2012/02/25

A slow week, an interesting lowsec roam and a chance of plans

"And while (sov) nullsec pilots fight to achieve boring, predetermined goals without having a care for anything remotely resembling entertainment, lowsec pirates just bang their heads together for no other reason than to have a good time. Ladies, buckle up and get ready to roll!"

-- Author unknown, presumably some unwashed Rifter pilot looking for easy targets in Amamake

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Careful, long post ahead.

TL;DR:

* Slow week, some fights, nothing interesting enough to blog about it
* Change of plans; Act II - Assault Frigates, here I come
* Lowsec roam with the Rebels
* Retribution vs. 2 Punisher - blog post incoming soon

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The last week was actually kind of slow. Well, at least when counting the number of interesting fights that I was able to get into. I had my share of kills, but most of them were just ordinary and not worth talking about. A Catalyst here, a Thrasher there, a Rifter, another Rifter. All of those fights were good examples of applying the skills learned during the last three weeks of solo roaming without making critical mistakes.

Taking the advice of an acquaintance of mine (*waves at Sorn*) I took a break from my usual roaming habits and made the trip from Domain lowsec to the far reaches of Molden Heath. For a beginning pirate such as myself, leaving the quite shorelines of Naguton, Sahda and Shajarleg and plunging into the unchartered depths of Heild, Bosena and Aedald was an adventure quite on its own. Oh well, enough with the nautical references already ..

To get myself used to the unkown environment, I started out by creating a few bookmarks at critical locations and simultaneously tried to identify the regulars in local and the uncrewed ships behind POS shields. A few well-known names sprung to my attention - Sard Caid of www.twitch.tv/sardcaid and Wensley of Rifter Drifter to name just two of them.

Despite the change in scenery, I was still faced with the difficulty of finding viable targets. My earlier adventures had taught me that there are some things out there (assault frigs, drone cruisers, battlecruisers that are not piloted by total beginners) that you really shouldn't try to take on as an inexperienced pilot when solo roaming in a Rifter. A lesson I had to learn rather painfully I might add.

Two days ago, on Friday night, I was again toying with the idea of progressing towards T2 Assault Frigates. I had thought about this for a while now and finally decided it was time.

After training Minmatar Frigate to level V a couple of hours earlier, I was able to choose from the following list of ships:

Jaguar
Wolf
Retribution
Vengeance

Looking at ship attributes, slot layouts and possible fits, I decided to pick the Vengeance. The most critical reason behind that being the fact that its slot layout and fitting options allows for an almost identical approach as my active tanked Rifter - of course not considering the completely different weapon system :)

So here it is, my fit for the next ten to fifteen losses.

4 * Rocket Launcher II
1 * E5 Prototype Energy Vampire

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

1 * Damage Control II
1 * 200mm Reinforced Rolled Tungsten Plates I
1 * Small Armor Repairer
1 * Adaptive Nano Plating II

1 * Small Warhead Flare Catalyst I
1 * Small Anti-Thermic Pump I

Jumping into the pilot seat of my newly unwrapped Amarrian T2 frigate, I was contacted by Sorn from the Black Rebel Rifter Club. The two of us had met earlier this month - meaning I jumped in on him and he destroyed my ship about 30 seconds later - and had stayed in touch after that, trying to find time to go on a roam together.

As it turned out his corp was planning a small frigate roam through lowsec, and a few minutes later we were on our way, a couple of gentlemen from the BRRC and myself. I was highly sceptical at first. Not because of the guys that allowed me to take part in their gang - they were great - but because of my prior experiences with fleet ops in sov nullsec warfare.

During my days in Pure Blind as a member of Razor Alliance, fleet ops in general could be described as follows:

* log on
* get into an alpha-strike battleship with exactly THIS fitting
* wait one hour
* undock
* warp to the Titan, approach to 2km
* wait one hour
* bridge, bridge, bridge!
* arrive at enemy POS
* target XYZ, wait 3 .. 2 .. 1 .. FIRE!
* repeat the last step for about one hundred times
* wait for enemy fleet to be destroyed
* load T1 ammo
* target POS
* watch old Futurama episodes for about 60 minutes
* oh, pretty, exploding POS ... not
* take 25 jumps with your fleet mates to return to base
* log off

This one promised to be different. For the Rebels, the event itself was the fun part - being together, having fun, trying to catch some prey - without really caring about the outcome of the night. It took the gang about ten to fifteen minutes to get organized while everybody was getting some beer or wine, and then we were on our way, having fun.

While the roam itself was not very eventful combatwise, it was a refreshing diversion from the fleet ops described above. Any time, guys, and thanks for having me.

Vhala

PS. I had to log into the game for a minute while writing this to copy the exact fitting for the post. While I was doing that I checked d-scan out of habit. Being in Auga right next to Amamake at 20:18 EVE time on a Sunday night, I spotted two Punishers at a faction warfare site.

What happened then came very close to what I experienced in my very first 'real' EVE PvP solo fight described here. My hands are still shaking, and when I close my eyes I can still see the two Punishers and a couple of NPC faction warfare ships hammering at my Vengeance.



It will take me a couple of days to gather my thoughts on this one, but be prepared for a really long and detailed battle report. Hell, that was fun! And no, I won't spoil it by telling you how it ended. I'll just say this: it was fucking close at the end, and good fights were said in local from both sides.

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