26 January 2013

Lightening Strikes Twice

Starwalker was experimenting with a T1 cruiser - Moa. The Thorax was faster and had more gank but the Moa seemed to have a good combination of raw tank and gank. Starwalker was unsure what the additional differences in speed and signature radius would mean practically or which ship he would prefer but he wanted to try both of them over time.

He had decided to fly the Moa first, ugly as it was, and the main fit he had selected:

[Moa, Moa]

Damage Control II
Magnetic Field Stabilizer II
Magnetic Field Stabilizer II
Magnetic Field Stabilizer II

Experimental 10MN Microwarpdrive I
J5b Phased Prototype Warp Scrambler I
Large Shield Extender II
Large Shield Extender II
X5 Prototype Engine Enervator

Heavy Ion Blaster II, Caldari Navy Antimatter Charge M
Heavy Ion Blaster II, Caldari Navy Antimatter Charge M
Heavy Ion Blaster II, Caldari Navy Antimatter Charge M
Heavy Ion Blaster II, Caldari Navy Antimatter Charge M
Heavy Ion Blaster II, Caldari Navy Antimatter Charge M

Medium Anti-EM Screen Reinforcer I
Medium Anti-Thermal Screen Reinforcer I
Medium Anti-EM Screen Reinforcer I

Hobgoblin II x3

However, the fit wasn't quite unequivocally selected as he vacillated between choosing the X5 stasis webifier and an Adaptive Invulnerability Field II. The web would be great for helping to kill frigates and drones but the Adaptive Invulnerability Field would add staying power when fighting other cruisers or battlecruisers.

The maiden voyage of the Moa had a happy surprise as he had only recently killed his first cloaky during a roam by chance. The chance that lightening strikes twice is very small but that is exactly what happened to this Cheetah who was sitting cloaked at 100km from a medium complex. Starwalker had seen a Vexor and multiple frigates there and had decided to warp in at 100km to see what might chase him and perhaps kill it.

The Vexor was at the acceleration gate but Starwalker's Moa arrived at 100km and decloaked the Cheetah, who tried to run but Starwalker quickly established a lock and scram and before it had got much further than 4km it was space wreckage. He was amazed - nearly two years in New Eden and he had only just gotten two cloaky kills - in quick succession.

Back at Starwalker's home base a Navitas was just sitting outside the station and he wanted to see how the Moa's tank would stand up the station gunfire. Very well. The Navitas was soon more wreckage and Starwalker had time to get the 40m ISK pod too as there was still some shield remaining.

20 January 2013

Roaming - Feast or Famine

Starwalker had never had the good fortune to find kills on demand, for him it was feast or famine. He would typically go out roaming for one or two hours and within that time return to base. The roam route was typically different each time and based on choosing a random destination or active pilots in space. Sometimes that route was circular and at others it was outbound and back dependent on the destination itself, consequently, recently all solo roams would start from Covryn or Gultratren.

When Starwalker entered a system he would typically scan from the in-gate for any potential targets and do the same from the sun and out gate. Sometimes he would loiter in system, usually at the sun and at other times he would go through very quickly. Even when potential targets were found on scan they might be at a POS and not even flying in space or would run away at the first sign of a ship approaching. The end result was the same - lots of time roaming and hunting and less time engaging targets.

Starwalker never knew what would be encountered during a roam and that was part of the attraction. Sometimes he got lucky and there would be multiple solo engagements - this was once such roam. It started innocently enough with a Rifter appearing on scan at a faction warfare complex and Starwalker warped in with his Merlin ready for action. The Rifter pilot was 20km from the acceleration gate and it seemed like he was waiting to pounce on incoming pilots.

The Merlin circled in but the Rifter just seemed to be asleep. The Merlin was soon orbiting at 500m with its blasters tearing huge chunks out of the Rifter and soon it was gone without even a shot fired back. The killmail revealed the cloaking device and presumably the pilot thought it was engaged when it wasn't - silly mistake.

