Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Sexy Sadie

I spent a better part of the past month learning to fly Amarr style frigates and educating myself in the operation of pulse and beam laser weapons. While I am already satisfied with the abilities of my Gallente interceptors (Blasteranis for solo, Railranis or Ares for gang), I thought that perhaps it could fit a niche that neither of those ships would be able to. I came up with a fit that would let me deal out great damage from a range just outside of where enemy ships could web me. More damage than railguns but way safer than blasters. I spent the time training, I fit the ship, I took it out and after several encounters it seems that what works perfectly on paper does not always work out in the real world.

It turns out that when you are orbiting people at 5000km/s, it is impossible to keep yourself right inside a tiny window of just a few kilometers where you cannot be webbed and can still hit within optimal range. On top of that, many pilots are skilled enough to push their webs beyond the normal 10km range and will wind up nabbing me anyhow. Lastly, the fit I was trying so hard to use was extremely energy intensive. Even if everything else fell into place, I was running out of capacitor energy within only a minute or two.

Determined not to let all my training go to waste, I gave up on the pulse laser fitting and instead tried out a new beam laser fitting. This fit would keep me even farther out of web range where I would actually be safe and was cap stable. The downside is that it does even less damage than my railgun fit Taranis. If I couldn't find something to love about this fitting, the Crusader may go the way of the Dodo Space Mantis and be relegated to the back of my hangar to rot.

I Was His First!

I brought my newly fit beam laser Crusader into Dantumi. The system was pretty quiet but I did a scan anyhow. There was a weak signal indicating that a Griffin frigate and an Omen cruiser were off towards a distant station. I warped on over and found them loitering outside the station so I targeted them to try and scare them into attacking me. Instead of a violent response, both ships simply docked. I hung around outside, waiting for them to return and after a few minutes, they did. The Griffin immediately warped off but the Omen stuck around to fight. As he began firing his lasers, I locked down his engines and began orbiting with my microwarpdrive running and beam lasers lazoring. While I had a very difficult time avoiding running into the station, I was outside of his range and slowly eating through his armor. Would he be smart enough to redock once I had blown off his armor? Was his friend going to return? A moment later, the Griffin warped back in and began jamming my systems. Once, twice, three times he jammed me and I realized that I wasn't going to be able to do anything about it. I flew to a safe distance and watched my prey as they sat there, silently taunting me.

I contemplated for a moment and then came up with a plan to load short range, high damage crystals into my guns and try to burn down the Griffin before he could get off another jam on me. I kicked on the engines and approached. I was met with yet another jam cycle and lost my target. The Griffin then warped off and I watched his trajectory carefully... he had gone right to a belt! I followed him in and this time managed to target and fire several volleys that blew the little frig into pieces. I grabbed the pilots pod and orbited slowly, waiting for his friend to join in the fight. He never came. Finally, I received a transmission from both pilots. They thanked me for the fun fight and let me know that this was the Griffin pilots first combat experience. I had caused him to lose his very first ship! I returned the sentiment, thanked them for the fight and then let the Griffin pilots pod go. I did not want to discourage him from getting another ship and jumping back into the fray. I need my fishing lanes to remain stocked after all...

A New Recon To Hate

Nearby our home, there is a famous system that is known to be very dangerous. There are often larger ships sitting in the belts, acting as bait for larger fleets and gangs that are waiting to jump in. Because of this, we will usually ignore whatever is on scan as we pass by. Today was a little different as I scanned a Megathron apparently ratting in a belt. Nothing to get excited about until I did some research into who was flying the ship. A three month old pilot who had just recently left the academy...? This was a pirates dream target!

Immediately I jumped into warp and tackled down the Megathron the instant I landed. Warp disruptor, microwarpdrive and beams all running, I called to my corporation to bring me support as soon as possible. Soon, two stealth bombers and another Crusader were on route being piloted by Johan, Mr Morimoto and Golden Helmet. With my dinky lasers alone he was already part way through his shields and he would probably go down to the lasers and cruise missiles our ships could bring to bear. I only wished that Mr Pilkins was here to see this glorious display of tiny frigates bringing down such a massive beast. As Mori landed and began unloading his cruise missiles upon our victim, I noticed one new pilot had appeared within the system and he was in the same corporation as the Megathron we were pounding on. This might get messy...

Moments later a Caldari Falcon uncloaked. The Falcon is a recon ship with the ability to jam the targeting computers of several ships at a time from a very long range. At over 100km out he targeted me, broke my lock upon his Megathron friend and we watched helplessly as both ships warped away and out of the system. This was the second time recently that this had happened and I was heartbroken. It reminded me of the time I dangled a piece of carrot cake in front of Mr Pilkins face and then fed it to my hamster Mr Droops instead. Mr Pilkins was so angry and now I understood how he felt. The pain was so unbearable that I docked up and cried myself to sleep. It's just not fair.

Newbies In Big Ships With Friends In Recon Ships - 2
Me - 0

5 comments:

Kirith Kodachi / Farseer Bill said...

Falcon are a certain type of evil.

Mynxee said...

The only good Falcon is the one that's on YOUR side!

You're gonna be sorry for teasing Mr. Pilkins and favoring Mr. Droop when you find a bloody little ball of fur wedged in the underside of Mr. Pilkins' sharp little hoof.

Mick said...

Yeah, recon ships are a bitch. Falcons and Rooks are very annoying, as I know myself.

This happened today, actually. I was in my cyclone when I logged on. I undocked and saw a typhoon outside the station. After sitting there for a minute or two, I saw another neutral pop into the system. The phoon then proceeded to target me and send his cruise missiles, drones and his nanophoon right at me. This was accompanied by much laughter from me, since I could tank him very easily :D

After popping 4 of his 5 heavy drones, he recalls the last one, and zooms off to 100km away from the station. Soon after, he comes right back for round two. The same happens, only this time I fire back at him. Then, I see a falcon uncloak and start jamming me :D

After around 10 minutes of laughting at those two being pathetic in not taking down a battlecruiser, I called for backup. It arrived in the form of an overkill carrier along with a few battleships, making the two idiots flee :P Before he left, I linked him this image, just to rub it in: http://farm1.static.flickr.com/131/319047856_dbf1ef3e92.jpg

Another time, I got owned by a blackbird and a vexor>_>' Shows how different pilots make all the difference.

So yeah, falcons might be annoying, but they're sometimes useless.

Patrick said...

Your Crusader should really come into its own when dogfighting other interceptors. I'd look into a Malediction for solo ganking work. Its kind of like a crow, but faster and better looking. Plus, the missiles let you be flexible in your engagement envelope.

Of course, I can't fly either just yet... soon though! (I'm working on my gunnery skills before the spaceship command ones)

Spectre said...

I don't know if I agree with everyone that always says the Crusader is the best anti-interceptor interceptor. I'd rather be flying almost any other inti with a web than a Crusader without. If you can't web another inti, it is just going to flee once the pilot realizes it is losing and there is little you can do to stop it, even if you have the speed advantage.