29 April 2013

Perfect Fitting Skills

Starwalker had perfect fitting skills with the completion of Advanced Weapon Upgrades V. It now seemed that training choices were largely based on whim or indeed next ship or fit to fly. As he still enjoyed racing around in frigates he had started to train Small Energy Turret to V - not because he intended to use it immediately but because it gave him the choice to do so when he wanted. 

Whilst Starwalker could fly most sub-capital ships he had not trained the large weapon systems so that would need to be added to the list, as well as filling out to level V select support skills such as Energy Grid Upgrades or XYZ Compensation skills. Navigation was already at level V but there were plenty of other skills at III or IV that would add a little extra performance. In the majority of cases that little extra didn't matter but on occasion it did, especially when meeting top ranked pilots. Starwalker had been lucky like that recently - meeting and being destroyed by pilots such as Zoe Fishpants (~2596), Rakkanar (~34) and Radzak87 (~253).

Space was filled with plenty of pilots roaming around New Eden and not all of them were top ranked. Starwalker liked to kill them all (or at least try to) and get their pods but getting pods was becoming rarer as pilots seemed to know to spam warp just before destruction. That made getting the pod even sweeter when it did happen and when possible he liked to collect the corpse as well as the loot.

That was the case with this cyno-ship that was killed at a leisurely pace after warping in, shooting, warping out and then back again. This sequence nicely exploited sentry gun mechanics that did not maintain aggression following the warp out. The pilot, ChanDoi, was slow to warp his pod away and so Starwalker collected his corpse too.

It was similar with this Rifter pilot at a small complex that stayed to fight but was easily destroyed by a dual web Caldari Navy Hookbill and was slow to get his pod away. Starwalker liked the dual web Hookbill fit for its range control and wondered if he could use the same idea on other T1 frigates like the Kestrel or even the Merlin. The benefit would be strong range control up to 13km but the downside would be less tank and especially for the Merlin with its shield resistance bonus, that would be a significant waste.

25 April 2013

Flight of the Heron

Starwalker had claimed to want to experiment a little with range control and damage projection. This Heron fitting was intended to take advantage of the five mid-slots to establish range control, primarily with the double web:

[Heron, StarWalker Shikkoken's Heron]

200mm Reinforced Rolled Tungsten Plates I
Micro Auxiliary Power Core II

1MN Afterburner II
J5b Phased Prototype Warp Scrambler I
X5 Prototype Engine Enervator
X5 Prototype Engine Enervator
DDO Photometry Tracking Disruptor I,Optimal Range Disruption Script

280mm Howitzer Artillery II,Republic Fleet Phased Plasma S
Rocket Launcher II,Inferno Rage Rocket
Rocket Launcher II,Inferno Rage Rocket

Small Trimark Armor Pump I
Small Trimark Armor Pump I
Small Trimark Armor Pump I

Hobgoblin II x4
Warrior II x3

It might have worked against a brawler or scram-kiter but when he scanned a Condor to a complex it was a throw of the dice as to whether it was rocket or light missile fit. He warped into the complex and it was 35km away, not a good sign. Starwalker started to burn towards it thinking it was a mistake and then that sinking sensation was confirmed as he briefly got a lock and then was damped to ~17km and lost the lock.

From there it was all downhill as the light missile damage came in and none went out. Starwalker made a desperate run for it and actually got out of overheated point range and heard his warp drive engage - just as the Heron exploded to the last missile salvo to reach its target. The first flight of the Heron had been unsuccessful but that was more an issue of target selection rather than ship capability.

Since he had only one Heron, now deceased, Starwalker undocked in his Caracal and got some surprising kills. This cyno-ship and this cyno-ship were just unlucky as Starwalker usually went out of his way to kill a cyno-ship even if they were noob-ships. This Slasher should never have been caught and was playing with fire by getting too close to the Caracal, perhaps it was bait for the Maller and Moa that came into the complex but Starwalker did not hang around to find out.

Another surprising kill was this Merlin in a medium complex that seemed to want to take on a cruiser. It stood no chance and the pilot, sidetracker, then broadcast that a Caracal was in the medium complex, presumably in the hope that someone would come and kill it. Nothing happened and so instead Starwalker collected the loot and moved on.

Much more satisfying was this Hawk and its buddy, another Hawk, that tried to kill Starwalker's Caracal whilst at the sun. Given that this 2 v 1 was two assault frigates versus an attack cruiser it didn't count in Starwalker's mind as a fight against the odds. Similarly, this Thrasher was no real fight as it was ratting and was basically ganked. 

