31 March 2013

Importance of Range Control

Starwalker had joined the Rebel fleet leaving from Adirain in a Taranis - as an experiment. He had been thinking about the importance of speed as seen with his Hookbill. The Taranis was a dual propulsion fit so that it could chase down targets with the MWD and maintain range control with the afterburner.

[Taranis, Dual Propulsion]
Pseudoelectron Containment Field I
Magnetic Field Stabilizer II
Micro Auxiliary Power Core II

1MN Afterburner II
Limited 1MN Microwarpdrive I
J5b Phased Prototype Warp Scrambler I

Small Diminishing Power System Drain I
Light Neutron Blaster II,Null S
Light Neutron Blaster II,Null S
Light Neutron Blaster II,Null S

Small Ancillary Current Router I
Small Projectile Burst Aerator I

In short, the Taranis fulfilled the need for speed and during the fleet engagements Starwalker found that switching between MWD and afterburner was easy. The turn of speed was good in getting to the next target and the fleet successfully took down a: Caracal, Caracal and Drake playing games at a station.

The fleet continued on and Broady Dale was apparently suckered into trying to get a canister with 100m ISK at planet 9, instead he lost his Thorax and pod. In New Eden bet on stupid. Finally, the fleet engaged a small gang in a complex and claimed this Bantam and Kestrel and a little later this Hookbill. All in all, a very successful roam, in fact, the second most successful roam with 7 ships for no loss, all he had lost were his drones.

The next day Starwalker undocked his Taranis to head back to base. Along the way he noticed a Hookbill in a complex and he knew that getting into close range combat would be hard against a Hookbill but he decided to try it anyway. The Taranis was met at the warp in and was then pretty much held at 7km for the rest of the fight. Between the web and tracking disruptor the Taranis was doing hardly any worthwhile damage.

Starwalker would have released his drones if he still had them but all he could do was try to get into range by overheating his afternburner but each time he did the Hookbill pulled range again. The Taranis was slowly being whittled away by the incoming rocket damage as the Hookbill dominated the fight with range control.

Starwalker was learning a lesson, speed was key and helped with range control but it was not the only factor that determined who had range control. The dual propulsion Taranis had no counter web and so the relative speed advantage was with the Hookbill. Without range control, damage projection then became key and the Hookbill had tracking disrupted the Taranis blasters. This blunted any damage projection the blasters might have had.

Manual piloting and overheating the afterburner was the last resort and this helped temporarily to get closer and apply some damage but the Hookbill was always able to re-establish the 7km range. The Taranis was effectively helpless and inevitably was destroyed.

Starwalker had learnt a valuable less - speed did not guarantee range control. It helped but then so did a stasis webifier, tracking disruptor, sensor dampener and manual piloting. If Starwalker was unable to establish range control then he needed damage projection to either destroy the target or chase it away.

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