An Incursus waited at another complex and Starwalker engaged at close range. It was clear that the Incursus was dual repair with the way its armour repaired and it had a scramble but no web. As Starwalker's shields evaporated he realised he was not going to win a straight up brawl and decided to disengage. That was easy enough with range control but he had left it a little late as he entered structure just before he warped.

Starwalker was congratulating himself over recognising who had range control, the fit and leaving in time but if he had been really clever he would have switched out to the edge of scramble range and tried to kill the Incursus from there. He could have left the fight at any time. Whilst he had missed the kill with the Incursus another Merlin was not so lucky.

Capt Harston was piloting that other Merlin and he was looking for a fight. Starwalker obliged and went through the familiar cycle of lock, scram, web and fire with overheated blasters. Capt Harston seemed to have an active shield tank fit but it was not working well at all and very quickly the ship exploded. During a conversation afterwards he explained that his fit was apparently an experiment, that he saw it as a failure. Starwalker agreed with him and when Capt Harston wanted to know what his fit was he linked it in chat and wished him well.

Heading back to base, Starwalker found this cyno ship on scan and quickly dispatched it but not before the station guns had set his ship on fire. As he warped out to the sun thinking he had cut that a little too fine he saw an Imicus leave station and warp away. Co-incidently Starwalker landed on that Imicus at the sun and could not believe his luck. He quickly locked and destroyed the ship. He had heard stories of people warping to the sun and decloaking a cloaky - it had never happened to him until now.

Starwalker docked, very happy with the roam and one of his most successful ever in terms of kills within one solo roam. The only time he had got more kills was with fleet roams organised by Peri Simone and Kaeda Maxwell and unfortunately, he could only participate in those occasionally.

13 January 2013

Tristan versus Tristan

Starwalker was still out and about in the Tristan and strangely the ship was growing on him even more. He had fought a Daredevil in an outpost and actually it had run away to avoid destruction. That was the problem with no range control, targets could simply decide to disengage. Of course, sometimes range control did not even matter, this cyno ship was killed easily as there weren't even station guns.

Whilst hunting in Metropolis another Tristan came up on scan and Starwalker guessed that it was Denfior in local. The character was an outlaw and top ranked on Battleclinic he knew that it would be a difficult fight if he took it. The target Tristan arrived at the sun over 200km away and it was Denfior. Denfior then warped to an outpost and Starwalker decided not to follow as it would give Denfior a small advantage when Starwalker came out of warp.

Starwalker expected Denfior to return and that patience was rewarded, as expected, with the target Tristan some 150km away. Starwalker burnt towards it and noted that it was a MWD (micro-warp-drive) fit. As the distance closed, he launched his Hobgoblin II drones and then went through the engagement cycle - lock, scram, guns and neut.

The fight was really even and as Starwalker's shields slowly dropped the Denfior's armour repairer was working like a champion. Starwalker was fighting at 500m and had forgotten to change the ammunition to Caldari Navy antimatter but it was too late now. He checked the heat and the afterburner was fine he checked it again what seemed like a moment later and it was burnt out. That was not good.

The shield was gone and Starwalker was entering armour but Denfior was entering structure, although his armour repairer was still working over time despite the neut. Starwalker then noticed that he had lost a drone and relaunched a Warrior II to replace it. Both ships were in structure but Denfior was amazingly still repairing and then Starwalker ran out of ammunition. He had not refilled the magazine before the fight and now it took endless seconds to reload.

Both ships were marching down to zero structure but Starwalker's ship was going to explode first - it was in slightly worse condition and more importantly, was not repairing. It had burnt out its afterburner and so was suffering more damage too. The end seemed inevitable and Starwalker aligned out and then shortly afterwards his ship exploded. This had been a very close fight but it was Starwalker that warped away in his pod and close did not really count in New Eden.

