Friday, 6 January 2012

Crow v Caracal

The hunt:

Recently, I've been feeling that my roams have become a little too comfortable. There's always a fair amount of action around Aeschee, and I can usually find something within four jumps of Hevrice. These systems are so heavily bookmarked that I'm never in any real danger of having to fight something that I don't want to, and I don't even need to look at the system maps; I jump from HS1 (hunting safe one) to HS2 to HS3 and, ta-da, I've scanned the entire system.

With this in mind, I took a long, meandering roam through Essence, Placid, Lonetrek and Black Rise, looking for fights outside my home turf. It was good to be in unknown space again; checking system maps and bringing up unknown profiles on pilots in local.

Many systems were completely empty, and I could enjoy the new views of Cloud Ring and other nebulae. Other systems offered targets, but most of these proved elusive, or obvious traps. I tried to engage a Slicer, Jag, Rifter gang, thinking that I might be able to isolate the Slicer and take him down. They decided they had better things to do, however, and I moved on.

At some point in my roam, found a Caracal ratting at a belt, and I immediately decided to try my luck. While in warp, I needed to make a snap decision regarding the ammo I used; a choice that would potentially make or break the fight.

Obviously, a Caracal would have no trouble hitting me. However, my speed would hopefully mitigate a significant part of that damage, and allow me to try and brawl him down. If I used Javelin rockets, then I would be able to stay safely out of scram range, but my speed (and thus, my damage mitigation) would be lower, allowing him to hit me for more damage.

On the other hand, if he was purely fit for ratting (rather than being bait or using a pvp fit) then I could load faction rockets, increasing my dps and speed, but reducing my range. If I went for faction rockets and he had a scram (or long point and web) then I was simply going to die.

Being a long way from home, I decided to play it safe and loaded Javelin. I was surprised at just how much damage I took from each volley the Caracal sent my way, and I again found myself wondering what kind of difference Interceptors V would make - I promised myself that I'd find out before the end of January.

However, I was doing a decent amount of damage in return, and I was chewing into his tank. Unfortunately, my shields beeped the 30% warning at me while he was still at half shields, so I wished him a "gf" and warped off to wait out my gcc.

The rest of my roam was fairly fruitless as I found myself in the wake of a large fleet that had made everyone skittish. I ended up only catching an Imparitor and the owner's blank clone.


This was a fight that my Vengeance would probably have won fairly easily, assuming I could have caught the guy in the first place. For this reason the mwd bonus in the proposed AF changes really interests me, as it would make AFs decent at actually catching targets, an area where all but the Jaguar really fall short at the moment.

That aside, I was impressed my how much of a beating the Crow actually took, and how much damage it actually put out. I need to max out many of the relevant skills, and I'm looking forward to the difference that will make. Despite being depressingly ugly, the Crow is fast becoming my favourite solo ship, although a buffed Vengeance could probably give it a run for it's money.


  1. I decided that i want to fly amaar after trying minmitar. I like tanky ships and minmitar altho more ganky doesn't do it for me. If you had to do it again how would you outfit your punisher (or what frigate would you fly) and would you use ac's or stay with lasers. Which is better in your opinion? And what skills are a must to fly this ship to the best of its ability? Thanks again... Fly Safe.

  2. The common answer would be to just fly a rifter. Punisher is generally better with AC's that lasers.

  3. @Imortalin:
    Taurean did a post somewhere back in his punisher plan going through the differences of AC vs Lasers; so Id suggest reading through his Punisher Plan at the start of his blog for all the info you were asking about. However, at the end of the year, I believe he said if he did it again, he would go Caldari =P

    gf Taurean. You should make a trip out to Hakonen and surrounding systems sometime, maybe we'll run into each other =P


  4. Imortalin, any combat ship with only two midslots needs to accept that any competent pilot with a web will take complete control over the fight, disengaging if things look bad for him. There are three strategies for dealing with this:

    1) Fight only targets that have no web or have otherwise sacrificed their speed advantage (ie, mwd ships when you have a scram). A Punisher of this kind might target Cruisers, have a nos and an active tank, and try and wear them down.

    2) Try to shut off their web/prop mod by attacking their cap. This kind of Punisher would pack a neut and a large buffer (and probably autocannon). It would likely be restricted to fighting afterburner fit frigates.

    3) Fight outside of web range, making your lack of web meaningless. This kind of Punisher would run an mwd and a long point, and whatever long range weapons were desired. Because of the low dps on a ranged Punisher, this fit will be unable to tackle anything with an active tank.

    So really, you pick your fit based in part on what you think you will be fighting. If you want to duel Rifters, you should probably go with a neut, buffer, and autocannons, unless you want to kite. In which case, mwd, cap mods/rigs, beam lasers and hope they are not cap stable with their repper on.

  5. You know this already but you really need to get interceptors V. Some skills provide a tiny (but important) boost going from IV to V. However interceptors is a skill that has a huge difference between IV and V resulting in about a 30% decrease in the incoming damage in your example above. This is a skill you definitely want maxed out.