The Long Break is Over


The Long Break is Over. I often title my posts before I write them, I suppose it is a form of personal challenge. Here, write that! More often than not I end up changing the title once or twice as the words pour out of me. But in this case I don't suspect that will happen. However, should you be reading this post under a different title, just know that I started writing it under the "The Long Break is Over" title.

You may not be aware of the fact, given how busy I have been on Twitter, or in my Podcast, or in my continuing support of Community events and projects, or in running an Alliance, three attempts at the Alliance Tournament, and producing artworks, logos, wallpapers, and running the most successful Non-Eve Store this side of the actual and real Eve Store - that I've actually been on a break during the last two years. But I have been.

This comes to mind today because I'm preparing to celebrate my 10th year anniversary of playing Eve on Thursday. Even though I realized today that it is actually 9 years of playing Eve and not 10 at all. September 21, 2008 is 9 years ago. So whatever, I'm celebrating anyway. Nine years is also awesome. Apparently nine years of Eve has taken its toll on my brain and rendered me incapable of basic math functions. Let's pretend the 10 thing never happened and go with 9.

Despite my math struggles I've been thinking back a bit lately in light of the upcoming anniversary date. And I've realized that I have been on a break for a long time. Not a traditional break in the sense that you never log in, or you step away, or anything. But a mind break. A break of the soul if you will. The origins of this break are obvious in hindsight. A little over two years now my post-divorce, post-business world was running pretty smoothly. My consulting work was going great and my new business venture was keeping me busy. And then everything sorta fell apart all at once. Back then, and this is really almost three years ago now, I didn't talk about my private life so much. But my legal problems hit new highs just as my business partner was diagnosed with cancer. And, like a proverbial house of cards, everything that had been building over the years previously - came crashing down.

It became difficult to justify playing a video game when my real life needed my direct attention. Play, or try to make money. And I still managed to play here and there when I could, but overall the decision became more and more difficult to justify. Artwork could be done because it served the greater purpose of padding my portfolio, exposing my work to new audiences, and often paying those bills. A ray of hope even emerged around that time, CCP wanted to work with me to sell my work.

It is difficult to convey just how stressful those times were on myself, my wife and our family. Now, in the light of history, I can start to look back and take stock. For so long I've only allowed myself to look forward, because backwards was just too painful. If you've suffered any sort of trauma in your own life, a death, a disease, a devastating loss, then you understand. And while I didn't suffer much in those traditional areas - mine was just stretched out over a very long period of time.

Luckily, those days are for the most part behind us. Thanks in large part to you my readers and fans, the greater Eve community, and to CCP as well. Not to mention the understanding and friendships of those in my own Alliance and in Stay Frosty. The in-game systems and people running them are so amazing that they continue running despite my personal issues. I cannot say enough about the pilots that I am fortunate enough to fly with. Such great people.

If you've made it this far, and I wouldn't blame you if you had given up several paragraphs before - I just wanted to say Thank You again. My life is being re-built one brick at a time and things are finally starting to make sense again. That optimism and hope is due in large part to the friendships that have been forged over the last nine years. And they each served as a light in the darkness that I often found myself in. A darkness which often threatened to overwhelm me.

But I keep going. Mostly due to the hardheaded determination my family is rather famous for, but also because I couldn't let you down.

I feel like I've emerged from a long tunnel back into the light of day. It is easy to forget how bright daylight can be.

Now, when I struggle to find the time to log into Eve, it is because I have a great full-time job and a full family life that demands my attention. Which is how it should be. How it was before. And hopefully, how it will be going into the future.

It may not be ten years yet, but in many ways, it feels like a lifetime.



JUDGEment Day

Get it printed on the back side!
The JUDGEment Day shirt is now available on my RedBubble store!

So for the last week I've been essentially out of Cellular range and limited to a sporadic WiFi connection and rules about engaging in "social media" while in the deep woods of a work-related retreat. Which sounds much worse than it was, it was actually a really good week. But, being away as I was, I missed a few things.

