Just as many very old players, i have migrated from BA.
Im not entirely sure how i found BA. I think i was reading up on wikipedia's list of free RTS games, as it was during the time no new RTS games were on the market for ages.
I do remember my first game though. It was a 3-way FFA on CCR. I rushed some nab, then started expanding aggressively. Being a Starcraft veteran, i then started building more factories and pumping some cheap generalist units like warriors at the enemy. Which kinda stopped working when my opponent started spamming DDMs.
The fact the game felt so intuitive and natural, and at the same time weird and unintuitive really got me hooked.
I remember the [K] clan often stomping nabs on Tabula. Learning their strategies and trying to beat them was fun, although futile because my teammates were usually random nabs. Regret, Tsuyosa, Jazcash, Dizekat - i still remember the fuckers by the names. As far as i know, Jazcash still plays BA sometimes, and Regret used to be very active in ZK.
Sometimes i got bored of BA, and sometimes the only available room was 8v8BADSD which i couldnt play on my old rig, so i tried to play other games/mods. I think i have at least 2-3 games played in every major mod, like NOTA, XTA, KP, 1944, ComShooter, Kapital, EE, EvoRTS.
I think the final switch for me happened during the first Planet Wars. Damn that was fun. Certainly not balanced, but we had great small community, 3v3-5v5 battles were common and great fun.
There actually was a decline in playerbase after the PW finished, there were dayss with literally 0 CA games played. But slowly the mod somehow grew, it was developing rapidly - the push to remove OTAContent, the name change, the 1faction change, introduction of communism and overdrive. It is a bit sad that quantum and det stopped contributing to the development, the current rate of progress is nowhere close to those old days.
Fuck, i feel old now.
Oh hey look what i found! CA 2006!https://springrts.com/phpbb/viewtopic.php?f=79&t=11156