Saturday, March 29, 2014

Another peaceful night with only a modicum of destruction brought to you by the rail Comet. First was an unfit Navitas which only counted to warm the old reflexes up.

Next was a little more interesting. This Slicer was sitting at 40km from the plex. I guessed he was a standard kiting fit and I immediately warped out of the plex. However, I looked him up in warp and found practically all of his recent loadouts to be brawler fit. So why sit at 40? Very strange.

I did a U-turn and jumped back into the plex. He just sat there with me locked, waiting for me to approach. At about 30km I set my drones for the jugular so his shields had mostly dropped by the time I hit scram range. He started hitting me reasonably far out but I beat him down easily enough in the end.

Finally, an Atron in a plex. With some corp mates in system. Hmm. I smell a trap. Meh, whatever! I hop in and find the Atron sitting on the beacon. I actually expected him to be at the edge of point range (I'm getting everything wrong tonight, aren't I?) but still managed to land a quick scram and web on him. Keep at range 7500 along with my drones did the trick ( although I needed to overheat my scram a couple of times.

I spent all this time I was wondering where his corp mates were. I think he must have been wondering too, since he was evidently a little distracted after his ship popped (

Aha! There they are on short scan. As soon as the inventory window for his loot opens I hit align, then loot all, then scoot just before they lock me. Hehe, good stuff.

I ask them to pass on a gf and compliments on his reps to their late lamented Atron pilot. It is the first time I have ever received a remote gf after a fight!

Monday, March 24, 2014

Things are a bit quiet tonight. I set a long course through lowsec but arrive at my destination having only chased some farmers around. Sigh. I set course back to Hevrice and set off. A few jumps later I spot something a bit odd. Surely that can’t be a freighter in lowsec! Autopiloting!!! But sure enough, there is a Fenrir 8 km from the gate and closing distance at the majestic pace of 91 m/s.

Right. I know what to do about this! I align to the nearest celestial, target the Fenrir (no evidence of life), hit the guns and immediately hit warp. I am trying the old “align, aggress, warp, return, fight without gate guns” method. But the dastardly Fenrir is doing something rude and I suddenly can’t warp! The gate guns make mince meat of my poor Comet. And then I realise what I did wrong.

I was in highsec.

Bloody route setter. And who set my safety to red? I entirely blame that last farmer I had to pod.


Friday, March 21, 2014

A Heretic on scan! I am still in the rail Comet, generally being trouble looking for a place to happen. Can I take an Interceptor? Yeah, why not.

We land on an acceleration gate at about the same time. Unfortunately, by the time I have locked him his MWD has taken him out of scram range. I send some drones after him while waiting for the CN Lead to load. He starts taking damage while I begin working on a slingshot maneuver. A long shot but what else am I supposed to do?

I am also taking damage, of course, but my reps seem to be dealing with it. And on the third attempt, he strays under 10km, my overheated scram range! I slap it on immediately and tell my ship to keep at range of 5km. I definitely don't want the slippery thing escaping, and I figure that my afterburner should be able to keep transversal low enough for my rails. Sure enough, he starts taking more damage. But he is really well tanked for an Interceptor!

And then I realise that a Heretic is, of course, an Interdictor, not an Interceptor. That would explain it. Ahem. What a noob...

Still, it would have been much more embarrassing if I had died instead of him! It transpired that he burnt his missile launchers out toward the end of the fight. Maybe that is what saved me. Either way, he was a good sport - gf!

Thursday, March 20, 2014

My blasty Incursus was blapped by a Thrasher. This normally wouldn’t merit a mention in the thread (I lose HEAPS of ships in fights I had no business taking) but this one was a little different. I was a bit bored so warped into a plex inhabited by this Thrasher (because you never know, do you?). He was sitting at the edge of scram range on the beacon.

That, I thought, was a little unusual. In my experience Thrashers are usually either at zero (fit with nasty autos, ready to tear apart poor little frigates) or out at long point range with artillery, ready to pound anything that tries to chase it down. Anyway, I hit approach, hoping to quickly close distance and get under his guns.

But this sneaky Thrasher was fit with double webs and a scram. Very cheeky. My Incursus slowed to a crawl despite an overheated burner. Even though he didn't have a prop mod I couldn't close in time to get under his arties. How rude.

So I wandered back to Hevrice and picked up another ship, this time dropping and extra web into the cargo hold, just in case.

I played for a while with a Kestrel who really didn't want to fight, warping out just before I slapped a scram on him four times on different plexes. Sigh, oh well I can take a hint. I jump to the next system and spot my double-webbing nemesis in a plex! I quickly switch my scram out for a web in the nearest station and hop into the plex.

Nothing too special tonight - just a bit of fun. I took a rail Comet out for a spin (alas, no lights but I'm working on it). I was looking for, well, anything really!

First on the menu was a Hookbill. I think this was actually my first Hookbill kill ever. I live in constant terror of their five mid slots but today I was in a carefree mood. Very straightforward - I just had better DPS and defence that this younger player:


After giving him his loot back (yes, I am a nice person) I played tag for a while with a Breacher, then another Hookbill and a Merlin. None of then wanted a fight, though. Well, not with me anyway.

But then I found a Slasher in a plex. He was orbiting the beacon at 30km and instantly locked me when I landed. I was puzzled - no aggression, so why the lock? He wasn't acting like a farmer. I sent a few Warriors to investigate and, before I knew it, they had chewed half his shield away! Who'd have thought it? THEN he aggressed and rapidly killed one of my drones before I could recall them.

I accused him of murdering one of my drones. He then apologised for not fighting, claiming that he was there to "mess with the squids". I think that might be a faction warfare reference but I wouldn't know about that sort of thing. And then he sent me 450k iskies as recompense! Hehe, I suspect I will meet this one again... Good fun.
I'm back! A small detour through null didn't work out for me. It was entirely my fault - I'm too busy with work/family for organised fleets at the moment. Casual is the name of the game.

Anyway, I arrived back in lowsec and zipped over to Hevrice in an interceptor. Hmm, let me see what's in my hangar. Ah! An Incursus! A slightly tweaked fit tonight:

Small Ancillary Armor Repairer, Nanite Repair Paste
Damage Control II
200mm Reinforced Rolled Tungsten Plates I
Adaptive Nano Plating II

Afterburner II
J5b Phased Prototype Warp Scrambler I
X5 Prototype Engine Enervator

Light Ion Blaster II, Null S
Light Ion Blaster II, Null S
Light Ion Blaster II, Null S

Small Hybrid Burst Aerator I
Small Hybrid Collision Accelerator I
Nano Pump whatsit I
Hobgoblin II x1

I set a course for the Amarr/Minmatar zone just to warm up. Things seemed quiet so I frankly didn't expect much action. Just one jump out of Hevrice, however, I spot a Rifter. A Rifter Krusual Edition, what's more.

Brand new and expensive paint job, only good pilots in system apart from THAT one which might be links... What the hell. Let's go. I hear the Rifter received a small speed buff lately, as well as a falloff bonus. That means a scram range kiting fit in my book so I load Null on the way into the plex.

Yep, a kite fit and a bloody good one. She is very fast and I can only keep hitting with my short range ions by overheating my burner. Good job I had Null loaded. I really should have fit the Meta 4 web, though. We both hit armour at about the same time and our reps kick in. I remembered to turn off the auto-reload and even unleash my drone!

But I am slowly burning up. I figure she must be as well but I just hang on, very slowly chipping away at her armour. Suddenly, the distance starts to close. I think she has cut the heat! Well, Thermodynamics V sure paid off. I kill the heat as her hull ticks down and...pop.

Sadly, I miss the pod. Still, a nice welcome back to low. I think I need to have a closer look at that Rifter.
I fitted the vampy Enyo up and set a waypoint for Oicx, a hotspot in the map.

[Enyo, Vampy Ions]
Magnetic Field Stabilizer II
200mm Reinforced Rolled Tungsten Plates I
Damage Control II
Small Ancillary Armor Repairer, Nanite Repair Paste

1MN Afterburner II
Fleeting Propulsion Inhibitor I
J5b Phased Prototype Warp Scrambler I

Light Ion Blaster II, Antimatter Charge S
Light Ion Blaster II, Antimatter Charge S
Small Diminishing Power System Drain I
Light Ion Blaster II, Antimatter Charge S
Light Ion Blaster II, Antimatter Charge S

Small Hybrid Burst Aerator I
Small Ancillary Current Router I

A few jumps out I found a kitey Firetail, Hookbill and Algos. I don't think they were a team (well, they certainly didn't act like one) and I managed to have a private meeting with the Algos. It didn't last very long - I think he was a new player but he didn't choose to convo. Oh well, his loss.


I repaired, reloaded and undocked to the sight of a Vexor in the medium plex. A process of elimination identifies it as belonging to a unista but I'm not biased. I warp into the plex to find him sitting on the beacon.

