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!

But then...

And then there'll be another GF.  I chased Burlap Foolslap (nice name!) out of a FW plex, then to the planet where he had fled, and then caught up with him again in the plex where he accepted the fight.

My slasher wasn't  tested too much - but the chase was great fun and I ended up with a kill.  A gf.

So it goes...

Sometimes, like yesterday's excellent duel with Maksim Cammeren's mirror image slasher, you get good fights.

Then other times, like today when my rifter was destroyed by a tormentor and a griffin - the fights aren't quite as satisfying.

So it goes...

Friday, April 12, 2013

Like Looking in a Mirror...

I headed over to Floseswin to pick  up some skill books.  I was in my slasher and looking for trouble on the trip to the station of higher education.  But nothing presented itself.

I docked and injected the skills that I was looking for and popped out of the station.  A quick dscan  showed a slasher in the system and a pilot named Maksim Cammeren.  I  checked and he has been around since 2010 - so  it wouldn't be a rookie.  A target with experience.  Fine with me.

A quick scan showed the slasher in a FW site and I turned everything up to 11 on my way there.  I landed and jumped.  Maksim's slasher was waiting on the other side.

I waited for my ship to come out of warp, hit the orbit button, targeted the other slasher, and started hitting him with hot barrage projectiles.

He, on the other hand, didn't have to wait to target me (he wasn't warping to the fight) and so  got in a  volley or  two before I had my opportunity.  This will be of interest later in this  commentary.

We circled each other, apparently both comfortable with the range.  Early on, he was ahead and I went through my shields relatively quickly.  I hit the big armor repair button and started to repair the damage to my armor.  In short order I managed to catch up on the damage race and the other slasher was also into armor.

Our guns continued to smash into  each other.  My armor dipped low.  Then jumped back up with the repair.  Some hull was torn away - not to be recovered.  But then the armor was boosted and I had some breathing room.  The other slasher was experiencing similar damage and  repair.

Eventually, we were both in structure.  My capacitor was just a thin yellow line.  Would it last?  Would the repper have juice to continue?  I had some armor back, but my structure was dangerously low.  But the other slasher was in even a worse state.  I might win this!

BOOM!  I won!  Or...  Wait a minute - no, that's me in the pod.  My ship had exploded.  What a battle!

After we had exchanged GFs I noted how it appeared we were flying the same ship.  Maksim confirmed that the ships were practically identical - other than he had a better meta version of  the web and scrambler - neither of which would affect  the damage or repair.

It turned out that the enemy slasher had 43 hitpoints left in structure.  43.  I was that close to the victory!   43hp!  The time it took for me to come out of warp gave my opponent the first shot and  in the end, the victory.

What a fight!  Thanks Maksim Cammeren!

Monday, April 1, 2013

Taranis on Scan!

The taranis has always been scary.  At least to me.  The name sounds too much like "tarantula"...

When I first started playing Eve a couple years ago it was a fast interceptor frigate and I stayed away from them (especially since I was flying T1 equipped rifters that had no real chance against them). 

Last night I popped out of the station in Auner to see if there was any activity.  Sure enough, a rifter and a taranis showed up on scan.  I checked the FW sites and found the taranis (too scary!) but not the rifter.  Then I checked the asteroid belts – still no rifter.  Hmmm… Might as well give the taranis a shot.  My slasher is good against ships with guns and the taranis would probably be equipped with blasters.

I headed to the FW gate with everything turned up to 11.  And a personal sense of trepidation turned up to 11 too…

I landed and jumped.  The taranis waited at the arrival point on the far side of the gate.  The fight was on!

I hit the orbit button, scrammed and webbed him, and started spewing out barrage from around 5k.

Things went surprisingly (I might even say “remarkably”) well.  I tore through his defenses while taking a sustainable amount of damage.  I had the taranis through his shields and far into his armor while I was still comfortably sitting with shield protection.  No need for the armor repper.

Then I had him through his armor and into the hull.  Still no need for my armor repper.  He tried to flee, but I managed to keep close (as we used to say back in the 60s, "Speed Kills").

GFs were exchanged in local and I headed back to the station to drop off the wreckage from the taranis and to repair the heat damage to my modules.  My first taranis kill.

I then went hunting the rifter.  A dscan sweep showed that he was apparently at a “safe” spot somewhere near Planet VII.  I returned to the station and switched to my scanning boat.  Out went the combat scanning probes to find the rifter.

While my exploration alt has excellent skills for finding exploration sites – Jack Dancer is barely adequate at scanning.  It took me three scans (even knowing generally where the rifter was to begin with) before I had a 100% lock.  I bookmarked the spot and went back to the station for my slasher.

I set course to the rifter to land at zero. 

When I arrived the rifter was sitting in his “safe” spot unmoving.  I destroyed him.  Then his pod popped out and since it didn’t move while I was looting the wreck – I shot it too.  Just a lesson to the new player that leaving a ship in space while afk isn’t a good idea.

It was an interesting evening all around.