Thought I'd spruce things up with pictures! As the first image to grace the pages of Chasing the Blue Flash what else could I pose than my favourite hull in the game; The Rifter.
After last nights success I spent much of today out roaming solo and an hour or so roaming with members of my corp and Tawa, who after last nights events looks like is going to become a good PvP partner in crime. A great deal of the roam was chasing down pilots who didn't want to be caught and I spent a lot of time bouncing around asteroid belts until I either got bored of trying to intercept them or they docked up.
Before long a Tristan appeared on scan and I quickly pinned it down to one of the FW plexes. I warped to the acceleration gate and checked again to make sure my potential victim was there. I mused for a few seconds as to which ammo I should use and the debate came down to Barrage and RF Fusion. I knew the Fusion would be good because I know Tristans are generally armour tanked but I also know that blasters would obliterate me if I got too close. Loading Barrage I prepared to kite my enemy to death.
I landed almost right on top of the Tristan and in doing so forgot about checking the pilot info as I hastily locked onto the frigate and activated my scram, web, afterburner and guns. Noticing my shields immediately start begin taking a pounding from the blasters I overloaded my prop mod in an effort to get out of the death zone. After I'd got around 9km I immediately piloted around before starting a healthy orbit of around 8km. It soon became apparent that this was a dps race as both of us were smashing each others ships to bits. One thing I did notice is that I had to work to keep my range. I was constantly manually piloting away from the Tristan when it got too close for comfort and then restarting my orbit and had to make good use of overheating my afterburner to keep the range as the blasters were doing horrific damage when up close. I pulsed my repper with what I thought was good cap management and when my opponent entered structure I was down to around 30% armour. A few good bursts later and I was down to 3% armour and very little cap. The Tristan however was a smoking pile of steel and wires.
Victim: Etuura Zellis
Corp: The Tuskers
System: Old Man Star
Damage Taken: 3173
Name: Cable Udan (laid the final blow)
Corp: Kagan-Kincaid Enterprises
Alliance: Subspace Exploration Agency
Weapon: 200mm AutoCannon II
Damage Done: 3173
Caldari Navy Foxfire Rocket, Qty: 42
Small Armor Repairer II
Caldari Navy Thorn Rocket, Qty: 200 (Cargo)
Small Hybrid Ambit Extension I
Small Hybrid Burst Aerator I
Small Ancillary Current Router I
Rocket Launcher II, Qty: 2
Light Ion Blaster II, Qty: 2
Null S, Qty: 238
'Langour' Drive Disruptor I
J5b Phased Prototype Warp Scrambler I
Cold-Gas I Arcjet Thrusters
200mm Reinforced Rolled Tungsten Plates I
Damage Control II
Caldari Navy Gremlin Rocket, Qty: 200 (Cargo)
Caldari Navy Antimatter Charge S, Qty: 361 (Cargo)
Caldari Navy Foxfire Rocket, Qty: 100 (Cargo)
Caldari Navy Phalanx Rocket, Qty: 200 (Cargo)
Null S, Qty: 180 (Cargo)
I offered a gf in local and the pilot returned one. It was then I noticed one, tiny little thing that made my hands shake a thousand times harder than the adrenaline rush from the fight.
What? Have I just popped a Tusker?
I couldn't believe it. I hold the Tuskers in very high regard. Since before I got into PvP I'd heard about them being one of the best pirate corps in New Eden and whenever I'd seen any in local I made extra effort to fly out of their way because I knew to sit among their ranks you had to be a decent PvP pilot. And I unknowingly won against one! Etuura then opened a chat window and expressed praise at how I'd kept her at range for a large portion of the fight and we discussed the skirmish in detail before both agreeing that it was a close and excellent battle. Going our separate ways we bid each other to fly dangerous and that we looked forward to facing each other in the future.
Little did I know how soon the next encounter would be...
I spent some more time roaming around, still riding the high of killing a Tusker but there was little in the way of potential targets. A short while later Tawa were both roaming around the Adirain system and we came across two players of around the same age as I in a Catalyst and an Incursus. Tawa made it his mission to pin down the Catalyst and show him the fury of his autocannons and I thought I'd give it a try as well. As I pinned the destroyer down to a single belt Tawa announced in convo that he had him and as I landed in the belt I saw him furiously orbiting the Catalyst. For the briefest of moment the idea of engaging the pair of them flitted across my mind but was almost instantly dispelled. Tawa is a cool guy and it wouldn't be honourable. If it were two randoms whom I'm just stumbled in on then I'd have no qualms about sending them both to the clone vat. I warped out letting him take his kill in peace and set my sights on the Incursus.
