Archive for August, 2010

Syndicate :: Day 1

Posted in IT Alliance, Roaming on August 30, 2010 by Easley Thames

I was not present for the alliance’s initial operations due to time-zone differences, but I did setup half a dozen ships  in our staging system, which I have already put to good use.

In the first few engagements, IT pilots have shown what all of our FCs expected, many of our members are totally clueless about armor HAC setups and how to fly them. However, with a couple fights under their belts and some spankings being doled out, I feel the vast majority of those who brough improper setup now understand the basic requirements.

In Day 1 of my Syndicate deployment, I first went roaming with an alliance FC who chased hostile gangs for a couple hours with no kills. It was a bit painful, but I threw back a few beers and just went along for the ride for once. I didn’t scout or FC, I just mindlessly warped around in my hurricane.

After that roam returned to our staging system, a Maverick FC decided to kick things into gear and take anyone who was still awake out again. We lost some numbers but with a better small-gang FC at the helm we were assured to do much better. One major cultural difference between -MVN- and other IT corps is that we strongly value casual pvp and we have many excellent small-gang FCs.

Our first kill was a t1 scouting frigate. Shortly after, we found and melted a Tengu in a sanctum.  The Tengu kill was a hard one to pull off because he kept warping out, but our FC (who was also scouting from the front like many of us do in -MVN-) was able to eventually pin him down. Hats off to you Card.

Moving ahead, we caught a faction frig on a gate and then a curse. If you notice, the majority of us are not on these mails. That’s because our fast-tackle was melting people before the rest of the gang could even get a lock. It was slightly frustrating, but I’d rather see things die than get away.

Moving ahead, we came into a NC-controlled system and tried to bait the locals into fighting. Our advance team of 2 players only got a thorax to engage. We decided to let them kill it instead of bringing in our gang, in hopes they they would escalate the battle with more ships. Sadly, they were not interested in fighting even though local included 40+ NC.

At this point, we had an alliance operation in less than an hour so we burnt home. One the way back we killed a stabber who tried to re-approach gate and also a drake, which I was actually able to lock! Huzzah for my 2nd mail of the night.

I made it to the alliance operation in an armor HAC. We went around reinforcing and killing low-sec and npc 0.0 towers such as this Cry Havoc tower.

We captured 2 moons in that operation pre-downtime. After downtime, I believe the operation continued at some point, but I was fast asleep.

The campaign has focused only obtaining moons thus far. However, aside from added wealth, we’re getting valuable (and much needed) experience in Armor Hacs against some tough opponents.

I think this will be fun campaign, and I’m looking forward to seeing some cap fights while orbiting command ships furiously with guns a-blaze.

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Maverick Macro Megapurge!!

Posted in Corporate Management on August 29, 2010 by Easley Thames

Ok, so let’s be honest for a moment. Every large alliance ends up with a few macro ratters here and there. I’ve seen it in every region I’ve ever roamed through.

One of the problem with macro ratting ships is that they are soulless isk-grinding machines that often upset other players in the zone by warping belt-to-belt and tagging rats with no deference to other players.

In our own space, we’ve seen a couple pilots using macros and – after confronting the pilots – we got stories ranging from “it was my kids playing” to “I just didn’t see you talking to me.” Neither are valid excuses, especially during a deployment such as the one we’ve just begun this weekend in Syndicate.

There are plenty of reasons to hate macro-abusers, and everyone CLAIMS they try to purge their own corps of these leeches, but how many of them just get ignored? How many people turn a blind eye to this because of the taxes they generate or because they tacitly accept macros as acceptable?

In -MVN- we have a different approach to dealing with clearly afk macro-ratting pilots. We warn them once and if it ever happens again, we kick them without any warning and offer them no safe travel out of our space. Three pilots were recently identified and given a stern warning.

After finding pilots who were previously warned using macros, we would normally have simply removed them, but many of us felt that this was sending a strong enough message. Starting today, we’re hunting our own pilots and murdering them in the belts.

Our first field execution was a Paladin macro ratter whose pod continued to warp belt-to-belt after being killed in the exact same manner as before. The macro, apparently, has its limitations.

Within minutes, another pilot was located and shown to be using a macro. I think you can guess what happened to the second paladin macro-ratter.

More will follow in the near future. My only regret is that I can’t clone back to our space at this precise moment to help with the purge.

