Friday, July 13, 2012

It's the pilot, not the ship

The other day, I was hopping around trying to tackle a few faction missions in a Drake, and got caught by a Hurricane and a Cyclone trying to tag-team me around some gates in the neighborhood of the mission space.  Several things went wrong with their approach:

1) I was near gates when they engaged, so scramming me wouldn't stop me from jumping.
2) I wasn't aggressing, so I could jump and they couldn't follow.
3) I was flying a variant on the brick-tank Drake, with purger rigs, shield extenders and shield power relays - although I did swap out one relay for a power diagnostic, and sacrifice one mid-slot recharger for a MWD for mission range control.

They didn't crack my tank, not even close.  I ended up hopping around a few systems to shake them, looping back, and finishing the mission for a nice payout.  They burned a lot of ammo, probably T2 or faction, and basically wasted their time.

So that was a win for me.

Last night was different.  Patrol in the neighborhood of the low-sec base, in an active-tank Enyo I think of as my patrol fit.  (Some day soon I've got to get a second one, to rig and fit for pure gank; one problem with armor buffer is that it doesn't regenerate, so without armor logi support, you can't do things like secure a plex.)  I jumped into a system where one of the corpmates was doing some defensives, to help out if I could.

And a Drake jumped in right behind me.

Now, this guy wasn't a war target, just a neutral.  I figured I'd better stick around, see what he'd do.

He locked me up; that happens, not necessarily an aggressive act.

Then he opened fire.

Now, I didn't know his fit; if he was flying a brick-tank Drake, I didn't have enough firepower to crack his tank, but I could probably circle him and hold him with a scram and let other people come in and add their firepower.  I could tank his missiles by pulsing the armor repper (unless he'd fitted rapid light launchers, in which case I would be in deep trouble, but who's going to go roaming in a Drake with weapons that won't work on anything much more than frigates?), and I had a T2 Hobgoblin to take on his drones while I minded the tackle.

I hadn't figured on the gate guns.

Down went his drones, one, two, three, four, five, and suddenly it was me in the Enyo and my buddy in a Cormorant versus a Drake that was losing shields pretty fast.  Orbit close, guns - whoops, don't forget the scram - run the NOS to shore up my cap - rep up the armor ...

When an Enyo's shields go down, it's still a threat.  When a Drake's shields go down, it's half past time to bug out.  Except I still had the Drake scrammed, pinned against the gate, and between my ion guns, my mate's rails, and the gate guns ...

... Kaboom.

The only ultimate damage I suffered was to my drone, which got kind of dinged up a bit in the scrap.  Everything else got taken care of by the armor rep.

And as it turns out, the Drake pilot had engaged in possibly the worst matchup possible for his fit; he was armed with heavy assault missiles, great against short-range targets, cruisers and up, but against an assault frigate with a reduced MWD signature bloom, HAMs waste most of their damage on empty space.  Oh, sure, he could have taken me - if he'd been T2 fitted with his skills maxed out, he could have done more DPS than I could tank, but he still wouldn't have been able to tank the Enyo's damage, so in a pure one-on-one match, it would have been a race.  Well, he wasn't fully T2 fitted for tank or gank, it wasn't a one-on-one, and his HAMs were basically just scorching my paint while my ion guns were ripping him open.

He was probably just roaming around looking for a "good fight" against a target of opportunity.  What he ended up with was the wrong weapons against the wrong opponent at the wrong place and the wrong time.

Lesson: don't start a brawl with a knife-fighter if all you've got is a bazooka.  And be smart about your engagements.  Like the movie said, sometimes the winning move is not to play.

Or, at least, not to let the other guy set the rules of the game.

No comments:

Post a Comment