Anatomy of a Kill: Caracal & Jackdaw

I believe that one of the most difficult and challenging professions in all of Eve Online is hunting Solo. Which is why I do it as often as I do. While I also love small gang and sub-cap fleet operations, nothing quite satisfies like hunting down a fellow pilot and winning a good fight one on one. It is insanely risky, unpredictable, horribly intense, and often extremely rare. Killing another ship is one thing, but truly experiencing a good fight Solo is often quite another. I kill a lot of enemy ships, but only rarely does a fight elevate to the level of a truly good fight. And it is that pursuit that keeps me playing, refining, training, and undocking every single day.

As I've said in these pages hundreds of times, the definition of a good fight can change based on the circumstances involved. Sometimes it comes down to the tactics used to initiate the fight, or the subterfuge, or incidents surrounding the fight - the last-minute escape, or something more than just the actual slugfest. Like how expensive the kill might be. In other words, a good fight can often be in the eye of the beholder. More often than not, the dude on the losing side doesn't agree.

Lately I've returned to a frigate that Stay Frosty helped make famous back when it first appeared in New Eden - the Astero. Back in the early days my good friend Joffy was rather famous for flying the ship and these days I'm naming all of mine in his honor. I fly other ships of course, 20 different ships this month already, but I've been hard at work refining the fit on my Astero over four generations so far. So it was the other day that I was roaming the spacelanes in Joffy V looking to test it against worthy opponents.  I had already killed a Kestrel and a mostly unfitted Tristan(!!) but as you can imagine, neither of those kills elevated themselves to good fight status. I needed a challenge.

So I was hanging out near the Sun in Annancale the other day when I noticed the Jackdaw on scan. Now a Jackdaw is not normally a good target selection for my little Frigate. But what I noticed was that the JD had just opened a brand new Reprisal site. Fine, I'd let him have the site and be on my way. But then I noticed the Caracal on scan. Again, not usually a good target selection for my little Frigate. However, both of their sigs were on the Reprisal site now. And I immediately warped over. My hope was that the JD had already taken the gate and slid into the site and that my little Frigate would beat the Caracal to the gate and I could engage it in close quarters. If I could get the Caracal under my Scram/Web and in range of my Neut, then I might stand a chance of winning the fight.

Everything went exactly as I hoped. I landed before the Caracal and managed to get Scram/Web on him before he could activate the gate. And now I was committed. I hoped that I would be able to explode the Caracal before his buddy in the JD came to rescue him. Which is a challenge since my little Astero, while it has a solid tank, is not much of a DPS machine. (What I wouldn't know until later was that this Caracal was passive tanked with three extenders, so my Neut was having no effect at all really.) And then, just as the Caracal hit about mid-shield, the Jackdaw landed.

Now I was in a 2v1 against two ships both of whom are higher class than me and both of whom are shooting Frigate killing light missiles at me! And while the Caracal wasn't sporting points, his JD buddy surely was. Now I was truly committed.

Immediately I made the decision to switch my Web and my Neut from the Caracal to the JD and hope he was active tanked. I also drove my drones into him thinking maybe he'd be confused by the sudden thought of losing his ship and run away. (It happens!) He didn't. I was under no false sense of hope that I could break the JD's tank, I fly them myself and I know how they can be, but then again - this is Eve and sometimes people fit their ships like idiots. (Just look at that Tristan from earlier!)

At this point I was starting to run low on Cap Charges and the JD was making the decision to start shooting my drones. I asked for help in Corp channels, but most of Stay Frosty is off dealing with something else right now and no help was available. (More on that later this week.) So I decided to focus on the Caracal as my primary.

My tank was performing well and I wasn't in any immediate danger. I stopped using my Neut as it was having no effect and it was chewing cap charges. That helped slow things down a little on that front. Then I noticed the first red line show up in the Caracal's structure. That red line is like a shot in the arm for anyone fighting a shield ship and I knew the Caracal was going to explode. Which it did shortly afterwards. The Caracal exploded.

