July 24, 2013

The War that Wasn't and killing a Caracal

So when last we left our heroes they had been wardec'd by a big bad highsec mercenary corp for the audacity of killing a suspect-flagged Orca in highsec.  I also mentioned that we were enjoying lowsec roaming combined with tag4sec hunting.  Let's see how those turned out.

The War That Wasn't

Our naivete about highsec wars was quickly removed.  One of our guys saw two war targets in system when he logged in at Dodixie so he hopped into an Incursus to go see what was up.  He reported back that he was dead and podded in seconds thanks to a T3/BC tagteam hanging around the undock.  Looking at Poetic's PVP Analysis we could quickly see that this was pretty much all WIS did.  Hang out at hub systems and blow up small stuff.  We weren't going to be interested enough to put together a BC level response so we did the easy thing - we bailed out of corp and carried on.

One week later the war was over and I'd like to declare that we are decisively the winner.  WIS dropped its population hard during the war, whereas we just morphed and reformed.  They spent 50M for the wardec and in return got 20M or so worth of a frigate and pod kill, while we spent a couple MISK to make new corps temporarily.  And on we go.

It was interesting that our CEO got a couple offers of people to join the war on our side, but they all wanted payment (99M or so) and we really didn't care.  If they really wanted to fight WIS they could spend 50M on their own.

Back to Lowsec

So, we returned to doing our own thing.  Not that much for me since I had some vacation and when not doing that I spent more time than perhaps I should on my industrial alt.  But then last night I couldn't deny the itch and even though I only had an hour or so to play I fitted up a new Thorax and headed out.  Same deal as last time, cruise for tags and see if I can find someone one the way.

I was almost done with a loop when I ended up in Hulmate with a pile of belts and only one other pilot in system.  He looked to be in a Russian corp so I figured there was a very good chance he wasn't actually active.  I was going through belts, took another Trainer tag, when I saw a new pilot come into system.  He soon appeared on my wideband D-scan.  Caracal huh?  Well, at least it will be cruiser on cruiser.  I moved on to the next belt with "warp at 10km" and sure enough there he was only 10km from me.  That's pretty much idea for a tackle Thorax so he was scrammed, double-webbed, and under blaster fire as fast as I could lock him.

Once scrammed I could see he wasn't going anywhere so I turned off my MWD.  Against a cruiser I was really wishing that I hadn't swapped out the second MFS for a TE, because those HAMs were hurting.  There wasn't any real finesse here, just hang on like a bulldog.  But the bottom line is that my armor was at 21% when he popped.

The pilot was cool as we exchanged GFs in local, just saying that he looked away for 5 seconds and I was on him.  I didn't chat too much because I was already in warp to the next system after looting his ship, just in case he had friends on their way.

Now looking back at that fit I'm a bit confused.  He fit a Medium Shield Extender instead of a LSE.  I can find fits pretty much identical to his fit that have a LSE for that MSE.  So you might think his fitting skills aren't too great - but he's a 2005 character.  And it wasn't a fitting slip of the mouse, because I can see that his previous two Caracal losses are fit the same.  So I guess he counts on doing the fast kiting thing at maximum warp disruption range.  I may have to put that fit into EFT when I get home.

Lessons Learned

Overheat.  Clearly it had been too long since I got into a good scrap because I forgot the number 1 rule of a 1v1 and didn't overheat.  Arrggg.  How fast I get rusty.

Missile Mitigation.  I'm not sure if I should have risked running down my cap and kept the MWD going to reduce the HAM damage by speed.  I think I did the right thing, particularly since I wanted to keep hugging him to maximize my blasters by staying in optimal.  I am glad I didn't go for a variant fit with a tracking disruptor.

Drone choice.  I had undocked with a load of Hob2s and ECM drones, with the idea that the Hobs would be for rats and targets smaller than me (AFs being what I had in mind particularly) and the ECM would be for GTFO if I ran into something bigger or a tackle for a gang.  The Caracal was neither so by impulse I went for the damage.  Hammerheads would have been nice in retrospect.  As much as people hate dishonor drones, if I had laid ECM down on the Caracal then I might well have not taken any damage and it might have been nice to actually see how they work in combat.  I bet I wouldn't have gotten as polite a "GF" though. Bottom line: if I'm going to undock with ECM drones I should plan to use them.  Even though everyone says web drones suck I am tempted to set up a mix of dps/web/ECM medium drones just because it seems most of my targets end up being fast kiters.

Edit: Just looked up web drones.  5% speed reduction for a light webber, no thanks.


  1. Your insane Sig size from the MWD is gonna do more damage then faster movement is going to help when dealing with missiles. Pulse that mwd as you did.

    1. Good to hear. I feel like I should have a analytic approach to that as well as a gut feel. If I had been in an Enyo (with a MWD bloom reduction) would it have been different - which is also where the HACs look to soon be. I'll have to see if EFT's damage charts will show me that. I get the impression that the MWD sig impact is even bigger than people think, from the way CCP Rise has reacted to people trashing on his proposal to make that part of the HAC rebalance.