This is something my ship choice has been lacking recently, as my kill board will attest to. I need wanted to fly something other than the ever reliable Incursus. So looking at the frigate choice, I plumped for Tristan. This sturdy frigate can fit something that, so far, I haven't really had any experience with: Rockets. So, being the good little student that I am, I went and did all the learning that I required for these babies, and then some. Basic training would not be enough for real combat, so I got some additional operation info and some tips and tricks on how to modify the missiles for longer, faster flight, and how to fit better warheads. Next, after seeking advice from a fellow Tusker and strong advocate for the Tristan, Leo Solunar, I bough myself a couple of ships and all the fittings I would need. I took it out on a roam with the Tuskers, the first target to feel the bite of my Tristan's weapons was a Harbinger battlecruiser. It went down in a very short space of time, we all stopped firing when it was on about 2-3% structure and tried to ransom the ship. The pilot wouldn't have it though so the ship bit the dust. The pod was snared but the pilot obviously didn't value his life as he refused ransom again. He woke up in a fresh clone. The second victim, also a battlecruiser, was a Drake, that Leo Solunar had probed out. We warped in and got a point on him, and he went down under the massed fire power of the rats and our fleet. This is where things got messy, the target identified was a Myrmidon. This encounter did not go well and several frigates were lost including my shiny new Tristan. Oh well. I had another.
The next day, for another change of pace, I hopped into a Vexor. This is a cruiser class ship that I flew a lot in my early days but hadn't flown for some time. My skills in it were average at best, but this didn't matter, as I managed to get in on two battleship kills. They were exploring a dead space complex together, and had been probed out. I arrived late into the battle so didn't get in an enormous amount of damage, but we still managed to bag a Dominix and a Megathron kill. As with the Tristan the previous day, what seemed like a promising start crashed and burned. Much like my Vexor. This is where my lack of skills started to show through, I was engaged by a Drake at a gate and was holding him there until the others arrived. However I could not dish out enough damage and couldn't tank the formidable damage coming from the battlecruiser. As a result my cruiser exploded, and the Drake escaped. Determined not to waste a night I went back to Hevrice and picked up the other Tristan that I had brought over. This time things went much better, and we notched up a few decent kills. The first was a Myrmidon. It was engaged by three of the fleet while me and Caster Rom went to get our ships. We both arrived at the scene just in time to make a few token shots at the ship before it was obliterated. The second kill was a much better showing of the Tristan's abilities. I scanned out a Caracal at an asteroid belt and warped in to get point. The mighty Tristan tore through the ship and I had it deep into armour before the rest of the fleet arrived to finish it off. I could have easily soloed it. The Caracal pilot obviously had a friend in the system, as just as he exploded a Hurricane landed on grid with us. While attempting to help his friend was very noble, it was a foolish mistake and died in seconds to our combined firepower. The Caracal pilots pod had been snared in during the action but he refused ransom and was killed.
Later that same night, after the fleet had disbanded I took the Tristan out to see how it performed without backup. The answer? Very well apparently. I managed to get three solo kills in the space of an hour or so. The first was a Burst who was foolishly sitting in a belt and mining. He went down in three volleys. There was nothing to be gained from killing him so I let the poor excuse for a pilot get away. The second kill was a Cormorant class destroyer I found clearing out a Caldari complex. He was so focused on his task that he didn't even notice me until I locked on to him, and by then it was far too late to do anything and his ship was engulfed in a ball of flame. I got the pod, but he refused ransom so he was destroyed without mercy. I ran across the pilot of the Cormorant again in another system, once again attempting to clear out a complex, this time in a Merlin. I jumped him again, but this time he was paying attention. Instead of running away, he targeted me and attacked me. It didn't end well for him, before I was even in half shields his ship died. He was on the ball though and his pod got away. I decided I liked the Tristan.
About a week later I went out on a roam with the Tuskers. Still in the Tristan, me and another pilot called Gilad Ayn, also a Tusker, took out a Thorax. Gilad got point and by the time I arrived the cruiser was almost dead, and I just got some token damage. Then someone else in the fleet said they had detected a few ships missioning. This was the perfect opportunity for me to test out my latest toy: a Helios covert ops ship. I had paid the hefty price for this ship, once again in the name of diversity. Also expanding one's repertoire of skills is never a bad thing. I set to work probing the battlecruiser out, and located the Myrmidon at a mission site. When the fleet warped in though he was far enough away to escape before we reached him. I warped back to the entry point, using the incredibly useful cloaking device to remain hidden. I was to notify the rest of the fleet if the pilot returned. Something much better happened however. I was flying around the gate when all of a sudden I uncloaked. This only happens if you come within 2000m of something else. I was confused because the only thing on my overview was the acceleration gate. Then an Arazu decloaked as well. This was a tech II cruiser, a recon ship. Basically a bigger, nastier version on my ship. The odds of bumping into him in the vastness of space were insane, but I had done it. Luckily the pilot wasn't paying attention and he didn't notice. I quickly called in the fleet and the expensive ship was reduced to salvage. The inattentive pilot had obviously gone to get a coffee or something. Then another stroke of luck; the Myrmidon pilot returned. With our fleet still sitting at the gate, he was jammed in seconds and quickly destroyed. The pod escaped. The rest of the night went very badly indeed. We scanned out a Mitari recon ship called a Huugin, and Leo went in to get point. The rest of the fleet warped in to destroy another expensive ship. Then the Huugin's friends warped in and the fight turned into an all out rout. It was fleet of tech II cruisers, with a Taranis as a tackler. Among them were two Vagabonds and an Ishtar. Three frigates were lost; Leo's Ishkur, Man Barthelme's Rifter, and Caster Rom's Taranis. All I could do was sit, cloaked at a distance and watch my friends get killed. It was certainly interesting though.
Licking out wounds we returned to Hevrice. Several people jumped in battleships and we scouted around for a target once more. We found one in Hevrice, a Megathron battleship. It docked up though so we blockaded the station. I was still in my Helios so once again I was watching, and providing information. The Megathron undocked and he was immediately locked, jammed, and hamemered by weapon fire. Then one of his friends undocked in a Nidhoggur class carrier. It launched fighters, and in a scarily short space of time decimated two battleships and a battlecruiser. Ronan and Leo both lost ships. It was a spectacular battle to watch, and rather awe inspiring to see the power of capital ships from the safety of my cloaked covert ops ship.
My most recent adventure, or rather misadventure, involved me, a friend called Brennander, and a Tusker called Ghoststalker. We went out on a roam, that initially went well. We bagged a Catalyst and narrowly missed his two mates. We scanned the two remaining ships to a moon and I warped there to check it out. Instead of finding our quarry, I found a young pilot in a Vexor. I reported the find and headed towards it. I got point, and called the others in. I had melted his shields and his armour was going the same way. Then he deployed warrior II drones. This surprised me, I did not suspect such a young pilot would have the necessary skills to use such deadly weapons. What I thought would be an easy kill turned into three easy kills for the Vexor pilot, as his drones tore all three of our frigates apart. Brenn lost a Merlin, Ghost lost a Rifter, and I lost a Tristan. After all those adventures, I've decided that I'm going to try and vary the ships I use as often as possible to keep things fresh and interesting. I have plans for a Maulus fit that I want to try out, and I want to try using the Atron as well. I'm also going to brush up on my cruiser skills and get out in those a little more often. I hope all the ships are as successful as my Tristans.