Monday, December 28, 2015

Zappity's Adventures: Stabber Fleet Issue

Pandemic Legion was persecuting our alliance and, after a few fights in which they escalated to their supercap fleet, we decided that the best course of action was to run away. So I took all my market orders down, did a few jump freighter runs, and set them up again in the new home system. Then I was bored because there wasn’t much PvP action. So I jumped to lowsec.

I have received several suggestions for solo ships. Thanks everyone!

- RLML Caracal
- Arbitrator
- Stabber
- Procurer (I thought this was the T2 version and was going to scoff in derision at the thought of skilling up into a mining barge. But it is only a day or two training time so I will give it a go.)
- Command Destroyer(s)
- Navy Maulus
- Rifter

I decided to try the Stabber first and upgraded to a Fleet Issue because I could:

[Stabber Fleet Issue, SFI solo dual prop active]

Gyrostabilizer II
Energized Adaptive Nano Membrane II
Medium Armor Repairer II
Medium Armor Repairer II
Damage Control II
Energized Adaptive Nano Membrane II

50MN Cold-Gas Enduring Microwarpdrive
10MN Afterburner II
Faint Epsilon Warp Scrambler I
Medium Electrochemical Capacitor Booster I

220mm Vulcan AutoCannon II, Republic Fleet Phased Plasma M
220mm Vulcan AutoCannon II, Republic Fleet Phased Plasma M
220mm Vulcan AutoCannon II, Republic Fleet Phased Plasma M
220mm Vulcan AutoCannon II, Republic Fleet Phased Plasma M
220mm Vulcan AutoCannon II, Republic Fleet Phased Plasma M

Medium Auxiliary Nano Pump I
Medium Auxiliary Nano Pump I
Medium Auxiliary Nano Pump I

Infiltrator II x3
Acolyte II x2

Republic Fleet EMP M x3000
Republic Fleet Phased Plasma M x300
Navy Cap Booster 800 x16
Nanite Repair Paste x70

As usual, I make no claims as to the validity of this fit. My thinking was that I wanted to be able to engage a) other cruisers, and b) small frigate gangs that I would inevitably come across. I wanted to be able to pull gangs apart and therefore needed a MWD. I also knew that getting scrammed was pretty much guaranteed so I fit an afterburner which would help reduce transversal on smaller ships. The end result was essentially a brawling fit but with some semblance of range control.

I set out and soon found a small gang consisting of a couple of Comets plus a Dragoon. Comets can be very nasty and the Dragoon’s neuts would really not help my cap with two reppers running, even with the booster helping out. But, of course, I jumped into the medium plex anyway! They all ran away to the small plex. Ridiculous.

The next candidate was a Svipul. I was very uncertain about taking this fight, too. I would have little trouble killing my SFI in a Svipul, especially if I was in the active tank variant. But what the hell. He waited for me in the plex and we fought. I was instantly scrammed and the Svipul went into a tight orbit.

I turned on my afterburner and aligned to a celestial, wanting to reduce transversal as much as possible. My drones quickly took him to half shields, at which point he repped back to full. Bugger. He then switched to my drones. While he was killing them I overheated the afterburner in an attempt to pull away. It worked, allowing me to land a few solid hits which took him to low shield. Unfortunately, he figured out what was going on and rapidly moved back into a close orbit.

Things were looking grim with a bunch of hot modules and a reducing pile of cap boosters. Fortunately, a plex rat appeared and started attacking the Svipul. Whether on purpose or by mistake, my opponent approached the rat. This gave me an opportunity to scarper.

Svipul OP, please nerf. Seriously, when I devised the Stabber fit I was mentally comparing it to the Svipul, coming to the conclusion that the smaller ship did practically everything better.

Anyway, I escaped. A few systems later I was drawn like a moth to the flame of a Frostline site. I knew from personal experience that the site of a lone ship in one of these sites is entirely irresistible to a PvP-hungry pilot. And so it proved on this occasion.

