Archive for Interceptor

Picket Duty

Posted in Chronicle with tags , , , , , , , on September 12, 2012 by Baa

“Gate fire”, the message was automatically relayed to the fleet commander elsewhere in the system.

“Wait to see them”, came the reply.

“Loki. Proceeding to engage”

“Affirmative. All ships converge on the gate”.

As my Taranis engaged the Loki I waited to see what it was going to do. Would it burn back to the gate and jump through, in which case my soon to arrive fleet mates could follow, or would it engage on this side.

Drones out. It was engaging.

“Loki has aggressed”.

I settled into an orbit and tried to stay alive long enough for the fleet to arrive. The Loki was autocannon fitted and they were making a mess of me. I had to decide what to do. Tighten the orbit to increase traversal, or get further away to increase the range. The Loki had me pointed and webbed so getting close won out. I pulsed the MWD to try and throw the drones.

Where were my fleet mates? Armour was bleeding away and I was beginning to take hull damage. There were over 10 in fleet and so far no one else on the field. Just as my hull collapsed another interceptor and a couple of battlecruisers arrived. Maybe the loss would be worth it.

I warped my pod safe and saw the fleet engage. Then the gate flashed again and three more tech 3 cruisers jumped in to help the Loki. This wasn’t looking good. One by one our ships were lost. All in all a disaster.

The above is a fairly typical description of a pick-up fleet system camp without a recognised FC. You can’t really rely on getting help so engaging is at your own risk. I wasn’t overly bothered about my loss, its comparatively low-cost and expected. I could afford to lose it and, within minutes, was back in its twin. There are obvious lessons from the encounter though:

  • If a Loki engages on a gate in a system full of reds (to him) he’s probably got friends.
  • The second tackle arriving should jump the gate and see what is on the other side.
  • Make sure you know the fleet composition before aggressing. My excuse was that I was tired. However the big shiny Loki sucked me in.
  • Have an FC. Even if its a informal fleet you still need someone to call the shots.
  • Disengage when help doesn’t arrive. This probably wouldn’t have helped given the Loki web, but its worth bearing in mind.

There were some tears over the battle cruiser losses and we tried to catch the T3 fleet as it withdrew but, by the time we’d assembled a credible threat, they were long gone.

A little later I was doing the same thing. Sitting alone on a gate waiting to see what came through. A Caldari Navy Hookbill jumped in, I tried to lock it but it aligned and warped about half a second before I could lock it. I warped in pursuit and landed in a bubble a little way from it.

He was burning away from the bubble towards the gate but not fast enough to escape my lock this time. My warp disruptor engaged and I deployed drones and settled into an orbit with a web on him for good luck. As I was the only other ship around he engaged. I overloaded the guns as we began the dance of death. My shields were depleting quicker than mine but I stuck at it. It would be a question of relative tank.

By the time his shields were gone I’d almost lost all of my armour. I was still confident as the Taranis’ tank is its hull. Sure enough each volley from my guns and drones took huge chunks out of his armour and then hull. I was only 15% into structure when the Hookbill died. I quickly locked the pod and spared him a long slow ride home.

So one loss and two kills, both of which were worth more than my loss. All in all a decent hour of play.



Cyno killer Qu’est-ce que c’est

Posted in Chronicle with tags , , , , , , , on July 23, 2012 by Baa

“Cynosaural fields detected. Prepare to Jump”

The jump gate activated and we appeared in the target system. Two cyno beacons appeared on the local scan. Almost instantly warp drive was engaged to get to the fields before they could be used.

“Ships on scan; Magnate, Rifter, Talos class”

“Concentrate on the Magnate and the Rifter. Ignore the Talos”

Dropping out of warp the two frigates were lying next to the active cyno beacons and we started to lock them. With the Talos present it was going to be interesting…

The guerilla warfare is still in progress, popping cyno frigates in transit or before the field can be used. The opposition have got wise to the disruption tactics though and have changed tack. Instead of a single cyno they are lighting two or three, in a couple of different locations in system. They are also starting to guard the ships running the beacon. Initially this was fail defence. There’s no point in undocking a Talos, or an Oracle, or an artillery fit Hurricane, to protect your cyno ship against an interceptor or interdictor. The cyno frigate is going to have popped by the time the battlecruisers have got a lock and the traversal is going to make putting any sort of damage on the small fast ship next to impossible. I have switched from an interceptor to a destroyer, or interdictor though, to reduce the number of shots I need to kill the frigate before warping out.

