Edit: I've largely convinced youtube to behave, and the above video can now be viewed in HD. It's not perfect, but it's leaps and bounds better than what it was. I'll try and improve the base recording (FRAPS) if I can do so without lagging out during a fight. For those on limited bandwidth, these posts should be able to stand without the video, which is intended as a bonus.
I'd had to go to a board meeting on Saturday, which mean I really only got to play on Sunday (I had to travel to and from the board meeting, and by the time I got back I was to wiped out to play). I got up early, though, and went for a roam that probably lasted about two hours.
I roamed fruitlessly, however. I'm learning to hate my scram, as I missed three targets that were within the range of a long point when they warped out. The Arbitrator is no faster than my Vengeance, and if I'm going to slowly chug towards escaping targets, my Vengeance does that just fine, but with less of a reputation (some people in local told me specifically that they would not fight because I was in an Arbitrator). I even hurled myself into a fight with two destroyers, assuming I would die in a fire, only to have them run out on me.
With the roam a bust, I logged out for down-time, and came back on later in the day. I spent another hour or so roaming, and played tag with some guys in OMS, but still nothing. I was jumping through Heydieles, though, when I spotted a Rifter at an FW site.
Local was packed, and I was pretty sure he would have buddies. He was the only one at the site, though. Perhaps I could sneak up on him? Unlikely, but I wanted a fight, so I warped to the gate.
The Rifter was sitting there, outside the plex, prealigned. As I landed, he activated the gate, and jumped in. Now, I knew it was a trap, and hitting my D-scan told me that there was at least one Stabber Fleet Issue within 14 AU that had not been there before, as well as another Rifter. I could bail, but what fun would that be? I activated the gate.
Landing on top of the Rifter (I guess his plan was to hold me in place?) I snagged him with my overheated scram and hit "approach". Removing the overheat, I hit him with my medium neut, and then the small neuts. I then deactivated the medium neut (did not want to cap myself out needlessly) and unleashed a flight of Warrior II.
Got all that? Yeah, it was a very busy few seconds. And that's when I remembered to turn on FRAPS, and the video starts.
0:00 - I've got three neuts running, and my scram. The TD is NOT running, because I don't think it will help (I'm not going to get under his guns) and I don't think I need it. There is another Rifter in the plex, but he's too far away to be an immediate threat. D-scan tells me I have company coming.
0:01 > 0:04 - Stabber Fleet Issue lands, followed by a Rupture and another Stabber Fleet Issue. Yep, this is going to be as painful as I thought it was going to be.
0:07 - Despite thinking "I'M GONNA DIE!!1!!!!1", I some how manage to watch my modules, and I turn off the third small neut. At this point he ought to have been capped out, and I'm just keeping him shut down. I don't notice at the time, but I'm not actually pointed; running just wasn't on my mind.
0:15 - The Rifter goes down, but the other cruisers have managed to point and web me, and are starting to open fire. I've still not got a firing solution on the Rupture, and things are about to go wrong very, very fast.
0:19 - This is my big failing for the fight. It's only now that I actually start targeting the next ships, and cruisers target much more slowly than my old frigates (equally, I used to use auto return target, so I don't have the habit of lining up further targets). I don't think it would have made an ounce of difference to the outcome of the fight, but it's a really obvious learning point I can take from this. Equally, I should have switched drones out, because my Warrior IIs are not what I need against cruisers. My TD is still not active, but being webbed and scrammed (with the enemy at blank point range) I'm pretty sure that my TD was simply not going to do anything relevant.
0:26 - Taking fire from all three cruisers, I go down in flames, but warp my pod out. The start to finish of my armor damage was about 8 seconds - even if I had turned my repair system on, it would not have finished a cycle.
So, a fast and furious fight, with me taking out one Rifter, but losing my Arbitrator to his friends. BC tells me I came out ahead in points, but barely.
Well, I really enjoyed seeing the video, and being able to go through that second by second felt really useful. Feedback on the new format is appreciated.
In hindsight, there was probably less of a trap than I thought (or a different trap). There was only one Rifter on scan when I jumped, yet when I landed on the gate there was one Rifter at the gate, and (unbeknownst to me) a second Rifter in the plex. I'm guessing that the Rifter in the plex was the one I scanned down, while the Rifter on the gate was another hunter, who, playing tackle for his gang, just happened to land on the gate at the same time as me.
Offensively, I was amazed out just how totally I shut down the Rifter. I've fought cruisers in frigates before, and I've never thought it that big of a deal - it's just something that any Tusker takes for granted. But being on the other side of that fight is pretty eye-opening; he never stood a chance, and went down very fast.
Defensively, the Arbitrator is clearly great it 1v1 fights, but this build lacks the resilience to brawl it up. I miss that aspect of combat, and I could see myself getting into the revamped Maller, if I can get my turret skills up. Or a revamped Caracal. But then, I've always loved tanky ships.
As I noted earlier, though, it was really frustrating to be roaming in such a slow ship but with such a short point. I'm wondering how I might find a faster, longer pointing Arbitrator. Perhaps with guns and defensive (as opposed to offensive) neuts. Something to work on.