Monday 28 February 2011

Molden Heath - Mixed Bag

One of the staples of any hangar I keep is my shield Harbinger, with its unique combination of agility, damage, range and speed. A direct competitor to my shield Harbinger is the shield Hurricane, possibly the most commonly sighted solo ship in all of New Eden. And in Molden Heath, they were a plenty. Therefore, it made sense to seek them out and see what magic I could do.

Harbinger, Amarr Battlecruiser, possibly my favorite ship in New Eden

Doing another loop around Molden Heath, this time I departed Oddedulf, jumping into Bosena first. After a few minutes, I found a shield Hurricane to engage. Unfortunately, when he entered structure a Falcon decloaked and jammed me. Cursing, I could only watch as the Hurricane warped off and the Falcon cloaked up. Amusingly, I managed to decloak the Falcon but he jammed me before I could kill him.

No matter, soon enough I found a Hurricane missioning who had no such backup. He went poof nicely.

Moving on, the systems passed through in a flash and soon I was in Egbinger, home of Wensley of Rifter Drifter. After lingering around for a few minutes setting up safe spots, I spotted a Macheriel running a mission. Cracking out the probes with my alt, I warped my main in but the Angel Battleship pilot was on his toes and warped off, already pre-aligned before I got out of warp. Catching sight of a Blood Money Cartel gang consisting of Ishkur, Pilgrim, Thrasher and a Vengeance, I waited patiently at the sun for them to come after me. After a few minutes of them staying in the safe spot, I took the initiative and probed them out with my alt.

Dropping out of warp, due to their movement I landed 50km off the Thrasher. Before I could close range, they warped off. Surprised at their reluctance to engage me, I began to head out, before catching sight of a Myrmidon sitting on a station. Warping in, I was dismayed to find out he was neutral; I would not be able to engage him first without sentry guns opening fire on me.

A quick look in local whilst waiting for him to open fire first revealed that he had two corpmates in system with him. Still waiting for him to engage, I had a quick look through his killboard history which revealed he liked to fly shield Myrmidons sporting Blasters. After a few more minutes of sitting on station with no attention from him, I felt unloved and warped to the sun at 50.

Finally, he warped in, landing 30km off. Pointing him before he could leave was trivial and soon I was handily kiting him. Chewing through his shields were taking a while however and before they were halfway gone a second Myrmidon and a Hurricane landed 50km off. Continuing to pour fire onto the Myrmidon I was already engaging, I was forced to switch to manual flying to stay out of overheated web range of the 3 Battlecruisers whilst still firing on the first Myrmidon. Whilst I was able to keep out of their weapon systems' optimal, their drones were starting to chew through my not so large shield buffer. With me entering low shields, the Myrmidon finally entered structure. Unfortunately, he managed to get out of my overheated point range just as he hit half structure. With me entering armor, I warped off.

Docking up and repairing, I spotted a small gang of frigates in Muttokon with my alt. Jumping in with my main, I noticed the gate flashing behind me as a Hurricane, Rifter and Typhoon decloaked, the pilots who I had just fought!

Typhoon, Minmatar Battleship. Fast, deadly, a real beast on the battlefield. 
Reviewing the situation, I was lucky enough that the Rifter had not decloaked within scramble range of me. Overheating my MWD, I started burning off the stargate, the gang following behind me. By now, my aggression to them had run out and I was unable to fire on the Rifter without sentry guns interfering until he engaged me first, which he was wisely careful not to do. The Hurricane was kind enough to fire on me and I started laying into him with overheated Heavy Pulse Laser IIs.

Soon enough I had the Hurricane in half structure, however I had forgotten to stop overheating my guns and they burnt out. I could only watch as my Valkyrie IIs attempted to finish him off, but it was clear they were not up to the task so once again I was forced to warp off.

Evading the gang as I left, I docked up in Aedald and repaired my heat damage. I started heading back and met up with Wensley who had just logged on, but I was forced to leave early due to RL before we could get into a scrap.

Hardly the introduction to Molden Heath that I wanted for Rend, but it could only get better from here on in...

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