Monday, 28 January 2013

Looking for Fights in Low and Null

I spent almost a week in Liparer trying to get some kills and failed. Every time I logged on, local pirates were either smacktalking each other while playing station games or camping a gate with too many ships for me to deal with.

On one occasion, I crossed blasters-and-lasers with one of locals in an empty neighboring system but had to retreat after my Talos took too much damage from his Oracle before we even were in point range.

Finally, last Saturday, I decided to just bait them and try to kill a tackler or two. Making myself seen to their gatecamp, I warped off to a belt and aligned to another celestial. After a while, a stealth bomber warped in and cloaked, indicating they had established my location.

No quick tackle warped in though as I kept moving away from the belt.

Then, a Pilgrim recon - who had obviously warped in to the bomber at range- decloaked some 7.5 kilometres away from me. Instinctively, I activated the MWD to burn further away before he could use a scram but he managed to put one on me anyway. Fortunately, I was at about full speed by that time and inertia carried me out of scram range.

More ships started landing next to the Pilgrim as I was burning away and, because I had held my mouse over the overview targeting them one by one, I missed an approaching Taranis. He was about 40 km away when I noticed him, too close for me to lock and shoot without ending up warp scrambled.

I warped off to my align target, closely followed by the Taranis, then to a safe to catch my breath, and then to another belt where the interceptor soon spotted me again.

This time I was position better and locked him from far away, opening fire as he was about 40 km away. The first round stripped his shield and half armour... but then my guns stopped applying any damage. He switched to manual piloting and started spiraling towards me rather than burning in a straight line. I hate when people do that to me.

The good thing was, this had slowed him down and I was able to warp off again, to a celestial where his fleetmates were still waiting for me.

Fortunately, I landed at range, got out and eventually docked.

The engagement, although anticlimactic, had my heart pumping and reminded me why I love Eve.

I still wanted blood, however, and decided to try nullsec. After positioning my cloaky Loki booster in KBP7-G and observing its three stargates for a while, I saw a lonely Coercer on the Dital gate and quickly bought and fitted a standard dualprop Taranis.

I jumped in and burned towards the destroyer who immediately aggressed me. By the end of my MWD cycle I was already in deep structure. Let's deploy drones, NO, I DON'T WANT TO SHOW INFO, I WANT THEM OUT AND FIGHTING!!! Expecting to die to the next volley, I turned on my overheated afterburner, mitigating most - but not all - of the incoming damage.

The Coercer was clawing back shield, although not quickly enough to keep up with my damage. Then his reps stopped and armour melted quickly. But I was already in 40 percent hull. Thirty, twenty, BOOM. The Coercer exploded and I warped out to a random belt, exchanging "gf's" with the pilot.

Turned out he had a medium ASB and an oversized afterburner, quite a deadly combo on a high-DPS boat such as the Coercer. I'm pretty sure I would have lost without the Loki boosts which allowed me to catch up with him quicker and them get under his tracking. Of course, I could have also tried just warping out since he had no scram but I suspect he would have fried my ship as it tried to align.

I left that Taranis in a highsec station close to KBP and came back to Kurniainen in a Talos, a decision I almost regretted last night when I probed out a Zealot in a deadspace pocket in Kurn. I was browsing my ship hangar looking for something small and fast and all I saw were cruisers and larger ships. Eventually, though,  I found a Comet which I had never used before but which was fitted and stocked with ammo.

As I came out of warp inside the deadspace pocket, I saw the Zealot about 50 km away and decided to burn straight for him, hoping to get tackle before he sniped me. I got hit by two volleys but then it was just a matter of orbiting the HAC and chewing through his defenses. I'm pretty sure the pilot had been aware of my plans and decided to gamble and see if he could snipe me.

Nice to see (non-FW) mission runners in lowsec again, such as the Zealot and the deadspace-AB Cane I killed earlier.