Monday, December 19, 2011

What can you kill in a Wolf?

Hello. A few more weeks, a bunch more kills, and a few more lessons learned. I have been fighting anything and everything I feel I can engage, including 2 or 3 at a time, and doing quite well at it. I have also destroyed every kind of AF at least once now, along with most faction frigates. Lets look at some of these fights.

Hawks: Probably my most hated of opponents. Theyre tough, nearly as fast as you, they WILL be running kinectic missiles, hitting my poor wolf's lowest resist. I played with a Kinectic rig, dropping my tracking rig and downgunning to 150s. Works ok... but now slow. In the FW environment, speed IS life. I need to be able to run, to kite.

Also, Hawks tend to fit Medium Shield Boosters and run a capacitor booster, with Navy 400s. They then double EM rig, so they now have a potent tank, no issues with tracking, and selectable damage.

And no web. You're faster than they are.

Keep speed UP, if a Hawk (Or Vengeance) is not webbing you! The faster you go, the less damage those rockets do. Ideally, orbiting at 3-4k to maximize speed, and still land solid hits, is good. You will have to catch him in a loading cycle of that booster to kill him. I tend to load fusion vs these now, as it is just as effective vs their shields, and their armor evaporates when you break through that shield. This guy beat me (and podded me) our first fight, but agreed to a rematch. What did I do different? Controlled range and speed better, and heated my guns straight off to burn through that shield and kill him with bleed. (The drake and SB on the km were nowhere in sight... no idea where those came from.) For an extra laugh, take a good look at how much damage I dealt to that Hawk!

Respect hawks. They can wreck your day. I havent fought a buffer tanked one yet, but I have no doubt they would be easier to kill.

Harpies: Kiting harpies with rails are fairly common. However, they cannot fit rails and an MSB/injector, so they are not as tough. I havent fought a blarpy yet, but have little doubt what the outcome will be. Harpies have weaker tanks than hawks, but deal more damage. They also tend to run 1 shield extender rig and 1 em rig... however, look very carefully at this fit and find where his mistake was. Yes, he had only the EM resistance his DCU provided. He did solid damage, but it was not so much that my repairer couldnt keep up easily. Notice, I had 150s in this fight, as i was running a Kin rig at the time. The harpy controlled range... the Wolf has a falloff bonus. Down he goes.

Jaguar: The Dual MSE Jaguar has a reputation as being a simply nasty brawler. It is. But it has weaknesses. A dual MSE jaguar cannot fit a neut, at least without some serious fitting compromises, and they do weak dps for an assault frig. They mount a massive tank, however, and can strike a wolf's low EXP resist... at least vs a wolf with a low EXP resist. I smacked a dual MSE jaguar twice, but he managed, to higher speed (nanoed, I think) to escape both times. He came back, in this rather strange fit, and while tanky, went down. Not even close, this time; I only turned my repper on after the fight, to rep the minimal damage he did, as I was able to control range and stay at 5-6k most of the fight. If they're web/mse/neut fit (like my own jag) its a dps race; thankfully, they cannot neut long, due to a Jaguar's anemic cap, and your nos does cycle twice for every cycle of a small neut. The keep at range trick will be important, as theyll try to orbit... and usually beat their own tracking in the process.

Wolf: The 400 plate wolf is famous as "the" brawling loadout. If you remember,  I am not impressed with it. Here is why. I was able to stay at 6-7k the entire fight, and while the wolf's falloff bonus works going both ways, I could repair the mediocre incoming damage... he could not. An extremely one-sided fight, and as you can see, I was running 150s. This was my normal fit... I just didnt have any 200mm guns when I built this particular wolf.

Succubus and Firetail: One of the more memorable 2v1 I have had here lately was this eager pair who engaged me on a gate. I had just jumped in from Dal, and knew the path behind to be clear. No one else in Hof, so... I burned for the Succubus, to kill it and its horrible neutralizers. I had plasma loaded (my default round, when i am roaming and not sure what I may engage on a gate) so I had ok damage versus both. This dumb succubus pilot burns toward me, hoping to neut me dry, which he quickly did... and then died. I quickly scrammed the firetail, who had by now figured out this was not an easy gank. He quickly hit armor, and tried to burn away from me... he should have kept transversal up. A second blue flash rewards my efforts. I scoop my loot and head to a safe to rep my damage and repair some module burn.

Daredevil: (( Post hybrid/destroyer buff)) I found a Daredevil at a plex... it was a minor, so I warped in with my Thrasher, and lost it, only due to stupidity... wrong ammo. Ack. Yeah, PP for a DD, bad choice...

I sigh, go back to station, and then grab my Wolf, and undock... and the pilot asks if i want a 2nd try. Sure!

I load fusion, NOT being dumb this time, and we go. Heating my repper, I land some early shots, as she has to burn 15k to get to me. As she webs me, I heat my AB and use Keep at Range command, and... well, she explodes  beautifully! I was at about 75% Structure. I had no problems whatsoever hitting the Daredevil, even moving at about 150 msec. I was sad, though... no faction web. Bah!

