A history inspired by Lek and 'The history of NWA'
So say you want a revolution?
The Aquo reserves, captained by Joehan
We begin our long tale in the murky depths of the reserve league in the 3rd season of FM, and something that is somewhat unknown to me but I can tell you this for certain, this is the origins of the team we all know today. From this team of Casper07, Gazza and Smasher came many great things but for now they would just be known as the Aquopolis Reserves, a team that did ok but were destined for more - so when the reserve league did come to an abrupt end, the original Smasher Squad was formed, led of course by Smasher himself.
A decent record for the 'aquopuppies'
So this is where I myself come in the the picture, 1 thing maybe that the Smasher Squad lacked was a Goalkeeper, with Gazza or Casper07 having to fill the spot, and as a free agent on Galaxy at the time I was chosen and 1 room link later I was part of the team. Of course, back in those days, the wonders of teamspeak were beyond some of us so 'SS' rooms were the way in which we communicated. 'SS' of course, being a somewhat unfortunate shorthand for the team but it seemed to untroubled us as we looked to move forward.
'SS' rooms hosted for 6 might seem a weird place for such a successful team to stem from
Of course, 4 people isn't exactly enough for a team and the next addition at the time was somebody well known to the other 3 but not myself, somewhat of a veteran of hax - Fabien. So we had 5, but one thing we didn't have was a way to play with each other properly, this was a time in which my internet (fuk sake BT) did not allow me to connect to most hosts so we were left with a dilemma, play on the shit-tier host of mine or leave me out and play on Fabien's host. It was a mix of the 2 but eventually ended with the team having to play on my host, braving the 150 ping just to start and find some rhythm playing together.
A brief reincarnation of the team as they were trying to get into the German Y-eS league, the Hax Warriors
So we had the team, now we just needed the league to play in and really at the time there was only 1 choice - Galaxy, the premier 3v3 league back then as well as now, but the chance of us all not getting together through the draft process had not really sunken through yet, and we were not even of course even guaranteed a place in the league. So in that pre-Season 2 mist, another team had sprung up, the Hax Warriors captained by Striker123 and the first of many rivalries for the then SS had started. A few friendlies and handbags in the chat later, the feud between the 2 teams had reached melting point. It almost seems as if they couldn't co-exist with each other and in the end they didn't. The Hax Warriors ended up being disbanded, with 2 players being previously banned members of Galaxy and Striker ending up not getting the captaincy that he felt he deserved. Parallel to this, the 6th member of the SS was added, in the form of GK (back then) Haxball Ninja. A controversial move from Smasher to say the least, and especially as at this time Smasher had started to become inactive...
The original application from Casper07
So then, the bombshell finally dropped, with Smasher telling the team that he would not carry on as captain due to losing his interest in Hax. And with just a few days before the end of the captaincy applications, crisis talks were held with the 5 that were left. Those discussions boiled down to a choice between Fabien, Casper and myself of whether myself or Casper should be captain. Neither of us were that hot on taking the captaincy, but eventually the baton was passed onto Casper as I felt that he had the most experience out of the two of us. But this left us with another problem, of course we could not have a Smasher Squad with Smasher as captain, so a new name had to be chosen. A lack of good ideas lead to a name that seemed to be a long shot at the time but as we can see today, it had stuck. Haxball Revolution, of course was the name that was chosen. And indeed it was a 'Revolution' of sorts, with the team being of players that normally would not be signed and putting them together to see what would happen. With the captaincy change, one of the members was axed from the team; the controversial Haxball Ninja was taken out, and to say he took the news badly was an understatement. And after his large inactivity after this event, the choice was made that the teams password (which now escapes me) for the then 'hR' rooms was changed to something that has previously been unrevealed.
From my idea of something longer and more offensive , Fabien's suggestion stuck
So now the team had an active and committed Captain that in the days that followed was confirmed as one of the new captains for Season 2. So all that stood in hR's way was the dreaded draft system. It was all planned out though, with myself being the first draft pick for Casper followed by Fabien and then Gazza. However, it did not go all to plan, I was chosen which was somewhat of a surprise for some outside our little clique but then with Casper's 2nd draft pick was a u-turn to say the least, with the unknown 'slv' being picked. And with Fatality picking Gazza, the whole essence of hR that had been made so long ago seemed to be spiraling away. Some salvation was taken when CASBIEN was reunited but then the last draft pick was something that was left un-discussed at that point, so even more last minute talks took place. The man for the job was decided quite quickly however, with probably the best and most mature member from the old Hax Warriors team - Paki Rambo - being duly drafted as the last addition to hR for the time being. So that was the draft done, or what seemed to be done anyway. With a post-draft trade for Gazza was agreed, the original hR had been assembled, with the then inactive slv being shipped off to Fatality - which marked an end of an eventual draft to say the least for hR.
Ironically created by HCAFC, the hR logo for Season 2 and 3
The hR logo was one of the latest to be made, but looking back, it really does look quite nice and it was with a heavy heart that it was replaced at the start of Season 4. One thing that did stick though was the team shorthand, and it is just one of the quirky things that has given this team its character over the Seasons. 'Haxball Revolution' was shortened to 'hR'; not 'hr' or 'Hr' and CERTAINLY not 'HR', 'hR' is one of the things that make this team special.
If only they knew...
