Wednesday, 19 October 2011

Taurean Eltanin v Darius Carnifex (part 3)

The hunt:

Some hours after my loss to Darius and his Loki, Tawa and I were part of a small gang that had jumped in on a mission runner. The op had been a bust - I don't remember exactly why, but it probably had to do with the distance we needed to cover in order to reach the mission runner - and I was returning to Hevrice in my Malediction to reship.

As I jumped into Hev, I saw Darius in a Vagabond, sitting a little way off the gate. I held cloak and discussed this with the fleet. We agreed that I would try and point the Vagabond, and then the rest of the fleet would jump in. Tawa, in particular, was keen to strike a blow at Darius.

I broke cloak and started speeding towards Darius. He immediately opened fire and began burning away from me to keep my transversal low; I compensated by maneuvering towards him at an angle, but he was fast. Very fast. I'd only seen him fly a Dram before, and Drams are meant to be fast, so I thought nothing of his speed as I have little experience with Drams (although in hindsight I recall that his Dram was faster than Wolf's).

However, I have a little more experience with Vagabonds, and this ship was fast even for a Vaga. I closed the distance slowly, taking fire on the way in. Fortunately, I fly a pretty buff inteceptor, and I was doing pretty well.

As soon as I landed point I summoned the fleet, and they jumped in. I then spent my time trying hard not to let Darius escape. He started burning away from the gate, though, and this meant that my fleetmates couldn't actually catch up!

I realised it was time to bail, but Darius was not going to let me go easily, as he used his speed to keep me in point range; presumably he overheated his point and prop mod. As his tracking seemed good enough to hit me regardless, I aligned to a celestial and started spamming warp. I had nearly escaped his point when I exploded.

2011.10.09 10:03:00

Victim: Taurean Eltanin
Corp: The Tuskers
Alliance: NONE
Faction: NONE
Destroyed: Malediction
System: Hevrice
Security: 0.4
Damage Taken: 2336

Involved parties:

Name: Darius Carnifex (laid the final blow)
Security: -6.2
Corp: Acephalia Inc
Alliance: NONE
Faction: NONE
Ship: Vagabond
Weapon: 220mm Vulcan AutoCannon II
Damage Done: 2336

Destroyed items:

Rocket Launcher II, Qty: 2
Medium F-S9 Regolith Shield Induction
Catalyzed Cold-Gas I Arcjet Thrusters
Warp Disruptor II
Small Targeting System Subcontroller I
Co-Processor II
Salvager I
Caldari Navy Foxfire Rocket, Qty: 150
Small Ionic Field Projector I
Gremlin Javelin Rocket, Qty: 600 (Cargo)
Foxfire Javelin Rocket, Qty: 588 (Cargo)
Thorn Javelin Rocket, Qty: 600 (Cargo)

Dropped items:

Damage Control II
Rocket Launcher II
Micro Auxiliary Power Core I
Phalanx Javelin Rocket, Qty: 600 (Cargo)
Caldari Navy Foxfire Rocket, Qty: 426 (Cargo)

As I warped my pod to safety, I prepared to drop a "gf" in local, but Darius got a comment in first that stopped me.


He's just all class.


This fight was a huge learning experience for me, as I'm still a relative noob at flying an interceptor.

First, this is one of several fights where I've been able to land point to no effect because my backup can't actually catch up to the fight. I'm going to post more on this separately, but one of the weakness of my beloved shield fit Malediction is the lack of a web or scram for slowing down fast ships.

And if I am going to fly a shield tanked Malediction, I should actually skill up for it. I'm about 1000 ehp below max with my current skills; having decent shield skills would have let me escape this fight easily. While on the subject of skills, my mwd skills are also too low; I could get another 2-300 m/s out of this fit if my mwd skills were at max, which again would have let me escape the fight.

I also forgot to overheat my prop mod on the escape again. My excuse here is that overheating the AB on a Vengeance is nearly always pointless, so while I never forget to overheat my point, weapons or repair system, I rarely think to overheat my propulsion modifier. Again, if I had thought to do this, I probably would have survived the fight.

Finally, I found it quite difficult to maintain point on the Vaga (before I decided to bail and he decided to chase me) so I'm going to drop the kiting rigs for targeting and sensor rigs to let me take full advantage of my improved point range. If I get my missile range skills to max (only one more rank to go) I'll still have a 15.2 km range on Javelin rockets, which is more than enough to kite AB fit frigates.

All told, this last fight was a story of a noob in an underskilled ship getting spanked by someone who knew what they were doing - when Darius summed up the fight as "fail" he was quite right. So far I've been able to get by on the fact that few ships are set up to combat interceptors, and that people often have more important things to worry about than targeting me (ie, my backup). Flying against a competent high-speed pilot has underscored my weaknesses.

I'm also left with mixed feelings about Darius himself. He has destroyed me twice, yet I can't help shake the feeling that he's simply not that dangerous. Each time he's beaten me he has relied on a combination of my own lack of skills/experience and a ship that costs 10x more than mine (plus snakes?). That's about as exciting as me jumping my Vengeance in on a month old Rifter; the result is hardly unexpected.

