They won’t all be great battles. But sometimes - just sometimes - they are.

Strand of the Ancients is a tricky battleground. It’s the one BG where your own team can sabotage itself by pursuing normally laudable goals (see: South Graveyard, fighting on the beach). It’s vehicles, it’s Player Versus Walls, it’s timed, it hasn’t scaled well in every bracket. 

But I’ve always mostly enjoyed Strand. 

I’ve had all the achievements for Strand except Veteran (100 victories) since the summer, and have slowly been grinding out the 25 wins needed for it over the past month or so. Alliance hasn’t done as well in the 85 bracket as they did in the 70 bracket, though that’s been changing a bit of late. My druid Cynli is actually a master of Strand, but Cynwise is no slouch. I used to grind Honor in Strand, back when that mattered to me.

The key to Strand is always, always, always, stopping the Demolishers. If you can do that, you can win. We had a pretty stiff defense from the Horde tonight and finished with about a minute left. They had a few 89s mixed in with their 85s, including an 89 lock who singled me out for a while. But we put pressure on both sides, captured the right graveyards, grouped up our demos, and captured the relic.

I don’t normally expect the Veteran achievement games to be memorable (though AB Veteran was a 1590/1600 win.) The key is just to win.

But the second half of tonight’s game was madness. Good defense on the beach but Green went down, followed by Purple and Blue a few minutes later. We held at Purple but Red went down with a stack of two Demos racing to Yellow. I was racing back up to Yellow and was the only one in intercept range - they were injured and reinforcements were coming, but if they weren’t stopped at Yellow it was bad news.

Curse of the Elements, Havoc went on one, switched targets, Shadowburn lit up. Shadowburn killed the first and the second as Yellow was damaged. Then it was fighting an angry DK with a Holy Pally long enough to get to the next wave coming up from Purple. 

/bg was good, though I misread a call for a demo stack at Purple as Red and went down to fight a mage and pally and priest. Demos came by and got Yellow down, but our defense stiffened at Yellow. If you can lay down traps at the gate chokepoint you have a good chance of making it. The key is to arrange your forces in a Y - some to the left front, some to the right front, some behind the gate in the courtyard. I was in the courtyard. We had to hold for 7 minutes.

7 minutes is an eternity.

In came the demos. There were no single stragglers. They came in 2s and 3s, from the right and left sides, sometimes at the same time, sometimes one and then the other. The 89 Warlock came sprinting in: Blood Fear, CoE, nuke nuke nuke. Nets were used on CD on the Demo packs. Havoc got applied on CD on Demos, Shadowfury was for runners. Nets. Nets. God I use a lot of nets in this BG. 

At 3 minutes to go, the Horde caps South GY. We have a chance. Maybe. Another wave of Demos goes through and then it’s quiet for about a minute.

At 1:30 to go, a pack of Horde comes charging up. Their purpose is not to die and run bombs, but to CC people away from the two converging packs of demos coming up into the Yellow gate. 6 demos in 15 seconds. 

The last minute frenzy … I haven’t had a game like that in a while. Running firefight the entire way across the courtyard. Demos appearing and collapsing like that. Horde rushing the gate, bombs going down. Manually defusing bombs. Spinning the scrollwheel to target new people as fast as possible, then manually placing havoc on YET ANOTHER DEMO holy crap where are they all coming from.

0:15, Relic chamber is under attack. Another demo, lobbing shells.

Chaos Bolt, take it down, kill the priest, fear, stun, kill everything on the stairs, are there bombs down? What about demos? Check the demos! Crap, why can’t I move?

No. Wait.

It’s over.

That’s it.

The smoke cleared, and I had my 100th victory. 

Master of Strand of the Ancients.

Battlemaster countdown:

  • 1 Eye of the Storm Victory.

That’s it. I’m almost done.