Having expended my usual effort in support of certain candidates for CSM who align counter to certain other parties, as I always do, this week's news was rather disappointing. The worst part was reading the smug posts coming from the so-called diplomats on the Goon side of things. We can all sit here all day and debate the details of this entire sad chapter in Eve's history, but betrayal has and always will be a part of the game. I personally find it reprehensible, but that doesn't mean it doesn't happen. In other words, I wouldn't do it, but I fully expect others to do it.

That isn't the disappointing part. The sad part to me is how easily The Judge got used. I mean if the reports from the sources are correct and at least marginally factual, this guy turned like an Apple Dumpling. A few "Poor Babies" and "I'm listening" sessions and he was ready to betray his comrades to the very forces that they had been fighting against for years. The backbone of a jellyfish.

Today I told him that he should have called me or texted me the day after the CSM dinner when he was walking around Reykjavik searching for his courage. He should have and he should have told me everything, because my advice would have been freaking EPIC.

So you are pissed off at Gigx and you want to engineer the greatest heist slash backtab in Eve history? Ok, not my thing, but I can see the point of it. Why not make it truly grand and double-cross those cheeky bastards that think you are a pushover? In no time at all I could have put a deal together with another player group (unnamed) and we could have stuck it to Co2 AND Goons at the same damn time. Imagine how much more epic that would have been?

What a missed opportunity for legendary status.

Oh well, this is what happens when you are so damn good at the Meta game that no one knows you are so damn good at the Meta game. That CCP employee that wants to know more about how it is done is talking to the wrong people.

And sorry Judge. History is not going to be kind.

Next time call me first.


After Hours Season Two


After Hours will be returning here shortly after a Summer break. I took a break for two reasons, 1) Because it was Summer and we had the Alliance Tournament, and 2) Because I needed a new microphone. The microphone I had was a pain in the ass to be honest. Especially when I finally discovered that it was the reason my audio would often garble out and get funky bad. So today I installed a new audio rig based around a Spaceship Gray (of course!) Blue Yeti with shockmount, screen, etc. I just ran it thru some VO practice and it sounds amazing.

I want to say a special thank you to Niden and the folks over at Crossing Zebras for hosting the first season of the podcast. Originally, After Hours was going to be one of the first podcasts associated with another service provider, but delays and other issues caused me to have to search for a home quickly. CZ was awesome in picking me up quickly and giving me a home for the first twenty episodes. So thanks for that.

But now that I have twenty episodes under my belt and a nice fat Summer break behind me, it is time to bring the podcast back home. So season two will be self-hosted on a server my good friend and fellow Alliance pilot Ramdar is setting up for me. And new episodes will be heard right here on Eveoganda. Where they should be.

In the meantime I'm working hard on getting season one episodes up on my YouTube channel, so look for those to start hitting over the next week. I have quite a backlog to get posted there.

It is extremely important to me that this blog, my work, the podcast, and my playing choices inside of Eve remain independent. Anyone who knows me or has read this blog at all should know how important that is to me. Independence doesn't mean neutral, despite what some of you might think. I have my own opinions and my own goals. But A Band Apart, Stay Frosty, and myself remain staunchly independent. It is very often a hard choice and an even harder way to live in Eve. It certainly is never the easy choice. But I don't make choices because they are easy, I make them because I believe in them. And I always will. No matter what.

So it is with some measure of sadness that I have to cut my official ties to Crossing Zebras. Certain affiliations have recently changed, and while those decisions are theirs to make - I cannot be associated with them. As much as I like the people involved, I simply cannot take the risk that things may change even further in the coming weeks and months. Because they often do. Better to make this break now and see how things develop from the sidelines.

Which all happened while I was considering moving the podcast anyway. So no big deal.

I've essentially decided to cut ties with all Eve media establishments, not just CZ, and remain fiercely independent as always. This way I don't have to keep up with who is sleeping with who anymore. It is easier and frankly, the way I prefer it. Who can keep track?

Onward and upward.



