27 February 2012

Rebel Roam to Metropolis

Peri Simone formed a fleet at the last minute to go out on a roam. It was starting in Heild and a good number of Rebels joined in frigates of various descriptions. Starwalker was in Rifter, along with a few others but there was also a Firetail, Vengeance and a Merlin.

The fleet headed out towards Gusandall and along the way another gang was encountered. The scout, Vincent R’lyeh, noted a number of their gang in cruiser and battle cruiser sized ships and the fleet commander decided it was too much firepower to take on.

A few systems on and Vincent R’lyeh managed to tackle a Cyclone at the sun and the fleet entered system and warped to him. Unfortunately, the tackle was lost as the Cyclone drained Vincent’s capacitor and the Cyclone was able to warp away just as the fleet arrived. Shame.

Arriving in Ardar a destroyer was found and this time the point held as the rest of the fleet arrived and destroyed the new ship. It was complete overkill but that is part of the fun - the random nature of each encounter. For Starwalker, it would have been more fun to win a close fight or lose a fight but get some good kills, however, a kill is a kill.

Starwalker had enjoyed flying in fleet but also wanted to get a solo kill. It had been a long time since his last solo kill and wondered what he needed to do to get into more fights. It seemed like other Rebels had much more success in finding fights.

25 February 2012

Journey Started in Rifter and Ended in Clone Vat

Starwalker noticed from his journal that he had accummulated some 200 mechanical datacores from an R&D agent in Tividu. Since he had no particular plans he thought he would make the journey over there and pick them up. Undocking in a trusty Rifter Starwalker set off from Heild without a care in the universe.

It all seemed to be going very well until the jump into Amamake, where a gate camp was waiting. Starwalker decided to hit warp and hope that nothing was sensor boosted, quick off the mark or wanted the Rifter. No such luck, the Legion was quick enough to stop the Rifter and before long he was hitting warp simply to get the pod away, which did so.

It seemed pointless to return to Heild in the pod and so Starwalker continued on to Tividu, where on arrival he contracted his datacores to StarStepper. The replacement Ibis was in station and so he undocked it and started to make the return journey.

Of course, the Ibis was not destined to get back to Heild as the reason Starwalker had used it was to try the Self Destruct feature. He had never used that command and wanted to see it in action; there was certainly no point in self-destructing a Rifter or better.

The countdown every ten seconds proved remarkably uninteresting and whilst waiting Starwalker thought that it might be better to be outside of the ship. Using eject was hardly any more exciting than the countdown itself and so he decided to head back to Heild in his pod.

The return journey went back through Amamake but Starwalker decided that his pod would get through any gate camp and so continued onwards. That might have been true, except a smart bombing Hyperion was waiting on gate and as Starwalker landed he was immediately sent to Heild's clone vat.

The journey had been a complete waste of time, the self destruction of his Ibis had been unexciting and whilst the 200 datacores were worth around 40m ISK, the loss of the Rifter and pod had exceeded that. The only good news was that Starwalker was back in Heild.

24 February 2012

Destroyer Destroys Hawk in Bosena

Starwalker was heading back to Heild from Uemon and it had been very uneventful. His Hawk was moving through the systems scanning for targets but nothing of interest had appeared to be flying in space.

Entering Bosena Starwalker went to the Sun looking for a fight with a local. Given the number of pilots in local it seemed that someone would arrive soon and so he waited. A Retribution appeared and as the Hawk closed to around 40km the Retribution started firing its lasers. However, apart from the light show they were not having any effect.

The Retribution was still well outside point range when it disappeared. Starwalker assumed it was because another R1FTA pilot had arrived in local. It was pure coincidence and it was certainly not a trap, if Starwalker was in fleet then he would have at least established point first.

Starwalker waited as the R1FTA pilot moved on and then the Retribution pilot, Arasul, came back in a Thrasher. It seemed that Arasul did not like his chances against the Hawk in a Retribution and had returned in something that was scarier but not too scary. Starwalker decided to engage – that was what he was here for.

The Hawk was quickly in orbit at around 5km and the Thrasher was firing away with 200mm auto-cannons. The Thrasher’s orbit closed in to around 2km from the Hawk and then back out to 5km.  The damage was coming in hard for both and as the shields started to give way on the Hawk Starwalker activated the shield booster.