Whilst Starwalker did not know if he could have won the fight he had decided that there were some areas where he could have done better:
  • Stop overheating the afterburner after achieving the close orbit. It was not needed at that point and resulted in his 500m orbit actually achieving around a 2km orbit, which was close to the optimal range for null ammunition
  • Given that he had null loaded, anticipating a railgun fit, that range was not too bad but overall lower DPS than possible. What was a problem was not reloading the guns before the fight. He had used ammunition against the Daredevil and had not reloaded. Whilst this turned out to be a longer fight than usual or expected that was no excuse to not have a full ammunition load
  • Starwalker had not really watched when he had lost a drone and so he had only replaced it after he had noticed. Drone management was definitely an area for significant improvement

11 January 2013

Tristan Fit Comes Full Circle

Starwalker had started out with a Tristan fit that was based on using blasters with the drones and fitting the ship with a medium shield extender, to give it enough tank to take on the brawlers like the Merlin and Incursus. He had found that he had no range control without a web and he was unclear at how effective the neutraliser was in shutting down the targets propulsion and electronic warfare modules. The fit had looked like this:

[Tristan, MSE]

Pseudoelectron Containment Field I
Micro Auxiliary Power Core I
Drone Damage Amplifier II

1MN Afterburner II
J5b Phased Prototype Warp Scrambler I
Medium Shield Extender II

Light Electron Blaster II, Caldari Navy Antimatter Charge S
Light Electron Blaster II, Caldari Navy Antimatter Charge S
Small Energy Neutralizer II

Small Anti-EM Screen Reinforcer I
Small Anti-Thermal Screen Reinforcer I
Small Core Defense Field Extender I

Hobgoblin II x5
Warrior II x3

This fit had consequently been changed - to fit a stasis webifier and consequently the tank was shifted to a small armour repairer. Starwalker's experience was:
  • Small armour repairer could not keep up with incoming damage on its own and at best simply slowed the incoming damage's progress towards the Tristan's structure. This had been the case with both the Breacher firing rockets and the Atron firing null
  • Ships fighting at the edge of scram range were likely to have lower DPS and lower tanks than close combat brawlers like the Merlin. The Tristan tank had outlasted the Breacher and its drones would have done the deed if Starwalker had stayed in the fight longer
Starwalker had not fought many close range brawlers that orbited at 500m and simply wanted to melt ships, the only Merlin he had fought had not been fit to really test the Tristan. If the Atron had been afterburner fit and used Caldari Navy antimatter that might have ended differently but using an MWD and null scuppered any prospects it might have had for range control.

Given that experience, Starwalker now thought he needed a larger tank that could handle a close range brawler and anything kiting at the edge of scram range should be no problem and get killed by the drones. Ships kiting in point range may prove difficult to shake off through manual piloting but 5 drones should drive them off easily enough.

Strange, the preferred Tristan fit had now come full circle with what he had started out with. Starwalker had still not selected railguns as the weapons of choice because whilst railguns made more sense for targets beyond 4km they were useless up close, and Starwalker was concerned about a brawler trying to kill him at 500m.

9 January 2013

Mistake on Gate

Since Starwalker had a MWD Merlin fit from the TESF roam he decided to go into Syndicate with it and to see what fights he could find. He went to TXW-EI as it seemed it was not camped or at least had very few pilots in it from the map. He got to Vestouve and found a Malediction and Tornado on scan, they appeared to be together so Starwalker ignored them and jumped in to TXW-EI.

The system was camped and he had landed in a bubble with multiple ships but in particular a Sabre and two Vagabonds were close by. Close enough to get the scramble and kill. Starwalker did not panic and looked at his position and theirs relative to the gate and decided to run back to the gate.

He set his MWD to overheat, waited a little longer and then hit align and the MWD to get to the gate before he lost his propulsion module. The Sabre and Vagabond reacted quickly and he was locked and fired on but he was not scrambled and it was clear that he would make it to the gate as he had only lost 25% of his shield. He jumped.