So the new season was imminent, but one thing that was yet to be put up was the pre-Season Prediction thread, the first and one of the only not to be written by myself for Division 1 at least (>div 2). And surprise surprise, our hR team was underestimated coming into the new Season and of course we would be - as Casper said he was bringing players that wouldn't normally be drafted, so how could they compete with the big boys? So 7th was the prediction, and if anything that just spurred us on the bigger and better things, but not even the optimists that were in the team at the time could have predicted what would have happened by the season, and especially at the start of it...
hR and IH both on 10 points, hR top on goals scored and indeed surprisingly the first 4 weeks of Season 2 were the only time when hR was top of Galaxy until the start of Season 4
The start of the season could not have gone any better really for hR, a 5-3 win against HHH and a 2-1 victory against NE brought them quickly to the top of the table and with the team being by far the most active on chat, we were very vocal on it, and with this start who wouldn't? Then the top 2 sides (and the 2 sides that would eventually finish top 2) met in a tightly contested 1-1 draw which would be the start of the next great rivalry that hR would have, and maybe the biggest in the history of Galaxy. The 2 games that the old hR and IH played both ended up in 1-1 draws, which meant hR had the honour of being the only team never to lose to the rampant IH that Season. It seems a shame that the old great sides of Galaxy no longer are around really, Quick Swans ducking out before the second season and the core of the old hR and IH sides as well as the Season 3 HHH team gone. Anyway, another win against what was then L. Dragos (3-1) would spell the end of an era at the top for hR and with Fabien having to go on holiday for 2 weeks after that game, the team never really looked exactly the same.
But Bus*, an accusation given to hR throughout the season
One of the keys to hR's success was a great defense, with me and Casper having a great understanding and playing all games but 3 at my count in season 2 together, CASBIEN might have drawn the plaudits but the engine room of the team was this combination that eventually did win the 'Season 2 Best Defensive Combo'. But of course, when you defend well you always get accused of bussing, and maybe the 1 game that signified this was a 0-0 draw against Eagles United in the 5th game of the season, probably the only game that Season where hR's gameplan was to go out and bus, and bus we did well but there were signs that the team lacked the same attacking threat with Fabien gone, with Paki Rambo not performing as well as he had been earlier in the Season. This game let IH get away for the first time in the season, and as we all know they were never to be caught again. The next game then was the biggest loss in the whole history of hR, an 8-1 loss against Fatality which effectively was a 2v3, with myself lagging in goal and without even Casper in the team, it seemed that the early season momentum may have gone in the team, it needed some fresh blood...
First out of 2 foreign signings for hR
So it was a old Quick Swans player that Captain Casper turned to, and the only actual natural striker in the squad then, was invaluable at the time to hR. A 2-1 win and a 2-1 loss around the mid-point of the league with hR's bogey team of sorts Hax Power followed and consummated
One of the rare mistakes from myself in season 2 with hR, with the match finely balanced at 1-1 - Hax Power get a goal right at the end from Skillem
With Fabien coming back from his holiday and the signing of the 2nd foreign player for hR (the German, once again ex-Quick Swans player Rautovic) the team looked to be on the up, but with the latter signing we had to bid a fond farewell to Paki Rambo, who had lost his way really, not having the best performances with the team and even Fabien was taking a while to find his best form from earlier on in the Season. But with the ever-present base of Casper and I, the team looked to be trying to come back and catch up to Infinite Hax once again, and with a good run of 3 wins on the bounce which were a 5-1 against in a 3v2 against Fatality, an albeit lucky 3-1 win against Eagles United and a 9-1 drubbing of Scrantraxx Reloaded kept us in the race but that 1-1 return fixture against Infinite Hax spelled the end of the charge for the title, so attention then fell to securing a still very respectable 2nd spot.
Casper and I doing what we did best, defending
Aside from this, Haxball Revolution also did have another adventure in the other UK 3v3 league, HaxLeague and were top of that until they ended up having to leave due to inactivity. And I feel that it wouldn't have been so much of a long shot to say that hR probably would have won that league really, and it seems a shame that both hR and B-Few did not face each other a league game, although we did play in a friendly where hR were victorious, but that all is in the past and makes me feel a bit sombre to think about really. We might not have been as committed to HaxLeague but the idea was the bring back what was then the 'old hR' with Gazza and Paki Rambo (of course 'old hR' means something totally different now) but that idea never came to fruition, with just the 3 of Fabien, Casper and I playing the few games we did.
''A team comprises a group of people or animals linked in a common purpose''
One of the secrets to hR's success was the fact that we were very active, the amount of time we spent practicing really did transfer into results for us, and this was shown in HHH for Season 3, we played lots of friendlies early on and had better results. So the end of the Season came as a formality to us, with an unlucky 2-2 draw vs Night Eyes and then the final game of anyone in Season 2, a meaningless match for hR in terms of the result as we had already secured 2nd spot, but it meant a whole lot more in terms of the actual team. It ended up as a 2-0 win (which should have been more) but this wasn't the most important part of the game. As Casper and Fabien had announced prior, they both would be leaving hR at the end of the Season, and with that the main crux of the team would be gone and indeed, I was the only man left from that original Smasher Squad. Even Rautovic had put in his resignation notice to the team, and with Lia being inactive it was a rebuild job to say the least for myself as I had been appointed captain of course. We all went our separate ways then, myself to battle on with hR, Casper going to our once great rivals Infinite Hax after returning for a short while and Fabien to play striker for Eagles United.