The Thrasher's shield was going down as well and it was becoming a DPS race. The Thrasher was into low armour as Starwalker heard the capacitor give out and was no longer providing any shield boost. The Hawk entered armour but the Thrasher was entering structure and Starwalker turned back to watch the Thrasher die.

It didn’t die fast enough and the Hawk exploded. Starwalker was so surprised that he had not aligned out to save the pod and that was caught too for another 70m ISK loss of the last +4 implants.

In hindsight Starwalker knew that he could have improved:
  • Noticed that he was being neutralised and so he could have used range to break that
  • Used a better range to fight at, 5km was probably too close but he had been fooled to some extent by the Thrasher starting to fire at range and so Starwalker went in a little bit closer
  • Starwalker had overheated the rockets but should have overheated the auto-cannon too. That little extra might have made the difference, assuming he did not burn them out
  • Used the combat booster, that was there and unused in the cargo bay – it had simply been forgotten
  • Used the shield booster earlier and it should have been overheated earlier rather than wait until when the shields were already down to 25%

20 February 2012

12 Month Review and Advice to Younger Self

Starwalker looked over the previous review and the key areas of ships, combat, skills and bases. This was also the time period when Starwalker had started to lose interest and then gained a renewed sense of purpose and enthusiasm. It had been a remarkable time.

The four areas of interest were previously summarised as:
  1. Ships - focus on a few ships and fits, suited to you, to learn to fly and fight. Only fly (and fit) what you can afford to lose and whilst taking risks is fine, try to avoid silly losses such as being destroyed by not knowing New Eden mechanics
  2. Combat - maintain situational awareness and use all tools (display, local, overview...) and modules in combat and overheat
  3. Skills - focus training plan on particular ships, fits and skills needed. Be flexible and change the plan as needed but use the plan. Optimise that plan where possible such as using implants and a neural remap
  4. Base - select a small number of bases based on most important need such as central to roaming locations

Starwalker felt that this was still true but with some slight changes:
  • Focus on a few ships that are suited to your flying style and that can compensate for your pilot weaknesses or emphasise your strengths
  • Consider combat when fitting and just before engagement when you know what you are about to fight:
o   What range(s) to use against brawlers?
o   What ammunition to use against the target?
o   What to do if engaged by a kiter or how to avoid being kited?
o   What to do against this pilot and ship from any new information such as from the Battleclinic killboard?
  • When in combat use some method to help maintain situational awareness such as ROTA (Range, Overheat, Tank, Attack)

Looking back over the year, Starwalker would advise his younger self to do things slightly differently. Focus on the Rifter because that would allow him to use and train in one ship but to learn different styles of fighting or different mechanics. 

A Rifter could be fit for shield or armour tanking, buffer or active tanks, brawling with auto-cannons or kiting with artillery. Use the flexibility to try many different things and learn about the ship, fittings, tanking and piloting. Losing ships while learning would be both fun and cheap with a T1 frigate.

Regarding skills, base the skill plan around a Rifter and as soon as possible train all relevant skills to level 3. This includes everything for tank, gank, support and fitting. Then train to level 4 for everything in the order where the need was greatest based on recent flying experience. 

Completing skills to level 4 would also be the time to branch out to new race ships or move up ship classes if desired. Finally, train to level 5 first those skills that open up new skills such as a specialization or more ships and then work around the other level 5 skills based on flying experience.

Combat experience was important and a young Starwalker should not have been obsessed with either ships and fittings or skill points. Starwalker’s experience had shown that he lost more ships through pilot error than anything else. The next reason he lost ships was because of ignorance of New Eden mechanics such as stargates, stations, sentry guns, aggression and session timers, tracking, optimal, falloff, damage types and overheat. The simplest advice, use a cookie cutter ship build and fly and fight in that ship, and expect to lose it every time it was undocked. Rinse and repeat.

Starwalker had come to the realisation that he was not a very good combat pilot and nor was it very likely that he would become very good. However, he enjoyed flying in space and the combat, even if he lost more fights than he won.

The last year had seen lots of changes and the coming year would no doubt see more. Looking forward Starwalker had no real goal that he wanted to achieve, he was simply enjoying the experience and going with the flow. 

19 February 2012

Skills Profile Focused on Frigates

Starwalker’s current skills profile was focused around frigates with a good selection of damage, tank, fitting and support skills. However, what this also meant was that the skills for larger ships were either trained to a low level only or missing.