The Malediction and Tornado were around 20km off the gate and Starwalker decided he needed to make a run for it so he aligned to a planet to the right and hit warp. There was no point in waiting as he could not go back into TXW-EI. The longer he waited the worse it might become as other gang members in TXW-EI jumped through. 

The Malediction was too far away to get the scramble and Starwalker felt that he had a good chance of either escaping or getting some distance and possibly killing the Malediction. The warp engaged and he was gone before either ship even targeted him. As he landed at the planet he warped immediately again to the sun - just as the Malediction came in. Local started to increase and Starwalker decided to get out of Dodge before he left in his pod.

Starwalker was pleased with himself for escaping and reshipped in Covryn to a Tristan, he was going to roam low-sec and wanted to be in an afterburner fit frigate. There were a number of gate camps around, especially in Heydieles and Old Man Star but they simply let his frigate go through. Presumably they were looking for bigger prey.

Starwalker scanned down an Atron who seemed to be ratting but when Starwalker jumped in it was nearly 300km away. The same thing with the same Atron happened at another asteroid belt and this time he burnt towards it hoping he was looking for a fight. He was. The Tristan released its drones and engaged. The Atron was held at 5km as the Tristan started to take damage. The repairer could not keep up as the armour melted and the first slivers of structure were exposed. But the Atron was suffering much worse under the relentless drone fire and it exploded first.

Starwalker was feeling very happy with himself and felt that he was really starting to improve. It was at moments like these that fate then plays it tricks - Starwalker was about to make a stupid mistake on a low-sec gate. The Incursus at gate was not red and he knew that he had to wait to be fired on before engaging it, however, Starwalker managed to convince himself that he had been fired on and engaged with his drones. The gate guns opened up and Starwalker knew that he had made a mistake and he aligned out and hit warp. He might just make it in time - if he was lucky.

The Incursus pilot could not believe his good luck and simply applied a scram and started firing but really just to hold the Tristan there. Starwalker could not warp away and the ship exploded within seconds from the gate gunfire. Baali Tekitsu asked why he had been aggressed, Starwalker had no good answer he had simply made a mistake.

If that mistake was using drones too early the next fight was using drones too late. He had arrived at the acceleration gate and warped through into the waiting Coercer. It was going to be a difficult fight anyway but Starwalker made it harder by launching his drones too soon i.e. not out of warp yet and of course the command was then simply ignored. Starwalker only realised that his drones were not fighting when his shield were gone - that was far too late for this Tristan.

7 January 2013

MWD Merlin in Fleet

Starwalker joined the weekly TESF roam FC'd by Peri Simone. He had re-shipped into a Merlin fit with an MWD (micro-warp-drive) that enabled the ship to go super fast at the cost of increased signature radius but the primary reason was to act as fast tackle if needed.

[Merlin, MWDMSE]

Micro Auxiliary Power Core II
Damage Control II
Magnetic Field Stabilizer II

Limited 1MN Microwarpdrive I
J5b Phased Prototype Warp Scrambler I
X5 Prototype Engine Enervator
Medium Azeotropic Ward Salubrity I

Light Neutron Blaster II, Caldari Navy Antimatter Charge S
Light Neutron Blaster II, Caldari Navy Antimatter Charge S
Light Neutron Blaster II, Caldari Navy Antimatter Charge S

Small Anti-EM Screen Reinforcer I
Small Core Defense Field Extender I
Small Core Defense Field Extender I

Starwalker generally liked to have two magnetic field stabilisers when in full gank mode but for tackling he had replaced one of them with a damage control module. The MWD required more power grid and consequently he had used the meta 3 shield extender, which was chosen over the meta 4 equivalent due to cost. This pushed the overall EHP down to 7.2k but that was still good for a fast brawler style fit.

Daathen volunteered to scout and before long he had pointed a nice Arbitrator at a medium outpost. The fleet piled in and set to work on what seemed like an endless succession of drones but with so many ships and so much firepower available it was straightforward. Attention then inevitably turned to the Arbitrator itself and it succumbed with barely a whimper - it only took down the scout with it.