Starwalker scanned four frigates at a medium complex and that presented a real fight.
He entered the complex hoping to kill one or more of the Enyo, Condor, Slasher and Malediction that were there. Starwalker was not sure if he would win against these odds but they scattered, except for the Enyo. After a brief fight the Enyo decided that it was time to go and he was bugging out in structure when Starwalker repeated the same mistake as previously of burning out his missile launchers.

Realising that it was over Starwalker tried to escape before the Enyo noticed that the missile barrage had stopped but the long align time allowed the Enyo to get the scramble again. Now it really was over and some of the Enyo's friends came back to get in on the kill.

Starwalker would have to stop overheating his missile launcher at the start of the fight. That worked fine for frigate engagements but he had burnt out his launchers twice in a cruiser - despite trying to stop the overheat. Hopefully this would not be a mistake he would repeat again soon, or better - ever.

22 April 2013

Randomness of Engagements

Starwalker had been flying around New Eden in primarily frigates for nearly two years, he had joined the Black Rebel Rifter Club (R1FTA) in June 2011 and had never looked back. He still enjoyed the Rebel lifestyle and part of that was the randomness of engagements, in short, every time he undocked he had no idea what would happen.

He undocked in a Merlin and headed out towards Metropolis and soon found a system with a number of frigates in it, so he warped to the sun and proceeded to scan down their locations. It was not long before he was joined at the sun by a Republic Fleet Firetail and Starwalker lost no time in engaging it. The Firetail soon started to suffer serious damage from the neutron blasters but seemed to be doing very little damage return.

Starwalker suspected that he was being tackled by a fleet scout and hoped that he would have enough time to kill the Firetail before they arrived. He noticed a number of frigates arriving just as the Firetail was destroyed. Starwalker had no time to loot and immediately left the scene of the crime before another point could be applied. Freedom! Looking at the Firetail's dual propulsion, tackling fit he had appeared to have had some luck as it had arrived at zero and been caught immediately. If it had arrived at range it would have been a different story.

A little while later he was not so lucky, he had hoped to catch a Kestrel warping to the acceleration gate but he could not destroy it before the rest of the gang arrived and his Merlin was gone. It had been a good ship and Starwalker felt the urge for a little revenge and so he undocked a Caracal that was fit to destroy frigates with its rapid missile launchers and light missiles. Unfortunately they decided not to engage.

A Wolf and Executioner that did decide to engage had such a speed advantage that they could and did disengage as soon as it was clear that they were more likely to be destroyed than the Caracal. The Caracal had great damage projection but without any way to point the target and hold it the target could disengage at will. Eventually Starwalker returned to base with his Caracal still intact.

Over a number of months now it seemed to Starwalker that he was meeting many more faster ships, and the brawlers that he met tended to wait at a complex acceleration gate or warp-in location to catch kiters. Or may be that was just an artefact of many low-sec dwellers roaming faction warfare space looking for a fight. Something to think about.

Whilst Starwalker liked the sheer brute force of neutron blasters he also knew that without range control that damage could not be applied effectively. Without range control, damage projection took on vital importance. It would be interesting to think about and experiment with some ship fits and consider the relative importance of range control, damage projection, tank, speed and capacitor in relation to targets.

19 April 2013

Duel at the Sun

Starwalker usually accepted duels without really considering whether the pilot was looking for a genuine 1 v 1 or looking to gank another sucker. Similarly, he rarely ever checked whether they were a top ranked pilot or not - no point in having preconceptions about the pilot. However, Starwalker had found through experience that generally it was 1 v 1 and it was his ship that usually ended up being destroyed when a pilot requested a duel.

So when Rakkanar requested a fight he thought briefly about whether he wanted to lose another ship... and then went to the sun and waited. Rakkanar arrived in his Incursus and Starwalker burnt towards it in his Merlin, until a Bhaalgorn arrived - also a member of the Shadow Cartel and so he warped out. Rakkanar had a few choice words for the Bhaalgorn pilot who had apparently come to watch.