Which left me with this annoyingly well-tanked Jackdaw. I was losing drones and I only had about 5 cap charges left. I couldn't break his tank and, even without cap charges, he wasn't going to break mine. So I started pulling range and asked him in local if he'd like to call it a draw? His point dropped and I warped away.

That was a long engagement. And a good fight. And while that Caracal isn't the best fit Caracal ever, it is a solid fit for a Cruiser. Nothing wrong with it. So I still managed to Solo a Cruiser in a Frigate all while being shot and pointed by a Jackdaw. So that's something.

And those are the moments I keep playing for.

Like this Raven I melted with my Leshak earlier in the day while Lufax held it down with his Garmur. Also awesome.

The Rixx Store

If you are looking for Eve related merchandise for this upcoming Holiday season then head on over to the Rixx Store!

The store is celebrating its third year of providing non-IP "Eve Themed" Gear, t-shirts, mugs, placemats, phone cases, pillows, clocks, and much, much more. And while CCP remains stubborn about the concept of Limited Licensing Agreements, I do my best to provide community themes, Alliance, and related subjects of all kinds. Not just Eve either, in fact you'll find a lot of Geek and Gamer based gear as well. So be sure to check it out.

I add new stuff every week.

Like this "When in Doubt Dock Up" design.

Or this "1v1 At The Sun" design.

Or this fun (only we'll know) "Let's Meet At The Sun" design.

All of which got added just this week. And I've got more new designs in the pipeline, so be sure to bookmark the store and check back often.

The great thing about RedBubble is they will ship all over the world for a fair rate. I've had buyers from all over the world, Australia, Russia, Germany, Greece, Bulgaria, Canada, England, Singapore, and more. Hundreds of items sold without problems. Just last week someone got the wrong sized shirt in the mail and RedBubble took care of that without any issues. So you can buy in confidence knowing that hundreds of people already have.

Be sure to gear up for the Holidays, for that next Eve player meet, or just to impress your friends.

Stay Frosty.

Neighborhood Work

No matter where you live in New Eden it is your home. That can be a Wormhole, a Null Sec pocket, a High Sec trading post, or a corner of lawless Low Sec - but no matter where it is that you call home the area surrounding you is your neighborhood. The things that go on in that neighborhood are of utmost importance to you, your activities, and those that you choose to fly with. Any disruption or unbalanced game play can impact not only you, but everyone around you. And while the reactions that such events can engender can range rather widely across the stars, I'd like to focus today on the idea of "tending" that neighborhood.

It might not be something that you've considered before. The idea that your specific game play choices can impact the area you choose to live in, but they do. For example, in my home system there is a High Sec gate entrance. It might be tempting for us to set up a insta-locking camp on that gate and farm kills all day, 24 hrs a day, 7 days a week. And while some players choose to do things similar to that (looking at you Uedama!) I know that such a set-up would effectively destroy the neighborhood. So choosing NOT to do that is a choice that is being made to keep the neighborhood running smoothly and encouraging to those jumping into Low from High Sec. I want them to come. If I shut down the gate they will stop coming. And that would be bad for business.

That same theory dictates what types of ships we fly on a regular basis. We have to live in our neighborhood every day and we know that if we fly larger, more expensive ships on a regular basis, that will only discourage smaller ships from flying in our area. That's why, when we do fly larger ships, we tend to do so in other people's neighborhoods. Because we know we won't be there long enough to upset the apple cart there.

In our neighborhood recently we've had some idiots move in that perfectly express the worst of this idea. A handful of terrible pilots have decided to "hang out" in expensive ships with Dread and Carrier backing, to gate camp and farm easy kills. Yesterday I watched them kill a Rifter with an Ashimmu, a Gnosis, and a Praxis. Obviously that Rifter had no chance in that fight. Which is frustrating for that Rifter pilot and discouraging to him or those in his Corporation to come back again. It poisons the well. And so steps have to be taken to remedy the situation. To return things to balance.

