Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Stormy May Day

April is done and dusted and was by far my best month yet! Here's a quick summary of the month:

Kills: 55 (0.99B)
Losses: 19 (0.32B)
Efficiency: 75.27%

Essence has been kind and I had a lot of fun shooting noobs with a few good fights in between. On the first of May however, I found myself in Minmatar space. Dal to be exact. It was two days after killing the Vengeance and I was determined to get another kill in the Wolf.

I found a few faction warfare pilots on my roam, all of which ran at the sight of my mighty Wolf. I decided to try and camp the warfare plex, hoping to prey on unsuspecting pilots that warp in. I was barely there when I noticed a Stabber Fleet Issue on scan. There was no celestials on d-scan so I figured it was going to land in the plex. I had little time and was desperately trying to answer a simple question: "Fight or flight?"

An SFI is very fast, so it would be kiting I figured. Bare in mind that I had, and still don't have, any solid info on SFI's. So I figured if it landed on top of me I could shoot it down up close. My decision was made, if it lands close to me, fight. Long distance from me though and I'll be warping to a pre-aligned celestial.

It landed close enough and I immediately locked up and activated my pre-heated modules. He responded by activating his modules too and launched a fleet of drones. Webbed to a standstill and being torn apart by medium AC’s and Warrior II's, I realized in dismay that "flight" was the better option. Needless to say, my Wolf didn't make it.

The next day I jumped back into my clone in Essence. There I had some luck, together with Sorn, ganking a noob who wandered into low sec. I was looking for something a little more thrilling though, and soon found what I was looking for in the form of an Ishkur. I warped with my Malediction and engaged the Ishkur. After the fight, I realized that I could easily have run away. This was something I rarely thought of in the heat of battle and could've saved me a lot of ships in the past. Definitely something to work on.

After that loss I decided to jump back into the good ol' Rifter. I headed into Tusker turf, and asked for a 1v1. Abellona accepted my challenge and soon we battled. It soon became very apparent that she was kiting. I didn't even get a shot off before I got popped. I was in scramble and web range for a brief moment in the beginning of that fight but I forgot to lock on to my opponent and missed the chance to get close and personal. This too is something to work on as I find myself locking on way too late in a fight. Abellona, being an honourable pirate and all, said she felt dishonorable for kiting in an arranged fight. I told her that it was all good, but soon she asked me to dock and gave me a fitted Rifter. Not one to turn away a free ship I accepted and went on my way.

After a few more noob killings in that Rifter, I headed back to Heild. There I hopped into a Rifter and went out looking for a fight. Sid Afraldir, a corp mate, reported that he saw a Drake ratting in his system but needed more DPS to take down its beastly shields as he was only flying a Rifter himself. I was the only one close and responded to the call, hoping for a fail fit on the Drake. On my way over he reported that the Drake docked. Soon after he saw an Incursus in system too, and as I arrived at the neighbouring system, he called point on the Drake. I hurried over, but as I was warping to Sid's location he died thanks to the Drake and Incursus teaming up. I landed on station with them and Sid's wreck. I locked up. They did the same, but didn't engage. I grabbed Sid's loot and warped to the sun.

The Drake landed and I started an orbit that would keep my speed high as to avoid missile damage. The I started working on the drones. I dispersed three Hobgoblin II's and was working on the fourth when the Incursus landed. Here is the point where I made my biggest mistake. Instead of dropping aggression on the drone and immediately working on the Incursus, I tried to finish off the drone first. The Incursus was webbing me and hitting the drone became tough. The Drake's missiles started hitting hard, along with the blaster assault of the Incursus. The fourth drone went down and I immediately engaged the Incursus. By now my armour buffer was getting thin and I was racing to at least kill the Incursus. It was low in armour, but my Rifter finally gave in to their battering.

I left that fight with a big smile on my face. That was the type of fights to be losing. My mind was racing with the "what if's" and "I coulda's." The big question was whether I could have relieved the Drake pilot of his drones if I had killed the Incursus. It wasn't doing much damage with its missiles before I got webbed and if I survived the drone fleet, could I have taken the tank on the Drake? Not if it was well fitted, but you never know. I docked and got into another Rifter, but I didn't find anything else that night.

The next day I teamed up with Sorn. We both wanted to try out our Hurricanes, and decided it would be best if we teamed up and had a little roam. Judge Sarn also joined us a little later but our roam ended back in Heild without us finding anything.

Then, after some discussions about ship fittings, me and Judge traded. I gave him my Jaguar for his Wolf. Once I had the Wolf fitted I decided it was time to get it a kill. Me and Judge was warping around the system chasing stuff, until I found a Vexor at the local plex. I engaged, but knew he had a fleet in system. I was hoping to get rid of the Vexor before they warped in. Judge, knowing about the fleet was hesitant to warp in, and I also recommended him not to. The fight went horribly wrong as I hit his armour and wasn't able to dent it at all. As I got destroyed, Peri Simone, another rebel, landed and engaged. This too ended in a loss to him and then Judge, probably after taking another shot of whiskey, valiantly charged at the Vexor, with Sorn also on his way in his Hurricane. I docked, grabbed the only thing I had fitted, a Rifter, and hurried back to the plex. Judge went down. I landed and saw Sorn shooting at the Vexor with more success than us. I also engaged but then the Vexor's fleet dropped. Sorn's ECM drones kicked in just in time for him to make his escape. Then my little Rifter got raped.

It was only after the fight that I remembered that the Vexor pilot had a linky alt in a Legion in system. Ugh, I hate those, but all's fair I guess.

After that me and Judge had a little Rifter showdown. Judge in his shield fit and me in my armour buffer fit. Thinking he'd try and get range on me, I switched to Barrage mid-fight. That was probably the worst thing I could have done and Judge came out the victor. We docked up and headed straight for the pub. With a whiskey in his hand and a brandy in mine, we discussed fittings and strategies for our favourite ship, the Rifter. As I passed out on my bed I remember wondering if May would stop kicking my ass soon...


  1. In my experience, competent SFIs are almost always either armour buffer or dual armour rep and carry either at least one web or dual propulsion (sometimes both). With dual 180s and a tracking bonus, they're pretty great close range brawlers.

    As an opponent, think of it more like an armour rupture or armour cane (but without neuts), rather than like a stabber or vagabond.

    1. Thanks for the info!

      What bothered me most about that fight was the way that my Wolf was completely overpowered. I figured I'd lose the fight, but I at least expected giving him a hard time.

  2. More posts please Yuzuki!