Vengeance vs. Mammoth, Drake and Tengu

My fitting:

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 II
1 * Adaptive Nano Plating II

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

The situation:

A couple of days ago Amamake and its surrounding systems were a bit too crowded for my taste, and so I decided to leave my usual hunting grounds for the night and take a trip to Verge Vendor.

On my way there I quickly checked the systems I passed through by warping to a prepared scan spot near the sun and activating the directional scanner. It only took me a few jumps to find some action. Still far away from my destination, a Mammoth appeared on my d-scan the second I had arrived at my scan spot in Iesa. Narrowing the angle of my scanner I was able to place it either at a planet or the orbiting starbase. Or maybe .. the customs office.

By my own experience with PI I knew that the window of opportunity would close very soon - no pilot with half a brain would stay at a low sec customs office longer than necessary. Pre-overheating my scram and my afterburner I initiated my warp drive and warped to zero.

Since my previous attempts to catch PI transports had not been very succesful I was actually a bit excited about this possibility of getting my hands on some processed goods and/or of extracting a small amount of ransom money from the unfortunate pilot. Leaving hyperspace about three or four kilometers away from the hauler, I immediatly pointed him and activated my overheated rocket launchers.

At this point, the following monologue happened inside my brain:

"Burn him down fast, he might have warp-stabs fitted .. don't let him get away!"

"Wait wait, give him time to pay a ransom first."

"Ransom, what ransom? How much would be appropriate?"

"Hm, stupid, he is just next to the customs office, he can just put his entire cargohold there and not lose a dime safe for his ship."

"Oh, he is going down rather fast. Maybe I should ...."

BOOM! He exploded, and as suspected he had managed to dump his entire cargohold into the customs office before his armor gave out. I looted the few modules that had escaped destruction from his wreck and aligned to my safe spot, when a Drake appeared right on top of me.

As I had fought a number of those before I was pretty sure that he would not be able to hurt me. The real question at this point was: can I hurt him? I directed my ship into a comfortable orbit of 3km, put my NOS, my point and my web on him and switched to Mjolnir rockets to deal as much damage as possible to his shield tank.

Likewise, he points and webs me and starts to hit me with kinetic heavy assault missiles. My armor repairer is easily able to repair the amount of damage that actually manages to get past my ~80% resistance, and my only concern at this point is the question whether or not he is alone.

Local does not change, and d-scan shows nothing as well. While we hurl missiles at each other it becomes pretty obvious that this will take a while as his shield levels drop very very slowly.

90%, 85%, 70%. Reload, back to 75%. Damm those passive regeneration Drakes.

70%, 65%, 60%. Reload, back to 65%. I won't have enough ammo if this continues the way it started. And we are not even close to his regen peak.

I overheat. 60%. 58%. 56%. 54%, 52%. Reload again. Heat levels are rising too fast, and I am being forced to alternate between overheated and normal launcher operation.

Nothing works. My rocket launchers approach 90% heat damage, his shields are still holding at over 50%. Leaving orbit, I overheat my web and my afterburner to gain range as fast as possible. 10k, 12km, 14km .. his long point is still preventing me from warping, but I am much faster now. 18km, 20km ... and a Tengu drops out of warp right next to him!

Thinking something along the lines of "oh my god, I waited too long", I constantly hit warp. 23km, 24km, 25km ... warp drive active. And while my little Vengeance leaves the field the Tengu starts to shoot at the Drake :)

Lessons learned:

About the Drake: 162 DPS is not enough to break a passive tanked shield Drake. And I doubt that even with better skills I would have been able to get past his peak recharge rate. The only thing I could do here was to wait as long as possible before starting to overheat to make sure that the extra damage is applied when approaching peak recharge. Since I couldn't even get near that ... well, tough luck.

About the Mammoth: when jumping PI haulers next to a customs office the only thing to do seems to be to burn them down ASAP. The longer it takes the more time they have to realize that they can secure all their cargo inside the customs office.

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