14 Goals an amazing achievement in such a defensive team, he probably only had a few more then that number in terms chances all Season in truth
The end of Season awards ceremony came and went, with hR players picking up a few awards along the way, as well as the aforementioned best defensive combination award for Casper and I as well as myself winning the coveted 'GK of the mouth' Award and Rautovic getting best sub/4th player to round of a good Season for him well. But of course, it was now my job to find some players to play for the team - it was no use sitting on my laurels and this is when hR went into a very different era. I had even contemplated changing the name, as it would be fitting with such a great change in the team, but with my lack of paint skills to make a new logo and for prosperity reasons I decided against this.
You've got it all, 'till the revolution comes...
In keeping with the idea of the team being a 'Revolution', I decided to change the whole philosophy of the team creating a more attacking team to try and maybe play hax the 'right' way. The signing of an experienced 3v3 player in Fabregas right at the end of the 2nd Season showed my intentions early on but I was not done, after some lengthly discussions with Night Eyes Captain at the time Toast I managed to secure the then reigning striker of the Season Joehan, and of course with him being the old captain of the 'aquopuppies' he almost had come full circle in the hR story so it seemed fitting. So hR was not dead on its feet, with many already tipping to team to challenge for the title. The draft was uneventful to say the least, without my first pick I was forced to wait 18 agonising picks before acquiring the services of the joint best sub/4th player from the previous Season in dooms. And having Casper in sort of a manager role for a short while, the hR team for Season 3 was complete, and was predicted just ahead of Infinite Hax to get the Season 3 title.
But yet, another giant falls...
The first game for this new hR side then was one of the most hotly anticipated, with the two most highly rated teams going in to the new Season having to face of in the first game. But, alas it was never meant to be with IH not being active enough to play on the scheduled day and then of course the team we all knew was disbanded with Casper crossing the great divide to lead IH against us. However this did spell some good business for hR, with fap going in the opposite direction and as he was the reigning midfielder of the Season, the whole 'best team' of last Season had joined onto one team and hR really looked like a massive threat. Even having one of the best 4th men from last Season in dooms as backup for the Main 3. A poor 1st game vs Night Eyes though juxtaposed our early confidence despite myself getting on the scoresheet for the first time for hR. Not having signed fap before that game and a poor performance all round despite the other team 'bussing' at times contributed to dropping points this early on, this unfortunately seemed to be a common trend throughout the Season for hR. So it was time to face the Euro-superstars that IH had assembled, in the form of Jappo, old :face:Rautovic, Perkins and TehBeast looking to once again be a challenger to hR.
Lowest position ever held by hR - 8th albeit with a game in hand on most teams
Despite it looking close on paper, it was probably the best performance hR had that Season , with fap and Joehan combining very well in a comprehensive 4-1 win, and they showed signs of having a combination that maybe could even rival CASBIEN in terms of hR heritage. fap and Joe would go on to have many great goals together, simply owning Goal of the week at times. So it was a team looking on the up, but having lost early ground to HHH, they would have to fight to catch up to the early league leaders. A streamed 3-1 win against Eagles United would have brought their spirits up even more with another excellent performance. But then it seems, it goes downhill after not being able to sustain the great start that the team had much like the Season before, and without myself in goal for the next 2 games we had lost 3-1 to Fatality and a won 3-2 in a less than convincing way against The Invincibles.
A rare sight, seeing mlf on the bench when hR are playing...
But even when I had returned, HaxPower once again where the bogey team and their very effective bussing tactics had got the better of hR once again in another 2-1 loss, with added irony as hR of course had been accused of bussing themselves in weeks gone by - a taste of their own medicine it seems. Some confidence was regained as we were the only the 2nd team to take 2 points off HHH all season with a 1-1 draw in the streamed game, despite leading for over half of the game. But it seemed that a run of good form would be the only thing that would get hR up to the dizzy heights that HHH were at that time. Despite this less than good run from a team that should have been doing much better, fap was doing wonders in midfield, being then and at the end of the Season the top assist maker in the league but with Joehan turning inactive the combination of the 2 was lost and some of the early season form that hR had been showing also looked to be disappearing.
With 5 goals and 14 assists fap really was the shining jewel for hR that Season
The season had been really been up and down for hR, with their teams form really depending on how certain players were feeling on the day, and this was shown with 7 good points in 3 games, 2 against The Defenders in 3-2 and 2-0 wins respectively either side of another respectable 1-1 draw with HHH with the team seeming to have coped with the loss/inactivity of Joehan with fap and dooms combining well, not as well as Joe and fap of course but the team was looking like it could be in a very strong position to secure 2nd place once again.
The League table at that point, with hR still lagging in 4th place
But with another loss to Hax Power (2-1, in very much similar circumstances as the return fixture earlier on in the Season) and the team is sent once again on a rollercoaster in terms of form, despite having arguably better players, maybe solidity and consistency is what hR needed. It is what it was build on and for it be lacking was worrying for myself as Captain. That is all in the past though however so the Season continued...
''An excellent bus'' - chef excellence
So it seems ironic really that the streamed game vs Fatality then was only the second time in the whole history where hR had set out to bus, and once again bus well with a 0-0 draw and a valuable point taken away from the game. This also sparked the only 'panic buy' as it were in the history of hR, with Joel just being signed for the game. One positive of that though was the unexpected return of Joehan, and this indeed might have made the difference come the end of the Season...
