Rifter Fleet Issue

Last post I promised a few more after action reports, where I was flying my most recent Jaguar setup. While the Harbinger was great to test out how far the fitting could go, I didn't mind stumbling upon two frigate sized targets shortly thereafter.

The first one was a Federation Navy Comet flown by X Gallentius. I know from previous engagements that he is a capable combat pilot. The Comet being a great and very versatile ship is no secret either. Nevertheless, I was confident that there wouldn't be much risk in fighting him. Neither blasters nor railguns pose a serious threat when you are messing them up with a tracking disruptor.

Making myself comfortable on a quiet gate, X's Comet didn't take long to show up. I was a bit surprised after all, as he accelerated way beyond afterburner speed and proceeded to shoot me from more than 15km out. I tried to catch up to him with some twists and turns, running my overheated afterburner. As it turned out, there was no way I would be able to force him into web range.

Luckily, a tracking disruptor has an optimal range of over 40km. As soon as I loaded a range disrupting script, all I had to deal with were three small drones buzzing around me. Webbing them one by one, a few volleys of Barrage took good care of each. Soon X ran out of drones, but he didn't decide to close in in order to have his guns hit me again. Acknowledging the stalemate, his Comet warped off and we exchanged GFs.

Pleased with how my Jaguar would dominate more or less any Comet out there, I was on my way to dig up some more fights. A while later, an Ishkur showed itself not far from Hevrice. Another perfect test for the Rifter Fleet Issue.

Jaguars focussing on shield defences can have serious trouble with well equipped Ishkurs. Their superior speed can avoid a good chunk of an Ishkur's gunfire, but a fleet of five drones and a sturdy tank may still be enough to drive off a Jaguar.

Assuming a webifier on the Ishkur, I stayed with the range disrupting script and would make sure to keep a range of at least 5km. The Ishkur was waiting for me at a belt. Luckily, I didn't land right on top of it, but a good 10km off as intended. I also didn't mind to be greeted by Hobgoblin drones at all; the explosive damage dealt by Warriors would've hit right into my weakest armor resistances.

The fight commenced as planned, with me shooting the Ishkur from 5 or 6km, the Ishkur effectively shooting blanks and five Hobgoblins dishing out considerably more hurt. Despite my tracking disruptor, this was still not quite a cakewalk.

Since we kept stealing each other's capacitor energy, soon both of us were taking turns at patching ourselves up the tiniest bit. Then of all the modules that could have shut down, my webifier decided it was time to take a nap.

For a good five seconds I was dipping into a range where the Ishkur was glad to finally cause some damage of its own. By switching on my webifier again and praying that my already smoldering afterburner would hold up for just one more overheated cycle, I managed to pull some vital range again. Nevertheless, the ensueing race through hull had now turned way too close for comfort.

And let me tell you once more: Gallente hulls are tough. I wasn't entirely sure whether I would come up ahead or had been defeated. All that was left was staying on course, letting the guns do their business and maybe getting off one more repair cycle.

And apparently it did the trick. Whew.

Warrior drones would have definitely hosed me. Even if I hadn't made the mistake that briefly cost me my web, I'm not sure if I could win against the same Ishkur with Warriors.

That's okay, though. I know the Rifter Fleet Issue maybe isn't the pinacle of assault frigatery. But it's still awesome.

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