Brink Albosa stepped up to the plate and continued scouting, finding a Vengeance and Wolf at a station. The Vengeance was an outlaw and the fleet again made short work of the target. The Wolf however, was slightly more complicated as it was not an outlaw and it was yellow to most of the fleet. However, the Wolf pilot seemed to panic and appeared to randomly select a Rebel to shoot and died very quickly, primarily to the sentry guns. He posted "manger moi tute le gland", which amused the Rebels no end as they tried to work out the translation.

A Maller and Vexor were found next but they were young, inexperienced and ratting - their respective ships simply melted. It was over so fast that Starwalker only got onto the Maller kill, which was called as primary.

Mehenn having been killed earlier in an Arbitrator did not seem to have learnt his lesson and was pointed again at the sun by Brink Albosa in his Wolf. The fleet swarmed in and started to apply DPS and then Brink noted that he was scrambled and heading into structure. Peri called for the fleet to overheat all guns on the Arbitrator and ignore the drones. The Arbitrator and Wolf started their countdown to destruction and it was a race to see who would be destroyed first. The fleet were hoping to save their scout... and they did as the Arbitrator shattered into a ball of fire and its drones just stopped in space.

It had been a very successful roam. There were some other minor events like chasing a faction warfare fleet out of a plex but no further kills. Starwalker docked happy with the night's events.

5 January 2013

Combat Display into New Eden

Over time Starwalker had setup his display into New Eden in a number of different ways but the basic goal was always the same - how to optimise the view for combat. What information was seen frequently and needed to be clearly visible, what functionality was used regularly and needed to be easily accessible?

The latest incarnation was laid out like this, with areas numbered for easy reference:

  1. Local was a separate window. It made immediately visible the number of pilots in local and showed portraits of some or all of those locals. This display easily showed when local either rose quickly or fell. Starwalker generally liked to hunt in a system with less than 6 people and ideally no gangs in local. It seemed to Starwalker, who flew solo the majority of the time, that systems that fielded many pilots like Tama, Amamake or Old Man Star were more likely to end in ganks than kills
  2. Corporate, fleet, intel and miscellaneous communication channels
  3. Log was shown primarily to see damage and quality of the hit (miss, wreck...) during a fight. It would also show what weapon system was being used by the target. Whilst it was only used occasionally, if needed, it was simply easier to see the outgoing and incoming damage here, as the scrolling display was sometimes too fast to really see what was displayed and to take the information in
  4. Module management was arranged over three rows
    • Main active modules - propulsion, attacking (scram, guns...) and general (neut, nos...) modules. Importantly, these were aligned with the F1-F6 keys for simple and in principle faster keyboard activation
    • Defensive modules (damage control, armour repairer, ancillary shield booster, capacitor or shield booster...)
    • Passive modules (buffer tank, resist, damage and tracking enhancers...)
  5. Overview had changed the most with time and now focused on showing the default views: All, PvP and Drone with two custom views: Scan and Target. In particular, Target was just enemy ships (including NPC) and the sun as a simple warp away point in the event the ship was destroyed. These views were setup to show icons, distance, name, type, corporation, alliance, velocity and radial.
    • Starwalker had found on occasion that he wanted to know quickly if the pilots on grid were part of the same corporation or alliance or whether there was a fight going on between rivals - corporation and alliance showed that
    • Similarly, apart from knowing how fast a ship was going, which gave clues about its fit (MWD or AB, armour or shield tanked...), radial also showed whether the ship was moving closer (negative) or away (positive)
    • The overview and selected item windows were deliberately sized to be close to the modules and to keep the most important items together
  6. Drone window was similarly close to the main action area with the drones arranged into groups or folders to allow simple organisation and easy launch of the drones in that group
  7. Scan window that complemented the setup of the tracking window in the centre of the screen to allow a simple 5 degree scan by simply selecting the celestial and hitting scan. Setting the tracking in the centre of the screen also simplified manual piloting by keeping the selected target in the same position on the screen
Starwalker had no doubt that over time it would change again but currently he felt that it was optimised for his needs.