Starwalker came back after the Bhaalgorn disappeared and the dance of death was on. He engaged and moved into close combat with the neutron blasters overheated. The Incursus clearly wanted the same type of fight and the two sluggers slugged it out. There was not much finesse at this stage as the range was perfect. It was do or die and unfortunately for Starwalker his Merlin exploded first. The Incursus still had 20% of structure left. It was a good fight and the Merlin with its medium shield extenders and two magnetic field stabilisers had taken a top 50 Battleclinic ranked pilot to near destruction.

However, that was not the only fight at the sun as Starwalker joined a Rebel fleet that was already out on a roam. It had been quiet in the space lanes of Verge Vendor but in Loes a Tornado had been spotted and it was dancing around the system teasing the Rebels. Meanwhile a few Rebels decided to kill an Incursus at a novice complex, which took longer than expected and some suspected the use of links. Peri Simone decided that it was time to stop chasing the Tornado as he seemed to have friends and so he warped the fleet to the sun, inviting combat.

Eventually the Tornado, along with a couple of friends each in an Incursus arrived at the sun looking to fight. One of the pilots was the Incursus pilot killed in the complex and he soon lost another Incursus. The Tornado was pointed as well and it too was destroyed. The other Incursus knew what was next and added its wreckage to those of its comrades. Then drullir, who had already lost two Incursi, came back in a third and that was destroyed as well. The B O R G had tried to assimilate the Rebels and failed - resistance was not futile.

After the roam had finished Starwalker headed back to base in his Merlin. He spotted an Atron in a novice complex and warped in. The pilot was clearly waiting for a fight and engaged immediately. The range started at around 4km and rather than closing to 1km it increased to 6km, so Starwalker overheated his afterburner and closed in.

The Atron pilot, Zoe Fishpants, responded by increasing the range again and it became clear that he wanted to stay out at around 6km. For Starwalker the surprise was how well the Atron's active armour tank was keeping up with the damage when the Merlin was at 1km. Whenever Starwalker used an armour repairer it seemed to always be a losing battle but the Atron was repairing nearly all of the incoming damage. Later, that repair was helped by the range control established at 6km.

It was clear that Starwalker's Merlin was suffering and so he headed out in a straight-line with the intent of escaping. Briefly the point dropped but he was not spamming warp and before he could warp the point was re-established. From there the inevitable end came and the once proud Merlin was reduced to space wreckage

Afterwards, Starwalker saw that Zoe Fishpants was a top ranked pilot and didn't feel quite so bad about losing his Merlin to an Atron. It was also clear that Zoe had established range control and despite Starwalker's web, overheating his afterburner and some speed implants he was not able to get in close. Whilst Starwalker had fit the Merlin for gank and it did over 200 DPS that was meaningless if it could not be applied. It was the Atron establishing range control that had won the fight. 


14 April 2013

Over Confident Hookbill and Breacher

Starwalker scanned a Tormentor and Atron at a medium complex and decided whether to go in. It was possible that they were fighting or more likely that they were lying in wait for their next victim. He looked at the Caldari Navy Hookbill and decided that he would go in, what was the worst that could happen - loss of ship and pod?

He arrived at the warp-in and noticed that there were two flashy pilots but then the Tormentor disappeared and Starwalker assumed it was either destroyed or warped away and had left its Hobgoblins on the field. He targeted the Atron and engaged and surprisingly it seemed to be doing really good damage as the Hookbill shield went down fast.

Before Starwalker really knew what was happening his shield was gone and then the Tormentor reappeared but it was too late for the Hookbill as it exploded. It was only when he looked at the killmail did he realise that more than half of the damage had come from the drones. He was baffled as to exactly what (or how) that had happened.

After returning to base Starwalker undocked in a Breacher, for the first time. He wasn't sure whether he really liked the scram kiters, although he really respected what the Hookbill could do. The ship only lasted a few minutes after landing at zero on a Merlin, which proceeded to murder the Breacher in short order.

When Starwalker lost a brawler to a kiter he felt like he should try a kiter himself. When he lost a kiter to a brawler he wondered why he was trying the kiter as he favoured brawlers. This time was no different and he decided to get a new delivery of Merlins to the station, he really liked the neutron blaster fit. The other Breacher that was in station was returned to Hek, it had been a short flirtation with the ship.

12 April 2013

Hookbill and Hawk Meet Their Maker

Starwalker had been enjoying the success of his Caldari Navy Hookbill in his recent engagements. It was bound to end at some point and it was with a little bit of over-confidence that he engaged an Algos at the sun. He had expected to simply burn through the Algos tank before the drones could break his shield. That was not the case and his fine Hookbill became a heap of space junk. For the next Algos fight Starwalker rectified that mistake and went for the drones first but in killing the drones he lost the scramble. So Nathan Irythia escaped with his ship but not his drones.