Enyo: (( Post Hybrid Buff)) I jump into Eszur and cross-jump a flashy Enyo. I hadnt had much action all day, save a Wolf loss early in the day to a Wolfsbrigade fleet, complete with ECM, so I burned back and jumped after him, where he was waiting and eager. I had fusion loaded, so I heated my guns and AB, and went to town.

Early in the fight he got within 3k or so range, and I took heavy damage. I managed to take range to 7k, where he had to swap ammo types, and my incoming damage was low enough for my repper to keep up. After a few more shots, the predictable happened and I was scooping the loot. The Enyo got me lower than the Daredevil; I was at 57% structure, though my armor had begun to repair.
So, while I hope everyone dosent start flying active tanked wolves, this shows you some idea of how long it takes, from start to finish, to learn a ship and its capabilities, how to fit it, and the tactics to use. I believe any AF or faction frig could be used as successfully, if the pilot were willing to spend time and ISK to do so.

Fly it like you stole it!
Flying the Wolf; what Ive learned after many wins... and losses.

Well. Here is a breakdown of the fit I have sort of settled on, due to a mix of cost efficiencey and use.

[Wolf, Ava Starfire's Wolf]
Corpii C-Type Small Armor Repairer
Damage Control II
Energized Adaptive Nano Membrane II
Centii C-Type Reactive Plating

J5b Phased Prototype Warp Scrambler I
1MN Afterburner II

200mm AutoCannon II, Republic Fleet EMP S
200mm AutoCannon II, Republic Fleet EMP S
Small Diminishing Power System Drain I
200mm AutoCannon II, Republic Fleet EMP S
200mm AutoCannon II, Republic Fleet EMP S

Small Projectile Metastasis Adjuster I
Small Projectile Burst Aerator I

12 dps less than a T2 burst rig, and 100msec slower than a B-type AB, but still good resists and active tank, and takes advantage of the wolf's strengths; speed and gun range, and a large capacitor. The C-type plating costs a princely 600k or so isk, the C-type repairer, a mere 5m, and they add too much not to use. I will likely use B-type ABs more, simply because of what happened last night.

I engaged a firetail that had an MWD/TD/Artillery combo, and had the toughest fight of my life. I fought long enough to use every round of barrage I had, and half a clip of Fusion, before I managed to land a scram and kill him quickly. He could do very little damage due to my small sig, my speed, and my manual piloting.

This fight left me shaking, and my Wolf was at a mere 7% structure. Had i had the B-type AB and/or a 9k scram, I might have had an easier time. This dogfight lasted almost 10 minutes.

I have engaged against numbers, against single targets, against mission runners, against BCs and cruisers, against everything I can find. I rather love the Wolf, and have yet to lose one in a 1v1 engagement against anything else in its class, and have survived many engagements (albeit with no  kill, due to one of us managing to flee) against drakes, pilgrims, harbingers, cerberus...

Here are a few tips for any frigate pilots, but especially for those who fly the Wolf.

Orbit. People will try to take advantage of your poor(er) tracking speed, and orbit at high speed in Claws, Firetails, Maledictions, Crusaders, and win by tracking. When they do this, even with a TD, calmly heat your afterburner, and use the "Keep at Range" command, set to 7k distance. Your ship will burn away at whatever angle minimizes transversal, and you will speed up. Way up. When they are "behind you" on the orbit, you WILL Land solid hits. They can run when they realize whats happening, but you wont die.

Starting the engagement: ALWAYS start at distance! ALWAYS get in early damage! The Wolf outranges just about every other frigate in New Eden, and if you can land early hits before they can reengage, you will have an advantage. I always keep as far off as I can, as long as I can.

Barrage: Some things kite. You can hit them. You can drive them off, and with a few lucky hits, you can destroy them before they can align. Works very well against things like Slicers.

Heat: Repairers are meant to be abused. Overheat the devil out of it. They can heat for a LONG time. I always just heat the thing and leave it heated the whole fight, unless it is in a very long engagement, like vs the Firetail earlier.

Tracking Disruptors: Theyre like mushrooms after a heavy rain anymore. EVERYONE runs them. The Keep at range trick works, as it usually means they sacrifice something more important... like a web. Vs. Kitey stuff, you can just use manual piloting to close range, and land hits when you can. Kiters never do much damage, especially those with lasers.

Managing your cap: I start my rep early, and rep until I am down to 30% or so cap, shut it off a few seconds, then pulse it, to make best use of  my max cap recharge area.

Rockets and Active tanked opponents: MSB hawks, Dual SAR vengeances, boosted jaguars. None will have neuts, most will be slower than you. Vs rockets, orbit at 7500 or 8k range (( Sometimes this works, sometimes not. Since this was written, I normally move in to 3k or so, orbit, and try to keep speed up and still land heavy hits. Hawks are dicey!)) heat your scram, and stay there as long as you can. You can land solid hits while his rockets peter out. Always keep your speed up, the faster you move, the less force his rockets have. If a hawk or vengeance has a web, it means no booster. Press the attack with heated guns.

The Wolf isnt a ship like a Rifter that can be flown by simple commands. Manual flying,  good module management, and knowing your opponents is particularly important, but after flying and losing many, I have grown very, very fond of the active tanked, resist, fast fit with 200s or 150s.

But 200s track slow!!!