A Sentinel (again with the neuts!), a Magus and a Thrasher jumped into system and very quickly appeared on short scan. I had already moved to the second room and immediately stopped killing the rats, knowing that they would likely switch targets as soon as the new guys appeared. I also burned away from the site, making it to about 60 km from the beacon by the time they landed. I figured this was a good range given the presence of a Command Destroyer which could jump their entire fleet to 100 km.

The Sentinel burned for me and landed a long point. I set up a slingshot but just missed him at 12 km. I should have jumped to my Snake clone earlier. Still, he wasn't doing much damage so I set my drones on him while I started chewing through my cap boosters. The other two ships were still at the beacon so I started moving away from them, hoping that they would use the dessie to jump. Sure enough, they went for it and I soon had all three ships around me.

For some reason the Magus didn't come too close. But the Thrasher did! I killed him good while burning toward a celestial:


But their combined DPS had hurt a lot, and I was at about half hull when the Thrasher popped. Neither of the other ships had me pointed so I simply hit warp to the celestial I was already aligned to. Good stuff.

I probably should have stayed on field and had a go at the Magus. I hadn't consumed my Exile yet (I forgot about it of course) and still had a bunch of cap boosters. But I hadn't done much solo PvP lately and was satisfied with my win.

Friday, December 18, 2015

Zappity's Adventures: Suggest a solo ship!

I haven't had any time to get my solo ships ready. I have only logged in a few times since the last post. (What is it with people? Everyone at work seems to have a major mental deficiency that leads them to think that EVERYTHING has to be completed before December 24 with the result that I will be bored during January. I've refused to do half of it, having learnt to differentiate the important from the urgent, and I'm still too busy!)

Where was I? Oh, yes. I haven't had time to get my solo stuff set up. It was an interesting realisation: the fleet Proteus, Cerberus, Muninn etc are utterly useless as solo ships. In fact, I'm open to suggestions as to what ships I should set up. Please feel free to post suggestions. Preferably less than a billion isk but I'm not too fussy.

The few times I did log in were interesting, though. PL has been visiting lately and we have been bringing the fights. It started out well with a fight in which we killed a bunch of their Nestors and other ships:

Example Nestor:

Unfortunately, it was all downhill from there. I was involved in two more large (for me) fleet fights which were utterly disastrous. We had very simple setups consisting of DPS ships and logi ships. They had DPS ships, logi ships, the new Command Destroyers, ECM Tengus, damping whatsits and all other sorts of stuff.

Maybe we could be a bit more imaginative.

After the last fight we found a Legion sitting 50 km from the station:


I was sure it was a trap involving a cyno but I guess he just forgot to cloak. The second Legion was found shortly after, running a Relic site in the adjacent system. Very strange:



I hope PL sticks around for a while. It is interesting to fight people who really know what they are doing.

If you want to leave a post suggesting a solo ship you would like a story about (and please do) then please only suggest the hull rather than a fit. I enjoy trying to fit them up, however badly :)

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Zappity's Adventures: Sniped! (Apparently)

We were camping a gate in the middle of Catch, bored stupid (well I was, anyway) when one of our scouts up the chain called a Hurricane Fleet Issue. It was piloted by a streamer who frequented the area and so I logged onto his Twitch account. Sure enough, he was streaming. Sure enough, he jumped straight into us (unscouted) and promptly died a horrible death.

Hurricane Fleet:

He complained on Twitch about being stream sniped. I have seen this happen very often. There seems to be an extraordinarily high probability that anyone who dies while streaming must have been sniped.

Shortly afterwards a Cyclone also jumped in. (No doubt he would also have been stream sniped had he been on Twitch.) I tackled him on a gate but strayed too close to his nasty scram and lost my poor Slicer. I am really out of practice. Fleet combat with anchors doesn’t exactly stretch the skills:

My poor Slicer:


We then fought an Ishtar gang in Curse and shot their tower to pass the time. We blobbed a solo Vagabond good ( and fought a Pandemic Horde Ferox fleet (e.g. including a nice Vulture (

All of that, however, paled into insignificance with a Coercer I fought solo in my Svipul. I had been running some Frostline sites, waiting for someone to come and try to kill me, when we happened to meet on a gate. He burned away and yellow-boxed me, clearly wanting a fight. I didn’t trust him to be solo and therefore warped off to a nice and obvious planet on the other side of the system. I hoped this would buy me a few extra seconds with which to extract should a nasty gang appear.

