Thursday, November 6, 2008

First fight in a Myrmidon

Recently I felt myself skilled enough, and skilled in enough systems, to make it worth my while to purchase, fit, and fight in a Myrmidon, a Gallente battlecruiser class of some repute. And just as money burns a hole in my pocket, once fit that Myrmidon didn't take long to break my resolve to risk her only in gangs....But first, I need to tell you about Furb Killer.

I first ran into Furb Killer back in early May. I tackled him in an Ishkur in Ouelletta, and killed his ship with my Thorax. I somehow conveyed the impression that I got lucky, and he asked for a rematch, a 1-vs.-1, which I accepted; again, I beat his Ishkur with my Thorax, by an even wider margin this time--though I let off before completely destroying his assault frigate, leaving it with deep structural damage. We had a nice conversation about the (lack of any) role of assault ships in PvP combat. He seemed keen enough, and I invited him to join the Ministry of Destruction.

Months went by, and didn't see Furb Killer around much. Then, earlier this week, he appeared again in Ouelletta. Tusker Novantco attacked his Coercer in a Taranis, and went down hard; Furb Killer's Coercer was custom-designed to take out fast frigates. Novantco lost his capsule as well, and Furb Killer commented on that--"Normally I don't do it but this was just too easy." He repeated that again later..."This was just too easy."

Well, Tusker Who8MyLunch and I decided to avenge our mate. When I made a pass at his Coercer in my Thorax, Furb Killer docked up and came out again in a Thorax of his own. I left Ouelletta local, and sat on the gate in Loes while Who8MyLunch baited him in his Rupture. Eventually Who8MyLunch and Furb Killer ended up at the same asteroid belt, and I jumped into Ouelletta and rushed to join the fray. I barely had enough time to target Furb Killer and get off a few rounds before he went down. He didn't take it well (as evidenced by his comments on our corporate kill report). In response to my "gf," he responded, "you that desperate." And in response to Who8MyLunch's "gf," he responded, "dang if you think that is a gf you really got low." Then, digging deep into the past, Furb Killer threw this zinger: "If you ever wonder again if i want to join your corp, the answer is no." I guess that finally ended my suspense after six months!

Since then, Furb Killer has continued to sit himself at an asteroid belt in Ouelletta in his Coercer, but now when I show up in my Thorax he rushes to a space station and emerges in a Myrmidon. The only ship in my arsenal that has a chance against Furb Killer in his Myrmidon is my own Myrmidon, which brings me to today's story.

Yesterday Furb Killer's tempted another Tusker pilot to attack his Coercer, and managed to kill a Rifter flown by Wesley. After passing through Ouelletta not long after and seeing Furb Killer jump into his Myrmidon, I saw Who8MyLunch log into corp comms, and gave him an update on the situation. We agreed to go for Furb Killer once again. As Who8MyLunch sped towards Ouelletta in his Minmatar Stabber-class cruiser, I undocked for the first time in my Myrmidon, primed and loaded. Our plan was for Who8MyLunch to jump into Ouelletta, jump Furb Killer's Coercer, then wait at the asteroid belt for our target to appear on 360 in his Myrmidon, at which point I would warp to the Ouelletta gate in mine. As soon as Who8MyLunch got a lock on Furb Killer, I was to jump into the system and join them with all speed.

Who8MyLunch did jump into Ouelletta, and Furb Killer was waiting in his Coercer. As Who8MyLunch sped towards the asteroid belt, Furb Killer headed towards a space station. And then...we waited. Who8MyLunch shifted from belt to belt. Ships in local spiked at around 9, then dropped to 3 or 4. Finally, Furb Killer's Myrmidon showed up on local and I warped to the Ouelletta gate. Furb Killer played coy; he went to a different belt than where Who8MyLunch was waiting. Who8MyLunch warped to a third belt. Local remained low. My tension grew as I sat on the Ouelletta gate, hoping no roaming gang would come by to complicate things. Finally, impatient, Who8MyLunch warped to Furb Killer directly, Furb Killer didn't flee, and the fight was on.

I jumped into Ouelletta immediately and warped directly to Who8MyLunch, who was going down fast. His plan was to warp away as soon as I managed to disrupt Furb Killer's warp drive, but he waited too long and lost his ship, then as his command and control systems got stuck in a loop he lost his capsule as well. I landed right on top of Furb Killer, locked him, deployed my drones, and engaged my weapons systems. It was to be a Myrmidon-on-Myrmidon fight, and I was game.

Things were going well for me at first. I fielded a mixed bag of high-tech drones, two heavies, two mediums, and a light, while Furb Killer threw five high-tech mediums back at me. Then--what--wait--Furb Killer slipped out of range while I wasn't paying attention! Belatedly, I activated my microwarpdrive, but it was too late; our quarry escaped. I recalled my drones and warped to a safe spot in space to assess the situation. This time, in response to my "gf," Furb Killer responded with a "gf" of his own. There was only one other pilot in the system, and he'd been there all along; he was probably resting at a space station. It occurred to me that Furb Killer had probably not had the time to comb the wreckage of Who8MyLunch's Stabber for surviving modules, so I warped back to the asteroid belt to salvage what I could. I scooped up Who8MyLunch's corpse, then saw that quite a few valuable modules had survived the destruction of his ship. Then, as I prepared to eject some capacitor booster charges from my cargo to make room for the more valuable pieces of wreckage, Furb Killer appeared just a few thousand meters away, ready to finish the job.