Not slow enough for this Dramiel.

Good hunting!
The Wolf's Bite (( This was my first post on EM's forum after several months of forum inactivity, and in-game development and testing of my new wolf fit. Yes, I am OCD about what I fly.))

Well, well. How a few months changes our perspective.

I have now been a member of the Tribal Liberation Force for about three months, and have managed to achieve the rank of Lance Commander. Teraa Matar is coming along as well I can dream, we have passed 10 members, and are giving the Amarr a thick ear at every turn.

I was in the TLF station in Abudban, my home until they order me elsewhere, when I was called to my CO's office. She gave me an intelligence report that contained information regarding a large number of "Room reservations" in Kourmonen for 21 October YC 113, and intelligence that confirmed the Amarr would be trying a raid "Deep into Minmatar territory".

I inform my wingmates, and the op is planned, scheduled, and set. Off we go, my flight of 6; 3 Wolves, 1 Jaguar, Rifter, Ishkur. Kalaratiri, who I would be helpless without, observes that any Amarrian infiltration of Minmatar space must pass through Hofjalgund. On the Hof/Dal gate, we lay in wait.

My scout in Dal, Kala, tells me PIE are inbound; 7 of them. They jump to us; Sacrilege, 2 Retributions, 2 Vengeances, 2 Slicers, and a Coercer. And... they blow past our camp. We catch the Sac, beat it into armor, and it retreats and jumps back to Dal. We decide to pursue the main body of the PIE gang. Not their smartest move, running by us, for as they jumped into Eszur, they landed in... another gatecamp.

Their Coercer dies, and the pilot awakens in a new clone, as we continue the chase, down the pipe, into Hadozeko. We play cat and mouse, both gangs avoiding a huge Battleship bridge gang, when one of the PIE members opens his mouth: Theyre flipping a Minmatar Complex.

In we go. 3 wolves, Rifter, Jag, Ishkur versus 5 PIE; the Retributions, Vengeance, and Slicers. Fairly even match. Good fight.

I call a Retri primary, and the next minute is a blur, as a fierce battle is fought. In the end, the last PIE slicer warps off, as we collect the loot from the wrecks of both of the Retris, the Vengeance, and one Slicer. Our losses? The Rifter.

My lance of relatively new pilots met an enemy force that was initially superior, and far more experienced... and fought fiercely. I am proud of them. The Spirits watched over us, and guided our guns, this day.

Now, on to the point... the Wolf. Yeah, I was flying one of those three wolves. Fit as follows:

[Wolf, Avawolf]
Energized Adaptive Nano Membrane II
Corpii A-Type Reactive Plating
Damage Control II
Corpii C-Type Small Armor Repairer

Gistii B-Type 1MN Afterburner
J5b Phased Prototype Warp Scrambler I

200mm AutoCannon II, Republic Fleet EMP S
200mm AutoCannon II, Republic Fleet EMP S
Small Nosferatu II
200mm AutoCannon II, Republic Fleet EMP S
200mm AutoCannon II, Republic Fleet EMP S

Small Projectile Collision Accelerator II
Small Projectile Metastasis Adjuster I

218 DPS with my implants and abilities, 1087 msec, 4.3 align, and runs all for 1m 35s. Plenty. Reps 80 dps, and resists, mm... 93.8 78.7 50.9 65.1 for me. Yep, no plate, no gyro. Active resist tank. And oh, how it tanks. I designed it to win a prolonged fight; the 400 plate wolf, with a DCU II and an ANP II, giving 37.5% resist, can absorb 3475 pure exp damage before its tank cracks. This absorbs 2582, is faster, and packs a nos and repper. Yep, 10 seconds into the fight, this has outtanked the 400 plate fit. And it packs 200s, tracking as 150s. I am loving it.

How much?

Well, well. The morning of 22 October, YC 113, I was sent on a mandatory patrol of the near warzone; Bosboger, Lulm, Gulmorogod. I am flying along, checking those in the systems, when I jump to Gulm, and see... a wartarget, one Farelle, of Imperial Fedyakin. Nothing on scan, but there is a mission beacon... oh!

Warp to the beacon, and when I drop from warp, I land ON TOP of her Drake, which was cloaked at the warpin. Immediately I scram and begin orbiting, running my nos, firing with RF Phased Plasma. She begins to fire back, and its on, with the Republic Fleet forces in the beacon assisting me. I switch to RF EMP ammo after a few shots, testing her tank, and see that I am doing MUCH better damage. I kill the drones, Warrior IIs, and settle into a rhythm; rep until my armor is full or I hit 40% cap, let my cap regen to 75% or so, rep some more. And repeat. And repeat.

I begin to get worried that I will need help, or that she will have backup, but I begin to see her shield go down... 60%. 50%. When she hits 40%, i heat my guns and shut my AB down, to burn past her max regen point. Her tank breaks. Mine is holding beautifully. I am being hit by CN Scourge heavies (( Hitting my WEAKEST resist! )) but no good for her; my Armor never dips below 80%.

And down she goes!

I snag the pod, teaching this pilot a lesson about infiltrating sovereign Minmatar space, scoop the loot, and bounce as a neutral Sentinel lands.

He talks some smack... I return to the mission... he runs.

