So, after the quick interlude of the Repo. roam from Saturday, back to the solo stories I've been collecting for a while. I'll probably be trying to post a little more regularly with the backlog of notes that I have, considering I've still got another post worth from before I've been flying Assault Frigates, which I've nearly been flying for two weeks now.
Leaving Iges to do my normal roam, I warped into Covryn. I usually pass through quite quickly, due to a heavy Ninja Unicorns alliance presence most of the time. I've never had a chance to fight them yet, and really don't know too much about them other then they dropped the small pos we set up earlier, and that they like to fly big ships. That last part though, is why I've never had a chance to fight them.
This time though, seeing a few neutrals in system, all young characters, I decided to stick around and see what I could find. Soon I had scanned down two Punishers and a Kestrel down, all sitting at the sun. Not sure what to expect, but figuring all I had to lose was a Firetail, I warped into them. Landing around 10k off of them I figured that the Kestrel would probably be the most dangerous, and the one with the smallest tank, so I locked him first. I was correct with my thoughts that he wouldn't have much tank, as it turned out he had none. Not expecting the Kestrel to drop quite as fast as he did, I hadn't begun to lock either of the Punishers yet, only starting once I had the Kestrel into structure. By that time though, one of the Punishers was already warping out, and the other warped out just before I closed in on him enough to get the scram on.
Getting into the pilot seat the next day and heading to Avaux, John Valentine was in the area also. It didn't take too long before I noticed a Merlin, Incursus, and Tristan on scan. Once again, this was another group of three new players, and especially with JV being right nearby in a Wolf, I felt quite confident about going in on them. Warping in, I landed near the Merlin and opened fire. Web, and scram on it, autocannons were overheated and spewing their hot metal towards it, and it's shields failed quickly, but the incoming damage from the three ships was tearing through my Firetails shield tank. Able to drop the Merlin with around a third of my shields left, I turned my attention to the Tristan, as the Incursus still hadn't quite closed range yet. John came out of warp just as I opened fire on the Tristan. My shields failed and armor didn't have much strength to resist the onslaught of the Merlin's rockets and railguns, but the combined firepower of the Minmatar frigates dropped it as the bolts were starting to fall out of the Firetail's structure. Aligning out, and overheating my afterburner to the point I was afraid it would tear the ship's already burning structure apart, I was able to get out of scram range from the Incursus, but was able to point my autocannons in his direction and fire a few pot shots before warping out.
A few fairly uneventful nights of podding around over the next couple days and eventually I landed on a gate, with Abonella from The Tuskers landing on top of me in a Malediction. Thinking this could be a good fight for my Firetail, I hit my AB and burned towards, getting my web and scram fired up. Looking back on this fight, it would have been a great had I loaded Barrage (As I've noted quite often). Thinking that the Malediction would probably have a MWD, I was surprised when it was pulling range on me. Not thinking quite straight at the time, I never did overheat my afterburner. Eating into the Maledictions armor, but watching the damage disappear as his armor rep kicked in. I kept on a straight approach, trying to have my Firetail close in on this Amarr interceptor, but it was able to keep pulling range. Eventually, the rockets coming from the Tusker's ship broke the shields on my Firetail, and I attempted to pull range and get back to the gate, but was unable to before the final rocket landed. GFs were exchanged, and I talked to the Tusker pilot for a little while, saying that I had expected a MWD fit. It was also here that I found that I had been closer to breaking the Amarr's tank, as it had almost run out of capacitor. Lessons learned.
As always in a pirate's life, it's either feast or famine. Not having much luck again for a couple days, I was out with h0tsauce. Finding a Rupture and Rifter in Intak hoss tried to scan them down. The Rifter left system before long. Focused on the Rupture then, it didn't take too long before he had the Cruiser scanned down at a customs office. He jumped in and got point as I came into system. Watching the warp bubble surround me as I hear that hoss is going to have issues, as his capacitor is failing. Coming out of warp around 10km off of the Rupture, I hear that hoss was out of cap and couldn't maintain point, but I was able to get in and snag the cruiser before it was able to warp off. The cruiser by this point was hitting armor, but had very little tank to it, and dropped fast.
As we were waiting out our GCC, the Rifter we had seen before came back. Still sitting at the customs office, this Rifter soon landed beside my own and opened fire. His tank didn't hold out for long, and with h0t en route, I wanted to let him get in on it also, but my autocannons had other plans, as his structure disappeared after a single volley. Getting a point on the pod, we decided to try and ransom it. It became apparent rather quickly that he was stalling for time, especially once we saw the original Rupture pilot enter system again, along with another. As the Rupture pilot landed on grid with us, this time in a Rifter, we decided it was time for the pod to begone. Turning our attention to the new pilot once again, we also see an Arbitrator land around 80km off of us. Finding the Rifter about as tanked as the one we just dropped, we just melt it. Scooping the loot, and not wanting to deal with drones, we warp out and exchange GFs with the pilots.
And that's it for the backlog of pre-AF flying. I'm really going to have to make sure I fly cheaper ships more often, while I love the ability to engage larger targets, it really has been hurting the pocketbook when I've lost them.