Friday, 18 March 2011

Punisher 13

The fit:

3 Gatling Pulse Laser II (Navy Multifrequency & Scorch)
5W Infectious Power Malfunction

Cold-gas Arcjet Thrusters
J5b Phased Prototype Warp Inhibitor

Small I-a Polarized Armor Regenerator
Adaptive Nano Plating II
Damage Control II
200mm Rolled Tungsten

The hunt:

I was out and about looking for a fight when I encountered a Rifter in Rens. I've been heading to Rens whenever I want a fight but don't have the time to properly devote to a low sec roam. It has not let me down yet.

He challenged me, and I flipped his can. I had fought Rifters before, but this fight was very different.

He started by zooming away from me, which told me right away that he was going to try and kite me. He got out to about 12km and started pounding on me with artillery, but then he suddenly warped away.

Surprised, since I was pretty sure the fight was his for the taking, I docked up. He convo'd me a minute or so later, and told me that he had suffered a disconnect. Did I want to continue?

I knew that this was a losing fight, but I thought that the experience of trying to fight a kiting Rifter was worth the cost of the ship, so I agreed.

This time we warped to a planet first, as I wanted to make the most of my experience, and I would be better able to see what was happening if the overview was less cluttered.

The second round began much the same way as the first. I couldn't catch him, even with overheated afterburners, so I began examining the combat log.

He was hitting me for about 220 a volley, roughly every 8 seconds. I managed to rep that for a long time, but ultimately he broke my tank. It's not that I ran out of cap, exactly, but having to pulse my repper to avoid capping out certainly did not help. Even so, it was one of the slowest kills I've seen, but as he was completely beyond my reach the entire fight, he had all the time he needed.

His speed was very interesting, as he often sat at 0m/s, 300m/s and 1300m/s. I'm guessing that's full stop, normal speed, and prop mod activated. 1300m/s is possible for some ships with an afterburner, so I would guess that is what he was using, as it would present a lower cap burden (especially with the long point). Still, the fact he pulsed it so much could also have meant it was a mwd. His favoured range was 14km, but he clearly had some flexibility when it came to range.

Eventually, he broke my tank, and I received the lossmail.

Victim: Taurean Eltanin
Corp: Strategic Conflicts Incorporated
Alliance: Unknown
Faction: Unknown
Destroyed: Punisher
System: Rens
Security: 0.9
Damage Taken: 4012

Involved parties:

Name: Major Thrasher (laid the final blow)
Security: -0.5
Corp: Angry Bipeds
Alliance: Guinea Pigs
Faction: NONE
Ship: Rifter
Weapon: 280mm Howitzer Artillery II
Damage Done: 4012

Destroyed items:

Gatling Pulse Laser II, Qty: 2
Fusion S (Cargo)
200mm Reinforced Rolled Tungsten Plates I
Adaptive Nano Plating II
Small I-a Polarized Armor Regenerator
Imperial Navy Multifrequency S, Qty: 2 (Cargo)
Proton S (Cargo)
Republic Fleet Phased Plasma S (Cargo)
Scorch S
J5b Phased Prototype Warp Scrambler I

Dropped items:

Gatling Pulse Laser II
Cold-Gas I Arcjet Thrusters
Phased Plasma S (Cargo)
Imperial Navy Multifrequency S (Cargo)
E5 Prototype Energy Vampire
Damage Control II
Scorch S, Qty: 2

Post battle review:

We started chatting after our fight, and I congratulated him on his piloting, and his fit, which totally took me apart. It turns out that this guy makes his living doing 1v1. He experiments with fits, trying to keep his profitablity up. I liked his attitude, and we agreed that we would have to have a rematch at some point.

Despite my attempts to catch him, and to zig and zag my way closer, this fight was always his for the taking. While some ships can comfort themselves that if they had landed at zero they could have webbed him and won, the truth is that the Punisher does not have that option.

I ran some EFT tests after the battle, and I found that even with maxed skills and rigs, I could only get DLP 2 out to about 15km. He could simply move out beyond that, and keep pouring on the dps. Given that I could not catch him or outrange him (without destroying my build for close range combat), I took a look at tanking him indefinitly.

Small Armor Repair System II reps 80 hp over 4.5 seconds with max skills. That's 17.7 hp/s before overheat. I was taking (very roughly) 27.5 dps. In order to rep that indefinitely I would need to bring my resists up much higher than I believe is possible with a T1 ship. I looked at dual reps, but that would require me to drop resists, and I can't find a way to make it cap stable.

All told, it looks like a fight that the Punisher simply can't win, unless I was to adopt my own long range build. That's actually a thought that I find quite interesting, but I suspect that the Punisher is simply too slow (even when rigged for speed) to pull that off effectively.

Lessons for the future:

There are some fights that simply can't be won. That being said, the EFT review was helpful, and after I get my gunnery skills up, I need to work on my tanking skills; I suspect I will do far better against cruisers if I can permatank the inevitable Warrior IIs.


