Saturday, April 13, 2013

The Slingshot

So, there had been some activity in Auner during the evening and I had a couple kills already.  It was getting late, but I checked again just to see what was happening.  I spied a kestrel in the FW plex (where there were already two wrecks of my creation).  Hmmmm...

I headed back to the station and picked up a slasher that I had put together a couple weeks ago and named "Missile Boat" just for this sort of situation.  I had used my rudimentary building skills to replace the tracking disruptor that I usually have on my slasher (which would be useless against a rocket/missile firing ship) with some modules that might be more useful.

I ended up building a shield slasher (for speed) that was equipped with a Miura Bull Approved Medium Shield Extender II.  I blew the dust off the slasher and took it out to face the missile spewing kestrel!

Things started very badly and I was afraid that the third wreck in the FW plex would be my slasher.

My plan, like always, was to orbit at about 6k and pepper my unlucky opponent with barrage ammo.  Usually, with the tracking disruptor, my unlucky enemy is helpless and his guns with short-range ammo are missing me.  But with rockets/missiles it's a different story.  They always hit.  But depending on the target's size and speed, they might hit for a lot less than their total damage potential.

So, like I said, I hoped to orbit about 6k away from the kestrel at high speed to cut down on the damage.  But, very cleverly, Kini Koni (the kestrel's pilot) had put some distance between himself and the warp-in location.  He was 20k away and immediately had me held down with a warp disruptor.  He started hitting me with missiles that have plenty of range for this sort of situation.  I'd been in this spot before (against kestrels) and had died.

The only real hope for me is to slingshot back towards the kestrel - a complicated maneuver that I've had mixed (mostly bad) success with in the past.  But rather than continue to lose my valuable shields to the missiles that were taking them apart (my attempts to get close to the kestrel weren't working and I was stuck at about 20k away from him - definitely outside my autocannons' range) - I decided to try the slingshot maneuver.

I picked a spot in space pretty much in the opposite direction from the kestrel and with the afterburner boosting my speed headed away from him.  This gives me two options - if I get far enough, I'll be out of his warp disruptor range and can warp  away freely.  Or, and this is what I tried, once he's following me at a good rate of speed in order to keep up, I suddenly turn and head right at him!

When I thought the time was right, I hit the "approach" button on the console and turned my ship around!  The kestrel's navigation system wasn't able to turn around fast enough to keep range and in just a couple seconds I warp scrambled his engines and activated the web to slow him to a crawl.  Success!

Kini Koni graciously said "gf" in local at this point even though I hadn't even damaged half of his shields.  But I was orbiting at full speed while he was almost motionless and his missiles couldn't keep up with me.  Victory was mine and shortly after the kestrel exploded!

The slingshot had worked and there was a third wreck in the FW plex - and it wasn't  me!


  1. Excellent encounter! It's good to see pilot skills paying off.

  2. I take it you only had AB at the time?