Friday, December 18, 2009


Last night Havegooda, author of the Low Sec Roamer blog, and myself met for a duel in Rens. The agreed upon conditions were tech 1 frigates and no ECM.

In the preparation for the duel I went over the frigates available to me and tried to pick a contender. A quick investigation showed Havegooda was capable of flying Rifters so I speculated I would most likely face one such ship in our duel, so I wondered what would be best to counteract it or something like it. My own Rifter? With no tech II projectile skills (yet) that seemed unlikely to be able to compete. Merlin? Nice big tank but the split weapon system and bonus for only two turrets makes it poor for 1 versus 1 work (CCP, add turret to Merlin, m'kay?).

I considered the Incursus and Tristan as I have Gallente Frigate V and excellent drone and blaster skills, but I was leery of doing a knife fight with an accomplished Rifter pilot. Frigates are not my strong point; I like ships with big asses and big guns.

I decided to gamble and go a different route. Not many frigates are capable of fighting at range but the Kestrel is one of them. I was going to equip it with light missiles and MWD and try to kill him far from his engagement range.

Wait, that setup is slightly wrong: I had two Small Aux Thrusters rigs to put my speed over 2700 m/sec. Oh well, I'm too lazy to fix the image.

Anyways, we met in Rens, I saw he was in Rifter as expected, and we warped to planet 1 to exchange ammo cans for agression, and warped to planet 20 twenty kilometers apart. I immediately moved to my range and it quickly became apparent that his afterburner Rifter would never catch me and my DPS was easily absorbed by his tank. I thought about just waiting until his cap finally gave out (if ever) but instead we called it a stalemate and we docked up to repair overheating damage and tweak the setups.

I knew I was probably done for; he had my measure and would probably catch me in the rematch so I swapped out the shield booster for a tracking disruptor in hopes it would keep me alive.

We warped directly to planet 2 as we still had aggression to each other and I tried to move away again. Sure enough he flew towards me at full speed and my heart sunk as I saw his velocity climb to over 3000 m/sec, more than enough to catch me fast. I tried to overheat my MWD for more time but it suddenly winked off as he got his warp scrambler on me. He first salvo hit and my shields evaporated and I knew the end was near. I spammed the MWD in hopes of some miracle and.... it activated?

Did he run out of cap for his scrambler? I haven't been hit again, is the tracking disruptor that powerful? Nope, neither was true. He simply flew out of range.

In the discussion afterward he told me he overshot me with his MWD on and before he could switch to afterburner and by the time he turned around I had opened up the range again and my missiles plowed into him in a flurry of pain. He didn't get a chance to activate the repper soon enough and his Rifter exploded to my dropped jaw of surprise.

I've seen overshooting a target happen before, hell I've done it myself in an interceptor. This time it proved fatal as my light missiles needed only a short amount of time to catch up to him as he turned around. A good fight and a narrow victory for me.

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