The Little Frigate That Just Won’t Die


Frigate hulls are loved by pirates because they’re small, fast, versatile and, ultimately, disposable. I’ve already mentioned that it costs me about 5,000,000 ISK to put together a fully equipped Rifter. As Prometheus Exenthal says at the end of the original Frigank film: “Who needs common sense when you can fly a frigate?”

The problem is that I’m starting to become attached to my current specimen. She seems to be able to live through anything. It was in her that I recently demonstrated that pirates can indeed turn a profit even if its not on the same scale as a mission runner. She also came out of the last Tuskers fleet operation unscathed.

In between those two events that I have written about I went out hunting in her with a specific eye on catching me some interceptors. I was unsuccessful in my hunt but I did engage a Claw on the Old Man Star gate in Ladistier. I had him webbed and scrammed and my guns were overloaded trying to take him down quickly. I was too close for my Barrage ammunition to be truely effective, though – it has a tracking penalty as a trade off for its extended range – so I had to move out to a wider orbit. By this time the heat had got to my guns and they’d burnt out leaving me with just a rocket launcher to try and take him down with. That wasn’t going to be enough so I de-aggressed him and moved towards the gate ready to jump out. He kept me scrammed and continued to apply the damage but careful management of my systems kept my armour alive and well and I was able to jump out without losing my ship. Despite messing up the engagement my little ship had been tough enough to get me out of danger.

She saw combat again on her return home from the fleet operation. The fleet had disbanded in Dantumi so I had to make my own way back to Hevrice this morning. As I passed through Costolle Kruger81 hailed me in the local channel and asked if I’d like to fight his Merlin. Because I’d been out in a fleet I had replaced my usual web with a tracking disruptor and dropped the rocket launcher for an offline Salvager but I’m always game for a frigate fight and this little Rifter had already had her nine lives so I agreed. Despite not having a web I opted to load Republic Fleet EMP ammunition because I was sure the Merlin would be fitted with a shield tank and would want to get close to use its blasters. This was a gamble because I would be unable to dictate range and had chosen sheer damage over flexibility. Kruger81 warped to the planet and we approached each other. He locked first and opened fire (great, no criminal timer) and I applied my tracking disruptors as soon as I closed to lock range. At 9 km I returned fire and scrambled his warp drive as he did the same to me. Our ships closed to about 4 km and my overloaded guns ate away at his shield tank while my own held. But then he began to make range on me and my own damage dropped while his carried on. As I entered armour his shields collapsed but I couldn’t make further headway or close the gap. I stopped my tracking disruptors and swapped out my RF EMP for long range Barrage. This meant I couldn’t fire for ten seconds while the guns reloaded and I kept pulsing my repair systems to keep the incoming damage at bay. Finally my guns were ready and I span them up. The first volley stripped off half his armour, the second the rest, and the third through fifth slammed into his hull. By the sixth volley he was destroyed and I locked onto his pod which he paid me 10 million ISK to release.

It was a close fight. Far closer than I’d wanted it to be. I set myself back by opting for close range ammunition and the need to change it nearly cost me dearly. Looking at the killmail it seems that his plan was to hold me at range with dual webs and take me down with rockets and railguns. The problem for him is that this is the preferred engagement range of your typical Rifter and if I’d had Barrage in from the start I would have torn through him in probably less than a dozen volleys. Good fight, Kruger.

The important thing is that my Rifter survived. Again. She just doesn’t want to die no matter how badly I mess up a fight. In honour of her outstanding performances I’ve changed her name from the non-descript Rifter that most of my fleet go by to the much more apt Rifter Fleet Issue. Of course, I know I’ll get cocky and she’ll die in the next fight but she’s already more than paid back my trust in her.


One Response to “The Little Frigate That Just Won’t Die”

  1. Rifter Fleet Issue… I loooove it! 😀

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: