Monday, 15 August 2011

Vengeance v Merlin et alia (part 2)

The hunt:

After returning to Hevrice to reship, I slipped into a hunting safe to plan my next roam (unless reshipping, dropping off loot or repairing, I'm almost never in a station; if I'm online, I'm in space).

While I planned my route I noticed a +1 in local, and it was the same pilot I had killed earlier in the day. I hadn't noticed when I first warped in on him, but his name, Endureth, had struck me as amusing, given his role as a bait/tank ship.

D-scan told me that Endureth was back in a Merlin, and he was sitting in a nearby belt. I knew that my fellow Tuskers would begin jumping in on him shortly, so I put out a quick notice on vent that he was probably bait, and that there were at least two other ships in the next system waiting to jump in.

Armed with this knowledge, Naoru Kozan decided to spring the trap in his Drake. Sure enough, once he landed on the Merlin we had a few more pilots from Heretic Army enter the system. Now, my recollection is a little hazy, and I can't recall how many pilots jumped in; this was not a concentrated fight, so I'll focus only on my part in it.

I warped to Naoru, trying to help him finish the Merlin and meet the newcomers - I loaded Firefox Rage, because I knew Endureth liked to boost his EM resists. However, both ships were leaning heavily on their mwd - Endureth presumably to avoid Naoru's damage, and Naoru to keep up with Endureth - so I landed about 70km away from them, and it was clear that I had no chance of catching up.

Still, I began heading towards Naoru; if he was pointed he might need some help in a hurry. It seems that some of the BANE pilots were also having trouble reaching the fast moving fight, though, as a Hawk came out of warp not too far from me. I altered course to intercept.

We both set our orbit's wide so we could minimize the other's damage. I don't recall whether the Hawk had a web or not, but he certainly was in no danger of breaking my tank. Of course, he seemed to have one hell of an active tank himself, and we danced around each other looking for an upper hand.

The Hawk found it first. Naoru had burnt out his launchers trying to take down the Merlin, so he had broken off the fight to repair or reship. That suddenly freed up the Merlin to come to the Hawk's assistance. And, as luck would have it, I had just switched to Gremlin Rage of the back of a reload, so I was back to facing Endureth's boosted resists.

As the Merlin jumped in I had to think quickly. I knew I could kill the Merlin, but I was less certain about the Hawk. I also couldn't be sure that the Merlin and Hawk together would not break my tank. I had to decide between engaging the Merlin, with an eye to killing it, or simply hanging on to the Hawk until Naoru returned.

In the end, I switched my attention to the Merlin; I did not know how long it would take Naoru to reship, and I did not know how long it would take other BANE pilots to join the fight. It was painful, beating against the Merlin's high resists (this is probably how other frigate pilots feel about Vengeances), but at least I was making headway. Eventually, his ship crumbled.

2011.07.28 14:24:00

Victim: Endureth
Corp: Heretic Army
Alliance: B A N E
Faction: NONE
Destroyed: Merlin
System: Hevrice
Security: 0.4
Damage Taken: 7460

Involved parties:

Name: Taurean Eltanin (laid the final blow)
Security: -9.8
Corp: The Tuskers
Alliance: NONE
Faction: NONE
Ship: Vengeance
Weapon: Gremlin Rage Rocket
Damage Done: 2413

Name: Naoru Kozan
Security: -9.9
Corp: The Tuskers
Alliance: NONE
Faction: NONE
Ship: Dramiel
Weapon: Warp Disruptor II
Damage Done: 5047

Destroyed items:

200mm AutoCannon II
Rocket Launcher II
Small Core Defence Field Extender I, Qty: 2
Medium Shield Extender II
Caldari Navy Phalanx Rocket, Qty: 22
1MN Afterburner II
Small Anti-EM Screen Reinforcer I
Nanite Repair Paste, Qty: 30 (Cargo)
Republic Fleet Fusion S, Qty: 260 (Cargo)

Dropped items:

Republic Fleet Fusion S, Qty: 186
200mm AutoCannon II
Damage Control II
Rocket Launcher II
Stasis Webifier II
Micro Auxiliary Power Core I
Warp Scrambler II
Caldari Navy Phalanx Rocket, Qty: 22
Caldari Navy Gremlin Rocket, Qty: 432 (Cargo)
Caldari Navy Phalanx Rocket, Qty: 400 (Cargo)
Republic Fleet EMP S, Qty: 422 (Cargo)

The Hawk pilot was no fool, and he began disengaging as the Merlin entered structure. I tried to get a point on him, but our differing vectors carried me beyond point range before I could come about. Warping to respective safes, we then chatted about our fits. Gfs all round.


While I would have liked to come away with a better killmail than a T1 frigate, I'm happy with how this turned out. Unlike our first encounter, I was not afraid to switch targets when the situation changed.

On a balance note, I think it's a bit silly that AB frigs cannot keep pace with MWD battle cruisers. You would think that would be a baseline balance point; all frigates have going for them is their speed, and the choice should be "really fast" or "really, really fast". It makes it difficult for non-interceptor frigates to contribute much to a gang when they can't even keep up.

Finally, this is just one of many odd killmails. Naoru was flying a Drake and then broke of to reship to a Dramiel. That Dram never reached the fight, though, and did not fire a single shot. However, the killmail shows him in the ship he was in when the Merlin was destroyed (the Dram) rather than the ship he was in when he actually fought (the Drake).


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  2. AB-only frigates can be great fun, but you have to be aware of their purpose and limitations: they're for solo-hunting other frigates in lowsec, and that's about it. You *can* engage bigger ships in them if you get a good warpin or the target is a bit careless/unlucky, but as a rule, for gang stuff or engaging larger targets, you'll want an MWD. With your current vengeance setup, you can swap the AB for an MWD without needing to change any other modules - might be worth carrying a spare MWD in your cargohold so you can quickly refit if the need arises. They cost something like 300k apiece, so it shouldn't break the bank...

  3. Sounds like a good fight. I've crossed paths with Endureth in the past and found he's a skilled pilot and I've learnt to keep on my toes when going against him.

    It's just unlucky the Hawk pilot had the sense to get out of there when you popped his friend.

  4. Echoing what Tsubutai said, the AB frigate is really for solo where you can guarantee close range - they're excellent for frig vs frig solo, as well as any fights vs larger targets where you're able to start up close (obviously on a naturally fast ship like an interceptor, the flexibility of the AB extends further than it does on the relatively slow vengeance).

    I'm not sure how feasible it would be to dual prop a vengeance, but I'm a big fan of that kind of fitting in general for small gang work - imo it's far more effective than just MWD/scram/web for engaging larger targets.

    With any combination utilising a MWD, bear in mind you're sacrificing a large chunk of cap even when you don't run it, which will damage your tank. If you do fit a MWD for gang work you may want to look at assisting your cap, either by dropping a launcher for a nos or your web for a cap booster.