Whatever. Didnt wanna fight a sentinel anyway.

The Wolf seems to want all 4 lows dedicated to an active repper/resist tank. The B-type AB and C-type Repairer are cheap, the A-type membrane is cheap as DIRT. I have another fit with better resists, using a C-type ANP and a C-type Energized Reactive Membrane, with 51 71 for kin and exp resists, and that tanks 99 DPS per second.

The hell with the gyro.  The wolf does enough damage. And she sure looks great while doing so. This particular wolf is now 5 and 0, with a PIE fleet and a Drake to its credit. Ill call it good, yeah?

PS. The nos.  Had the drake had a neut, I would have had troubles. The trick? C-type nos. 8.3 k range. You can nos beyond small neut range. Yeah, our wolf is getting expensive... but you gotta spend some isk to get the best out of a ship sometimes.

I think I will go debrief and spend the afternoon relaxing. Been a busy day.

The Wolf, 200mm Autocannons, and me. (( This marks the point where I decided to STOP flying plated wolves, and to STOP using 200s with no tracking mod. Lesson learned. ))

It never fails.

If I undock and roam around in a Rifter, everyone I encounter will be flying assault frigates. If I undock in a Wolf or Jaguar, everyone will be in frigates. Yeah, yeah... I do find fights, even ones, relatively often, so it cannot be as bad as it seems, but... this phenomenon does happen more often than I care to admit. Which sometimes leads me to quickly reship and search for a fight.

I was bouncing around the warzone in my trusty Rifter, having just had yet another Imperial Navy Slicer decline to engage me in Lulm, when, in Bosboger, I saw a Jaguar on scan. As I was nearing the end of my roam, I decided to run to Abudban, grab my 400 plate Wolf, and have a go.

I have long suspected that unbonused 200 mm guns, with no tracking mods, would be bad news, and the Wolf's lack of a web would only make this worse. My Wolf was fit with 200s and a rocket launcher, a B-Type Afterburner and a J5B Scrambler, and 400 plate, Damage Control II, Gyro II, and an A-type reactive layer, providing me 2191 armor at 54% explosive resist. Not bad at all. My rigs, a T II burst rig and a ancillary current router, to get all of this to fit... and herein lies the problem. (( Dumb gun/rig choice was dumb.))

The Jaguar pilot is an older pilot, with a rather impressive record of nearly 10:1 according to the records I saw. We engaged, and I quickly determined he was flying a nasty dual-MSE fit, with AB, scram, neutralizer, and 150s. He began to orbit quickly, and opened fire, and I quickly returned fire, as one of the best fights I have had in a long time commenced.

The Jaguar's 150s, better tank, and higher speed all combined to slowly whittle my non-regenerative tank down, while my 200s experienced severe tracking issues. I was flying manually,  doing my best to turn with him, which did serve to lower transversal and allow me to get some fair hits. His 150s, however, were simply able to track better, as when I lowered my transversal, I also lowered his.

[ 2011.08.10 10:31:18 ] (combat) <color=0xffbb6600>150mm Light AutoCannon II belonging to Turbular Knight heavily hits you, inflicting 226.6 damage.
[ 2011.08.10 10:31:18 ] (notify) Turbular Knight (Jaguar) has started trying to warp scramble you!
[ 2011.08.10 10:31:20 ] (combat) <color=0xffbbbb00>Your group of 200mm AutoCannon II hits Turbular Knight (Jaguar), doing 142.1 damage.
[ 2011.08.10 10:31:20 ] (combat) <color=0xffbb6600>150mm Light AutoCannon II belonging to Turbular Knight barely scratches you, causing 77.2 damage.
[ 2011.08.10 10:31:20 ] (notify) You have started trying to warp scramble Turbular Knight (Jaguar).
[ 2011.08.10 10:31:22 ] (combat) <color=0xffbbbb00>Your group of 200mm AutoCannon II lightly hits Turbular Knight (Jaguar), doing 113.6 damage.
[ 2011.08.10 10:31:22 ] (combat) <color=0xffbb6600>150mm Light AutoCannon II belonging to Turbular Knight hits you, doing 182.3 damage.
[ 2011.08.10 10:31:24 ] (combat) <color=0xffbbbb00>Your Caldari Navy Phalanx Rocket hits Turbular Knight (Jaguar), doing 6.3 damage.
[ 2011.08.10 10:31:24 ] (combat) <color=0xffbb6600>150mm Light AutoCannon II belonging to Turbular Knight barely scratches you, causing 48.5 damage.
[ 2011.08.10 10:31:24 ] (combat) <color=0xffbbbb00>Your group of 200mm AutoCannon II barely scratches Turbular Knight (Jaguar), causing 28.7 damage.
[ 2011.08.10 10:31:26 ] (combat) <color=0xffbb6600>150mm Light AutoCannon II belonging to Turbular Knight heavily hits you, inflicting 199.4 damage.
[ 2011.08.10 10:31:26 ] (combat) <color=0xffbbbb00>Your group of 200mm AutoCannon II hits Turbular Knight (Jaguar), doing 184.4 damage.
[ 2011.08.10 10:31:27 ] (combat) <color=0xffbb6600>150mm Light AutoCannon II belonging to Turbular Knight barely scratches you, causing 108.8 damage.
[ 2011.08.10 10:31:28 ] (combat) <color=0xffbbbb00>Your Caldari Navy Phalanx Rocket hits Turbular Knight (Jaguar), doing 6.3 damage.
[ 2011.08.10 10:31:28 ] (combat) <color=0xffbbbb00>Your group of 200mm AutoCannon II hits Turbular Knight (Jaguar), doing 158.6 damage

As you can see, my damage and hits were not bad early on, but already, due to tracking, my damage was lower than his. At this point in the fight, we found a steady state orbit, where our hit quality both suffered, but the fact that his dual MSE tank regens, while my plate does not, allowed him to outlast me... especially when my tracking really began to work in his favor.