Joehan and fap always the formidable duo, scoring the hR goal of the season
Following this, the biggest win in hR's history, a 9-0 demolition of a 2 man The Invincibles, with myself getting only my 2nd ever goal for the team. But with hR still 4th in the table, it almost looked as if they might get a worse finish than the previous season and a only getting a 1-1 draw in a tight game vs unlikely contenders for 2nd place Game Theory. So there were 3 games left to salvage their season, realistically at the time needing 9 points to get above the sides above them to get that elusive 2nd place spot. And this, fortunately for hR was when we really did pick their performances up, with Joehan and fap showing what they can really do and what they showed at the start of the season in terms of their attacking prowess, and 9 points in these 3 games, with a 5-0 win over IH, 3-1 victory against EU and a meaningless 1-0 win against Night Eyes - with the teams slipping around them they had already secured 2nd place before the final game of the season.
So a very respectable 2nd place for hR, emulating the achievement of the Season before
At the start of the Season, 2nd place might have seemed slightly disappointing but considering all of the ups and downs, and the fact that the league was much harder in Season 3 then when the old crew got into the same place in Season 2, 2nd can be seen too be a good achievement for hR. But, the title was still elusive for us. However with fap getting top assister in the league and Joehan getting so many goals considering his game time, and with another top player bolstering the squad with dooms as well - It really did look like hR would finally fulfill their potential and of course they still had the Champions League to look forward to, so in that pre-Season 4 midst the hR camp was contented to put it lightly.
Credit to opc for the new logo, a masterpiece in my eyes
So as it was a new Season I decided it was time for some change and as mentioned before, it was time to retire the old logo that we had at the conception of the team. I sent out a plea to the men whom had better paint skills than I on the forum and after a valiant but poor attempt from AM-99, opc stepped up and produced a very nice piece of work and to this day it is the logo that we disbanded with and it never looked like it should have been replaced. He stole it from Deviantart pretty much but whatever.
I like The Beatles, ok?
As well as preparations for Season 4 in Galaxy there was also the second edition of the 3v3 Champions League to look forward to and as 2nd seeds we were quietly hoping for a decent draw to get through to the knockout stages. And when the groups were drawn it did look like a little stroke of luck - dodging some of the biggest teams from around Europe. However a 4 man squad didn't feel like enough to take on the continent so from recommendations from fap and Joehan I recruited jonnyynnoj to be backup GK for the team. However as a surprise to myself he then asked to join the team in Galaxy and taken slightly by surprise I accepted and this really did make hR look like they would be the team to knock HHH off the top of the table.
Part of our little troll jonny at first declines the team only to U-turn and join just before the sign-in deadline
But disaster, just before the Season start and fap announces his second retirement from Galaxy and without his combination with Joehan some people now started to have doubts about whether hR really would be as strong without the Season 3 player of the Season. With the team left without a experienced midfield player it was left to someone who originally was only signed for backup - of course we are talking about jonny and he himself had doubts over his ability as a midfielder as all of his previous 3v3 experience in FM had been playing in goal. It would be somewhat ironic then that it would be HaxPower to once again to take points off hR in a 0-0 draw and for weaker sides this might have been the start of a poor run, as it might seem to the team that they still haven't improved enough to kill their old demons as it were.
The somewhat comical crown given to jonny for his MOTM performance
But it was on a single day that hR turned the corner, in more ways than one. Starting with a massive clash in the league between the top 2 from last Season - hR and HHH of course - and indeed the 2 teams who looked most likely to clinch the title but HHH took a massive blow when captain arctic could not play due to lag issues which meant Maddude had to play in goal. And Mad is a fucking shit Goalkeeper fuck me. What followed was a demolition job with hR coming out 5-1 winners after a terrible performance from HHH which went some way to quieten the naysayers. Not only this but it was the first matchday in the Champions League, and after a tough match vs Limitless of Croatia we came out 4-2 winners, an unlikely win with myself lagging massively in the second half in goal but with a jonny hattrick and another great performance it looked like his jonny's self-doubts over whether he could cut it outfield were all but forgotten.
Great insight from dooms on the effective reformation of 'old hR'
The next match had a lot of significance with it, with myself having to play against my old teammates who had now joined Infinite Hax and the game was a close run one, with only an unlucky defensive mistake from Knots! separating the sides until the second came and finished off the match. But the day was not all fun and games, the second match in the Champions League group stage also took place and in another tight match it was looking like it was going to be a 0-0 draw, a draw which would send hR to the top of the table with a game remaining before a classic mlf.gif gave our Czech opponents all 3 points. The next game in the league was another bore draw against Fatality, with chances being missed by jonny and dooms with Joehan having to be on the bench due to lag issues.
fap in his 'testimonial' of sorts, his final game for hR
In that January period the team did have to postpone lots of matches with Joehan's exams being in the way of things quite a lot and due to this on the day of the last game in our Champions League group jonny was not available. With only 3 players available, (as recent signing Edgar Davids turned out to be inactive and would never play a game for hR until being cut at the end of the Season) it was left to the returning fap to play his swansong game for hR as unsurprisingly he had returned to haxball by then. But it was not a fairytail win for hR as another mlf.gif early on set the tone as we fell to a 6-2 loss to eventual Champions League victors FC Portki of Poland. But the team did pick themselves up and proved to themselves just a little bit that they could function without jonny pulling the strings in midfield with a 3-0 streamed win vs Night Eyes which at the time was a very important win with Night Eyes sitting at the top of the table for a period.