And that balance might very well be your own perspective. Others in your neighborhood may not agree, and that is where conflict comes from. Which is good for the game and good for business, engagement, activity, and Corporate pride. I'm not against any of that obviously. Trade wars, gate camps, WH evictions, whatever your specific type of neighborhood conflict might be - it is the cornerstone of what makes Eve great.

For us, in our corner of the Universe, we welcome idiots. Eventually they will get tired of being killed, or blue-balled, or ignored, and move on. And then something else will happen and things will move along to the next thing.

But I think it is important, even as a main line player, to keep in mind that your actions do have an impact on your neighborhood. Keep flying that Loki every day and eventually you'll stop finding targets and discover that you are now the target. Mix it up, fly it somewhere else, move along and let the neighborhood recover behind you. There are a lot of things you can do to help keep the game vital and interesting, no matter what specific type of game play you enjoy.

Fly Smart.

Eve Art Studio Number Three

I meant to make this video ages ago and totally forgot about it until I ran across the screenshots on my computer this morning. Originally I was going to do a much more extensive deep dive into the process with voice over and more details, but I'll save that for another piece in the future. For now I wanted to get this done and out before I forgot about it again.

If you have any specific questions or requests for future content be sure to leave a comment.


Also, an extra bonus for my readers (and since I forgot to include it in the video), here is a Vector View of the entire finished illustration so you can get an idea of how complicated it is.

Spontaneous Orca Gank

So yesterday I get a ping from Brrc Flynn of Average Pilots about a mining fleet he's spotted a few jumps over from Murethand in a Low Sec pocket a couple of jumps through High Sec. About 4 Orcas and a few Hulks going to town mining rocks and whatnot. Y'know, whatever it is that mining ships do. Unfortunately at the time no one else was active in Stay Frosty, everyone else was either afk or not answering. I even convo'd Nuke Cave of the Tuskers to see if he wanted to help us out, but he had to go get work done.

No worries. We had to move fast because we had no idea how long they had been working this field. So I made the call to jump into a couple of dps Cruisers, I took an Omen Navy Issue and Brrc jumped into a Cynabal. And I started burning over to Murethand to meet up. There were a few neutrals causing trouble on the Murethand station, but they kindly warped off as I landed and we quickly headed to the out gate. We are both effectively -10 so High Sec is not a kind place for either of us. Which is one major reason why we brought Cruisers instead of anything bigger. Plus that added agility might come in handy depending on whatever response fleet might be showing up.

I think we caught them completely off guard. We randomly picked an Orca to tackle and started burning it down. Once it was secured I switched tackle to a nearby Hulk to hold it down. Between his Cynabal and my ONI the first Orca was going down pretty darn fast. And it wasn't long before it exploded.  And we quickly started shooting the Hulk, while Brrc managed to grab tackle on yet another Orca. About this time is when the mining fleet started waking up and getting some drones on us, but what we were most concerned about was the nearby Athanor. But so far it had remained silent. The Hulk went down quickly and we started working on the other Orca. The other two Orcas remained on the field but they were further away, the closest one was about 60k off. Just as we started considering one of us burning for it, it finally aligned out and warped away. The other Orca exploded.

At this point local had spiked a bit and we had already noticed more ships on scan. So we both bailed and I went to Station to rep some of my OH damage in case we had another fight coming up. By this time we had been joined by Stay Frosty pilot Lufax in local as well. Needless to say local was alive and the hornets were swarming. It was then that I noticed that my friend Ashterothi was in local and that somehow this mining fleet was connected to him somehow. I later learned that it was also connected to Hateless Gaming as well. Either way we decided that we'd done enough for one day and should leave on a positive note. We said our farewells in local and burned back home.

Special thanks to Brrc for bringing this to my attention. I really enjoy operations like this as it is just pure, old-fashioned piracy in action. I hope we created an exciting event for those in local and something they won't forget anytime soon. Space is dangerous my friends and full of terrors.


