16 September 2012

Another Hawk Down

Starwalker was loitering in Heild again with intent to do harm in his Hawk. He had refitted it to be a dual propulsion fit as he was contemplating taking it into the Great Wildlands for a jaunt. Whilst waiting in the deadspace complex another Hawk appeared in the complex piloted by Kushanar and Starwalker engaged.

The ships were effectively the same so Starwalker expected that it would be a slugfest and with the last man standing the winner. Starwalker overheated his weapons and went in for the kill. The distance closed to around 3km and both Hawks were firing their missiles looking to get that kill. Starwalker's overheated missiles were slamming into the target but his Hawk was taking far more damage than its single ancillary shield booster could handle and he was quickly going into armour.

Conversely, Kushanar's Hawk seemed to be a shield extender fit and that was still comfortably in shield, although it was falling. Starwalker knew it was not looking good but he had no real tricks to pull out of the bag and so he waited as his ship entered structure and Kushanar's entered armour. It was going to end badly, the ancillary shield booster ran out of charges and Starwalker's Hawk became debris.

In retrospect, Starwalker considered what he could have done better:
  • Kushanar was using faction Mjolnir rockets, hitting at the typical Caldari ship EMP hole. It was clear from the fight and the logs that this was a much more successful strategy than using Scourge Rage rockets, even with their theoretically higher base damage and 10% kinetic bonus damage
  • Starwalker knew that missile damage was affected by speed, signature radius, explosion radius and explosion speed. He should have overheated his afterburner, just like he should have done against this Merlin for some damage mitigation
  • His signature radius was already larger due to the use of Rage rockets, so perhaps it would be better to switch to faction ammunition
  • Active shield tank could not keep up with the incoming damage and it did not last long enough, either more damage was needed or more tank
  • In lowsec the MWD was more or less useless when actually engaged using afterburners. It would be better to use a dual propulsion fit in nullsec or when part of a gang and reuse that fitting space for more effective modules in solo lowsec fights
Starwalker had assumed that using Scourge Rage rockets exclusively would be better than selecting damage types, this experience disputed that. The results of this fight had an interesting impact on Starwalker's assumptions about ship selection, weapon choice and fitting philosophy and he would probably spend an inordinate amount of time experimenting with the Eve Fitting Tool (EFT).

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