In a slightly provocative post jonny highlighted the excellent defensive record at the midway stage of the Season, with only a solitary goal being conceded
So after their disastrous Champions League exit we had to pick ourselves up, and pick ourselves up we did and with Joehan's exams having finished the team looked to be on the rise. 6 more points where amassed with a 4-0 win vs a disappointing Game Theory with myself coming off for dooms for the first time that Season and a 2-0 win vs a weakened The Defenders team with jonny juking mase nicely to get the first goal in style. This day also had even more significance with arctic throwing in the towel at HHH with the team not looking nearly as good as they were in Season 3 and some were even saying that the team as a whole were going to be disbanded. It was at this stage that the then unbeaten hR had something else to strive for, with the team being unbeaten for 13 games from midway in Season 3 it looked like they could match or even beat the unbeaten run that HHH had amassed in Season 3. Ironically HHH's 19 game run was both started after the 2-0 loss against hR at the end of Season 2 and ended before that 5-1 win at the start of Season 4. This is not the end of the irony though as you will see later...
Only my 3rd (and most recent) goal for the club, I liken it to Tony Adams's goal for Arsenal against Everton in '98 (see here)
But the real test of course, was can we beat fucking HaxPower for once? A team that we had played against a lot in friendlies that Season, we knew their gameplan and they knew ours but whether we would break the Hax Power bus was uncertain. The bus certainly was a gud 'un, proved throughout the Season with Hax Power only being 2nd to hR in terms of least goals conceded in the league. The game set into its natural course, with HaxPower in fact doing a bit more attacking than usual with the forward Suarez#09 filling in in net for them. But as we all know, history repeats itself and around the minute mark in the second half Jds scores from yet another mlf.gif and it looked like once again HaxPower would be the team to down their old rivals. After a minute of solid HP defense I decided I had to take matters in my own hands, throwing myself forward at a speculative wallbounce by Jiminy Cricket I find myself in uncharted territory, but a little shimmy one way and a finish which looked like it came from an accomplished forward with Suarez stuck on his line, probably paralysed from shock at my run like a deer in headlights. I'm not lying, you can see the goal above . But with Night Eyes still breathing down our necks in 2nd a draw seemingly wasn't enough but with both sides not wanting to lose the game it was looking like a draw was going to be the final result. They of course, had figured without jonny and a lovely juke later he had clinched the 3 points for hR and sent us to an even more commanding position at the top of the table. To round off the day a 2-0 win vs Fatality in the round of 16 stage in the cup sent us through and there were dreams of a League and Cup double on the cards.
Macro Meister Rooney tries to break through 3 of us on the post - to no avail
Despite arctic's best wishes, HHH did carry on as a team with Jenzo coming in to take over the captaincy, bringing in lots of excellent players from overseas such as Rooney1878 who was pivotal to their success. Despite coming in after 4 games in 7th place there still was an outside chance for HHH to make a title challenge of their own and the next fixture - the HHH vs hR return leg in the end had much more importance than was realised at the time of the game. A great 2-2 draw was played out, with Joehan being on the bench for only his second game of the campaign it was left to dooms to fill his boots and he helped the team to go in front twice, with the second goal for hR being one of the goals of the Season; but alas we were pegged back twice which resulted in the game being tied. By this time though, Joehan had announced that he was going to retire from haxball (lol) at the end of the Season so it seemed like it was now or never for hR to win the title but still we were odds on favourites to retain their title and looking at the table it seemed hard to see a scenario where hR did not win the title.
My reaction when first seeing this report was surprised to say the least, it finally registered that we had some real challengers on our hands...
A 6-0 win 3v2 vs Infinite Hax saw me being on the bench for a half for only the second (and last) time that Season but already the team was looking at other teams' results with HHH streamrolling their rivals, eating up their games in hand but thankfully the demise of Night Eyes did ease the pressure on the team. Once again, Joehan would have to mess us about, forcing us to fit our remaining 4 league games as well as the cup Quarter Final in the short space of 3 days. The scenario was this: 4 wins out of 4 would clinch the title for us but anything less would put it out of our hands and we would have to wait to see how HHH would do in their remaining games. It seemed though that we had jumped the final hurdle with two 2-0 wins in the space of an hour first against Fatality and then Game Theory which left us with only 2 games remaining in the league.
A sight rarely seen with me and jonny playing, the ball nestling in our net
But, good thing have to come to an end and the amazing run of unbeaten games for hR ended, ironically on 19 - the same as HHH - and even more ironically, losing out to HHH themselves. It was the cup Quarter Final and it was the biggest loss in hR's history with 3 non-laggy players on the field, a comprehensive 4-0 loss and regardless of knocking us out of the cup it seemed to represent a shift of power and with HHH winning against seemingly every other team some people thought that hR really would choke at the very bitter end. So with no cup to look forward to, it would be the day after that loss that would end this amazing Season for hR, with 2 games against The Defenders and Night Eyes to decide if the title would be decided then and there, or whether it would be out of our hands.
A lazer to end off the Season for hR, however not in as much style as they would have hoped...
