27 August 2012

Drake Fights Hurricane in Fade

The recent loss of the HAM Drake at the gate was no deterrent to getting out and about again in another HAM Drake. Starwalker decided that now was the time to head off into null-sec and see what trouble he could find. He set off from Eugales and ended up in Fade where he was finding that the Goonswarm space was sparsely populated.

Starwalker was alone in a system when noticed that he was joined in local by another pilot who seemed to be in a Noctis. So he decided that this might be an ideal opportunity to do some ratting to improve his security status, gain some modest income and possibly lull the Noctis into a false sense of security or alternatively to bait this local to have a go at the "ratter".

Landing at a random asteroid belt Starwalker set about destroying some of the Serpentis ships and scanned again for the Noctis but the pilot left local. How disappointing... until the same pilot returned in a Hurricane, now that was much better. Luckily Starwalker had nearly finished the four Serpentis ships and so when they were destroyed he approached a wreck hoping that the Hurricane would jump in - it did.

Starwalker immediately engaged the Hurricane, locking, scrambling and firing with the heavy assault missiles overheated immediately. The Hurricane closed in to point blank range and Starwalker was concerned that he might lose a DPS race to a shield Hurricane. This time he remembered to use his Warrior IIs to add a little more damage and he also tried to get a little distance to reduce the damage slightly from the autocannons.

The Hurricane stayed close and was also neuting, the Drake's capacitor was being drained away fast and its shields were nearly gone but the Hurricane shields were depleting fast too. Starwalker tried to gain some range again but soon the capacitor was empty and his web and scramble dropped. He thought that the Hurricane might decide to leave now as it had entered armour but the Drake was also in deep trouble. The Hurricane stayed - so it would be a fight to the death.

The two battlecruisers slugged it out with both going into structure. Starwalker had to stop overheating his missiles and only narrowly avoided burning them out. As the two battlecruisers circled each other in flames the Drake delivered the final blow and the Hurricane exploded. It was a good fight and Starwalker's first solo kill in a battlecruiser; he collected the loot. 

Unfortunately, Starwalker was now some distance from Eugales and this encounter had left his Drake in flames with no way to repair. It would be a dangerous return trip where he was especially vulnerable because of the damaged condition of the Drake. Starwalker headed back thinking about ship selection and fittings.

This experience highlighted for Starwalker that he really wanted to have an active tank rather than buffer, speed or resistance. It also seemed that with a shield tank a close fight almost forced a repair between battles or else accept the fight with the damaged armour/structure. The trouble with armour damage was that there was no way to repair the armour in space, so being able to repair in station was only possible in low-sec, in null-sec that repair would not be available. 

These factors pointed towards fitting ships with an active armour tank, except that they were certainly out of fashion but possibly more importantly they lacked the speed of shield tanked equivalents and tended to have lower DPS. More input for ship selection and fitting.

25 August 2012

Drake Caught at Gate

Starwalker was out in a Drake just cruising around when he was distracted by incoming messages on his mobile device. Whilst he was distracted and holding on a gate an Executioner established a lock and point.

If Starwalker had demonstrated more caution or even fear, he would have simply carried on and left the Executioner behind. However, he was interested to see what would turn up and moved towards the Executioner but without engaging and simply running his defences. Space filled as the rest of the gang arrived and Starwalker knew that there were too many ships to take on his lone Drake.

So he headed back to the gate and saw some gang members jump through just before he did. The Drake was starting to take damage but it was nothing too serious. The trouble was that as he jumped through it was getting more serious as he was locked and scrambled again on the other side. It was now that Starwalker made his first real mistake - he jumped back through the gate again.

It was immediately apparent that it was a real problem as the majority of the gang was still there. They opened fire again and by now, the Drake was down to half of its shield and had also seen that electronic warfare was being used too. Starwalker knew that bouncing either side of the gate would simply be a slow death, so he decided to engage and kill what he could before going down.

That was the second mistake - more of the gang was this side of the gate and if anything he should have tried to fight the smaller part of the gang. He engaged the nearest Kitsune and it went down fairly quickly with the heavy assault missiles battering it whilst it was being webbed. Next he locked the original Executioner and engaged that too and it too started to go down and this was when Starwalker wondered if he could escape - only the Executioner still had a point.

Starwalker overheated his assault missiles but completely forgot to use his Warrior IIs and that might have made a small difference. It was only a small chance but it should have been taken, especially as the god of ewar locked onto the Drake and its lock and scramble on the Executioner disappeared, which quickly scuttled away trailing fire. The rest of the gang held distance at 19km and it was inevitable that the Drake would not survive and it exploded into a ball of fire.

19 August 2012

Two New Jump Clones

Starwalker was alerted to a new Jump Clone service offered by Sulieman Shouaa and wanted to take advantage of it. He had contemplated getting jump clones for over a year but had been too lazy to either get to the 8.0 standings required via missions or leave R1FTA to join Estel Arador as an alternative approach to get to those standings.

That laziness was rewarded recently when Sulieman offered a very simple service for 10m ISK per jump clone:
  • Go to his location, usually in or near Hevrice
  • Fleet up with Sulieman's character that has a ship with a medical bay
  • Pay the 10m ISK charge for each jump clone
  • Accept the invitation to create a jump clone
  • Dock up, pause training and then jump to the newly created clone
  • Restart training and disappear to whatever hole you came from with that clone 
Starwalker now has his original clone in Eugales and two jump clones that had been moved to Heild, Molden Heath and Fensi, Kor-Azor. This seemed like a nice spread of locations, although Kor-Azor was something of an unknown as Starwalker had never flown around that area. 

Sulieman had provided a fast and easy to use service and now that Starwalker had two more jump clones for ease of jumping to a different area he was undecided as to whether he needed more. The original intent was to get four jump clones but that now seemed excessive. So for now, Starwalker would stick with his two jump clones and enjoy the ability to simply jump around New Eden when needed.