19 October 2013

Cost of Experimentation and Learning

Starwalker liked to experiment a little with his ships and their fit, sometimes it seemed to work and at other times it failed miserably. Similarly, he liked to see what a ship could do in a certain situation even if that meant losing the ship that he was flying. He saw this as the cost of experimentation and learning and he had no qualms about losing ships.

Whilst he was not afraid to experiment and lose ships that did not mean that he wished to throw away ships in a useless attempt to beat the odds. It was a blurred line between what was a stupid decision and when that decision to experiment was good. The cost in lost ships was simply a necessary part of learning about ship capabilities.

Starwalker had recently lost a Breacher to a Daredevil to see if the dual tank made any real difference to the fight - it did not. When flying this Daredevil it was lost when Starwalker decided to engage an Algos, a fight he could easily have avoided. He had known that taking on an Algos with a T1 frigate was a very difficult proposition and consequently he had avoided them generally. The question he wanted answered was would the DPS powerhouse that was the Daredevil fare any better - in short, no.

The Caracal had a reputation of frigate killer with its Rapid Light Missile system and Starwalker jumped into a small frigate gang at the sun to see what would happen. He was scrambled very quickly, which shut down the micro warp drive. Without a working propulsion system all that Starwalker could do was to attack the nearby frigates. This Breacher went down along with an Incursus but despite a good tank the Caracal was destroyed.

The brawling Merlin that Starwalker was flying was just ambling away from the station scanning the nearby complexes when an Incursus arrived and docked up. A short while later it undocked and then started to pursue the Merlin. Since it was travelling just under 1300 m/s it was clear that it was afterburner fit and had speed modules fitted. It was a simple assumption from there that it was railgun fit.

At this point the decision was to stay and fight or to leave before the Incursus caught up. Starwalker decided to stay, to see if the Merlin could get in close despite the speed disadvantage. The Merlin applied some modest damage but despite overheating the afterburner the range stayed around 7km and it was not long before the Merlin was a wreck.

A far more questionable decision and one based on an invalid assumption was to engage a Harpy in a Kestrel. The intent was that the Kestrel with its dual web fit could leave the fight based on range control. This notion was soon destroyed when the Harpy engaged with its point and railguns from 20km away. Whilst Starwalker had previously fitted a Harpy as a brawler not everyone did so. Burning in with the afterburner was incredibly slow and despite briefly getting into scramble range the Kestrel was doomed.

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