He followed me, landing 40 km away. I burned for him and landed a scram. He webbed me in return (no tackle?) and we settled down to the fight which he inevitably lost:



This was not a high stakes fight. And it wasn’t even close, me being in a Svipul. But it was solo and my hands were shaking at the end of the fight! I decided that it was time to fit up a few ships for solo shenanigans.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

It never rains but it pours

It never rains but it pours. It had been a sad roam of many jumps but no kills. We had finally turned for home when we were intrigued to see mention of two Dominixes only two jumps out from F4R2. Now, two neutral Dominixes simply have no business being just two jumps out from F4R2. Especially when they are from Provi! And ratting! So we decided to remove them from the vicinity.

(I really like Provi. I would almost certainly have ended up there if it hadn’t been for that whole “don’t shoot people” nonsense. They love a fight and have become disturbingly adept at predicting my increasingly inept incursion attempts. But I didn’t really want that Stratios anyway. Or that pod.)

We surrounded the system in our little ships (it connected three ways) and sent a prober in. He localised them to a site which they quickly vacated upon seeing the probes. But it was really just a matter of time before we landed on them and killed them dead:

Domi 1:
Domi 2:

Shiny pod:
Not a bad pod:

This was a highly satisfactory end to the roam. Except it wasn't quite the end. After we had docked up in F4R2 someone piped up on comms and asked if we could help him break through a small gate camp in Curse, not too far away. As it transpired, this was the same gate campers who had ruthlessly assassinated poor Zappity in her Svipul just a few posts ago.

Time for revenge! We undocked and it wasn't long before I was sitting on a gate, circling a Stabber Fleet Issue in my Svipul amidst a swamp of bubbles. He had me yellow boxed. This made me quite uncomfortable. I had accidentally picked up my PvE Svipul which was built specifically to run the Blood Raider sites a few weeks ago:

[Svipul, PvE]
Shield Power Relay II
Shield Power Relay II
Shield Power Relay II
Shield Power Relay II

5MN Y-T8 Compact Microwarpdrive
Republic Fleet Medium Shield Extender
Republic Fleet Medium Shield Extender
Warp Scrambler II

Small 'Knave' Energy Drain
150mm Light AutoCannon II,Republic Fleet Phased Plasma S
150mm Light AutoCannon II,Republic Fleet Phased Plasma S
150mm Light AutoCannon II,Republic Fleet Phased Plasma S
150mm Light AutoCannon II,Republic Fleet Phased Plasma S
Expanded Probe Launcher I,Sisters Combat Scanner Probe

Small Core Defense Field Purger II
Small Core Defense Field Purger II
Small Core Defense Field Purger II

As you can see, it has a bit of a buffer and enormous (323) passive shield regeneration. I hadn't planned this as a PvP fit but, after all, why not? So I aggressed. He started killing me but only made it halfway through my shield before he ran into the passive regen barrier and stalled. He soon switched to a corpie who had arrived but exploding soon after despite strong local reps. I'm pretty sure he had some links to help him out.


Just as we were finishing him off, a Maelstrom landed in the bubble! Good times! We tackled him and started chipping away. The Maelstrom started shooting me but also ran into the passive regen barrier. I was quite enjoying this test.


I was well satisfied with the afternoon's haul. And yet, when a Hyperion landed in the bubble just after the Maelstrom entered structure, I somehow found it hard to say no. One more wafer thin ship? Yes! Especially since it was piloted by the SFI pilot:


We loitered for a couple of minutes like stray dogs, hoping for him to keep feeding us. Alas, it was to no avail. He decided, quite correctly, that discretion was the better part of valour. No doubt he will kill me many more times in the coming months.

So next time you are in Curse, break a gate camp - you never know what will happen!