[ 2011.08.10 10:31:40 ] (combat) <color=0xffbb6600>150mm Light AutoCannon II belonging to Turbular Knight barely scratches you, causing 57.9 damage.
[ 2011.08.10 10:31:41 ] (combat) <color=0xffbbbb00>Your group of 200mm AutoCannon II barely scratches Turbular Knight (Jaguar), causing 119.8 damage.
[ 2011.08.10 10:31:42 ] (combat) <color=0xffbb6600>150mm Light AutoCannon II belonging to Turbular Knight barely scratches you, causing 115.8 damage.
[ 2011.08.10 10:31:43 ] (combat) <color=0xffbbbb00>Your group of 200mm AutoCannon II barely scratches Turbular Knight (Jaguar), causing 49.3 damage.
[ 2011.08.10 10:31:44 ] (combat) <color=0xffbbbb00>Your Caldari Navy Phalanx Rocket hits Turbular Knight (Jaguar), doing 5.8 damage.
[ 2011.08.10 10:31:44 ] (combat) <color=0xffbb6600>150mm Light AutoCannon II belonging to Turbular Knight hits you, doing 169.7 damage.
[ 2011.08.10 10:31:45 ] (combat) <color=0xffbbbb00>Your group of 200mm AutoCannon II barely scratches Turbular Knight (Jaguar), causing 125.0 damage.
[ 2011.08.10 10:31:45 ] (combat) <color=0xffbb6600>150mm Light AutoCannon II belonging to Turbular Knight barely scratches you, causing 91.9 damage.
[ 2011.08.10 10:31:47 ] (combat) <color=0xffbb6600>150mm Light AutoCannon II belonging to Turbular Knight barely scratches you, causing 83.5 damage.
[ 2011.08.10 10:31:47 ] (combat) Your group of 200mm AutoCannon II misses Turbular Knight (Jaguar) completely.
[ 2011.08.10 10:31:48 ] (combat) <color=0xffbbbb00>Your Caldari Navy Phalanx Rocket hits Turbular Knight (Jaguar), doing 5.5 damage.
[ 2011.08.10 10:31:49 ] (combat) <color=0xffbb6600>150mm Light AutoCannon II belonging to Turbular Knight barely scratches you, causing 72.2 damage.
[ 2011.08.10 10:31:49 ] (combat) Your group of 200mm AutoCannon II misses Turbular Knight (Jaguar) completely.
[ 2011.08.10 10:31:51 ] (combat) <color=0xffbb6600>150mm Light AutoCannon II belonging to Turbular Knight heavily hits you, inflicting 173.1 damage.
[ 2011.08.10 10:31:51 ] (combat) Your group of 200mm AutoCannon II misses Turbular Knight (Jaguar) completely.

Those missed hits? Yep. That is likely what cost me the fight. Add in the fact that my rockets were doing next to nothing for me (a neut would have served me far better) and this combined to result in my Wolf going down with him at half armor.

Well, any fight we can walk away from, having learned something, is a good one, right? Well, I have said before that unbonused 200s track horribly, but, me being a little cocky at times, figured “well, I can make some manual tweaks and land good hits”. Yeah. Dumb.

Is the Wolf capable of beating this Jaguar? Well, I think so, yes. The 400 plate fit, with the A-type reactive plating, 150s, and a neut, would have had as much tank, landed more consistent DPS, and would have been neuting the whole time... shutting his AB down, however briefly, would have allowed me time to land some rather solid hits, pull a bit of range. The 200 AC/400 plate fit requires that a rig slot be sacrificed for a current router rig. The 150 fit can run either an ambit or a metastasis rig in that slot, adding to applied DPS.

With better tracking.

[ 2011.08.10 10:32:29 ] (combat) <color=0xffbbbb00>Your group of 200mm AutoCannon II barely scratches Turbular Knight (Jaguar), causing 26.2 damage.
[ 2011.08.10 10:32:30 ] (combat) 150mm Light AutoCannon II belonging to Turbular Knight misses you completely.
[ 2011.08.10 10:32:31 ] (combat) <color=0xffbbbb00>Your group of 200mm AutoCannon II barely scratches Turbular Knight (Jaguar), causing 42.9 damage.
[ 2011.08.10 10:32:32 ] (combat) <color=0xffbbbb00>Your Caldari Navy Phalanx Rocket hits Turbular Knight (Jaguar), doing 6.0 damage.
[ 2011.08.10 10:32:32 ] (combat) <color=0xffbb6600>150mm Light AutoCannon II belonging to Turbular Knight hits you, doing 113.9 damage.
[ 2011.08.10 10:32:33 ] (notify) Ship is out of control

The fight lasted for about 1 min 15 seconds, a long, long time for a frigate fight. The tank on the Wolf, lack of repairer aside, performed quite well. The selection of guns cost me this fight... and a rather expensive loss.

