Entry: seven hundred thirty something. I'm too tired to count right now.
Recently, a few friends and I have taken on meeting up via the Singularity simulator and practicing some techniques, some fits. Today had some revealing results for me.
In the first battle, I was in a Firetail, my opponent a Rifter. We clashed, and at a point briefly later, the Rifter was no more. The Firetail was a fairly standard fit: gank with some buffer and heavy tackle. Double his damage, it isn't a surprise the Firetail never lost shields while the Rifter went out with a bang.
A few subsequent battles included said Firetail versus a Wolf. Each time, I got close to the goal of eliminating the enemy Assault Ship, but the Firetail always crumpled first. Baffled is the term that describes the situation best. There was nothing special about the Wolf fits I was matched against...
And then I saw it, that fifth low-power slot. I had forgotten all about the tech improvements for all Assault Ships. Where I was expecting a four hundred plated Wolf, or an active two hundred plated Wolf, I had instead encountered a new menace: the four hundred plated Wolf with a Gyrostabilizer. It's no wonder the Firetail could never win, even scoring on the explosive resistance hole. The Wolf, quite simply, is too powerful for a mere Firetail to brute force it into submission.
I tried a different tactic: tracking disruption. It makes sense that where brawn fails, brains must prevail, and vice versa, right?
Testing proved this assumption to be correct, at least in this case. Due to piloting error, however, the disruption was discovered and thwarted, snatching defeat from the jaws of victory for the two hundred plated active armor repairing Firetail. Thanks to this Firetail's sacrifice, it's been determined that, in my case, one tracking disruptor is not enough to secure dominance against a Wolf, or any variation using tracking enhancers. Two tracking disruptors will be necessary in the future, combined with an active armor tank. My senses are telling me that this is a very fickle and specific mistress to handle, and that she is perhaps a tad too hot to handle for the likes of me.
The next scenario I was pitted in was Crusader versus Merlin. I wanted to have another run at this, to validate my win in GJ0- the other night. The fit was slightly different: gatling pulse lasers, an additional ANP as opposed to a nano, conflag instead of multifrquency.
The fight was, for all intents and purposes, even. I lost the Crusader with the barest slivers of structures remaining on the Merlin, my capacitor completely nullified. It was likely my decision to get another repair cycle in as opposed to spray and pray that cost the Crusader its life, as well as the less than optimal cap regen thanks to a now useless rig with the way I currently fir them. Still, I find this encouraging, and feel confident that any Crusader I pilot in the future will convincingly defeat a Merlin. It remains to be seen how these Crusaders will handle other frigates, although all Minmatar Assault Ships are on the DNE list for laser fitted ships.
The final combats were Slicers against Merlins. The wins were beyond convincing, although the Slicer was only as fast as a Rifter in that combat configuration. It is probably not the best idea to fit afterburners to Slicers without serious speed modifications. How this will work without sacrificing tank and gank is beyond me at this point. Hopefully the answer will present itself.
The finishing touch was a test run of the Retribution. I'd heard that it was getting an additional midslot, essentially making it the Amarr version of the Wolf. This essentially held true. Slower tracking, slower speed, but still beefy. Given the costs of Minmatar tech as opposed to, well, any other race, it seems a fair compromise. You get what you pay for, and to be honest, I could be convinced to be fly it with a microwarpdrive. It's already a fairly tough piece of gristle, so the rigs can be put to optimal use on capacitor.
I've heard much grumbling about the microwarpdrive 'enhancements' to Assault Ships. I'll be blunt, and say that I disagree with the negative stance on it. All said and done, Assault Ships will still not be anywhere nearly as fast as Interceptors, nor be graced with the warp disruptor enhancements, and will still have the signature radius of an extremely heavily buffered shield cruiser. These microwarpdrive enhancements make Assault Ships viable in null-sec as heavier tacklers, as opposed to utterly useless.
In another two weeks, we'll likely run more test scenarios. I wonder what I'll learn there? I'm thinking that I should focus solely on one or two ships, to make the most the of the time and experience. It seemed to work out well today.
Computer: terminate recording.