Friday, August 24, 2012

Travel fits, fail fits, and...

The paired Tech-II warp-core stabilizers did more than save my personal bacon last night.

The fleet that was up in militia wanted high-DPS ships, preferably Tier-3 battlecruisers, to roam around and bust infrastructure hubs.  I don't know about POSes, but hubs can absorb an awful lot of damage, and the night before last, we were throwing a couple of dozen stealth bombers at hubs and not making much progress at all.  Stealth bombers are great for sneaking in and out of hostile territory, and for sneaking up on targets and laying down a lot of pain, but for extended damage-dealing, they're less than ideal - lower damage potential, and more importantly, limited ammunition reserves.  We had someone in a blockade runner camped in a safe spot dispensing additional torpedoes, but we were on the edge of running out of ammunition (and my sojourn in the Manticore ended with its shot locker basically empty).

So for this one, I brought out my bunker-buster ship: an Oracle.  Only Tech 1 lasers, but the best meta lasers my sketchy bank account could accomodate, with multifrequency crystals that deal max damage at short range (and can essentially fire forever; the crystals don't degrade, and my Core Capacitor Elite certificate means I can make this fit capacitor-stable), rigged for pure firepower with three heat sinks in the low slots, a microwarp drive and a cap recharger in the mids along with a shield extender, and three more slots to play with.  Some people use inertial stabilizers, others use tank modules, others will just put nanofibers in the lows.

Last night, I fitted two Tech-II warp-core stabilizers, and left them in the lows.

The only real difference between them and their Tech-I counterparts is lowering of the penalties - 40% reduction in targeting range and scan resolution, per unit, as opposed to 50%.  Normally crippling, but since my guns were going to be shooting at a stationary target, and their range would only be about 20km or so, chopping targeting range to 30km was an acceptable sacrifice.

We were hitting hub after hub - I joined late, but they'd managed to knock over a bunch already, and I was there for about three system flips, and we were working on a fourth when pirates started to drop in on us.  One hostile came to the hub we were bashing, flying a Tengu.  We'd lost a bunch of ships as the EU timezone claimed their pilots for sleep, so I was the last Oracle on the field.

I guess that made me the juiciest target.

The fleet coordinator called for everyone to warp out; my corp had saved a safe spot in-system, a while ago, so I was aligned and ready to roll.  Off to the side in the overview, the Tengu pilot's line showed up ... with the little blue warp scrambler icon.

But there was no corresponding alert in the lower center of the HUD.

My shields dropped by about a quarter - the Tengu had decided that the Oracle was the highest-value kill on the field, and had started launching missiles at me - but then: "Warp drive active."

I'd tanked the salvo, slipped the tackle, and gotten away clean.

The FC asked: who got killed?  Because when a hostile drops into tackling range, especially an armed-to-the-teeth strategic cruiser, usually one person gets left behind, tackled, unable to run, helpless as the rest of the fleet warps away.

Not this time.  Everyone had escaped - because I'd drawn the point, and the incoming fire, shrugged them all off, and in the time it would have taken for the Tengu to switch targets and scramble someone else, everyone was gone.

Essentially, we'd decoyed the Tengu with a travel-fit banana boat.

And when an aggressor comes away from an ambush without any kills, I mark that down as a win.

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