Starwalker undocked at the helm of a nice Hawk, which was a bit slow in comparison to the Hookbill but it was still a good ship. He spied a Federation Navy Comet at a complex and warped in. The fight started as expected, the Comet was being murdered by the Hawk but then an Incursus arrived and the Comet started to pull range. The Incursus fired on the Hawk. Starwalker suspected that they were cooperating and then noticed that they were both part of the B O R G. The Comet left the fight in deep armour and the Hawk started firing at the Incursus instead but it was easily tanking the damage.

The Comet came back along with a Dramiel and the fight had just turned decisively against Starwalker. He realised too late that tactically he should have moved from the warp-in point as he had made their job much easier. With three frigates in close proximity pounding on the Hawk it was not long before it too became an inert lump of metal and joined its maker.

Back at base Starwalker undocked in another Hookbill and took to the space lanes again. An Atron in a small complex was looking for a fight and surprisingly had the idea of taking on the Hookbill. He started 40km away but edged his way closer feeling out the range. At first Starwalker suspected a kiting fit because he deliberately stayed out of scramble range but then he seemed to change his mind and moved into an orbit of around 8km

This was an opportunity too good to miss and the Atron soon regretted coming in so close as the rockets tore through its structure. Starwalker moved on and spied a Rifter and Tristan together in a medium complex. He decided to engage and as he warped to the gate the two T1 frigates were waiting together for the fight.

Starwalker obliged and went for the Rifter as the closest ship and before long the Rifter was in armour and trying to disengage - it was soon out of scramble range and carried on to go about 30km away. The incoming damage was low and so Starwalker turned his attention to fight the Tristan and before long it too was in deep armour. For some unknown reason the Rifter decided to come back and help his fleet mate but as he got to within 10km the Tristan exploded. The Rifter turned around to run away but Starwalker overheated his web and afterburner and the Rifter died in an explosion shortly after the Tristan.

Starwalker had engaged in a 1 v 2 fight and won, he was very happy with the result even though it was not really a tough fight.

7 April 2013

Hookbill Speed and the End of a Dream

Starwalker wanted to fly in a faster afterburner ship as he still had dreams of catching MWD kiters in an afterburner frigate. He liked the Caldari Navy Hookbill with its inherent speed of over 1.2km/s without any speed modules and also its five mid-slots, as they gave many fitting options.

The Hookbill itself was mainly used as a scram range kiter and those mid-slots could be used for all sorts of electronic warfare with modules like stasis webifiers or tracking disruptors. Starwalker had fitted it with rockets, web and a little extra tank as part of his ongoing experiments with favouring tank over gank.

That extra tank proved extremely useful against this Incursus that itself tanked very well, however, Starwalker recognised that he had the range control and had pulled sufficient range to mitigate the incoming damage. It was only a matter of time before the dual repair Incursus would run out of capacitor and finally it exploded after tanking 5,761 damage points.

The next target, a Tristan, was much easier prey and seemed to have hardly any tank or damage despite launching its array of drones. Starwalker established a simple orbit of 7km and peppered the Tristan with rockets whilst ignoring the drones. The ship soon exploded leaving him to collect the drones and loot. This Hookbill was doing very well and Starwalker journeyed on looking for his next target.

He arrived at a gate and there was a flashy red Catalyst jumping through, he followed and the Catalyst was waiting on the other side. He seemed ready for a fight at around 16km away and fighting a destroyer would be more challenging. He was not totally convinced about fighting on the gate due to interference from random traffic but he also knew that the gate guns would not interfere. He decided to show his interest to fight and so he aligned the Hookbill towards the Catalyst and engaged. He locked up the target and started firing his rockets, the Catalyst returned fire and a DPS race was on.

Starwalker noticed from the logs that the Catalyst was railgun fit and so he moved in to close range to mitigate the damage. He had range control and thought that he would win the fight having got under the railguns but the task was made even easier as the Catalyst pilot burnt out his guns. The Catalyst was soon the next victim of this triumphant Hookbill.

The majority of the time Starwalker entered a complex because a ship was already there, however, this time he decided to be the one waiting in a complex at the warp-in point. Whilst he was idling in a Novice complex a Merlin jumped in and his Hookbill immediately engaged and set orbit to 7km. The problem was that the distance remained around 1km.

