So there I was....Sitting in Heild, with no more combat ships available in the station. I was almost done clearing out my stash in Heild, except my corpse cooler. I havent decided what Im gonna do with that thing. Pulling up my assets window, I check nearby systems for ships....Anathema, Bestower, unfit punisher. And then...There it was; like a shining light at the end of the tunnel.
Sitting in Hrober, only two jumps over, the Sansha vessel called to me like a magnet calls some metal. A fleeting thought of "What if its not fit? Sell it?" passed through mind but a quick glance at its contents proved to be opposite, a beautiful Phantasm just waiting to shoot something. With Heild being a bit busy, I decided to go out there in my Anathema, just in case. No one in Hrokkur. Jump to Hrober with the same population: Me.
Docking and re-shipping, I quickly return to Heild and land in a safe, looking for targets. A gang was here, I recognized them from the other day in Bosena. I had an idea of the ships they were flying and I didnt want to engage any one of them. Whats this? A rifter? Well, its not top notch challenge, but Ill take it. Landing at the sun safe, near where the rifter was (at the sun), to find another cruiser, the type slips my mind atm. Changing the plan, I warp to the sun at zero, landing 20km from the enemy cruiser. To which a convo opened up with an old friend in r1fta. Terrible timing, I say to myself, almost missing the fact it was the rifter pilot at the sun with me as well. He warns me that the guy is not ever alone and will have his friends landing soon.
With that, I say fuck it and attempt to catch the ship, excited at the possibility of exploding my ship. That joy doesnt come though, because the first cruiser is running away; 25, 30, 35km away. Im pretty scary, Id run too. Sadly, for him, this meant he was out of point range, and his friends all landed 40km off also. Well, Im not one to be fighting a kiting gang, it will just be a slow and painful death. Not fun to me, so I just warped out while talking a bit of smack in local. "Shoulda got point before warping in," I say. Oh well, no faction kill for them today.
Warping to my nebula safe, I begin scanning again. I find a Vengeance at or near a belt. I know that ship pretty well, so I decide to go for it. Warping to the belt, which happens to be one I have a safe at, landing 300km off the astroid field with the Vengeance on grid. I sit still momentarily to see if the pilot wants to fight; another r1fta pilot, so I know he does. He begins burning to me, at which I begin slow boating towards his direction. And he warps out. I didnt catch where to due to my camera drone angle, so I just warp to the sun safe again, telling him to not hide from me.
He quickly finds my ship again on dscan near the sun and lands on grid with me. I immediately warp to the sun at 0 now and snag point, hitting my keep at range and launch drones keys. Unfortuneately, when I hit the button I thought to be attack, it was really return to drone bay. And I didnt notice at all throughout the fight. Still not used to drones! I begin ripping through his shields quickly, as I expected with his ship. I was more worried about the damage I would do once I hit his armor with high EM and Thermic resists. Maybe not Thermic, did he plug his hole?
With the distance closing faster, I switch to INMF crystals for close range combat. I begin ripping his armor apart at the seams with the increased volley damage. But then, it is nothing. He's under my guns, moving too fast at less than 2km range! This is not good! He has the speed advantage, I have no web or AB fit. My only chance is to neut out his scram and pull range with a pulsing MWD. Adding the neuts to the overheating cycle, I turn off my guns for now since Im not hitting him, and I need to save as much cap as possible with neuting my enemy.
Ill give this guy credit, he managed his mods expertly. He managed range awesome in getting close to me. He didnt need to worry about tracking using rockets, but he did have to worry about his repper being shut off constantly. The web dropped on and off throughout the fight. The scram dropped finally! I was spamming my MWD, so it turned on for a cycle or two, just enough for me to get out to six or seven kilometers. Perfect optimal range for my lasers to hit him. Damn, MWD shut off, no cap! Why no cap?! Cap boost recharging!
He gets back in his preferred range, in my face. I begin missing again consistently. Turning off the guns, I repeat the prior tactic: neut out his scram. He was doing damage now, ASB was recharging as well. That would explain why I ran out of cap' forgot to turn it off before it cycled using my ships capacitor. Gotta watch out for that, it can be a killer drain on cap! Dropped me to 30% or so shields!Neuts were damaged, but not enough to burn out. Lasers turned off for now as well. The web was off, he was repping. I had to pull range NOW.
I aligned out, to try and mess with his orbit/keep range commands. It worked some, out to 4km, lasers cycled once or twice, hitting and negating his reps he just got and hitting into structure! Still, he closed range again and I began missing. ASB refilled now, shields repping. "Time to finish this," I yelled to myself, "only 2 more cap boosters in the hold!!" Turning off the heat of the neuts to not burn them out, I tried again to adjust my path. This time, the scram dropped and I was free to use MWD for a few seconds. I pulled range, OH'd the guns again, hoping they dont burn out.
With this pull of range, I got too far and slipped to 9km, and my point dropped. Fortuneately, I was paying attention, OH'd the scram and reapplied it while reapproaching to 5km. And then....Nothing. No more target. Out of habit, I tried to scram the pod, but he got out. Due to my killboard being down at the time, the killmail is shown below.
Corp: Black Rebel Rifter Club
Alliance: The Devil's Tattoo
Damage Taken: 4742
Name: Korvus Falek (laid the final blow)
Weapon: Focused Medium Pulse Laser II
Damage Done: 4730
Other than not noticing I had no drones out, I feel this was an extremely well fought battle. I know the capabilities of the Vengeance and Im superbly impressed by Gavins handling of his modules while under small and medium neuts. It is a very difficult thing to do to micromanage your ship during combat where your life depends on having capacitor. I feel he did great getting under my guns, as close as 600-800 meters often. I feel I did well in opening that range for my lasers to track him again, as well.
I love fights like the one we had and I didnt expect anything less from a pilot in the Black Rebel Rifter Club! To be honest, I didnt think Id come out ahead in this one, Gavin is a dangerous pilot from my experience in r1fta and I am honored to be able to kill him. Or be killed by him. Either one. During our after battle chat, he mentioned he'd love to fly the Phantasm and I encouraged him to do so once he could afford it. I was about to jump clone back to Geminate, and had a moment of ...I dunno....sharing-type feelings. So I contracted the Phantasm I had just killed him in, to Gavin for no cost. Then I jump cloned out and disappeared from Heild.
Great fight, Gavin!