Friday, 19 November 2010

0.0 Antics

Whilst I am a low sec pirate, I like to dabble in 0.0, mostly because of the change of pace; in 0.0  you are much more likely to stir the nest by simply passing through the area, leading to some great fights. Case in point a few days ago.

ItsmeHck1, a fellow Tusker was conducting a roam through Syndicate 0.0 with ex-Hellcat eviwyn, now a member of Shadow Cartel, a pirate alliance who lives close to the Tuskers.

By the time I logged on, they were already in 0.0 and I hastened to catch up to them in my shield Harbinger. When I finally arrived in Syndicate, they were engaging a Vindicator running a mission with a Basilisk and Scimitar. Unsurprisingly, they both died as the Vindicator was PvP fit and they were unable to break the Remote Reps coming from the Logistics Cruisers, allowing for reinforcements to come in, namely two Sleipnirs and a Sabre.

Determined to not make the trip wasted, I started moving around the surrounding area looking for a fight. Jumping into F67E-Q from the 0.0 entry system MHC-R3 there was a Rupture waiting on the other side of the Stargate, possibly tipped off from one of the cloaked pilots in MHC.

The Rupture, the most offensive of Minmatar Cruisers with a double damage bonus
Knowing that he would be either armor tanked, in which case I could kite him or he would be shield tanked, in which case I should slice straight through him with my Heavy Pulse Laser IIs, I decloaked and immediately overheated my MWD and burnt away whilst firing back at the Rupture with Scorch M, hoping to pull him off the gate. And pull him off the gate I did!

As he burnt after me, judging by his velocity and the fact that I annihilated his shields in two shots whilst almost hitting a brick wall once he got into armor, I was able to determine that he was armor tanked. Furthermore, judging by the slow progress I was making through his armor, it was likely that he was max-tanked, ie. 1600mm plate + Trimarks + Energized Adaptive Membranes + Damage Control which meant his damage output was rather pultry with just a rack of 180mm Autocannons. Still, it meant that he could possible stay alive long enough for me to run out of capacitor and be a sitting duck.

Just as I overheated my guns in order to get the fight over with as soon as possible, the MHC stargate flashed as a newcomer appeared in local. A second later, he decloaked, revealing a Brutix Battlecruiser.

Maximum gank, minimal tank. The way of the dreaded Brutix

As he decloaked, he sped towards me, ignoring the damaged Rupture, meaning that they were allies together. Judging by his velocity, he was very likely to be shield tanked, the most extreme version of the Brutix with the maximum amount of firepower and enough tank to last until it arrived in the heart of the enemy, ready to rip it out with its fearsome firepower. My plan to deal with it? Keep enough distance between me and the Brutix so that he couldn't scramble me and turn off my microwarpdrive whilst still keeping within 24km of the Rupture in order to keep it pointed.

Unfortunately, this became complicated as the Rupture turned around and started moving back towards the Brutix. Cursing, I gave chase whilst still pouring damage onto it. As the Rupture slipped into low armor, I was forced to toggle heat off my guns lest they melt, reducing my DPS.

The Rupture finally reached the Brutix, but instead of stopping he kept burning, undoubtably trying to force me to run past the Brutix to get the kill, who could easily grab me. Instead, I chose to change my course and moved upwards, allowing me to still follow the Rupture and keep firing on him whilst not running into the Brutix.

As the Rupture finally entered structure, my capacitor was low, a result of running my microwarpdrive, cap heavy lasers and my warp disruptor for two minutes full throttle. As he managed to put some extra distance on me, I was forced to take a more direct approach, bringing me even closer to the Brutix who was now 16km from me and closing.

At this point the Rupture was 32km away from me and in he was in 10% structure. Already congratulating myself as there was no way he could warp off before I could fire a last volley, I could only look on in shock as he managed to warp off towards a station. My heart started pounding as I realised the Brutix was now only 15km off me with my capacitor level now down to 20% of maximum. Giving myself two last bursts of overheated microwarpdrive speed boost, I pulled enough range and warped to the station. As I arrived, the Rupture docked and I was forced to do the same, repairing the heat damage on my guns as the Rupture was no doubt repairing the damage to his armor.

Thinking back in the quiet of the station, the only explanation I could come up with for why the Rupture had managed to warp off was that he was aligning to the station whilst burning, something I had neglected to check for when I looked at his ship.

A Curse, the perfect counter to Amarr gunships

 Moving my scouting alt into the area, I noticed a few more ships out in the system, in total the Brutix, a Curse and two Ruptures. The Curse in particular worried me, due to him being able to suck my capacitor dry in seconds, which would prevent me from firing my lasers. Whilst it is possible to solo a Curse in a Harbinger, it is very tricky and requires a significant amount of luck.

However, I was determined to at least kill one ship. Warping to the planet closest to the stargate they were waiting at, I sat there and waited for them to land.

Shortly afterwards, the Brutix landed and I immediately set to warp, putting my drones on him and keeping him at 20km. As I thought, he was shield tanked and only slightly slower then me. As he entered armor, he was unable to close in but still kept chasing me. Panicking, he must have called in his gank and as they arrived, they were 70km off due to me kiting him away from his initial position.

Overheating my guns, and in a bid to prevent him from running away, I turned off my microwarpdrive and allowed him to tackle me as I reduced him to half armor. His gang all burnt towards me, with the Curse topping up at a healthy 2km/s. As soon as he got within 24km of me, I would be easily to pin down. As he hit structure, I cursed Gallente for having remarkably thick structure as my damage slowed down as the Curse rapidly approached.

Curse @ 45km: Brutix at 75% structure
Curse @ 37km: Brutix at 50% structure, Curse is applying neuts, must be faction, at 50% capacitor
Curse @ 30km: Brutix at 25% structure, Curse's neuts have cycled, at 25% capacitor
Curse @ 25km: Brutix down, spam warp with no capacitor left, GOGOGO

And I managed to get out!

gf gf!

Docked up and went AFK for a few minutes to calm down. When I turned, my alt spotted the Rupture I had engaged earlier camping a bubble on my out-gate, in line with the station. Warping to the planet near the outgate then to the stargate allowed me to bypass the bubble and I started moving towards the Rupture. As I hoped, he started chasing me, with me kiting him again, keeping a very close eye on both his relative velocity to me and his range.

As he dropped into low armor, a Guardian suddenly appeared on grid! Luckily for me, the Guardian got stuck in the Rupture's own bubble and was forced to watch from 100km away as I annihilated his corpmate, unable to provide his remote repair as the Rupture was thankfully out of range. Scooping the loot, I was pleased to see some faction items which would sell nicely. Transferring them to my alt's cargo hold, I headed back to Hevrice to see what other scraps I could get into.

To be continued later..