Wednesday, 28 October 2009

Rare and exotic

These are two words to describe the ships that I encountered today. Another two would be deadly and lethal. I had a bit of an impetuous day today and as a consequence both the rare faction ship the Nightmare and the Tech III beastie the Proteus both ended up on a couple of my death mails. For your viewing pleasure these can be seen here and here.

I collected the Proteus death mail in null-sec. Me and a drake friend jumped through a gate, and to our delight found a falcon sitting there. We immediatly locked and attacked it. The falcon had the drake jammed and locked down in a very short space of time leaving only my DPS to break through it's shields. I had got it down to about 1/5 when the Harbinger and afformentioned Proteus joined the fray and attacked me. I immediatly deaggressed and went for the gate. I got in range but the gate wouldn't let me jump on account of my hostile actions and I would have to wait. It was a race against time; could my tank hold out against the two DPS heavy ships? Well obviously not and I have the death mail to show for it. The Drake pilot made it out alive.

The second wasn in high sec. Me and a corp mate went hunting for war targets and we located a couple in a nearby system. They were outside a station attacking another of our allies. It was a the Nightmare and a Hurricane. we decided we should go for the Hurricane. Now instead of doing the sensible thing i.e. waiting to see if I could cope with the Nightmare's DPS then attacking, I steamed towards the Hurricane and aggressed it. I immediatly regretted it as the Nightmare's guns tore into me. Once again I had the aggression timer and so couldn't dock staright away. The gauling thing is that my ship exploded just as I got docking permission. If I'd only lasted a few more seconds I wouldn't have a second Brutix death mail in the same day. Oh well, lessons learnt and all that. In this case I learnt (again) not to be too eager.

Sunday, 25 October 2009

Advanced technology

The money is pouring in. And it is wonderful. Although at the moment I have very little to spend it on. My money making battleship is going to cost only a small percentage of the money I have amassed, so I am going to be left with quite a large sum, and as always I want to spend it on something shiny. Up to this point I have only dabbled in Tech II ships, and stuck totally to the frigate variety. I have trained to fly all Tech II frigates, save interceptors. I hope to correct that soon, as I think it will be great fun to whizz around the battlefield at extreme speeds. Out of those I have flown, the ones i have used and enjoyed the most are covert ops ships and stealth bombers. I did fly assault ships for a while but I felt that their life expectancy was too low considering the price I had to pay for them; I was a lot lower on funds then. Unfortunately my electronic attack frigate plans have never been anything more than plans. Although I do own one and I have tested it out on a few friends' ships, I have never used it in combat. Aside from interceptors, I am now turning my attention Tech II cruisers. The elongated training time for them though means I won't, at least initially, be able to train for all of them. This means I am forced to choose.

As I stated above, I favour covert ops ships, so the logical next step would be to move to Recon ships. The Gallente recon ships are the Arazu and the Lachesis. The Arazu is stealth and electronic warfare orientated and the lachesis is combat and electronic warfare orientated. I think I would rule out the Lachesis straight away as the type of electronic warfare the Gallente recons are proficient in, sensor dampeners, does not really lend itself to outright combat situations. Also I was going to get a dedicated combat ship there are far more potent ships I could choose. The Arazu is much more support orientated. It's specifically designed electronics allow it to use the covert ops cloak which has none of the movement restrictions that less sophisticated cloaking technology imposes on the ships that use them. This means it can move at full speed when cloaked, and can warp normally as well. This allows it move around systems undetected and allows it watch enemies and helps it to more easily set up ambushes. It is most definitely a support ship, and can only be used solo in a very select set of circumstances as it is not big on damage or tank. The Arazu is quite a versatile ship due to its abundance of mid slots and can be fitted in various ways. Combined with the cloak it can be quite a nasty ship, and as a consequence it is one of the ones I am considering. As a bonus I don't need to do that much training to get up to it.

Heavy assault ships would be the next logical choice as I have all the prerequisites save the actual skill I need to fly the ships. This ship class is all about damage. The Gallente HACs are the Deimos, and the Ishtar. The Ishtar is a drone boat, and tends to specialise in Tech II heavy drones and sentry drones, neither of which I can currently use or will be able to use for at least a couple of months, so for this reason alone I am ruling this ship out straight away. As soon as I can use them I will undoubtedly use this ship as it is fantastic in all respects. That just leaves the Deimos, which has got the unfortunate nickname the "diemost" which, I admit, does not fill me with confidence. However, I am intrigued by this ship. I have had a play around with the fittings in a computer model and have come up with what I think are several viable fits that I would very much like to try out. You can certainly get an astonishing amount of damage out of it. If you go for pure damage though it does become somewhat of a glass cannon. For now, due to the fitting issues I think I shall leave this one be.