Even with the frigate focus and accumulation of around 17m skill points Starwalker was still unable to fly either stealth bombers or interceptors. It seemed that a good next step would be to decide on what ship would be flown next - interceptors or something bigger like battle cruisers.

If Starwalker wanted to fly battle cruisers then a number of additional skills would need to be trained to a much higher level, including things like drones. Of course, considering any training need beyond ability to fly should also be balanced with the main reason that Starwalker lost ships – pilot error.

The final factor to consider was that flying battle cruisers would also increase the cost of any loss. However, given the proliferation of battle cruiser and similar sized vessels then it would also increase the potential for getting into fights.

Starwalker spent a lot of time in space looking for fights, for example, the most recent roam had started in Heild, went to Ennur up to Gusandall and finally on to Uemon. No fights but not for lack of looking, perhaps a battle cruiser would increase the chances for a fight at the cost of more expensive losses.

17 February 2012

Experiment with Combat Boosters

Starwalker was considering experimenting with combat boosters and the safest way to do that was with the legal “synth” strength drugs as the illegal strengths of “standard”, “improved” and “strong” had respectively a 20%, 30% and 40% chance of one or more negative side effects.

Combat boosters were specially designed drugs that allowed the temporary improvement of some capability. As the strength of the booster drug increased so did the chance of one or more negative side effects. The ability to use boosters and the duration of their effect was determined by the level of the Biology skill, from 30 minutes to 60 minutes at level 5.

Every capsuleer had only three booster slots and so could use a maximum of three of the possible eight available drugs at any one time. The three slots and the drugs that could be used in them were:

  • Defensive slot 1 – that could use one of:
a.     Blue Pill – shield boosting amount
b.     Exile – armour repair amount
c.      Mindflood – capacitor capacity
d.     X-Instinct – signature radius

  • Turret slot 2 – that could use one of:
a.     Drop – tracking speed
b.     Frentix – optimal range
c.      Sooth Sayer – falloff range

  • Missile slot 3 – that could use:
a.     Crash – missile explosion radius

So, at a more practical level it was much more likely to only use one or two combat boosters. The potential benefits for the illegal  (standard, improved and strong) variants were summarised here and ranged from 7.5% to 37.5%.

If Starwalker was in an active armour tank Rifter then Exile and Sooth Sayer might be possible choices. Alternatively, in an active shield tanked Hawk then Blue Pill and Crash. The general choice for any ship would be X-Instinct as every ship had a signature radius.

The booster benefit depended on the strength of the drug but they did not all share the same percentage benefit or the same negative side effects. Using the Rifter example, the synth strength resulted in a 3% benefit to armour repair amount and falloff range but for standard strength it was 20% benefit to armour repair amount and 10% benefit to falloff range.

The standard strength also had a 20% chance or one in five of a negative side effect and if that effect did happen then it would result in a 20% penalty. So for Exile the potential negative side effects would be a one in five chance that there would be a 20% penalty to each of:
  • Armour Hitpoint
  • Turret Tracking
  • Missile Explosion Cloud
  • Capacitor Capacity
Therefore, it would be possible to have zero negative side effects or all four. Similarly, for the Sooth Sayer, there would be a one in five chance for a 20% penalty to:
  • Armour Repair Amount
  • Shield Capacity
  • Turret Optimal Range
  • Velocity
The benefit, 20% for standard strength, was substantial but so was the cost if all four negative side effects happened. Clearly, the possible negative side effects needed to be understood and the risk assessed, as some side effects had less impact than others.

It was possible to mitigate this risk with the following skills:
  • Nanite Control – reduced the severity of negative effects by 5% per level
  • Neurotoxin Recovery – reduced the chance of negative effects by 5% per level
The problem with the skill books was that Nanite Control would cost around 250m ISK and that was a substantial reason not to experiment too much with stronger combat boosters. However, Starwalker looked at his dwindling supply of ISK and considered investing; on the basis that it gave him a level of risk mitigation if he used the stronger combat boosters. He wanted that mitigation there, even if he never used it or used it only occasionally.

13 February 2012

Evolving Use of Implants

Starwalker had recently lost his pod again and it was another 110m ISK destroyed. Those implants had been replaced, as the use of implants was great for increased training speed and min-maxing ship capabilities but also represented significant ISK loss when podded.