UPDATE: The Rixx Store


Launched in December 2016, the Rixx Javix Store was intended as an experiment and an example. An experiment to see firsthand what the demand might be for a store offering items "almost" Eve related. I call them Almost Eve Related because I obviously can't use any Eve IP on them. So I'm stuck hovering around the edges, picking up common community sayings, plastering Alliance logos on things, and generally trying to be as creative as possible without tipping over into being sued land. It was also intended as an example to certain people at CCP of how well a player-run store front could be run. Y'know, if the guy running it knew what he was doing and also happened to be extremely creative. And didn't use slave labor. Unless they have slaves in Canada, which is where the items are made.

The other intention, which I mentioned above, was to give Alliance's in Eve a place to sell gear to their members. A few years back CCP finally gave Alliance's the right to make products with their logos on them. So this seemed like a service that a bunch of Alliances would be interested in having. Not everyone wants to go to the trouble of not only running a store, but also creating all the material for one. After nine months I'd say this part of the experiment is still open to debate. A Band Apart, Mercenary Coalition, FCON, BOSS, and Bastion have taken advantage of the idea. And I've sold a lot of gear to players in those groups. Bastion being the most active of the bunch. We also sell Crossing Zebras gear, which has sold exactly ONE item in nine months. (The Eve-NT version of this idea was taken down by CCP.)

Right now some of you are thinking this is yet another example of Rixx trying to make money from the Eve community. As always, you are wrong. What you don't know is that the commission is set at the lowest possible percentage on all items being sold, and zero on most of the Alliance gear being offered. (With a few exceptions due to the artwork on those items, with those also set at the lowest possible percentage that isn't zero.) I knew from the beginning that I wouldn't be selling a lot of items and I certainly wasn't expecting to make bank on this idea. I'm not an idiot. It does make a nice bit of pocket change each month, I'm not going to lie. But more in the area of a nice dinner out with the family, rather than the monthly payment on a car.

Believe it or not the satisfaction for me is seeing all the shirts and stickers and other items that players send me pictures of. During the AT a lot of our pilots in ABA would put on their shirts to play our matches, or to support our team. That is the kind of payment I was looking for when I started the store. It's a lot of fun and I enjoy it. It also helps knowing that it probably irks certain people to no end. lol.

I think you will be surprised at how well the store is doing, I know I am. We've been told over and over again that the community won't support Eve merchandise. That the numbers are not there. And, admittedly I'm not selling Eve IP, but even so the Rixx Store has sold 1,245 items in nine months. That average out to about 138 a month, or almost 5 a day. On average of course. For example, three shirts were sold today. That also includes items like stickers, which are a big seller. And other items like phone cases, etc.

I wonder how many items the actual Eve Store has sold in the past nine months?

Oh, and as a side note, in nine months we've had zero returns.


Steel City Eve


The 2nd Annual Steel City Eve player meet was held this past Saturday at our house! Once again we had a great crowd of about 15-20 players from even further away than last year! Technically we even had a Goon from England, although he lives nearby now. But one player drove in from Austin, Texas. Others drove in from New Jersey, Chicago, New York, Virginia and all around the Pittsburgh area. It doesn't really matter where they came from, it's just astonishing to me that anyone would want to come hang out at my house for the day. And help me celebrate my birthday! Honestly I can't think of a better way to celebrate than with your friends and family. And so many of my Eve friends do feel like family. Although I did have actual family there, my Son and his wife also came and spent the day with us.

Swag Bags!
It rained for about an hour in the afternoon, but everyone took it in stride and we sat inside watching Alliance Tournament replays and talking about Eve. After the rain left it was smooth sailing the rest of the way and we went strong until around 11:30 Saturday night. 

My wife and I decided this year that we wouldn't ask CCP for any swag, since we haven't exactly been seeing eye to eye on things lately, so we made all of the swag ourselves. Everyone got a nice printed poster of my SOE illustration, some hand-etched shot glasses, an Eve Koozie, a Spaceship sticker, and a Spaceship vinyl decal, plus a few other random items that varied from bag to bag.

Our event is about hanging out and having a good time together. We drank, told funny stories, ate some food I cooked on the grill, and had fun. I posted a bunch of photos over on my Facebook page, so I'm not going to post them here.

