Sunday Slaughter

My daily Eve experience began today with an invitation from a couple Mavericks in low-sec to join an existing gang. They had scored a decent kill or two, but narrowly missed destroying TWO station-hugging faction battleships.

I was informed that, had I been there to add my DPS they would surely have scored two excellent kills. Truthfully, I don’t deny that is likely the case, but we can’t really know that for sure. If they had seen another Maverick in local, maybe they wouldn’t have engaged at all.

We decided to change things up and go for a roam. I choose to lead the gang from the Domain  region to neighboring Kor-Azor, where I regularly find good targets.

My ship of choice for this roam was an Ishkur, which some might consider unusual in low-sec. However, I feel the events that followed my ship selection will demonstrate the strength of an Assault Frigate used in the right situations.

Things started out in the side-system of Aldali, which is tucked away between two high-sec gates. I tackled and nearly soloed a care-bear harbinger, who offered a random at one point. I called the gang in when he was low on armor, but I could have easily picked up a solo kill here. It would simply have been rude to the gang to do so, however, and I decided against being selfish.

We next passed Ami, a notorious system for low-sec PvP, but no one wanted to play. We nearly caught a solo -A-Megathron, but he was exceptionally lucky and a mis-communication caused two of us to cross-jump him… oops!

Heading through high-sec, we entered a loop of low-sec systems including Rammi, where we destroyed a seemingly-AFK harbinger on a gate. In the next system, I narrowly missed an anomaly-runner and a ratter.

Heading back towards Domain, we finally encountered another gang. Their composition was Drake, Gila and Armageddon. After attempting to get them to aggress me on-gate, I warped off and back to 70km where I defiantly aligned to a celestial that was slightly aligned to the gate. As I closed a few kilometers to the gate, I got the reaction I wanted: the drake was moving for me with his propulsion mod active!

Keeping my head about me, I waited for the drake to point me before doing anything hostile. As the drake went flashy, gate guns began to zap him and I finally made my move. I set a close orbit, activated my afterburner to reduce missile damage and scrambled the battle-cruiser. I launched drones and began chipping away at his shields with my blasters. Whenever he launched light drones, I would primary them immediately and he would recall them. I managed to pop 3 drones before he gave up on using them. At this stage my tank was holding easily and the drake was down to half-shields.

Then I got what I really wanted, the Gila. He had caught up to the drake and I immediately switched my tackle over to the faction cruiser. My backup was called-in at this point (2 close range BS and 1 Drake) and I only had to last a limited amount of time at this point to ensure some quality kills.

The Gila’s dps was a concern for me. Damage-boosted light drones could cause me serious harm (especially if the drake also deployed his remaining drones) and the potential missile damage was not easy to overlook.

However, this Gila made the WORST possible choices in this engagement. At less than 3km range from me, he deployed Wardens, the longest-range sentry drone with horrible tracking in close quarters. These are also kinetic-based (being Caldari) and my Gallente AF has excellent kinetic resists. That’s to say nothing of the radial velocity issues at that range with sentries firing upon an AB-fit AF.

With my gang landing, the drake was pointed and we primaried the Gila, who could not last long against our combined DPS. By this point, we were very comfortable. The Geddon who joined the fight late brought a full rack of heavy neuts, but it wasn’t enough to keep him from being tackled. There were simply too many of us and most of us had cap-injectors fit. The Drake warped off-field shortly after the Geddon went down.

In the next system, I narrowly missed a Vigilant. Two faction cruisers back-to-back would have been pretty sweet.

We then traveled back to Domain where we all took a break to attend to various real-life issues. However, the day was far from over.

I went out solo in an Ishtar about an hour after we had disbanded the fleet. Passing through various systems, I continually came up empty-handed, so I took my frustration out on a t1 hauler. I repeated the same boat violence on a helpless cyno-frig. These two kills were really more trouble than they were worth. CCP needs to consider a 5-minute GCC timer to reduce downtime between low-sec engagements.

Passing again through a system we had previously visited, I scanned down a lone Ishtar at a planet. Based on the fit I had, I felt very confident in a Ishtar v. Ishtar duel. While I knew it would be tough if he was fit with a good tank, I have spent so much time fitting and flying Ishtars that I was 100% confident there was no fit he could have that would be better than mine in this situation.

During the fight, he offered a 50-mil ransom, but refused to pay it up-front. Preferring a nice solo kill to a dubious offer of isk, I finished the Ishtar in what turned out to be a somewhat-close fight.

