09 August 2009

A-Riftering: First Kill

My objective is to roam around in low-sec and find one-on-one engagements in which to lose my collection of purpose-built Rifters. In doing so, I hoped to learn more about PvP, to improve my chops, and through the rush, take the edge off of the panic that usually gets me killed.

I have no desire to be a pirate, so I don't care to wreak havoc on innocents. I am a member of the Minmatar militia, so I have valid war targets. I am also navigating in areas that have a very high density of pirates. I won't feel guilty engaging them. Both of these populations, however, are expecting a fight, and often looking for one themselves. This won't discourage me from engaging in these fights, but it does dramatically reduce my chances of winning.

Winning isn't really the point, which is why I have 12 frigates, not 12 recon cruisers.

I've decided that I will freely engage Amarr sympathizers or patriots. It may, at times, be hard to identify this population, but it does broaden my chances of finding an engagement.

This evening was my second evening on a solo roam. The first evening was without incident. This evening was going pretty much the same way. In most systems, I found no valid targets. In some systems, I would find a valid target, usually a pirate, but it was never a single target. Engaging one would likely get the other two on me quickly.

There were just a few times when I had a valid target in a system where I didn't expect hostile backup. I would dance around the system, intently studying the directional scanner. In these cases, the target would invariably be in something that would clearly out-class me. When I would finally see the target, I would make my way out of the system.

My second evening patrolling at the helm of Aggressor was nearing its end, and I was making my way back to my cache of Rifters when I entered a Sosan. There was only one other capsuleer in Local, Deaganu. I quickly hit the scanner and pulled up his info.

He didn't have any tell-tale signs of being a pirate, and he was not a member of the Amarr or Caldari militias. He was a member of Shadowheart Xtrem Industries [SHXI]. I pulled up their info, and immediately a smile bolted across my face.

SHXI openly defended the Sarum family. I quickly did a search to confirm, as I fired up the engines and warped to a planet. As my gate cloak dropped, I saw the confirmation that I needed:

The Sarum family has always been the most belligerent of the royal families, always willing to take up arms whenever required. The family has vested interest in the Amarr military and the armaments industry. They are the only royal family that wants to revive the Reclaiming efforts of old.

I knew I had a valid target, but I had no idea if he would be out and about in a system with stations, or if he would even be in a ship small enough for me to consider engaging.

I kept on top of the directional scanner. I moved from planet to planet until I found him. He hadn't renamed his ship!

He Was in a Rifter!

The directional scanner isn't immediately accurate, but I was getting better at it. If nothing else came out of these roams, my directional scanning abilities were getting better.

I moved quicker, from point to point until I narrowed him down to one belt. I felt like this was taking so long, though, that surely, he would move. Surely, he would get nervous and bolt. Unless, he was looking for a fight, too.

That prospect made me all the more eager. In the end, I figured he just didn't care. I don't appear to be to terribly a menacing person.

I had my destination, though. I warped into the belt, and there he was, in his Rifter. Sansha wrecks were littered around him. He was ratting in a Rifter!

He was 30 Km away. He was too far for me to hold onto. He could've run. I approached him, turning on the afterburner, debating overheating it just to get to him faster. I hoped he wouldn't run.

He was in the heart of the asteroids, and I had to manually navigate around one. It was beautiful when I did.

Aggressor roared around the asteroid in its lazy roll. I could feel the rocks move, as if they knew there was danger. If only they could warn him. As he came out of eclipse, he was about 10 Km away, and he didn't appear to be running. He didn't appear to be paying me any attention at all.

I swept the bow to port, watching it roll as the ship lined up on him. I initiated the lock, and as soon as he was within the range of my point, I opened with everything I had.

He quickly locked me back. I almost wonder if it was an autolock since he didn't seem to care about me until then. Half his shields were gone before he opened fire, and I was tight within my orbit.

I can't say as I learned much from this engagement itself. As he fell to half armor, my shields fell. I toggled my armor repper once before overheating my turrets. It didn't matter.

His ship exploded before I moved through the whole rack.

I was shaking. Not only had I initiated my first solo engagement, I won it.

The victory does seem a little hollow, though. The outcome was decided before I even engaged him. His ship was poorly fit and is 125mm Scouts were no match for my second-generation 200mm ACs. My ship could've won this without me.

Deaganu should've been more aware of his surroundings. Even though I don't have the security rating or employment history that would make one think I would start an unprovoked attack, I am a member of the Tribal Liberation Force. He should've sought me out. Any guilt that I might feel from such a hollow victory, though, passes when I think of this.

The engagement was very short, though. That is one of the reasons why I don't feel I've ever learned much from the years of gang-warfare I've been in. I've never been in a pitched battle. Either no one fired at me, and I just followed orders and fired on primaries and secondaries as they were called, or the other fleet has called me primary and my ship has been destroyed before I can respond, before I can panic.


  1. Just wait til you get an opponent who is more evenly matched--or whose fit counters your in some equalizing way...those fights can last a LONG time (relatively) and are so much fun. Gratz on your first solo kill!

  2. Congrats on the victory. You make me proud to be a Minmatar. The slaver got what he deserved! If he'd won your corpse would be in some sick Amarrian pleasure hub!

  3. If anything Gang Warfare should have taught you paitence and nerve. It also must have taught you to fit a ship =) Good Job Vol! Those solo kills always give me goosebumps.