Thursday, 11 October 2012

Arbitrator 03.02

The hunt:

I'd been up and down the Aeschee pipe without finding anything, so swung through OMS looking for targets. On jumping through OMS into Heydieles, I found myself in the middle of a camp.

After a quick look around, realised I was going to explode, and started FRAPS. Let's walk through my thought process, and better pilots than I can tell me where I went wrong.

0:00 - I've zoomed all the way out, and taken a look at the geometry of the camp, which is something I always do when I encounter a camp. I can see that there are five ships, at various ranges, with one group near the gate and another further out.

What's important here is that I'm beyond scram range of any of the camping ships (ignoring links & faction gear, of course), but that burning back towards the gate will take me towards the enemy ships. With my mwd, I don't recon I'll make it back to the gate once a scram lands, especially with five ships focusing on me.

Equally, all the celestials in the system are on their side of the gate, so aligning to anything and trying to warp off will mean cruising into scram range, and I doubt I can warp off before a long point catches me anyway.

I settle on a third option, then, that I've used several times when flying an interceptor. I'm not sure it will work with this hull, but it seems worth a try - I'm going to immediately overheat my mwd and burn away on a vector that opens the distance between me and the camp as fast as possible. If I can get some range, I can then turn and warp off. Unlike my interceptor, the Arbitrator is not going to be faster than these ships, but I can hope that they don't feel like overheating anything to catch a T1 cruiser.

I consider trying to use my tracking disruptor on one of the dps ships, but discard the idea - none of them are flashy, so I'd just attract gate fire. I have to wait until after they've stopped shooting.

0:13 - I've thought about things, and I'm now starting to move.

0:17 - The Arazu hits me with a scram at 21km that shuts off my overheated mwd. Ouch! However, only one of the Tornados is actually moving, so I'm almost instantly carried out of his scram range. The damage is done, however, because my mwd was shut off, and it happened so fast that I didn't actually realise what happened until I watched the replay.

0:18 - I'm alpha'd by the Hurricane. However, because it happens so fast, I don't actually notice at first, because I went from a full health Arbitrator to a full health pod after a flicker that looked like a glitch out of the corner of my eye (I was watching ranges and aggression on my overview to activate my TD). So I sit there like a muppet instead of warping off!

0:22 > 0:24 - The overview picks up the fact that I've been aggressed, so I start trying to activate my TD (really should have started the targeting earlier - another learning point), and I notice I now don't HAVE a TD. Oh.

I instantly select a celestial and start trying to warp out. However, the Arazu has clearly now overheated his scram, and shuts down my pod. Nothing more I can do here.



I don't think there was any way out of this camp for me. Perils of flying bigger ships, I suppose. Still, that doesn't excuse the mistakes I made.

First, although zooming out helped me come up with a plan, I really ought to have zoomed back in to keep an eye on my ship. Getting moving again after the brief hit with the scram could have made a difference if the gang had less alpha.

Next, I should have started targeting my TD targets right away, as cruisers have a far longer lock time than frigates. Although I never had the chance to use the TD, I would have wanted it active before the second volley.

Finally, I should have noticed immediately when I went down, and used the fact that I had broken lock and was outside the Arazu's normal point range to simply warp out. I had loads of time, if I had just taken advantage of it.

That said, I do think I made the right call trying to pull range on the tackle. None of them even started their engines, so they were never going to be able to catch me again if I could tank their damage for even two volleys.


  1. All agreed on the points listed in your afterthought. As someone who periodically gets herself caught in camps in bigger hulls, I still haven't mastered the ability to align myself so I can coast out of scram range and burn off (whether to kite tacklers or escape), and the silly scram range on the Arazu doesn't make that any easier.

  2. Honestly I think you are overthinking it a bit. That was a pretty horrible situation for an arbitrator (or anything armor). Sure, they messed up and you could have gotten away, but you'd need those catlike reflexes, and there's no guarantee that you would have gotten away anyways what with your align time to change direction and warp.

    If it were me, I'd have just written it off as "I was screwed no matter what".