Later when I had more time to play I started flying a bit in my Astero. I managed to catch a Tristan and a Rifter without too much trouble. At this point she had 15 killmarks on her already. And that's when I spotted two ships in Hevrice local. An Algos and a Venture.

Just a quick note here about two things I'd like to mention. One is, Karma is a bitch. And the second is that I never, ever hunt Ventures. Ventures are simply targets of opportunity, if one is in local and nothing else is going on - I'll try to catch it. But I never waste time hunting one.

So I went for the Algos. What you should know is that an Algos kill in my Astero is not a sure thing for me. Especially with these monster hull-tanked Algos around. And while I can sometimes manage to disengage, for the most part once I am committed I'm committed to the bitter end. The operational range of this tiny little Frigate is close. However, despite a valiant effort from the Algos pilot (well done), it still exploded.

At this point I had 3 Nanite charges left in my repper and some heat damage on some of my mods. Normally at this point I should dock up and get reps. But that darn Venture was still on scan in the belt. Now my Pirate-Sense was tingling hard at the back of my neck and I should have listened, it usually keeps me from doing risky things. But, as I often do, I ignored it and went for the Venture without getting reps or thinking about why it had remained in the belt despite the Algos dying in local.

And yes dear reader, this was a tarp. The Venture died sure. But then a cloaky Stratios appeared on my overview. In classic small fish eaten by a bigger fish fashion I was doomed. And my poor Astero exploded under me.  Those with a keen eye will notice the Reaper on that km and don't ask me how it got there because I don't know.

Ships are fitted to explode. For miners and Pirate Lords. I told the Stratios pilot in local good fight and well executed trap. Because it was. Wether it was on purpose or if I just happened to get into the middle of someone else's effort to sneak up on a Venture cloaked - either way, well done.

That's Eve for you.

Astro Guitar

AstroGuitar Illustration

This drawing was originally just a quick sketch concept for an album cover I'm working on. It didn't get used but I still loved the concept, so I went ahead and finished the drawing. Originally it was going to be part of an entire background on an alien world or something, but I like it set alone against the color background like that.

If you are interested it is also available on shirts and other items over on the Rixx Store.


Farming In Eve

There are very few choices in Eve Online for which I have no respect. Most of the horrible game play choices that incur my derision are based around incidental contact and impact on other people's playing styles. In fact, for brief periods of time, I could often be accused on "ganking" or "gate camping" or "smart-bombing" or any number of other activities in Eve that many people (including myself) might often look down on. Thing is though, those are choices based around momentary need and don't represent a commitment to that specific activity. Most of the time it only happens because the opportunity to do so presented itself.

Farming however, is significantly different. So what is farming? I will give you an example. I once farmed a system named Lisbaetanne with a fleet of Sacrileges for about six months or so. I wasn't playing Eve much at the time and I was in-between Corporations. So I fitted up a small fleet of Sacs and began killing everything that came into that system while I was logged in. I knew that 90% of the time I would be outmatching my potential opponents when I caught them on gate, or undocking, or in belts or missions. I played very little Eve during that time but I still managed to rack up well over 300 kills using those Sacs. They weren't all ganks either, I did manage to have some truly good fights in there as well. But, being honest, I was totally farming kills.

Farming kills can take many forms. Some Corporations do it with Caps dropping on much smaller ships and gangs. Some players will only fly higher level ships against smaller level pilots. You come in a Frigate and they come in a Dessie. Like most things in Eve, you know you are being farmed when you see it. And the difference between "farming" and just regular old pirating can be extremely subtle and confusing.

What is the difference between a farmer and me landing on a Tristan with a hull-tanked rail Comet? Or a Garmur? If I've been out on a roam with my Comet and happen to come across that Tristan is that farming? The odds of that Tristan winning the fight are low, depending on fits, it could be almost zero. Should I turn away from the opportunity of a win simply because the odds of the upcoming fight are nearly 100%? Of course not. For all I know this Tristan pilot could be awesome and defeat my Comet. It happens. It is only after the fight that I know the odds. But what if that wasn't good enough for me? What if I wanted to swing those odds to be more certain? I could do that rather easily. I could run with better head candy for one thing, that would help. I could also pop some drugs, a little extra speed, or better reps would certainly help. I could also have a friend ready in another ship to swoop in and help if things start to go in the Tristan's favor. Or I could fit faction or Abyssal mods on my ship to make it even more foolproof. And, even before the fight, I start to feel like my odds are more like 100%.