I unload everything onto him except the scram. I guessed by his proximity to the beacon that he was not fit for kiting and that he would not be frightened off by a mere frigate. Hmm, a lot of guessing now that I think about it.

Anyway, I was right. I controlled range (i.e. right on top of him in a close orbit) and kept the pressure up. When his armour started to dip I slapped the scram on and turned off the heat from the guns for a while. We crept lower and lower together, both entering hull at about the same time.

I was watching his hull closely as we both dipped below 25%. I kept telling myself that he was dropping faster than me and didn't align out for pod-saving for fear of giving him better tracking.

And then, one of EVE's nastiest sound effects: "Your capacitor is empty." He had exactly ONE bar of hull left when the message came. I couldn't believe it.

And then my drone popped him.

I couldn't believe that, either! Nearly burnt out across the board, running low on Void, nanite paste long gone from the AAR, and only 6% hull left! Easily one of the best fights I have ever had. Thanks Mr Unista, gf.

I joined up with a local for a quick roam. We headed out of Hevrice in an Incursus and a Breacher. You'll never guess who was in the Incursus. A magnificent hull!

I have a lot to learn about small gang fighting. I'm probably not telling you guys anything you don't know but the decision making process and tactics are very different to solo play.

We killed a couple of ships and were killed a couple of times - nothing dramatic but a good introduction. My overriding impression was that this is something I want to get into. Much more real than the RvB setups (although I still recommend them for true noobs).

So, Zappity is going to join a small gang corporation! If I can find one who will have me of course.
I am holidaying in Hevrice! The Tuskers and Stay Frosty are both based here so I soon find that it is just as easy to find fights in Cal/Gal as it is in Ama/Min. My trusty Incursus soon defeats a Republic Fleet Firetail ( and a Breacher ( before losing to another Incursus (but only by 8% hull!

But the most interesting fight of the day happens a few jumps away. As I am leisurely killing another Incursus ( I notice an Atron land with with malicious intent 50 km away. He burned toward me as soon as the other Incursus pops but, as I am already aligning out, he didn’t manage to snag me. I reload, repair and set out again immediately.

The E-UNIsta in the Atron clearly wants to play and follows me to the Novice plex like a little puppy. He lands 40 km away from the gate (just to taunt me, I am sure) but I still see that he is railgun fit. Let’s see… I disappear into the plex and immediately warp away to the adjacent Small, knowing that he was unlikely to enter the plex with my fearsome blasters waiting at the beacon.

I land at range (20 km) and set the d-scan to short. 42 seconds later the d-scan shows him approaching. Sure enough, he lands 2km away from me and by the time he figures out what is going on I have him tackled, webbed and melting.

“hehe, gf”, I write as he goes down. “gf you squirrly sonofabitch!” is the reply. I give him his loot back and go on my merry way. That was satisfying!
I have decided that I need access to locator agents. Zappity's standings with most of the faction warfare corps is decidedly frosty due to numerous transgressions against their members so I look for some non-FW NPC corps with Level 4 locator agents near Eszur.

There are a few of them but my standings with most are negative due to killing their pilots. Honestly, you’d think I had a vendetta against them or something. But I do find one suitable corp and promptly fit out the railgun Enyo of Shame for missioning.

Apart from the tutorials, I haven’t ever done missions. I can now tell you that they are truly boring. Really boring. ATROCIOUSLY boring. But at least training Social IV and Connections III reduced the servitude to a mere eight hours or so. I blitzed twenty (or so) Level 1 missions followed by the rest at Level 2 without any loot or salvaging nonsense. Ugh. How can people do this for an EVE living?

And not ONCE did I get molested by those ebil lowsec piwates that you constantly read about, even though I did most of them in Amamake. You should be ashamed, locals. Admittedly, the outcome could have been different if I had been doing Level 4s in a faction battleship.

Anyway, Zappity now has 5.1 standing with that NPC corp and four nice agents in the vicinity. Hooray!
Lowsec is dead today. Well, it is dead except for cloaky stabbed farmers who don’t count. So I hop into my explorer character who has decent scanning skills as well as being a general spreader of suspicion and distrust due to her name. ‘Innocent Scout’ soon finds a wormhole and informs me that this is a C3 with lowsec static with a predominantly EU timezone corp in residence.

I conduct a brief cloaked reconnaissance: safe spot made (check), no ships on scan anywhere in system (check), one tower plus one forcefield (check), five signatures including the wormhole and numerous anomalies. Oh, I remember these from my pre-PVP days! And I’m sure I still have a Tengu pilot somewhere. And a Noctis pilot!

I scan the signatures down and find that they are all Mag or Radar sites, meaning that the only wormhole in the system is (currently) the lowsec static. So I send the Tengu and Noctis into the hole and safe them up. My cloaked scout is innocently watching the lowsec hole (well, listening to it actually) while the Tengu runs a couple of anomalies. D-scan, missiles, d-scan, missiles, d-scan, check for new sigs (oh, they just appear on the whatsit now), d-scan… You get the picture.

It’s pretty boring compared to solo PvP. But when lowsec is dead there is a certain satisfaction to getting it ‘right’ in terms of security, fits, salvage etc. And I love the extra J-space bite that no local provides.

I wonder what the sites in C4s are like.
The rail Comet dies to an Algos.


I had good range control and hit hard so we entered hull at about the same time but the extra dessie HP won out. Oh well. We chat a bit afterward and agree that the outcome probably wasn’t too surprising but I leave the system with the comment that ‘10% chance of success = fight!’ A worthy motto but probably not great for the killboard. Oh well, bugger it.

I think I should have won that fight. I might have a look at the Comet fit again.
My Black Frog order of Enyos and other tasty ships hasn’t arrived yet so I hop into a blasty Comet to test the waters. Barely a jump out of Eszur finds a worthy adversary in an Algos, loitering on a gate. He follows me through and approaches the gate, clearly wanting a fight.

He is heading in my direction so I wait under cloak until he gets closer before decloaking. I have to wait for him to aggress because of the nasty gate guns but once he does my blasters start to make short work of his tank.

Unfortunately, I forget to unleash my drones. Honestly, what a noob. And, unlike with the Enyo, they are a significant part of my DPS. I remember them when the low armour alert sounds and the fight ends with him in low structure. How annoying - I would have won that if I hadn’t stuffed up. But I guess that goes for most fights…


I replace the Comet with a rail version and go hunting again. This time I come across a Firetail who wants to play although I am a little wary since there are so many others in the system. Sure enough, a Slicer lands shortly after we start to fight. I initially think he is from the same corp but he scoots out of point range immediately and just watches. For a while.

As I finish off the Firetail ( the Slicer approaches and locks me up before I can flee. Along with the Slasher and Arbitrator who have decided to join the party. I doubt I am getting away from here so I scram and web the weakest ship (the Slasher) who by happy coincidence is also the closest.

He explodes when I am at half structure ( and I am able to warp my pod away soon after. A reasonable exchange, I think.

I am in Enyo the Indestructible! Defeater of destroyers and cruisers alike! So I should have no trouble vanquishing this Vexor sitting on a plex. Right?

Well, a single neut cycle fixes my wagon. I think I need to fit a vamp to this thing somehow. I get two volleys off before sitting there like a landed fish waiting for his mates to warp in and pick over my carcass.


Oh well. Worse things happen at sea.
So, one destroyer down. Let’s see what else is around. I repair my ship from the last fight and undock from the station in Augu. What do I see? I see an Omen and a Condor in different plexes. I head for the Omen.

I land in the plex and spot the Omen about 30 km away, orbiting the beacon. I haven’t looked up the killboard so I have no idea how the Omen is likely to be fit. I guess there is a chance that I might be blapped on the way in so I burn at an angle with an overheated MWD. He immediately sends a hordes of drones my way so I unleash Hobby the Mighty as I move in.

I manage to get under his guns in a tight orbit after I disengage my MWD. With most of his damage coming from the drones I decide that damage application is a higher priority than mitigation so I ignore the drones and continue chipping away at him with Void. But then he turns his armour reps on and I immediately wonder whether I should have targeted the drones. But no, I am hitting him harder than he is hitting me and I think the AAR will be able to deal with it when the paste runs out.

The AAR paste runs out just as my volleys start breaking into his hull between rep cycles. And then the module starts the one minute reload cycle. You will be shocked to hear that I forgot to disable the auto-reload! Sixty seconds is a VERY long time for a frigate. I watch in desperation as my armour disappears and the hull is slowly ground down. Surely this stupid repper is bugged - it feels more like ten minutes! But finally the thing stops flashing. 40% hull. I overheat the repper and set it going. And so the Omen dies to the Enyo. Ha!


Stressful. Bloody AAR auto-reload. It is my NEMESIS!

