24 March 2013

Hookbill has the Speed

Starwalker had been flying around with his Caldari Navy Hookbill with a new appreciation for the benefits of speed in a brawler ship or at least a ship fighting in scrambler range. He was still waiting for an opportunity to confirm if he could reliably slingshot fast (MWD) kiters in an afterburner fit frigate, when he spied a Breacher on scan.

The Breacher as a Minmatar missile ship was usually fit with rockets so that probably would not be a test, until he noticed that the ship's speed was definitely indicating an MWD fit. Starwalker moved towards it and as the distance closed to less than 30km he overheated his afterburner. The intention was to try and take advantage of the Breacher overshooting its orbit range during the initial few seconds and establish a scram.

It either worked or was completely unnecessary as the distance closed to less than 10km. Starwalker wasn't sure which reason was correct but that did not stop him from engaging with his rockets. It was clear very soon that the Breacher was active shield tanked, taking advantage of its bonus and the amount the shields recovered looked like dual ancillary shield boosters.

Starwalker knew that the active tank would not last much more than 20 seconds and then the Breacher would be toast. The incoming damage was manageable and soon the Breacher was a spreading mass of debris. He tried to get the pod as well but it was away too quickly. Checking the Breacher fit revealed a MWD and scram, so Tarkathanas was always going to come in close and was really fit to catch Faction Warfare pilots, like this AFK Atron, with three warp core stabilisers.

The MWD and scrambler combination would always lose range control to an afterburner and scrambler combination and this range control gave an option for the pilot to leave the fight. That was exactly what Starwalker did when his Hookbill engaged a Jaguar 50km off the complex acceleration gate and it became 2 v 1.

The Hookbill easily established range control at around 7km, which would and did blunt the main damage from the 125mm autocannon fit Jaguar. However, the fight was still close as the shields for the both ships marched down to zero. It looked like Starwalker had the better of it when the Jaguar pilot, SUICIDAL Larsen, brought in a Blackbird or called in a fleet mate. Starwalker almost instantly lost his lock and so he aligned out, overheated his afterburner and escaped. It was good that the Hookbill had the speed to simply evade destruction in this trap.

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