Saturday, March 23, 2013

New Merlin Does Good

I was sitting in Auner wondering what to do.  I  had spent much of the morning sneaking in modules and ships with my hauler alt and had plenty to choose from.

Maybe it's time to put together a Merlin now that I have Caldari Frigate skill up to IV and Small Blaster Specialization at III.  I sorted out the items in the warehouse, remembering to use a Miura Bull(tm) approved medium shield extender instead of the small, and soon had a neutron blaster equipped Merlin ready to face the vacuum of space.

I headed out to an asteroid belt to shoot a rat or two just to see how well the blasters worked.  They seemed to do ok - with one shot the Angel frigates were turned to space dust.  I set the orbit range to 500m because blasters have a very short range.

While shooting the rats I noticed a destroyer on scan - a thrasher.  I thought that would be a very good test of the merlin - if I could get under his autocannons, I might be able to destroy him before my ship turned to a burning wreck.  But I did not have high hopes - my frigates usually die to destroyers.

I headed to the top belt to make it easier for him to find me.  While I waited I cruised away from the Angel frigate and battleship that were guarding their precious rocks.  When the frigate got close, I destroyed it in one shot.  Nice.

Then the thrasher landed.  The pilot was named Kolt and I saw that he has been playing since 2003 and has a -9.7 security standing.  An experienced pirate.  I assumed his destroyer would be well equipped and I started making plans to get my pod out when my destruction happened.

Fortunately, he landed more than 100k away from me.  My plan was to fight up close - the closer the better - and so when he came in my direction, I kept moving away from him.  After a minute or two I decided to bite the bullet and take the fight.  I headed to the sun and figured that he would follow.  I chose to land at zero in hopes that he would do the same so that we would be very near to each other at the start of the fight. I had no hope of approaching through the barrage of 7 autocannons that a thrasher carries.

I landed and waited.

Soon I saw him on dscan and a few seconds later he landed.  3k away!  Perfect!  My only hope was to get in close.  I had noticed at the asteroid belt that his speed (4k+/sec) indicated that he had a microwarp drive - so when I scrambled and webbed the thrasher it was pretty much dead in the vacuum.  I set my orbit at 500m and started pummeling him with my hybrid charges.

Death came quickly to the thrasher.  I might have taken a glancing blow, but hardly more and Kolt's ship was soon a fiery heap of wreckage!  I scooped up as much loot as I could from the wreck (noting that it had been an arty thrasher - to explain the lack of damage to my close fast flying frigate).  But I couldn't get all the loot into my hold - 3(!) Covert Ops Cloaking Device IIs had fortunately survived the explosion and were too big to  fit.  For those I had to return in the station and head back in my own destroyer (due to the larger cargo hold) for retrieval.  It was a very fortunate drop for me...

Afterwards we had this postmortem in local:

Jack Dancer > gf
Kolt > lol pressed to zero , my bad , gf
Jack Dancer > I was hoping that might happen...
Kolt > yep i had already figured that out in warp lol

My first impressions of the blaster merlin were very favorable...


  1. Curiosity. Your merlin could get under the guns of a thrasher? Thrashers aren't known for tracking deficiencies. What fit did you use?

  2. In this case it was fortunate for me that he was equipped with 250mm light artillery cannon IIs - they're designed for shooting stuff at long range (like 10k or 15k). So in close they are not effective. At least that's my hazy understanding (loyal readers of this blog realize that I'm often clueless in combat situations...).