I have to admit that my hands were shaking just a little after that one. That’s my excuse for failing to check d-scan before looting his wreck, anyway. So when the Condor lands, unannounced, I have little chance of escaping it’s horrid clutches. And zero chance of surviving when the Vagabond and Firetail (piloted by the Omen pilot - good on him) pile on top after a minute or so. Oh well - a fair exchange I reckon!
Well, here I am, Enyo-less in Eszur. Time to get another from my current highsec staging system (I really do need to get an alt into a jump freighter some time). But here's a gang of frigates loitering in one of the plexes!

I would have thought that seven of them in a single Novice plex is a little excessive but I guess they know their business. Let's see if we can get one of them.

I don't seem to have it in my nature to wait, dangling as bait. I think it is often a mistake when solo since the opposition has too much opportunity to pick a guaranteed winner as counter.

So I hop around and finally land on one of their Firetail alone in a plex. Ah, what the hell. I snag him and sling my Blasty Incursus into a close orbit, starting on his shields before I even know what he is packing. Oh, autos. Oh well.

I manage to break his shield tank and have started biting into his armour just as the rest of the crew lands on me. I think I finished the fight with aggression from six of their pilots so needless to say I didn't survive long enough to finish him off. I needed another twenty seconds but unfortunately, 'twas not to be.

Worth a go even though I knew it was unlikely. Now it is definitely time for an Enyo delivery.
Well, it’s been a long time between drinks. I fired up the old client and jumped into an Enyo. It looks like an Incursus so how hard can it be?

I play around with a few fittings and, whilst I think the rail Enyo is probably a better solo ship I start with a Blasty version since I’m a bit rusty:

[Enyo, Zappity’s Blasty MWD range]
Magnetic Field Stabilizer II
Tracking Enhancer II
Damage Control II
Small Ancillary Armor Repairer, Nanite Repair Paste

Limited 1MN Microwarpdrive I
Fleeting Propulsion Inhibitor I
Faint Epsilon Warp Scrambler I

Light Neutron Blaster II, Void S
Light Neutron Blaster II, Void S
Light Neutron Blaster II, Void S
Light Neutron Blaster II, Void S
[empty high slot]

Small Processor Overclocking Unit I
Small Hybrid Burst Aerator I

Plus the lonesome Hobgoblin II which I forgot in EFT. Good fit? No idea but it looks fun. I am going after other Assault Frigates or Destroyers or Cruisers or basically anything larger and slower than me. I am not too worried about being scram-kited since the TE lets Null hit out to the edge pretty effectively. Kite-scrubbing Condors (et al) will still be a problem though.

I spy a Thrasher in a plex and decide to pay him a visit. He warps away as soon as I land. Huh, I was expecting a fight there based on the killboard. Maybe my Enyo is scary! Let’s not get carried away, though. I warp to my safe, align back to the plex and try the old ‘wait until he appears on the 90 degree scan before hitting warp’ trick. I could have sworn I landed the scram when we touch down together but unfortunately he manages to sneak away. Before giving up entirely I try the log off trick from within the plex, only to find that you are dropped at the gate instead of inside.

Oh well, let’s see what happens in the next system.

An enticing Rupture, that’s what! And a decent pilot if the board is anything to go by. Lured by the thought of a cruiser kill I warp into the plex. He is sitting 15 km from the beacon so I burn to him with a couple of overheated MWD cycles before tackling and going into a close orbit, hoping to get under his guns. He sets his drones onto me so I sick my lone but valiant Hobgoblin on him in return.

Now one big problem with this fit is that cap is really tight. I am constantly juggling the modules to keep him in range and tackled without ruining my cap. And yet I manage to get him into armour with some of my own shield remaining, and then into structure. My reps are still going strong so it looks like I have this one in the bag!

And then my guns burn out. Oh bother.

Well, you can’t win them all and I definitely lost this one. That was REALLY annoying - entirely my fault and a nice kill lost. I was too busy watching my cap and not used to the longer time it takes to burn through a cruiser. The pilot is friendly and we part ways after a bit of chat. Oh well, there’s always next time…
I’ve been away for a while, only updating skill queues, but finally logged back in for some PvP today. I find myself in my blasty Incursus and immediately spot a Slicer in a plex. Well, why not…

I warp in to the plex prepared for a magnificent battle, probably to the death if I’m being honest, but am shocked when the Slicer scarpers! I give chase, admiring the shiny new warp speed, thinking that he may have hit the Warp button by mistake instead of activating his lasers. Surely he couldn’t be afraid of little old me in an Incursus!

But I am kidding myself and the cowardly cuss continues to run. I annoy him (just because I can) until I spot a Rifter at a plex. Maybe HE wants to play. I leave the Slicer to plough his furrow and warp to the Rifter’s plex. The Slicer writes “pirate” in local. Um, yes, well done. That is certainly correct and I’m glad you pointed it out. I’m just not sure why.

The cowardly, stabbed Rifter runs away but at least he spares enough time to write “Fck you” in local. How rude. A Condor soon adds some spice to the system and happy timing sees us all converge at a plex simultaneously. I am feeling a bit rusty and warp out on reflex. The Rifter taunts me with “Come back, Zappity” as a depart.

OK, sure. Why not?

I do an about turn and jump back into the plex. The Slicer has disappeared leaving the Rifter and Condor behind. I don’t really like Condors and suspect that I will be kitescrubbed to death. But I really want to kill that Rifter...

Sure enough, the Condor lands a long point on me as I am diving for the Rifter who happily makes the mistake of hanging around. I scram and web him before melting him good, despite his triple-stabbed shame:

The Condor’s DPS is pretty poor and I manage to survive long enough to slingshot away. But before I do, I pod the Rifter pilot, ONLY because he was so rude earlier, of course!

...and I won when I went back a couple of minutes later in an Incursus! The same gang was at a safe near the sun but I spotted a Slicer, Kestrel and Rifter from another corp at a plex. I warped to their plex but didn’t enter. While sitting there I opened up a new plex to tempt them to split up. Bingo - the Rifter warped to it. This just HAS to be bait for one of the others to warp in straight after me for a 2v1.

Whatever. Let’s go.

Sure enough, the Rifter is sitting at zero on the beacon and tackles me. I don’t mind because that’s exactly where I want him. I orbit at 500 and kill him before he scratches my armour. (I wish they’d buff the Rifter just a bit.) The Kestrel lands just as I pop the Rifter and I dive for him, landing a tackle and getting into another close orbit. I have to rep my armour this time (how rude) but nothing serious.

GFs all round as I warp to my safe. Hehe, good stuff.

The Merlin from the gang that killed me earlier is still sitting at that safe near the sun. I bring my scanning alt into the system and warp to the Merlin. As soon as I land he warps away to be replaced by the cursed Executioner in the same moment! It’s a trap!

The Executioner points me immediately and I know I won’t be able to slingshot him in the Incursus. The Merlin immediately warps back in (why did he warp out?) so I jump on him, hoping to get at least one kill. At about half shields the Rifter also lands and I die to their combined firepower.

“gf, nice trap”, I write in local. Apparently it was NOT a trap - just very unhappy (from my perspective) timing. Come to think of it, the Executioner must have entered warp when I did to land at the same time. My safe was pretty close. “dammit!”, I reply, “oh well, gf anyway”. I nearly got through the Merlin’s shields. Maybe next time!
Lots of losses! First, I wondered how my new Slasher would go against a Harpy. Um, not very well:

Then I wondered the same about a Firetail and got the same answer:

An Executioner killed me although this was an EXTREMELY close fight. Literally came down to who fired the first volley:

But don’t worry, I DID manage to kill something! A Raptor got a little close to my scram and I snared him. Rails don’t track so well when they are tracking disrupted:

I think I am starting to get a better feel for the Slasher’s capabilities. I have no intention of being more careful with them for a little while yet. I then hopped into an Incursus (can’t remember why) and died to a Comet. Again, this was a close fight because he was rails fit and I was able to keep decent range control.

The cowardly cuss wouldn’t fight me later when I brought a Comet. I guess some people would call that wise target selection since I was specifically fit to kill him quickly!

I manged to kill an Executioner who warped in to find me waiting on a plex gate:

He forgot the Incursus had room for a web (or was perhaps expecting a dual-rep fit). It was a rather brief engagement as a consequence but gf and props to Number X8. These guys always bring good fights. Just as well he didn’t pull range on me in time. It was a nasty fit.

The next Executioner was more fortunate and kitescrubbed my Slasher to death. I warped into an Executioner, Rifter and Merlin in a plex, thinking that I could probably outrun the combat frigates and slingshot the Executioner out of their range. I managed to get him to 14 km but no closer. Sigh. You win some, you lose some...
Look, a pod sitting on a station! What on earth am I to do about it? Should I:

A) Leave it alone and fly away
B) Shoot it

I think I know the answer to this one. I approach, lock, align my Slasher and fire!

Now the Slasher has less DPS and less tank than the other ships I am used to and the station guns pop me just as I pop him. Well, I guess there’s justice after all.

