Monday, June 9, 2008

A Series Of Firsts

The new hunting grounds we have moved to are pretty solid so far. Things are a bit more spread out and there is a much larger variety of ships. In the first few days I have seen newbs in frigates, barges and battlecruisers as well as veterans in motherships and carriers (and everything in between). Because of the wonderful variety, I have already run into several situations that resulted in kills on types of ships I have never managed to kill previously.

Mining Barge:

I had never seen someone actually mining in a barge in low security space before. I had heard people talk about such occurrences but as far as I was concerned, it was just a myth. Well for the first time ever, I did find a lonely, unprotected Retriever mining barge sitting in a belt in lowsec. I warped in and found him at the center of the belt and immediately locked and attacked with my Incursus. I was so certain that it had to be a trap that I just killed, podded, looted and ran as quickly as I could. It wasn't until a bit later that I realized I probably could have ransomed that sort of ship for at least 10 million isk which would be way more than the 1 million I made off the loot. Regardless I was still happy with my first barge kill.

Interceptor:

Generally, interceptors are a very tough breed of ship to lock down and destroy. They are extremely quick and most pilots are smart enough to fly them in a manner that they won't get caught and killed. Until this point, I have never managed to snag one whether it be solo or as part of a gang.

As I jumped through a gate and landed on the other side, I noticed a Malediction interceptor. Since I am a blinky red pirate, the guns at the gate will not defend me and the interceptor decided to lock and scramble me before I could warp away. I immediately had that feeling of dread that comes with knowing I am trapped and very soon after a friend of his jumped into the system as well and began attacking me. The ship he was piloting was called a Retribution and I was not familiar with it (as I am not familiar with most Amarr ships). I assumed it was some sort of Battlecruiser or Command Ship and completely panicked... I recalled my Warrior II drones that I had sent after the interceptor and made a mad dash for the jump gate. I smacked myself as I realized I could not jump through until the 60 second aggression timer was up (because I had engaged the Malediction). Finally, I calmed down and looked at what type of ship the Retribution was and realized it was simply an assault frigate! This fight was nothing I couldn't handle in my Vexor. I immediately relaunched my Warrior II's and turned my blasters on the interceptor who was now in very close to me, blasting away and probably thinking I was not going to fight back. He tried to flee once he realized what was going on but he was webbed and it was too late. His ship was destroyed.

Next, I turned my blasters on the assault frigate and I sent out the Hammerhead medium drones. At this point I was in low armor and the Retribution was doing enough damage to me that I started to worry about whether or not I would make it. I used my web and MWD to get out to a 15km orbit where I could continue to scramble and DPS with my drones, but the assault frigate could not catch me or hit me with its guns. For minutes I sat there watching my drones attempt to break the ships armor tank, but to no avail! Had I kept at it a bit longer, he may have finally run out of capacitor to run his repairer but I was tired of sitting exposed and with almost no armor left right next to a busy gate in lowsec. I recalled my drones and warped off and thanked my opponents for a fun fight.

Battlecruiser:

So to be fair, I have destroyed battlecruisers before. A matter of fact, my very first kill ever was on a Hurricane. That being said, these were just situations where I was in a gang where someone else did all the work and I was just learning the ropes flying a dinky and ineffective frigate. The battlecruiser kill I got this time was the first where I actually played a significant role in the discovery and destruction.

I was cruising the belts of my new home system when I caught a Ferox battlecruiser on scan. Nothing about such an occurrence would usually pique my curiosity but also on scan were a couple of assorted tech I drones. Why would a Ferox be in an asteroid belt by itself with a couple random cheap drones? I warped in at 100km to see what the pilots name was and checked his information. He had only graduated from the academy less than two months ago! A new pilot in a battlecruiser ratting is a juicy target so I followed him to the next belt and engaged in my little Incursus frigate. While his guns couldnt hit me, he did immediately return fire with missiles and his drones and I did not stick around long enough to let myself get popped. I sent out a request for help to my corporation and was able to get some help in the form of a Crow interceptor. My corp-mate found the Ferox, still ratting in a belt and locked him down as I flew to station to pick up a more appropriate ship.

I returned a few minutes later to find my companion dodging both asteroids and missiles and railguns in an attempt to keep our target locked down. I flew into point blank range, opened up with my blasters, sent in the drones and the Ferox went down very quickly. The loot was mostly garbage but the kill was still juicy and delicious. Mmmm.

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