Wednesday, 28 January 2009

I'm cooking BC's like a pound of bacon

EVE System > Channel changed to Hadozeko Local Channel
EIDREICH HUMA > ocatvian
EIDREICH HUMA > warp to me
Nursultan > gf

I jumped into Hadozeko solar system in my Wolf and warped to one of my safespots to see if there were any targets. A-ha, looks like there's a Harbinger class battlecruiser in a belt. Making things even better, there were just two of us in that corner of Metropolis and a quick check showed EIDREICH HUMA, the Harbinger pilot, was someone I had a chance of taking on. I jumped to a planet to pin him down in a tight cluster of belts.
With that done I initiated warp and checked if I had the correct ammunition loaded into my 200 mm autocannons. Luck was definitely on my side that night as I came out of warp some 7 kilometres away from the target. Lock, scram, nos, fire. His Vespa II drones were already out dealing with rats, but instead of sending them after me Eidreich recalled the drones. That could be bad news: does he plan to release a pack of ECM drones? Hmm, looks like he doesn't. The same Vespas came out a bit later only to melt under my guns' fire. I was orbiting him at a comfortable tight range, completely evading the Heavy Beam lasers' fire.
The Harbringer's shield and armour dropped steadily despite his attempts to repair. When the battlecruiser's armour was below 50%, a third player, OctavianUK if I recall correctly, appeared in local. I quickly hit the scanner to see if he was a threat, but found out he was flying a Buzzard covert ops ship not designed for combat. It was at that moment when Heidreich started desperately asking Octavian for help. Octavian did not respond and soon disappeared from Hadozeko, although that could mean he'd be coming back in a fighting ship. I overloaded my guns to make things quicker.
When my target was well into structure, I ran out of Republic Fleet Fusion ammo which I prefer to use against armour tankers. I loaded Barrage and continued my assault.
Suddenly, the local channel showed several new arrivals. They did not belong to the same corporation or alliance as my victim, but I began to scan the surrounding area frequently to see if someone could interrupt us. Sure enough, two battleships soon showed first on the scanner and then at our belt. Should I retreat? No way! Heidreich's ship had about 10 percent structure left and I focused my attention on him. A few sloooow seconds later, the Harbinger exploded.
Both battleships were locking me already as I aligned for warp. One lock even resolved before I left the belt, but that did not stop me from warping out. Were they carebears or ratters with no tackling gear? Guess I'll never find out.
I was happy with the kill and didn't mind losing the loot. But while I was still waiting out my global criminal countdown the system became empty again and I was able to check the wreck. Thank you, guys! All the loot, worth about 20 million isk was there! I scooped it up and docked as soon as the red timer disappeared, my hands still shaking slightly from excitement.

Monday, 26 January 2009

Wolf Week

I have been mostly flying Wolf class assault frigates for the last couple of weeks and here's what I've learnt the hard way, having lost seven of them:
- A cruiser/battlecruiser with ECM drones will kill you;
- A cruiser/battlecruiser with energy neutralisers will kill you;
- A fast frigate/cruiser with long-range weapons (including autocannons loaded with Barrage) will kill you;
- An Ishkur with two webs and blasters sitting at the undock point will kill you.
An especially stupid couple of losses happened when I tried to kill Cirock in his Stabber cruiser. I had killed him earlier on that when he allowed me to get close, but in our second fight he stayed about 17 kilometres away and shot me with Barrage rounds. I had a second Wolf ready and decided that together with BiggerGuns in his Rifter we'd be able to win.
I engaged first and, when Cirock once again settled into his preferred orbit, told BiggerGuns to warp to me at 20 kilometres. Of course, things rarely work the way you plan: 'Guns' Rifter appeared too far away and he could not approach Cirock in time. I lost a second Wolf, but at least my wingmate managd to get away.
To address the speed issue I've decided to carry a microwarpdrive with me and switch to it when I see a proper target, someone who can kill me from a distance but won't be able to track me at point-blank range.
Now, to good news. I've finally scored my first battlecruiser kill thanks to xxphilkeyxx who was ratting in a belt in Kamela in his Prophecy. I don't know if he had noticed me arrive at the belt, but that wouldn't have changed much as I came out of warp close to him and battlecruisers aren't known for their agility. I locked the larger ship and activated my guns, nosferatu and scrambler. He responded, with a bit of delay, by sending three Tech 1 drones after me, which I quickly dispatched. His guns were not hitting me at all so the whole fight was about me chewing first through his shield and then armour. I zoomed out just in time to see the battlecruiser explode.
What I like about militia guys is that they don't care what's going on in asteroid belts. There were about 15 of them in local when I was slowly killing the Prophecy, but no one disturbed us. Neither did they intervene when I destroyed johnny2combs' Omen in another belt and his Coercer at the same spot 15 minutes later. Guys, at least watch the scanner when ratting in lowsec!
Sadly, I ended the week with another Wolf loss. I killed another ratting cruiser in Lulm and docked at one of the stations. When I undocked, an Ishkur and a Jaguar tackled me and started hurting my ship badly. I tried to dock again, but did not make it. I checked the Ishkur pilot's records later and found out he specialises in killing other assault ships with an interesting setup - two webs and a scrambler in midslots.

