Daily Archives: August 8, 2018

X47L-Q Preliminaries at Tosche Station

The north has been simmering since last week’s titan destroying battle in X47L-Q.  That fight was just the penultimate round for the NCDot Keepstar in the system.  The armor timer was beaten, leaving open to opportunity to destroy the giant citadel today.

Preparations for what might be the final battle over the station have carried on since.  I mentioned an operation that we ran on Saturday to cover the deployment of a Fortizar in X47L-Q on the same grid as the Keepstar.  That set a three day timer before it would be set.

The wait for anchoring begins

The deployment timer for that came due last night and we formed up to cover it again, this time to see that it went online.  Two subcap fleets were called up, a Baltec fleet under Thomas Lear and a Cerberus fleet under Asher Elias.  I already had a Scimitar to fly logi for Cerbs from a fleet the night before, also to cover a citadel coming online, so I went with Asher’s fleet.

Minmatar Liberation Day SKIN on the Scimi

Both subcap fleets were bridged to a mid-point system early to wait on citadel until the timer hit.  The subcap fleets hung there with the capital fleet that was also called up.  We were serious about getting this Fortizar online, so there were titans, super carriers, and faxes out for the fleet.

I had an alt in X47L-Q cloaked up on grid with the Keepstar and our Fortizar in order to see what was going on.  Watching the system, it did not seem to be as active as one might expect if a battle were expected.  There were fewer than 150 people in the system, many of them Imperium pilots.  We had plenty of eyes on things.

The count in the system went up as the timer transition moved closer.  First Black Legion arrived with a fleet of Muninns led by Elo Knight, followed by NCDot and their own Muninn fleet.  Local moved above the 500 mark, and then the Fortizar anchored and began its 15 minute repair cycle.

Power Converters available soon

The locals put their Munnins in range of the Fortizar and opened up, pausing the timer easily enough.

Munnin mass flying about

But the cyno for us went up shortly and we jumped in, docked up, then undocked to get around the tether delay, the headed on out towards the Munnins.  The Baltecs were there as well, along with a bomber fleet under Dabigredboat and the capitals, so the Munnins withdrew after a short clash.  We moved back to the Fortizar to tether up and keep an eye on things.

Hanging on tether under the Fort, Keepstar in sight

Asher told us then that Zungen from Black Ops had decided to try and start anchoring another Fortizar, no doubt hoping that all eyes would remain locked on X47L-Q.  However the locals could see that we were serious, with caps on field, something they didn’t seem keen to counter at the moment, so the Black Legion fleet broke off and went to kill Zungen’s Fortizar.

At some point, as we hung on tether, a Minokawa force auxiliary of ours ended up on the Keepstar.  Asher had us align and we warped in to try and shepherd it to safety, but we arrived just in time for the Keepstar doomsday to hit.

Cerbs caught in the arc… also, Caroline’s star!

We lost a couple of ships in the fleet, but the brunt fell on the Minokawa, which began to come apart.

A subcap explodes as the Minokawa begins to fail

A few of the locals in the NCDot Muninn fleet, which stayed behind, got in range to get on the kill.  We were able to return the favor by popping some of them, but the Minokawa exploded all the same, the Keepstar having done 99% of the work.

During that exchange the hostiles managed to headshot Asher, blowing up his Phantasm, despite logi getting reps on him right away.  We went to a backup anchor, The Pink Pansy, and shot a few more hostiles before everybody withdrew to their citadels to tether up.  Asher was able to reship into a Sleipnir and carried on leading the fleet from that.

Meanwhile, a few systems over, Zungen’s Fortizar was destroyed, so the locals got their success for the night.  Well, they got the Fortizar and slaughtered a host of bombers that flew over to try and defend the citadel.

When the repair timer on the Fortizar in X47L-Q finished up and the citadel was secure, the subcaps headed out to see if we could catch the hostiles from the other fight.

Subcaps smacking into a gate after using MWDs to get clear of a bubble

We ended up behind them, catching up with them on the gate in O-N8XZ, where a few shots were fired and a couple of ships exploded, but no decisive clash took place.

When that had peter we headed to one of our citadels to sit with the capitals while their jump timer cleared.

Sitting on another Fortizar, waiting to go home

When the capitals were ready to go they began jumping back to our Keepstar in 6RCQ-V.  We were bridged back as well and docked up.  The operation was over, lasting a little over 100 minutes from form up to dismissal.

Operationally, we accomplished what we set out to do.  We have a Fortizar on grid for the Keepstar final timer.  ISK-wise, we would have done very well had the second Fortizar not been dropped and lost along with so many bombers.  That cost us the ISK war according to the battle report I put together.

Battle Report across Three Systems

The numbers of players on the battle report are comparable, and the ISK war was in our favor in X47L-Q, even with the Minokawa loss.  But roping in all of the events across three systems seems like a more fair assessment of the evening.

