Monday, 23 June 2008

Cat vs Bird

Wash: "I'm a leaf on the how I soar."

Mal: (watching battle around them in grim satisfaction) "Chickens come home to roost."

Wash: (flying debris glances off ship's hull, rattling everyone) "It's okay...I-I'm a leaf on the wind."

I bank sharply, the hull of my Jaguar twisting as it fights the turn, afterburners glowing in the night sky over Gusandall, the gauge is going red as I'm squeezing every last drop of speed from them, my HUD is glowing red, not much left before the afterburners literally burn out.
I bank sharply again as a salvo of missiles lashes my shield systems, they are glowing red too.

"Hold together baby, hold together"

Adrenaline is coursing through my veins, my senses heightened to dizzying levels, every second an eternity as I once again bank, my shields deep in the red, My afterburners about to die, web and scrambler set to overload for the extra range. Just a few more metres.

"Come on baby, you can do it"

He's getting cocky now. My HUD shows he's now 14km away and it's shortly to be over, web and scrambler kick in simultaneously, you're mine now. High tech Barrage rounds and Javelin rockets start to tear into his shields, my afterburners are shot, no use now but it doesn't matter as the web is doing its job holding him in place as his armour fails, the weak hull not lasting long at all. My systems recalibrate quickly as the sleek interceptor explodes and locks the pod, warp scrambler already primed in anticipation, my autocannons spit out a salvo and the corpse is liberated, a sacrifice to the gods of Gusandall

Name: Crow

Hull: Condor Class
Role: Interceptor

Interceptors utilize a combination of advanced alloys and electronics to reduce their effective signature radius. This, along with superior maneuverability and speed, makes them very hard to target and track, particularly for high caliber turrets.

Developer: Kaalakiota

As befits one of the largest weapons manufacturers in the known world, Kaalakiota's ships are very combat focused. Favoring the traditional Caldari combat strategy, they are designed around a substantial number of weapons systems, especially missile launchers. However, they have rather weak armor and structure, relying more on shields for protection.


Name: Jaguar
Hull: Rifter Class
Role: Assault Ship

The Jaguar is a versatile ship capable of reaching speeds unmatched by any other assault-class vessel. While comparatively weak on the defensive front it sports great flexibility, allowing pilots considerable latitude in configuring their loadouts for whatever circumstances they find themselves in.

Developer: Thukker Mix

Being the brain-child of the nomadic Thukkers, it is no surprise the Jaguar is as fast as it is. Initially conceived as a way for the tribe to pack some added punch to their organized detachments, they've found it to be equally useful as messenger, scout and escort, and it is likely to become one of the most commonly-seen ships in the Thukkers' stomping grounds.

Fighting an interceptor in an assault frigate is not that easy as it is more maneuverable and quicker but with clever piloting it can be done, it pays to know your surroundings and the capabilities of your ship and especially yourself. The above dogfight took place in the 2/10 plex in Gusandall, quite possibly one of my favourite hunting spots and a place where microwarp drives are useless, hence the afterburners. I love the Jaguar as it's quick, has a good shield system and can pack a nasty punch with it's mix of tech 2 autocannons and tech 2 rocket launcher. It's especially good for taking out quick interceptors because with an overloaded afterburner I can nearly match their speed which makes intercepting orbits easier.

This particular pilot I've caught on three previous occasions running the plex, twice his Rifters exploded and he changed to the Crow, one of my favourite interceptors to fly. I caught one of his Crows on the entrance gate before as he warped in, right on top of me so there was no chase but this time he managed to warp into the plex before my lock resolved, naturally I followed. Once I got in he was already out of range of my web and he locked and engaged me, I of course returned the favour and a 5 minute dogfight ensued. Sometimes it pays to play with your prey, make them believe they have the upperhand so it was that I set my afterburner to 75% of it's normal speed as I tried to close the distance. Caldari Navy Bloodclaw missiles were streaking across the black and slamming into my shields but I was in no hurry, one gun active to make him think I mean business. My shields hit 50% and it was time to play my hand, I set a straight trajectory away from him, afterburner at 100%, his orbit changed as he tried to compensate, he was a good 400m/s faster than me but patience as always is key. Every now and again I would Crazy Ivan and bank sharply, in an intercept pattern, his orbit would change accordingly, every bank brought me to within 16km, too far but getting closer and I still had the Ace up my sleeve.

Overloading of modules is one of the greatest advances in the universe, able to change the tide of a dogfight just as it was about to do. My web and scrambler were set to overload, waiting for that magic number to appear on my overview. My afterburners were active, set to overload now and I was almost matching him for speed but it was burning quick, I banked once, twice, third time I came within range and I hit the tackling gear, the satisfying green glow of active modules, a quick glance at my HUD proved the web and scrambler had him pinned down just as my afterburner winked out of life, the stricken Crow had no chance at this point as it's only defence is its speed and that was now forfeit, it's feeble shields, armour and structure winking out of existence in a few salvoes.

I popped the pod and added the corpse to "The Morgue"

I docked up, absolutely pumped up with adrenaline, my mouth as dry as a nuked from orbit planet, I light a cigarette and take a deep draw.

"It's good to be the king"

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