The last attempt yesterday was different. Again there were two cyno fields, but instead of the battlecruiser a Proteus and Stabber, were undocked. It still didn’t stop me getting the kill, but looting was out of the question, and I did take damage, mostly from drones. I think it’s about time I switch tactics slightly, something that can deliver a lot of damage from range. I have just the ship in my hanger.

Guerilla Warfare

Posted in Chronicle with tags , , , , , , on July 18, 2012 by Baa

We entered the hostile system and immediately launched a directional scan looking for other ships.

“Probe on scan. Possibly at the station.”

“Let’s get to the station. Engage warp.”

As entered warp an alarm tripped.

“Cyno field active. Its in the direction of the station.”

“Prepare for combat as soon as we exit warp.”

The game was afoot. Something would be jumping to the cyno beacon. It was our job to destroy it before it could happen.

If anyone has been looking at my recent kills you’ll see that this is pretty indicative of the success I’ve been having lately. On the face of it they’re pretty cheap kills. The victim can’t get away. I justify it based on the guerilla warfare that we are currently fighting and my self appointed role of disrupting the enemy supply lines.

The kills are easy, three volleys and down they go. The aim of course is to get the cyno down before its used. Not always possible, but a worthwhile aim. Once you’ve popped one cyno ship it starts to get a little more difficult. The next one has an escort, usually an autocannon armed hurricane or similar. Still, if they are willing to escort it, they must really want to move something. The task then is a bit harder; warp in, kill the cyno, burn or warp away without dying. It only gets problematic if they start undocking interdictors.

My current weapon of choice for this is a rail-fitted Taranis. It allows me to do a decent amount of DPS whilst aligning out so that once the ship has popped I can either engage the MWD or warp out.

The purpose of this is to interrupt enemy logistics and force them to have to bring people to deal with the threat I, and my corp mates, pose. Getting killed is a possibility, but something to be avoided if possible. It’s no good getting an extra kill if it means losing a ship and thus having to re-ship. It would give them time to get their ships moved.

The result is smack talk in local. I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve been called names in the past few weeks. The insults vary; I’m not a real PVPer, I’m a coward who runs away, etc. These pseudo tears are good. They show that I’m having the effect I want. PVP in EVE is not just about destroying ships. That’s only a small part of it.

Honour within EVE

Posted in Chronicle with tags , , , , on July 2, 2012 by Baa

The Crow broke its orbit and started burning away, the gassing from the holes in its hull making steering a little difficult. Too late we noticed and adjusted our own course. It escaped our warp disruption field and fled the field heading for the next gate.

“Good fight” came the message over the wide-band local channel.

“Good fight”, we responded, “Catch you next time.”

The ship then disappeared from system.

This was a typical solo encounter. I’d seen the Crow on D-scan as I arrived at the gate. It had to be following me so I jumped through, burned back to the gate in my Taranis, and waited.

The gate flashed indicating a new ship jumping through. I primed the warp disruptor ready to capture whatever decloaked. It was the Crow, 16km away. I didn’t want to get too close so settled into a 20k orbit, training my railguns on the rival interceptor and released my drones.

Its light missiles started eating away at my shields quicker than I was damaging his. No real worries though at it had more shield in the first place. The drones started to hit home and his shield lowered quicker. Mine where gone, the missile hits stripping armour. Then his shields dropped. The drones and rails soon removed his armour and started to eat into hull. At this point I missed a trick, I shouldn’t have worried that another pilot had jumped into system and instead closed to prevent him burning off. Like I say, I missed the trick because he was outside disruptor range at the start of the next cycle and warped off to the next gate.

I could have chased him to the next gate and tried to catch him on the other side. It might have got me the kill. I chose not to preferring to swap “good fights” in local. The combat had been close to start with and fun. The risk in following too great considering the damage I had suffered, even more so given that I’d be delayed recalling my drones.