All of which leaves us waiting for today’s events.  Before this post goes live… the joys of scheduled posts… fleets will have formed up and moved into the jump range or on grid in anticipation of the timer on the Keepstar running down.  A fight seems almost certain as there was a report at NER on Monday that Pandemic Legion, Pandemic Horde, and NCDot were moving capital ships away from the southern front and their war with TEST and towards the north and the coming Keepstar contest.

Before I am likely to even have considered lunch, the fight will have begun as the 30 minute repair timer begins.  Time dilation will likely keep any fight that occurs on the field long enough for me to get home from work and peek in… my alt is logged off in the system… and maybe even join a reinforcement fleet.

The question is really whether or not this will be another titan bloodbath.  Both sides no doubt learned from the last fight and nothing has changed since then, so it will be interesting to see how the two sides adapt to the situation.

Anyway, tomorrow’s post will be, at a minimum, the results of the fight.  I cannot cover the drama over this Keepstar and then not report the final result.

Summer Movie League – Silly Old Bear

Week ten of our Summer Fantasy Movie League is done and gone.

This week saw a match up between a new release and a title in its second week with the choices looking like this:

Christopher Robin        $513
Mission: Impossible      $512
The Spy who Dumped Me    $268
The Darkest Minds        $154
Mamma Mia 2              $136
The Equalizer 2          $126
Hotel Transylvania 3     $131
Teen Titans GO!          $93 
Ant-Man and the Wasp     $88
Incredibles 2            $76
Jurassic World           $70
Death of a Nation        $55
Skyscraper               $45
Eighth Grade             $32
The First Purge          $16

The pricing indicates that somebody at FML expected Christopher Robin to best Mission: Impossible, if only by a small amount. So for the top end anchors it depended on whether or not you believed FML or not.

I was not buying the FML line however, at least not at the start of the week. My Monday Hot Takes pick anchored on Mission: Impossible, followed up by six screens of The Incredibles 2, with the last slot taken up by Eight Grade.

And then it was something of a busy week and I spaced a bit on the movie front and forgot to change anything up before Thursday morning at 9am Pacific Time, when the TAGN League locked. So my Monday picks were also my Thursday picks.

Summer Movie League – My Week Ten Picks

Of course, about an hour later I realized that I had missed my window for change on the TAGN League, but figured I had better do some poking about for the Friday leagues. One thing that came up over at Box Office Mojo was that Eighth Grade was getting a much bigger theater expansion that was expected, going from 158 to almost 1,100, which made it suddenly look like a a shoe-in for best performer of the week.

I was also coming around on Christopher Robin. Box Office Pro seemed to think it was going to be close between Christopher Robin and Mission: Impossible, so I flopped over to CR, put seven screens of Eighth Grade behind it, then removed one and replaced it with the highest value title that would fit, which turned out to be The Spy Who Dumped Me and copied that to all my remaining lineups.

My picking methodology exposed.

But I just couldn’t stick with CR and flipped back, replacing it with Mission: Impossible and called it closed just before the wire on Friday morning.

As it turned out my gut pick for Mission: Impossible was correct, giving me about $10 million over CR. My TAGN pick wasn’t perhaps what I would have gone with by Thursday, but it was anchored on Mission: Impossible as well and without bonuses the fact that I wasn’t all-in on Eighth Grade didn’t really matter.

The perfect pick for the week ended up being 1x Mission: Impossible, 1x The Equalizier 2, 3x Ant-Man and the Wasp, and 3x Eight Grade.

Summer Movie League – Week Ten Perfect Pick

Nobody in the league got the perfect pick this week.  The scores for the week ended up like this:

  1. Goat Water Picture Palace – $71,097,943
  2. Wilhelm’s Abyssal Pocket Playhouse – $68,056,099
  3. Skar’s Movies and Meat Pies – $66,159,041
  4. Darren’s Unwatched Cineplex – $65,268,895
  5. Vigo Grimborne’s Medieval Screening Complex – $64,376,188
  6. SynCaine’s Dark Room of Delights – $63,914,522
  7. Ben’s X-Wing Express – $63,147,833
  8. I HAS BAD TASTE – $60,660,286
  9. Corr’s Carefully Curated Cineplex – $58,689,526
  10. grannanj’s Cineplex – $56,781,124
  11. Po Huit’s Sweet Movie Suite – $48,786,336
  12. Joanie’s Joint – $47,808,556
  13. Too Orangey For Crows – $46,688,999

I decided just to list people who made their pick on any given week, so that list may vary in size relative to the overall score, where I am listing everybody who hasn’t totally disappeared.

Goat got the top spot and, through much of the weekend looked like they had the perfect pick as well.  But come the final numbers a different lineup took the honors.  I managed second and wasn’t too far behind.

The top three all anchored on Mission: Impossible, but amongst the first eight there were people who anchored on Mama Mia 2 and Hotel Transylvania 3 who were competitive.

Those who anchored on Christopher Robin or The Spy Who Dumped Me fell to the back of the pack, with the poor performing The Darkest Minds acting as an extra anchor on a couple of people.

