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Pleasure and Pain by David McCallum ID #701548

You are probably thinking that since this war we have mandatory cruiser formations that I’m going to be banging on about them for the next five minutes.

You are, in fact, entirely incorrect.

What I’m going to talk about is responsibility. It just so happens that it coincides with this war, because while it is something I normally avoid like the tax man, it is something that has landed on me like the proverbial Zeon Dropship.

Let me explain.

Some people hate specialists with a passion. That’s not the fight they want, and I respect them for that. They wish to to use their biggest and nastiest machines in vast numbers and prove time after time who is the best of the best.

Others love specialists. For them it evens the field. It takes away the big toys of the big boys and limits what they can use against you. If you are good enough, you will limit the monsters enough so you can hold your own.

On a clan level, a good set of specialists can make all the difference in a war. Sometimes the difference in a win or a loss comes down not to the victories you gain on the field but by limiting the number of victories that an opponent can take from you.

There is nothing wrong with having a good offense, but it never hurts to have a defense that nobody wants to go up against.

Its obvious that I fall into the second class of pilot. I love my specialist formation, and have no issue in trying to do my best with any of the other specialisations. There’s nothing wrong with testing your mettle against other folk who ply their trade in the same way you do.

If there is one point of frustration though, it is the fact that you invest time and resources to give your best defence in a war but rarely get the chance to use it offensively.

Sure, there are KotM events when they come around, but generally speaking most of your time is spent swapping into another formation to make a quick attack and you never get the chance to flex your specialist muscles in an offensive fashion.

Unless you are lucky to be pitted against another of the same type in the same division.

So when the format for wars was mixed up a little and mandatory specialists became a thing, I viewed it as a good idea. In some cases it would force some people to step up and form a needed specialist who had never done so before, and you never know, they may find they are pretty good at it.

On the other side of that coin, if you are already a specialist in that mandatory class, you suddenly get some new playmates and that chance to strut your stuff properly at a time when it matters to the whole clan.

And it seemed as if that was the grand total of it. If you had been lucky enough to have your specialisation come up, you suddenly had a little bit more fun to be had in a war.

And that was my first reaction when it was announced that this time around each clan would have to field a 70 ton formation.

YAY!!!! PICK ME, PICK ME!!!

Then the real world arrived.

Suddenly, and I take my hat off to those of you who have already been through this, you are front and center. You are the benchmark to be tested against. You are the one that people turn to for advice.

For the first time, you are the one expected to have all the answers, provide all the training, to know how to tweak the formations, the one who all eyes are turned to.

You have…

Responsibility…

<Dun-dun-DUUUN>

And the thing is, that’s only the prep work beforehand.

Come war time, there will be the inevitable clash where you and your opposite number go head to head. Depending on the outcome, there is a good chance that it will be your advice that is sought as to who stands a chance to get any possible extra points.

If you have been thrust to the forefront like that and have risen to the challenge, you have my newfound respect. Especially so if you have been the one at the top end of a clan family and you have had to pass on that experience to all the others down the chain to the very newest of newbies.

I can accept that the addition of a mandatory specialist was a way in which to shake things up a little bit; to make things a little more interesting and less predictable come war time.

The one thing that I can attest to is that its not until your particular number comes up that you appreciate just what a game changer it is.

Still, there is a plus side.

This time around, there’s three less enemy specs I have to prepare for.

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