2 January 2013

Tristan Tangles with Targets

The Tristan was still the ship of the moment but Starwalker was also training Medium Hybrid Turret V as he had realised recently that he could not fit a Heavy Ion (or Neutron) Blaster II without the blaster specialisation and he wanted that for some cruisers roams that he anticipated in 2013. As always, training was a never ending cycle but Starwalker had not quite decided yet on which (brawling) cruiser to fly first between the Thorax, Moa and Vexor. He had already decided that he would fly the Caracal as a good kiting cruiser, however, there would be plenty of time for cruisers later.

Starwalker checked his star map and set a roam looking for locations with a reasonable number of pilots active in the last thirty minutes and undocked in his Tristan. In this case, that trail went through Agoze, down to Ladistier and from there into Hulmate. Whilst roaming there had been many cruisers and battlecruiser around but he had found no frigates flying around until he entered Hulmate. There were three ships on d-scan a Thrasher, Incursus and Merlin - game on for his Tristan. Starwalker went to the sun and started scanning - he was hoping to find either of the frigates and to generally avoid the Thrasher, at least until he knew more about the Thrasher pilot.

The search suddenly became much easier as the Incursus and Merlin arrived at the sun nearly 150km away. They seemed to be together and Starwalker wasn't sure about taking them both on at the same time and wondered how he could split them. Again, they made it easy for him as one burnt towards him and the other seemed to be simply watching or perhaps waiting for a fleet warp in from 150km or more.

As the Merlin closed Starwalker approached to reduce the distance to around 120km or similar from the Incursus. That distance would avoid a fleet warp in and hopefully take sufficient time to cross that the fight became two 1v1 fights rather than a 2v1. The initial part of the plan was working and as the Merlin closed to 20km Starwalker launched his drones and hit 5km orbit button, to stay out of blaster range.

The Merlin was decimated as the drones went to work and the return fire at 5km was pitiful. Range control was maintained for the whole fight and the end was inevitable for the Merlin as it exploded. As usual, Starwalker went after the capsuleer and got lucky this time as he killed the pod too, and to top it all off a 300k ISK bounty arrived a little later in the post. Meanwhile, the Incursus had started to burn towards the fight but when he saw the Merlin destroyed he simply warped off, presumably thinking that discretion was the better part of valour. Starwalker was pleased with the kill and headed back to Covryn.

The return journey was also eventful as an Algos appeared on scan; the pilot was very young and the opportunity was too sweet to pass over. The Algos was ratting and the Tristan landed less than 10km away from it. Starwalker immediately established a lock and scram and started attacking with the drones. The Algos made a feeble attempt to fight back with his own drones but it went down very quickly and more importantly so did the pod. Starwalker scooped the loot and the second corpse of the day, more than a little pleased with himself, and continued on.

A few jumps later and there was a Breacher that appeared on scan and Starwalker went to the sun to scan it down - only to see it 100km away. He burnt towards it and engaged, knowing that it would be rocket fit and probably active shield tanked with its bonus to shield boosting, his only real concern was being kited at around 8km. The Breacher pilot realised his fear and maintained the range around 8km and the rockets came in striking shields and then the Tristan's armour. The small armour repairer was not keeping up as the armour was slowly peeled away.

Starwalker watched the Breacher's active shield repairing the incoming damage and it seemed to keep up easily with the incoming damage from the drones. So he decided to exit if he could. As he aligned out, keeping a close eye on range and watched it creep up and as he passed the edge of scramble range he hit warp. It was only then that he noticed that the Breacher was now in deep armour. Stop! Stay! But it was too late and the Tristan warped away, he had decided to leave too early and had not paid close enough attention to when the ancillary shield booster would go through a reload cycle. At that point the Breacher would effectively become defenceless. 