For updates on our macro-killing, feel free to visit The Maverick Navy’s Killboard.

“GFs” To Be Had In New Providence

Posted in Roaming on August 27, 2010 by Easley Thames

This will be a short post. I have often seen many claim “-A- ruined Providence” and that the fun pvp once experienced there is gone forever.

Every time we have visited the area this week, we’ve gotten good fights or at least a couple kills. I even managed to sneak a few solo kills in each visit.

Tonight was no exception. I got home late (again) and met up with a -MVN- FC’d gang consisting of IT and friends. They had not found anything in Catch, but Providence looked promising. However, due to having a solid fleet strength (18 at peak I believe) we were scaring too many locals away.

Eventually we spotted an RRBS gang with support coming our way. We gladly positioned ourselves to take the fight. With only a gate separating our gang from theirs, we sent Perseus through the gate into their gang to bubble. Unfortunately, he disconnected and died without bubbling. Meaningless deaths are the most aggrivating kind.

We then decided to jump to the enemy, as they were aggressed from killing Perseus in a Saber, and we managed to score 6 kills for that single saber loss that shouldn’t even have occurred. Since the only hostiles that show up on the killboard are those who either got on Perseus’s loss mail or died to our gang, you can’t see the entirety of their gang.

We were definately larger in umbers, but they had a few more than show on that report, including a Widow and some light tackle. The widow actually never de-cloaked, but we had seen him warp onto the gate. The keys to victory in this engagement were killing the falcon early and our experienced scimitar pilots quickly negating any DPS put out by the enemy, even when they switched targets.

After losing the fight, or opponents reshipped and rounded up a gang twice our size. They had twice as many logistics and a crap ton of battle-cruisers. We avoided fighting them and headed home, but not before swinging by HED- so I could grab a quick solo kill.

Providence has many holders now that are willing and able to mount a solid, small-to-mid-size fleet in response to hostiles roaming their space. It hasn’t reached population heights of old providence, but that was a NRDS community built up for many years. New providence is… new… and only open to ambitious alliances with a desire to join the “fight club” not just any old miner or ratting fiend.

This means that, while you won’t always find a belt-raven to blow up, the odds of getting a real fight are probably better than before.

Just Another Weekday Roam

Posted in Roaming on August 26, 2010 by Easley Thames

I came home and was immediately invited into a fleet. It was being FC’d by a veteran of -MVN- who recently rejoined the corp and I was excited to fly with my old friend once again.

I caught up with them by taking a shorter route to their next destination. Before I arrived at HED, our meeting zone, they scored a drake and helios kill in transit.

In HED, the locals were timid, but we managed to score a few kills. I left one of our heavy interdictors on the Keberz gate and – sure enough – a few players warped straight into it from station. We destroyed the odd pairing of a rifter and prophecy without anything running afoul. Honestly, I expected the prophecy to be bait but that was not the case apparently.

Moving on, we looped through Keberz down into Querious to bust a small gatecamp in A2-. I jumped into the camp with my rapier and tackled a Sleipner and Raven who were sitting at the edge of their anchored bubble. The command ship was killed first and the raven soon followed. The original FC for this roam was depressed because he missed both kills due to an inability to cross the high-sec systems between A2- and Keberz.

We then moved up into Providence looking for more fights. Unfortunately, we lost a key part of our gang in A2- due to his personal time constraints. With only one logistic, we were significantly weakened. Keeping this in mind, I burnt ahead.

The next target was a caracal sitting in a bubble behind a gate in D-G, the system owned by Dara Cothrom currently. I burnt straight at the cruiser in my rapier, expecting him to want to leave the field. He stood still and I actually ended up in scram range before I switched from approaching to orbiting. It was sloppy piloting and I immediately realized this was not an ideal situation.

With a web and scram on me, my dual-webs (with no scram) was not enough to get away. The caracal was not a threat to me, his dps was slow, but things took a bad turn when a bomber decloaked. Worse yet, my gang was still in warp to the gate.

I immediately focused my dps on the bomber, killing him quickly, but not before he did a large amount of damage to me. The Caracal entered structure as my first gang-mates showed up, and I was still at 5% armor. I thought that, with a damage control, I might have the advantage.The problem was that I had barrage loaded, not high-damage EM or thermal ammo, and my dps was much lower than it should have been.

