several fitted up and ready, so you never know.

#3 Sacrilege (380 Kills)
The vast majority of these kills happened in a less than one year period when I wasn't playing Eve much and lived in a system with two HS entrances. My play time back then was extremely limited, so I fit up a bunch of these bad boys and camped the entire system. My strategy was to attack everything that entered, undocked, or tried to do anything. It is surprising how well that worked. Until it all went to Hell and I finally got more playing time, joined Tuskers and then Stay Frosty. I rarely fly Sacs today, but they are still one of my favs. I've had so many memorable fights in one.

#2 Slicer (395 Kills)
This is the ship I fly when I want to be one of those annoying kiter people I mentioned earlier. Although I fit my Slicer to be a Kiter/Brawler, which is a weird thing to do. But I fly it rather uniquely and it works for me. I'm not sure anyone else would understand what I'm doing. I know this because other Slicer pilots have told me all about it.

#1 Comet (795 Kills, Fed Comet + Police Comet)
Those used to be two different ships. And here we have the very best Low Sec PvP ship available in Eve - the Fed Navy Comet. You can fit them with Blasters or with Rails, I personally prefer Rails on my Comet. I've painfully died to too many kiters to enjoy the Blaster version very often. I do fly it, but it limits my engagement window. The rail version however can engage almost anything. Just this week I engaged a 4-man FedUp gang in one. I killed two of them before mine exploded. There are not many ships you can do that with. I love my Comets.

And there you have it, my current Top Ten. My number 100th most used ship is the Catalyst, Stabber, Ferox, and Machariel each with 7 kills. Although that is certainly not accurate. It is my duty to mention that all these zKill numbers are inaccurate. Early Eve kills remain missing and a large part of Eve's history along with them. I remain hopeful that someday they will reappear, but for now about 500-750 of my own kills remain missing from my killboard.

Until next time.

Alliance Tournament

Kronos Centric

This will be A Band Apart's 4th Alliance Tournament run. Our first year we were honestly not prepared and lost the first two matches to the G0dfathers and The Explicit Alliance. Being a first time Alliance in the tournament is rough. But it was a good learning experience and we decided to try and actually prepare for the next tournament. We went 4-2 the next time out and managed to break into the Top 16 finishers, which means better standings and an automatic bid. We won matches against Shadow Cartel, Spectre Fleet, Snuff, Methodical Alliance and lost matches against Villore Accords and PFR. Then last year we finished 11th in the tournament, winning matches against Slyce, Hard Knocks Citizens, and We Form Volta before losing to Lazerhawks and Brave.

We got really good at practicing and preparing for the early matches. Our issues the last two years have been in keeping up with the changing meta and adapting our approach to compensate. Both times when we lost matches, we probably should have won, but we failed to anticipate the impact of those changes. This is not a criticism against anyone specifically, our team worked hard and we all did the best we could. But in hindsight the shortcomings are more obvious. 

Can we get over that hump this year and break into the final weekend? I have no idea. Not only is so much of the tournament a rock, paper, scissors situation (which it is), but this year changes to the rules have made it even more likely to be a hotbed of upsets. Not to mention the inclusion of three new ships that no one is super familiar with, the Precursor ships are certainly OP, but they are also NEW. Which means a significant lack of flying them around TQ and getting used to how they operate, engage, and work inside of gangs. But the biggest change is more foundational to any Comps that we, and others, had on our table. And that is the lack of doubles. Every ship has to be the only one on the field this year, so no double Eos, or double Gila, or double Blackbird, or double Bhaal comps allowed. And since doubles make up the core of pretty much every comp - it has been back to the blackboard for all of us.

As always it is impossible to predict what might happen. Our team is coming together and we are practicing hard. Our comps are starting to make sense and we are starting to understand where things are headed, at least for the opening weekend. We are a little over a month away from the July 28th start and things are looking good. Personally I feel great about the pilots I'm flying with and I think this has the chance to be a special group of players. When we are firing on all cylinders together it feels pretty damn strong.

We will always be underdogs in my mind, no matter what happens. I'd like nothing better than to improve over the last three years and see us make it to the final weekend. That is my personal goal. But no matter what happens we'll have fun and enjoy flying together, and when it is all said and done that is what truly matters.

Six weeks to go.

Good Fights & Bad Decisions

In Orbit
My Comet "Columbo" at Zero

I'm going to start writing more, I promise. So here are some stories from the past few weeks about fights I've gotten into, win or lose. I hope you enjoy. My ship is listed first.

A Comet beating a Merlin doesn't sound like a good fight and, to be honest, it often isn't. Unless the Merlin happens to be sitting at zero inside the plex, is Blaster fitted, dual webs, and has probably taken a booster recently. Not to mention that your Comet is rail fit and not blaster fit. This was a good fight for a the first part of it, but I managed to pull range and eventually he ran out of booster charges. It is good to see the Hellcats back in the neighborhood. I told him in local that it was a worthy try. It felt like something that I would do.

This fight between a rail fit Incursus and a rail fit Comet was very, very close. I still believe I would have won this fight had I not seriously derped at the last minute. I oops clicked in space which caused my poor ship to lose all velocity and essentially become a sitting duck right at the worst possible moment. Sigh. Still we were both in low structure and it was a worthy try. Comet should win that fight... but it almost didn't.