D-Day it was but it got off to the worst of starts, with The Defenders scoring early on and from there they were not to be caught, with them running out 4-1 winners in the end. The first and only time hR had suffered back to back losses and the first league loss of the Season dampened spirits within the team massively as we knew that whether we would clinch the title or not would now not be in our own hands. In the almost hour-long wait between the 2 matches that day we sat and watched the Champions League instead, wanting to forget all that had happened before and just concentrate on getting 3 more points to try and make the job as hard as possible for HHH. This desire to get the points even sparked myself to suggest bringing back the old legend fap for a real send-off but this was taken as a joke and rejected. So with the team having reached its lowest point and facing a Night Eyes team that included players such as Rising Star we may even have conceded that it was just not meant to be. Or maybe that was me just being a pessimist I guess. But Joehan and jonny did what they did best, combining to get a goal before the first minute in the game and this settled the nerves of the team. A second goal not too long after seemingly put hR in a position that they could not drop points in the game and they saw the game through to halftime. But a minute or so into the second half disaster struck, with jonny making a rare defensive mistake to bring Night Eyes back into the game, and in the nervy minutes that passed I could only wonder if we would once again mess it up right at the end. But Joehan and jonny would not let that happen and with a nice lazer they would kill the game off. This ended hR's involvement in the Season and we would just have to sit and hope that HHH would slip up in the 4 games which followed.
The final League table
HHH needed 4 wins and it looked like the team which had the best chance of taking points off them would be The Defenders. But after Defenders holding the score to 0-0 for 7 minutes HHH finally broke through and left themselves with only 3 more wins to retain the title that (albeit a totally different team) they won last time round. This sparked panic in myself for one, and I even tried to get a last minute transfer to Night Eyes to save the title for my team but this was rejected by the admins (well Ren on his ones the fukin prick). I really did think that we had thrown away the best chance we had for the title. But, we would be bailed out. On a quiet Saturday, I log onto the chat to find out the Fatality had beaten HHH in an amazing 5-4 win, I am wary with my celebration though as a shock result such as this may have just been lies but after being presented with the recording I had finally had my dream realised, Haxball Revolution where the league Champions! For the first time in Galaxy history a team comprised of only UK players had won the title and finally after coming 2nd for the past 2 Seasons I had the taste of sweet sweet success. Even better, in the remaining 2 games for HHH Rooney did not get enough goals or assists to knock Joehan or jonny of the top spots for those leaderboards respectively.
The Trophy worn with pride by all the hR players that Season
The end of Season awards ceremony came and unsurprisngly hR cleaned up. I'll list them because I can: Least Goals Conceded in Division 1 | mlfaijati - GK of the Mouth and Best Defensive Combination | jonnyynnoj - Top assister, Midfielder of the Season, Best Defensive Combination, Best Attacking Combination, Goal of the Season | Joehan - Top Scorer, Striker of the Season, Player of the Season, Best Attacking Combination, Most overall points and of course, finally and most importantly the League Champions. It was not all a celebration as Joehan subsequently then retired from the team. So it was then onto the next Season to try and replicate our success, and indeed another attempt to get out of the Champions League group stage. Of couse with Joehan gone we were without our top goal scorer and the overall player of the Season from last Season but instead of going out to find a replacement I decided to reward dooms with his loyalty to the team, as he had largely been a backup player in his 2 Seasons at the team.
We could afford a more upbeat atmosphere going into the new Season as Champions; this being epitomised by a more upbeat song :P
A 3 man squad of course wasn't enough so after length discussions and failed attempts to sign ogre and fap, it was left to veteran striker deerhaunter94 to act as backup for dooms due to the latter's ping problems at the time. As mentioned before the inactive Edgar Davids was cut after not making a single game, which rounded off the team for Season 5. Prior to the normal Season start though we played in the only 'Community Shield' between the League and Cup Champions and some saw it as an indicator as to who out of hR and HHH (as they ended up winning the cup after knocking us out in the Quarter Finals with a comfortable win against Casper's Infinite Hax) would be best prepared to be the first team to claim more than 1 title in Galaxy. Players such as Smurf, Pedy and Rooney1878 where on show for HHH in the streamed fixture but the game was all but over at half time with a first being a great finish by dooms from an even better pass from jonny and a Pedy own goal created by a dooms pass. This went some way to showing the league that dooms was certainly capable of filling in Joehan's boots as it were.
Despite having retired at that point Joehan still stayed on the roster as team mascot...
This performance certainly did shift the opinion of the public as hR were predicted to be victors once more by somewhat of a landslide vote on the Season preview thread vote. HHH did suffer a massive blow before the Season's start though with Rooney1878 being banned for macro use in the previous Season, and without him Jenzo's HHH did not look as formidable. However it appeared that there could be some other competition such as aguero10 clad Nordic Lions boasting a great squad with foreign stars and the attacking threat of The Defenders with fap, naho and Radu leading the line for Ren's men looked to make the quest for a title more interesting than first apparent.
Creating a medium-sized shitstorm, a controversial decision did spark some anger in the community but overall the decision was taken well, especially by those who felt as if they had been cheated against the Season before
Once again though, we seemed to hit a rocky start with the first game of the Season with dooms' ping being unreliable and deerhaunter not being available it looked like squad size doubts would come true right at the first hurdle. But dooms battled on, braving the spikes and grabbing a brace to open his account for the Season in style in a albiet nervy 2-0 victory against the Belgies of IH. Maybe in parallel to a match in Season 4 against HHH, the importance of this game may have been overlooked at the time...