I should probably have warped out as soon as I had aggression and then warped back in to avoid the guns. But then he might have heard it and docked! Couldn’t have that.

Maybe I should send him a link to the lecture.
Time for a Slasher test drive. Here is my fit. Again, I have no idea if it is good but I can’t see what’s really lacking apart from having to be careful with cap. If it turns out to be too limiting I might switch it to a vamp. The range of the 150s is a bit short for my liking but the ambits take it out past the edge of neut range:

[Slasher, Zappity's 150mm TD]
Damage Control II
Small Ancillary Armor Repairer, Nanite Repair Paste

1MN Afterburner II
Balmer Series Tracking Disruptor I, Optimal Range Disruption Script
J5b Phased Prototype Warp Scrambler I
Fleeting Propulsion Inhibitor I

150mm Light AutoCannon II, Republic Fleet EMP S
150mm Light AutoCannon II, Republic Fleet EMP S
150mm Light AutoCannon II, Republic Fleet EMP S
Small Unstable Power Fluctuator I

Small Projectile Burst Aerator I
Small Projectile Ambit Extension I
Small Projectile Ambit Extension I

I am looking for turret frigates. I don’t really care what sort. I wish that CCP would hurry up and make than missile disruption module! I could carry one around with me and swap out as needed. But in the meantime, there is a Slicer in that there plex! Let’s have a go.

He is MWD fit but I manage to slingshot him into scram range, after which I can comfortably orbit him at 5 km. He starts to hit my poor little ship pretty hard until I remember that I have a TD. I apply optimal range disruption and his damage ceases immediately. Huh, that’s pretty nice.

I knew this would be an armour fight so I had RF Fusion loaded. His shield takes AGES to go down and I wonder whether EMP or Phased Whatsit would have been better to start with. I don’t like the thought of a 10 second reload delay, though, and the main fight will surely be fought in armour.

Regardless, his shield does go down eventually and suddenly the Fusion starts to work properly. His reps are keeping up but I don’t imagine they will be happy about the neut.

And then someone in a Retribution warps in and locks me up! How rude. So away I warp, not fancying my chances against both ships at once. Not until I’m a bit more used to the ship anyway. The Slicer lives to fight another day but I am determined to get SOMEONE with my shiny new ship!

The next attempt sees me pitted against a Firetail. There are two of them from the same corp and I choose the older one given that the other is only a few days old. I want a proper test, not some noob kill! He is sitting on the beacon at zero and I immediately run to 5000 metres and try the optimal range disruption trick.

As I write this, I realise that this was probably a mistake given that the Firetail would have been fit with projectiles which have bugger all optimal anyway. And, of course, nothing happens to his damage output. I switch to tracking speed disruption and immediately get a drop. At this point I should have orbited him at 500 instead of 5000 but, um, I didn’t. He was still hitting me and my reps didn’t keep up.

So I died. But at least I figured out what I did wrong! And I DID get through his shield before I popped, so that’s something at least.

Yes, I am an eternal optimist.

After dieing to a well-coordinated gang ( I meet a noob in a rail-fit Incursus. There isn’t much to write here except that I had warped into Stilnox IX three times during the evening before I finally caught him. I have the optimal range disruption script running, thinking he was blaster fit, but despite having rails he still doesn’t hit me hard whilst orbiting at 5 km. He actually has a pretty reasonable fit so perhaps his Gunnery skills are still a little weak.

We have a good chat afterwards and swap fits. Props for a gf and also for being my first Slasher kill!
Kestrel and Punisher, sitting in a plex. And here’s me in a little Incursus. I hope they are both close to zero so I can jump on the Kestrel whilst keeping out of the Punisher’s high DPS zone until I have more time to finish him.

Well, they granted half of my wish with the Punisher sitting on the beacon. Unfortunately, the Kestrel was very sensibly MWD fit and orbiting at 30 km, ready to pound me with light missiles. He pointed me before I could warp away so I decided to make the best of a bad job and kill the Punisher before I died.

I started orbiting him at 500, thinking that my Ions would probably track better than whatever he had and that I could limit at least some of his damage. It might have worked except for the tracking disruptor on the Kestrel. As soon as I noticed that I just approached the Punisher and hit da F1 butan.

We died at EXACTLY the same time. I actually thought that they had beaten me but I saw his pod appear as my own entered warp. I had my pod-save overview open this time :)
This is an expensive one. I said my turn would come!

I blink into existence in my safe, ready to make the jump across to Eszur to get a dual-rep Incursus for some cruiser hunting. But what do I see over there in the Small plex? A Rifter and a Slasher? Well doesn’t that look attractive?

Unfortunately, by the time I warp to the plex they have both disappeared. The Slasher has moved to another plex but the Rifter is nowhere to be seen. Oh well, a Slasher is better than nothing I guess. And he is obviously looking for a fight because we cross paths mid-warp. Rather than chase him I align to his plex and move a few kilometers out, wary of a short warp in and subsequent kitescrubbery.

He land within a few km of me and I quickly burn him down, both literally and figuratively:

I have already entered the warp to my safe when the Rifter reappears on short-scan, no doubt in a belated rescue attempt. Unfortunately, the Rifter has again disappeared when I emerge from the station after reps (where is he going?) so I jump to the Eszur gate where I happen to land on an innocent Atron.

He is a fine, upstanding citizen without a criminal status and being lowsec, I can’t just start shooting him (despite landing at optimal) for fear of the gate guns. However, one can still try! I red-box him and approach. He bites on my red flashy Incursus (whether deliberately or on instinct I don’t know) and I quickly have him at half armour. At this point, though, he figures out that sitting in my optimal isn’t a good idea and starts to pull away. I respond by loading Null and finishing him off:

NOW I can jump into Eszur! When I do, I see a Rifter named ‘hmm stabbed’ which bodes evil for one of us. Him, as it turned out. He wasn’t stabbed, just unfit. His alt claims it is a last ditch effort against the Amarrian slavers who are seemingly about to take the system for the first time. Probably true, actually, looking at his impressive killboard.

Although in Eszur I decide to have another look for that Rifter one system over before jumping into the dual-rep. There is no Rifter but I do see a couple of Merlins and a Comet. I warp into the Merlins just as one decides to leave the party. The other is piloted by the chap I just killed in the Slasher. He must have decided that a Merlin’s tank would offer a greater chance of survival. I rapidly disabuse him of this notion…

...flick to my pod-catcher overview and snag his pod! ‘1m for the pod!’, I yell triumphantly. ‘10 sec’. I check the d-scan (nothing) so I click on my wallet to check for incoming.

And then I hear a nasty noise. Someone is locking my ship. But who? There is only the pod on overview! Oh, on my pod-catcher overview. Which only shows pods. And, since my d-scan is linked to my overview, that was only showing pods as well.

What a noob.

And there goes my bloody AAR auto-reload. Oh my goodness, a comedy of errors which is only compounded when I stupidly select the plex I happen to be on top of as my warp out celestial. Which doesn’t work, of course. (Remember how I said I was going to update my pod saver tab? Yeah, I hadn’t done that yet.)

And so, I die. But I get the Merlin’s pod on the way out!

Unfortunately it wasn’t quite as expensive as mine:


And what a death! 683m iskies worth of death! Doing my bit to make the Rifterlings killboard even greener. Hehe, gf.
I am taken by a mad fit and hop out of frigates and into a Catalyst!

[Catalyst, Zappity’s Ions]
Damage Control II
Magnetic Field Stabilizer II
Tracking Enhancer II

Limited 1MN Microwarpdrive I
Initiated Harmonic Warp Scrambler I

Light Ion Blaster II, Caldari Navy Antimatter Charge S
Light Ion Blaster II, Caldari Navy Antimatter Charge S
Light Ion Blaster II, Caldari Navy Antimatter Charge S
Light Ion Blaster II, Caldari Navy Antimatter Charge S
Light Ion Blaster II, Caldari Navy Antimatter Charge S
Light Ion Blaster II, Caldari Navy Antimatter Charge S
Light Ion Blaster II, Caldari Navy Antimatter Charge S
Light Ion Blaster II, Caldari Navy Antimatter Charge S

Small Hybrid Locus Coordinator I
Small Hybrid Collision Accelerator I
Small Hybrid Ambit Extension I

I don't have a clue whether this is a good fit or not but I'll explain my thinking behind it. I tend not to pay too much attention to battleclinic etc - half the fun is coming up with something that actually works.

The DPS is good at about 380 with CNAM unheated (420 Void) but this is of dubious value if you can't actually apply it to your target. So the idea is to approach under overheated MWD, shut down their own MWD with the scram at about the same time they presumably do the same to me, and coast into a turret range that is somewhat extended by the TE and rigs. The rigs also mean that Null has fairly decent DPS (300) out to the edge of a T2 (but not faction or linked) scram.