My first ally put his tackle on the caracal as I exploded. This was frustrating but I knew it was going to happen unless our scimitar made it on-field immediately after the bomber died, which he did not. The caracal literally had 169 structure remaining when my gang-mate finished the job.

I was frustrated for a minute but regained my composure quickly. You don’t really expect to die to a t1 cruiser and bomber with a scimitar in gang, but my own piloting mistake (not getting into an orbit around the carcal) caused this loss, so I have no one else to blame. The rapier was replaced a few jumps away in low-sec for cheap, and most of my loot (including t2 salvage) was returned, further mitigating the loss.

Moving without me until I was re-shipped, our gang fought a larger Legio Astartes Arcanum gang who had a nearly identical composition. We traded 1 harbinger loss for a dominix kill. Under the circumstances, this was a good result. Our gang actually had a chance to warp off without any losses but the BC pilot decided to keep the point while the gang finished the dominix at range.

Here’s a summary of the kills on our roam:

This was a good roam and I had fun the whole way. I’m now looking forward to taking out some larger gangs this weekend so that we can engage more home-defense fleets on their own terms.

We also have an alliance-scale campaign starting soon (as is public knowledge) and everyone is excited for that too.

Sparse Playtime, Sparse Kills

Posted in Against All Authorities, Atlas Alliance, IT Alliance, Roaming, Solo PvP on August 24, 2010 by Easley Thames

I have had only a few hours here and there to play since my last update, but I wanted to record a few brief encounters.

(1) Earlier this evening, after coming home at around 11 PM my time, I caught up with a roam being lead by Perseus. The gang consisted of t2 and faction frigs with a single dictor and falcon being the only other other ships fielded. I decided to bring a rapier for no particularly good reason.

We narrowly missed a Raven who cross-jumped the main-body of our gang, only to be engaged by a lone assault frig who couldn’t get into scram range before the battleship warped and logged. We had no probes, and it would have been too much effort to scream at people to burn over from our home space just to have a shot at catching a lone Raven.

Luckily for us, our scout reported a Tengu landing on our gate. He pressured it into our camp and we waited with anticipation as the pilot waited out his timer. Even with the bubble up, there was a good chance he could escape if he had a interdiction-nullified setup, but that was not the case in this instance.

It took us quite a while, but we eventually wore down a rather expensive Tengu. The loot drop should net everyone in gang a decent pay-out after the A-type booster and CN BCUs are sold in Jita by one of our neutral alts.

I can’t help but think that all this sloppiness in -A- space is due to their serious internal issues. Whenever corps leave a 0.0 alliance, players will take unwise risks to evacuate expensive assets and discipline generally breaks down.

(2) Last Friday, In Curse -MVN- and another IT corp had just begun to move pilots and ships into Curse for a long deployment involving coordinated roaming ops and possibly a future involvement in nearby conflicts if the circumstances were favorable.

The early adventures had netted some good kills, but also a handful losses as many of the FCs with little or no personal experience in the area under-estimated Outbreak on more than one occasion.

I was literally online for the last-half of a fight that ended before I could arrive in-system. Having missed the action, I started looting the field. One wreck in particular was a good distance off, so I re-warped from a nearby planet, only to find a jaguar sitting on the wreck!

I applied close range tackle + neus to maintain range. Without being able to orbit me, I easily crushed the jaguar with my close-rage hurricane. This kill is certainly nothing to brag about, but it was nice to log in and pick up free loot and a solo kill before having to get back offline.

I also shared a falcon kill with an Initiative pilot a couple systems over before we had to leave Curse. This particular kill was somewhat joyless because the falcon pilot – though neutral and someone I’ve fought before – had “warned” me about the Initiative gang next-door when I jumped in, because he knows I fly solo fairly often and didn’t want to see me get raped.

Solo-enthusiasts will occasionally pass intel to each other, even without friendly standings. You shouldn’t overly-trust anyone in Eve, but in my experience these tips tend to be genuine.

3) Last Sat/Sun, IT Alliance Recalled Home – Although we were told to move home to prepare for a new operation, we didn’t have orders yet. So, to pass the time, we killed whatever we could in our own backyard.

