From time to time I have one of those awful days where everything goes wrong. Most times I blame my own decisions, but sometimes, just sometimes, it ain’t all my fault! One of these days in some random system, the locals formed up a Stiletto, Sabre, Sleipnir, Ashimmu and Cynabal. The Sleipnir was a bit too much for me to take on, but with some “splitting moves” pulled on a gate, a ninja kill would be surely possible.
As usual, I tried to pull them away from their “home system” advantage and the Stilleto pretty much followed me. While in warp to my outgate, I had an emergency at home… Hell, this time I did not even had time to finish my warp move and cloak up somewhere safe, so I opted for my only other choice. Log off…
I knew the stiletto was chasing me, so it would be a matter of pure luck… Would he aggress me on gate and prevent my ship to make an emergency warp off, or would he not aggress me, waiting to see what I would do (like jump the gate), and allow my ship to warp and disappear into safety?
Yeah… he aggressed me and I returned to my Pod in station. Annoying for sure, but RL does come first. On the other hand, it gave me the opportunity for a solo Brutix roam, while trying to join up both toons.
Of course I prefer having 2 Brutix at all times, but I will engage with only one, even though the spectrum of targets and situations where I can engage and win is considerably smaller. I ended up with Rtb in my DPS Brutix in some SLYCE pocket while coming home, and had 2 guys, in a Gila and in a Rattlesnake, poking their heads outside the station. I moved around a bit in the adjacent systems looking for some targets while giving them time to form a bit more, no way these fellas would engage with only 2 guys on their side.
After checking and harassing nearby systems I came back to their main station system and noticed they had 2 Caracals undocked and 3 or 4 more guys in local. Ok, things were in motion. I did not had to wait a long time for a Stabber Fleet Issue to land 50km away from me, at range on station. I had to make a decision:
1 – Fight here and now, knowing I’ll be facing at least 2 Caracals and 1 Stabber Fleet Issue. In my mind I was expecting this Stabber Fleet Issue to be Active Tanked, even though I really had no elements to support this assumption;
2 – Warp to gate, play the “Chase me” game, and try split them on gate.
If I were in my solo Tank Brutix I would NOT opt for choice 1. Reason is simple… The DPS in it is very low and anaemic. It fulfils a role, but facing active tanked ships is not one of them. Even an unbonused active tank ship would be able to survive for some time.
Considering I was in my DPS Brutix, I decided to fight here and now. Also, with only 3 guys on sight, and maybe a couple more lurking on station, I didn’t believe they’d chase me. I was pretty sure they would just hug station until they had more 4 or 5 guys to actively chase me off to a gate.
I loaded Void, overloaded guns, sent out DPS drones instead of ECM drones (priority was to kill it fast, not really to mitigate damage or try to escape) and engaged the Stabber Fleet Issue. As soon as we get into close range, my suspicions get confirmed as he repairs his armor. It was an active tanked ship. It was to be expected, so no big worries, and situation is somewhat under control.
An Arazu undocks from the station. I expected backup to undock, and the fact it was not some high DPS ship, or even a Carrier, was really good for me. I could not care less for an Arazu keeping range at 40km, dampening and long pointing me. It could prove troublesome if it eventually scrambled me, but so far so good.
Stabber Fleet Issue was struggling to maintain itself alive with his armor repairing less and starting to bleed into structure. Now, active armor ships are very deceiving, even more than a “bait structured tank” ship, but he was also having capacitor Issues, because at some stage he dropped the Scram off me. I wondered if I should just MJD and bail at this point, but considering that the backup from station had already poked it’s head out in the form of an Arazu, I wasn’t really too worried.
Having decided to press on, a Stealth Bomber uncloaks! Crap! A Stealth bomber is a serious threat to a Battlecruiser due to its native huge sig radius, allowing bombers to apply most of their damage. Ok, time to bail out FAST!
I activate my MJD and 1 lousy freaking second before it activates, the damn Stabber Fleet Issue wakes up and scrams me back! ARRRRRRRRGH!!!! 1 LOUSY SECOND?! REALLY?!! Could he not have realized it 1 second later?!!?
With the added DPS from the Stealth bomber, my Structure drops a lot faster and I die.
Very well…. What were the factors that led to my demise?
1 – The Stealth Bomber coming in late, when I was already getting low on structure. The Bomber was only on grid shooting me for the shortest time, and made as much damage as the Stabber or the 2 Caracals. Had he showed up before I could have reacted better, either by try killing him or just putting ECM drones onto the Stabber Fleet Issue and bail out.
2 – The Stabber Fleet Issue actually dropping his Scram mid fight, for a long period of time. I got a bit confident there, hoping he would not realize it in time, inducing me to think I could bail out at “any time” with the MJD. Had he not lost his scram on me, I would not have been so complacent.
This is also a perfect example on how I hate going true solo. If I had my 2nd Brutix available, I would have managed this engagement easily. Then again, had I my 2nd Brutix available (even if out of local, 1 jump away), I’m not even sure if they’d even undock.
I ended up also somewhat surprised that they engaged me with so few guys (even though was just enough to kill me), so the following day I went back, this time with 2 Brutix. I have no illusions… The chances for the same conjuncture to repeat itself are slim, but who knows. I cloaked up the DPS Brutix in a strategic place and went moving on around in the carebear pocket with my Tank Brutix.
Several ships warped off from their ratting sites as soon as I entered local across the several systems, as expected, but I was not seeing any local formup. After harassing them for 15 minutes or so, I notice 4 new raptors warping around from gate to gate like crazy. Using the “25% Tackle Rule” I expected their main fleet to have 15+ guys waiting for me get caught.
I let myself get caught by one of those raptors on a gate I’d knew to be far away from their possible fleet incoming locations, and my cloaked eyes confirm what I expected. Local spikes by +20, in a mix of logistics, Hurricanes, Cerberus etc. There was nothing I could do against a formed up fleet of that size, so I got safe, cloaked up and went AFK. Eventually they also realized I was not going to fall into their lap and went away, leaving the local systems empty and void of any activity.
I was not going to get a rematch on my terms, so there’s always tomorrow.