Friday, 23 September 2011

And now for something completely different.

The fit (Malediction):

3 Rocket Launcher II
Salvager I (offline)

Catalysed Cold-Gas Arcjet Thrusters
Warp Disruptor II
X5 Prototype Engine Enervator

Damage Control II
Nanofibre Inernal Structure II
Small Armor Repairer II

Small Rocket Fuel Cache Partition I
Small Hydraulic Bay Thrusters I

The idea here was to create a platform that I could practice mwd kiting with. With the range rigs I could theoretically hit out to 17 km with Javelin (20+ if I had my range skills at V), and the extra range on my point gave me lots of room for error.

The web was for those ships I might encounter with an mwd rather than an afterburner; they would be unlikely to have a scram, but would be better able to try and slingshot me. The Armor Repairer was not really intended for heavy use, but rather to top me up after clearing drones, etc.

The hunt:

I started my roam in Hev, of course, and almost immediately I saw a faction warfare plex open up. I warped to the beacon, eager to catch my prey. Landing on the acceleration gate, I activated it and overheated my mwd.

Just as I was hitting warp, I saw my quarry land behind me! I had forgotten about the increased warp speed on an interceptor; I had landed at the plex before him! Needless to say, he did not follow me into the plex. An opportunity wasted.

My next destination was Aeschee, where I saw a Thrasher on scan. I had been hoping to test the waters on something a little less, well, perfect for killing me, but I had wanted to shake things up and this was an opportunity to do so. With faction rockets loaded (NOT Javelin), I jumped in.

I landed just outside of disruptor range, but my mwd quickly made up the distance and I landed point on the Thrasher. I wanted to get a feel for kiting so, I set my orbit at 20km. This would give me a 7km buffer between my orbit and his escape or scramming me. Plenty of time to react. I also set my "keep at range" default to 22km; I could use "approach" to close distance quickly, and I wanted something to open distance quickly.

In the mean time, the Thrasher was also testing the waters. Clearly mwd fit, and equally clearly fit for close range brawling, neither of us bothered to open fire while the range was too great. This was a strong tip off that I was dealing with someone who knew what they were doing; less experienced pilots would have just opened fire regardless.

After getting a feel for the Thrasher's speed, I started closing my orbit, first to 18km, then 16km. At 16 km I switched to Javelin rockets - I had determined that I would be able to control the range even with the loss of speed - and opened fire. Unfortunately, a 17km range is a theoretical maximum, in practice a fast target can add several km to the effective range, and the Thrasher was moving fast. I would need to get closer.

As I closed the distance I ended up with an orbit of between 13 and 14km; I was just outside of overheated scram range and this is where I expected the trouble to start, especially as my rockets were now hitting the Thrasher.

Overheating her mwd, the Thrasher lunged for me several times, but each time I was able to pull range before slowly circling back in, relentlessly chipping away at her tank.

Finally, the Thrasher succumbed.

2011.09.18 08:18:00

Victim: Amanda Shepard
Corp: Republic University
Alliance: NONE
Faction: NONE
Destroyed: Thrasher
System: Aeschee
Security: 0.2
Damage Taken: 4333

Involved parties:

Name: Taurean Eltanin (laid the final blow)
Security: -10.0
Corp: The Tuskers
Alliance: NONE
Faction: NONE
Ship: Malediction
Weapon: Gremlin Javelin Rocket
Damage Done: 4333

Destroyed items:

200mm AutoCannon II, Qty: 4
Warp Scrambler II
Gyrostabilizer II
Catalyzed Cold-Gas I Arcjet Thrusters
Small Projectile Ambit Extension I, Qty: 2
Small Projectile Burst Aerator I
Small Energy Neutralizer II
Damage Control II
Barrage S, Qty: 480
Republic Fleet Phased Plasma S, Qty: 979 (Cargo)
Republic Fleet Fusion S, Qty: 1000 (Cargo)

Dropped items:

200mm AutoCannon II, Qty: 3
Medium Azeotropic Ward Salubrity I
Barrage S, Qty: 360
Barrage S, Qty: 160 (Cargo)
Republic Fleet EMP S, Qty: 1000 (Cargo)

It had been an exhausting, but exhilarating, fight - I had been kiting for over 8 minutes. With my hold stuffed with loot, I left a "gf" in local and returned to Hev.