Starwalker checked his speed and noticed that he was only going just over 0.2km/s and realised that he must be double-webbed. The two ships seemed to be having a very even fight and Starwalker overheated his afterburner to get some range and it slowly, very slowly, started to increase. The damage race though was becoming clearer as the Hookbill entered armour but the Merlin entered structure and soon it exploded to become yet another victim.

The Merlin pilot, Jamie James, had fitted a dual web but no propulsion module. The tank in that configuration was around 8k EHP and Starwalker was quietly impressed with the unusual build and the attempt to generate some surprise value. It had nearly won and the only reason the Hookbill had survived was due to its extra tank.

What was less of a surprise was the fight with a Maulus. Starwalker knew that this was an ideal opportunity to test whether he could slingshot the Maulus in to scramble range and so he went in. He knew the Maulus itself was no real danger but it might bring in friends or simply hold point to be annoying when it was clear the fight was over.

As expected the Maulus established a manually piloted range of around 18km - 20km and released its drones whilst Starwalker attempted his first slingshot. It failed and so he decided to despatch the drones before making his next attempt. He then tried for a second and third time to slingshot into scramble range but the closest he got was 15km away. This experience was something of an epiphany for Starwalker, he finally decided in that moment that he could not reliably slingshot a MWD frigate into range with an afterburner frigate and he would no longer try.

He aligned to the sun and simply burnt towards it, hoping the stalemate would encourage the end of the fight or if someone came in they would have to burn a long way. The Maulus pilot, Varell Jast, did bring in a friend to finish the job and some few minutes later another Hookbill jumped in but he was now nearly 350km away. It started to MWD to Starwalker and he had no doubt that it was there to kill him.

He waited for an opportunity to overheat his afterburner again as the enemy Hookbill rapidly closed the distance. When the closing Hookbill was around 250km away, Starwalker looked for the opportunity to escape point and as the distance increased to 21km he overheated and started to spam warp.

His patience paid off as the distance increased to 25km and as soon as the Maulus point dropped his warp drive was engaged. The enemy Hookbill though was paying attention and he too warped to the sun but Starwalker had no intention of getting caught and made good his escape.

Starwalker left the system with a firm conviction that he could not reliably slingshot a MWD kiter with an afterburner. The dream had ended, he might catch a MWD kiter due to a pilot error or landing close at a celestial or warp-in location but not because of manual piloting alone. Starwalker might still experiment with a fast, afterburner fit ship like the Condor or Slasher but that would be to fly in a different ship and style and not specifically to catch MWD fit frigates.

Whilst he had a great deal of respect for the Light Missile Condor going around 4km/s he had no real desire to fly it himself or similarly fast ships, like his earlier flirtation with the Crow and dual propulsion Taranis. He liked a ship to have a reasonable tank and it seemed a defining characteristic of those types of MWD frigates was the paper thin tank and the reliance on speed and/or signature to mitigate damage. Not Starwalker's style.

6 April 2013

Return Journey from Rebel Roam

Starwalker had lost his Merlin during the Rebel roam and Johann West had kindly provided a blaster Incursus as a replacement. It was a good ship and the resistance, armour repairer based fit seemed perfectly reasonable. The only change that he would have made was to sport a Hobgoblin II instead of the Hobgoblin I. The Hobgoblin I choice was probably due to lack of drone skills and Starwalker remembered that these were some of the skills that he had trained later rather than earlier.

As he headed back to base he spied a Republic Fleet Firetail in a small complex and warped in. The Firetail was around 40km away and as Starwalker's afterburner fit Incursus burnt towards it the Firetail easily evaded capture with its MWD. Its artillery rained fire on the Incursus as the range oscillated between 15km and 24km. After multiple attempts to slingshot the Firetail into scramble range Starwalker gave up and looked for an opportunity to escape point.

A short while later he managed to escape and warped to the sun with Kaiirii in hot pursuit and also complaining in local that Starwalker was running from a fight. Starwalker evaded him again at the sun and docked up to repair the heat damage. Kaiirii followed up his initial complaint with an accusation of cowardice and Starwalker followed his standard practice... and ignored it.

What Starwalker took from the engagement was that he was not able to manually pilot an afterburner fit brawling frigate into scram range against a MWD fit kiting frigate. It was not just this fight but many engagements where he had not been able to achieve that. Perhaps it was weak manual piloting skills or perhaps it was not possible if the target paid attention to slingshot manoeuvres and took evasive action. In any case, Starwalker needed to rethink his approach to catching fast ships and what he would fly.