Effectively a breif summary of the match, the EU 3 never seemed to be far away from each other
The next match was the same in some respects, with things once again not going to plan. Our streamed second game of the Season and we were faced with on paper a team that should finish into the lower half of the table, but as is the nature of haxball and 3v3 anything can happen. Unfortunately, nothing did happen in the match. With fap watching on from the commentary box we were bussed against the whole game, with me making the tactical decision to take myself off and let the moose loose as it were. But deer couldn't make an impact on his debut and was very vocal about his contempt towards the tactics of EU, and this indeed brought an abrupt end to his Season with hR, due to this match yes but there was also another factor...
fap, volatile as ever
The toughest match of the Season for us on paper against The Defenders followed, and it was a naturally tight affair until jonny managed to spam in a goal that would eventually go down as a fap OG. Despite being on the back foot for quite a lot of the game we took it maybe as a sign that we still were a team that would challenge for the title, as winning despite a bad performance is sometimes the sign of true champions.
Joehan where he belongs, on the haxball pitch
So after his second Hiatus from the team, Joehan had once again returned and pretty much rendered deer useless (implyin' he weren't useless before l0l) After the match vs Nordic Lions being postponed (which would later be put down as a Defwin) we would face Gazza's Night Eyes and with the attacking threat the team had I was very vocal in not allowing us to have another game like the previous 2. 3 Minutes in and once again dooms' ping starts to play up and without another option and Joehan spectating the game regardless, he was unleashed onto the field. A very Joehan-esque performance followed, with 2 goals in a comprehensive 3-0 win which reinstalled confidence into the team. Later that night an easy 3-0 win vs Inglorious scorpions brought hR comfortably to the top of the table.
Breaking out a points gap from the start, it seemed only IH could catch us, with their only loss being the fixture vs us at the start of the Season
So it was then time for our second attempt at the Champions League, with us trying to get out of the group stage unlike the previous attempt. The opening match was against Ojsa of Serbia and it was a similar start to the previous campaign with another win, although this one was more comfortable with the score ending as an easy 3-0 to us. Our league dominance continued in another tough tie against HHH, with players such as Zerothree and nino we ground out a 1-0 victory courtesy of another own goal, this time from dooms' spam on the wall. This capped off another good matchday and went some way to consummate the team's continuing rise in confidence.
Another late show...
So we continued on, 2 games until we reached the middle of the Season and once again, it was a 1-0 victory that would bring us another 3 points, this time a late dooms goal from a Goalkeeping mistake against FML. Another 1-0 win against Fatality from a lovely jonny goal brough us to the midpoint in the Season, with us comfortably on top of the table, unbeaten and still with only IH looking like they could knock us off the top of the table.
Much like the Season before, the defense was looking impenetrable at the midpoint (the defwin vs NL had not been taken yet)
Another important matchday followed, with the return fixture vs Infinite Hax and the second tie in the Champions League to follow, it was one of the most important of the Season so far. Of course the Infinite Hax match now had more riding on it for both teams, as long as we didn't lose it looked like it would be a very tough job for IH to catch us but a loss against them and it could prove to be an interesting race between us for the title. Despite signs that the team was going inactive, they managed to put out 3 players against us, albiet with having to put Goalkeeper Knots! in an attacking position. A uneventful 0-0 draw was played out with Joehan once again making an appearance, but could not help break the deadlock as thelfenix in the IH goal did a sterling job. However the draw did benefit us, with us not losing any ground on IH it seemed as if it would take a minor miracle for us not to win the title. So after that decent result it was on to the Champions League and a match against Hamrun Spartans of Spain. Joehan returning to the side bolstered the attacking options and he bagged a brace in a match which always seemed to be going towards a hR win, with the final score being 4-2. And on the same day a 3-0 defwin was taken in the last group game, so unlike the previous Season we had got through the Champions League group stage with a perfect 3-0 record, and we were feeling optimistic about our chances in the tournament.
The last addition to the squad
After some subtle hints (and begging), the last member of the team opc was added. This brought the team up to 6 players, the highest it had been for a while (and indeed since) and looking at it, on paper it looks like one of the strongest teams in Galaxy history on paper. Then followed a game which on paper looked to be a tantalising match-up, with Nordic Lions led by Mick having players such as Llyod Banks and ogre to boast but unsurprisingly ogre was lagging and with 5 different players getting gametime for us we ran out 4-1 winners. However this would spell the end of opc's career with us, after not turning up/being selected for the rest of his games with us before he asked to be cut later on in the Season. This game was followed by yet another close run 1-0 victory with jonny captailising on some poor EU defending in the return fixture. Another fixture against NL came and went with a 6-0 win via the mercy rule in a 3v2 showing how we had no intentions of stopping in our efforts.
Taken apart by a great passing goal
After the Champions League group stage passed only us and Night Eyes were the only representatives of Galaxy. Our opponents would be Double Shot of Serbia, who had Del Piero in net for them - a player who had been on the winning side in the Country Championships the year before. This would pose the hardest test of hR on the international stage in any tournament so far. Before our match though the league still had to be dealt with, but with a streamed win against a weakened Night Eyes team spirits were running high in the team. But, it was not meant to be. With Joehan having to be subbed we conceded twice in quick succession at the 4 minute mark, and with 10 minute halves it was an uphill struggle from the outset. On their host we tried to at least to half time with the score still respectable but with 2 more conceded after some shoddy defending only a late consolation gave us any hope going into the second half. Giving up was not on the cards it seemed though, with an early goal from Joehan after being subbed back on and being on our host it looked like there was a chance. A chance, ultimately though to be lost - with myself being the culprit for a defensive meltdown with 4 more goals being conceded around a quite nice move by ourselves (one which maybe showed the gap in class between the two teams was not as big as was evident from the score) and finally as the game was entering its dying embers we got another consolation goal, to round of a ridiculous scoreline of 4-8. A score which juxtaposes the whole ethos of hR that Season was maybe the one blip in that era of the team. With Night Eyes also being knocked out, this indeed ended the involvement of Galaxy in the Champions League for another Season, with us being sent back to domestic duty with our tail between our legs.
