Friday, 21 October 2016

Tormentor v Rifter

The fight

I have not been able to play much this week, and what time I have had has been devoted to plexing Anka. It's a quiet system, so it's very attractive to Minmatar plex farmers, and I have my work cut out for me.

Sometimes, though, pirates and war targets come through looking for a fight. Often they pass me by - I'm in the smaller plexes because these push sov up that much faster, and their larger ships can't reach me - but from time to time a frigate or two will try and jump in on me. This was one such occasion.

I orbit the beacon at 5 km in a Tormentor. I want to be close enough to snag kiting ships, but not so close that blaster brawlers land right on top of me. The Rifter lands about 6 km out, and we both rush to engage. He's in a brawler, then.

I overheat my guns, SAAR and (initially) my scram, but I forget to overheat my afterburner. This allows the Rifter to get into an orbit of about 1.5 km, where I'm doing no damage beyond what my drones are bringing. He has clearly fit a SAAR as well, though, and my drones can't break his tank on their own.

Seeing the problem, I align to the sun and overheat my afterburner, trying to keep our transversal velocities as low as I can. It helps, but I've given my opponent too much of a head start, and I'm fairly certain that I'm going down. By the time my SAAR is on it's last nanite charged cycle, I start spamming the 'warp' button so that I can get my pod out.

I hit warp after an explosion, but I notice that I'm still in my ship. Deep in structure and trailing fire, to be sure, but still in my ship. Did I manage to burn out of point range? That seems unlikely. Wait, is that his pod on my overview? I won?

I am so pro, I tell you. So pro.


So what actually happened? Chatting with my opponent, the story was amusing. Apparently, he burned out his guns trying to break my active tank. Realising he could no longer win, he turned to burn out of scram range. The instant that he broke orbit, though, I started hitting him for full damage, and it was enough to finish him, because his SAAR had also run out of charges!

Ironically, if he had just turned off his scram he would have survived, as I was spamming 'warp' in anticipation of my imminent loss.

I fought Torfn a second time that evening - the fight had been close enough that he fancied his chances the second time around - but this time I remembered to overheat my prop mod, and he was not able to achieve an orbit. The Tormentor puts out some pretty face melting dps (when it can apply it), and the result the second time around was not even close. Whereas the first fight forced me to use a full load of paste in my SAAR, the second fight only pushed me to use three charges.

Of course, because I'm an elite pvper, I managed to burn out my prop mod when I forgot to stop overheating it after the fight.


Still, our first fight, or rather the closeness of it, was very thought provoking. If my opponent had an extra rank in Thermodynamics, I would have lost. Another rank in Small Autocannon Specialization, the same. Those tiny percentages add up, and can swing a fight.

Since coming back to Eve, my skill queue has been a mess, full of 'wouldn't that be nice one day' skills. After the fight, I cleared everything, and filled my queue only with skills that affect the damage or tank of my Tormentor. Like all split weapon ships, the Tormentor is very skill intensive to fly, and lasers are perhaps the most skill intensive of all the weapon systems, thanks to their capacitor draw.

It will take me four months of training to max out my Tormentor - more if I want to include non-Hobgoblin drones - but I think it will be very worthwhile in the long run. It's a ship that I'm really enjoying, and those skills will apply well to a great many other ships.

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