Monday, April 09, 2012

Margin of Error

Over at Voices from the Void podcast there was a contest where one of the hosts, Marc Scarus aka Marcosaurus the Irish Dinosaur, would engage in Tech I frigate duels with four contestants and I was one of the lucky draw winners to be a contestant.

The rules are:
Combat Rules
○ Contestants & Dani will meet in a designated low sec system.
○ Dani will pick a safe and constants will be allowed to warp in at range.
Chosen Co-host Marc and contestant will fight until hull destruction.
○ Poddings are not allowed will be grounds for disqualification
○ Hull destruction/podding of the cinematographer will be grounds for disqualification
○ Warp outs will be grounds for forfit.
○ Fitting must be provided to Dani prior to the contest for review (Don’t worry, I won’t share. I hope they lose.)

Fitting Rules
○ T1 Frigate Hulls Only. No faction hulls, etc.
○ Mods can be T1, Named or T2. No officer, deadspace, faction, etc.
○ No ECM mods. All other E-War mods allowed
○ Drones are allowed with the exception of e-war
○ Ammo can be T1, T2 or faction
○ Activating a cyno, ECM mod or E-War Drone will result in disqualification.

• Added no faction hulls to fitting rules.
I spent an hour or two looking at a bunch of fittings and considering what I wanted to do which when you have Frigate V for all races and TEch II on all weapon systems is a lot. Try for the close in brawl and overpower him? Super tank and try and kite? Ewar? Neuts? Rockets? GAH TOO MANY CHOICES!!!!!

I should have stuck to my strengths and gone with a close ranged brawler but I wanted to be Mr Fancy Pants so I decided to try and be clever and make a kiting ship. Of course, kiting only works as long as you can control range so I went for the fastest non-MWD Rifter fit I could come up with in a Tech 1 frigate, with some remote sensor dampening to boot.

With my snake implants I could go over 1700 m/s, and my warp scrambler would keep any MWD ship from staying in range too long. The only danger was an afterburner ship equipped with a web and all I had to do was stay out of overheat web range of 13 km in that case. I knew that could be hard but I was up for the challenge. In hindsight, the margin of error when you factor in the limited targeting range of my own ship was terribly small, especially at the speeds involved, but I was too determined to be clever for my own good.

I arrived at the duel and warped in at a comfortable 50 km range which gave me enough room to setup for my range control tactic. Marc arrived in a Rifter as well and I figured he was an afterburner setup based on his top speed around 1100 m/s. Marc tried to close distance but quickly realized I was faster and had the range to hit him. We both knew what was next assuming he had a web, his only option besides forfeiting: The Rope A Dope.

The Rope A Dope. In this case, I'm the dope.

I knew it was coming. I turned around to get back into fighting range and knew I would have to be careful to stay out of that 13 km overheated webber range. I could blame it on my wife asking me what I was doing, or that I was trying to lock Marc while watching ranges, but the fact of the matter was that the margin of error was so small at the speeds were were moving that even if I manged to avoid getting caught this time I probably would have gotten caught the next time. Kudos to Marc for pulling it off so effortlessly.

Needless to say, my tank was all dependent on staying out of his range and as soon as he got that web on me I had no escape. My warp scrambler, a defence against a possible MWD fit, was useless and I was at his mercy.

Fortunately, it didn't take very long.

Also, in the good news department, Marc defeated all of his other three opponents so I'm not the only one.



  1. Hmm, could you have chased him at an angle, say 20-30 degrees? Still enough to close slowly but not quite so vulnerable to the sudden change of direction.

  2. Definitely, I was going to try and do that but I messed up. The difference between a veteran PvPer and a casual one like me is in the details like that.

  3. What fitting tool is that? Is it PYFA?