However, now that Starwalker was down to his last set of +4 implants it was worth reconsidering what to do next. Was it worth buying more +4 learning skill implants and the others? The original ideas around implants were based around +1 skill implants and turrets but Starwalker’s views were evolving. Previously, the key factors:
  1. Use learning skill implants to reduce training time
  2. Use implants to enhance ship and fit
  3. Balance cost with risk of loss
Recently, Starwalker had been using +4 learning skill plants at around 18m ISK each. This contributed to the heavy loss of ISK and Starwalker was now thinking how 110m ISK could be spent differently such as:
  • Four fully fitted Assault Frigates
  • Nineteen fully fitted T1 frigates
So another factor to consider now was the opportunity cost, in short buy implants or buy fitted ships. However, whatever combination or cost of implants were chosen there was one final factor that needed to be considered, as Starwalker had recently flown Rifters, Hookbills and Hawks. That factor was the effective application of implants to the current ship and fit. In particular, turret implants had no effect with missile launchers and rockets.

Given that either a Rifter or Hawk would be the current T1 or T2 frigate of choice, then in essence all turret based implants would be useless in a Hawk and, vice versa, all missile based implants would be useless in a Rifter. The same principle would apply to other areas such as armour tanking versus shield tanking. So the final factor was the effective use of implants with different types of ships flown.

Using jump clones to specialize in certain ship and fit types would be one way to address the effectiveness of implants but there were other ways such as selecting implants that would apply to any ship such as navigation implants or even not using ship enhancing implants at all. After all, experience had shown that pilot error was the biggest single reason for Starwalker’s losses and not ship fitting or skill.

Starwalker would now consider his next set of implants using:
  1. Opportunity cost – should the ISK be spent on ships instead?
  2. Sense of loss – is the ISK lost when podded acceptable?
  3. Effectiveness – will the implant be effective all or most of the time?
  4. Min-maxing capabilities – would the benefit outweigh the cost?
His current inclination was to use +3 learning skill implants only. If in future it appeared that more fights were down to the wire and min-maxing capabilities would be a decisive advantage then use that type of implant.

11 February 2012

Rebels on Roam in Heimatar and Devoid

Kaeda Maxwell had set the Rebel roam to start in Aliette, Heimatar. It was not a bad location to start but Starwalker was in Heild and decided that he would cross hi-sec in his Rifter to get to Aliette, as he couldn’t be bothered to go around via a low-sec route.

The first stop for the Rebel fleet of a Thrasher (Kaeda Maxwell) and three Rifters (Vincent R’lyeh, Kooba Kaundur and Starwalker) was in Amamake in a deadspace complex. Like waiting at the sun or the top asteroid belt it was a clear advertisement to local pilots of a wish to fight. It looked like the wish was answered as a Cormorant, Rifter and Thrasher jumped in.

However, as the Rebels engaged and made the Cormorant the primary target the rest of the enemy fleet jumped in and the Rebel ships were slaughtered within seconds. It appeared the Heretic fleet had come in with more than double the number of ships and five of those were destroyers. Clearly the Heretic fleet had not under-estimated the danger of a Rebel fleet and felt the need to arrive with overwhelming odds. That was not a problem – this is EVE.

Starwalker had aligned out well before his ship exploded to save his pod but for whatever reasons spamming the warp command had simply produced no result and his pod was destroyed too. A bit of a shame, as that marked another set of +4 implants gone.

Of course, for Rebels, losing a ship was not a deterrent to getting into another ship and going out again, and it was not long before the Rebel fleet was reformed in Aliette. Strangely enough this time the fleet was bigger and included more Thrashers and Rifters.

Soon the fleet was out and roaming again. In Auga it was decided that waiting in a complex would be a good idea again, despite what had happened the last time. However, it produced a strange result as an Imperial Navy Slicer entered, was caught almost immediately and destroyed. Starwalker was inclined to believe that the pilot had simply warped in, without checking first, and had been surprised that it was occupied.

The fleet continued on through Devoid but Starwalker’s Rifter started flashing its service light and so he set off alone back to Heild to get it checked out. On the way back, a Hyperion in Amamake tried to destroy the Rifter with three smart bomb bursts as Starwalker warped to the gate. It was not enough to destroy the Rifter and Starwalker jumped through and simply returned to base.

