Monday, August 19, 2013

Two Republic Fleet Firetails!

I jumped out of the Auner station in my slasher looking for trouble.  There were 8 or 9 pilots in the system and my dscan revealed a couple Republic Fleet Firetails  - a frigate a step or two above my slasher in price and performance.

A quick scan of the only faction warfare plex in the system showed one of the firetails there.  I've fought firetails with this slasher fit (tracking disruptor and barrage ammo) with success in the past so I turned everything up to 11 and headed in for a battle!

I landed close to the firetail, targeted, orbited and turned on all the modules.  My tracking disruptor and the speed from the afterburner did their jobs and I was taking some damage, but working my way through the shields of the firetail pretty quickly (the killmail shows that the firetail was equipped with a Miura Bull Seal of Approval for Enemies Small Shield Extender).  Once the small shields were gone, the armor and structure went quickly and as my slasher was approaching my armor reserves - the firetail exploded in a blaze of glory.

I headed over to pick up anything that had survived the explosion in the wreckage of the ship - but was interrupted by the arrival right then of the second firetail!  Fight or flight?  My shields were gone, my modules were red from overheating, and I was only carrying one load of ammunition (which was depleted in the first fight) with no spares.

No question - fight!

I repeated the target, orbit, spew hot projectiles routine with the second firetail and it turned out to be a much tougher fight.  Since I already had heat damage to most of my modules, I was a bit leery of overheating them for this fight - nothing worse than burning up guns or the armor repper...  A death sentence.  Plus my capacitor was a bit low from the first fight and I had to manage that closer this time too.

And it turned out that this firetail had a Miura Bull Recommended Medium Shield Extender - so he was a much tougher nut to crack.  Expecially when he managed to smash into me with a 350 hp explosion at one point that practically took all of my armor away in one instant.  I overheated the armor repper and managed to pull back the damage, but it was a scary few moments...

Eventually my barrage ammo worked it's way through the medium shield extender of the firetail and once I got into his armor things went much quicker.  A few seconds later he also blew up in a fireball!

GFs were exchanged in local (I had been too busy to get that done after the first fight) and the second pilot, Rayve Aries, opened a conversation window.  We chatted about the fight and I passed along my slasher fit for him to review (I've lost enough of them that just a quick look at my killboard will show anyone what it carries - so it's not a secret).

We parted ways with promises for a rematch and I was very happy to win a pair of fights against firetails.

Monday, August 12, 2013

School's In Session!

I usually don’t make much of an effort to chase those week-old players that infest the FW sites in Auner doing whatever they do in there.  When I land and they flee – and a background check shows them to be extremely new to the game, I just let them go about their business.  I might drop in on them again once or twice just to send them scattering – but my heart really isn’t in it.  What’s the best that can happen?  I’ll quickly destroy a cheap frigate that probably won’t even dent my shields. A kill, but to no real purpose.

So the other night I jumped through a gate in an FW complex to find an atron.  I scrambled his warp drive, webbed him and orbited to destroy him.  His shields quickly vaporized and then he calmly warped away.  Damn those warp stabilizers!  Nothing worse than the smugness of pilots who think they have a “Get Out of Jail Free” card…

Checking the pilot’s history, I saw that he was one of those extremely new players.  Maybe time to teach him a lesson about the safety of warp stabbers.

I headed back to the station and added a second warp scrambler to my slasher.  Let’s see how two warp scramblers work vs. his warp stabilizer.

Back in space I found the atron in a different FW complex along with a merlin - both of their ships had their pilots' names still attached and both in the same corp.  I warped in and landed on top of them. 

Fox in the henhouse!

I targeted the atron and slammed on both of the scramblers.  I can just imagine the smile on his face evaporating as he discovered that there was no warping away!  His minimally fit atron exploded!

I switched my targeting (including the two scramblers) to the merlin.  With similar results.  He exploded too!

The atron’s killmail shows that he was taking no chances – double warp stabs.  Even worse!

I hope that the two of them learned a lesson courtesy of The Jack Dancer School of Destruction.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Death and Destruction

My death and then an opponent's destruction.

I had just come home from buying some spices for a chili contest this weekend and had a few minutes to see if there was any activity in Auner.  I logged in and found half a dozen people in local and when I left the station there were a few reasonable ships in space - merlin, incursus, and rifter.

I checked narrow dscan on the two FW plexes and one had the rifter and incursus while the other just had the merlin.  I decided to pick the loner first and headed to the site with the merlin.  It turned out to be a bad move because it was a week-old player who fled on my arrival.  OK.  No fun there even if I do catch him.

So I headed over to the other complex to see about the rifter and incursus.  I was in a cookie cutter rifter named Godzilla with 200mm autocannons and rockets.  I landed near the two opponents and immediately targeted the rifter.  And things went just about as one would expect.  My rifter quickly went through shields while taking damage from both ships and soon my overheated armor repairer wasn't able to keep up with the incoming damage.  I had the enemy rifter far into his armor (and maybe structure?  I wasn't paying total attention as I was slamming the warp button in hopes of getting my pod away alive...).  I exploded.  From the killmail it appears that the rifter and incursus were pretty even on applying damage to my poor rifter.

