Goodness Gracious Great Balls of Fire

05Feb09

While the established order out in null sec space is busy imploding I’ve been contenting myself with a bit of exploding. Not necessarily the good variety, either.

So where to begin? A few pretty uneventful days of prowling finally ended up with a Manticore kill after he lingered too long on a gate under the watchful eyes of my Rifter. My afterburner allowed me to easily shrug off his cruise missiles and my autocannons made short work of his weak hull. The loot drop was good, too. Things were looking good.

Yesterday was slightly less profitable, though. Once again roaming in my Rifter I sighted a Caldari milita gang trying to capture complexes in Hevrice. They had a Griffin providing E-war support so I thought it was time to bring out a new toy, my Hurricane-class battlecruiser. I warped it into the complex and unsurprisingly the militiamen scattered after hanging around just long enough to capture their objective. I’d come all this way and I wasn’t going to be denied a fight so I warped the the acceleration gate leading to a second complex and waited for their arrival.

As expected they came. Unexpectedly Kruger81 had swapped ships and turned up in a Drake class battlecruiser which quickly engaged me. I returned fire and my autocannons span up and began spewing rounds of Republic Fleet phased plasma ammunition into his massive shield systems. This was going to be a painful war of attrition and I hoped I had the damage to overcome his defenses. I launched my ECM drones and turned them on the Drake. Their locks allowed my armour some respite from the onslaught of missile damge. A Griffin and Caracal were providing support by my attention was fixed on the Drake, the only ship with a point. As his shields dropped to half strength I overheated my guns and hoped that would be enough to break through. It wasn’t and the temperature in my weapons systems was reaching critical levels. All of a sudden they were overwhelmed and all my offensive systems shut down. I had to hope that my ECM drones would save me. I closed my eyes and started pummling the command to activate the acceleration gate. To my immense relief I felt the ship’s warp drives rumble into life and engage. The Hurricane leapt through the acceleration gate and even as the warp bubble began to collapse I was punching in the co-ordinates for my trip home. Only just in time, too. The Drake landed alongside me just as my battlecruiser entered warp space.

The sigh of relief when I finally docked up in Hevrice could be heard all around the Tuskers hangar and drew some puzzled glances from the support team work on my various ships. The Hurricane was badly damaged with most of its armour ripped apart by the missiles of the Caldari ships and its weapons systems completely fused. I didn’t want to face trying to fix it then and so left her in a corner and headed out to work off the nervous energy from the engagement.

***

A few hours later I was once again out in space in a Rifter. There was little to no hostile activity and I was filling my time by taking on the Serpentis Cartel ships I found in the various asteroid belts on my prowl. There are reports that the Serpentis are getting more and more beligerent and we may soon be seeing their battleships in our local space. I hope this brings in an influx of bounty hunters for us to hunt.

Anyway, I digress. Keeping an eye on the local communications channels I notice the continued presence of Jayka Kyer in my systems. Initially in a Harbinger battlecruiser but later on in an Armageddon battleship. As I warped past her to jump out I notice that she is trying (and failing) to smartbomb my Rifter. A plan begins to form in my head. Alerting the rest of The Tuskers to my intentions I jump back into Meutralle and start scanning for the battleship. While I scour the system a fleet consisting of a second Rifter and two Cyclone battlecruisers forms up in Hevrice. I eventually scan down the Armageddon to the militia command bunker and warp in. I know she’s fit with smartbombs so I settle into a comfortable orbit at 7.5 km, well out of their range, and call in the cavalry. Sadly we were denied the kill as Jayka initiated self destruct routines as soon as she saw that I was tackling her outside of smartbomb range. We had just stripped her ship of armour and were preparing to offer a ransom when the ship exploded leaving no loot and no killmail. Still, we had the moral victory and the memory of the conflict in our head.