The thing is, this entire article is bullshit.

Those Sacs from the earlier example? I lost more than 20 of them doing that. It was hard work to get those kills, and it took planning, strategy, guile, and determination to rack up 300 kills that way. The truth is, if you are PvPing in Eve you are farming in one way or another. We all are.

The reason we don't like "farmers" is because they spoil the crop. The people that we know are doing this ruin the neighborhood for everyone else. Lisbaetanne become a desert from me doing what I did. Other corporations noticed the kills and started moving much worse things into local in response. Before long you couldn't get any kills in local for all the T3 ships on scan. Pirates cultivate their crops by moving around, giving good fights, talking to their victims, doing all the things that we know will help other players come back. Heck, I will sometimes throw a fight to keep other players interested. True farmers are only in it for the easy kills.

But there is no difference. Fitting your ships to win is the correct choice. Better fits and tactics win fights. Flying better ships is better. All of these things are in the toolbox and they should be used. Our goal is to win fights, as it should be. And doing anything you can to make that happen is what you should be doing.

Intentions don't matter. The difference between someone farming and someone not farming are all about intentions, and those are indifferent to what happens in space. Of no consequence. If you don't like what someone is doing then make them stop doing it.

In the meantime I'll keep farming Low Sec and hoping the crop comes in strong again soon.

Because it is all content.

1v1 #86 For Falcon

Having lost CCP Guard earlier this year, we've now also lost CCP Falcon. I've already expressed my thoughts directly with Paul privately, so I thought that a special 1v1 in his honor would suffice publicly.

Onward and upward.

Please, Don't Kill Me

Another system. I've taken the gate and immediately start d-scanning, two in local, one is in an Incursus. Where is it? In a belt. I immediately warp to the belt, point the Incursus and start my deadly dance. From my perspective at this point everything is on the line. I am exposed in local. I'm probably also being pointed by my target which means my own avenues of escape are narrow. I could be blobbed by his buddies. Ambushed by the cloaky Stratios in the belt with him. Or destroyed by the Abyssal mod fitted, drug induced, implant driven dual rep monster of an Incursus I have foolishly engaged. I have no idea how this engagement is going to go.

Except it doesn't go that way. The Incursus doesn't fire back, or point me, or engage in the dance of death at all. Instead it employs psychological warfare in the form of intense begging and pleading. "Please don't kill me!" Or another volley of, "This is my only ship." or some variation of real world words aimed at breaking my spirit. Suddenly I'm thrown head first out of the immersion that is Eve and into a mental evaluation of my own sense of morality. Of course I continue to pummel the Incursus until it explodes, but will I pod this pilot as well?

Begging for your life is nothing new in Eve of course. Certain pilots have employed the begging stance since the beginning of time. Often they will even name their ships something like, "No Fight" or, "Please No Kill" or something to that effect. As if I have time to not only find them, but also pay attention to the name of their ship. I don't. Mostly because I also often name my ships in ways to fool the locals into thinking it might be harmless, or stupid, or both. I can't allow the mere name of a ship to stop me. Begging is with us, no doubt about it.

And yes, we often share these moments in our Discord with each other. Or share stories about the time someone brought a large ship into Low Sec and then declared in local that they were just here to PvE and they shouldn't be bothered. Or the Russian player who taunted me a dozen times for being a coward, only to discover they had fitted WCS in ALL the lows. These tales can be epic. They can also be sad. Or weird to fathom. Isn't there a warning sign that pops up when you enter Low Sec? I believe there is.

