Sitting in my bar in Gusandall station, I have plenty of time to pick up juicy information on new pilots and such. I spied one chap, a new pod pilot for sure but he carried himself with some courage and style. He was making enquiries with a well-known agent. They both sat down, some nods and then he was off. I approached the agent and threw down some coin. The agent swept up the money.
"He's going to tangle with the local Angels in the belts then bolt into the 'plex." Said the agent, his lips barely moving. "He's leaving straight away. Docking bay 7223." He added.
I turned and made my wolf-class assault frigate ready. It was 'Lupen' for a good reason.
Having lost the Jaguar I was left to fly around in this bigger, heavier hitting brute. Am still in two minds over it to be honest. The Jaguar is so much more versatile, it's faster and more fun to fly. The Wolf-class assault frigates are designed with one thing in mind: to shred it's opponents. With it's two medium slots, my options are limited to a warp disruptor and an afterburner. I had to go with ABs as I slapped on a plate into the lows. So 'Lupen' is kinda slow and it was this ship that I chugged out of the station at a stately 212 metres per second.
Snapping on the scanner, I discovered that there was a hawk-class assault frigate and the rifter out in space. The hawk was another pirate - probably sitting in one of the two complexes in Gusandall. Narrowing the scanner down, I discovered that the rifter was not in either complex. He was out towards the IV cluster - and there was only one belt.
I swung the Lupen around and accelerated into space. Confident that I would get a kill. Yarrr!
Pinging the scanner ahead of me ensured that the rifter was ahead of me and indeed, inside the belt. I arrived into the same bit of space and found it 32km from. I quickly gunned the afterburners and gave chase. At 24km, I engaged my lock and then hit the tech 2 warp disruptor.
At 23km I hit the guns and spat out EMP death. Didn't do any damage of course, not from this range.
Then the rifter hit it's own afterburner and burned away from me. He also returned fire and scored credible hits. I tried to get closer and toyed with the idea of over heating my afterburner but the target was moving away from me. He kept on hitting me too, much to my chagrin. My shields dropped down and then I was into armour. 'Lupen' is an armour tanker, as much as any assault frigate can be so I was not too bothered about the damage but it became very obvious that I had no hope in hell in catching the rifter now. I needed to get within 12-13km of my guns then he would be dead. He controlled the range of engangement due to his superior speed.
Cursing, I turned my assault frigate around and jumped to a warp spot and pondered my next move.
I studied his movements and anticipated where the rifter pilot would be, as I jumped to a belt I checked up on the pilot and to my surprise, he was only four-days out of of pod school. Damn, the school must be good or was I being a noob myself?
Anyway, I waited in the belt, shutting down all power except to essential systems and waited. I was at the warp in point to the belt beacon - risky as most pilots would warp in at about 70-100km from a beacon to ensure it is clear. If he landed on me, he would be dead - even is he hit his burners and moved away. I was in the middle of the belt and negotiating his way out around the asteroids would waste precious seconds and enough for my x4 150mm auto canons to scrap his rifter. Also, insta-warping would be difficult due to the likelhood of bumping off the rocks. Using your environment like this is just as important as having the right tools in place. Fighting in belts thus is risky but without a webber in place, I needed all the help I could get.
Minutes ticked by. The rifter was still on scanner. Surely he could see me too?
However, the pilot did not leave the local communications channel so I just had to wait.
In a flash, my overview blinked red as the rifter pilot came screaming in. I checked his range even before he had fully materialised in the belt. 60km and closing. By the time the warp plasma had slipped off is ship and he had materialised into the belt, he was 12km away. I was already flying at full speed at him with all modules on. Closing the distance was the key and knocking him out as quickly as possible the only thing on my mind.
My 150 mm auto canons spun up.
The rifter turned and found a gap between two rotating asteroids and proceeded to move out. He fired a fraction after I did.
His shields went down with a big satisfying drop - EMP based ammunition will do that to you, I thought to myself. My own shields winked down. He was now pulling away from me. At 15km I had him into armour but my damage output was dropping with every metre. I switched to the more armour lethal phased plasma rounds. Due to the range however, I was also considering moving towards carbonised lead or even barrage ammunition.
Come on, come on! I hissed to myself, I over heated my afterburner and there was a kick as my speed jumped up. Red lights begin to flash as the engines started to over cook. I did not care. The prey was there, in front of me and it was dying. At 18km, my EMP rounds took the rifter down to 10% armour but his shields flashed up to 35%.
At 22km, I overheated my warp disruptor as the rifter was now in danger of warping off.
A lucky shot from my star board auto canon clipped the rifter in the back as it was re-aligning. This slowed him down and presented a bigger target. My next salvo punched deep into the rifter's hull and ignited the fuel and ammunition.
It was down.
I tried to lock the pod but the pilot, got away.
He gave me quite a chase and well done to him. We chatted a little after the fight. I collected the remains of his ship and offered it back to him. He told me it was his PvE fit and that he would be back in a more focused PvP fit. Excellent I replied. For a four-day old pilot, he sure knew what he was talking about.
On examining the kill mail - he had equipped the rifter with howitzers and lost a load of skill books too. Oh well - it just goes to show that a rifter with a determined pilot is deadly and even in a Wolf; I was in danger of losing the fight.
Well done Brundan and hope to see you soon! A most excellent contest.
After Hours 20: Alan Mathison - After Hours Episode 20 with Alan Mathison is now available HERE. We discuss all things Exoplantary in perhaps the nerdiest After Hours so far. Project Di...
5 days ago