  1. you obviously used gatling not dual light pulse

    and for armor tanking, look at these:

    and on another note:
    if you can fit it, lose the Adaptive Nano Plating II and use a heatsink instead, its more efficent

  2. You are right about the gatlings; it even says that it the lossmail. I just cut and paste the wrong fit. That's been corrected.

    I'm not sure that I'm ready to try boosters yet, but I will try the Heat Sink at some point. I'm not sure that it is always more efficient, and it certainly hurts my repper efficiency, but it's worth testing.

  3. I had something similar happen when I used the punisher, its one of the main issues with the ship. Its slow and only has two mids.

    The fact that his speed kept changing makes me think he was using the keep at range button, have you tried the burning away and then turning around when he starts to follow so that you can catch him with your scram.

  4. Adding to my previous post, my alt hangs around the Rens area alot if you fancy a 1v1

  5. I'm certain that he was AB fit. Even a 400mm plated Rifter exceeds speeds of 2000m/s. As Korg suggested, he was likely using "Keep at Range" with the AB active, likely 2 or 3 overdrives in the lows.

    The thing about fighting a range fit, even with the manual turning around to catch him, it's exceedingly difficult in even a Rifter, and I don't know that the Punisher could mange it. If on the other hand your mids were MWD and Warp Disruptor, You could definitely have gotten him.

    I was actually able to fit MWD and Disruptor (3 gatling Pulse Laser II's, but straight 200mm buffer tank), but it required engineering 4 and electronics 4 as it uses up most CPU and all PG.

  6. Oh, on another note, I don't understand how a heatsink is more efficient than an armor resistance mod. The both do entirely different things, but the heatsink only helps if you can actually hit the target, wheras the resistance is helpful in any situation you are being shot and uses nothing except a slot and 1 PG.

    It just occurred to me that you don't rig your Punishers. In order to handle escaping/kiting enemies, you need longer range on your guns right? Would it be feasible for you to attach some optimal range extension rigs for your punisher? This will depend largely on leftover powergrid, and perhaps on cost as well, but it may bear looking into. Give it a shot on EFT just to see if you can and how well it'll work, and if the cost isn't bad, it might be worth trying.

  7. As others have pointed out, he was AB fit and using Keep at Range. In fact, he was AB fit with an Overdrive and 2 Polycarb rigs according to recent losses on Battleclinic. This is one of those times where I'll point at that an Autocannon Punisher would have faired much better during the engagement. With Barrage at 13km you'd still be doing ~10Dps, which doesn't sound like much, but his fit has 1/3 your EHP and no ability to repair. Against a competent pilot, it would have forced him to put even more range between you, at which point your armor repairer would have completely negated it. Anytime I got into a fight with a kiting Rifter in an AC Punisher I ended up just chasing him off. I might not have gotten a kill, but I held the field, so I claimed those as moral victories.

    As to some of the other comments, exile boosters are great. The problem is they cost 3misk which looks to be more than your entire ship at the moment. They also can come with a nasty Capacitor penalty that would completely negate their effectiveness in a Punisher. I wouldn't recommend them until you're using a Cap Boosting Active Tanking ship that costs more than the pill itself.

    As far as heatsink vs ANP, the idea there is that doing more damage means you win faster and tanking isn't as big of an issue. That wouldn't have helped you at all in this fight.

    An idea that was once recommended to me that you might find interesting is actually swapping your plate for an Energized Adaptive Nano Membrane II. You'll lose around 1500ehp, but gain about 30% more active rep and around 5% speed. I never tried it myself as I preferred flying a 400mm plated and trimark rigged Punisher myself, but you've mentioned that you like your ships nimble, so it might be more up your alley.

    If I was in your position the single lesson I'd try to take away from these fights is not to engage Top Ranked BC players who sit around all day fighting 1v1s in Rens. That is, if you want to win them. As long as you're having fun, don't worry about it.

  8. Right. Loads of useful stuff in these comments; thanks for that.

    First, Dual Light Pulse Lasers II with scorch, rigs and Vs has an optimal of about 15km with falloff of 2km (posting at work, so going from memory). The trouble is that he can just move further away, albeit at the cost of damage (he is deeper into his falloff. At that point, though, I stand a good chance of permatanking his damage with decent skills. Not a win, but probably not a loss.

    However, I would be giving up the tracking of Gatling Pulse Lasers and I don't have the power grid to support the rigs, so I would have to give up something else too. It would probably mean moving to a buffer tank and nos. Alternatively (via FNGs suggestion) dropping the plate and going pure active tank.

    On the other hand, a mwd and long point would certainly work, but it would mean I am screwed against pretty much everyone else, which is just not worth it. I'll save that fitting for the Crusader.

    FNGs comment about dropping the plate was very, very interesting. I'm not sure it would work without a deadspace repper (which I understand are not too expensive for the lower end models) and I certainly need better rep skills.

    However, I will play around with it once I have Hull Upgrades V trained up (probably about the middle of next week).