Local went this way:

   Jack Dancer > gf
   mmxior > gf
   Fret Thiesant > gf  
   mmxior > go write that on your blog
   Jack Dancer > lol
   Jack Dancer > Not much to say.  But I'll see what I can do.
   Fret Thiesant > love the ship name btw
   Jack Dancer > Thanks.

It's always surprising (and fun) to come across people that read this blog...

I headed back to the station and grabbed a slasher with my standard tracking disruptor and barrage ammo fit (also named Godzilla).  And I headed back to the plex for round 2.

This time when I landed I targeted the incursus.  The rifter was probably still damaged from the first fight and I wanted to go against the more healthy foe.  Probably a bad idea generally - but I've never had a problem with bad ideas when playing Eve.

I targeted the incursus and set up an afterburner aided orbit at around 6k.  My autocannons were having some good effect on the Gallente ship and I soon had him in armor.  My armor was holding this time (probably due to the target disruptor cutting down on the incoming damage?) and my overheated armor repairer was holding its own.  But even though the incursus was in armor, it was repairing my damage just about as fast as I was applying it - he was equipped with an ancillary armor repairer.

The fight was not a short one.  And that was not a good thing for my capacitor and armor repairer.

I heard the alarm that my capacitor was almost empty as all of my attention was focused on the red damage display on the incursus (the more I concentrate on it the faster the damage accumulates on my enemy - at least that's my deeply held opinion...).

And then the words that no pilot likes to hear, "The capacitor is empty."  That annoyingly calm voice that jars with my amazingly uncalm disposition at those times.  My armor repper turned off.  ARGH!

But at almost the same instant, the incursus exploded! \o/  Perfect timing!

I switched my targeting to the rifter in hopes of continuing the combat.  But before my warp scrambler could lock onto his warp engines to shut them off, he was gone.  No doubt damaged from our first fight and not able to withstand the second Godzilla's wrath, he did the right thing and fled.

GFs were exchanged in local.  It was enough excitement for the night - now to work on perfecting my competition chili recipe...

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Exploration Relapse

Even though I had the best intentions of turning from the siren song of exploration back to the gritty world of frigate pvp (and I have killed a few times and died a few times in the past week) - I've had a relapse.  It happens to everyone from time to time.

A couple nights ago I loaded up my explorer alt's helios and headed out into the very unfamiliar wilds of null sec space.  My goal was to find the elusive Intact Armor Plates that are found in Sansha space and have a very nice price (in Jita they fetch 6 million isk each).  I made about 60 jumps (including several side trips to quiet looking neighborhoods) through three null sec regions (Providence - Catch - Stain) and in the empty systems (most systems were empty) I looked for relic sites which can contain a dozen Intact Armor Plates sometimes.  In systems with one or two enemies (remember - everyone is an enemy!) I sometimes checked for relic sites and sometimes passed through depending on how scary dscan looked.  In systems with more than two enemies - I passed right through.

I was picking up loot and learning what was valuable as I went along.  Intact Armor Plates of course, but also Power Circuits (at 3 million each) seemed like worthwhile targets.  And there were rumors about fantastically valuable blueprints for the lucky few.  I have a cargo scanner on the helios so that I could see what the cans might contain.

Things were going well as I headed towards my goal of the npc stations in Stain.  Until I reached them, there was no place to stop except for logging off in some remote corner of space.  I wanted to get somewhere that I could drop off my loot and not feel like such a pinata.  I was also scanning down wormholes in hopes of finding one that would return me to the safety and security of high sec space.  It was nerve wracking, but fun.  I never knew if there might be a warp bubble on the far side of a gate when I jumped through.  Fortunately, there never was and I only passed through one gate camp (way back in low sec on my way to null sec).  The cloaky helios is hard to catch - sorry gate campers!

Speaking of catch, it was in the Catch region where I stumbled across one of those legendary blueprints in a relic site - a True Sansha Control Tower Medium to be exact.  I grabbed it and checked the contracts - there are currently two available and they are listed for 750 million isk.  Nice!

But then the shakes started.

Here I was with more than a billion isk worth of loot in a flimsy helios and still more than a dozen null sec jumps away from the nearest npc station where I might get the treasure off the ship and to relative safety.

I was paranoid and made my dash to safety (though I did stop to poke at a few relic sites along the way if the system was empty and checked out every wormhole in hopes of a quick exit).  Using the map I selected a route that was as empty of capsuleers in space as possible.  I snuck from gate to gate - stopping at planets in scanning distance of the exit gate to be sure it was clear.  I held my breath with every jump into a new system since I had no idea what was on the other side.

Eventually, I made it safely to an npc station in Stain where I immediately docked up.  I dropped the loot into the hanger and finally relaxed.  What a trip!

Now to find a wormhole back to high sec so that I don't have to do the entire gauntlet in reverse...

Here's my helios fit (either the afteburner or microwarpdrive is offline due to fitting restrictions):

Here's the loot from the trip (the four blueprints (worth about 800m isk?) are not included in the 568 million isk value at the bottom of the photo):

PS - A few evenings later (a Monday night when the weekend crowds had gone away) I found a wormhole to high sec that ended just 3 systems from Amarr.  I safely deposited my loot in Amarr, put a couple blueprints up for sale (including the tower), and headed back to Stain to continue my adventures...