Monday, December 7, 2009

Surgical Strike

For several months now I have been taking out ships like the Thrasher, Rifter or Curse for when I go roaming solo (usually the Thrasher). The Taranis has taken a back seat and barely been utilized since the "Speed Nerf" changes that very significantly mucked with the effectiveness of the king of the interceptors. For a long time before that patch hit, I pretty much only flew a Taranis in a way that was based entirely around maximum DPS like so:
[Taranis, Super Ion Taranis]
Magnetic Field Stabilizer II

Magnetic Field Stabilizer II

Pseudoelectron Containment Field I


Catalyzed Cold-Gas I Arcjet Thrusters

Warp Scrambler II

'Langour' Drive Disruptor I


Light Ion Blaster II, Caldari Navy Antimatter Charge S
Light Ion Blaster II, Caldari Navy Antimatter Charge S

Light Ion Blaster II, Caldari Navy Antimatter Charge S


Hobgoblin II x2
However, with the changes to Warp Scramblers that prevented the use of microwarpdrives while scrambled, this simply became too hard to dictate distance with and made it basically impossible to disengage once you realized you were fighting a losing battle. More recently, when I do undock the Taranis, I have been going with the dual-propulsion fit which looks something like this:
[Taranis, MWD/AB Taranis]
Damage Control II

Magnetic Field Stabilizer II

Micro Auxiliary Power Core I


Phased Monopropellant I Hydrazine Boosters

Cold-Gas I Arcjet Thrusters

J5b Phased Prototype Warp Scrambler I

Light Neutron Blaster II, Caldari Navy Antimatter Charge S

Light Neutron Blaster II, Caldari Navy Antimatter Charge S

Light Neutron Blaster II, Caldari Navy Antimatter Charge S


Small Hybrid Collision Accelerator I

Small Ancillary Current Router I


Hobgoblin II x2
While the DPS is not quite as high as the fit that used to be king, this new setup gives some added flexibility in the form of slightly longer range neutron blasters, slightly higher EHP via a Tech II damage control and the ability to accelerate to pretty acceptable speed even while scrambled by using the afterburner. The new super-cheap small rigs also help bridge the gap by letting you fit a damage rig or two (my skills aren't perfect so I have to save one of the rig slots for a powergrid rig).


When I checked out my hangar for something to fly today, I decided to give my old friend a chance to shine once again. I boarded a dual-propulsion fit Taranis and headed out to roam around the Old Man Star region. What I found was not too shabby...

Pulling A Python

Occasionally we will have people refer to a certain form of trickery as "Pulling a Python". I am sure we are not the first to do it but we utilized it to great success for a while in the newb heavy system of Egghelende. Pulling a Python consists of:
(1) Inviting a pilot to fleet that you know is in system and in a ship you can probably blow up.

(2) Warping to the pilot and/or waiting for him to undock so that he is on grid with you.

(3) Warping the squad/fleet/wing to a safe spot so that the victim that accepted your fleet invite gets warped with you.

(4) Blowing up your victim.
A new little twist that we have added to this is making sure to swap the victim around between squad member, squad commander and other fleet spots so that his/her session is constantly changing and they cannot leave system or dock without leaving fleet first.

This is exactly what I did to a new-ish Drake pilot I found in Jovainnon. He attempted to warp to a gate and jump out but with his fleet "smacktalk" preventing the jump, I was able to warp to him at the gate and then warp him off to a safe spot. This wasn't going to be easy as solo'ing a battlecruiser that has a flight of light drones, a little bit of DPS from missiles and very solid tank is rarely a sure bet when you're engaging with a frigate hull. As he landed, I scrambled, deployed my drones and overheated my guns. Fortunately he had not brought any drones and by the point I had barely even hit hull, his Drake popped and I was able to boost my killboard lead with a pretty sixty-four point kill. Suck it Skye.