I was able to catch a Vagabond ratter who was farming rats in our space without permission. I noticed he was still in the belts, even after my hurricane entered system, so I used a clever warp-in angle to land in range to tackle. He could have escaped at one point, but instead he decided to try and kite me, which did not work. The Vaga dropped some low-value dark blood mods that he had just acquired in the belts.

The next day I had a little more playtime, so I lead a roam of my own. Over a few hours of boring Sunday hunting (traditionally a bad day for kills) we snared a few unremarkable kills without any losses.

The first kill came in Curse, where I was able to tackle a Harbinger in my Rapier and hold him off-gate until my back-up could arrive. We tried to get a fight with Darkside in neighboring systems, but their similar-sized gang did not want to play with us. We were primarily in drakes with scimitar support, Darkside had Machs and Cynabals.

Leaving Curse for Providence, I was able to bait a fight with a dominix and drake on a station in a popular mining system. I let the drake approach me off-station (un-webbed) while focusing on the dominix to create urgency. When I had the drake safely out-of dock range, I called in my battle-cruisers to do the heavy lifting.

The dominix, having neuted me just before I switched my tackle over to the drake, was still aggressed for a few moments after we finished the drake. We primaried him and he docked in VERY low structure. He had to of been below 1000 hull.

Moving forward, I jumped-into a busy system occupied by Flying Dangerously. An Ishkur sat on-gate, orbiting an anchored bubble positioned to catch warp-ins from another gate. Scan showed nothing else in range.

I engaged the Ishkur with 22 in local and a gang hungry for more kills on the other side of the gate. He slowly dropped and..  as I mashed scan to see what his backup would look like… I was disappointed to solo the poor guy with no one coming to his aid.

All was not yet lost. I saw battleships on scan shortly after looting the Ishkur wreck! They were on station with a carrier, so engaging them in this particular system was not going to happen on my watch. Instead, I decided to warp to station and see if I couldn’t get a few tacklers to burn at me beyond the reach of their station-hugging RRBS and carrier(s).

As I landed, the hostiles warped past me to the gate. I let the gang know to be ready. If they jumped into us, I was comfortable engaging with similar numbers. We had far more logistic support, and I felt we had a slight overall advantage in a heads-up brawl.

However, the gang wanted us to jump to them, in the system where they had at least one carrier and several more pilots in station. After a brief standoff, we went home. If we had stayed longer I feared their numbers would swell.

Other thoughts:

-There are some great new videos out by PvP-video-makers I respect. Check out Garmonation 8, Podcat’s Dishonor and Fon Revenant’s “The Rocket Wickedness.” They’re all amazing videos and each is different enough from the others that you won’t be bored watching all 3 in one sitting.

-AAA used to scare me when I was in IAC. They’ve fallen a long way since then. I think the biggest issue is that they only want to do things that are within their local sphere of influence. -A- is probably the Morsus Mihi of the south, grossly rich and lazy, but powerful when attacked locally.

-Atlas has always been too dependent on Bobby. If the supreme leader isn’t playing Eve like a second job, they are simply not a superpower. However, fighting PL (especially when they have others involved to create added chaos) tends to make anyone look bad. They’ve done it to the NC, IT and now Atlas.

-If you need a break from Eve, there are some great movies out. See “Inception,” “The Other Guys,” and “Scott Pilgrim” first. If you have more time, “Dinner for Schmucks” and “The Expendables” were both above-average (although victims of their own over-hyping IMO).

Sunday Slaughter

Posted in Piracy, Roaming on August 9, 2010 by Easley Thames

My daily Eve experience began today with an invitation from a couple Mavericks in low-sec to join an existing gang. They had scored a decent kill or two, but narrowly missed destroying TWO station-hugging faction battleships.

I was informed that, had I been there to add my DPS they would surely have scored two excellent kills. Truthfully, I don’t deny that is likely the case, but we can’t really know that for sure. If they had seen another Maverick in local, maybe they wouldn’t have engaged at all.

We decided to change things up and go for a roam. I choose to lead the gang from the Domain  region to neighboring Kor-Azor, where I regularly find good targets.

My ship of choice for this roam was an Ishkur, which some might consider unusual in low-sec. However, I feel the events that followed my ship selection will demonstrate the strength of an Assault Frigate used in the right situations.