Years ago, when I was first starting out in Eve my Son and I jumped from Piekura into Mara. We died so fast I'm still not entirely sure what happened. We laughed our asses off at how foolish we were and how dangerous Low Sec must be. My first dozen or so PvP engagements went much the same way. It's like playing College Football and then starting your first game in the Pros. Everything happens so fast. I get that it can be scary, sudden, and rather brutal.

I get that. I really do. Which is why I often spend time talking to or giving advice to my victims, when they are open to it. But I also have to admit that I don't like the sudden moral injection of decision that is being injected into my game. Suddenly I'm expected to judge a situation in real world terms that have no application to what is happening in-game. At the most basic level, every ship in Eve is destined to explode eventually. Eve wears its intentions on its sleeve. It is right there on the box. This game is deadly. I don't want to ruin anyone's game. I just want to play it at a high level and bring content to the wasteland that is Low Security space - or any space that I might be flying in at the moment.

A week or so ago I engaged a pilot in a Hawk. I was in my Astero. We fought for a long time and it was becoming obvious that neither of us would break the other. I suggested in local that we call it a draw and move on. He agreed. Good fights were given and we both warped away. I much prefer that sort of gentlemanly agreement.

If you really don't want to die in Eve there is only one way to ensure it doesn't happen. Don't undock.

Otherwise, there are dragons.

Be a dragon slayer.

1v1 Eve Comic Number 85

It's back! Yes that's right, the world-famous 1v1 Eve Comic has returned. If you happen to have been living in a cave for the last decade you can get caught up on the last 84 or so comics by visiting the 1v1 page here.  Or, I also have a dedicated Flickr album with all the comics as well.

I figured I would update the look and feel a bit, as well as illustrate these at a higher resolution so future generations can appreciate them even more and the coffee table book won't suck. Gotta plan ahead.

Anyway, I plan on trying to stick to a weekly schedule, so we'll see how that goes.


In Defense of Chucky

FYI - Chucky is a shared Wormhole between Voodoo Children and Lucifer's Hammer, two of the corporations that make up A Band Apart along with Stay Frosty and Artemis Underground. This wormhole has a long and storied history which I won't get into today, but suffice to say a lot of blood, sweat, and tears have gone into this space over the years.

Late last week several of the structures inside Chucky were put into reinforcement by a roving gang of Goons and their loyalist allies*. We didn't believe that this action was a full-scale eviction based on the make up of the forces that showed up, but nevertheless we took it seriously. Over the next few days an incredible amount of work went into preparing Chucky for defense, our Alliance sprung into action with many people putting in long hours getting ships, mods, and other assets ready for the timers which came up on Saturday. Not all of our structures were in reinforced, so that helped. It also seemed to indicate this wasn't an eviction.

Things can get complicated when trying to explain a long, three-day event like this. It isn't as simple as trying to convey a single fleet fight. This wasn't simple. 3 Structures were at risk. The enemy had popped up a POS inside of Chucky and added some guns and other protection to that POS. On our side we had Bold, Thane, and Watson running as FC at various times, with Thane manning the Fortizar defenses when it was under attack. Our position from the beginning was to implement a "guerrilla"style defense and use our home to our advantage, striking from our bases and moving in and out quickly. So that was essentially the lay of the land.

Friday we harassed the POS and put its defenses into reinforcement. Mostly the enemy stayed inside the shields, but we managed to trade ships here and there during the day. Meanwhile our FC Watson and others worked hard to turn what we had available to us into a working comp, in fact by the end we managed to put together three main comps with support of various wings into action. It was a solid plan for what we knew of the enemies strengths.

And initially everything went according to plan. Our first major engagement went like clockwork and we managed to remove the enemy from the HS entrance and regain control of the hole. You can see from this Battle Report that we came away from that engagement with a clear victory. That early victory wouldn't last long however, as the enemy continued rolling entrances all day. At last count I remember at least seven or eight entrances being closed on us, which made reinforcement extremely difficult on our HS supply lines. Just ask Tovanis, who was heroically trying to get supplies to us inside.