Beating Up Some Nerds

Later on in the day we received a report that there was a mining operation going on about 10 jumps away. In lowsec. Apparently they were mining with several barges that were protected by a couple of T2 cruisers and a Nidhoggur carrier. Wanting to bust up the party as soon as possible, we gathered a fleet of small nimble ships that would be capable of nabbing some miners and then warping out before a carrier could start applying remote reps or peppering us with drones and fighters. We set out with a Jaguar, Rifter, Keres, Vagabond, Rapier, two Taranises and an Anathema to take care of the scouting and probing. We gathered one jump away from our target destination and sent a couple of pilots in to investigate without spooking our prey. It turned out that they were mining in a gravimetric site that needed to be probed out so we had our Anathema pilot carefully locate and peek in on them. He soon reported back that there were several barges spread out among the asteroids that were being protected by a Myrmidon, Deimos and Nidhoggur.

We sat back and thought for a minute. The fact that they were spread out meant that if we all warped in together we may nab one or even two barges before they could flee but the rest would get spooked and bail. We decided to have our scout bookmark the exact location of all four barges and then return to the next system over where we were waiting. We came up with a convoluted plan that I assumed would never work because we are all retarded:
(1) Have our scout create copies of all four bookmarks that are directly on top of each barge and put them into a can in space.

(2) Split our gang into four small squads, each with one person as squad commander.

(3) Have each squad commander grab one bookmark.

(4) Have everyone jump into the miners system at the same time and warp their squad at the same time.
Hypothetically, we would all come out of warp on top of all the barges at approximately the same time, allowing us to quickly blow them away and then flee before any of the carebears had time to react. We jumped in and began to execute the last of the above steps and in moments we were all landing on top of our targets. I arrived on top of the only Hulk in the group and managed to help destroy it away as their entire gang (including the Nidhoggur) warped away from the site, probably spooked by our sudden appearance. Amazingly, our plan had executed exactly as we had designed! Three mining barges were destroyed as a result.

As we began to loot the wrecks, we were surprised by the miners warping back into the site with not only their original combat ships but with the barge pilots now in combat ships as well. An intricate game of warping in and out and kiting the gang to separate them finally resulted in our gang of frigates/cruisers managing to knock out a Sleipnir, Myrmidon, Thorax, Flycatcher (WTF?) and Onyx. The amount of damage that the Myrmidon took was quite impressive and we barely had enough DPS to break his passive shield tank after a very long engagement. When the fight was complete, my Taranis had only five volleys of antimatter left in the guns, no ammo at all left in my holds, severely damaged guns from overheating and no armor HP. Basically it was the way a Taranis always ends up at the end of a fight (that is if it isn't blown up).

If all these pilots had stayed together instead of arriving one-by-one like crazy movie ninjas, we probably would have lost the fight. Between an Onyx, Sleipnir and Myrmidon I would pretty much always call a Myrmidon primary first and there is not way we could have killed it before the rest of their gang picked apart our barely tanked fleet of small ships. It just goes to show how important tactics, organization, ship fittings and bringing the proper ships to a fight can be.

8 comments:

Calderus Rex said...

Sounds like an awesome fight man. Props.

Andrea skye said...

Did you buy a dramiel yet?

Jawmare said...

(4) Have everyone jump into the miners system at the same time and warp their squad at the same time.

wait.. what?

I am very sad that i didn't get on the killmail of the Covetor

Velocity Prime said...

That ninja picture reminds me of something, but I just can't put my finger on it...

Chaotic70 said...

Dang, VP beat me to it...

Yargok said...

I dont think the Myrm was with the carrier/barges initially..

But I was all giddy for a kill at the time so could be wrong :)

Dualprop ftw btw.. :)


Oh and Calderus, the fight was not that awesome, they sent their ships one by one.. where is the challenge in that? :)

seriouslycasual said...

"A new little twist that we have added to this is making sure to swap the victim around between squad member, squad commander and other fleet spots so that his/her session is constantly changing and they cannot leave system or dock without leaving fleet first."

Is this not considered abusing game mechanics? It is fairly creative either way...

f0st3r said...

That was a awesome fight! I burned out all my little guns on the damn myrm!