12 October 2012

Merlin Tormented in Tama

Starwalker had been cruising around Placid in his Merlin and was not finding much trouble to get into. The closest time had been when a Tormentor had arrived on gate and Starwalker had orbited it for a couple of minutes but as it was not flashy Starwalker had to wait for it to fire first.
The Tormentor did not fire until Starwalker was about to jump out again and had moved just under 10km back to the gate. It then hit very hard and Starwalker was already into armour before he had even started his ancillary shield booster. He knew that if he re-engaged he would be destroyed before reaching blaster range so he calmly jumped out and then went to a station to repair.

Starwalker meandered around for a while longer and then decided to go somewhere where he was more or less guaranteed to find a fight - Tama. He headed over there and within seconds of arriving in system he was challenged by Rakaar to a duel. Rakaar was -10 and a top pilot but that had never stopped Starwalker before from accepting a duel and this time was no different - he accepted.
Rakaar had spotted Starwalker in his Merlin at the gate when he was in a Jaguar and so after he had issued a challenge he went to change ship. Starwalker knew that he had just given him two advantages:
  1. The opportunity for a top pilot to get an easy kill against a low ranked pilot
  2. The opportunity to select a ship that would be the perfect counter to a Merlin
Despite that Starwalker was unconcerned as losing a T1 frigate was no big deal and he wanted to see how he would do against Rakaar. The short answer was not very well.

Starwalker tried to be too clever with the ancillary shield booster by turning it on and then off to cycle just once. However, he had under-estimated just how much damage was coming in and he had to start the booster again almost immediately. But, it seemed that the fight was almost over before it had started, as his ship exploded with the Tormentor still in at least 40% of its armour.

The surprise at how quickly it had finished was why Starwalker then had his pod caught as usually he was aligned out and spamming warp when the end was near. Rakaar asked about implants but Starwalker declined any ransom and waited to be podded. For whatever reasons, Rakaar decided to let Starwalker's pod go and so he smiled thanks and returned to Covryn with implants intact.

In retrospect, Starwalker knew that he could have improved:
  1. Frigate fights are over too quick to worry about managing ancillary shield boosters and trying to get individual cycles rather than bursts
  2. Blasters required being close but Starwalker's range seemed to be around 3km and that was not close enough. He should have overheated his afterburner sooner
  3. Getting the pod out was a priority, aligning out in armour and then spamming warp should have started as soon as the armour started to give way to structure

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