21 Jul 2008

Mr Vash and dangerous, solo tackles...

[18:00:45] Maximus Vash > fresh come on out

[18:01:00] Maximus Vash > big bad brave destroyer killer

Oh yes, it appeared that I had angered this pilot by killing (ok, overkilling) his destroyer in my maelstrom. I was after his typhoon but the big maelstrom arrived too late to make the tackle. So I sat there hoping that Max would come back either in his typhoon or something else.

It was something else and I popped it with the help of a friend in a taranis. I am a pirate and I collect loot and stuff and I know full well the ups and downs of New Eden to be picky over kills. Pity we didn't pod him. To his credit Max has a very good Typhoon tank.

I was out when Max came looking for me. I know where he is and will see him soon, on my terms, of course. When I came back, Max was gone and I called it a night.

A dangerous solo tackle

The next day, looking out at the vastness of space, I was excited by the plans that the main pirate corporations had for the local area. Faction warfare had arrived, the four Empires were now starting to tear into other and many pod pilots had aligned themselves with one of the four Empires. Did not matter to me one jot but it did mean more potential victims.

Tonight however, it was quiet and there was only three pirates from The Bastards out roaming. No one from Black-Flag or any other. I pinged a message to them and found out that they were out hunting. Little did I realise that within an hour of my hurricane battle cruiser undocking from Gusandall, that it would end in a fiery demise.

The internal communication between myself and The Bastards was limited: my ship was being refitted with a new communication unit and until it was fitted in, I could only listen and relied on the most simple of out-going communication system available: morse. This disability would add to my woes.

There was new intelligence that The Bastards had spotted some potential prey. I moved closer to the Ofstold gate in Todifrauan and announced to my fleet mates that I would be hiding at the gate. This brought a lot of guffaws but I was quite serious. They were hunting a helios and drake. I knew that Xray Commander was the Drake pilot.

There was a flash as the star gate activated for incoming traffic. I tapped out in morse to RoninData and his mates.

+GATE FIRE. GOING TO TACKLE WHATEVER IS COMING THROUGH+

I checked the local communication channel, all pod pilots automatically register with it when they appear in a new system. I saw it was Xray and his ship de-cloaked about 22km from me. Tackling a drake solo under gate fire isn't ideal. The hurricane is a fantastic ship, it's strength is an ability to hit hard and fast, relying on it's passive shield buffer to make it out in one piece. A drake, with one of the most fearsome shield systems of any ship in New Eden would prove to be challenge for me but it was the gate guns that would worry me more.

What the hell.

+POINTED+

I tapped out to RoninData as red klaxons sang out in warning responding to the automated gate guns now firing at me after the illegal weapons discharge on my part. Low-sec combat is always so complicated!

“SHIT! OK, everyone warp to Flash! Warp to Flash!” Yelled RoninData. There wasn't much Ronin could do as he was in a small frigate and it would be shredded by a single volley from the robotic sentry guns.

“Roger, switching ships now – be there in 35 seconds, keep him pointed buddy.” Said VB Sarge. Thirty Five seconds is a life time in New Eden combat. An absolute lifetime.

My shields started to flash down, the gate guns have been tuned to deliver explosive, kinetic, electromagnetic and thermal damage – no amount of resistance tuning could combat this. I needed an active shield system or very fast shield recharge to overcome this. I had neither and had to hold on long enough to deliver a knock out. The drakes shield started it's slow count down. I was already into armour but Caldari-built ships are well known to be tough on the outside with nothing inside. As soon as his shield systems were shut down – my guns would shred his armour. A bit like what the gate guns were doing to my armour actually.

“Captain, we're detecting system failure along the primary armour plating and small hull breaches along decks 2 to 7.” Reported back my Executive officer. I did not need him to tell me, my own nervous system was part of the ship and I knew full well the damage that the hurricane was taking. The drake was going down but the gate guns were shredding my hurricane faster than I had anticipated.

+BASTARDS. FLASHFRESH IS GOING DOWN. REPEAT: FLASHFRESH IS GOING DOWN+

“On my way. Keep the point on the drake!” Said VB Sarge, roaring his way towards my position. I maintained the point but was now shifting the hurricane towards a safe spot.

+ROGER THAT. ALIGNING TO GET OUT+

I had time. I think.

The drake was not static throughout this fight, it was moving towards the gate and then moving away, peppering me with missiles. The damage output of most missile ships is low, the drake being typical. VB Sarge was counting down to his warp exit.

“FECK! Where is he, negative on scan no drake, no hurricane, no........ Am a retard. Warped to the wrong gate!” Wailed VB Sarge.

This was not good. I could run, hit the micro warp drive and get some range then engage the warp drives or I could hold on, keep the drakes warp engines offline and wait for VB and Ronin and others to get over here. The drake was smelling blood, my blood and it was doubtful he would leave. Since he had not disengaged, he was still firing at me – thus he would be unable to jump until his weapons had 'cooled' off and bled off the excess energies that would normally disrupt the star gate drives themselves. However, he could warp out to another point within the system.

+RE-ENGAGING. MAINTAINING POINT+

My armour was flashing off into space, fiery chunks glittering away.

“All crew. Prepare to abandon ship.” I closed my eyes, an unnecessary unconscious decision for a plugged in pod pilot like myself, and bade my ship, 'FDZ' a farewell.

“We're on our way. Sorry Flash. We're almost there.”

There was a flash and a momentary dis-orientation as I was violently ejected from the hull of my ship. The rest of my crew were already in their escape launches, pre-programmed with the destination. We would be re-united in a new ship soon.

+FLASH IS DOWN. FLASH IS DOWN. GET THE DRAKE FOR ME. HIS SHIELD SYSTEMS WILL BE CLOSE TO EXHAUSTED+

The drake did not re-engage the backup and managed to escape our clutches.

What did I learn that I did not know already?

I should have released my drones – they would have given me precious seconds as the dumb gate guns, powerful as they are, would have split the fire between my hurricane and the five deployed drones. Stupid really, but backup was in-system. Still, my fault – and it's a useful lesson for me. One is only as good as your last fight.

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1 comment:

Ignemiati said...

Those darn pesky gate guns.....you almost had the kill had a couple things gone in your favor, like the backup warping to the correct location the first time. Overall, thanks for sharing, good insight, good story.