10 February 2012

Dances with Wolf

John Valentine was cruising Heild in his Wolf looking for a duel and spied Starwalker in his shiny Hawk. He initiated a challenge and Starwalker accepted. Very quickly they were in fleet and Starwalker warped into a random location at 70km, just to avoid any tricks like warping to a POS or a gang location.

The Wolf was there alone - so it was a straight up duel. Starwalker moved towards the Wolf but did not engage his micro warp-drive. John Valentine effectively did the same thing so it remained unclear whether he was afterburner fit or not.

At 25km Starwalker engaged the targeting and micro warp-drive and tried to close into scramble range. The Wolf danced away and started plinking from around 18km. Despite a few attempts Starwalker was unable to close the distance. The plinking was not high damage but it was relentless small damage and continually depleted the buffer tank.

Starwalker had tried a few times to get closer with overheating of the micro warp-drive but it didn’t seem to work. By this time the shield was down to 25% and Starwalker decided that it might be time leave as he still had not opened fire and had never been closer than 16km.

So Starwalker aligned out and started to overheat, before long the distance was increasing and then he was warping away. He apparently had warped away just as the capacitor for the Wolf was giving out. Of course, just because the ship might have lost its mobility and point that did not mean it would be destroyed, as that would not stop its auto-cannons from firing.

In retrospect, Starwalker considered what he had not done as soon as he realized that the Wolf would not fight in scramble range:
  • Switch to Javelin rockets that could hit out to around 20km
  • Slingshot immediately rather than start by overheating the propulsion module and trying that a couple of times

Similarly, whilst buffer tanks were simple and effective their weakness was that they could not be replenished during the fight and would simply drain away over time even with only minor damage. Perhaps it was time to add another module to actively tank, even if Starwalker struggled with all the module management.

7 February 2012

Wolf Ravages Hawk in Heild

Starwalker was loitering in Heild waiting out a GCC. The warp in to a complex had gone horribly wrong when the Rebels had arrived individually at the complex and were met by two Stabber Fleet Issues. It was not pretty and as one Rebel noted voice communications would have helped coordinate arrival.

Not content to finish there Starwalker repaired and continued to loiter in Heild. Pilot, hammerof thegods, decided to challenge Starwalker’s Hawk in his Wolf and the duel was accepted with both parties warping to the sun. As the distance closed between the Hawk and Wolf, an uninvited Thrasher arrived, piloted by Randy Leahy. Starwalker left immediately thinking it was a trap.

It wasn’t and so the duel restarted and this time the fight was really on. The Wolf started hitting from a range of around 15km and Starwalker’s Hawk continued to burn in to around 7.5km. The Wolf wasn’t content to sit still and burned out of range again despite having two webs on him. Starwalker pulsed his MWD and got into range again and reapplied the webs and scram.

The fight continued with the range going in and out of scramble. Both ships were suffering but the Wolf was suffering more and was entering low armour and then structure. Starwalker was so fascinated with the progression of damage that he didn’t notice that he had burnt out his rockets. The damage stopped and the Wolf needed no second invitation as Starwalker’s Hawk was now helpless, soon it was in structure and then exploded. The Wolf had survived with 47% structure.

Despite losing his Hawk Starwalker was happy with at least some of his performance – he had reacted to the range changes, he had applied modules and nearly won. He had lost through pilot error again, if he had simply turned off the rocket overheating a little earlier he would have won.

6 February 2012

Pilot Error and Evolution of Ship Selection and Fitting

Starwalker’s ship fitting philosophy had evolved over time:
  1. Initial focus was on kill or be killed – a simple damage race, who will be the first to get the kill. Emphasis on using simple cookie cutter builds but not really appreciating the reasons behind the fit 
  2. Next evolution was that survival is needed to apply damage, so tank is fitted first and damage second. In short, no damage if dead, so fit tank before guns 
  3. Current focus was on relative superiority – define a ship fit to counter most likely ships encountered and their methods of attack. Maximize intelligence to gain relative superiority in selection of tactics, ammunition and range  
Starwalker was still trying to fit for relative superiority but had recently added a tweak – also select ships and fit to compensate for pilot weaknesses. Selecting ships and fittings based on exploiting strengths would be better but Starwalker was not good enough yet to have pilot strengths.