Weaknesses? Many and varied. No web, no active tank. No passive tank for that matter aside from the DCII. Would easily be kitescrubbed to death by ANY frigate with a long point and some agility. No way to hit a faction/linked scram. The list goes on but let's have a go anyway.

There are only miserable T1 frigate farmers in this system so let's head north. In the next system I spot a Thrasher in a Medium plex with a Corax somewhere else on dscan. I don't think they are in the same corp, not that I would matter much for a test flight.

I warp in and go for the Thrasher who is sitting about 20 off the beacon. Probably arty fit. But before I get close enough he warps away. I think he was aligned and just waiting to get an ID on the intruder. Or just not paying as much attention as he should.

As I am wandering back towards the beacon I spot the Corax on short scan. Just as good! I wait on the beacon for the ship to come sailing in. He lands only a couple of kilometres away but I still give it the Catalyst a single MWD cycle to get underway. We scram each other simultaneously but my momentum is good enough to coast me on top of him. He gets me to low armour before my overheated CNAM breaks him apart:

He didn't give a gf in local because I podded him. Which I suppose is a reasonable excuse.

I don't know why such an old character didn't warp his pod out in time. Dessies don't exactly lock fast, not compared to frigates anyway. Maybe it was just lag but I didn't feel like chatting so he got the express. My turn will come ;)

I loot the wreck and bounce off my safe to soak up the weapons timer before docking. Repairs finished, I immediately undock and see the Thrasher back in the plex!

I warp in (of course) and use overheated MWD to eat up the 15 km that lie between us. I wait a couple of seconds before starting to lock him, a lesson I have learned from farmers. If they happen to be distracted then an early lock will pull their attention back just a little sooner than needed. With blaster DPS the extra second or two can make the difference, even with stabs fitted.

I coast into falloff before activating the guns and as I push into optimal he quickly melts. Yes, he was arty fit:


And yes, apparently he was watching the other screen according to local. That'll teach him!

Downtime is coming up so I dock and consider the ship. The Catalyst is good for a bit of fun but I don't think it is a serious solo ship. It lacks the flexibility that the extra mid slot would provide. I think I’ll have a look at the Cormorant next.
I’m still looking for something interesting in my Comet when I spot a Thrasher in a Small plex. I warp into him but he runs away as soon as I land. I check his board and see that he is a new character. He was sitting at zero on the plex so he is probably autocannon fit and wants a fight, just not with me.

I warp out to my safe which happens to be only 1 AU distant. As soon as I land, I align back toward to plex and set my d-scan angle to 60 degrees. I scan every second and, sure enough, he appears on d-scan just a few moments later. I hit warp and we land at zero on the gate at the same time. As it turns out, he was wise to not want a fight with me:

A properly skilled auto Thrasher would probably be a different story!

After this I wander around for a while but don’t manage to find another fight. There are a lot of T1 frigates around so I switch to the Blasty Incursus. I swap the 200mm plate for an overdrive to try and catch a very fast kiting Merlin I ran into the other day. Or, more accurately, didn’t run into so was kited to death by a rail fit.

I jump a couple of systems across but the Merlin has become shy due to a small Fweddit gang in the system. Slasher, Condor, Merlin, Cormorant. Hmm. I want to kill one of them.

I loiter in one of the plexes to get a feel for their response time and interest but I align away from the beacon and am about 50 km away when the frigates land. They left the destroyer behind to tend to the Small plex. I warp to their Small plex, guessing they will all follow. They don’t disappoint.

The Slasher and Merlin land at the same time but with the Slasher 10 km off. I head for the Slasher before he has even landed and start taking him down. My afterburner has turned off for some reason (must have mis-clicked) so he pulls some range but it is nothing that some judicious overheating can’t take care of. The Slasher wisely burns to the Merlin and it isn’t long before I am taking damage from both of them. It’s a good thing the Incursus can rep!

I finish the Slasher ( with the Merlin right on top of me. I see that I have used up three of my nanite pastes and suddenly remember to turn the auto-reload off (yes, ahem).

I don’t want to fight the Merlin with a Condor incoming, even though I am pretty sure I could take him on alone (again - I killed him a couple of hours before: I lock the Merlin and align to my safe which happens to take us further away from the gate and away from the Condor which has just landed on grid.

I slap a web on the Merlin and overheat the burner, quickly opening the distance and decreasing the damage. He loses the scram at about 9km and when I enter warp I am locked by both the Merlin and the Condor, who is only 15km away. I wonder why he didn’t point me? Maybe he was scram fit for some reason. Or just stuffed up.

GFs all round and back to hunting that Merlin!
I fit another Comet (with the right scram this time) and head out to look for either a Firetail or a Thrasher. And there’s a Thrasher in the plex in front of me when I undock. How nice.

I warp in and he is sitting at zero. I don’t want this fight so I warp out before he can tackle me. But I watch the plex and see a Punisher and Atron land. The Thrasher scarpers but I wouldn’t mind having a go. I warp in and they are sitting on the gate outside the plex. This smells fishy.

As I am quickly killing the Atron ( I notice a Slasher appear on short scan. I am hardly surprised. Sitting outside the plex often indicates that they want to be easily accessible to support. It is a good idea if rather transparent. But wow, that Punisher is doing some serious damage! Well, that’s what happens at low angular in optimal. As the Atron dies I move into an orbit on the Punisher and get through his shields fast. The armour is a different matter, however, and the neut makes me switch to the Slasher that has just landed and pull range on the Punisher.

The Slasher doesn’t keep up so I switch to Null but am still getting hit pretty hard on the way out under webs. A few volleys later and the Slasher is in low structure - just one more I think. And then I die.

And THEN I realise I forgot to deploy my drones. In a bloody Comet. What a noob. I would easily have killed the Slasher if they were out, possibly the Punisher from a distance too.

Still, not being one to take ‘die’ for an answer I quickly reship into a Blasty Incursus and head straight back to the plex. The Punisher is there, basking in victory, so I start laying into him in a close orbit but with only web applied. This time I see that he actually has a vamp, not a neut (I always confuse them at a glance).

This is something I have learnt about cap management. You don’t need all the modules on, all of the time! If someone clearly wants the fight I will often turn my scram off after the initial tackle and only reapply it when it becomes clear that they might want to escape pretty soon. Having said that, um:

I don’t know why he didn’t scarper under MWD. Probably thought he had it in the bag until it was too late and I had reapplied the scram. Or maybe he didn’t notice it wasn’t on any more.

Anyway, he goes down slowly but my cap is manageable with only the web, guns and AAR active even with the vampire applied. He dies and I catch his pod! I quickly check his board and see that he is a 2007 player.

“gf. 10m for the pod!”, I type quickly whilst watching d-scan. Nothing. “10 seconds”, I add. Oh well.

My most expensive pod yet (but still only 60m). In convo I asked him why he didn’t just pay the 10m. “Because you would kill me after”. Fair enough. But I really wouldn’t have.

A pity the Slasher didn’t warp back in. I was expecting him.
I am back in the Comet with a new fit.

[Federation Navy Comet, B2 fast]
Magnetic Field Stabilizer II
Overdrive Injector System II
Small Ancillary Armor Repairer, Nanite Repair Paste
Damage Control II

1MN Afterburner II
Warp Scrambler II (not under fitting pressure)
Fleeting Propulsion Inhibitor I

Light Neutron Blaster II, Caldari Navy Antimatter Charge S
Light Neutron Blaster II, Caldari Navy Antimatter Charge S
Small Diminishing Power System Drain I

Small Hybrid Burst Aerator I
Small Hybrid Locus Coordinator I
Small Hybrid Ambit Extension I

Hobgoblin II x3
Warrior II x3

Because I fly solo (for now) I find that gank often outweighs tank. If I can get on top of an opponent with blasters they generally die fast. I think the 200mm plate on the Incursus is a good compromise because it is already a reasonably fast hull but I have found myself being outpaced by nano Firetails a lot in the Comet. I don’t like it. So this fit was designed to ensure range control for CNAM application but still have decent range with Null loaded (~3.5 + 4km for me). We’ll see. Rails would probably be better but I am in a blasty mood.

Of course, I didn’t find a Firetail but rather a Thrasher in a plex. So in I go to have a look. I have been wanting to practice spiralling in against an arty opponent lately and I think I probably have the speed and reps to escape an auto Thrasher if he is sitting on zero.

Sure enough, he is sitting at about 50. I align away from him, cruising without prop. He start to approach cautiously but cunningly keeps his speed in the afterburner range. But I am not fooled, not one bit. This is an MWD arty Thrasher and he will target me any second now. Yep, 40km and there’s the yellow box.

38 km and I turn to about 40 degrees from his direction and hit the overheated afterburner. He chose exactly the same time to pick up speed and the distance drops quickly. His first volley drops half my shields at 20 km and I hit approach to close the gap. Probably a mistake but borderline call? After all, I really need to land a scram or it’s all over anyway. And if I DO land a scram, it’s all over too.