Sometimes, a bad fit is simply a bad fit. This was a bad fit.

Sigh... if only the Wolf didnt look so incredible with those 200s onboard...
Thoughts on the Wolf (( here is where I began my love affair with this ship. You will get a feel for what a long, often misguided process it was.))

I haven't had much flight time the past 2 days, as planetside duties have been taking every stitch of my free time. However, I was able to sit down with a calculator, and, with a little bit of help, managed to find my way through the following information and tests.

For a baseline for our test, I will be using the following fit, as concerns highs, mids, and rigs:

1 Small Projectile Burst Aerator II
1 Small Projectile Metastasis Adjuster I
4 x 200mm Autocannon II
1 x Small Nosferatu II
Gistii B-Type 1 MN Afterburner
J5B Phased Prototype Warp Scrambler

As a baseline, this fit deals 212 DPS (No gyro fitted yet) and moves 1076 M-sec; an actually respectable speed for a Wolf! The trick with the Wolf is those lowslots; Plate? Active? All gank? What size plate? Do I run hardeners?

Lets try it all. And for every test, we will focus on the wolf's weakness in combat, that cursed explosive resist hole.

Fit 1 Lows:
Small Armor Repairer II
Gyrostabilizer II
200 mm Rolled Tungsten Plates
Pseudoelectron Containment Field I (fitting issues)

Ok. That gyro takes our DPS to 257, a huge increase really; 21% over the 212 baseline with 200s and a T2 burst rig. I have a strong dislike of plates on a Wolf, for 2 reasons....

Reason 1, the Wolf is slow. Plate makes it slower.

Reason 2, we cannot repair between fights, or during prolonged fights. A SAR allows us to do both.

(( The above two concerns NEVER changed, and are how my development progressed in the direction it did))

Sadly, some sort of plate seems to be just necessary. No way around it.

In the interest of completeness, I ran my AB, scram, and  overheated repper on a rat until I ran out of cap (No nos activated) and my repper cycles 13 times until I cap out, for a total armor repped amount of 1040 points, or the equivalent of a 400 mm RTP; this (Theoretically) blows the 200mm RTP out of the water. With a cycle time of 4.08 seconds, this means I repped for 53.04 seconds before capping out.

Not bad. Now, many AF and faction frig fights will last this long, except vs things blasting away at our exp resist hole; we will look at that momentarily.

I am using that as a bare-bones baseline, of the SAR being able to rep 1040 HP. That isn't EHP, that is raw armor amount; we haven't figured in resists yet. However, that already beats the bonus of a 200mm RTP, and is quite competitive with a 400mm RPT, with 2 caveats.

1) We are not being neuted and

2) We are not fighting something with high alpha.

Well, let me comment here. I almost never, as in, less than 10% of the time, encounter neuts on other frigs and AFs, and when I DO, its on damn Jaguars. I haven't seen another Wolf neut me yet. And we WILL be packing a nos on any Active fit, right... right?

And on 2... its a Wolf. You shouldn't be attacking an artillery cane in it anyway unless you BEGIN in scram range.

So. A SAR is obviously better than a 200 RTP fit... in theory. A 200 RPT drops our speed to 1029 msec, still decent for a Wolf, but our align time now begins to suffer. A Wolf has no web, so has difficulty dictating the terms of a fight. Well, there is simply nothing we can do about that, until CONCORD decides to allow the Sebiestor engineers to weld a third midslot on the thing. That doesn't seem likely.

The lovely falloff bonus of our Wolf, combined with the high DPS and alpha of 200s, means that fighting on the edge of web range is not as huge a drawback as it may seem. Sure, yes, the other person can run away if they have a web. Often, people will burn away as fast as they can, once they realize they are losing... placing them at 0 transversal and well within our kicking distance as they do. I have seen frigates evaporate in 1-2 shots from a Wolf when they do this.

This leaves a comparison with a 400 plate fit versus our SAR fit. Lets do it!

First, unless you have stupid fitting skills AND run a fitting rig, you cannot get 200s onto a 400 plate Wolf. It just wont happen. So, its 150s and a rocket, with a gyro, dealing some nasty DPS; about 256, or 1 less than we do with a gyro. Also, let's of course assume we are both shooting Fusion and Phalanx rockets at one another, and just calculate it as pure EXP damage. With the expected DCU II, Adaptive Nano Plating II, and 400mm Plate on that Wolf, it has a 37% EXP Resist, and 2191 Armor amount.

Our little Wolf has no plate! It has only 879 Armor at 23.5% EXP Resist. Ack! We can see where this goes; At our resist, that Wolf deals an effective 196 DPS to us; our little repper will make no difference in this fight. We deal 162 DPS, assuming perfect hit quality. It will take us about 13.5 seconds to beat that armor, while he chews through ours in a mere 4.48 seconds, barely enough for one repair cycle. Ouch! Well, we obviously don't want to do this, do we?

