Struggling on the Offense

As I said before, I’m over 100,000 LP orbiting the button with defensive complexes for faction warfare.  I feel this is a good way to make ISK, although I haven’t looked into this side of things yet.  I have to say, plexing sites is probably more tedious than mining.  Mining can be a task that runs in the background with just a tenth of your attention.  Spinning around the button demands more attention, much more.  Boring, just boring.  Maybe more accurately, I have to be in the right frame of mind for this.

I have been attempting to mix it up, and roam around looking for targets.  This allows me to practice my pin pointing with d-scan skills, and just run into strange things in low sec here and there.  Mostly I’m chasing off LP farmers.  Atrons seem to be their ship of choice.

Entering these sites to attack has brought new subtle skills to my attention.  I haven’t figured out a procedure for engagement with this yet.  A major disadvantage is I’m potentially entering on the hunted’s terms, as I have used to my advantage in the recent past.  As a kiter, I need to pull distance.  If I’m going against a brawler, as soon as they scram me – I’m done.  Any advice as to how to combat this will be much appreciated.

Just hanging out at the gate

Entering Brarel system, I popped this pod at the gate.  I was pretty sure I would be safe from the gate guns, since we are at war.  I have to say I’m glad my belief was confirmed as I attacked.  At least this was a calculated risk, and not just me getting all excited with blood lust.  Owidasi was one of two Amar pilots in system.  After she went boom, I flew to a planet beyond d-scan range in an attempt to locate the other.

Found an Incursus at a novice site.  He was warping through the complex gate as I approached.  Hindsight, the fact that I d-scanned him at the sight, warped to him, and he then just started to warp into the complex should have set off some alarms in my head.  Although the whole point to this challenge would not have stopped me if alarms did go off, but I do need to develop this sixth sense.  At the time, I thought this was an interesting coincidence.  The fact that this was an Incursus got my hopes up for a combat.  I still held some doubts, since the Incursus’ ship was named [pilot’s name]’s Incursus.  LP farmer’s ship name of choice is the default ship name.  I can’t remember the LP farmer’s name, since my attention was soon interrupted.

XQ0004 goes Boom!

After the LP farmer flew off, I was turning off my overheated modules.  The little sucker got a late start on his warp off – just as I was about to lock.  The moments I took to look over the damage from overheating and to think about docking for repair, I pinged this Heron flying into the complex.  “Alice P Liddell’s Heron” as it appeared on d-scan in fact.  Good news here, pinging d-scan has almost become habitual for me.  Bad news, I did not assume a defensive position while I was thinking – should have hit orbit at 20 km.  I was scrammed immediately.

As soon as I saw Alice flying in, after the Incursus warped off, I felt like a mouse that had just sprung a trap.  My industrialist character roams around this area a lot, and I’m familiar with many of the frequent fliers in these parts – faces and names not necessarily activities.  Alice is a regular in Brarel.  By regular I mean when she is in Brarel, she is there for hours!  The fact that she doesn’t even name her ship, and just happens to be in a Heron set up for PvP… Too much of a coincidence for me.  Checking her kill board shows a similar pattern.  She victimizes faction warriors and explorers.  Although she is not confined to Brarel, that system is definitely her default.

For any and all PvP enthusiasts following my blog, first thank you, and second I hope you can see an opportunity here!

Anyway, Alice’s Heron was an active shield tank.  I attempted to move away from Alice after she pounced.  Double clicking into space, I attempted to create an escape vector to allow an increase in transversal and distance, but I just didn’t have the speed.  I believe my drones surprised her, since they eventually worked past her shields and chewed into her structure.  It was close.  I’m not going to take too much pride in this, since Heron’s are not combat ships.  I’m sure Alice’s  five year old character skills, (as well as a creative combat fit), carried the victory home for her.  

If my suspicion is correct, Alice has a fairly ingenious little system, or trap, here.  Farm LP with her Amar militia alt in a system that is predominantly Gallente, (good income), and occasionally gank  anyone looking for a fight.  Originally I suspected she may have been cloaked up outside of the gate.  This caused me to dive deeper into her Zkillboard history.  Thanks to a Wingspan delivery agent, Sroak Enaka, we have the fit.

Creative bait/trap fit

Wonder how many Navy Cap Booster charges she had left after our little dance?  The fight did go on for some time.  By the by, the Cap Booster in my inventory was just some loot I picked up along my travels.  I’ve been making some spare ISK cleaning up while attempting to find boom boom opportunities.

XQ0005 away!

I returned to the hunt.  I chased off too many Atron pilot LP farmers from their complexes like waving wasps off your BBQ dinner.  I decided to settle in and defend for a while.  May as well make some profit.  

As I was about to complete my third complex, a retribution pilot decided to pay me a visit in my small complex.

This is just the start of the story.

I saw him hovering a long time close to the complex, as I pinged away tracking him.  You could almost see the smoke escaping his ship from his thought process.  He finally committed, and entered.  As per my procedure, I prepped to overload my micro warp drive, and had my drones out.  I locked him, warp disrupted, and hit the micro warp drive to establish a good distance – 22 km.  I knew this might get rough, so I extended my distance out.  I prepared to really track our distance throughout the fight.  I didn’t want him to escape if it went well.

I was getting worried at the beginning.  He burned toward me, and my drones did not seem to be really doing any damage to him.  I know they were on the attack, since I was notified that I took a security hit for initiating the attack, (something I’ll need to work to improve by the way now that I’m negative security status).  I think my trouble doing damage has something to do with the Assault Damage Controll II module.  I do not know much about how this works, just the theory as I read from it’s description.

