I had a great day the other day; I ended up on top of my lowbie pirate corp's killboard. Oh, how great the feeling! I'm learning that I can go whole days without any action, then suddenly people are lining up to be attacked. Since joining Sanguine Raiders, I haven't been killed yet by any of my intended victims--even though all of them so far have probably had more skills than me. There was one Punisher-class frigate that I had to run away from; I attacked him, and he stood there and went toe-to-toe with me, and while I didn't seem to be making any dent in his defenses (even his shields seemed not to flicker), after a minute or two my own shields started dropping quickly. I'm not sure if he suddenly found his range or started shooting or if a nearby NPC pirate started shooting at me, but I realized he could probably tank my DPS all day...so I acknowledged his prowess (he denied having any knowledge of what a good Punisher fit might be, or having any good skills), thanked him for the fight, and scooted out of the belt.
Then I remembered I'd forgotten to deploy my combat drone again. D'oh!
We pirates are an opportunistic lot--but no more than Sun Tzu or the US military's "shock and awe" strategies would advise. Why fight if you know you're going to lose? Isn't it best to win? It's actually hard to find people with less (game) experience than me right now since I'm so new, but I know (at least I hope for their sakes) I'm taking on some ships that aren't as carefully fitted as I am. I even took out that Rupture-class cruiser all by myself; probably the pilot, with not much more experience than I have, was not skilled enough to use its advantages to full effect or not wealthy enough to buy the modules he needed to survive where he was ratting.
Anyway, I just want to record for posterity that while I have never yet been killed by one of my intended victims (it's inevitable though), my roguish ways have in fact gotten me killed. There is a period of time after initiating violence on another ship that sentry guns set up at system jump gates and space stations will open fire on the aggressor; yesterday a mate and I took out a cruiser in the next system over from our HQ, then I retired to a remote part of the system to let my shields recharge and wait for those sentry guns to stand down. After about 10 minutes, however, my mind got to thinking of other things, and I decided to dock to fit an armor repairer to get my ship back up to 100%. So I warped to the nearest station...where the sentry guns, almost ready to stand down, found they were able to bring justice after all; I lasted about 3 seconds before having to flee my wreck in my pod.
Let it not be said by me that I am Eve's cleverest or uberest of swashbucklers.