You know what’s frustrating? Patrolling for Crusaders, but finding only Tribal Liberation Forces saturating the contested zones.
Fantastic news for the Republic, and I’m sure a multitude of slaves are embracing freedom for the hundredth time in the never-ending spat between Empires, but for the lowly dog-of-war looking to capture space and take Amarr bounties, it’s fairly frustrating.
Still, there are still pockets of Crusader resistance. I eased into system, and warped off to capture a novice complex. I was flying the Agkulis Condor. I don’t usually like to capture complexes, least of all in a brawler, but with nothing but allies around I couldn’t think of anything more productive to do.
Quick tip: If you find yourself with nothing to do, think of some way to earn a little bit of extra cash. There’s an opportunity cost argument in there somewhere, but basically you should keep yourself doing something. Avoid ship spinning at all costs.
I jumped into the plex, and Scourge rockets popped the Amarr Crusader lackey with ease. I reloaded, starting orbiting the beacon at 500m, and warmed up the weapon systems.
The timer ticked down, and it really looked like I was going to capture the point without incident. For a change, I started orbiting the complex itself rather than the warp-in beacon.
A TLF capsuleer in system commented on my ship’s name, but that was the extent of interaction. Not that my ship’s name was offensive or even interesting… but that was literally the only thing someone could talk about in system.
Until the police showed up…
Well, the Police Comet.
Piloted by a pirate.
I didn’t have time to think about the irony of that, since it jumped straight into my complex and started shooting. Didn’t even read me my rights first.
I don’t know much about Comet’s beyond them being Gallente, and Gallente generally means Blasters. I leapt towards my opponent, starting in a tight orbit, and widening out to the limit of my rocket range(~8km). I intended to fight in the blasters’ fall-off.
Rockets flew and little pulse of light erupted from the Comet’s guns. My shields took a beating, but just a few pulses of the booster brought them back up.
I took a closer look at the guns, and noticed they weren’t blasters at all! He had fit rails! I re-adjusted my orbit to point blank range (500m), and damage to my shields dropped to a trickle.
My neutraliser came into play, and soon it was dead in the water, rockets hammering on its hull, rending great holes in the metal, exposing the soft innards to hard vacuum!
And soon, it was little more than a rapidly expanding cloud of debris!
Victory was mine, and ‘gf’s were exchanged in local. Remember your post-fight etiquette.
At which point the TLF member who commented on my ship name warped in to the complex. He inquired what ‘gf’ meant, and I replied ‘good fight’. He then made a coarse comment, and that was it for our little interaction. His character was revealed by waiting around the complex to leech the Loyalty Points for capture.
I didn’t really care. The LP is a nice bonus, but the loot the Police Comet dropped covered the price of my Condor. The thrill of bringing down a faction frigate in a T1 hull is nothing compared to a few thousand LP, and a solo kill mail is a treasure beyond that of monetary gain. And I picked up some drones too!
Wait, where did the drones come from?
I was a little lucky. The Comet was fit for kiting, and was clearly expecting a kiting Condor to match. However, had my reaction of getting into a tight orbit and hitting the scram and web on fast meant he had little chance to escape. There may be something in orbiting the complex as opposed to the warp in spot.
It was good that I checked his weapons early on in the fight. If I had remained out at scram range, eventually his higher firepower (and drones) would have carried the day. I’m pleased that I was able to adapt my strategy mid-fight.
The neutralizer worked out great as a engagement shorten-er. I doubt it was the defining module in my victory, but I’m reasonably confident it helped speed things up. Against laser ships it’ll certainly prove more useful, but in this fight it shut down his armour repairer.
Apparently, the Comet has a complement of drones. I did not realize this, and as such, did not have my drone overview settings open. I didn’t even find out about them until after the engagement, when I scooped them into cargo. The oversight here was lack of knowledge. Hardly a fatal error, but something that should be considered for future fights.
About the rather rude TLF member, well, that’s an issue I had in the Crusade as well. Nothing much you can do about it. When you’re a dog working with other dogs, you can’t be surprised if a few of them are mangy or ridden with fleas. Just remember to take a bath regularly and don’t hang around the vermin. You might catch their fleas.
Study Gallente ships a little more thoroughly.
Take a bath.
Overall, I’m very happy with this fight. It stands as a shining example of how good planning, and prior knowledge (with a healthy dose of luck!) can give you victory. Even if you fly a T1 attack ship against a faction frigate.
For records of other engagements click here.