I was at around 40% armor when he exploded, which was better than most can do against my “Happy Boat” of infamy. The problem was that he had gone overboard compensating for his explosive resist hole, and I had chosen to use Berserkers (heavy explosive drones) in our duel. However, due to the natural thermal resist on the Ishtar, I don’t think Ogres would necessarily have been much better.

Upon my return to Domain, I switched to a close-range Megathron and teamed up with Casebolt (Harbinger). I would have preferred another BS for a wing-man, but our logistics support were not able to deliver one for him until later in the day. While re-shipping, Casebolt shrieked on voice-comms that he had just missed tackling an Orca.

We burned in pursuit of the loot-pinata but narrowly missed him on two gates in a row before he warped off to a station. If I were already in space or if Casebolt had warped sooner, we would surely pinned the whale like a Japanese fisherman. However, Casebolt had landed late on the gate as the Orca was nearly at full-speed and – in his haste – forgot to activate a sensor booster that would have given him that second-faster lock time he needed.

We decided to camp the Orca pilot in the “kick-out” station where he had docked. Outside a neutral harbinger toyed with us. Our desire to leave system was mounting when the Orca pilot undocked in… a wolf. Having both fit webs and scrams, I decided to put our tackle to good use. With the pilot mashing his “stop ship” command and our dual-webs, he was a sitting duck for us with zero transversal.

By flagging on station, we drew some attention. Local increased in size but no one interfered as we looted the field and Casebolt warped-off. Hungry for more kills, I decided to dock and see how the situation developed. Suffices to say, no one wanted to fight me. I tried hard to get shot at and even dropped a few cans, but no one wanted to fight at that moment.

Casebolt and I went back to our staging system when a random neutral convo’d me requesting a 1v1 back in Mamet, where we had chased the Orca and destroyed its pilot in his Wolf. Fearing a trap, I declined. He insisted that he wanted to challenge my harbinger with his Zealot, which was when I directed him to Casebolt, as I was not the pilot of the ship he wanted to fight. This was the first time I began to think this guy might not be much of a danger to us.

Casebolt accepted his duel request and jumped himself into Biphi alone to await his opponent.  At the same time, I formed up with two corp-mates (Agro and Perseus) to form a “duel dishonor response squad” for the foul-play I expected. However, due to bizarre behavior by Casebolt’s opponent, we were never needed.

The guy dueling Casebolt insisted he be allowed to choose his warp-in, and when he landed it was at-range with a beam fit. Case warped-off and re-warped to the Zealot at zero, which sent the Zealot running back to Mamet. Needless to say, both parties abandoned the idea of dueling at this point feeling the other was “cheating” in some way.

We brought our gang to follow him and found the previous pilot of the aforementioned Wolf on the Biphi gate in a Drake. He was likely there to support his friend if we dis-honored the duel. Orbiting off-gate at 15-20 km range, we had no difficulty destroying the Drake before it could re-approach the gate.

With a small but skilled gang, we deciding to throw our weight around in the area a bit. I roamed around looking for ratters or willing opponents when I was engaged by an inexperienced pilot. I made quick-work of his Imperial Navy Sliver and mocked him in local when he started babbling about a mysterious problem with his micro-warp drive once he entered scram-range of my ship. Whatever could have caused such a disastrous malfunction!

At this point we were all fairly tired and looking to head home soon. We had set our sights on a quick visit to Kheram before packing it in for the night when Casebolt and I caught a dominix 10km off the Valmu gate. Auto-piloting in low-sec is bad kids. He was clearly not AFK from the way he fought back, but he never had a chance against the two of us, even with sentries on his side.

This killing spree reminded me of the golden days of -MVN- Piracy in low-sec. While I wouldn’t want to give up our 0.0 home and roaming ops, it’s sure nice to return to our roots occasionally.

Here is a summary of my kills for the day (over a 9 hour period) —

You can see the gaps in time where we took breaks, but I still averaged more than 1 kill per hour, including two faction kills. We were active about half of that time and would have had even more mails if we hadn’t made a few errors. Still, any day with multiple kills and zero losses is a good day.

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2 Responses to “Sunday Slaughter”

  1. Zalia Tahlael Says:

    Awesome stuff, and a great read! Please post more frequently!

    In my opinion, all the frigate sized ships that are able to field drones are just way more versatile than any other assault frig or frigate. Ishkur and the Dramiel are the two that I know of.

  2. Thanks for the compliment!

    I’ll be blogging new material as soon as I’m able to get some game-time in.

    These days my time is limited almost exclusively to weekends and last week I didn’t get a chance.

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