However, that would have to wait as he spotted a Heron in another complex and warped in. It was waiting for the fight and immediately locked up the Incursus and started to apply damage. Starwalker engaged, setting a close orbit and overheating the blasters. The Heron was tanking really well with what was clearly an ancillary shield booster but that would only last for twenty or so seconds.

The Heron piled on the hurt as it dropped its drones into the fight as well. The Heron was applying its damage against the Incursus armour and the small armour repairer was overheated to keep up with the incoming damage. It was a losing race. The range started to increase again to 4km as the Heron tried to mitigate incoming damage, even though it was tracking disrupting the Incursus.

The Incursus was in structure and the capacitor was dropping fast but the Heron was also in armour and had started to only pulse its shield booster. The afterburner was nearly burnt out but Starwalker had to close that distance and so he set the overheat on again knowing that within seconds the afterburner would be finished. But those seconds counted and now both ships were in structure.

The Heron suddenly exploded and it was over, the Incursus had just 35% of its structure left, lots of heat damage and the afterburner was burnt to a crisp. Good fight was exchanged in local but before Starwalker could loot the wreck a Caldari Navy Hookbill jumped in and it was an easy decision to leave immediately.

Back at base, Starwalker switched ships to the Caracal. It had been fit as a frigate killer and he wanted to get in a fight with a small number of frigates. Instead he found this cyno-ship and another cyno-ship. The extra tank on the cruiser made it very easy to kill these with no danger of dying to sentry guns.

However, the Caracal was about to meet its demise and it started with an Anathema in a medium complex. That ship died very quickly to the missile fire and the pilot must have been AFK as he could have escaped at 35km away when the shooting started. The danger though came from the Hawk that jumped in, piloted by Vivien Sureflight.

It immediately engaged just as the Anathema exploded and Starwalker opened fire with his Caldari Navy Inferno Light missiles. He would have preferred to be using the Mjolnir missiles but he didn't feel he had time to change them. In retrospect he should have taken the ten seconds to reload as thermal were the Hawk's highest resists. What Starwalker hadn't expected was how well the Hawk would tank and for how long it would continue to tank the incoming damage.

It became clear that the Caracal buffer was disappearing but the Hawk shields were still at full strength. Starwalker looked at the heat damage on the light missile launchers and noticed that they were showing around two-thirds of heat damage. So he decided to cut the heat immediately, except that it was at the start of the firing cycle and by the time the cycle finished so were the missile launchers.

It had been a long time since he had burnt out his weapons as he tended to stop overheating when they were about 50% cooked. It seemed to Starwalker that the last 50% went faster than the first 50%, although that could have been his imagination. He now had no offensive capability, all that remained was for the Hawk to chew through the rest of the shield buffer and so he waited for the inevitable end to arrive, which it did. Given how well the Hawk had tanked, Starwalker checked out the pilot and noted that she was top ranked and the last Hawk she had lost was using faction modules for a total cost of around 250m ISK.

4 April 2013

Rebel Roam In Destroyers

Starwalker had killed this Incursus, cyno-ship and pod but the highlight of the week was that he had joined the Rebel roam that was themed around destroyers. He had elected to fly a Corax for no real reason other than it was a Caldari destroyer and he liked rockets. The fit was simple and straightforward:

[Corax, MWD Ancillary Shield Booster]

Pseudoelectron Containment Field I
Ballistic Control System II

Limited 1MN Microwarpdrive I
J5b Phased Prototype Warp Scrambler I
X5 Prototype Engine Enervator
Medium Ancillary Shield Booster

Rocket Launcher II,Scourge Rage Rocket
Rocket Launcher II,Scourge Rage Rocket
Rocket Launcher II,Scourge Rage Rocket
Rocket Launcher II,Scourge Rage Rocket
Rocket Launcher II,Scourge Rage Rocket
Rocket Launcher II,Scourge Rage Rocket
Rocket Launcher II,Scourge Rage Rocket

Small Anti-EM Screen Reinforcer I
Small Bay Loading Accelerator I
Small Processor Overclocking Unit I

The Corax lasted four jumps when the fleet ran into a battle going on in Heydieles at the gate. It was an opportunity too good to miss and the fleet set to work killing targets: Navitas, Ishkur, Enyo and Wolf. Inevitably Starwalker lost his Corax but he was happy, it had taken down four other ships before dying in a fire.