I start the reps. I web (overheated) at 13km. When distance hits 10km I hit the scram. It doesn’t land. And he is now moving away quickly under MWD. I get blapped.

And then on the killmail I notice I had a lower meta scram fitted. I don’t know how that happened but it could have made the difference. Also, if I had burned away at ~45 degrees to start I might have caught him because of my superior agility. I want to try that again! I’m sure I’ll get a chance - there’s certainly no lack of Thrashers around here.

Oh well - win some, lose some.
A lot of people ask me why I chose a female character. The answer is that all my other characters had been male when I made Zappity. Also, my wife wanted to do the makeup. So there.
I warm up my Blasty Incursus with a Breacher fight. He is a good pilot and it is pretty close, requiring good manual range control and overheating at the right times, just like he is doing. Still, I manage not to stuff up too badly and come out of it with a smoking hull but no burnt out modules.

I travel back to Eszur where I see a small T.R.I.A.D gang has invaded my nice home system. How rude. Hookbill, Kestrel, Scythe, Slasher, Slasher and three plexes. Hmm. I want to kill at least one of them.

Actually, I'd like to kill them all (not that I have anything against T.R.I.A.D in particular, it's just lowsec). I think I need to find a good small gang corp for these sort of occasions.

Anyway, they are in the same plex but immediately start spreading out until there are only two Slashers left. Sounds good to me! And by the time I arrive it is only one Slasher.

I load Null on the way in and tackle the remaining Slasher who is waiting only a few km off the beacon.

(Start the timer)

Overheated afterburner
Drone (yes, I remembered him!)
This guy is slow; I should have loaded CNAM
Dscan (Condor - did I miss him or is he a neut?)
Um, where did the Slasher go? Oh, he is a wreck!

(+19 seconds)

Try to lock the pod
Drone recovered
gf in local
Belatedly disengage afterburner and heat (well I have to make at least one mistake, don't I?)
Dscan, Condor

(+38 seconds)

Stealth gank!

But he was a noob so it doesn't really count. Still, they didn't respond in time and foolishly left a noob alone with Zappity on the prowl!

A pity I didn't get his pod. I could have used the lecture.
Of course, I couldn’t just put the Kitescrub Catcher away after that victory (#86) so I decide to fly it until I lose it. I dock up, repair the extensive heat and take off again. And you’ll never guess what I find! Another Condor! Anyone would think that FW regions were infested with them.

I warp to the plex and he is sitting 40 km off the gate. Rinse and repeat as before with this one even easier to catch. He also dies a little faster since I have Null loaded this time instead of CNAM. I find it best to disable the MWD after the first cycle and do the final approach without any prop mod to avoid an overshoot. The Null allows you to apply damage the whole way in and still does pretty good DPS up close if you have good tracking skills.

I am watching dscan, however, and I see a Stabber warping in. Uh oh, I don’t have the tank to withstand a Stabber. Bugger it, I’m going to finish the kitescrubber off anyway, just to teach him a lesson. Which I do. Ha!

The Stabber long points me just as the Condor pod warps away. He is still quite distant, though, and I align to a celestial away from the Stabber (yes, I’m afraid it was the sun - that solid circle is so alluring). Another overheated MWD cycle sees me clear of the point and warping to freedom!

Next up is an Atron farmer who decides to stay and fight until he hits structure. He then warps away with the aid of stabs. The irony is that, had he fit for DPS, he would likely have killed me. I told him as much before taking off to find the next encounter. They do some nasty damage those Atrons (this one ALMOST killed me a little earlier - my poor ship was on fire thanks to Crake Gaterau again).

The next encounter doesn’t take long to find and comes in the form of, wait for it, another Condor. This time I forget to disengage my MWD after the first cycle and overshoot despite landing the initial scram. Unfortunately, a couple of other frigates have appeared on dscan so I scarper.

"Why run, bitch!", came the unimaginative and inaccurate taunt. "It's a tarp!", I reply. Actually, to be fair the taunt was about as imaginative as the trap, with the other frigates sitting in a safe close to the plex. I thought I would have time to kill the Condor before the others appeared. And I probably would have if I hadn't forgotten the MWD. Sigh.
Za'afiel wrote:
"I enjoy this, keep them coming.
I also have one question, was fighting in frigates your aware decision, and by aware I mean, do you have the chance of fighting in bigger ships and you simply decide not to, whatever the reason, or you plan to use bigger ships in the future?

Shoot them all! Be polite. o7"

Restricting myself to frigates is a conscious decision but will certainly not continue indefinitely. Zappity is a young character with 20m SP but about 8m of that is the skill changes that happened in Retribution (eg BC racials at 5).

I am still completing some pretty fundamental core skills and prefer to stay in smaller ships until a few more are done.

Also, I spent the last couple of years in BCs in my other characters and am still really enjoying the speed and agility of the smaller ships. There seems to be much greater tactical flexibility in small ships, and this (unfortunately) will probably only increase further with Rubicon warp speed changes.

Finally, I'm still learning something practically every time I fight. I only have 300-something kills and 150 losses, although admittedly these are mostly solo. Just being able to competently handle the rapid pace and extremely tight timing of a frigate fight is an achievement in itself!
This is the “You shouldn’t lose your pod in lowsec” lecture so I don’t have to keep typing it when I pod noobs. Admittedly a little longer than the local version! This applies equally to highsec.

Lowsec does not have warp disruption bubbles. This means that you can always warp your pod away if it hasn’t been tackled. A ship’s scan resolution can be increased to the point where it can instantly lock even a pod and you will often find these in gate camps. The average PvP ship you will be fighting, however, will take at least a second to lock your pod. This means you can escape.

This is the important bit. When you know you are going to die, align your ship to a celestial or other warpable object. Then, spam the Warp To key until you have actually entered warp. As soon as your pod is ejected from your exploded ship you will enter warp. Hotkeys are your friend: Align is ‘A’ and Warp To is ‘W’ by default.

Edit: Rubicon frigates will warp significantly faster than pods. This means it is a good idea to choose a celestial that is difficult to identify (i.e. a moon) just by watching your capsule's path. Otherwise there may be a nasty surprise waiting for you at the end of your warp. I suggest making a ‘pod saver’ tab which contains a list of the celestial types that you choose plus all ships, just in case. Just click to it when you are dying. Thanks to Urkhan Law for the tip.

So click on a celestial, press A, then spam W until you enter warp.

And don’t loiter on the celestial since you may be followed. Bounce from it straight to a system safe. Don’t warp to a station or gate if you can avoid it since it is more likely a player will be there. And if you are anything like Zappity, you will be flashy-red killable!

The only thing that should kill you in this scenario is lag. I can’t do much about that.

Oh, another thing. Don’t just log off at a safe spot if you have a timer that will keep you stuck in space. (sorry Enol Ankou, you were study material).

Otherwise, some meany might find you with combat scanner probes and pod you, just to find out what's inside. Ditto for stations.
Chrstine Peeveepeeski just reminded me about the thread in local. So have another...

Well, that was embarrassing… I was killed by a nasty Condor earlier today. She should be ashamed, assaulting the noble Incursus hull with such kitescrubbery.

Then, a few hours later, I am again looking for trouble when I come across the same Condor running plexes! I’m gonna have him, I decide. I hop back a few jumps and get into my trusty Kitescrub Catcher:

[Incursus, Kitescrub Catcher]
Small Ancillary Armor Repairer, Nanite Repair Paste
Damage Control II
200mm Reinforced Rolled Tungsten Plates I
Overdrive Injector System II

Limited 1MN Microwarpdrive I
J5b Phased Prototype Warp Scrambler I
X5 Prototype Engine Enervator

Light Ion Blaster II, Null S
Light Ion Blaster II, Null S
Light Ion Blaster II, Null S

[empty rig slot]
Small Hybrid Burst Aerator I
Small Hybrid Collision Accelerator I

Hobgoblin II x1

Being an Incursus, it has the advantage of not arousing the natural cowardly instincts of your typical kitescrubber. Completely useless against a normal afterburner fit unless you have extremely good reflexes, though.

I head back to the system where the noxious specimen was observed and, hooray, he is still there! I warp straight into the plex and, when I land, move away from the other ship at afterburner speed, as though aligning out.

He hit the MWD at about 40 km and started closing fast. I approached with a single overheated MWD cycle, landing a scram and web and managing to stay in range. The rest, as they say, is history.

So, where is the embarrassing part? Well, after gf’s in local the other pilot good naturedly mentioned that he might get his revenge in the future. “This WAS my revenge!”, I reply triumphantly. “You killed me earlier!” After which a private convo revealed that, actually, it was just a pilot with a similar name. Well, they started with the same initial.

Oops. What a noob. Props to Noxam Sherei for a gf and good attitude.