We are going to do this again next year and if you are reading this I hope you'll consider coming out and joining us. I know it will never get to be as large as some of the other player meets and I don't really want it to frankly. I prefer the smaller more intimate event that we have going. But there is always room for you.

I'd like to thank each of our guests for attending. You are all awesome and you didn't lose any of our cats. Which was a plus. Seriously though, thanks for being there and I hope you enjoyed yourselves.

We did.



2nd Annual Steel City Eve Tomorrow!


Goodie bags are made and getting ready to be filled tonight. Tomorrow is the 2nd Annual Steel City Eve player meet right here at my house! We're expecting somewhere around 20 players to show up tomorrow for a great day of drinking, eating, and talking about our favorite spaceship game. Players are coming in from as far away as Texas, Chicago, Virginia, New Jersey, New York and all around the PA area to attend.

This year we decided to just have the darn thing at our house and make it more personal. In that spirit Liz and I are making all the swag ourselves, which is pretty awesome. (I hope) And we'll be cooking food for everyone and opening our home to all our friends. Which, in my humble opinion, is anyone that plays Eve. Even if we happen to fight in-game, out here in the real world we are all friends.

If you are coming we can't wait to see you tomorrow. If you are not coming... well maybe next year. It is around the same time every year, cause it is also my birthday(!), so put August 19th on your calendar now so you'll remember.

Time to get back to work.

Pictures soon.



The Aftermath

Our amazing run in Alliance Tournament XV has come to an end. Congratulations are due to both LAZERHAWKS and BRAVE for excellent fights, well played. In both cases we gave as good as we got and both matches could have easily gone either way. But well deserved by both teams. I'm not taking anything away from either one. In the AT the matches often hinge on the smallest decisions, a mounting pile of critical errors, or razor thin margins. That is, after all, what we call a good fight. And both were good fights.

But I want to take a moment and talk about our team. I want to personally thank each of our pilots who came out for practice after practice for months leading up to this AT. I can't begin to tell you how proud I am of each of you and how thankful I am for your dedication and commitment to A Band Apart. These pilots right here deserve all the credit for our incredible run this year.


A very special thank you to our team Captain Jose Zampano. Jose agreed to take on the mantle of Team Captain for last year's AT Team and this year's. It is a lot of responsibility and all of us in ABA are lucky to have him as our Captain. I hope he will lead us to yet another run at glory next year.

I could seriously point at any pilot in that picture and tell you something truly amazing about them. Most importantly I will tell you that I'm proud to fly with them and would gladly sacrifice my ship for any of them. I'm also more than happy to keep pouring a hundred billion isk at them until we win this damn thing!! lol.

One thing I want our team to know. Top 16 last year and Top 12 this year sound very similar. They are not. Our competition this year was much, much better. Slyce, Hard Knocks and Volta are solid teams. But the truly important thing that one extra win does is break you into the final 8 undefeated teams, which on its own terms is a big deal. (We were one of the final 8 undefeated teams!) For us however, it is even more important because both of the teams we lost to - are still in the Tournament and going on to the final weekend. And while it sucks huge hairy balls to lose, at least we have that knowledge to get us thru until next year. We are a much better team than you probably realize right now. But we still have much ahead of us.

To everyone in A Band Apart that supported us this year, thank you as well. Your donations of isk or equipment or time or support mean a tremendous amount to our success. It might sound trite, but it does take everyone in the Alliance to make a winning team. So thank you as well.

And to anyone else reading this post, maybe now is a good time to consider joining A Band Apart. We are a rather unique Alliance with member Corporations that cater to just about any playstyle you might enjoy, all built around the largest pirate group in all of Eve - Stay Frosty. And that doesn't even begin to tell the whole story, from our amazing Wormhole Corporations, Industry, Rookie training, and much, much more. If you are looking for a home in Eve, I can think of no better people to shack up with than ours.

And who knows, you may very well be a part of the team that wins this damn tournament next year!

I can promise you this, we are going to give it all we have.

Onward and upward.