All in all it seemed a fitting end to the duel. We’d both engaged in a 1v1 battle to see who would prevail. Given that I’d got him into hull and had around 60% armour left myself had proved the point. I was the honourable victor.

Next time I’ll close to short range once I’d got rid of the shields. Next time there will be no escape.

Wabbit Season

Posted in Chronicle with tags , , , , , , , on June 13, 2012 by Baa

The scanner showed a Gallente industrial within 4 AU. Narrowing down the scan field located it near the second planet in the system.

“Warp to the customs post at planet 2”

The engines roared into life and propelled the interceptor through the void at breakneck speed. The industrial remained firmly on scan directly ahead.

As the warp engines disengaged the industrial could been seen next to the customs office. The bay doors were just beginning to close and the thrusters changing the alignment. The captain of the ship must have been looking at his own scanners.

“Get that industrial stopped”

The warp disruptor flicked into life and killed the industrial’s engines before they had a chance to get going.

“Greetings. What are you prepared to pay in order to keep your cargo? Oh, and your ship.”

It’s currently getting near that time of the year when EVE winds down a little. The colleges kick out for the summer and there is a drop in the number of active players. A consequence of this is a drop in the full scale conflicts. This leads to more bit part roams and the hunting of otherwise unworthy targets.

Since I’ve been back I’ve taken part in a few fleet fights, though most have ended before they have begun due to the issues above, but for the most part I’ve been looking around for targets of opportunity, or wabbits as I like to call them. Its not particularly difficult stuff to kill, lone frigates, cyno ships, the odd larger ship not paying enough attention to D-scan. It does help me get back into things though and improve my use of D-scan.

As with all hunting trips its the tales of the ones that got away that dominate. The hulk that was into structure when the rescue fleet arrived. The cloaky hauler that made it to the gate before destruction. Things would look better if a few more of those had gone pop, but nothing is wasted, it’s all more experience.

At the moment I’m hanging around in a small pocket held by the Sons Of New EVE. I’m not sure that they are overly happy about it as they keep chasing me about the systems. So far I’ve managed to evade them, time will tell who will come out on top.

A Quick Kill

Posted in Chronicle with tags , , , on August 5, 2011 by Baa

The gate flared into life. Almost instantly the nav comp updated with the name of the new pilot.

It was the same one that had been following me. I powered up the guns, switched on the warp disruptor and waited for him to appear in space…

A couple of days ago I’d jumped to Empire to take part in a little high-sec ganking. It was reasonably profitable and made a change from the usual gangs. I got a little time to play over lunch and, as I was already in Empire, thought I’d spend a little time organising my assets. Like everyone I suppose, I accumulate assets in various systems dotted all around New Eden and a bit of housekeeping never does any harm.

I’d logged in a pod in Inaya and remembered that I had some ships in Airaken so headed there to reship and clear out some of the junk from my hanger. I quickly fitted an Ares from spares and put the remaining stuff on the market. I probably won’t be heading back this way for a bit so its better to sell it now than leave it gathering dust. My next destination was Dodixie, I’ve had a couple of expensive implants for sale there for a while and the market has moved slightly so I wanted to adjust the price. I set my destination and noticed that it took my through a long series of low-sec systems. No problem, I was in a fast interceptor, so as l didn’t meet a smart bombing BS on a gate I’d be fine.

I jumped through the first few systems and noticed a neutral pilot who seemed to be jumping in slightly before I jumped out. I hung around on the gate a little to see if I could get him on D-scan. A Badger Mk II. Interesting …

Ok. I couldn’t engage him on a gate in low-sec. It would be suicide and I didn’t want to lose another ship so quickly. The pilot was from Ultima Rati0 so was probably heading out to low-sec in the post DT lull. Instead of following my nav comp’s direction to Akkio I headed down the pipe toward LXQ2-T. It was a gamble, but if he carried on this way I’d be able to get him as he entered null sec.