Things started out in the side-system of Aldali, which is tucked away between two high-sec gates. I tackled and nearly soloed a care-bear harbinger, who offered a random at one point. I called the gang in when he was low on armor, but I could have easily picked up a solo kill here. It would simply have been rude to the gang to do so, however, and I decided against being selfish.

We next passed Ami, a notorious system for low-sec PvP, but no one wanted to play. We nearly caught a solo -A-Megathron, but he was exceptionally lucky and a mis-communication caused two of us to cross-jump him… oops!

Heading through high-sec, we entered a loop of low-sec systems including Rammi, where we destroyed a seemingly-AFK harbinger on a gate. In the next system, I narrowly missed an anomaly-runner and a ratter.

Heading back towards Domain, we finally encountered another gang. Their composition was Drake, Gila and Armageddon. After attempting to get them to aggress me on-gate, I warped off and back to 70km where I defiantly aligned to a celestial that was slightly aligned to the gate. As I closed a few kilometers to the gate, I got the reaction I wanted: the drake was moving for me with his propulsion mod active!

Keeping my head about me, I waited for the drake to point me before doing anything hostile. As the drake went flashy, gate guns began to zap him and I finally made my move. I set a close orbit, activated my afterburner to reduce missile damage and scrambled the battle-cruiser. I launched drones and began chipping away at his shields with my blasters. Whenever he launched light drones, I would primary them immediately and he would recall them. I managed to pop 3 drones before he gave up on using them. At this stage my tank was holding easily and the drake was down to half-shields.

Then I got what I really wanted, the Gila. He had caught up to the drake and I immediately switched my tackle over to the faction cruiser. My backup was called-in at this point (2 close range BS and 1 Drake) and I only had to last a limited amount of time at this point to ensure some quality kills.

The Gila’s dps was a concern for me. Damage-boosted light drones could cause me serious harm (especially if the drake also deployed his remaining drones) and the potential missile damage was not easy to overlook.

However, this Gila made the WORST possible choices in this engagement. At less than 3km range from me, he deployed Wardens, the longest-range sentry drone with horrible tracking in close quarters. These are also kinetic-based (being Caldari) and my Gallente AF has excellent kinetic resists. That’s to say nothing of the radial velocity issues at that range with sentries firing upon an AB-fit AF.

With my gang landing, the drake was pointed and we primaried the Gila, who could not last long against our combined DPS. By this point, we were very comfortable. The Geddon who joined the fight late brought a full rack of heavy neuts, but it wasn’t enough to keep him from being tackled. There were simply too many of us and most of us had cap-injectors fit. The Drake warped off-field shortly after the Geddon went down.

In the next system, I narrowly missed a Vigilant. Two faction cruisers back-to-back would have been pretty sweet.

We then traveled back to Domain where we all took a break to attend to various real-life issues. However, the day was far from over.

I went out solo in an Ishtar about an hour after we had disbanded the fleet. Passing through various systems, I continually came up empty-handed, so I took my frustration out on a t1 hauler. I repeated the same boat violence on a helpless cyno-frig. These two kills were really more trouble than they were worth. CCP needs to consider a 5-minute GCC timer to reduce downtime between low-sec engagements.

Passing again through a system we had previously visited, I scanned down a lone Ishtar at a planet. Based on the fit I had, I felt very confident in a Ishtar v. Ishtar duel. While I knew it would be tough if he was fit with a good tank, I have spent so much time fitting and flying Ishtars that I was 100% confident there was no fit he could have that would be better than mine in this situation.

During the fight, he offered a 50-mil ransom, but refused to pay it up-front. Preferring a nice solo kill to a dubious offer of isk, I finished the Ishtar in what turned out to be a somewhat-close fight.

I was at around 40% armor when he exploded, which was better than most can do against my “Happy Boat” of infamy. The problem was that he had gone overboard compensating for his explosive resist hole, and I had chosen to use Berserkers (heavy explosive drones) in our duel. However, due to the natural thermal resist on the Ishtar, I don’t think Ogres would necessarily have been much better.

Upon my return to Domain, I switched to a close-range Megathron and teamed up with Casebolt (Harbinger). I would have preferred another BS for a wing-man, but our logistics support were not able to deliver one for him until later in the day. While re-shipping, Casebolt shrieked on voice-comms that he had just missed tackling an Orca.