3rd Weekend


The astute reader will notice that this is my own betting bracket from the Alliance Tournament. As I've said before I made my bets the day before the AT started and I haven't changed a single thing since then. (Tbh I did change two matches that no longer had either of my original teams in them, but that was in the losers bracket)  There are eight teams left undefeated and we happen to be one of them.

Tomorrow we face Lazerhawks. I don't know much about them, although I do know they often bump into our own WH operations from time to time. We've also practiced against them once or twice. Once for sure. This isn't a grudge match as far as I know, just two teams trying to prove themselves that happen to bump up against each other along the way. I'm sure it will be a good fight and well played. And we are not taking them lightly or anything stupid like that. I'm sure they are not taking us lightly either. I wish them the best of luck. But, of course, I hope we win.

For our Alliance a win tomorrow means we will go further into the AT than we ever have before. A loss tomorrow also means the same thing. Either way we go further. That is a HUGE accomplishment and the fulfillment of everything I had hoped for this year. The only thing I really wanted from our team was to make a better showing than our Top 16 finish (#14 overall) from last year. And no matter what happens tomorrow, we've already accomplished that.

Everything after that is gravy. But what tempting gravy it is. Getting this far, especially without a loss yet, is intoxicating. You can't help but look at the brackets and start thinking about what if scenarios. What if we win both matches this weekend? Can you imagine? Can your brain even comprehend an ABA vs Tuskers final? Mine can't. The human brain is a mysterious thing, I keep telling it to stop thinking past tomorrow's match. But it doesn't listen.

Seriously though, one match at a time. We have a determined foe to face tomorrow and, if we manage to win that one, another determined foe on Sunday. If we manage to escape those fights with another weekend ahead of us, then that will be... something to deal with later.

Who knows what will happen next? No one. That's why we fight the damn things.

Onward and upward to glory.




Whoa ABA!


So today this happened.

In case you live under a rock and missed it, today we won our third match in a row and defeated We Form Volta (last year's third place winner) and move on to the next weekend undefeated. We are now one of the eight remaining undefeated teams left in the Alliance Tournament. Whoa.

Before the match I think about 31% of voters picked us to win. Which has been about our average during all three of our matches so far this year.

I could not possibly be more proud of our pilots and our FC than I am. I am not surprised however. We've all been practicing hard and for a long time, so I fully expected us to fly well today. We've known all along that if we were going to do well in the AT we needed to do it by out executing the other teams. And so far we've managed to do just that in each of our matches. So, while I am extremely proud of our pilots, I'm also not at all surprised. Just ask Apothne, I told him a few weeks ago we'd be making a solid run at the final four this year. And I still believe that.

I have to admit that I was more than a little disappointed that I didn't fly today. Don't get me wrong when I say that, we have a deep bench and everyone deserves a chance to fly in the tournament. However, from a personal perspective, I also want to fly in every match. I've spent a good part of three years training skills specific to the AT and a large chunk of personal time training for it. Like anyone else, I just want to be out there in the mix with my teammates. But while I am the Alliance Executor and the CEO of Stay Frosty, I am also not the boss of our AT Team. That honor belongs to Jose Zampano, who has been kicking ass as our Fleet Commander this year. Jose makes the rosters out for each match. And I'm fine with that. In fact, I set it up that way before last year's AT. And Jose has taken the ball and done an exceedingly excellent job of running with it. It has been a real treat for me watching that happen.

How far will we go? I honestly have no idea. The AT is often such a rock, paper, scissors tournament and luck certainly plays a role. As we continue to move forward it doesn't get any easier and the pressure only continues to mount. This is the furthest we've gone in three tries, so this is all new territory for our team. That is both exciting and terrifying at the exact same time. However, if I know our pilots as well as I think I do - we should continue to excel.

I filled out this Alliance Tournament bracket before the first weekend and I haven't touched it since then. I decided I'd make my predictions before the AT and let them ride to see how well I'd do. I also predicted we would end up in the finals against Tuskers. And, believe it or not, that Tuskers would end up winning. If you are curious I'm 59-37 so far, which is respectable. I'd do better if I changed some predictions obviously. But that ain't bad.