My real target was, unfortunately, offline at this point but I will get her eventually.
Hehe, this one is great fun! I jump into Siseide (yarr, here be pirates) and move to a safe. Whilst in warp I find a Rifter and a Punisher in separate plexes. I saw the same two ship names in another system a few minutes ago and I suspect they are together.

I am in a scram kite Incursus fit and inclined to go after the Punisher first.

[Incursus, 125mm]
Small Ancillary Armor Repairer, Nanite Repair Paste
Damage Control II
Magnetic Field Stabilizer II
200mm Reinforced Rolled Tungsten Plates I

1MN Afterburner II
J5b Phased Prototype Warp Scrambler I
Fleeting Propulsion Inhibitor I

125mm Railgun II, Caldari Navy Antimatter Charge S
125mm Railgun II, Caldari Navy Antimatter Charge S
125mm Railgun II, Caldari Navy Antimatter Charge S

Small Processor Overclocking Unit I
Small Semiconductor Memory Cell I
Small Auxiliary Nano Pump I

Hobgoblin II x1

The Punisher does NOT want to play, at least not on his own. Who can blame him with the might of Zappity's Incursus to fear!

I tag along as he bounces between a few plexus, locking him but failing to land a scramble before he takes off for the next stop. The Rifter is also jumping about but I can't see any particular pattern.

I eventually catch the Punisher at the Infrastructure hub, whatever that it, and kill him much faster than I should with rails DPS.

Just as he pops, the Rifter lands next to me. Yes, they are together and since I have hit armour yet I lock, scram, web and start to shoot him. Then I notice that the Punisher pod has not warped away! Naturally, I am curious about this so I switch the guns to him to wake him up and he takes the shortcut home.

The deeps are soon back where they belong and the Rifter dies shortly after.

And so does his pod.

I feel a bit mean now! I start a convo and find that they are now dejected PvP aspirants. The ‘you shouldn’t ever get podded in lowsec’ lecture soon follows and I share some fits with them.

Catch you around, guys. You’ll kill me some day. Maybe.
I am looking for trouble in my Comet when I see a Tristan/Kestrel pair in a plex. They are both at zero on the beacon and I go for the Tristan’s throat. And then the dishonour drones swarm me.

ECM. Grrrr.

This is the first time I have died because of ECM. I tend to avoid Griffins et al but the dishonour drones are harder to predict. I completely understand the prevailing attitude about ECM. Yes, it is a completely valid strategy. Yes, it worked extremely well against my Comet. Yes, it is HUGELY frustrating. Just sitting there, pointed and waiting to die with absolutely nothing to do about it. And that is simply not good gameplay.

ECM just makes me not want to fight. Bad gameplay. So there. Rant over. I’ll get my Sensor Compensation skills trained up some time - maybe that will help, at least against ECM drones.
A Blasty Incursus roam, by Zappity. We start the evening with a soothing farmer kill, just to warm up:

She was a bit grumpy about that but what do you expect when you are oblivious to d-scan? Next up was a much more interesting Slasher. I’m training my projectiles up at the moment to have a go in the Slasher. They rarely kill me in the Incursus but they can do it and they are often close fights.

This one was no different, with the other pilot’s comment in local being “gf. also, how?” I killed him the cycle before he capped me out. DPS ftw.

I was then chased out of a plex by a Firetail. She was most insistent on a fight, however, and followed me to a second plex and then to a gate. I obliged (why not?) and she died. But she was friendly about it so props to her.

And, finally, a Rifter to cool down after the evening’s exertions. She had watched me kill the Firetail and we chatted a bit after the fight. Her comment made me smile: “i knew i would lose but it was worth a try”. “always :)”, I responded. “want your loot?”
Anyone who looks over my killboard will see that I only tend to post fights that I find interesting in some way. There are many fights where I just warp into a site, blap someone, and warp out. Usually a Rifter or a low skill noob in some other T1 ship. (I wish the Rifter was a bit stronger.)

Similarly, many of my losses are not too interesting either but I don’t want to give anyone thinking of coming to faction warfare regions the wrong idea. You will die. A lot. If this is a problem for you, I suggest an introductory course of twenty cheaply-fit T1 frigates. Go and lose them all. You need to get over the initial shock to be able to disconnect yourself from your ship. And don’t be afraid to warp into a situation that you are really unsure about.

For example, I sometimes make a few brief notes about a fight that I want to write up and then come back later to fill in the gaps. This time I just wrote: “Loss to Cormorant of Rainbow Child. Whelped.” Um, that pretty much summed it up. I had wanted to see how a Comet would do against a hybrid weapon destroyer so I warped in to him at a plex and found out pretty quickly. I landed on him at zero and he just demolished me. Most unceremonious.

And then you have completely stupid moments. The other day I was feeling under the weather but decided to log in anyway. I left the station in my Incursus, warped to a Merlin in a plex and was promptly scram/webbed. I then realised I didn’t have a drone. Or any nanite paste loaded into my repper (that AAR...) You can guess the rest.

Next on the list was a loss to an Atron. I warped into him deliberately, wanting to practice slingshotting him into scram range. It didn’t work. I don’t like Atrons very much. They remind me of Condors.

So I die a lot. Admittedly not as much as I used to but I have come to realise that a long winning streak generally means that you are only using your ship as a hard counter to a very select group of targets. And that just gets boring.
A lot of highsec bears get confused about ‘griefing’. They think that only nasty people pod. This post is to explain that being podded does not equate to being griefed. And, in fact, you should thank me for it :)

A noob PvPer! And I mean the real sort that actually fits their ships with modules! I caught him by waiting on a plex acceleration gate. He died and I caught his pod. A good effort but it takes more than a noob Merlin to put one over on Zappity's mighty Blasty Incursus. (Well, unless the Merlin is fit with rails in which case it would be pretty easy to be honest.)

"1m for the pod!" Yeah, ransoms are still going cheap. "Uh, can we negotiate?", comes the reply.
OK. Either he is stalling and I am about to be blobbed or he is a real noob. "0.5m, 10 seconds. Are you a noob"? He responds, "Yeah. I don't have implants but I'd like to fly home anyway."

But just then a neutral Hawk lands on grid so I pop the pod and warp off to reload my accursed AAR (that thing will be the death of me). I am still in convo with the noob so I ask him if the Hawk was his. Apparently not. He is friendly enough despite his loss and starts asking questions about how I managed to demolish his Merlin so quickly.

I send him a couple of fits, give him a lecture on how to get his pod away and, after the convo, send him 20m iskies to encourage him to come back to lowsec. I like lots of targets. He sent me a thank you mail afterward saying that it was ‘mad big help’. I think that was appreciation but I am disadvantaged by having English as a first language.

See? Don't be afraid of getting podded by Zappity. It can be rather enjoyable.
Kestrel + Griffin from the same corp in two plexes. We all know how this story goes: you attack the Kestrel and before you can kill him the Griffin warps in and excises you from the fight.

But you never know, so let's go! I warp into the Kestrel's plex but he doesn’t want to fight and runs to the Griffin's plex. I have seen this behaviour before so bounce off a gate out of d-scan range and straight back to the Kestrel's first plex.

Bingo. He has returned just in time and we warp into the plex together. I scram, web, and start to kill him. And, sure enough, here comes the Griffin on short-scan.

The Kestrel dies as the Griffin locks me up. I can control the Griffin's damage pretty well so decide to have a go at him. One failed cycle should be pretty much all I need.

And then my AAR starts flashing. Have I mentioned that the AAR auto-reload needs fixing? Now I am in trouble since I won't be able to rep for a full minute.

I toy with the idea of killing the Kestrel's wreck to teach him a lesson but decide to scoop it instead. The Incursus is pretty quick and I slowly pull out of point with overheated afterburner. As I disengage and warp away with 10% structure remaining I wonder why the Griffin wasn't MWD fit. Wouldn't that be more sensible for a dedicated ECM frigate?

But I'm glad he wasn't!
I'm in my Blasty Incursus and I see a Jaguar and Crucifier on scan, likely from the same corp. Hmm. The Jaguar is probably arty fit according to the boards and I wouldn't mind having a crack at him. Crucifier? Well I'll have a crack at him, too.

In fact, I'm happy to have a crack at practically anybody!

But not at the same time. So, let's try to split them up. They chase me into a Medium plex and then back to the Small, sticking together. Good discipline. Let's try gate aggression.

I warp off with both in hot pursuit. I'm a little distracted by my second screen while in warp (updating market orders) and when I pull my attention back we land and I am immediately yellow boxed.

I target back and the Crucifier aggresses and points me. Great! I hit Jump to try and tempt the Jaguar through.

Nothing happens. Bloody EVE client - you always have to hit the command more than once. So I hit it again.

Why the hell aren't I jumping? Oh. Wrong sort of gate. I accidentally warped to a plex instead of the gate (I told you I was distracted). And so I die in short order. What a noob.

