Rifter and Caracal vs. Celestis and Tornado

A small fleet operation this time. Me and my friend Kaihzer hunting for bigger fish.

My fitting:

Standard PvP Rifter training fit.

3x 150mm Light Autocannon II
1x E5 Prototype Energy Vampire

1x X5 Prototype Engine Enervator
1x 1MN Afterburner II
1x J5b Phased Prototype Warp Scrambler I

1x Damage Control II
1x 200mm Reinforced Rolled Tungsten Plates I
1x Small Armor Repairer II

2x Small Projectile Ambit Extension I
1x Small Projectile Burst Aerator I

The situation:

I have been meaning to fleet up with my good friend Kaihzer for a while now, and a few days ago he and I took a Caracal and a Rifter out to play. Having more than just the firepower of a lonely frigate at my disposal this time, I was looking forward to be able to engage a wider range of ships.

Our small fleet made its way without incident through the first stellar systems on the route to Amamake. The directional scanner showed us a few promising targets, but subsequent analysis put all of those at either a POS, a gate or or station.

Jumping into Goinard we detected a lone Tornado sitting about sixty kilometers off the gate. Not wanting to be blown into oblivion by a sniping battlecruiser armed with battleship-class artillery weapons, I warped the fleet to a safe spot near the center of the system.

While in warp towards our destination we analyzed the incoming data from our scanners. A lone Celestis cruiser appearantly sat at on of the asteriod belts next to us.

Aligning towards him we briefly discussed our battle plan - get close, land both point and web and try to keep up a high transversal in a close orbit - and activated our warp drives. A single T1 cruiser hull pinned down by two webs should quickly succumb to our combined firepower.

Upon landing we immediatly located the pilot in local. He belonged to the same corp as the Tornado - Immortalis Inc. of the Shadow Cartel.

Executing our plan, we hoped to burn him down before reinforcements arrive. He launched a flight of Valkyrie IIs which we were able to destroy before they could outdamage my overheated armor repairer or Kaihzers shield buffer, all of that while staying under his 200mm Railguns. After beating down his shields, we hit his 800mm plated buffer armor tank which was augmented by a resistance membrane and three trimark armor pumps.

Thirty kilometer next to us, the Tornado dropped out of warp. Crossing our fingers that at this distance our transversal would still be high enough to avoid 1400mm artillery shells, we kept our weapons on the cruiser.

20% armor left, 10%, 5% .. and he exploded, with both Kaihzer and myself still on the field with little to none damage taken ourselves.

And at this point, things started to go .. wrong. Talking to Kaihzer over voice comms I directed him to warp out, only to change my mind and telling him to spiral towards the Tornado instead. Five seconds later I switched back to the first option and finally decided that we should leave. Sitting in my trusted Rifter, I aligned almost instantly and left the field.

Kaihzer, at this point a bit confused by my contradicting decisions, had stopped his ship for a second or so while trying to make sense of my ramblings. This second proved to be enough for the tracking of the opposing Tornado's turrets to catch up the unfortunate Caracal while it started to align again, and the first volley ripped through shields and armor alike, destroying the small Caldari cruiser and leaving Kaihzer to warp out in his pod.

After saying gf in local, we took a small detour to get a new ship for Kaihzer and continued on our way.

[ 2012.02.14 21:44:33 ] Darek Castigatus > gf
[ 2012.02.14 21:44:45 ] Vhalasedai > gf
[ 2012.02.14 21:45:05 ] LumpySnake > gf

Lumpy, the Tornado pilot, tried to get us into a 1 vs 2 later this evening - however, being sure to find him sitting in the faction frigate we had seen on scan, we declined.

Lessons learned:

We did quite well at the beginning. Up to the point where the Celestis exploded, of course. We used the correct damage type against an armor tanked cruiser, we focussed down his drones assisted by our webs and we kept a close orbit to prevent as much damage as possible coming from his turrets.

When the Tornado landed, I made a quick mental note to check d-scan more often during a fight, especially when expecting enemy forces to jump in on you. We knew that at least one of his corp mates was in system, and we should have paid more attention to our surroundings.

After the cruiser was dispatched, we should have checked the speed of the Tornado. While I am pretty sure that he had fitted a MWD I am not certain. Without one, we should have tried to get close to him by spiraling in. With one, the only logical choice would have been to warp out since we would have had no chance to actually get into point range.

The ideal choice would have been to bookmark the cruiser wreck, warp out and wait ten to twenty seconds before warping back to the previously saved location. With a bit of luck we would have been able to catch him while he was looting the wreck. A long shot, maybe, but the only chance we would have had to catch an MWD fit Tornado.

And the most important lesson: don't stop your ship while trying to avoid being hit by freaking huge artillery shells :(

GF though.



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