After dropping off my loot and grabbing some more ammunition, I slipped back into space. Almost immediately I saw a Catalyst ratting in a belt; I wasted no time jumping in.

With a better understanding of my effective range, this fight did not take nearly as long as the first, but it very much followed the same pattern; start with a wide orbit and gauge the enemy. Then, circle in for the kill, being ever ready to pull range if they make a lunge. I destroyed the Catalyst, and the pilot's pod.

2011.09.18 08:33:00

Victim: Joshua Baker
Corp: Deep Space Corp
Alliance: NONE
Faction: NONE
Destroyed: Catalyst
System: Hevrice
Security: 0.4
Damage Taken: 4692

Involved parties:

Name: Taurean Eltanin (laid the final blow)
Security: -10.0
Corp: The Tuskers
Alliance: NONE
Faction: NONE
Ship: Malediction
Weapon: Thorn Javelin Rocket
Damage Done: 2619

Name: Serpentis Chief Scout / Serpentis Corporation
Damage Done: 2073

Destroyed items:

Overdrive Injector System I
125mm 'Scout' I Accelerator Cannon, Qty: 5
Antimatter Charge S, Qty: 160
100mm Reinforced Nanofiber Plates I (Cargo)
Civilian Shield Booster I (Cargo)
Small Energy Transfer Array I (Cargo)
Small Hull Repairer I (Cargo)
Photon Scattering Field I (Cargo)
Small Shield Booster I (Cargo)
Y-T8 Overcharged Hydrocarbon I Microwarpdrive (Cargo)
Medium Inefficient Armor Repair Unit (Cargo)
Tungsten Charge M, Qty: 100 (Cargo)
Plutonium Charge S, Qty: 100 (Cargo)
Antimatter Charge M, Qty: 100 (Cargo)
Warp Scrambler I (Cargo)
Remote Sensor Booster I (Cargo)
400mm Reinforced Steel Plates I (Cargo)
Kapteyn Sensor Array Inhibitor I (Cargo)
Uranium Charge S, Qty: 100 (Cargo)
Medium Hull Repairer I (Cargo)
100mm Reinforced Titanium Plates I (Cargo)
Tungsten Charge S, Qty: 100 (Cargo)
Medium Remote Armor Repair System I (Cargo)
100mm Reinforced Steel Plates I (Cargo)

Dropped items:

Small I-a Polarized Armor Regenerator
Civilian Shield Booster I
50mm Reinforced Steel Plates I
125mm 'Scout' I Accelerator Cannon
Antimatter Charge S, Qty: 80
Stasis Webifier I
Light Ion Blaster I (Cargo)
Letter of Recommendation (Cargo)
Tracking Link I (Cargo)
Small Nosferatu I (Cargo)
1MN Afterburner I (Cargo)
Antimatter Charge M, Qty: 100 (Cargo)
Iridium Charge S, Qty: 100 (Cargo)
Small Remote Armor Repair System I (Cargo)
Small Inefficient Armor Repair Unit (Cargo)
Passive Targeter I (Cargo)
100mm Reinforced Titanium Plates I (Cargo)
Acolyte I (Cargo)
Tungsten Charge S, Qty: 200 (Cargo)
Cargo Scanner I (Cargo)
Hobgoblin I (Cargo)
Medium Capacitor Booster I (Cargo)
Hornet I (Cargo)
Antimatter Charge S, Qty: 2291 (Cargo)
Thorium Charge S, Qty: 100 (Cargo)
ECM - Spatial Destabilizer I (Cargo)

The pilot was a new player, and he had fought bravely. He was also polite in the ransom channel, and did not try to make any excuses for his loss, nor make any pleas for mercy. I liked his style, so I sent him a million ISK after I destroyed his pod. With insurance, that ought to be enough to ensure he turned a small profit on his loss.

Returning to Aeschee, I saw Amanda, the Thrasher pilot from my first fight, in another belt, flying another Thrasher. I decided to try my luck a second time, and jumped in.

What followed was one of the most intense duels of maneuver that I have ever experienced. We chased each other across the system, from celestial to celestial. I was trying to jump in 20km off Amanda so that I could immediately point her. She was trying to land right on top of me so she could use her scram. We jumped dozens of times, breathlessly waiting for grid to load so we could find out which of us was the hunter and which was the hunted.

