I have to admit, but the minimal premium of 9 million the Police Pursuit Comet is over the price of a standard Comet, I just had to fly one. Sure, it may not have any stat advantages over the standard model, but it was just fun to wander around pulling folks over.
Let’s cut to the chase… I actually found opponents were more eager to engage me than they were a standard Comet. Something about “fighting the power”, I suppose. If you’re looking for a good fight, try flying a cop Comet around faction warfare space. Folks take fights they never should, just for the chance to kill one of them.
My night began with a quick roll through Black Rise. I chased a few folks away from sites – particularly in Kedama – without being able to pin them down. In one instance, I warped after the same guy seven times, from site to site to sun to planet, only to lock him and realize he was stabilized.
Ultimately, I found a Breacher who was – oddly – sitting at zero on a plex warp-in in Oinasiken. I seem to have surprised him, since I was able to scram and web him before he started to attack me. He tried to pull range, but I overloaded my ASB to keep within optimal for my railguns. In fact, I overloaded pretty much everything at one point during the fight. He did manage to activate his ASB and run through the entire cycle before he finally went down. I was deep in structure.
This was a great fight, and demonstrated the value in understanding how to overhead effectively. Granted, I was flying a Comet, and the modules I could overload were limited to the guns, the AB, and the scram and web. But I overloaded the AB to get within overloaded web range, then I overloaded my scram to keep him from warping off.
That all doesn’t sound terribly complex, and it really wasn’t. After all, it’s not overloading that’s the big problem, it’s remembering to turn off the overload once you’ve closed more range. With three mid-slot modules all overloading, the heat can build up quickly. You can turn overload off on an active module, but heat still continues to build until the cycle ends. Missing even one cycle could mean that much more heat damage, and heat isn’t something you want to waste. If the fight went badly, I might have needed to burn out of scram range quickly; in that case, the difference between 5 cycles before burning out and 6 could mean the difference between survival and death.
Victorious, I docked and repaired my ship. As it was the first time I really paid attention, let me say I’m pleased CCP significantly lowered the cost to repair frigates in NPC stations. It used to cost me about a million isk to repair a heavily damaged frigate, but now it was less than 100k. A very nice change!
Ten minutes later, I warped to another plex in Reitsato and found a Merlin sitting at zero on the button ready to brawl. I was railgun fit, so he had a decisive DPS advantage over me until I was able to overload my afterburner and pull range. Once that happened, Surprisingly, he got me into low armor with some hull damage by the time he popped. Interestingly, if he would’ve fitted a Damage Control II, he probably would have survived. Nonetheless, this was an excellent fight, and I salute him for taking it. That fight brought me
Three fights in which I left with hull damage. That’s what I call a good, well-matched night. So far, my patrol had gone well, even if I had to kill a couple suspects and barely escaped a driveby. Ultimately, though, it came to an end as all good roams should: in fire. And it was all due to a dinky little Sentinel.
I really shouldn’t malign the Sentinel. After all, the neuts and drones ended up successfully killing me. And Draggon flew it wonderfully. I warped to him, and he started the fight about 35 km out. I started to close range, and instead of the usual ab/scram fit I’m used to facing, I quickly realized – at exactly 24 km away – that he was disruptor fit. Then the neuts started hitting me. I actually managed to clear a flight of his Hobgoblin IIs off the field by webbing each one in turn and sending 2-3 rounds of my railguns into them, but once I was neuted entirely, I had to wait to fire my guns, and that cost me precious seconds. Eventually, with 2 drones left on field, he finished me off.
It felt like it took forever, and that’s what was so maddening about it. He had me range disrupted, so I couldn’t hit him with my short-range ammo. He had an armor repper, so even after I switched to long rang ammo, he was able to tank me easily. All the while, his drones whittled me down, down down. By the end, I felt like Chuck Norris at the end of his fight with Bruce Lee… depleted, spent.
In retrospet, I realize the fight was over the moment I landed and he was so far away. Had this been my second fight against a Sentinel, I would have left at that point. But it wasn’t; it was my first fight, and I underestimated the value of those neuts, even though I fly Curses. “A frigate? Surely you jest, right? Oh, wait, what’s happ…. warp pod, warp pod, warp pod…”
I’m a null-sec guy, so I’m used to flying a lot of T2 and T3 cruisers. I tend to underestimate those frigs, since I’m usually flying something that can kill them easily (My Rapier can successfully kill 3 AFs, for instance). But in this case, I forgot I was in a frigate too, and a frig with a T1 resist profile, at that. I neglected to adjust my thinking to match my own ship, and as a result I vastly overestimated my durability. A Sentinel isn’t much use in null-sec, but in solo FW, it’s good enough to lure pilots in and kill them.
So ended my police patrol. Well played, Draggon, well played.
It’s just another proof that CCP did a good job of making exciting combat at all levels, from frigs to capitals.