One match at a time. We have Lazerhawks to contend with next. Everything after that is not worth thinking about.

For now, I'm just going to enjoy the sweet taste of victory. For as long as it might last.





September 21



On September 21st I will have been playing Eve relatively non-stop for ten years. I popped out of a station in Todaki and haven't stopped since. There isn't a region of Eve that I haven't been in, and there really isn't anything that I haven't tried. I haven't technically been in Faction Warfare, but I consider myself an active participant in it. Some may argue that point. But whatever. The only real goal remaining, that I have yet to achieve, is a Top 4 finish in the Alliance Tournament. That has always been my goal and I hope to achieve it either this year or next.

My other personal goal all along was to train Rixx to the maximum sub-cap PvP skills you can have in the game. I recently finished training all of the Leadership skills to go along with all of the Shield, Armor, Drone, Missile, Electronic, Engineering and other support skills he already has trained. The only thing remaining in Ship skills is the Loki and Black Ops V. After those two are finished I won't have any more sub-cap ships (PvP) to train. I finished Marauder V earlier this year. I'm somewhere around 165m skill points and my current train is 195 days. It ends with Black Ops V.

It has helped that along the way CCP has added some additional ships to train, so that may or may not happen again. If it does, like Command Destroyers, I'll pop those into the train. If not... well I'm not sure. My thinking right now is that I will stop training Rixx and leave him with max sub-cap skills, and move on to another character to train. Only coming back to his training when a new ship class or something else warrants it. That is my thinking right now at least. I have half a year to figure that one out. There isn't much call for Caps in my version of low sec. And even if there is I have a couple of other characters that can be trained into them.

So what do I have to look forward to going forward? For the past two years my real life situation has dictated a very strange relationship with playing Eve. Despite what many people seem to think, I really haven't been playing that much. I've been running the Corporation and Alliance from Slack for the most part. Which says a tremendous amount about the people playing, our Directors and leaders, and their commitment to our ideals. Right now I'm focused on the Alliance Tournament, but afterwards I'm really looking forward to a much more relaxed playing experience again. Thanks to recent turn-arounds in my personal life, the pressure to "make money" with my personal time is finally abated. I can stop chasing extra work and relationships hoping that they will turn into something. That includes dealing with CCP, or not dealing with CCP, whichever way we are looking at that today.

I remain excited about Eve and ABA and Stay Frosty and primarily the relationships and friendships that I have both in-game and out. I don't plan on going anywhere anytime soon. I've often said that I will probably be the last person to turn out the lights when the servers shut down and I see no reason that might change.

I plan on being around annoying people for another decade or two. Where the road leads is all part of the grand adventure we are all a part of.

Let's find out.




Boom Headshot



Behold our NEW Alliance Tournament Ad for this week! This was a gift on Sunday so we kinda had to use it. I think Jose and I had the idea at the same moment on our Slack channel, so he pulled the video clips and I added the edit magic, and boom!

Ithica's a good sport and I know he got a good laugh out of it over on EVE_NT Slack today. But I'll make it up to him with some free beer at Fanfest next April.

Enjoy!




Roll Tide


The first weekend of Alliance Tournament XV is finally over and A Band Apart comes out with two wins against two quality teams. First I want to thank both Solyaris Chtonium and Hard Knocks Citizens for two excellent, competitive, and well-fought fights. You both pushed us to the edge in both matches and came close to swinging the fight in your direction. Good fights. Good luck to both of you in your upcoming rounds.

It is difficult to communicate what flying in the AT is like. Our team is made up of pilots I've known for a long time, many of them have been in ABA or Stay Frosty for over four years now. Many others I've been fortunate enough to meet in real life, some several times now. This is our third run at the AT and we still have five pilots on the team that have flown in all three. Our team is 28 pilots deep this year and we've all been practicing and planning together for months now. For hours on end. Our entire Alliance has been building, moving, and supporting the effort. This is the part, beyond the actual fighting, that gets hard to communicate. There is a profound sense of all that friendship when you are flying. Of not wanting to be the one that lets them down, that makes the mistake that costs the match. I know I feel it and I'm sure everyone else does as well.