The next class of ship is the heavy interdictor. These ships are all about keeping the enemy in one place and preventing escape. To this end these ships can use a special piece of tech that lets them create warp disruption bubbles around the ship. No ship inside this bubble can warp and it also drags ship out of warp if they try to pass through. These ships can also put out a truly huge tank, worthy of a battleship if fit correctly. The Gallente 'dictor is the Phobos. For this ship I need to branch out and learn a bit of science so I can operate the highly technical warp bubble gizmo, other than that the only skills I need to train are some propulsion jamming skills so the training time is very reasonable. I already have pretty decent armour tanking skills, but a little brushing up never hurt anyone. The ships slot layout is pretty decent as well, especially in the mids. There are enough to fit a full tackle plus mwd/ab and some E-war or other gadget so it is pretty versatile. The downside of these ships is that they don't put out a massive amount of damage but they can sure as hell take it. I like these ships and the role they have to play so I am putting the Phobos in the possible pile along with the Arazu.

The last class of Tech II cruiser are Logistics ships, which as their name suggests are geared entirely towards support. I'm not adverse to that, quite the opposite. Logistics ships can turn the tide of battle, be it in a small gang or a large fleet. They excel at repairing damage to ships in the field and can do it from a significant distance if need be. The Gallente ship is the Oneiros and it specialises in armour repair. The training time for the actual ship itself is pretty quick but the support skills would take to longer than all bar the Ishtar. So, like the Ishtar this one goes on the long term pile.

So I'm left with just two: the Arazu and the Phobos. Out of the two the Arazu is the closest training time wise and I think that it would be a laugh riot to fly. On the other hand I think that the Phobos would be more useful for null sec and you can't argue with the massive tank that it puts out. As a character in one of my favourite holo-vids once said "The problem is choice".

Thursday, 22 October 2009

On the road to redemption

For the past several weeks I have been laboriously regaining my reputation with CONCORD so that I may finally return to the well supplied cradle of high-sec. It's a pain in the arse having to rely on other people to transport ships and equipment for you; you always have to wait. And I'm not that patient. I want my new shiny toys now! Also it will greatly cut down any travelling I may need to do, and make it a lot safer. I'm part way there, I'm now at just under -3.5 so I can now enter high-sec systems with a rating of 0.5, 0.6, or 0.7. Only another 1.5 points of security then I will be free to go anywhere again. It has been such a long time since I have been into high-sec.

Talking of new toys, I have had my first experience of bombs! I finished the necessary training for a couple of weeks ago, but had yet to use them. Me and a couple of corp mates decided to cause some havoc in a hostile system. We choose a system called X-70. It was currently being fought over by two alliances: Pandemic Legion and Maru'kage, so we knew it would be packed to the gunnels with hostiles. Sure enough when we got into local there were over sixty pilots in the system. For the first twenty minutes or so we flew around checking out the various stations and gates to see if we could get a good idea of what was going on. We decided upon a station to camp and we attempting to get into position, when I carelessly flew to close and uncloaked myself. There were several hostile ships hanging around outside the station, so I panicked and hit the "dock" button. This was a foolish mistake though as I, ironically, ended up being camped into the very station I had been attempting to camp. I was stuck there for about half an hour before they obviously got bored, and left. I immediately undocked and got away from there. We moved to a different station and set up in appropriate positions, without any blunders this time.

We didn't have to wait long for our first target to present itself. A Wolf assault ship undocked and I immediately gave the order to release bombs. I uncloaked, launched the bomb, and warped off before the pilot even had time to lock me. My partner did the same. The third member unfortunately had not got into position in time so only two bombs flew in the Wolf's direction. I got the automated damage report, but sadly the number was far smaller than I had hoped for. The ships small signature radius had obviously protected it from most of the damage. On the bright side I had correctly judged the distance and had actually hit the frigate, which is more than can be said for my corp mate who missed all together. No matter it was only a practice run. We moved to another station and set up bombing spots. A Hurricane undocked, and we went through the bombing drill. The ships far larger sig radius would insure big hits, and I wasn't disappointed. All three of us hit successfully this time, but our damage, although large, was not sufficient to actually kill the ship. It ended up about half armour. After that run, I warped to various stations and gates and started to set up good bombing spots. While scanning for ships I picked up one of the most awe inspiring ships in the universe: a Leviathan Titan. I had to go check it out as I had never seen one in the flesh before. I arrived at a moon to find the truly massive ship sitting inside a POS shield. I was severely tempted to chuck a bomb at just for shits and giggles, but I decided not to. I did however manage to grab a few shots of it on my pict-recorder.

While I was gawping at the ship, one of our trio reported a massive gate camp of Pandemic Legion ships sitting on one of the gates. I warped straight there, and decided then and there that we should bomb it. There were various types of ships, but among them some slightly thinner ships such as recons and tech I cruisers, that our bombs would be able to take out. We got in position as quickly as we could, but annoyingly they choose this minute to jump out of system and we missed our chance. At this point I was called back to JC on some business so we called it a day and disbanded, disappointingly with no kills, but equally with no losses. I have to say I did love causing trouble.