Monday, 19 January 2009

Maximum Overdrive

Last week I made my first flights in a Wolf class assault frigate, a ship based on the Rifter hull but with better defensive and offensive capabilities. It has a drawback as well, lacking the third medium slot, which makes it less useful in fighting small and fast ships.
My first fight was against a Thorax cruiser. I destroyed his Hammerhead II drones and settled into a tight orbit to evade his heavy blasters, but his armour was pretty strong so I decided to overload my guns. Unfortunately, I did not turn the overloading off in time and the autocannons broke so I had to leave. Looks like four cannons break quicker than three...
A bit later I took my new ship to Lulm where I saw a Rifter in a deadspace complex. Expecting an easy kill, I jumped in. Turned out I was wrong: the Rifter, piloted by FirenDisco, was much faster than me and orbited at about 15-20 kilometres pounding me with artillery cannons. I tried to throw him off the orbit by maneuvering close to complex structures, but in vain. Soon, my Wolf blew up.
I had another Wolf ready and later on that day I challenged Tefer Bo, who was flying a Vengeance assault frig, to a duel in Amamake. The fight was very close until I overloaded my guns and repper which gave me an advantage. Unfortunately, I then tried to dock before my GCC ran out and got stuck at the docking perimeter for thirty seconds - more than enough for sentry guns to destroy my ship.
With no more Wolves left in my hangar I jumped into my good old Rifter and decided to try ganking FirenDisco together with BiggerGuns, a pilot who has just started a pirate career in the Amamake area. I equipped my ship with a microwarpdrive to be able to catch FirenDisco. But when I jumped into the same plex I realised it did not work there. Fortunately, FirenDisco was not in the first pocket and I just warped out. I apologised for wasting BiggerGuns' time and challenged FirenDisco to a duel. He was fine with that, BUT would only fight inside the plex.
There was no way I could beat him in his lair. Or was there? I checked the available reports on FirenDisco's setups and quickly figured out I could outrun him by dropping the repper and the damage control unit in favour of an overdrive injector and a nanofiber internal structure module. That is, if I overload and he doesn't. Still, the chance was there and I decided to take it.
I returned to Lulm and we quickly agreed on the duel. I found him some 30 kilometres away from the plex warp-in point and started the chase, overloading my midslots. My shield died quickly and armour was taking some damage. I checked the speed of both ships: yes, I was som 100-150 m/s faster. Come on, I've got to make it! When I was at about 40 percent armour the distance between out ships has been reduced to web range. After that, I was only taking damage from his sole missile launcher while my autocannons worked their magic in optimal range.
"Good fight," FirenDisco said in fleet comms channel.
"gf," I confirmed a few seconds later when his ship exploded.
And it really was a good fight, one of the best I've ever had in my career: a nice and strong opponent with an unconventional setup and an environment that limits your options making you come up with a special setup of your own. Nice loot, too - a Gistii B-type Small Shield Booster to partly offset my ealier loss.
Concluding the week, I managed to lose my third Wolf in a fight against a Thorax which had a pack of ECM drones. My ship was quickly jammed and destroyed.

Friday, 9 January 2009


I had one of those rare duels yesterday where you don't know until the last moment who is going to win.
Drek Grapper challenged me to a fight in Amamake and I could not refuse. When he arrived at my safespot, I quickly burnt towards him, settling into a tight 500 metre ordbit, overloaded all my weapons and started spewing out Republic Fleet Fusion shells.
Drek Grapper responded with furious fire of his own and our armour melted at about the same rate. I overloaded the repper to keep myself alive for as long as I could. But once armor got really low and then we both got into structure, it became clear my opponent had an advantage.
My Rifter blew up while he still had 81 percent structure.
This is the kind of fights I enjoy the most and I intend to try that again once I get a new setup and maybe improve my skills a bit. EFT says I can still raise my DPS by about 15 percent, although that would require a lot of level V skills.

Monday, 5 January 2009

One Hundred

Just a small celebration post.
According to Battleclinic, I've scored my 100th kill last night. It took me 97 days to achieve this, meaning I have killed a ship per day on average. All kills have been made in a Rifter.
Looking forward, I think I need to try new ship classes, namely assault frigates and interceptors and take on bigger targets.