Eventually the enemy re-took control of the hole and after several "fly-by" engagements we decided to put our first comp all-in and force them off the Hole. We managed to force them off the hole once more and take down the bubbles they had been using to protect it. Battle Reports are often confusing things, and in this instance it is impossible to pull the next two engagements apart. But we certainly started off on the right foot. As everyone was looting and grabbing drones, I noticed that the hole no longer had bubbles up. I told Watson I would return to base and grab a Sabre to put up some. Just as I turned to warp away I heard the hole going nuts. Immediately everyone on comms started saying crazy things. The enemy reinforcements had arrived in force. About 40 or so Harpies, Loki, Triglavian ships, Scapels, and other ships poured into Chucky. The fight suddenly went in the other direction and we were forced to retreat.

Up until that point I had personally gotten on 13 kills, and I know overall our win/loss ratio was very good. But now our goal was simple, we couldn't win this fight with what we had inside the hole, but we might be able to still save the Structures. Or at  least some of them. Our plan went into "distraction" mode, if we could distract them long enough during the timers - they wouldn't be able to take down the structures.

Three Hero Rorquals were sacrificed to this operation. And even against those odds I was surprised at how well they stood up to the onslaught. In the meantime most of us jumped into long-range Nagas to try and pop enemy ships from range. (I will say here that I do not like Nagas, I much prefer Oracles or Nados for this type of thing. The tracking on Nagas is horrible and I rarely manage to hit anything with one.) And for me, that was the end of the effort. My Naga died without hitting a single enemy ship and I was podded back to Ouelletta. After about eight hours I wasn't able to make the 27 jumps back and called it a day.

Out of the three Structures we did manage to save one. One of the enemy Commanders called the distraction offense of the timers "Epic" in our public channel. The enemy was obviously well practiced at hole control and did an excellent job of rolling, protecting, and keeping hole control during the last day. But eventually we were outgunned and while we did a decent job of putting together doctrines on the fly, and our FCs did a great job with what we had, it simply wasn't enough in the end. Thane and Tovanis manned the Fortizar to the bitter end all while continuing to blow up enemy ships.

In the end the enemy blew up a lot of unmanned ships popping out from the structures demise and our killboard suffered because of it. That, combined with our heavy losses in the last stand, combined to make our Alliance kb rather red over the weekend.

I think I speak for all us when I say we enjoyed the Hell out of those days. We put up a solid defense against a determined and practiced foe, and while we eventually did lose two structures and a lot of ships, we also gave good fights. In the end all that matters is that we stood together as an Alliance and proved to ourselves what we are made of.

To everyone in ABA and to those Allies who came to help us, I say thank you. It is moments like this that you will always remember and look back on as some of the finest moments in your Eve Online career. Well done. And well fought.

*PS: As it turns out this was primarily a House of Boom operation and the other "allies" were friends along for the ride. I've had several conversations during the course of the day with various members of the enemy operation and I can safely say that both sides enjoyed the engagements and the good fights. So kudos to the opposition, well played.

The Hick's Award

"We're all in strung out shape, but stay frosty, and alert. We can't afford to let one of those bastards in here."
―Hicks, to Hudson and Vasquez

Our patron Saint Corporal Dwayne Hicks of the United States Colonial Marine Corps, part of 2nd Battalion Bravo Team. Cpl. Hicks inspires the spirit and determination of Stay Frosty pilots in the face of overwhelming odds in the cold, dark regions of Low Security space and it his "never give up" determination that we all strive to achieve every time we undock. It is only natural then that I created the "Hick's Award" back in May 2013 to honor the pilot that registers the most kills for the month. Since then we've awarded this honor every single month to pilots that have gone on to become some of the most feared and respected Pirates in all of New Eden.

I consider it a point of pride as CEO of this inglorious band of lawbreakers that I have personally only be able to win this award once during our very first month. While I always seem to appear in the list of top killers, it was always another pilot who managed to rise to the top each month. Which is awesome. Honestly that first month I only managed 63 kills and I think we had about 15-20 members just starting to get set-up in Hevrice. In my mind that one always came along with an asterisk.