This is a worst-case scenario; an enemy Wolf will do more raw-explosive based DPS than anything else we may face. But, we have a few advantages; we are faster, we have our nos and repper, and... oh! We have an empty low-slot! We only have DCU II, Gyro II, and Small Armor Repairer II fitted so far... what can we do?

Enter the Centii A-type Reactive plating. At a mere 4m isk each, and with an explosive bonus of 35.25% for a mere 1 PG, this is an awesome little part. This takes our little Wolf's Explosive resistance up to a more respectable 54.5%. Now, lets do some math.

(( And here is the first time I seriously considered a 4-lowslot resist active tank.))

Applied DPS = Raw DPS - % lost to resists vs specific damage type. So, DPS = 256 – (256 * .545) which equals a much more reasonable 116 applied DPS. HA! Now, our little Wolf will live for 7.57 seconds. Hrmm... still looks grim. However, that enemy wolf is still melting in the same length of time, 13.5 seconds. Our repairer will probably cycle twice at best, meaning another 160 HP, or perhaps 1.5 seconds, for a lifespan of about 9 seconds before he is through our armor. What can we do, our little SAR Wolf still has no chance, does it?

Well, on paper, no, it certainly does not. What if we lose our Gyro for an Energized Adaptive Nano Membrane II? This gives us 63.6% Explosive resists, as well as helping that kinectic hole, but lowers our DPS significantly, to 212. Lets do the math.

We apply 212 DPS Vs. a 37.5% Resist, for about 133 actual DPS. He is gonna live for 16.47 seconds...

We are going to take 257 DPS vs a 63.6% Resist, for about 93 applied DPS. We have 9.45 seconds. We can now easily expect 2 repper cycles, for 160 more armor, or about 11-ish seconds of armor life. Hrmm... what can we do?

Well, first things first; can that EANM, and put our Gyro back on. We want our lifespans to be as even as possible. With the Gyro II, SAR II, DCU II, and C-type Reactive Membrane, we lasted 9 seconds or so, versus the big plated nastie's 13.5 seconds.

First, our structure. It helps. We can absorb some structure bleed versus our 60% structure resists, which will get us one or two more precious rep cycles.

Second. Transversal. Neither of us will be delivering full DPS. If we are, we are being stupid and sitting still, blasting away at something that will kill us. Our Wolf is nearly 200 msec faster than his, 1079 msec versus 911 msec (A B-type Afterburner will increase his speed to 988, but seriously, who runs faction and deadspace stuff on frigates... well, besides me?)

Transversal lowers our DPS. It also lowers his. It makes the fight last longer. THIS. IS. GOOD.

The longer the fight lasts, the more our Repairer turns the tide, and the less his big plate does. His armor never repairs, never regenerates. If we have max transversal (We are going full speed at our max orbit around him, at 2-2.5k) We will deal 72 dps. He will deal 76, due to the slightly better tracking of his guns.

72 DPS vs 37.5% resist, we deal 45 dps. Ack... gonna be here for 48.6 seconds (We wont cap out!)

76 DPS vs 54.5% resist, he deals 31 dps. Which will take him 28.3 seconds to chew through... and which our repper will cycle 7 times, repairing us for 540 armor... which will take another 17 seconds for him to chew through.

Well, in theory, he still wins! In practice, he may not. Some of those shots will simply miss, prolonging the fight a few more seconds. A few seconds is all we need, for one more rep cycle (Remember our structure?)
Obviously, this gives us a new respect for the 400 plate Wolf, no? However, it is slow... uurgh slow. It has no nos, no repairer, and suffers in longer fights. It suffers more if there is a lot of manuvering involved. We will never maintain total transveral throughout a fight. We will have low transversal at times, high transversal at other times. We want to get close, fast, and orbit. Versus a wolf... versus a Jaguar or Vengeance, who tend to fit webs, well... what can we do?

What if we put that 200 plate in? Well, as much as I hate plates, the Rifter runs one for a reason; it gives us more buffer in case some hero neuts our cap dry, and it does give more armor amount for them to chew their way through. Lets see...

Our wolf; 200 Rolled Tungsten Plate, Gyro II, Small Repairer II, Pseudoelectron DCU, 1535 Armor at
a measley 21.7% resists. The 256 DPS of the 400 plate fit chews on us at 204 effective DPS, back to 7.52 seconds. Our repper cycles twice... so 9 seconds. We still do 257 dps, and still kill him in 13.5 seconds.
The same amount of time... and we die. Now, this is versus only explosive damage. Versus kinectic, EM, and thermal, that plate will help us live a while longer. Penalties of that 200 plate? Our speed drops to 1029 M-sec, and our Align time goes down by a full half-second, from 6.1 to 6.6 seconds.

Not huge, but not changes I am particularly crazy about.

For completeness, let's run a theoretical fight against the other Big Nasty, a Jaguar! That Jag has 150mm Acs, a neut (!), an MSE II, a web, scram, and AB, and a DCU, 2 Gyros, and 2 extender rigs...