Finally, as I kept my distance, my drones started to chew through his shields.  He then turned his aggression at my drones.  I began to recall and deploy as they were damaged.  Some did not make it back, but a few had some time to sit in my drone bay to recover shields as its replacement filled in.  During this drone management task, I saw that he was pulling distance away.  I overheated my warp disruptor, and hit the approach key to close some distance.  Recalled drone, deployed drone, and then hit orbit again.  I noticed that I accidentally shut off my disruptor within this time.  I must have accidentally did this in my attempt to stop overheating.  I was able to click it back on before he escaped.  Slowly, working through structure, and finally Boom went the Retribution.

I was AMAZED!  I have to admit, I was also quite pleased with my management of throughout the fight.  The drones went through a battle.

Started with 8 drones, (lost two Hobgoblin IIs)

We exchanged “gf” in local.  Then there was some frustration expressed by Balzaque, and another in system joined in the conversation.

Balzaque hung out in system for a while.  I am not one to smack talk, and I do not like to crow over my wins.  This fight was tough, and I was happy.  After this conversation, I began to feel a little bad that I posted the Kill Mail in local.  I didn’t want Balzaque to feel humiliated.  I also empathized with his pain.  He just lost 55 mil. ISK assault frigate to a t1 Tristan.  I have felt this helpless in previous attempts to dive into PvP – hence my current self tasked challenge.

As I flew back to my home station with my newly acquired loot, I wondered if there was any advice I could offer Balzaque.  Not that I now consider myself an expert, but maybe I could start a conversation to review this fight.  I looked him up on Zkillboard, as I thought about what I might offer him.  No character found.  Strange…

I accessed his name through my Zkillboard report of the fight.  This fight was his only entry.  I then looked up his character in game…

How many skill injectors does it take to get to the center of an assault frigate?

One ferking day old character!!!!  Piloting a Retribution!!!!  Balzaque, that “makes no sense.”  Hate the player, not the game.

Record: 96 Tristans in dock ready to go, 5 kills.

Here Comes the Boom!!!

Third kill mark earned!  I wish it was more exciting, but not really.

3rd kill

I caught one of the Atron farmers, but not the major gnat flying around.  We’ll see if Konst is actually a runner, or merely AFK when I entered his complex.  I didn’t see much activity from him after a locked him, so I’m uncertain of how active he is.  I do know that his Zkillboard demonstrates numerous such losses.    Maybe he’s a non-running variety of farmer that has calculated opportunity cost to develop an efficient LP gathering scheme without wasting the time of running.  Who knows.  I received a very small amount of LP to mark my first Faction Warfare kill.  Also, the kill mark added to my ship as a result sure was pretty while it lasted.

Goodbye XQ0002.  She holds my kill mark record at 3!

I have never encountered, nor flown, a Kikimora before.  This little sucker, piloted by a pirate named Wild Haze, was quick, and hit hard.  I have to admit that my attention to detail was often distracted in this fight.  When I was about to gain my bearings in the fight, my attention was drawn to the damage my ship took with each hit.  I’m also unsure how she was able to get in my face so fast.  She hit me with a war scrambler fairly early into the combat, which shut off my micro warp drive.  A detail I had to remember as I spent several moments clicking my micro warp drive, and becoming frustrated as I knew I had turned it on and overheated it.

Anyway, I’ll have to research these little ships, and that weapon more.  It’s a shame that I couldn’t keep distance.  I was getting damage applied well for the start of the combat.  It would have been a large ISK loss to her if I was able to take it out.

On to XQ0003.  A short lived experience, but good reminder.  I decided to roam more, and plex less in my pursuit to go boom.  I saw an Ibis on d-scan, and believed the pilot in system was about to light a cyno.  I don’t know what this says about me, but now that I’m getting into this PvP activity I’m getting blood thirsty.  In my defense, I would never take out such a target in the past.  Not because it’s against my moral code or anything, but because I always felt the pilot would have support.  Again, this is risk averse thinking!  With that in mind, I went in for the attack.

4th kill

I’m proud to state that I have always known that I cannot attack others at the gate, (at least not in a frigate), or die from the gate guns fire.  I learned this from viewing the odd YouTube video on low sec PvP.  I guess I never really put this together though.

XQ0003, short lived – but destroyed with a kill mark!

Stations have guns too.

Now I’m in XQ0004, and wiser for the wear.  Or am I?

I came across this pod as I warped into Ostingele.  Immediately I thought, “Easy target,” but then thought better of it.  No, it wasn’t the gate guns that dissuaded me, I was really debating why I should or should not attack a non faction warfare pod.  Finally I thought any pod that was just hanging out at the gate must be looking for what Eve pilots call “the pod express” back home.  In other words, I destroy the pod, and the pilot returns to her home station.  I thought to myself, “I’ll just do her this favor.”  The fact that there were also 22 other pilots in system seemed to promise more action if this was some sort of trap.

As I destroyed the pod, I was reminded of the lesson I thought I had already learned.  Fortunately I escaped with 27% hull left.  Now, wiser for the wear?

This kill also helps me establish a rule for my activities in this blog.  I am not counting pod kills in my record keeping.  In fact this pod kill is my second.  My first was the LP farmer in the Atron.  Pod kills just don’t seem worthy of tracking as “pilot kills”.  

Record: 97 Tristans at the ready, 4 kills.