24 February 2013

Escaped from Kiters - Twice

Starwalker was cruising in his Hawk and looking for trouble. He had refit his Hawk away from the previous MWD fit to an afterburner, two webs and to have slightly more tank. The basic rationale was that he needed range control when brawling and the Javelins could keep kiters away.

Recently he seemed to have run into more kiters and generally fast ships in lowsec, although perhaps that was also because he had been chasing faction warfare pilots. It seemed to Starwalker that he was far more likely to find a fight at a complex than anywhere else currently. He did scan the belts from time to time but he had found zero ratters or anything else for that matter.

He spied a Slasher at a small complex and warped in to find a... Tristan. Starwalker wasted no time wondering about the Slasher and immediately locked up the Tristan, it was soon scrambled, double webbed and taking heavy damage from the rockets. But it wasn't alone and a Rifter, Condor and a Griffin landed close by. Before they could really help the Tristan went down.

Starwalker was firing close range Rage rockets and so attacked the Rifter next, which had come in to 2km, whist the Griffin and Condor were around 15km away. This proved fruitless as the Griffin jammed the Hawk and Starwalker tried to align out to make a desperate run for it. In hindsight, he should have moved in towards the Griffin as he had one more brief window of attack but wasted those shots on the Rifter rather than the real problem - the Griffin. The Hawk was jammed again and then was finally destroyed.

Starwalker jump cloned to Gultratren and undocked his Tristan, using the fit with the web and small armour repairer. Before long he saw a Condor, piloted by Malfyrion, in a complex and warped in. The target was 20km away and so he launched his drones and tried to get closer but the Condor was going at 4.6km/s. That was so fast that the Hobgoblin IIs could not catch up and hit it. Starwalker tried to slingshot in but unsuccessfully and then after some manual flying managed to breakout of range. He succeeded but suspected that Malfyrion had burnt out his long point with all of the manoeuvers. It was a lucky escape as the Tristan was about to run out of capacitor and the ship was already in structure.

A short while later, after getting fully repaired, Starwalker's Tristan warped in to a Kestrel at a complex. The Kestrel again maintained range and Starwalker was again unable to close the distance but this time the Hobgoblin's were inflicting their thermal damage. The Kestrel called for support and an Atron arrived on the scene and started to target the Tristan and so Starwalker decided it was time to head away rather than try to slingshot the Kestrel again.

The Kestrel was deep in armour and decided to beat retreat but the Atron continued to hold point. The drones attacked the Atron and after receiving some damage it decided to leave. Starwalker had now had a second escape from a kiter but luckily got this killmail later when that Atron must have run into a Heron whilst still damaged and was then killed.

Starwalker decided it was time to return to base before one of these kiters destroyed his Tristan when he saw another Tristan when scanning from the sun. He waited at the sun and before long the Tristan, piloted by Destru Kaneda, arrived only 40 km away. Starwalker moved in with his Hobgoblins first and then tried to close into point blank range. Destru had other ideas and the distance was held around 7 to 8km and Destru had also released his Warrior IIs.

Starwalker was slightly surprised to see Warrior IIs as he had assumed that Hobgoblins were the best general choice but on later examining the Tristan's resistance profile - explosive damage was better for armour tanked Tristans. Given that Starwalker's electron blasters were out of range of the target Tristan he set to work on the drones and killed five drones. Initially, he used his web on the enemy drones but in retrospect he should have left it on the Tristan.

In the meantime, both ships were going into structure and it was going to be very, very close. Destru moved in to 5km and Starwalker switched from the remaining three drones to Destru's Tristan and also applied the web. Both ships marched towards zero structure and it looked like Starwalker's Tristan would explode first but a final lucky hit saw Destru's Tristan explode into a fiery ball of flames and his remaining warriors hung limply in space. Good fights were exchanged and Destru noted that it was the closest fight he had been in for a long time. It was the closest fight ever for Starwalker - he had just 4% of structure left.

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