As stated many times in my previous engagements, I try to rejoin both my toons once one of them dies. Travels are usually smooth, but sometimes an opportunity arises for a good Solo Hull Brutix engagement.
Pleniers had died previously, and while traveling to rejoin Rtb in his Tank Hull Brutix, a Pandemic Legion Phantasm landed with him, at 0km on Litom gate.
Now before screaming “CYNO BAIT!!!!” let me share my initial assessment and the experience we, in A4D, have with Pandemic Legion, considering they were living 3 jumps away from us at the time.
1 – PL small gangs (2 to 10 guys) in subcaps are rare…. Very rare! They might happen in at corporation level, but we’ll find those like once per month or so;
2 – PL solo roamers are quite usual. Those guys probably get seriously bored, so pretty much every day there’s some poor fella that decides to go out alone in a solo loot piñata;
3 – PL kiting loot piñatas don’t have Cynos;
4 – PL brawling loot piñatas probably have a Cyno, but even then we’ll be just fine with a Falcon on standby to allow us bail out. Anyway, they don’t tend to hotdrop the locals… Can’t even remember last time they tried hotdropping us.
So, taking in account those guidelines, I expected that Phantasm pilot to be roaming solo, to not have a cyno, to not have any sort of backup and to be somewhat inexperienced at solo. As for the fitting, I expected the Phantasm to not have a Capacitor Booster and to have a long point and web.
Phantasms have a huge bonus to Afterburning, meaning that pinning down one in blaster range with only 1 Brutix (fitted with 1 Scram and 1 Web) is hard, especially if the Phantasm would web me back! From the start I knew that my only chance would be to win the “Capacitor Warfare”! My greatest asset, and the key to victory, would not be my scram and blasters, but my Medium Energy Neutralizer.
We both jump, decloak and I rush towards him MWD overloaded. Catching him was fairly easy, so I apply my Blasters, damage drones and Energy Neutralizer, and as expected he has a Long Point and a Web.
Surely enough, he steadily makes range on me, and I need to stop overloading my MWD… As he leaves scram range, I switch ammo to Null, so that I could apply some damage up to 18km range or so. Important to say this fight took place after Energy Neutralizers rebalancing, so even at more than 10km, I was still managing to Neut something out of him, even though completely unsure by how much. There is a good chance I’d be Neuting myself more than him, but having a BC does has the advantage of a somewhat bigger capacitor than a cruiser.
He somewhat managed to maintain a 10-20km range away from me, while I’m spitting Null, trying to Neut him and having my own MWD on. This is a really ridiculous position for me… I hate aggressing people that are not in my Scram range, and usually I just deaggress and burn back to gate in those cases, but in this peculiar fight I was still making some faith in my Neutralizer, as he’d get close enough for some brief moments.
As I’m reaching 20% capacitor and entering 75% structure, the Phantasm’s Afterburner deactivates. I need to grab this chance and get on top of him again within my optimal blaster range! Phantasm never again regains speed, and explodes.
Pretty much about the same time a random PL Svipul lands on a ping on our gate, they talk about teaming up in local and the Svipul comes at me. Well… 1 lone Svipul is really not a match to my Brutix and ends up dying.
After the engagement ended the 3 of us chatted a bit, and I was able to understand better how I caught the Phantasm and Svipul. Reason was a quite simple, one that I often forget about it. They both came in close to me in order to make sure I would not run away, assuring they could deliver that final blow as I was getting deeper into structure, only realising too late that I’m Hull Tanked and therefore “bait”. It the end, it was the “Hull deception” and not so much my Energy Neutralizer (even though it was very important to keep the Phantasm capped out and pinned down in the end) that allowed me to score 2 kills in a row.
A few days later, in pretty much around the same location, a PL Vengeance and a Magus aggress my Tank Brutix near a gate, so I engage them confident to be able to kill them quickly. Expecting them to have a few more guys with them I bring my backup Brutix, but the only backup they seemed to have was a Confessor that bailed.
At this point the pilots stated in local they will ship up a bit higher into cruisers, willing to give my 2 Brutix a “fair fight”. I don’t believe in “fair fights” in EVE and I HATE arranged fights, so I pretty much disregarded what they said at this point. I did needed to repair so I kept my ass around for a bit. Not long after, they return…
Well… I don’t like the fact they know I have 2 Brutix instead of just one, but since they’re here, might as well take a look on what they got. I warp around a bit and nothing on D-Scan… Ok… I’m starting to like this cat and mouse game… Still, with no intel I won’t engage, so I devise a plan.
