The Zenmatari Duellists

09Aug08

During my lowsec roaming yesterday I bumped into an Atron at a planet while I was scanning the belts for prey. Without a second thought I prepared my weapon systems and powered towards the Gallente frigate. As soon as I got into range I engaged my tackle gear and opened fire. Rounds of Barrage spewed from my guns tearing through the Atron’s shields and ripping into its hull and armour. The Atron was destroyed just as my shields failed and my armour kicked in. A nice, comfortable kill. Just how I like them.

The Atron pilot had warped his pod to safety and we exchanged “good fight” in local. The Atron pilot went on to tell me that he was part of a new corp called the Zenmatari Duellists. He invited me to their public channel and I got chatting to their members and friends about T1 frigate duelling and their general ambitions for profitable PvP. The CEO challenged me to another frigate duel against his all T1 Rifter. Knowing full well that he wouldn’t do this if he wasn’t highly confident in his ability and fit and also having seen that he was several years older than me I agreed to the duel. The worst possible outcome would be that I learnt something valuable.

I warped to the planet that the CEO was waiting at and saw him sat 70km from my position. Remembering all the lessons I’d been taught I fired up my microwarp drive and began my approach. Rather than heading straight for my opponent I spiralled in keeping up transversal until I was into my preferred range. As soon as I hit this I locked on and opened up my weapon systems and tackle gear. In my excitement, though, I’d forgotten to set my ship’s computer to orbit mode and had massively overshot my opponent. Frustrated with my mistake I headed straight back towards him this time forgetting to spiral in. I was taking steady damage while my Barrage ammo was failing to make any progress against his shields. This was odd. Rifter’s don’t have good shield systems. It was too late to change my ammo for EMP to counter his shields and I was now into my armour. We’d settled into an orbit now and as the two ships circled each other I knew I was beaten. I eventually got through his shields but by this point I was in deep armour and he stripped away my ship’s last defences leaving me alone in my pod.

I’d lost the fight but had a lot of fun. I realised that I’d come up against a duelling specialist and his fit was tailored to this end. He hadn’t fitted any tackle gear and this had allowed him to fit a huge passive shield tank. I’d chosen ammo to take on armour tankers and almost at that moment had lost the fight. The fact that I messed up the initial engagement didn’t help either. We’d had a good chat in a private conversation and I hope to come across these guys again. Later on I looked up my opponent and noticed that he was a little bit of a celebrity best known for his passive hurricane fit.

Next time I get offered a duel I’m going to be prepared and use my capacitor booster set-up rather than a regular tackling Rifter.

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