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.

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