So it is a huge relief when all of that actually works. When I was flying with my teammates today it felt like being part of a well-oiled machine. All of those hours of practice, all those different trials, testing, figuring out things, all came together. It wasn't so much as thought as it was pure instinct. And confidence in those around you. That is a truly great feeling. And it doesn't really have anything to do with actually winning. But winning sure does make it even better. I ain't no idiot.

I'm also not going to take more credit than I am due. I'm mostly just the Head Cheerleader for our team, link pilot, and big ship boom guy. Often primary. Our FC Jose Zampano deserves the most credit. He stood up last year and led us into a Top 16 finish and this year he is doing another fantastic job of leading our team. And he has a lot of help from Andy, and Methea, and Bluey, and Stickel, and others on our team.... Heck, here they all are.

An awesome team shot from Bluey Snuttsoff! (<3 td="">
That's the ABA ATXV Team right there. (Thanks Bluey!)

I have no idea what will happen next Sunday against We Form Volta. According to Ithica Hawk we are in a lot of trouble. Which is a strange thing to say seeing as how they are 8-10 in the AT and we are 6-10 in the AT, doesn't seem like that much of a gap to me. But what do I know? I'm just a low-sec player. What did Mittens say, "a bunch of idiots of no consequence"? I'll take that and own it.

Whatever happens no one can take these two wins away and for now that is good enough for me. Next Sunday's match will take care of itself soon enough. Until then I'm going to enjoy this feeling as long as I can.

Keep the courage and Stay Frosty.




ABA ATXV Poster

A Band Apart ATXV Poster
Click to embiggen


I didn't create much in the way of propaganda for our Alliance Tournament run this year, so I thought I should do at least one piece. I did this for me and I like it. I thought the Cars 3 teaser poster (I haven't seen the movie) was a powerful image and it came to mind today when thinking about the Daredevil. DD's are only 2 points this year, so I expect we will be seeing a lot of them in the AT.

First match is Saturday!!

Go ABA!!




ATXV Our Third Trip



The 15th Alliance Tournament starts this Saturday. This will be A Band Apart's third trip to the tournament. Our first year of eligibility was a rush that was quickly assembled while we were still putting the Alliance together and experiencing growing pains - but no excuses - we got our asses handed to us and lost both matches. Last year we did much better and made it into the Top 16 before our practice partners knocked us out of the running. Which was a good run for us and it meant we didn't have to worry about getting in this year.

Honestly I'm much more comfortable with being underdogs, and although we did finish in the final 16 last year, I still feel like we are underdogs again this year. As Apothne and Jin'Taan are more than willing to point out to me, one year doesn't count in the Alliance Tournament. So, no pressure or anything.

I prefer it that way. And I believe it is the way that all our pilots in ABA are approaching it again this year. We really are underdogs and not just because we only did well in one AT. We also have a lot of pilots in our team this year that didn't fly last year. We're also a relatively small Alliance in a field of much, much bigger fish. We don't live in zero space or have big cousins, or any moon goo to throw around, or whatever it is these days that null sec people do. We are a scrappy bunch of low sec pirates, wormhole denizens, mission runners and industry experts who take sov by accident and refuse to participate in the worst that Eve has to offer. Which is our entire reason for being. We refuse to participate in your version of Eve.

So that makes us underdogs. Not just in the AT but in Eve. A position we thrive in and expect. So nothing different.

I can't begin to tell you how we will do this year. I have no idea. I'm a Pirate Lord not a mystic. I can tell you that I am proud of our pilots, our team is well practiced and prepared, our FC is German, and our ships are well and purposefully fitted. I can tell you that I am thankful and appreciative of our practice partners again this year, all of them. Thanks for grinding with us and best of luck to you all in the AT. I can tell you that no matter what happens this weekend or in the following weekends, that I am proud of our team and all of our pilots. Good people and great Eve players every one.

I can also tell you that I am sooooo glad that I finally finished training ALL of the link skills!

So that is something to celebrate.