Thursday 10 February 2011

Molden Heath - Gunpoint Diplomacy

Before I moved to Molden Heath, I had no idea how many bloggers lived in this tiny section of Eve. Well, now that I'm here, I can tell you there's quite a few! Most of them seem to be members of Gunpoint Diplomacy.

Whilst some of their blogs are well known, such as Wensley's Rifter Drifter, others are slightly trickier to find. I figured I would do them a service and link them all together. So, without further ado, I present to you the bloggers of Molden Heath!

Molden Heath - Fear the Myrmidon

Logging on the next day, I elected to finish the Molden Heath loop. The route itself was void of targets, but allowed me to make safe spots along the way, which would prove useful later on.

Finally, one jump from my destination (Oddelulf), I spotted a Hurricane on D-Scan in a deep safe. A quick look at local revealed a single pilot with Global Criminal Countdown (GCC), indicating she had been engaged in unlawful combat recently. A quick glance through her bio revealed her to be a member of Gunpoint Diplomacy, members of which I had seen in Oddelulf yesterday.

Super serious spaceship commander

Dropping probes with my alt, I soon had a solid hit. Fleet warping my Myrmidon in at 0, I landed 2km from him. Applying my web & scrambler on him, I released my thermal drones on the stricken Hurricane, whilst swapping to Republic Fleet EMP M ammunition with my 220m Vulcan Autocannons, since a quick glance through the pilot's killboard history revealed her to favor the Shield Hurricane.

In the meantime, the pilot opened up with a rack of  425mm AutoCannon IIs as well as a pair of energy neutralizers, but unfortunately for her my armor reppers were keeping up with the incoming DPS, whilst the neutralizers' effects were being negated through the use of careful capacitor injection. Soon enough, the shield Hurricane exploded. Exchanging good fights in local, I kept moving and docked up in my temporary home station.

Undocking a short while later, I spied a Drake on D-Scan. Narrowing him down to the high security stargate, I warped in at 50km, whereas he was hugging at the stargate. After a few minutes where I attempted to ease him away from the stargate, he opened fire and started burning at me!

Disengaging, I dragged him away from the stargate. In order to keep his attention whilst doing this, I only turned on my Kinetic Hardener, leaving my armor repairers untouched, thereby giving him the impression I was crumbling from his fire. Once he was far enough away, I doubled back and applied my scrambler and web, releasing a stream of Thermal Drones as well as opening up with Republic Fleet EMP. At the same time, I activated my armor repairers and immediately repaired all my damaged armor. However, he was not alone. The stargate started flashing multiple times as local climbed by 6.

As the hostiles decloaked, their gang was revealed: 2 more Drakes, 3 Hurricanes as well as a Scimitar who immediately repped original Drake to full shields. Deciding this was slightly too much for my Myrmidon to take solo, I started burning away with an overheated MWD.

Scimitar, Minmatar Logistics Cruiser. Capable of keeping its gang alive under heavy fire

Unfortunately, whilst I was faster than the Drakes, the Hurricanes were significantly faster then my slow armor Myrmidon. At the same time, all 6 Battlecruisers opened up on mine. Overheating my lows and mids, I kept burning away. Through careful use of my overheated web, I eventually managed to warp off, slowing each Hurricane down as they approached me, allowing me to pull enough range to warp off. As I warped off, it was evident that I was too distracted whilst fleeing to keep an eye on my lows, as they were all burnt out. Oops!

Docking up, I repaired my mids and waited for the neutral gang to leave local. To pass the time, I sent my alt to check out the wormhole I had probed down yesterday, expecting it to be closed as nearly 18 hours had passed. Luckily, it was still present, albeit with a time limitation of < 4 hours left. Sending the alt in, I was amazed to find a mining operation going on, with a Damnation, Hulk, Mammoth and Retriever happily mining away.

Refitting my Myrmidon by replacing the Web with a Warp Disruptor, I positioned him on the entrance to the wormhole, jumped in and fleet warped him with my alt to the jetcan the Hulk was mining out of. My warp in was excellent: I landed within 2km of the Hulk, the Retriever and the Mammoth, with the Damnation 60km off. Scrambling the Hulk, I warp disrupted the Retriever. Putting my autocannons and drones on the Mammoth, I hoped to pop him before he warped off, but alas he managed to slip away.

Swapping target to the Retriever, in a few seconds he disintegrated, followed quickly by the Hulk. During this time, the Damnation had closed range on me. Moving towards him, I disrupted him and then placed my scrambler on him, preventing him from escaping.

Damnation, famous for its incredible armor tank
With the Damnation firmly tackled, I opened fire on him with all I had - 220m Vulcan Autocannons and Drones. Unfortunately, it seemed the Command Ship had a fairly tough tank, with me hardly making any leeway through it. Whilst this was hardly unexpected, it was disapponting all the same. A quick look at directional scan revealed that one of the pilots had reshipped to a Loki. Narrowing down the range, it was blatantly obvious that he was in warp back to the Damnation, a fact I could exploit.

Typically set up for kiting, the Loki, Minmatar Strategic Cruiser packs a fearsome punch.
Knowing that a Loki would most likely be fit for range, I aligned towards the POS he was warping from. A few seconds later, he dropped out of warp 20km off. Overheating my MWD and warp scrambler, I managed to grab him before he could start burning away from me. Swapping ammunition from RF Phased Plasma M to RF Fusion M and Thermal Drones to Explosive Drones, I started carving through his shield. Whilst it was evident that he also had a tough tank, I was clearly carving through it much quicker then I was carving through the Damnation. Satisfied I had made the right decision to swap targets, I had another look at directional scan and found that another one of the pilots from earlier had reshipped, this time into a Tengu!

