Sunday, January 13, 2013

Reign of Terror Comes to an End

Jack Dancer has a new (old) home.

With the loss of the 2/10 DED site in Heild, the Molden Heath neighborhood suddenly became a lot less interesting.  So I moved back to my old neighborhood near Hek in the Metropolis region - Auner.

Auner is a system involved in Faction Warfare (FW).  There's not the pirate population that there was in Molden Heath - but there is a lot more activity from the FW participants to make up for it.  Many of them are inexperienced - but almost all of them are flying PvP equipped ships.  And there are a lot of them.  Everywhere.

So this morning, I woke up early and made a cup of coffee (this is Seattle...) and fired up the computer.  I have been putting together some Republic Fleet Firetails lately.  I feel it's time to try something other than the rifter and the firetail seems like a natural step (check out this Scram Web posting).

I headed out on a roam...

First target to come across my path was a slasher right in Auner.  I scanned him down to a FW site and headed that way - turning everything up to 11.  I landed on the acceleration gate and jumped immediately.  A couple seconds later I landed on top of the slasher.  Excellent!  Orbit and tear the rascal apart.  I was doing well, he was through shields and armor relatively quickly and then in structure.  Then he was gone.  He warped away.  My guess was that he had installed warp core stabilizers that would negate my warp scrambler...  Bummer.

So, I decided to get clever.

I added a second warp scrambler to my Firetail (in place of the tracking disruptor) and hoped to catch that slasher and hold on to him.  I found him at another FW DED plex and landed at the gate and jumped.

This time it was a simple thing - I landed on him and tore him to pieces.

Hmmm...  When I checked the killmail, there were no warp core stabilizers on this fit.  That could only mean one thing - he had refit his ship between the first fight and the second (when in station getting repairs) to remove the warp stabilizers!

Hmmmmmm...  Or it could mean that I was fighting two different slashers and since I didn't pay attention to the name of the first pilot this was someone totally different!

Hmmmmmmmmmm...  Or maybe in the heat of the first battle I had totally neglected to turn on the warp scrambler and he had never been tied down!

Obviously, it could only mean one of three things!  Whatever.

So I continued my firetail roam and soon came across my next victim - a merlin in Ebolfer.  I fly a merlin with my RvB character, so I know how lethal they can be at close range with those nasty blasters.  In a remarkable (for me) use of tactical forethought I decided to try to stay in my autocannon falloff range (about 5k away) instead of my usual tight orbit of deathly mayhem.

It was a very good fight.  The merlin was T2 equipped and had a medium ancillary shield booster, so he was able to repair his shields in big chunks.  But my armor repairer was keeping up with the incoming damage as long as I was able to stay out of the blaster's death zone.  It was a back and forth affair, but in the end the merlin died in a huge fireball!  GFs were exchanged in local.

I continued on to Resbroko and stopped at a FW plex to do some scanning - I hoped that someone else might have the same idea and would drop in on me.  A few seconds later a rifter did just that.  This was an easier fight - the rifter was T1 equipped and he exploded!

Then after cruising through a few more systems I returned to Auner - to find a relatively new player with a destroyer (a thrasher) in a FW plex.  Not knowing how my firetail would hold up against a destroyer (they can be hell on frigates) I remembered that I had a thrasher in my hangar in Auner.  It was named "Asteroid (Veldspar)" for some reason...  I bought insurance for it and headed to the FW plex.

A Thrasher vs. Thrasher 1v1 mano a mano duel!

I landed on the opposing thrasher with everything turned up to 11.  It was a short battle and I was victorious!  \o/

And right then a pilot named xxwarchildxx landed on me in a Jaguar!  My lucky day!  I immediately scrammed and webbed the attack cruiser and hit the button to turn the wrath of my seven 150mm autocannons on the poor unfortunate wretch.  Nothing happened.  A wisp of smoke came from the panel and I saw that I had burned out my guns!  Oh No!

Nothing I could do.  The jaguar is faster than the thrasher.  He had me scrammed and webbed.  I had no guns.  I couldn't shoot him and I couldn't get away.  I put up what fight I could and it took quite a while for the jaguar to destroy me - but destroy me he did.  For good measure, I went back in a rifter (with real guns this time) and xxwarchildxx destroyed that too - but at least I got to shoot back that time...

My morning's Reign of Terror had come to an end...

I like it here in Auner.  There are plenty of opportunities to ambush unsuspecting FW participants and even some low sec miners.  While many of them are inexperienced, I've been able to give them a few pointers after the fights (like don't sit in your pod for 10 seconds after your ship has blown up!) to maybe help them out in the future.

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