Last month I asked a dear fellow from the Amarr faction how much his Dramiel cost, after he destroyed my shitfit Rifter for at least the 3rd time…
“However much I want it to.”
My Wife and I fly a pair of shitfit Rifters, bouncing between kite and brawl fits. We may soon throw in some Breachers, Slashers, Condors and Merlins into the mix, but for now, we have about a dozen more Rifters to blow through. Each Rifter costs a little under a mil, after buying everything on long multi-jump buy orders. If only one of us can play (Me), then I will fly around consolidating my fittings. The ships are valued at 1.5mil outright.
A few nights earlier we took down his Dramiel, my wife dealing 59% the required damage, and taking none herself. The killmail estimated the value lost at 92mil. The drops were two faction modules, totaling around 45mil. We have been blown up by a few Comets as well, estimated around 45-55mil worth. I was inspired by this post, and wanted to express my own definition of risk-tanking. I can lose approximately 40-80 ships before I have lost the ISK attached to one enemy killmail. I make enough LP waiting for fights and enjoying a quiet evening with my spouse to purchase 2-3 of these ships a plex, and capture an average of 3 plexes before one or both of us die. We have single-handedly increased a contested system from 10% to almost 60%, and have increased many other systems marginally.
If the best gauge of an Eve players’ success is not ISK/hr, but fun/hr, then we would definitely be ‘up’ compared to the pilots we have flown against. We have no fear, we profit regardless, and every now and then we get to enjoy the tears of an elite PVPer when he dies to a pair of ships that are worth less than a 20th of his own. So how does a very understaffed and outgunned militia win against the odds? The same way we always win: Asymmetric warfare, and in my case, risk-tanking.
Since that first big kill, my risk-tanking adventures have paid dividends. I have a few hundred thousand LP with TLF, and have hoarded the fittings for about 30 scram+MWD brawling Breachers, with 5 or so fully fitted sitting around at any given moment. I lose somewhere between zero and three every time I play, probably about 5-10 a week. They are a bit pricier than my Rifter fitting, due to the Medium Ancillary Shield Booster, but simply maintaining my highsec PI can keep me well stocked, much less when I start liquidating my LP. MinMil is currently at the cusp of T3, usually around 41-43%, and always with a half dozen ihub’s vulnerable, just waiting for attention that will never come. Amarrs is down in T1 with single digit percentages. This has made defensive plexing viable, although I am frequently vetoed on that activity since my wife thinks it’s boring.
One evening we set out to capture an enemy plex or two before bed, and head out to one of the few nearby Amarr systems, Sosala. We captured a pair of Novice sites with no problems, although the occasional Thrasher sniffed around the system, and a certain Magus made its patrols. We decided to take the risk and try for a Small site. This is usually the time of night that we get blapped by something bigger and meaner than ourselves; or if we have any sense, get chased away and dock up for the night.
An Astero happens to come snooping around, and while I was hesitant to engage, I did not give the order to flee and my wife did not profess an urge to continue living. I preheat my MWD, approach, lock, refrain from turning on scram+web+rockets, and then finally orbit at my 500m default. I noticed the that Astero pilot is not a WT, and I’d rather not lose sec status if I don’t have to. The Astero turns towards me, locking me in kind. He struck first, leaving my sec status unaltered, and the battle began in earnest. I have been doing my research, and knew the Astero would most likely be dealing most of its damage via drones. I call out to target the drones after a full flight of Hobgoblins start tearing into my ship. He strips my shields off fairly easily, but the MASB replaces what was lost almost as fast.
My Wife warps away.
We have made such a habit of getting blapped that the shields warning alert became a Pavlovian warp trigger. I am scrammed as well, and have no choice but to hold the line. I manage to take out numerous drones (I estimate 4-6, I wasn’t counting) before I run out of cap booster and the MASB goes into reload. Oops, forgot to disable that. Warning klaxons abound as my shields, armor and structure are removed by the Astero’s second flight of drones. (They weren’t Hobgoblins) I do get my pod out of harm’s way, and a ‘GF’ in local punctuates a mounting domestic dispute.
In the end it was my fault, I did not give the order to stay, nor did I give the order to leave. We had a brief discussion about what the shields-burning siren means, and a reminder that when I’m concentrating on not-dying, I might not reply. All in all it was an excellent evening, lying in bed with the post-pvp jitters after a really close fight. That Astero kill, while not flying under Amarr, would have equalized many more deaths and hopefully reduced my outstanding “snuggly” rating.