1 jump out from Litom is Jamunda system, a pipe with only 2 gates. Litom is ingate, 1P- is outgate. I cloaked up Rtb in the DPS Brutix at the ingate and warped Pleniers to the outgate. Let them chase me and show themselves at the gate as they jump in.
1st guy to jump in is a Pilgrim… Nasty as it focus onto one of my biggest vulnerabilities… Lack of cap injection.
2nd guy is a Huggin. It’s actually a ship I don’t worry too much about. Sure it can slow me down, but usually also means his gang will try to rely on Long Points, therefore I can probably just MJD away from harm, as long as I have enough cap.
3rd guy is not jumping in just yet… Still, he’s not too much of a problem right now, because it means he’ll be a bit far away. That suits me fine too!
I jump into 1P- with my Tank Brutix and hold cloak. Pilgrim and Huggin follow. In order for me to succeed I MUST primary the Pilgrim with BOTH my Brutix, there is no alternative. This means I must time everything just right! As I hold cloak, I warp my DPS Brutix from Litom gate to 1P- gate. I only decloak when DPS Brutix is about to land the 1P- gate.
I take the cautious approach. Let them engage me and take it from there. Pilgrim aggresses me with long point 2 Energy Neutralizers and 1 Nosferatu. My backup is landing on gate and Pilgrim is close enough so I go for him! After applying some damage into the Pilgrim he starts repairing up. That’s good news for me, because those self-repair armor mods are going to be a huge strain on his capacitor, and he’ll be quite fragile.
Pretty much at same time the 3rd guy comes to join the engagement and I managed to see he’s on a Proteus. Auch! A PVP Proteus is more than enough to take on both my Brutix at same time, not to mention that I’m already taking a huge hit in my Tank Brutix’s capacitor. I decide to escape and get both my toons safe.
I talk to the fellas in local “Sorry guys, Proteus is just too much for me”, as to what they reply something like “yeah, but was the only thing I had, so sorry about that. Thanks for trying to engage anyway, it was a nice fight we had with the frigates a while ago. Fly safe! \o”
OH, COME ON!!! STOP BEING SO DAMN NICE AND CUDDLY TO ME IN LOCAL!!!!! You’re supposed to be pissed that I ran away to keep my sorry ass safe, in order for me to be happy because I managed to piss off some nerds across the planet due to something that did not happened with virtual pixels!!!!! Wonderful… Now I feel bad about myself…
Ok… I don’t want to suicide at their leisure, but maybe, just maybe, I can pull this out. It’s getting late anyway and I’m not going to find any more targets easily so I warp back to their location. I can’t believe I’m doing this…
As always, I need a plan. Kill the Pilgrim, jamm the Proteus with ECM drones, MJD away from the Huggin. If possible, split them on a gate. Simple, easy and pretty doable I’d say.
Proteus aggresses me at 0km on gate. He as a Scram with more than 15km and…. 250mm Railguns… That is awesome news!!! I suppose I should have checked his guns before really, because a railgun Proteus probably has no cap injection (I might be able to shut him down with my own Neuts), won’t have the DPS that blasters would and I might even avoid some damage orbiting him at 500m, depending on how many webs they have…
I stick to the plan and jump out, Pilgrim chases and I do manage to get both my Brutix on his tail, killing him. Proteus comes in after the 1 minute aggression timer and charges at me. Good because I need him away from the gate, in case he pretends to deaggress and jump out.
The Huggin didn’t showed up this time and with no backup, the Proteus is going down nice and steady. He quickly realizes to be in trouble and tries to get back to the gate, as expected. I need to bump him away from the gate, so I decide to do it with the Brutix with more capacitor left. After all, the Pilgrim had almost neuted completely one of my Brutix and he was not yet fully recovered.
Don’t ask me how I did it, but instead of bumping him out, I was able to bump him a whole 15km back INTO the gate, holding softly his hand as he jumps out into safety… How come I always find a way to mess up a perfectly easy situation?
We chatted and bit more and went our separate ways.