Granted, a Firetail should lose against a properly fitted Algos most of the time. Also granted, I wasn't actually trying to solo it and it did eventually die. All I had to do was hold it long enough for help to arrive. Which would have worked except I went into the fight with only 2 or 3 nanite repair paste thingies in my armor repper, instead of the much more intelligent full amount. As you can imagine this did not end well for my poor twelve killmark Firetail. But the Algos did die.

Yes, this is the same Firetail from above while it was still alive. This is a fight that is even rarer than a "good fight" - it is what we call - an "honest fight". Which is when two of the exact same ships manage to find each other in the darkness of space and decided to engage each other. Sadly for the other guy he sorta forgot to fit a tank and went boom rather quickly. Remember kids, you usually need some kind of tank to survive in Eve.

When a Pirate chooses to engage they do so typically without knowing what they are getting themselves in for. We make decisions based on type of ship, local intel, killboard intel, age of character, and other factors. Some of which are rapidly becoming meaningless, like character age. What does it matter when you can inject yourself into anything? Point being, you have to be prepared. I had seen this Gnosis earlier and pegged the pilot. When I was docked I noticed that the pilot was also docked, so I undocked in my cloaky Stratios and waited. My patience was rewarded and the rest went down pretty easy. The scariest part of these kinds of fights is being exposed during the fight. You are mutually locked down and an easy target if a gang or fleet happens to pass by.

To be fair I'm putting this in the loss column, but I truly won this lopsided encounter. My sturdy Tristan warped in on two ships, which rapidly became four ships, and eventually became six ships in total. The funny part for me was just how hesitant they were to engage at first, even with far superior numbers. Including a Bantam, which I killed pretty quickly. I also killed the bait Incursus before the sheer numbers finally brought me down. Fun fight.

Another funny fight. So two Goons decide to attack my Algos, which is fine, but they also decide to bring along a Griffin to make things all cowardly. Now here is the funny part. I point and start fighting the Dramiel, but send my drones to the ECM ship sitting about 30k away. At any point here, the Griffin could have gotten away and saved his ship. But he stayed and let my drones kill him. Sadly without my drones the Dramiel did eventually kill my Algos, but honestly I'll take a 19m Algos loss in exchange for a 45m bling Goon Griffin every single day. One less ECM ship.

That's enough for today. I hope we've all learned some valuable lessons. I know I haven't, I'll keep doing the same old dumb things as I always do.



You'll never get to play it
In Baseball when the batter gets three strikes he is registered as an out. And while my count is full of a lot of foul balls, the last strike was registered yesterday. I stepped up to the plate way back in 2009 at the request of CCP, who was looking for a company to help them run a piece of their business at the time. As a player, a fan, and an owner of a company that could help them - I gladly tried to do so. Since then we've had a few successes, like the 8 spaceship posters and the London office opening materials, and more than our fair share of "foul balls". A free video game - shot down. Several lines of shirts - shot down. A Faction Warfare Card Game - shot down. An Alliance Tournament Card Game - shot down. An original film - shot down. Two fan-run stores - shot down. A Fanfest illustrated poster - shot down. An Eve Vegas poster - shot down. And finally, this week, another original Eve based Card Game called Pub Brawl... you get the idea. (And I'm leaving out some stuff, just to keep this brief.)

You may have noticed a distinct lack of posting lately here in Eveoganda. You may have wondered why I wasn't posting at my usual pace. Was something wrong? Did the Bitter Vet Syndrome get me? Nope. I was purposefully being quiet, reserved, and hiding. I didn't want to say anything that might be construed in a negative light by anyone, anywhere. And the only way I know how to do that is by saying nothing at all. I was hoping that would help things along. And for a long time there it seemed like it just might do the trick.

I'm not going to bore you with all the details. Mostly because they don't matter. The point is, that despite other successful kickstarter campaigns for an EVE licensed product,  new personnel dedicated to new directions (as I was told at Fanfest) and an overall strategy that involves third-parties (as I was also told at Fanfest) yours truly is not allowed. I'm not only not allowed to develop a Card Game which would only take a very small KS to launch, but I'm also not allowed to sell Limited-Editions of my spaceship art posters (which would be at my own cost and not require a KS) or a Collectible Card Series built around famous Eve players (which would also be on my own dime and not require a KS).

So I am registering myself as an out today. I'm done.

I have some Star Wars projects I want to work on. I've got a cool lead on a potential project with Overwatch. And there are several other projects in various stages that have been ignored for to long now. I've always got something going on. (Not to mention my full-time CMO job!)

As for Eve I remain its biggest fan. I'll keep supporting community projects as much as I can. I've got the Alliance Tournament to train for again this year and I'm excited about our team, Stay Frosty and A Band Apart continue to require my attention. We've got Steel City Eve coming up in July, and then we will be attending our first Eve Vegas in October. You can bet that we'll have some great swag planned for both of those!

The only thing that changes is I can start being myself again here in these pages. And I can stop bothering a little company in Iceland with my crazy ideas and start bothering someone else instead.

To my readers and my fans my sincere apologies, I really did try. But it is way past time to admit defeat and move on to other things. It isn't the ninth inning yet.

Onward and upward.