Starwalker warped back to the sun but the pilot gave a GF in local and had disappeared fast. He had seen the writing on the wall and given a lucky escape he did not want to actually lose his Breacher. Finally Starwalker docked up in Covyrn and deposited his two corpses into the hangar, very pleased with the day's events and only slightly disappointed with leaving too early with the Breacher. The events had also highlighted that:
  • Drones were easily lost to either fighting or simply pilot error and warping away and leaving them behind
  • Lost drones meant a significant loss of firepower for the Tristan
  • Practically, spare drones needed to be carried in the cargohold but they could only be put into the drone bay in station. That would work fairly easily in low-sec but be more problematic in NPC null-sec and almost impossible in alliance held null-sec
  • Drones (Hobgoblin IIs) were comparatively expensive at ~0.5m ISK each and that put the price of the loss of a Tristan as comparatively high for a T1 frigate (16m-20m ISK)
  • Single small armour repairer was not able to tank the incoming rocket damage and was only able to slow the march towards destruction. That tank would fare even worse against another high damage ship like the Merlin. To be effective it needed to be complemented with either additional resistance or buffer. Of the Gallente frigates only the Incursus had a ship repair bonus
  • The additional shield rigs had no discernible impact and Dischordant had recommended using damage rigs instead. Starwalker was inclined to agree
Unfortunately before the change to rigging could be made that trusty Tristan met its demise at the hands of a Cynabal. The Tristan seemed to be instantly locked after it decloaked and was destroyed seconds after it had jumped into system. The first round from the Cynabal's 425mm autocannons had taken it into structure and the next round had completed its ignominious end. Starwalker quickly warped his pod away as he did not wish to compound the loss with his rather expensive set of implants (~100m ISK).

1 January 2013

Tristan and Sentry Gun Fire

Starwalker undocked his Tristan and decided to get out and about in it - Syndicate seemed a good location to head towards. He entered Syndicate via MHC-R3 and in the very next system jumped into a mini-gate camp of an Ares and Tornado. Their plan was clearly very simple, Ares to lock and scramble and Tornado to blow the target away from range, however, they seemed a little slow or AFK as Starwalker warped away.

Starwalker decided to warp to a nearby celestial wondering if he could split the gang and kill the Ares. He had never tried it before but he was feeling like it was time to give it a go. The trouble was that he was in an afterburner fit Tristan, hardly a fast high DPS ship. It didn't matter, he would try anyway and aligned to a new celestial at roughly 90 degrees to his original warp and then burnt towards it at his top speed of just under 1km/s.

The Ares arrived on the scene and clearly was giving the Tornado directions who arrived a little later. In the meantime Starwalker activated his plan such as it was - get in fast and kill the Ares. The Ares was soon locked up and scrammed with lots of damage being inflicted by the Hobgoblin IIs but then the first round of Tornado artillery landed and that hit took Starwalker's Tristan into structure. He set his armour repair going almost as a reflex but knew that the next hit would spell destruction. Could he kill the Ares before the second round? The Ares seemed to recognise that it was in trouble as it entered structure and was clearly running away when the the Tristan exploded.

Starwalker headed back to Covryn wondering if he should have stayed with the shield extender fit but he knew that in this case it didn't really matter, he would have died in either fit. So, he re-shipped into another Tristan and noticed a cyno ship 22km from the station undock. He wandered over to say hello with the compliments of Caldari Navy antimatter and the sentry guns opened fire. The Tristan had to leave almost immediately as the tank seemed incredibly flimsy in the face of such firepower.

However, it was an opportunity to test whether the sentry guns would continue to fire at Starwalker's Tristan when he warped back in - they didn't fire and the cyno ship went down without another murmur. The pilot, binary spaceman, felt compelled to offer congratulations to Starwalker for killing his cyno ship and some comment about elite PvP. In return, Starwalker thanked him for his co-operation in establishing the mechanics for sentry gun fire. That knowledge was used to kill this cyno ship a little while later - without having to leave on fire.