You gotta love other people’s mistakes.
In OUCH, we hold interceptor classes for our staff members. In fact, there was a class held earlier this week. I was unable to attend, but did get to read AAR and talk with the participants about their learnings.
Flying an interceptor is easy. Piloting effectively is not.
When I mean effectively, I mean being able to use a combat interceptor properly, to be able to hold down opponents long enough to allow a fleet to take over. Approach, dealing with turret tracking, coping with drones, and adjusting to the target’s own decision making is rather difficult.
Not everyone can do it, and definitely there are very few “naturals” out there who can do it with little or no practice.
We at OUCH practice. Our staff spends a goods amount of time on Singularity to get it right…or at least as close to right as they can.
With interceptors on my mind, I was semi-solo camping in my usual place. I did have a corpmate join in a stealth bomber. Extra DPS and EWAR are always appreciated. I then had an Imperial Navy Slicer come into system and head for my bubble.
Sweet. I fire up the Afterburner. The idea is that when he hits the bubble, I barrel straight toward him and latch on. He shouldn’t have a web, but if he does, I need to get as close as possible to prevent him from exceeding my scram range. I really don’t care about his lazorz- my Vengeance is a tanky SOB and can handle them.
Unfortunately, he lands on a tac, some 300km or so off the gate. Damn. Oh well….wait…he started to drive toward me. I can’t catch a kiter, so I zip up to a tac myself. I’ll forgo this fight. Not to mention, the INS would make mincemeat of my bomber friend.
He then makes mistake #1. He proceeds to the bubble to shoot it (look, shoot at them all you want- we have a ton and it is only a minor inconvenience. You killing a bubble might serve a strategic purpose, but really it is just to soothe your butt-hurt). He then comes to a complete stop at the bubble edge. He is either stupid or trying to bait me. Regardless, I’m in.
I zip down to the bubble, but land about 8 km away. I am unable to get turned, acquire target and align before he was at 15km and increasing. He coasted out to about 50km, trying to light me up with his red beams of annoyance. I followed a bit and then decided to see if he can make another mistake.
Mistake # 2. I made a beeline back to the front of the bubble, running close to it, but keeping parallel. This forces the pseudo-ceptor to my left hand side. No decent non-inty pilot will willfully drive through a warp disruptor in an engagement.
He arcs out a bit, but gets a little lax. I watch his trajectory and wait for the magic number: 20km.
At that point, I overload the entire middle rack and shoot toward a point about 15 km in front of him. I just need 13km for web and 10km for scram. Just how maneuverable is he?
He is unable to move further away and shoots over my head, webbed and scrammed, I barrel directly toward him. I still am unsure if he has a web (although, TBH, I did forget the INS has only 2 mids). I burn out the ol AB but was still able to kill him. I never let him get beyond 5km.
Have an image using FrugalFraps™: (not to scale…or to anything that resembles what really happened…I’m a sucky artist)
Oh, and my corpy in a Manitcore provided some help. I had loaded Javelins to take pot-shots, and didn’t switch over. Every little bit of DPS helps.
I am sure he was manual piloting, but rocketing around with a MWD and still being able to deftly maneuver is a challenge, just like we were talking about in corp.
It was a good fight, and I enjoy doing more than being the spider to the flies. Sometimes it is good to be the mongoose.