26 May 2013

Power of Neuts and Tracking

Starwalker spotted a Tristan at a medium complex and warped in with this Merlin. He had void ammunition loaded even with the tracking penalty, as he expected the Tristan to be webbed and easily hit. Normally he used Caldari Navy antimatter but he wanted to try this heavier hitting ammunition this time.

The Tristan applied its neutralisers and Starwalker realised immediately that void consumed more capacitor resource and so the capacitor would stop sooner. He hoped that he could kill the Tristan before his capacitor ran dry. The Merlin blasted away and the Tristan was soon in structure but then the power of the neutralisers made themselves felt.

The Merlin's capacitor was finished and everything else stopped when it stopped, the web and point dropped, the ship came to a halt and the blasters stopped blasting. One or two more hits and it would have been all over but without any capacitor all the Merlin could do was wait for its destruction and eventually it exploded.

Starwalker was a little surprised to have lost to the Tristan at point blank range but he suspected that using orbit with the void ammunition might have played a part. So he checked the logs and could see that most of his shots were either grazes or glances, despite having the web applied to the Tristan. The hit quality was so poor that very little damage was being applied.

The problem was with the tracking of his neutron blasters and he had inadvertently exacerbated the issue by using orbit rather than keep at range. Orbit had the effect of increasing the angular velocity and reducing the incoming damage but it also had the effect of reducing the outgoing damage. He should have used keep at range, which minimised the angular velocity and so would increase both the incoming and outgoing damage.

Close range blaster fits would thrive in that type of brawl and Starwalker needed to maximise his blaster damage, especially when his ship was being neuted. He compared the tracking of neutron blasters with the two key close range ammunition types:
  • With Caldari Navy Antimatter ammunition the neutron blasters tracked at 0.47475 radians per second
  • With Void ammunition the neutron blasters tracked at 0.35606 radians per second
It was with some dismay that he realised that he should have checked those figures earlier as when he had practiced some manual piloting with Brink Albosa he had recorded some average angular velocity figures. His afterburner fit Merlin had sparred with Brink's afterburner fit Rifter:
  • Both ships orbiting between 0.5km and 1km had averaged an angular velocity of around 0.5 to 0.55 radians per second with a range from 0.44 to 0.66
  • Merlin using keep at range and Rifter orbiting had averaged around 0.4 radians per second with a range from 0.35 to 0.46
  • Merlin using keep at range with the afterburner turned off reduced the angular velocity to around 0.35 radians per second with a range from 0.3 to 0.4
In short, assuming that range control was not an issue, he should turn off his afterburner and use keep at range to maximise his damage output. As luck would have it Starwalker ran into the same pilot, archillae, again in a Tristan and he had the chance to try out the new tactic. It worked like a charm and the Tristan was a burning hunk of metal very quickly.

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