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Match was played tonight. Let me explain. Ghost Dogs challenged us last weekend right after our {KS} match. We accepted and set up the match for tonight on their server. duo and I did quite a lot of preparation for this match, not knowing what to expect from opponents we'd never met before.

Ghost Dogs {GD} are an exemplary group of players. Just check out their website. Wow, look at those bylaws! Lots of work went into getting this clan together. They are active on many ladders. The server we used was their New York server (they have 3). It was fine, although Inferno was obviously attached to it somehow, as he pinged a solid 25 the whole match. No problem...

The first map was our choice. We had chosen Phobos, because I thought we needed to go after something new (i.e., not Deck) and also because Phobos is a seriously fun place to play! Check out the giant red planet. Anyway, this gave us the opportunity to develop a whole new set of tactics and ideas. We really put a lot of work into this match overall. We had something set up for nearly every part of the maps. We had timings. Paths. Situations in which we'd carry out certain attack plans. Plans for dominating each of the major powerups. Restricted areas.

I'm not completely happy with the way we carried out all those plans, but I'm mostly happy. It was a lot to digest. It was the first time we'd had that much training. We didn't execute the way I know we can. There is work to do before we're a well-oiled machine.

You might think this means it was a close game. Nope. While the first two minutes were ugly (I simultaneously got "First Blood" and a suicide and it was still 0-0 until 3 minutes into the game), we had the game after just a few more minutes. I recorded Phobos and watched it afterward. Some fine playing, but also some mistakes. There are a couple highlight reel sequences on there. The following graph shows the results on Phobos Moon.

Final Scores
{GD}--negative 1

{GD}Inferno--negative 7

Yes, that's right. {GD} scored negative one. Inferno scored negative seven. Wow. We were kicking them off the space station, making them suicide into walls, frustrating them. Actually, Inferno was terrible. duo was invisible and belted for much of the game, while Inferno didn't pick up a single powerup besides the boots a couple times. He had an absolutely horrible efficiency (Kills divided by Kills+Deaths+Suicides+Teamkills) of 4.9 percent. I've scarcely seen anything that low in any game. �dz� wasn't all that much better. He was barely getting any help, of course. He did manage a couple nifty kills, one amazing combo as I jumped around a corner and another amped minigun attack which surprised the heck out of me. Other than that, it was no contest. duo and �dz� were actually quite close, while Inferno and nepenthe (me) were in different worlds.

The second map was {GD}'s choice. They went for Curse][, an extremely well-regarded map. I think we spent even more time on this one. We practiced all kinds of things. We had command words for changes in tactics. For instance, if I ordered "Shock Plan" (I had binds for all the commands), which would be in case we were being beaten down hard by their shock combos, we were to modify our strategy by trying to control the shock rifle and ammo in the upper room, but not USE the shock rifle ourselves (so as to keep the rifle out of their hands after we died). We worked out plans for using the amp and belt and helping each other get them. duo got the belt an astounding 11 times! I had the amp 5 times. We worked on timing our use of the lifts so as to go together. We perfected using the window ledges for mobility. Here is the graph from Curse...

Final Scores


No real surprises there. Inferno played better. So did I. I played a pretty solid game here. Maybe not the crushing performance duo had last week on Deck, but close. I never felt threatened in the least by {GD}. They were heavily outclassed. I had 3 Killing Sprees, 1 Rampage, and 1 Double Kill.

A slaughter. We had picked Deck as the tiebreaker, but didn't bother to play it. I think �dz� was a little disgusted. I think they were both surprised. Maybe they were expecting a couple of newbies. Maybe they expected us to be nervous or disorganized or indecisive.

I was a little dissappointed, frankly. I'm happy for the win against a somewhat major clan. But I was hoping to be more challenged. I saw their impressive website (though nowhere near as impressive as {KS}'s or -[BHS]-'s sites) and predicted they'd be well-managed. I was hoping we'd be able to use the massive amount of work we did preparing for this against some truly worthy opponents. The whole match was a little flat, I guess. They did manage 22 against us on Curse, the most so far by an opponent in an official match. But I expected more drama. I expected Inferno with his 25 ping to be better.

For this week, no wars. At least no DM. dust (my other brother) and duo have a 2vs2 Rocket Arena match on Tuesday night which I will be coaching. Now that 1.60 is out, they've reentered the fray. I'm expecting a blowout now, because the RA match is against {GD} as well. duo is going to clean house.

You can read the Proving Grounds match results page which just shows our new victory.

You can read the ngStats pages for Phobos and Curse.

Well, we're hoping for a good match next time, whenever that is. Not that there was anything wrong with our landslide victory today--but we didn't really learn anything from it the way we did last week against {KS}. A loss today would have taught us more. I guess the amount of preparation we did, while overkill, was a good foundation to build upon for the future when we face another clan who can actually keep up with us.