We burned in pursuit of the loot-pinata but narrowly missed him on two gates in a row before he warped off to a station. If I were already in space or if Casebolt had warped sooner, we would surely pinned the whale like a Japanese fisherman. However, Casebolt had landed late on the gate as the Orca was nearly at full-speed and – in his haste – forgot to activate a sensor booster that would have given him that second-faster lock time he needed.

We decided to camp the Orca pilot in the “kick-out” station where he had docked. Outside a neutral harbinger toyed with us. Our desire to leave system was mounting when the Orca pilot undocked in… a wolf. Having both fit webs and scrams, I decided to put our tackle to good use. With the pilot mashing his “stop ship” command and our dual-webs, he was a sitting duck for us with zero transversal.

By flagging on station, we drew some attention. Local increased in size but no one interfered as we looted the field and Casebolt warped-off. Hungry for more kills, I decided to dock and see how the situation developed. Suffices to say, no one wanted to fight me. I tried hard to get shot at and even dropped a few cans, but no one wanted to fight at that moment.

Casebolt and I went back to our staging system when a random neutral convo’d me requesting a 1v1 back in Mamet, where we had chased the Orca and destroyed its pilot in his Wolf. Fearing a trap, I declined. He insisted that he wanted to challenge my harbinger with his Zealot, which was when I directed him to Casebolt, as I was not the pilot of the ship he wanted to fight. This was the first time I began to think this guy might not be much of a danger to us.

Casebolt accepted his duel request and jumped himself into Biphi alone to await his opponent.  At the same time, I formed up with two corp-mates (Agro and Perseus) to form a “duel dishonor response squad” for the foul-play I expected. However, due to bizarre behavior by Casebolt’s opponent, we were never needed.

The guy dueling Casebolt insisted he be allowed to choose his warp-in, and when he landed it was at-range with a beam fit. Case warped-off and re-warped to the Zealot at zero, which sent the Zealot running back to Mamet. Needless to say, both parties abandoned the idea of dueling at this point feeling the other was “cheating” in some way.

We brought our gang to follow him and found the previous pilot of the aforementioned Wolf on the Biphi gate in a Drake. He was likely there to support his friend if we dis-honored the duel. Orbiting off-gate at 15-20 km range, we had no difficulty destroying the Drake before it could re-approach the gate.

With a small but skilled gang, we deciding to throw our weight around in the area a bit. I roamed around looking for ratters or willing opponents when I was engaged by an inexperienced pilot. I made quick-work of his Imperial Navy Sliver and mocked him in local when he started babbling about a mysterious problem with his micro-warp drive once he entered scram-range of my ship. Whatever could have caused such a disastrous malfunction!

At this point we were all fairly tired and looking to head home soon. We had set our sights on a quick visit to Kheram before packing it in for the night when Casebolt and I caught a dominix 10km off the Valmu gate. Auto-piloting in low-sec is bad kids. He was clearly not AFK from the way he fought back, but he never had a chance against the two of us, even with sentries on his side.

This killing spree reminded me of the golden days of -MVN- Piracy in low-sec. While I wouldn’t want to give up our 0.0 home and roaming ops, it’s sure nice to return to our roots occasionally.

Here is a summary of my kills for the day (over a 9 hour period) —

You can see the gaps in time where we took breaks, but I still averaged more than 1 kill per hour, including two faction kills. We were active about half of that time and would have had even more mails if we hadn’t made a few errors. Still, any day with multiple kills and zero losses is a good day.

A Good Excuse to “Yarr” A Bit

Posted in Piracy on August 7, 2010 by Easley Thames

Perseus summed up last night’s low-sec piracy very well, but I wanted to share my own account.

I had decided to jump clone to empire so that I could move some faction mods + skill-books. On my way back, Perseus spotted me flying and encouraged me to go roaming. I had a different agenda in mind. I wanted to get this particular clone back to empire and log within a couple hours.

We compromised on low-sec piracy. Perseus cloned up with Bone and Agro following shortly after. In a short span of time, we got a nice number of kills (barely missing several more).

The killing blows in my combat log paint a good picture of just how fast we were popping hulls:

With more manpower in fleet and on a busier night, we could easily clean up with dozens of kills per day in this area like we did in the golden days of Maverick piracy, but that’s not really what our is about anymore.

Still, it’s fun to do a little PvP outside 0.0 now and then. Even if the opponents you find are usually pants-on-head stupid.