With incredible range, damage and tank, the Tengu is not to be taken lightly
Overheating my guns, I hoped to bring the Loki down before the Tengu could arrive. Presently, with just the Damnation and the Loki on the field, my tank was holding, although I had to guzzle cap booster 800 charges in order to keep my armor repairers running. With the added DPS of the Tengu, it was incredibly likely they would be able to overcome my tank.

Which is exactly what happened. Overheating my hardener and armor repairers, I was barely tanking them, with damage bleeding into structure. At the same time, my capacitor booster charges were running out. Thankfully, the Loki finally exploded with me having a single capacitor booster charge in my cargo hold. Scooping up the loot, I made my escape, leaving the field incredibly damaged. The Damnation landed on my exit wormhole back to Molden Heath before me, but was unwilling to jump into Molden Heath after me, allowing me to warp off, fairly damaged.

Structure damage, out of cap boosters, wise time to disengage
Dropping off loot, repairing my modules and replenishing my capacitor boosters in my station took but a few minutes, whilst my alt attempted to locate the hostiles inside the wormhole. Not content with what I had already killed, I needed to kill that Damnation and Tengu.

After spending nearly 30 minutes looking for the Tengu that kept disappearing and reappearing on scan, I finally narrowed him down to a planet. Warping my main back to the planet, I landed 25km off him and immediately pointed him. Closing range, I focused my scrambler on him also and started laying into him with both drones and guns. Whilst it was clear that he was tanked fairly well, it was also clear that I was capable of breaking him, albeit slowly. At the same time, my armor repairers were keeping up with the damage he was putting out, although barely. As the Tengu approached 70% shields, the Damnation landed 20km off me. Swapping my warp disruptor to him, I kept pounding on the Tengu.

After what seemed like hours of shooting, he finally popped, however not without a price: I was almost out of cap bosters after having to be forced to keep my armor repairers running at full throttle in order to keep up with the incoming DPS. Swapping over the Damnation, I glided up to him and placed my scrambler on him, taking off my warp disruptor to conserve capacitor. What followed was a true testimont to his tank, it took a full 8 minutes to kill him, due in part to him shooting my drones when it was clear to him that he could not break me solo.

However, this was strictly *not* true as in order to tank him, I was forced to permarun a single repairer, which required me to use up my capacitor boosters. By the time he died, I was out of capacitor boosters and had been relying on natural capacitor recharge to keep my armor repairer going, a tricky task. However, he did finally explode.

Looting and salvaging the wrecks with my alt produced little in the way of loot - less then 30M all told. However, what I had done finally struck me - I had effectively soloed a Command Ship and 2 Strategic Cruisers in my Myrmidon, without using Exile pills as I had none in Molden Heath. 

Battle report as shown on the Tusker killboard

Stay tuned for more Myrmidon shenanigans as I explore how far I can push this majestic ship before I would reach its limit.

As a side note, I still haven't found a reliable drug supplier in Molden Heath who sells Standard Exile pills. If you manufacture them or have some to sell, hit me up ingame and we'll talk business.

Tuesday 8 February 2011

Molden Heath - First Blood

After flying down to Molden Heath, I set up the customary instant-undocks from the stations with my main whilst doing some initial intel with my alt. First place I checked - wormholes connected to Oddelulf itself. And I was in luck! A Damnation, Hulk and Hurricane were on scan in the first wormhole I checked, with no POSes on scan. Unable to narrow them down with my alt's onboard scanner, I determined they were in a gravimetric site. Cracking out a set of probes, I soon had their locations probed down.

A Hulk mining, without a care in the world
Moving my alt back into Molden Heath, I set him up with a hauler and sent him off to pick up a single shield Harbinger and a Myrmidon, the initial tools I would need. Once they were assembled, I sent my alt back into the wormhole before moving my main onto the entrance. Unfortunately, during the time I went to pick up the Battlecruisers, the mining fleet had withdrawn to their armed POS.

Discouraged, I finished setting up my new place, using the last of my ISK to buy a few frigates and cruisers, notably several laser Incursii, which I will mention later.

With my ships finally set up, I decided to head out on a roam in my active tanked Myrmidon. Pulling out the excellent Dotlan Maps website, I moved around the loop. The area seemed dead until I managed to bait an Vagabond into engaging me on a stargate. After several attempts at trying to tackle him, I finally managed to pull him into overheated web range by burning off at full throttle whilst keeping him interested, namely by forgetting to turn my armor repairers off. By the end of the fight, this blunder left me in half structure with only a few cap boosters left in my cargo hold as he exploded.

Moving onwards, the Egbinger stargate in Muttokon appeared clear. However, when I landed there were two neutral Hurricanes waiting for me.

The Hurricane, feared for its lethal combination of speed and versatility
Immediately, one of them jumped into Egbinger. It was clear that they were attempting to sandwich me in, wearing me down until I finally ran out of cap boosters and succumbed to my death. Once the Hurricane left with me on the Egbinger stargate had opened up 15km distance between us, he opened fire, warp disrupting me. Knowing it would be suicide to attempt to burn away, allowing his fleetmate to jump in and assist him, I decided to jump into the other Hurricane.

As I decloaked, he pointed me. Burning back to the stargate, I turned off my MWD and focused my capacitor on tanking the incoming DPS. After a few minutes of him attempting to break my tank at range, he disengaged and I was free to warp off. By this point I was down to a single cap booster in my cargo hold and therefore docked up in top station, bought some additional cap boosters and logged off. First blood had been spilt.

P.S. Blog banner has been updated with my new character portrait, as well as the unofficial Tusker Emblem that Tressin has designed. If you can't see the new banner, press CTRL + F5 to force a full refresh of the page. Any feedback?