As a comparison, toothslayer has also beaten me twice, but has also died to my launchers on one occasion. Technically, this gives him a worse track record than Darius. However, toothslayer has fearlessly engaged me (and won) in equivalent ships; he's a skilled and aggressive combat pilot that deserves the respect of other combat pilots.

I suppose that, in the end, Darius is a niche pvper. He uses high speed, high investment ships to outmaneuver and destroy low speed, low investment ships (and that's not a criticism, it's a reasonable tactic and he's clearly good at it). Outside of that niche, however, I've not yet seen anything I need to fear.

Still, I look forward to crossing swords with him again some time. He's surprised me before, and may well do so again.


  1. Against Vagas and similar kiting ships like Cynabals you really need to land a scram to slow them down enough for anyone else to catch them. Personally I think the Malediction is very well suited to fitting a scram - fitting a long point is a waste of its high slots IMO.

    My basic Malediction setup is:

    Highs: Rocket Launcher IIs, Nos
    Mids: MWD, scram, web
    Lows: Damage control, small armour repper

    Use your remaining slots for cap, speed, or armour resist. If you're good with managing your modules, you can hold a scram on a Vaga all day with this setup.

  2. I like your blog :-)

    Kadesh his an very good Inty-Pilot: look at her Killboard closely:

    Maybe this fit is very interesting for you.
    Its very similar to the fit from Wendi Wu

    greeting from germany ( ..and excuse my bad english^^)

    Fly save...

  3. Like Wendi said, tackling a vaga or cynabal really requires a scram. Of all the times we've fought vagas, I can only think of one, maybe two times when we managed to kill them after only getting a long point (usually by a faster ship warping to the inty once they get outside 150km). I can think of far more times when our inty has died or been forced to bail trying to make the tackle.

    The malediction's short locking range really is its curse - I definitely recommend fitting a locking range rig if you're flying as tackle for a gang.

    Also when disengaging from a fight like this, remember you should spiral out similar to the way that you would spiral in to a fight - try to control the angle you burn out so that you never lose too much transversal (I expect you're doing this already, but some of your readers may not).

  4. Vaga bonds are really god inty killers, they usualy have a light set of drones, a med newt and 20 auto cannons with a range bonus so they can hit far out yet still have good tracking. To top it off they get a speed bonus so they can drag you way off gate. Usualy its just a bad idea to engadge a vaga in a frig unless you land in scram range right off the bat.

  5. "That's about as exciting as me jumping my Vengeance in on a month old Rifter; the result is hardly unexpected."

    And you have never done that before, right? This is EvE and there is always bigger fish in the pool that uses the same tactics only with bigger and badder toys. Whatever it says about Darius character, the pirates are no better. And you my friend is one of them. More tears please, then go gank some bears.

    Love the blog btw, because pirate's tears are even more delicious.

  6. @Heribeck: It's possible to hold a scram on a Vaga in an inty, but you have to manage your modules carefully and you absolutely need a nos (vagas usually fit a medium neut which will kill a frigate's cap in one or two shots). Here's the mail of one I got while flying my MWD/scram/web Malediction:

    You can probably guess the story from the mail - Vaga was in a mission with a Claw, well off the warpin, our frigates burnt for him. The friendly Slicer got blown up due to MWD sig penalty, then the Vaga switched target to me. Warrior IIs and glancing hits knocked me to 30% armour but with the Dram's help my rockets killed the drones and the nos let me get off the odd rep cycle and keep my scram running. Once all the Warriors were gone the Vaga couldn't do much and the pursuing Drakes caught it and killed it.

  7. Your mistake was pulling too far from gate, He knew you had friends coming and new if he pulled away he could kill you before they came. In that situation you should have burned back, deagressed and jumped through, Then if he chased fleet is close to him. if he doesn't agress he is still close to the gate. I would not shield tank the maley, need the mid slots.

  8. I think an armor fit Malediction will be better considering the rigs you use. DCU II, SMAII, maybe a resist plating. That'll free up a midslot for a sensor booster (you'll prolly use a range script) or for something else like a long point and then a short point.

    If you fly it in fleets more often than solo, you could take another route. I shield fit my Malediction like you do, but I've got a nano, a sig amp, SMAII, and DCUII in the lows. I don't have rocket skills, so I fit 125mmII cannons to it. I don't exactly remember the rigs, but I'm pretty sure I needed an ancillary current router.

  9. erm i must been on crack when i said that was my fleet malediction fit. Here's what it really is:

    highs: 3 150m II autocannons (titanium sabot)
    mids: catalyzed cold gas arcjet, MSE II, WD II
    lows: 2 nano II's, 1 sig amp II
    rigs: ancillary current router, ploycarb engine housing

    there's no lasers available in 1dh, and I can't use rockets, so guns it is for me. Honestly though, the guns are just for whoring mails. My job is stay alive and keep stuff from escaping while the bigger ships kill it.