21 September 2013

Hunter Kestrel becomes Hunted

Starwalker was enjoying his Kestrel, especially in the afterglow of a battleship kill. A Condor arrived to find the battleship wreck being looted and took the opportunity to get a lock on the Kestrel. It started orbiting at around 20km and its light missiles began to chip away at the Kestrel's shield.

Starwalker tried an initial slingshot but it failed with the range only dropping to around 16km and so he switched to Inferno Javelin rockets for just such an occasion and started to return fire. The Condor started to take some damage but it stayed in the fight as it was still trying to collect the kill.

It was clear that the MWD Condor could leave at any time against the afterburner fit Kestrel and so Starwalker waited for his opportunity to escape. He knew that if the Condor thought it was in any danger of being destroyed first it would simply leave. So he aligned towards a cluster of celestials and watched the Condor orbit.

As the range started to increase from around 16km he overheated his afterburner and as the range passed 24km the point dropped. The Condor had not overheated his point to increase the range to 28km. Starwalker was ready with a random celestial selected and almost immediately warped away to within 70km of that asteroid belt. Even if the Condor rightly guessed which of the five celestials he had warped to he was very unlikely to guess the range too. The Condor pilot didn't guess right and it was a clean escape.

Some time later Starwalker saw a Merlin at a deadspace complex and warped in with his Mjolnir rockets loaded for EM damage. As he approach the acceleration gate his scan revealed that the Merlin had left but as he arrived at the gate he was met by a Republic Fleet Firetail. The hunter had just become the hunted.

His main concern was that he had fit a J5 Prototype Warp Disruptor I. This was fine against his intended prey of afterburner fit frigates as it allowed his point to be maintained beyond normal scramble range and his Caldari Navy rockets would continue to apply damage to around 13km - 15km. The trouble was that many Firetails seemed to be MWD and artillery fit and so the Firetail would be able to establish range control.

The Firetail locked and opened fire quickly and despite being webbed was soon moving to around 12km to 14km away. The Kestrel rockets could still hit the Firetail at that range but the incoming damage was worse than the outgoing damage. The Firetail entered armour around the same time as the shield fit Kestrel but the Firetail started to repair its armour damage and it was clear that the Kestrel would be destroyed. It exploded and the glorious battleship killer was just a wreck.

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