27 October 2012

Merlin in Metropolis and Molden Heath

Starwalker had a Merlin that he was flying around Metropolis and Molden Heath in hopes of losing it. It was a strange thought but he had been spending a lot of time looking at frigates and fits and he had decided that he really wanted to be flying something else - a Slasher - but he hadn't yet moved some to a station.

The reason why he wanted to fly a Slasher was comparatively straightforward - he liked the idea of speed, selectable damage and neuting power. His Merlin, whilst good, was much slower could not neut and had a fixed damage type. However, he was in his Merlin and whilst he was roaming around he saw that the Rebels had a fleet going and so he joined them.

It seemed that his timing had been excellent as he then got onto this Prophecy kill almost immediately. Unfortunately, the Prophecy lived up to its reputation as bait and was not alone - soon his friends joined the fight and the Rebels had to bug out taking a few losses. Given those losses many of the Rebels had to return to Heild to reship and that seemed a good opportunity to disappear into the blackness again.

Whilst the fleet had been fun Starwalker soon found himself roaming around searching the blackness of space for targets again, when he came across a Slasher running a plex. It seemed a shame to just move on without trying to catch it and so Starwalker took his Merlin in. This time as he approached he decided to target early and had set his auto-target to one, avoiding all of the previous problems.

The Slasher seemed oblivious and soon was in the warm embrace of the Merlin's blasters. There was no damage coming back and Starwalker almost felt sorry for the defenceless ship... and then he blew it up. This was low-sec after all and that result was to be expected. Starwalker, collected the meagre loot and docked up after GCC, happy with the kill.

Another day, another kill - Starwalker was starting to enjoy this killing streak. He had moved to Heild and had waited at the 2/10 plex as that was always a good location for a fight and within seconds he was joined by yet another Slasher. Coincidentally, Peri Simone had only just posted a Slasher kill with his Jaguar and here was yet another one. Starwalker remembered the last real fight with a Slasher and he kept his Caldari Navy AntiMatter loaded.

The Slasher came in close and Starwalker's Merlin opened fire with the scramble and web applied. The incoming damage was pretty fierce and Starwalker started the ancillary shield booster. He was being neuted and tracking disrupted. Starwalker tried to reduce traversal as he saw his armour start to disappear.

The Slasher had started the fight with some armour damage but was clearly active shield tanked. Starwalker knew that this was now simply a question of whose shield booster finished first and whether the tracking disruption had blunted the Merlin's blasters sufficiently to allow the Slasher to get the kill first. Starwalker felt confident that at point blank range the Merlin would win, surely the fight would be over before the neut shut down his blasters and everything else.

Starwalker's armour was just about to give out and the capacitor was nearly gone but the Slasher was now into structure. The Slasher gave a last valiant gasp with its shield repair but then the Merlin must have had a wrecking shot as the shield and remaining structure disappeared and then the Slasher was suddenly gone. The combatants saluted each other with a good fight and Starwalker collected the loot.

Starwalker was happy with how the fight had gone but he also wondered whether he really wanted to fly the Slasher. He had bought them but the problem with coming across all these Slashers was that it had reduced Starwalker's desire to fly them himself. Yes, they were fast, yes they had 4 high and 4 mid slots, yes they could neut another frigate forever but they were just too damned common. In addition, he had killed Slashers in his Merlin more times than he had died to them, and in combat Starwalker needed any edge he could get.

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