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.

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