To cut a long and probably quite boring story short, I didn't get him. Three times I got within scram range but was just milliseconds too late with the lock before he warped away. I must have followed him to every single asteroid belt in the Adirain system before Tawa excitedly reported a Caracal in another belt. By now we'd fleeted up to chase down this Incursus so I punched in his location and warped in on him. Unfortunately there's no cruiser killmail here tonight and Tawa was raging about it slipping from his grasp. He only just got out of scram range and hastily warped as I was warping in, much to my allies chagrin.
It was around this time that a corp lowsec roam was about to begin. The corp I'm in is very much a PvE entity who specialise in mining, industry and manufacture and all that boring shit. However I was taken on as security for when they do lowsec mining operations and to kill can flippers and stuff and it's been alright so far. I think at some point I'd like to move on and join a dedicated
Whilst waiting for our fleet to arrive in system I noticed that the pilot of the Catalyst that Tawa had obliterated earlier on was back on scan. We split up in search of it and before long Tawa informed me that he had a point and to warp in. I arrived on scene to find most of the work done but I spun my guns up anyway and the pilot was once again put in his pod.
Our fleet consisted of six including myself and the others were starting off in Lisbaetanne. Rather than Tawa and I jump through to them it was decided that we'd hang around in Adirain looking for targets and they'd meet us in system, as local showed various targets of opportunity. This is where I started losing ships because I was lazy with my skills and drills. Once our merry band of warriors had grouped up in a safe spot we began scanning targets down. And there were a lot of targets. Tawa called out that he had a Coercer scrammed and I immediately warped in finding my target had already lost his shields and was down to 2/3 armour. I engaged my own modules and quickly ended the destroyer. I didn't get the final blow however and as of yet don't have the killmail to show for it.
A moment of absolute hilarity occurred at this point. Seeing that the pilot of the Coercer was in no hurry to get his pod out of harms way I pointed it and offered a gentle sum of 20mil in local. Smirking to myself I expected my wallet to flash within moments of payment being delivered. Only it didn't happen. I kind of glazed over the fact that once I'd popped his ship my Rifter had ground to a halt, having nothing to orbit. I watched in complete embarrassment as the pod slowboated out of scram range and warped away. Kicking myself for being so inept I warped back to a safe spot, swearing all the way.
Beginning the search anew various Rifters and Comets lit up our scan screens as well as a few other targets. I pinned a Rifter down to a belt and warped in on Kirith Darkblade, another of the fabled Tuskers. I got a point on him and we both opened up on each other. It was apparent from the very first volley who the victor of this fight was going to be. I settled into orbit and began overheating my modules whilst unleashing as much damage as I could on him, before calling in for backup over comms as I knew I was fighting a losing battle.
Reinforcements came in too late however. Kirith's Rifter was approaching very low armour as my Rifter asploded. As my fleet arrived on scene the lack of point meant Kirith could warp away at his leisure, which he rightly did.
With my next two losses I have nothing much to say about them other than gf. The first was my own fault for warping into the wrong belt and despite arriving 30km off centre one of them managed to get a point on me and Etuura got her sweet revenge. The second loss occurred when a fleetmate called out a point on a Rifter over comms. I hit the warp button instinctively only for him to announce that it was a trap and to not warp in. It was too late however and I landed amongst a group of flashy reds and lost my ship quickly.
My final loss wasn't quite so bad and even though I felt bad about losing the guys in fleet reassured me that it wasn't a bad loss at all. I left the gang in Adirain whilst I scouted out Aeschee for any decent targets. An Incursus and Dramiel came up on scan and I began pinning the Gallente frigate down. I soon had him locked to a single belt and warped in. I landed about 30km off and began burning towards my prey. He seemed game for a fight and didn't warp away. I'd planned to operate during this skirmish how I did against the Tristan. Kite at distance to avoid the blasters and win. That was it!
It wasn't to be though. I overshot my target and at a range of only a few km his blasters ate easily through my shields. I managed to get to range and began unleashing 150mm shells in his general direction. At one point I thought the fight was turning in my favour as the incoming damage seemed to be mitigated greatly by my armour repper whilst I was still munching through his armour. Unfortunately the Hobgoblin II changed all of that. As is usually the case, as the Incursus was going into structure my Rifter went bang and I found myself sitting naked in my egg.
Gfs were exchanged and I limped back to my home station to recuperate.
What have I learnt from todays PvP? I can safely make the analogy that Tuskers are like King Xerxes and that they certainly can bleed! I won't hesitate to go toe to toe with one next time I come across one. My skills also get very sloppy when I'm in a fleet. I seemed to get into the mindset that I didn't need to be as focussed on my module management etc because if something went wrong then I'd have my fleetmates to back me up. Unfortunately that proved to be my downfall against Kirith Darkblade. If I'd gone into the fight knowing I was flying solo and had no reinforcements to call on then the outcome might have been different.
To conclude, I'm not really bothered a lost a handful of ships tonight. I've had a great afternoon/evening pew pewing and to say I've had a few victories in the past 24 hours I'm very happy indeed.