Starwalker jumped into a Merlin and continued on with the Rebels. This Hawk was simply unlucky, wrong place at the wrong time, he jumped through as the Rebels were waiting on the gate. The pilot, Sparky999, thought he had been insta-locked but that wasn't the case and his surprise at not making it back to the gate was misplaced - there was simply too much firepower for him to survive.

A few jumps later and a Comet and Condor were playing with the fleet on gate. Neither of them were flashy red and so Starwalker knew not to engage. The Comet aggressed and Starwalker opened fire but he was out of range but Patrick Kasper killed it quickly. Meanwhile he saw that the Condor was tracking disrupting his Merlin and assumed it had aggressed and so he opened fire on it too but he then took gate gun fire.

Starwalker realised his mistake instantly and aligned to the sun to warp out. His shields were only depleted by 25% so with some luck he would warp and escape in time. He did not have the luck and just as his warp drive engaged he was destroyed.

3 April 2013

Win Some Lose Some

New Eden gives and takes away. On any single day Starwalker has no idea whether it will be filled with good fights, easy kills, losses or long fruitless hunts. He had set out in Caldari Navy Hookbill confident that this ship had good range control capability by virtue of its speed and web.

[Caldari Navy Hookbill, Double MSE]

Micro Auxiliary Power Core I
Micro Auxiliary Power Core II

Medium Shield Extender II
Medium Shield Extender II
1MN Afterburner II
J5b Phased Prototype Warp Scrambler I
X5 Prototype Engine Enervator

Rocket Launcher II,Scourge Rage Rocket
Rocket Launcher II,Scourge Rage Rocket
Rocket Launcher II,Scourge Rage Rocket

Small Anti-EM Screen Reinforcer I
Small Bay Loading Accelerator I
Small Core Defense Field Extender I

Starwalker had also elected to fit this ship with a double medium shield extender. Normally he opted for gank over tank but he was feeling in an experimental mood and wanted to try it out. This cyno-ship was hardly a test but it did show that the tank was very capable against the sentry fire. The Vengeance spotted in a complex would be more of a test and Starwalker decided to engage.

The Hookbill established range of around 7km and hammered away with its rockets but quite frankly the Vengeance seemed to be tanking the damage fine. Starwalker was considering whether to leave when a Talwar jumped in and immediately targeted his Hookbill. It was time to leave.

Starwalker aligned to the sun and overheated his afterburner but instead of gaining range he ended up moving closer to the Vengeance. He had not actually checked their relative positions first and this mistake allowed the Talwar time to establish a secondary point. The Hookbill's rockets were redirected to the Talwar but it was a futile attempt to take one down with him and the Hookbill exploded.

A short while later Starwalker was out in his Tristan and killed yet another cyno-ship.

[Tristan, 200mm SAAR]

Damage Control II
200mm Reinforced Steel Plates II

1MN Afterburner II
J5b Phased Prototype Warp Scrambler I
X5 Prototype Engine Enervator

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

Small Ancillary Current Router I
Small Auxiliary Nano Pump I
Small Trimark Armor Pump I

Hobgoblin II x5
Warrior II x3

He had elected to redefine this build with more tank on the basis that it was too slow to establish range control. Therefore the intent was to tank the incoming damage whilst the drones did their work. The Merlin on scan at the complex would be a tough customer but Starwalker warped in anyway. The Merlin simply tore through his shields and overwhelmed the small ancillary armour repairer. The Tristan tried to gain some range but failed and it was wrecked by sheer firepower overcoming the tank, even with a T2 200mm plate providing some buffer.

Undeterred, Starwalker undocked in his Hawk, which also sported a heavier tank than usual with an MSE and medium ancillary shield booster. He found this Algos - ratting, which was the first ship he had found and caught ratting in a long time. Finally, he decided to return to base and just as he was about to dock he noticed a Navitas on scan at the medium complex, it was perhaps the same Navitas that he had chased earlier and had taunted him in local.

Whilst Starwalker had ignored the taunts then he had remembered the pilot's name and when he warped in it was indeed the same pilot. The Hawk landed on top of the Navitas and it was destroyed very quickly - it wasn't even fitted with any modules. The pilot, Laila Vemane, cried "noooo" in local and Starwalker smiled to himself.