Seven years ago today Stay Frosty, barely a year old itself, folded itself into a larger entity in order to compete in the Alliance Tournament. I called this alliance A Band Apart, which I borrowed from Quentin Tarantino's production company. At the time the name seemed perfect for a group under constant threat, war, station camping, and prophesies of doom and destruction. It's hard to imagine now, but back then the success of Stay Frosty, and to a larger extent, A Band Apart - was by no means a sure thing.
Since then we're tried on a lot of hats. We once ballooned up to almost 2k pilots, had a huge wormhole presence, took Sov a few times for laughs, and yes - we even fought in more than a few Alliance Tournaments. Our best finish was 11th. Which ain't bad. We even once owned two Titans. True story.
Over time we shed most of our wormhole operations, although we still maintain a viable hole to this day. And focused our efforts on more narrow fields. We walked away from growth as a goal and decided that quality over quantity was going to be our path forward. Focus. So these days our Alliance runs quite simply on the backs of Stay Frosty and Average Pilots on the piracy side of things and Lucifer's Hammer on the industry side of things. With a few alt corporations here and there to fill in some logistical holes for our pilots to use. Over a year ago now we undertook a massive effort to re-organize our assets and remove ourselves from war eligibility - an effort that has had tremendously positive results.
This focus, along with our amazing leadership team, has turned our operations into a well-oiled machine. Just look at the success of our latest FFA for proof of that. From an Alliance perspective we don't ask for much, a cohesion, a family feel, and an umbrella under which our corporations can operate. Alliance leadership is simple and borderline pointless. From the beginning the concept was to allow our corporations to dictate policy, not the other way around.
But mostly ABA has been around as a home for some great friendships over the last seven years. And some great stories and adventures. Our name was never meant as an indication of our internal identity, but rather our attitude towards the game itself. We do things differently, we stand apart because of our identity. We aren't beholden to "the way things are" as much as we are to finding our own way. On our own terms. We don't see our goals as growing, moving to null and failscading someday. No thanks. We see our goals as improving the play style of our players, offering a home, and getting the heck out of their way.
That's what makes us A Band Apart.
And what will drive us into the next seven years. Adventure, stories, family, and most importantly - friends.