Back in Hevrice an old sparring partner, Ollie123, was sitting outside our station in his Brutix. We knew he had two friends in station in battleships to offer support but I’m bloodthirsty and I wanted that Brutix. I undocked a Rupture while Commoner gave the Brutix a good, solid bump in his Cyclone. As soon as he was clear of the docking perimeter I opened up with my autocannons and was quickly joined by Commoner and Ronan in a Hurricane. We made short work of the Brutix but by now an Abaddon and Rokh had also undocked. The Abaddon went for my Rupture and destroyed it but Ronan and Commoner were able to get away unharmed. At the end of the fight we’d lost a Rupture for a Brutix but unfortunately not been able to hold the field and loot the wrecks. We then sat there listening to Ollie taunt us for not wanting to fight his battleships. We’re reckless but not stupid. I did undock a Rifter and play games with the various ships he was using as bait but there were no more kills or losses on either side.

***

After another break in station I undocked my Rifter and went out looking for trouble. Lo and behold I found it before I’d even left system. Jayka Kyer was out in her Rifter and after a little bit of encouragement she engaged me and I returned fire. I don’t know how she was fit but I was having trouble getting through her shield tank and my defenses gave way before hers leaving my Rifter to explode in a pretty ball of flames. Ooops. Two losses for no loot now.

Later still I spied Capt Thryss running a complex in a Thrasher named “Wensly’s Thrasher”. Flattered I knew there was only one thing I could do… introduce it to Wensley’s Rifter. I warped into the complex as I sent him a message through the local comms channel with the aim of distracting him while I assessed the situation. His destroyer was about 20 km from my ship and well seperated from the Caldari navy ships with their ECM modules. I was good to attack.

I began my approach procedures and as I closed I felt his first volley hit me. I couldn’t tell if he was using artillery or autocannons but my fate was now out of my hands. I settled into a close orbit, overheated my guns and repair systems, and hoped that my Rifter could win out. His shields were tough and took a long time to drop. Then his armour was similarly strong. How bizarre. By now I was in trouble and pretty soon I lost my second Rifter of the day.

It seems the the 22nd always seem to fit their Thrashers with autocannons while fitting their other destroyers for range. I have some ideas for how to deal with this and I’m keen to test them out soon. Its good to have opponents who are learning my tactics and coming up with counters. While it can be expensive for me it provides stimulating fights and also means I have to raise my own game. Incidentally it turns out that Capt Thyrss had fitted his Thrasher with both shield and armour tanks. No wonder it took so long to chew through his defenses. Fair play to him.

***

I’m going to be away for the next week or so but I’m guessing that the Band of Brothers drama will give people plenty to read while I’m off. When I get back look forward to some more explosions and maybe even some new toys in my hangar.

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6 Responses to “Goodness Gracious Great Balls of Fire”

  1. Enjoyed your post, Wens! Fun when people name their ships after you, unless–as has happened to me–your own gangmates all choose “Kill Mynxee First” when you’re camping a gate, LOL.

  2. That’s funny, I name my ships “Not Mynxee —->” hehehehehe But serious, Wens, great post and I appreciate a guy who posts tales of losses as much as wins. I do the same, makes for a great story. Cheers!

  3. Another nice post! Have you switched back to Damage Control instead of Gyro?

  4. 4 Kruger81

    Hehe, yeah u where lucky, I was suprised that I was the only one who had a point. :S
    So I called em to kill the ecm drones and I ordered my own drones to abort shooting at you and start killing the drones, but alas when u had 2 or 3 my lock slipped and you ran from my grasp 😦

    GF

  5. 5 capt thryss

    That was a bait ship I was playing with…got some good kills too. (but hands down you were the toughest) Because I’m slower than most frigs (and no web) I leave the heat off till they start to get through my shields and as they start to smell blood…that’s when I turn on the heat. By the time they figure out everything thing is going terribly wrong it’s over. It’s fun to keep mixing it up as I’m starting to see eve PvP as a mind game too. I’m still playing with arty’s, but don’t expect to see me in one till I can do over 1k alpha. Always a great read, cheers!

  6. Wensley, as always a great read. I make sure I catch up on the days I miss each time I visit.

    AX


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