After my great success yesterday in a Vexor, I thought I'd take a Thorax out for a spin. I've been working on some basic skills that should be improving my success in cruisers. Unfortunately, I'm not as pleased yet with my Thorax as I am with my Vexor.
With my skill level, I thought it best to go for a small-blaster Platerax. I just don't have the ability to fit mediums effectively. I set out to roam around a bit, and hung out at some gates hoping to jump a macro hauler.
I attracted a lot of unwelcome attention, sitting on a gate flashing red and all. Most experienced PvP'ers that came by tried to target me. If they were big and scary, I'd jump on through or warp off to a safe spot in space. But a couple of times I thought I'd give it a shot.
First an Incursus jumped in. He sized me up for a few moments, then started targeting me; I locked him right back. I didn't want to tank the sentry guns, so I waited for him to agress, and after a few more moments, he did. By then I'd already set a course for a close orbit around the frigate; now I launched my drones and engaged my 20km warp scrambler. The Incursus pilot simply kited me around for a bit, staying out of webber range--and far out of range of my guns. He leisurely popped one of my drones while doing so. I saw how this was going to go, and didn't like it. I recalled my remaining drones, managed to get out of range of his scram, and warped away.
Then, as I was preparing to dock at a space station, a Harpy sitting 20km off the station thought he'd give it ago. Why not? I locked him, launched my drones, and set a course directly at him. Again, he easily stayed out of range of any of my modules; again, one of my drones popped. A second drone simply disappeared from the overview--I'm not sure what happened there; they were all well within my control range. I recalled the other drones and warped out. I then had to listen to a third party annoyingly announcing in the local radio bands that I'd left a drone behind, how he was going to scoop it up, how it was worth a million ISK, how that was just free money for him, etc. ad nauseam. All I could do as I docked up was shoot back, "I remember my first million!"
Neither the Incursus nor the Harpy was able to do any damage to me (I've learned well that discretion is the better part of valor); I'm not sure either was at the point yet where they even tried, by the time I broke contact. On the other hand, my drones (the same kind I used to take down four ships in one extended engagement yesterday) didn't hurt either of them much, either. Both frigates should have been easy prey. Were they able to outmaneuver the drones, since I wasn't able to web them? I don't really know.
I'm reminded that the Vexor class cruisers come with bonuses to drone damage and durability; perhaps that was a key factor in the different performances of the same type of drone. Or perhaps the pilots I encountered today were just more experienced, and had better strategies for dealing with drones. We shall see. I look forward to gaining more experience with both Vexor- and Thorax-class cruisers.