A microsecond before the impenetrable was conquered
With 5 (6 counting the yet to be defwinned game against NL) games remaining in the league and a Quarter-Final in the cup to look forward to, it didn't seem like all doom and gloom. With us still unbeaten (not to mention that fact we hadn't conceded yet) in the league a certain title had suddenly got more exiting with the prospect of an invincibles Season on the cards, trying to emulate what HHH had done before us and what indeed had eluded us the previous Season. With a 2-0 win against The Defenders the next matchday continued this run but this was merely warmup for the bigger task at hand - the next round of the cup. Similar to the Season before we had been drawn against Jenzo's HHH. And again similar to last time around the match was even, albiet this time with the score reflecting the procession of the match, with the score being 0-0 going into halftime. However, history repeated itself once again with huub snatching the goal 2 minutes before time to seal the game for our old adversaries after some uncharacteristic poor defensive work. So we would not be the first team to win the 'double'; and concentrations once again fell back to the league where there was still that fat 0 on the GA column in the table.
Heroic last ditch defending as always...
It was starting to become a phenomenon and people were starting to wonder if anyone would score against us in the league. And seemingly as we were 1-0 up against IS in the next league match nothing seemed to be looking to break that streak, but Sonny loses a rare midfield battle and, naturally a poor decision from myself and we find ourselves having lost a lead for the first time since the second fixture against HHH in Season 3 no less as the score ended as a 1-1 draw. This was the third nail in the coffin for dreams of a perfect Season, as this acted as somewhat of a wakeup call in our efforts to remain unbeaten. A bore-draw against FML followed, later being revaled that luck had got impersonators for the game but the 0-0 result stood at that time. An easy match for the first time in a while followed, with a 3-0 win being clocked up against Fatality, with a goal that stood giffed in the hR channel description for a while afterwards scored by dooms starting things off. Arguably the hardest challenge was yet to be faced though, with us still not having had that loss in the league we were a match away from a historic campaign, but HHH once again stood in our way. Desperate to keep the no-loss streak going, we were on the backfoot for most of the game and some last ditch defending helped us limp over the line, another 0-0 result but we didn't care - we were the invincibles are double title winners at last!
Ironically the same W/D/L record as HHH 2 Seasons before
Less drama for the title yes, and it did feel less sweet but I feel like it was a bigger achievement than seemed apparent at the time. Often teams which win titles in hax never seem to win one again, almost as if they had hit their peak with a victory. I feel as if it did epitomise hR nicely, always being the consistent team - not to mention the defensive record was a inherently hR thing to achieve. The cup final was the last game of the Season and it felt kinda sweet that The Defenders triumphed over HHH in that match. And with Ren being exstatic on chat afterwards, it did help remind us that our title win was something to be celebrated, and going 13-5-0 is no less impressive. And another thing to be celebrated as well, with jonny - the lynchpin, the main man, the glue of the team announcing that he would retire from the team. It was at that point when I finally realised that this hR adventure wouldn't be forever, and despite Joehan returning to the team he would be off to Oz soon. Season 6 was always earmarked as the final curtain for hR.
The last parts of the Season came and went, with hR picking up less awards than last time round at the Gala (pun intended) Awards Ceremony. I myself picking up the Best Defensive Combination and GK of the Season for the third time and jonny winning another Best Defensive Combination Award as well as his Midfielder of the Season award. Voting went close between us (and luck for some reason) for player of the Season, but deservedly it went to jonny by a single vote. Unfairly you could say dooms, the third point of the indestructible triangle that was hR that Season, did not get any recognition for his contributions aside from of course, the winners medal itself. With a short hiatus of the league do the the summer exam period, and with myself and dooms left to try and somehow fill the gap left by jonny this was the end of this era in the hR story.
Credit to dooms for the video!
I would like to thank you for reading this, it did take a while to write so I would appreciate any response and comments. If I did anything wrong or missed out on any facts (talking to Casper and Fabien here mostly) then tell me and thank you to Lek for giving me the inspiration to write this in the first place, you can read his better version of 'The History of NWA' here.
And on the topic of NWA, this is really what this thread is about, teams with soul. There has been better haxballing teams then the original hR, but in terms of activity, heart and togetherness? I don't see many better than myself, Casper and Fabien or any of the rest of them.
So where did the original hR end up?
mlf: Part of Team UK and Arriba!, and still part of hR.
Casper: Part of vH, Ghost Whisperers and in IH.
Gazza: Part of vH also, Ajhax and Night Eyes.
Fabien: Was semi-retired for a while, Perfection A.
Paki Rambo: Was in vH, NWA and Eagles United before retiring.
I'll leave you with something I've stolen from ren.
''The Revolution will not be televised, will not be televised, will not be televised. The Revolution will be no re-run brothers, The Revolution will be live.''
(or maybe more appriopraitely, ''The Revolution will not be Streamed, will not be Streamed, will not be Streamed. The Revolution will be no re-post brothers, The Revolution will be a thread.''
Last edited by mlfaijati on 2013-11-19, 09:25; edited 14 times in total