I jumped into Paala and got on the LXQ2-T gate. A little later he entered the system. He was heading this way, the fight was on. I jumped…

There were 10 others neutrals in system. That wasn’t an issue with there being a station there, what was a problem was the Cerberus sitting 40km off the gate. Not a good place for me to try and kill the Badger. I pondered my next move…

An Omen joined the Cerberus on the gate. I wasn’t going to catch the Badger here, but didn’t want to head back to low-sec either. I decided to head deeper towards Insmother.

Having passed through the system many times I have tacticals off the gates. I warped to one of these, thus avoiding the bubble between the gates. I warped down to the gate. As I did the Badger appeared 300km off.

I jumped through and burned back to the gate. I thought this was a long shot now. He’d seen me jump through. Surely he wouldn’t jump through now. I waited …

He jumped in. The fight was on. I primed my guns and warp disruptor then waited for the de-cloak.

The Badger appeared 20km away. I locked and pointed him and burned into range. Settling into a lazy orbit I pumped round after round of Caldari Anti-matter into him. I kept half an eye on the gate as his shields collapsed. He still had friends in the next system and I didn’t want to get caught.

As holes appeared in his armour he disappeared from the local channel. The ship was still there and taking damage. He must have logged. Eventually, please improve rails CCP, the last of the hull went and the ship exploded. The pod insta-warped with no chance to catch it. I checked the wreck and warped to a safe then continued on my way.

Flying Interceptors

Posted in Character with tags , , , , , , on January 24, 2011 by Baa

Anyone that has looked at my killboard stats will notice that I spend the majority of my PVP time flying around in Interceptors. More specifically fleet, rather than combat interceptors, which with my current skills means an Ares.

I’ve mentioned the past that you need to learn how to fly each new ship, or fit, so I thought I’d take some time to explain on how I fly the Ares. It may help others starting to fly this type of Interceptor, or people might be able to point out something I could improve on.

The first thing is to define the role you are taking in the fleet. For me this depends on whether we are on a roam, or its a fleet action. On a roam I’m scout, with my job being to find enemy fleets or lock down unsuspecting Carebears. In fleet actions I’m tackle. All that needs to be done is pin down an enemy ship and stop it escaping.

When looking to fit these ships the first thing I look at is tackle, so that’s sensor resolution and a long point. The second thing is survival. You can’t really fit a decent tank on a fleet Interceptor, so survival is all about traversal. You need to be able to sustain a high speed orbit outside neutralizer range. DPS isn’t going to count for much, unless you snag an industrial, so this should be the last thing you look at when fitting.

The main difference I have between my fits is that the roaming setup has a core probe launcher and the fleet setup has smaller guns so that I can fit a small neutralizer.

To illustrate the use of the ship I’m going to recount a couple of actions from the last few days. I used the knowledge I’d built up from flying these ships to reasonable success.

The first action was a roam. We’ve been involved with battles for space for a while as an alliance, but one of the corp FCs wanted to take out a corp frigate roam as a change and to see what we could find. A route was planned, a start time posted, and we assembled at 22:00 to set off.

I was in the fast Ares with the probe launcher and 19.45 AU/s warp speed so was designated scout for the evening. We jumped along the route scanning systems as well went. Most had one or two reds in, but we didn’t have any luck in getting them tackled. Either they were really watching local, or were bot driven and warped on ‘seeing’ a red in local.

That was until we got the AGCP-I. I jumped in ahead, acceleration to lose my cloak, popped out a core probe, and starting scanning. There were 13 others in local and a collection of carriers and other high value ships on D-scan. The probe came back showing two Angel Sanctums and two Angel Havens in system. All within D-scan range.

I aligned for the first and narrowed down the D-scan. Nothing. The same for the second Sanctum and the first Haven. The final Haven showed a Nidhoggur and Noctis on scan. Time to warp in. I warned the rest of the gang, who were just coming into the previous system, what I was warping to and the FC told them to get on the gate.

I landed.

Both ships were still there, in fact neither of them looked to be aligning out. I locked both and pointed the carrier.

“Nidhoggur tackled. Get in here and tackle the Noctis”.