Hehe, I guess I can't really blame the client for that one! What they must have thought about me just sitting there like a fool I can only imagine. We all have our moments.
Lowsec kill, Slicer:

I ran into a Sentinel in my Comet the other day. It had absolutely brutal neuting and reduced me to a powerless wreck in about 30 seconds.

So I have been thinking about how to improve the Comet's survivability against neuting opponents. I don't think the capacitor is adequate for a neut and I don't want to screw either my dps or tank (yes, I want it all!). Enter today's fight...

[Federation Navy Comet, Electron vampire]
Magnetic Field Stabilizer II
200mm Reinforced Rolled Tungsten Plates I
Small Ancillary Armor Repairer, Nanite Repair Paste
Damage Control II

1MN Afterburner II
Initiated Harmonic Warp Scrambler I
Fleeting Propulsion Inhibitor I

Light Electron Blaster II, Antimatter Charge S
Light Electron Blaster II, Antimatter Charge S
Small 'Knave' Energy Drain

Small Hybrid Burst Aerator I
Small Hybrid Collision Accelerator I
[empty rig slot]

Hobgoblin II x3

The above fit can probably be classed as 'dubious' but one advantage is that it switches from my usual Neutron fit very easily. So when I saw two Slicers in a plex, probably from the same corp according to local, I docked and switched.

I have often seen Slicers host a neut and a significant armour tank, although a nano MWD fit is also popular. Whatever. Let's go.

I warp into the large plex at 50 km and, sure enough, one of the Slicers runs me down from 35 km (MWD fit) and points me before I can warp out. The Slicer is careful to keep distance and I think that my ability to land a tackle is unlikely.

The second Slicer, though, is less cautious and I catch him with an overheated scram when he comes too close. I web him and set the dps and vampire on him.

The Electron II's have extremely short range but their excellent tracking means that Void works pretty well on frigates. I burn at him and start hitting at about 2 km. And I hit him hard. Even with the dps from both Slicers on me I am still able to destroy him. Huh, he didn’t even have a neut so I might as well have been in my normal fit after all! Of course, I then die in a fire to the kiting Slicer but what the hell, a fair exchange I think.
I thought I'd briefly outline the Zappity endorsed method of farming faction warfare plexes. You should follow these steps closely:

1. Fit your T1 ship in a manner similar to this:
The fitting isn't too tight so don't worry if you are a day one alt.

2. You can either do defensive plexing or kill the faction frigates with your main. Either way, you definitely need to go AFK while the plex is ticking down:

3. This is the most important step. If you are popped by an ebil piwate you must NOT learn your lesson. You must rant in local and then be podded again a couple of hours later:

4. You need to place a bounty on the ebil piwate. This should ideally be 10 digits in size to teach them a good lesson but if you are a tight git it can be less. Just remember, it's the thought that counts.

5. Do NOT forget to make kill rights available to all. These severely limit the play of the ebil piwate who never leaves lowsec.
I thought I'd briefly outline the Zappity endorsed method of farming faction warfare plexes. You should follow these steps closely:

1. Fit your T1 ship in a manner similar to this:
The fitting isn't too tight so don't worry if you are a day one alt.

2. You can either do defensive plexing or kill the faction frigates with your main. Either way, you definitely need to go AFK while the plex is ticking down:

3. This is the most important step. If you are popped by an ebil piwate you must NOT learn your lesson. You must rant in local and then be podded again a couple of hours later:

4. You need to place a bounty on the ebil piwate. This should ideally be 10 digits in size to teach them a good lesson but if you are a tight git it can be less. Just remember, it's the thought that counts.

5. Do NOT forget to make kill rights available to all. These severely limit the play of the ebil piwate who never leaves lowsec.
Taranis kill:

I’m wandering around in my Blasty Incursus when I see a Tristan. I’m usually wary of Tristans but the killboard of this one is three unfit Tristans + a pod kill for each. Typical AFK farmer profile. I know it’s a waste of time but let’s see if I can get him anyway. Yes, there he is in the Medium plex. He warps off just as I land and although I don’t see the destination d-scan quickly finds him heading toward the Small. The hunt is on so after him!

I am mid-warp when a 30 degree scan picks up a Taranis, clearly heading to the same plex. When I land he is already laying into the Tristan, having caught him on the acceleration gate. I, in turn, scram and web the Taranis and start working on his tank. He doesn’t switch to me, despite the Tristan not having any guns or drones. Big mistake. The Taranis kills the Tristan and finally switches his dps. But far too late - he only has a few seconds left and his nice ship explodes in a most satisfactory manner.

I gave a gf in local but the delicate Goon petal was clearly too upset with his shameful loss to respond.

By the time he pops I have the farmer’s pod locked and immediately switch the scram to it when the Taranis is finished. Blasters send him home a moment later. I wonder why he didn’t warp out? He had a few seconds at least. He probably just wanted the pod express. It was clearly a throwaway alt with under a million SP. Timer rollbacks please, CCP!

I tried a similar trick on a Dramiel today when d-scan showed him warping into a plex after the same Breacher that I was chasing. I waited on the gate, approached and tackled him as soon as he landed and started pouring on the deeps. Unfortunately he was able to pull range on my Incursus fast enough to stop me chewing through the last quarter of his hull. Very close. The Comet would have killed him easily with more damage and speed but you can’t easily predict that sort of engagement. Oh well, next time!
Incursus kill:
Kestrel kill:

There I am, cruising about in a Blasty Comet when I notice a nice, red Incursus on a gate. He jumps through and I follow. He decloaked immediately and re-approached the gate (but didn’t jump) which I took to be an indication that he wanted to fight. I held cloak while looking at his weapons: blasters. I assumed that he had some friends in the system and, sure enough, a quick look at the other people in the system shows a corp mate.

Now I have flown one or two Incursus fits. They are fast and can deal an awful lot of damage. Alternatively, they have a remarkable active tank if dual-rep fit. This is not an ideal ship for me to take on given that there will likely be someone on the way to help him out pretty soon. And I have no idea what he will be in.

But what the hell, let’s have a go. I decloak and we burn toward each other while locking. We aggress at about the same time and I even remember to set my drones on him. Dual-rep fit. Oh boy, he is tanking the damage well but the Blasty Comet does good damage and it is one of those situations where he needs only a slight timing error in his reps to allow my dps to chip away at the hull before he reps up again.

Sure enough, a Kestrel lands and immediately attacks. A little too late for the Incursus, though. I guess that he waited until he had me locked up before calling for assistance. The Incursus breaks and I immediately align to a safe. My armour is about 50% and I don’t have any nanite paste left in my AAR (thankfully I remembered to turn the damn auto-reload off) and I know that the Kestrel shield can be quite thick.

This Kestrel, however, doesn’t want to let me go and I notice from his speed that she must be MWD fit. Uh huh, I guess I’ll stick around then. And, what are those? Sensor damp, times two.

I manage to lock her but don’t aggress as I turn around and burn for the gate, hoping to tank her light missiles until I can jump. Fortunately, though, she comes a little too close so I land a scram on her, shutting the MWD down. Her shields are thin and there is not much left to say apart from ‘gf both!’ in local. GF indeed.
The Wolf that got away. Sigh.

I was tootling through lowsec in an Incursus scaring the cloaky farmers in their plexes: Merlin, Merlin, Executioner, Atron, Merlin (this is getting ridiculous), Incursus, Condor. Why doesn't anyone want to fight me? And then a Wolf in a Small plex.

A look at the killboard suggests she is autocannon fit so I am not too keen to go in with a blasty Incursus against that T2 tank. But Eszur is only a couple of jumps away so I hop over and jump into a rail Comet.

[Federation Navy Comet, Rails]
Magnetic Field Stabilizer II
200mm Reinforced Rolled Tungsten Plates I
Small Ancillary Armor Repairer, Nanite Repair Paste
Damage Control II

1MN Afterburner II
Faint Warp Disruptor I
Fleeting Propulsion Inhibitor I

125mm Railgun II, Caldari Navy Antimatter Charge S (yes, my fitting skills are not the greatest)
125mm Railgun II, Caldari Navy Antimatter Charge S
[empty high slot]

Small Hybrid Burst Aerator I
Small Auxiliary Nano Pump I
Small Auxiliary Nano Pump I

Hobgoblin II x3

The Wolf is still there when I get back and is waiting on the beacon when I land. I burn away and start plinking away from 7500m along with my drones. Sure enough, she is auto fit which is good news.

I am taking damage but nothing I can't handle. The Wolf has a large buffer fit but before long she is in low armour. At this point I see that I only have one nanite repair paste left in the repper and quickly right-click to disable the auto-reload (damn AAR auto-reload!)

Unfortunately, at this precise moment of distraction the Wolf must have figured out that the end was nigh and overheated the burner in the opposite direction to break scram. And away she warps. Sigh.

Next time!