Yesterday I took my little Merlin for a spin again into Syndicate. I was really looking forward for the thrill of a PvP fight since I hadn't been able to log in to EVE for a week or so. Well I did go into low sec with an Arbitrator looking for trouble but nothing came out of that short adventure so I wanted a quick fight in null. So I head out to 6-CZ49, Syndicate enrty system from Verge Vendor.
When I enter 6-C is the only time I have used a scout so far. I have run into to many gate camps in that system and I think it is such a waste of ships to jump in blind that I have stationed an alt there to spy on the gate before I jump in. I only have one account so I need to relog twice to do that but it is worth it.
This time I spotted with my alt a Taranis, a Merlin and a Kitsune on the Reblier gate in 6-C. The Merlin is a good target for my Merlin, The Taranis.. well not sure if my Merlin could take it on but worth a shot, the Kitsune is not a target. I would avoid the Kitsune like the plaque because of its ECM. But the Kitsune left so I decided to jump in with my main VR Highfive.
Before I jump though I switch my Hybrid ammo to Null S. A few moments later this turn out to be and important decision. When I make the choice before I jump I am playing with the though to 'kite' the other blaster ships using my web/scram/afterburner trio and use the range of null to wear my target down while staying out of their blaster optimal range (assuming they will use antimatter). The optimal of null is 3,6km with 5,7 km falloff while antimatter has 1,1 + 3km. That is why I decide to switch to null. It it really just based on a hunch and curiosity to try this tactic.
So I jump thru and the Taranis sits at a tactical bookmark 300km from the gate or something like that. I warp to a tac as well to get off the gate. By then I have decided to take on the Ranis. I am pretty confident about my setup and I have nothing to loose. What a good opportunity to try something new. The Ranis doesn't approach but warps to a wreck as a invitation to fight or so I interpret his move. I am only to happy to oblige so I warp to the wreck at 0m. I land at 10km from him and the fight starts.
I approach and orbit at 500m AB running... and there it is.. I made the first mistake.. my whole plan out of the window and I am flying like I am using antimatter ammo.. I didn't realize this during the fight only after . So what happens is that we approach and I start damaging him pretty early. Its going really well and his shield and armor go down fast. He has a small armor rep and he is repping as hard he can but in the first 15 sec the fight is going my way. I start feeling hopeful .. might I actually kill a Taranis in my T1 frig?
But .. when he is at 10% armor the DPS I do to him stops. I wonder is he tanking my DPS with his rep? He isn't regaining armor? Am I not hitting, he is now fairly close and blasting away at my shield which are holding oke even though his blasters are taking big chunck from it every volley the ASB can keep up with it somewhat. But as I am not damaging him anymore.. I am not sure what to do at that moment but wait for the inevitable; my boosters running out.. I keep hoping for hits but it doesn't happen and after my ASB runs out my ship pops seconds later.
It was still pretty close and am not unhappy with my fight vs a T2 frig but I am left with a feeling that I could have gotten more out of that. After the fight when I had warped my pod to safety I remembered I had null loaded.. and later I realized that was probably the reason why I failed this time.
First of all the decision to orbit at 500 while having null loaded was a bad move. When the Taranis got close I prob could not track him anymore. I assume he was dual prop fitted. I always assume Ranis are Dual prop:). So with me and him orbiting with afterburners on tracking might have gotten real difficult with null ammo.
Had I loaded Antimatter I might have done much better as it had better tracking and more DPS.
With null I should have followed my original plan: try to stay at 3,5km. Not sure if that would have worked with a dual prob adversary but it would have made more sense.
Anyways.. it was a good lesson. Next time I will try something else; Stick with tha initial plan.