Local climbed as the gang jumped in and warped towards me. In the meantime I was burning out to a 25km orbit from the carrier, the warp in point had landed me within smart bomb range. I switched overview tabs to one that only showed drones. Neither the carrier nor the Noctis were going to shoot me, so traversal speed wasn’t that important, the real danger was going to be drones.

The Noctis managed to warp out just before the gang started to arrive. The carrier pilot must have woken up, as a flight of ten Berserker I’s had been launched and, from the yellow flashing boxes, sent after me.

I started targetting the drones and watching their distance. As they got close I blipped the MWD for a single cycle. That forced the drones to engage their own MWD to catch up, but then overshoot as my speed dropped. Repeating this I limited the damage taken to less than 30% of shield, and we managed to chew our way through half the drones before they returned to the carrier.

Our bombers had been pounding the carrier with torpedos the whole time and now the rest of the of the fleet added our DPS. The carrier was shield tanked, we could see the shimmer of an Invul field, but we were slowly but surely eating into it.

A call had gone out via our corp and alliance channels advertising the tackled carrier and calling for support. It was on its way but would take a little while to get to us. The carrier pilot had posted for help in local but, so far, no help had arrived.

Fighters were launched and sent them after me. They suffered from the same problem as the Berserkers though, too slow to keep up reliably, and blipping the MWD stopped them being able to deliver any damage. We began to eat our way through them. It was a surprise that we didn’t see any light drones, Warrior IIs would have caused us a bit more of a problem, we assumed that the carrier was a fail fit and didn’t have any onboard.

The fighters changed target and snagged once of our bombers that was concentrating on the carrier. Not a surprise, it takes losing a ship or two to recognise the danger.

The rate of damage slowed, but we managed to get through the shield tank. What’s this, armour tanked as well? It looked like it. This was going to take a while. Our reinforcements, in the form of a couple of Canes began to arrive. The carrier started to drop quicker. As it got to half armour a rescue fleet entered grid.

We took out a Jaguar. I was then jammed a by a Rook and lost my point. I also started to take damage so warped out and back. As I dropped back onto grid a Lockbreaker bomb went off and the carrier warped out. We tackled a couple more ships and took them down but our main quarry had escaped.

I looked back on my role in the engagement and couldn’t think of anything I could have done different. I did wonder about whether I should have stayed when the Rook had me pointed, but it was the Lockbreaker, rather than the Rook that had freed the carrier.

Later in the roam we were operating with a couple of scouts as we went through the familar ground of Insmother, I peeled off to take an alternative route for a couple of jumps. Jumping through I ran through my usual routine. As I was scanning a Rapier appeared on grid. I burned for him and locked him up. He aggressed, probably thinking that an Ares would be an easier kill. I got a point, settled into a wide orbit with high traversal, and called in the rest of the gang. I did get deep into armour, but the Rapier went down. The lesson for the pilot had to be “don’t engage a single Interceptor on a gate unless you know the next system is clear.”.

The second action was a couple of days later. We were trying to engage a few separate red fleets, but were stopped by lag in one case, and them running away in others. One of the gangs was reported to be heading through towards our Empire border system so we gave chase. I was running in fleet mode so had smaller guns and a neut fitted.

My extra speed meant that I was catching their fleet and ran across them on the BND gate in IOO. They seemed to be waiting so I warped to a tactical spot above the gate and aligned parallel to it. They seemed to be burning off to optimals but waiting to see what they could catch. Another of our Interceptors jumped in but instead of warping safe, it tried to burn away. A red Lachesis got a point and they burned after the Interceptor. It wriggling like a fish on a hook, but couldn’t get away, and eventually died. In the meantime the rest of our fleet had arrived on the other side of the gate. I warped down to the wreck and got a point on a Tengu.

I tried to settle into my usual orbit, but I was soon scrambled and lost my speed. Our fleet jumped and warped to me and, just as I was thinking I would explode, our logistics restored my shield to full. All but the Tengu warped off the field and it melted.

In this engagement I waited for my moment and grabbed the highest value ship. If I’d tried to tackle straight away I would have died before the fleet could have arrived and the enemy would have probably left at that point having got a bonus kill.

If anyone has any tips on frigate flying that I’ve not covered, please post them. I’m always looking to learn and improve.