It was intense, and I knew that the winner would be determined as much by luck as by skill, and that I should break off. Sometimes, though, you just have to see something through to the end.

In the end, my luck ran out first, and I landed within a few km of Amanda. I wasn't going down without a fight, though!

I immediately started burning away, and threw my web onto the Thrasher; I needed as much relative speed advantage as I could manage. My launchers were next, going straight to overheat, and spewing death at the destroyer.

My mwd shut down almost immediately, but I had received enough of a speed boost that I was still faster than Amanda was with my overheated web active. She opened fire, and I turned on my repair system, which now had plenty of cap with the mwd shut down. More critically, she saw what I was trying to do, and overheated her own prop mod, making her that little bit faster; I had reached 9.9km before she managed to start closing the distance; she must have overheated her scram.

With escape now impossible, it was a straight damage race. Unfortunately, that's not something the Malediction excells at, and I exploded with the Thrasher at 25% armor.

2011.09.18 09:21:00

Victim: Taurean Eltanin
Corp: The Tuskers
Alliance: NONE
Faction: NONE
Destroyed: Malediction
System: Aeschee
Security: 0.2
Damage Taken: 1639

Involved parties:

Name: Amanda Shepard (laid the final blow)
Security: -0.2
Corp: Republic University
Alliance: NONE
Faction: NONE
Ship: Thrasher
Weapon: 200mm AutoCannon II
Damage Done: 1639

Destroyed items:

Rocket Launcher II, Qty: 2
Catalyzed Cold-Gas I Arcjet Thrusters
Damage Control II
Small Hydraulic Bay Thrusters I
Caldari Navy Foxfire Rocket, Qty: 64
Small Rocket Fuel Cache Partition I
Nanofiber Internal Structure II
Foxfire Javelin Rocket, Qty: 600 (Cargo)
Vespa EC-600, Qty: 2 (Cargo)
Thorn Javelin Rocket, Qty: 608 (Cargo)

Dropped items:

Rocket Launcher II
Warp Disruptor II
X5 Prototype I Engine Enervator
Salvager I
Caldari Navy Foxfire Rocket, Qty: 32
Small Armor Repairer II
Caldari Navy Thorn Rocket, Qty: 600 (Cargo)
Caldari Navy Phalanx Rocket, Qty: 600 (Cargo)
Vespa EC-600, Qty: 2 (Cargo)
Gremlin Javelin Rocket, Qty: 605 (Cargo)
Caldari Navy Foxfire Rocket, Qty: 450 (Cargo)
Caldari Navy Gremlin Rocket, Qty: 600 (Cargo)

An amazing duel - well worth the loss. I dropped a hearty "gf" in local as I sped my pod to safety.


Well, I certainly feel like I learned a LOT about kiting. I had been put off kiting ships because my manual piloting is so poor, but creative use of the "approach", "orbit", and "keep at range" functions seems to work.

These fights also highlighted the strengths and weaknesses of kiting ships: excellent range control and weak dps. If you maintain control of the range you are unkillable, but if you lose control, for any reason, you are doomed.

Incidentally, I've realised that I could potentially have escaped the Thrasher if I had overheated my mwd; it would not have burned for any longer, but there is a very real chance that the added thrust would have carried me beyond scram range.

Of course, timing was everything, and there was no time to overheat once I landed; my thrust time was measured in fractions of a second. But, if I had pre-overheated my mwd in warp, I could have had the extra thrust without the time cost. Something to keep in mind.

I've now got a stack of Maledictions in my hangar. I'm not going to fly them often, but it helps to have an interceptor available for fast tackle, and I'll mess about with different fits; there's a shield tanked Maledicition that I'm especially interested in trying. Being fast enough to reach wrecks easily, it will also be my go-to salvaging platform.


  1. Thats a nice post, nice kills. I will offer a another recommendation to cross train for a hookbill, with faction rockets and the right fit you can get the rockets out to 22km theoretically, and its still plenty fast for the kiting job. I just find that Amarr rocket boats don't get enough range and with the speed penalty with javelin rockets it just doesn't seem worth it.

  2. Great post, and some good kills! I never actually thought about using the rocket malediction solo as a long range kiter (that is, operating outside scram range rather than kiting via AB/scram/web) - it's an interesting idea and the range you're getting is really quite impressive.