That left the overall scores for the season looking like this:

  1. Wilhelm’s Abyssal Pocket Playhouse – $903,828,835
  2. Corr’s Carefully Curated Cineplex – $892,694,361
  3. I HAS BAD TASTE – $876,537,592
  4. Goat Water Picture Palace – $870,040,067
  5. Vigo Grimborne’s Medieval Screening Complex – $847,579,299
  6. Miniature Giant Space Hamsterplex – $825,583,341
  7. Ben’s X-Wing Express – $819,170,145
  8. SynCaine’s Dark Room of Delights – $817,537,519
  9. Darren’s Unwatched Cineplex – $801,307,407
  10. Po Huit’s Sweet Movie Suite – $782,565,597
  11. grannanj’s Cineplex – $781,282,567
  12. Too Orangey For Crows – $738,662,905
  13. Joanie’s Joint – $727,376,847
  14. Kraut Screens – $689,378,141
  15. Paks’ Pancakes & Pics – $641,653,028
  16. Biyondios! Kabuki & Cinema – $639,347,136
  17. aria82’s Cineplex – $605,936,381
  18. Skar’s Movies and Meat Pies – $586,269,435

Corr and I went on different paths for anchors, with Corr choosing Christopher Robin over Mission: Impossible, though at least in one league we had otherwise identical picks.  That put a little more daylight between Corr and I, though we are still close enough that either could end up ahead for the season.

Likewise, Isey in third place is not out of the running, nor is Goat with a couple more winning weeks.  But beyond the top four somebody has to win very big while the top four makes some extremely poor picks in order to win the season.

There are only four more weeks left, and week eleven has the following options:

The Meg                 $334
Mission: Impossible     $260
Christopher Robin       $177
Slender Man             $171
BlacKkKlansman          $84
The Spy who Dumped Me   $83
Dog Days                $69
Mamma Mia 2             $65
The Equalizer 2         $63
Hotel Transylvania 3    $62
Ant-Man and the Wasp    $52
The Darkest Minds       $38
Incredibles 2           $41
Teen Titans GO!         $31
Jurassic World          $29

This week we lose Skyscraper, The First Purge, Eighth Grade, and the unfortunate Death of a Nation off the list of options.

In their place we have The Meg, Slender Man, BlacKkKlansman, and the aptly named for this time of year Dog Days. Were are certainly in the dog days of summer around here.

The Meg is not, as I first thought, a movie version of The Mick. This is the sort of logical jump your brain makes when you leave reruns of The Simpsons running in the background on FX while you build up a new computer; the commercials seep into your brain. The title actually refers to the star of the movie, a 23 meter long prehistoric shark known as the Megalodon.

So, yes, it is a Jaws knock-off, with its twist being the shark is really, really big.  It is practically Jurassic Shark.

But Jason Statham is the co-star, so I am going to guess that he catches the shark by going to its house, opening its front door a crack, ringing the doorbell then, when he sees the peephole darken, he kicks the door in, stunning the beast and proceeding to beat the shit out of it.  Also, there is a car chase.  I’d watch that on TV on a Friday night, but I am not sure I need to see it on the big screen.

Then there is Slender Man, which I thought was Slenderman, but I guess either usage is okay. Originating as a meme on Something Awful, the Slender Man has made it to the big screen, though it has been referenced in things from Minecraft to My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic. The plot sums up as two girls investigating the disappearance of a friend who then end up being haunter by the Slender Man. That might sound familiar due to the 2014 case where two girls obsessed with Slender Man attempted to murder a friend to appease the made up horror. There is an HBO documentary about that.

BlacKkKlansman is Spike Lee film about the first African-American detective in the Colorado Springs Police Department who sets out to infiltrate the local Ku Klux Klan to expose them for what they are.

And finally there is Dog Days, tagged as a comedy-drama, which follows four people and explores how their dogs influence their lives. It was directed by Dan Marino, who has been in many things over the years, but whom I mostly associate with the now 25 years in the past show The State.

I suppose you can tell by my descriptions that I am not excited for anything showing up this week, though I imagine that the internet fame of Slender Man, and the lack of recent summer horror films in the options, might make it exceed expectations.  But it is a real wild card, and the long range tracking for it has been trending down sharply, currently standing at about $15 million, but with a possible range as high as $25 million.

The Meg, which is expected to open on almost four thousand screens, is estimated to pull in almost $24 million for the weekend, while Dog Days is shooting for a modest $4 million and BlacKkKlansman has no revenue estimate at the moment, but should open on about 1,500 screens.

So my Monday Hot Takes league pick is a conservative one, going with 3x Mission: Impossible, 2x Equalizer 2, and 3x Teen Titans GO!.  But if the vibe for Slender Man picks up this week, I might swap to 5x Slender Man, 2x Ant-Man, and 1x The Incredibles 2 before the Thursday lock.  I think that is the “go for broke” play this week.

As always, the Thursday lock is less than 24 hours from when this post goes live, so make your picks soon!