Pilot weaknesses were easy to identify:
  • Being distracted by trivia such as looking at the chat channel whilst losing this Hawk in an asteroid belt
  • Not selecting the right ammunition to maximize damage as demonstrated when losing this Rifter
  • Not using the right range and ammunition that works at that range, which was one of many factors that led to this Hookbill exploding
  • Poor manual piloting skills (could not effectively do a slingshot) against a kiting ship like this Slicer
  • Not knowing, understanding or remembering New Eden mechanics such as warp-in in a deadspace complex
  • Lack of knowledge or common sense when fighting or in this case not engaging when needed and appropriate
  • Being impatient (and not cautious) led to this Rifter loss

These traits were starting to lead towards preferring Caldari ships, like the Hawk using the kinetic damage type, and rockets (or missiles) to avoid considering optimal, falloff and tracking. To prefer selecting and fitting a ship for brawling in scramble range because the greater tank, compared to a kiting ship, gave more time to react to the situation.

This preference had its own problems such as restricting the choice of ships but Starwalker was happy at this time to focus on the Rifter and Hawk and perhaps later add the Drake. He also knew that his losses were more a result of his pilot errors than any limitations of the ship he flew or the trained skills he had.

5 February 2012

Imperial Navy Slicer Kites Hawk

Starwalker was cruising the Angel deadspace complex in Heild with his Hawk. This one was brawler fit with rockets and an afterburner but it was significantly slower than Starwalker had originally expected.

The new mid slot for the Hawk had now given Starwalker a good reason to fly the Hawk instead of the Hookbill. The Hawk was better in nearly all areas except for speed. The Hawk (with level 5 skills) using an afterburner fit had a speed of around 850m/s versus the Hookbill of around 1370m/s. This is quite a difference.

Starwalker wondered if it was too slow to catch a kiter or whether his pilot skills would be good enough to slingshot into scramble range. He was about to find out as an Imperial Navy Slicer, piloted by Krole, jumped into the complex and sped towards him. The speed clearly indicated a micro-warpdrive fit.

The engagement began with Starwalker taking damage from around 20km and the Slicer dancing around the outside out of range. The first attempt at a slingshot was not good and shields were now more than half gone. Starwalker decided to try the slingshot again and heated the afterburner going in a straight line towards an asteroid belt.

Starwalker also loaded Javelin as he decided that he should at least try and hit the Slicer. At the moment, he was being kited to death and unless he could get a few shots in he would not even be able to force the Slicer away never mind catch him.

The distance increased to 22km and Starwalker was waiting for it to start to close again before executing the turn when three more pilots from Gunpoint jumped into the complex. The distance had now increased to 25km and Starwalker hit the warp button, hoping the Slicer was not fitted with and using an overheated Warp Disruptor II, which had a range of just under 29km.

Warp engaged and Starwalker was away. He found a safe spot and considered what had just happened and that he had probably had a lucky escape.

3 February 2012

Stupid Is as Stupid Does

The Rebels were having some fun in Heild and Starwalker joined the local fleet in his shiny new Hawk. A cyclone was engaged and quickly succumbed to the mass of frigates. The cyclone might have been destroyed but the pilot, Titus Veridius, was not necessarily finished with the Rebels.

After a while Titus Veridius was back in Heild with his Gunpoint Diplomacy comrades. By this time the Rebel fleet had reduced to two and when Starwalker warped to Javen Kai he saw four Gunpoint pilots and Javen Kai bugging out. Starwalker decided that it was time to leave too.

Starwalker chose to warp away to a random belt rather than a safe and this decision was to lead to another incredibly stupid loss. Starwalker landed at the asteroid belt and rather than warp away to a proper safe he decided to check out the corporate chat channel.

Of course, Starwalker was not safe and the Gunpoint pilots were quick to him scan him down and before long Starwalker was surrounded. It was futile to try and escape and so he simply aligned out and hit warp. As usual, this was not to save the ship but to save the pod. The pod got away but the shiny new Hawk was simply a wreck.

Starwalker docked and entered his quarters. This was a ridiculous loss and he had no excuse for staying in an asteroid belt and then being distracted by the chat channel. Starwalker had been in New Eden for nearly a year and yet was still finding new ways to do stupid things.

Starwalker wondered if he had now exhausted stupid ways to lose a ship but somehow he doubted it.