Wednesday, 11 January 2012
Crow v Slicer
I'm getting serious about my little Crow. I'm enjoying her fun, fiesty nature, that irresistible blend of speed, tank and dps. Sure, she's not much to look at, but I love the way she moves.
Getting serious is not always easy, though; that "getting to know you" phase can be a real roller coaster as you put her in unfamiliar situations and find out what she will (and won't) do.
And let's not forget the cost! Sure, there are some fun things you can do on a budget, but eventually you are going to have to splash out to cover expenses.
Amusing metaphors aside, any ship you decide to fly heavily needs to be thoroughly stress-tested. By pushing the envelope until it tears, you find out what you and the ship are truly capable of. This is why I've been throwing myself at Cruisers recently, and this is why I engaged the Slicer.
I tried to jump in on him at a belt (so he's obviously pvp fit and skilled), but, as so often happens, he jumped out before I landed, probably trying to jump in on me. I stayed put, and he warped back in for a fight.
I knew that I was never going to be able to out-range the Slicer, and even if I could, he would be fast enough to break free of my point - a Slicer moves at about 3.2 km/s before overheat. However, my Crow tops 4 km/s before overheat, so I decided to try and get in close and evade his tracking; Slicers are often quite greedy, and fit the heaviest guns they can.
My ehp should be a little higher than his, and my damage fairly consistent, so if I could get under his guns, it would be a fairly short fight. Of course, if I couldn't get under his guns, it would also be a short fight; Slicers have insane dps.
So I set my orbit for 500m and immediately overheated my launchers. Because I was not trying for range, and because I wanted a speed advantage, I loaded faction rockets, which have a higher dps than Javelin. I rammed them straight down his throat.
While I did not chat with the pilot afterwards, I think I surprised him, as Slicers do not usually expect to be involved in a close range brawl. And my combat log tells me that I managed force a miss on about one of every three of his shots. That's not as much mitigation as I had hoped for, but then his speed was so high that he kept managing to temporarily gain some distance whenever my ship slowed (as it does, settling into a 500m orbit). As I turned to pursue, he'd land a few shots until I got close again.
What I had not anticipated, though, is that my own dps was being mitigated too. Although I could hit him easily, each volley was at a reduced damage because of his high speed. An issue I had overlooked simply because I'm not used to engaging targets as fast as a Slicer.
I was far too close to the Slicer to disengage, so I simply gave it all I had. Ultimately, though, I lost the damage race, and exploded.
Victim: Taurean Eltanin
Corp: The Tuskers
Damage Taken: 2556
Name: razzukel certiko (laid the final blow)
Ship: Imperial Navy Slicer
Weapon: Medium Pulse Laser II
Damage Done: 2545
Name: Serpentis Guard / Serpentis Corporation
Damage Done: 11
Rocket Launcher II, Qty: 2
Catalyzed Cold-Gas Arcjet Thrusters
Warp Disruptor II
Damage Control II
Nanofiber Internal Structure II
Thorn Javelin Rocket, Qty: 900 (Cargo)
Small Bay Loading Accelerator I
Small Anti-EM Screen Reinforcer I
Rocket Launcher II
Caldari Navy Thorn Rocket, Qty: 117
Medium Shield Extender II
Micro Auxiliary Power Core I
Caldari Navy Thorn Rocket, Qty: 450 (Cargo)
I got my pod out, and wished the pilot a "gf". He'd earned it.
This is a perfect example of being too cunning for my own good. I thought I had a plan, but ultimately I overlooked a key factor: the mitigation of my own dps.
While I think that Slicers are definitely outside of the "safe to engage" box, if I had to do it again, I'd make a few changes to my approach.
First, I'd wait till I had Interceptors V (it will finish in late January). I have no idea what kind of difference that would make, but tracking is a funny beast. Glancing hits aside, it's pretty binary: you get hit or you don't. That means signature tanking sucks all the way up until it's horribly, horribly broken. Perhaps the reduced signature radius would have made a difference here.
Second, I would have set my orbit for something a little wider, such as 2-3 km. The Slicer was able to pull range because my ship slowed down. If I had used a wider orbit, I may well have given him the same tracking problems, but without allowing him to pull away as easily. If he could not pull away, I would not have needed to pursue him, giving him perfect shots.
Because I'm looking for ridiculous situations this month, I'm expecting a net loss - which I can afford, thanks to my profit last month - and I'm going to try hard not to think about my efficiency rating.