Until this past month when, due to a rare combination of me looking for work, starting my own business, and having more than the usual amount of time to play (Not to mention some of our more aggressive pilots being on break) - I managed to end the month at the top of the board with 135 kills. As you'll see from the following list, nothing extraordinary in that accomplishment. It still feels good to finally add my name to the award roll beyond that first month.

In light of that accomplishment I'd like to present to you the roll of Hick's Award Winners from May 2013 to October 2019. Damn good pilots each and every one. And all Stay Frosty, no matter where they happen to be flying today.

Stay Frosty
Monthly Hicks Award Winners (Top Killers)

May - Rixx Javix (63)
Jun - Joffy Aulx-Gao (218)
Jul - Nakamura Shuji (169)
Aug - Bloody James (265)
Sep - Joffy Aulx-Gao (199)
Oct - Joffy Aulx-Gao (142)
Nov - Cervantes Marovinjun (247)
Dec - Stan Ace (309)

Jan - Syl Kougai (445)
Feb - Ciba Lexlulu (322)
Mar - Deltron Zi (275)
Apr - Skir Skor (241)
May - Cervantes Marovinjun (215)
Jun - Bloody James (242)
Jul - Laguna Fox (283)
Aug - Laguna Fox (231)
Sep - Laguna Fox (139)
Oct - Skir Skor (154)
Nov - Ciba Lexlulu (224)
Dec - Ciba Lexlulu (173)

Jan - Tia Aves (411)
Feb - Reed Tannid (163)
Mar - Ciba Lexlulu (225)
Apr - Joffy Aulx-Gao (280)
May - Demeisen 00 (236)
Jun - Ciba Lexlulu (205)
Jul - Ciba Lexlulu (246)
Aug - Ciba Lexlulu (266)
Sep - Cervantes Marovinjun (236)
Oct - Cervantes Marovinjun (232)
Nov - Raylan Yutan (325)
Dec - Raylan Yutan (283)

Jan - Cervantes Marovinjun (317)
Feb - Laguna Fox (301)
Mar - Cervantes Marovinjun (250)
Apr - Raylan Yutan (300)
May - Raylan Yutani (329)
Jun - Methea Selenis (274)
Jul - Methea Selenis (355)
Aug - Methea Selenis (145)
Sep - Methea Selenis (278)
Oct - Methea Selenis (326)
Nov - Methea Selenis (471)
Dec - Methea Selenis (591)

Jan - Methea Selenis (490)
Feb - Methea Selenis (325)
Mar - Raylan Yutani (260)
Apr - Martinez Grabov (187)
May - Hamul Jinn (285)
Jun - Cervantes Marovinjun (199)
Jul - Soul Online (346)
Aug - Methea Selenis (174)
Sep - Methea Selenis (239)
Oct - Methea Selenis (441)
Nov - Methea Selenis (353)
Dec - Cervantes Marovinjun (271)

Jan - Martinez Grabov (194)
Feb - h0tsauce 0onyaD0G (293)
Mar - h0tsauce 0onyaD0G (348)
Apr - Martinez Grabov (160)
May - masonk (167)
Jun - Martinez Grabov (136)
Jul - Spar Jamlamin (77)
Aug - NanoSpirit (101)
Sep - Ginzou Tzestu (189)
Oct - Sebastian Thielman (157)
Nov - Daniel Alpena (215)
Dec - Daniel Alpena (94)

Jan - Ciba Lexlulu (240)
Feb - Ciba Lexlulu (138)
Mar - Ciba Lexlulu (183)
Apr - Sokolnikov (279)
May - Sokolnikov (285)
Jun - Sokolnikov (160)
Jul - Cervantes Marovinjun (97)
Aug - Watson Crick (400)
Sept- FireSequence (118)
Oct-  Rixx Javix (135)

Who will rise to the top next month? Only time will tell.