Grimly, I locked my target, sallied my drones, and opened fire with my battery of heavy blasters. As my target moved away, this time I engaged my microwarpdrive and kept after him; I was gratified to see I had a slight speed advantage, and continued to close range--slowly--while doing some damage in my blasters' falloff range. I noticed one of my drones was down, and realized he was trying to gimp my DPS by shooting at my drones; as I inspected my drones to see if any needed to be recalled, a second fell. Dang! I'd already lost one medium and one heavy drone! No matter, I was on it now, and as a third drone began to take damage, I recalled it to my drone bay, breaking the lock Furb Killer had on it, then sent it right back again into the fight.

Whoah! I was almost out of energy! I activated my capacitor booster, and was gratified to see my dials register a fresh infusion of juice before any of my modules shut down. At this point, I was feeling pretty good about the fight; I was hurting my target more than he was hurting me, I was keeping him well in range, and I could see light at the end of the tunnel. I decided to push my blasters a bit beyond spec, planning to let them overheat a bit in exchange for even more DPS. That was when a Vagabond appeared, less than 20 kilometers away. Dang, dang, dang! My heart sank, and I began to consider the possibility that this would not, after all, end up well for me.

There were now two pilots in local, and my overview flagged them as threats due to their affiliations. Probably they were members of some competing pirate corporation. I quickly glanced at their public records; the Vagabond pilot was a member of the Ministry of Destruction, while the other pilot--ship yet unknown--was part of some other pirate outfit. I made the decision to try to get out of I could. But first, more overview information clawed its way to the forefront of my brain, and I realized my guns were well and truly overheated and in danger of shutting down; quickly I issued the order to stop overheating them. The Vagabond...I recalled my drones, suffering from my unfamiliarity with those heavy drones--they seemed to take forever getting back home. I launched a flight of medium ECM drones, vowing to simply abandon my heavy drones next time rather than waiting for them to return. The ECM drones I sent after the Vagabond, which still did not have me locked.

I delayed trying to warp out for a while more. I was almost doing structural damage to my Myrmidon target, and the Vagabond didn't have a lock on me. Some of my modules shut off as I ran out of cap--my cap booster wasn't automatically reactivating itself when it reloaded; I reactivated it manually, and then reactivated my modules, glad my target hadn't escaped' he was at point-blank range by this time. My DPS was slower now, without any drones on target, and slowly the damage my foe was inflicting on me began to catch up to what I'd dealt him. I had him well into structure, but he finished off my armor and began to damage my own structure. I overheated my armor repair systems, then stopped before my mind wandered and I caused irreparable harm.

What was I doing? I was risking the most expensive ship in my stable against superior odds! Some voice in the back of my head told me I wasn't thinking rationally, and with the momentum now in my enemy's court (we were both at 50% structure) I decided once and for all to try to get out. I issued the command to warp to a safe spot in space, fully expecting to be informed that my warp drives were being disrupted--but that message never appeared. Slowly, ponderously, my ship aligned toward my destination, and my impulse speed built up to throw me into warp. At the last minute I recalled my ECM drones, but I waited until too late (my drones are not my ship; better to lose them than recall them prematurely) and left them behind, along with a severely damaged Myrmidon and a Vagabond that never did get a lock on me.

My first fight in a Myrmidon ended inconclusively; I lost my wingman, Who8MyLunch, and I lost a medium drone, a heavy drone, and a full flight of ECM drones; I burned through some expensive ammo and capacitor charges; and I failed to get a kill. On the other hand, my ship emerged in one piece after engaging a battlecruiser and a Vagabond. To me, it felt like a good fight. "Gf," I broadcast, but didn't receive one back from Furb Killer.

Was it a good fight? Let me review my criteria. On one side of the equation, I'd fought against two respected combat ships, and I felt like the decisions I made during the fight mattered. I was in real danger, and felt I could easily have lost my ship. I learned a lot about fighting in my Myrmidon. So 4 points on that side of the equation. On the other side, in my inexperience I made some foolish mistakes (losing combat drones when I didn't have to, failing to engage my MWD, not keeping a close eye on cap, not keeping a close eye on local), and my foe did not seem to share my appreciation for the encounter--2 points against. So yeah, it scores as a good fight.

Later, the Vagabond pilot claimed he wanted to help me kill Furb Killer. That would have been nice to know earlier--if it was true; since he never announced his intentions (and I'm not sure I would have believed him even if he was sincere), I feel I made the right decisions in jamming him and running away.

It cost me over 1.8 million ISK to repair my damaged vessel and overheated modules. Adding up my losses and weighing them against experience gained, my conclusion is I got good value for my money.


No'Wai said...

very good story awesome fight! can imagine the adrenaline when the 2nd warped ! total ohsht moment. keep postin =]

Ahnog said...

Excellent recount of a gf.

Letrange said...

Any fight you learn something from (even a loss) is a good fight. These types of experiences tend to burn the lessons in your cortex even better than Aura does.

Tricky said...

i thought you lost a myrm in some gate camping activities back in the begining of the year? wouldnt that technically constitute your first fight in a myrm? ;) no matter though, a great story told and new experience learned!

Ka Jolo said...

That's some dossier you have on me, Tricky! Yes indeed, I lost a Myrmidon camping a gate with the Black Rabbits back in the day. In fact, I have actually flown Brutixes and even Megathrons in fleet actions when required to do so by my corporation or alliance; as a GBC pilot, I've flown in fleet battles involving hundreds of ships in nullsec.

It would be more accurate to say that this was the first time I voluntarily went roaming in a Myrmidon fitted to my satisfaction for lowsec piracy, hunting prey.