    Relating to the above post, the hookbill is also (thanks to its 5 mid slots) excellent for brawling - with double webs you can dictate range on anything (including dramiels), and you also have the option of a single web and a tracking disruptor to completely screw over turret ships.

    The slicer is also an excellent (and high dps!) kiting ship - I'm not sure how your laser skills are these days, but it might be worth a look. There's also the crow - very similar thing to the malediction - a bit more fragile and less point range, but a lot more range on your rockets.

    Of course I don't think any of the above are on your current training plan, but if you ever feel like switching it up further they are potentially interesting ideas (personally I think crosstraining all races' frigate 5 was the best decision I've made)!

  3. Excellent stuff. I'm glad to see I'm not the only one who's taken the Malediction out as a solo kiter. Some days I do question my sanity when undocking in "unconventional" fits. I've never tried it with a web though (always ran with a cap booster in that slot), how did you feel it performed with it? Any of those fights that would have been lost without it, or do you think being able to perma-run the Repper in your last fight would have made any difference?

    Another thing you didn't really mention in the post, but I've always found useful when flying a Malediction similar to this is the versatility. From my general impression of the Tusker's style of roaming, it's not uncommon to be out roaming solo when someone calls for backup a few jumps away. I found being in a MWD and Point fit Interceptor often added something to those impromptu gangs that no one else had as they were less likely to be out soloing in them.

  4. After I can fly a decent bomber I'm going to train into a PODLA Drake. Picking up the skills for a Hookbill will happen almost by default, so I definitely see myself flying them at some point.

    As for the speed penalty on Javelins, it's a bit of red herring. My speed advantage over AB fits is sufficient to keep range even with the penalty, and mwd fits are probably not going to have a scram, so I don't need to keep as much range any way. I'd just switch to faction rockets.

    I thought the web would be a good idea, but I don't think it made much difference; I just don't want to get close enough to use it. It nearly saved me when I landed on the Thrasher, but it would have been better to just not land on the Thrasher!

    I didn't ever feel short of cap, though, as I never wanted to run the repairer and the mwd together. In truth, the repairer is suboptimal, and I know that. I've put together a MSE fit that I like far more, as it gives incremental regeration and a huge buffer - something like 5k ehp.

    The only downside(besides having no room for extra ewar) is that it is slightly slower because the lows are used to increase PG and CPU; there's no room for nanofibres. It's still over 3km/s before overheat, though.

    I certainly don't think that the Malediction measures up to a Slicer, or the like. It's simply very forgiving thanks to it's extended point range and tracking free weapon system. Just float in and out of range and pull the trigger.

    As for versatility, it has been handy to just pull one of these out of the hanger from time to time.

  5. A very good read, I have just recently started dabeling in amarr frigs and am very happy with the navy slicer and the sentinal, but now i want to try this one.

    on the note of a shield Mal, dosent it get a bonus toarmor resists, seams a shame to wase them. a adaptive nano in the other low and a cap booster so you can run your rep longer may work, but it dose sacrifive a bit of speed... but hay there are plenty of speed/agility implants i think

  6. Wow, I wasn't aware the malediction could reach that far with rockets. Given that I have about zero missile skills though, I hope you'll forgive me.

    It's pretty awesome that you were able to control your range like that on the Thrasher.

  7. Interesting account of our Thrasher/Malediction duels. I had been hoping to you'd underestimate me (I'm flattered you said I knew what I was doing) by not firing straight away in the first fight by acting like someone who was panicking and trying to slighshot out of range and had no interest in a fight (despite the fact I'd just gone GCC in front of you on an Imicus :P). In the end, as you said, draining long duel which you flew very well in.

    As far as the second fight goes, I was doing my best to get you to warp to the same distance from celestials a couple of times in a row then land at your warp in point, basically I'd totally ripped off Azual's article on 'ceptor fishing. If you're going to kite I guess you need to look out for the tactic.

    As a side note, are you going to try the ab/scram/web Malediction?

    You even commented on this blog post! :P You'd have probably beaten me both times with this fit, and I definitely would never have been able to stop you leaving fairly quickly.

    All the best, see you in space!

  8. >kiting ships
    >weak dps

    Erm, what?