Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Sometimes You're the Hammer...

... Sometimes you're the nail.

On Monday night we were the hammer. Last night I logged in to find my CEO organizing a gang. Well sign me up! "What do you want me in, boss?" I asked eagerly.

I had my Onyx and Falcon as usual, but also several PvP frigs: Manticore Stealth Bomber, Harpy Assault Frig, Raptor Interceptor, Buzzard Covert Ops, and even a Rifter. The CEO considered and decided on 0.0 fast frig op. With an evil grin, I jumped into my Raptor.

(As a side note, it is my belief that every pilot capable of even basic PvP when called upon should always have ships ready to go in 5 minutes or less. Nothing annoys me more than stalling an op because people are fitting ships and unsure what to take.)

My Raptor is built on speed and tackling. Its bonus gives it a 28 km range with a Tech II warp dirsuptor and I can fly it at a speed of 5600+ m/s (an orbit at 25km at 4500 m/s) for as long as I have cap booster charges, and that's a long time. Damage is pitiful though as my three 75mm Gatling Rail IIs are more for annoyance than deathblows.

We headed out for 0.0 space. Along with my scouting Raptor we had two Assault frigs in a Wolf and a Retribution and an Electronic Attack frig Sentinel equipped with some bonused tracking disruptors. We didn't have much luck early on; targets were either safe spotted or ran to safe spot as soon as I jumped in. I did almost find a Cyclone battlecruiser ratting once but when a Nighthawk Command ship and some other nasties showed up on scan, we thought better of engaging.

Next system over we ran into a Cormorant Destroyer on a gate. Destroyers are Tech I ships that are easy to kill so we moved to engage. He jumped and I gave chase, but I wasn't fast enough on the other side to lock and scram him. Next gate, same thing. We jumped and found ourselves at one of the hub systems in Pure Blind region where a NPC station exists and allows corporations a safe place to regroup.

I warped to station to see what was going on. I didn't stay on the station though and good thing. I was 50 km out when a Huginn undocked. They are Minmatar Combat Recon ships capable of turning normal 10 km ranged Stasis Webbers into 34-40 km ranged Stasis Webbers. In other words, they are the death knell of any speed tank ship. Warp, dammit, WARP!

As a second Huginn and a Crow interceptor appeared on scan, we decided this system was too hot for our presence and we moved on. And then we made a mistake.

The next system had three gates: the one we came through from the NPC station system, one that led on down the pipe, and another that led to a dead end pocket of two systems. I moved on to scout down the pipe a system which the Wolf and Sentinel pilots checked out the dead end. The Retribution pilot stayed on the jump-in gate ready to go either way. In hindsight we should have moved on right away in case those Huginns and Crows gave chase but we were eager for kills and the blood lust clouded our sense of self preservation.

The Retribution pilot reported gate activation and saw two Huginns, two Crows, a Deimos HAC, and a Crow frigate jump in. Oh crap. He fled to the system where I was and our gang thus found itself split in two with a deadly enemy gang in between. Not just deadly, it was our antithesis, the one type of gang we had absolutely no hope against.

We tried to get our Wolf and Sentinel out but the Huginns are awesome tacklers and the Wolf was destroyed. I moved on to the next system to make sure we weren't in a trap on both sides while the Sentinel pilot came in with the enemy gang hot on his heels. At this point had the Retribution pilot headed for the outbound gate when I did we might have escaped with only the Wolf lost but for whatever reason he didn't warp and suddenly he was behind the enemy gang.

He warped late into the gang and they jumped with him into the next system where me and the Sentinel already were. The Retribution couldn't warp off and was caught. Our CEO bravely charged in to try and let him make it back to the gate and jump through to perhaps get away, but it was not meant to be. The Sentinel went down, followed moments later by the Retribution.

Leaving me all alone in a ship with crap for damage against a gang built around killing fast ships. I ran. Fortunately, if the Raptor is good at one thing, its being fast and its 13.5 AU/sec warp speed ensured that none of their ships would catch up to me unless I stopped (which I didn't) and I was safe unless I ran into a massive gate camp with a bubble and some insta-lockers (which, again, I didn't).

As I jumped back into low sec, I found a nice station to dock in and once again suffered survivor's guilt.

* * * * *
Also, today I finally finish Large Hybrid Turret V! At 9:50 pm.


  1. Sounds like a classic example of order, counter-order, disorder. Can't say I mind hearing of nanopirates being smacked around. :)

  2. Anonymous7:04 am

    Assault frigates aren't really the best ships for roaming in 0.0, they just don't have the speed or hitpoints to survive very long.

    -- The Deimos pilot