It also has 2782 Shield HP at a 54.8% Explosive resist... ungh. It deals 189 DPS, and is almost as fast as us, 1052 msec, plus a web.

Not. Good. At. All.

Even with our higher DPS, this thing is going to be able to neut us, prevent us using any sort of transversal or range advantage, and kill us dead, quite fast. His tank even regenerates on its own!

As much as I HATE to say this... what about that 400 plate fit?

Lets throw a C-type Reactive Layer and that B-type AB on our 400 plate Wolf and see if we can pimpslap that Jaguar?

Wolf; 4 x 150mm Autocannon II, OE-5000 Rocket, Gistii B-type 1 MN Afterburner, Warp Scrambler II, 400 Rolled Tungsten Plate, Damage Control II, Gyrostabilizer II, C-type Reactive membrane, Small Projectile Burst Aereator II, Small Projectile Ambit Extension I. 988 msec, 256 DPS, 2191 Armor at 54.5% EXP resist.
Jaguar; 3 x 150mm Autocannon II, Small Unstable Power Fluctuator, 1 MN Afterburner II, X5 Web, J5B Scram, Medium Shield Extender II, Gyrostabilizer II x 2, F85 Damage control, 2 extender rigs.

189 DPS, 1052 msec, 2782 shields at 54.8% Shield resist.

This is gonna be close.

Jag deals effective 86 DPS to Wolf. Wolf's tank breaks in 25.47 seconds.

Wolf deals an effective 116 DPS to Jag. Jag's tank (without regen!) breaks in 23.98 seconds.

In theory, Wolf will vaporize the Jag... in practice, no, as that Jaguar's shield regen will give him the edge. The Wolf also cannot control the range or the conditions of the fight, especially with a big, fat 400mm plate. The Jag can simply bug out it the fight turns against it.


Looks like the Wolf really, really is the runt of the Minmatar Assault Frigate litter, no matter how bad its bite. Guess I'll go lose the six I have left?

(( Losing those six led me to try the current fit.))

PS. For those interested, the best fits I have found so far have been the 400 plate fit with 150s and a rocket, or the 200/SAR fit with 200s and a nos. B-type AB fits on both, and it helps the Wolf's speed disadvantage tremendously. Not a “Bad” ship, by a long shot.

The Jaguar is simply that good.

EDIT: Yep, every stitch of this is pure theorycrafting, but it does highlight some of the weaknesses that a Wolf faces, at least versus sensible dogfighting enemy frigates. In practice, the 200 / SAR wolf does relatively well, and my tests of the 400 plate wolf have been decent, at least against things that cant rep or easily dictate range.
(( The next several posts appeared over the span of several months on Electus Matari's forums. I have decided to move them here, and continue my Losec Diary publically. So, while they show as all being posted at once, this is a development over the span of about six months that I, and Ava, underwent. ))

The Fight of my Life

So, today started out dull... a rather unproductive roam with Kalaratiri and Kikia Truzhari, 2 women who I fly with often. Kala has been my wingmate more times than anyone else I know, and is a phenomenal pilot. Kikia is a fast learner, takes initiative, and knows when to ask questions. She will make an excellent pilot, I think.
Great people to spend some time with, and kind of nice to have a quiet, undisturbed trip.

I returned to Rens and decided to play with the Wolf again. Finally, I believe I have found a fit that is about as good as it can get, and that has amazing DPS, solid tank, and decent speed. (( Watch the wolf evolve for me!))

[Wolf, New Setup 1]
Damage Control II
Adaptive Nano Plating II
400mm Reinforced Rolled Tungsten Plates I
Gyrostabilizer II
Gistii B-Type 1MN Afterburner
J5b Phased Prototype Warp Scrambler I
200mm AutoCannon II, Republic Fleet EMP S
200mm AutoCannon II, Republic Fleet EMP S
'Malkuth' Rocket Launcher I, Caldari Navy Gremlin Rocket
200mm AutoCannon II, Republic Fleet EMP S
200mm AutoCannon II, Republic Fleet EMP S
Small Ancillary Current Router I
Small Projectile Burst Aerator II

TIGHT fit. 156 out of 156.25 CPU, 65.86 out of 66 Grid. But, oh, the numbers... 988 speed, 263 dps at .8 + 9k, and 9947 EHP. It may have some tracking issues with fast close orbiters, but those ships tend to be flimsy, and a bit of manual jinking can easily get me hits. With my skills and implants, 276 dps, 1050 speed. All with a stout tank, good range. As good as I believe the Wolf can get. You CAN fit 150s and a neut, if you use a coreli C-type AB, and then dont need the ACR; if you have Projectile Rigging 5, you can get an ambit in there, or use that second rig slot for whatever you wish.

I head to Bosboger, to test my new baby, and a local pirate I have encountered a few times hails me, and asks if i wish to fight his Thrasher. I say sure... we agree to head to the sun.

He lands 40k from me and approaches. Not knowing his fit, I load Phased Plasma and Foxfires, and approach at top speed... if he is MWD fit, I want inertia to get me as close as possible, to land my scram. No need; he is AC fit, shield tanked. I orbit fast, tight, and watch in amazement as his Thrasher explodes with my Wolf at 90% armor. He folded in about 15 seconds. I fired 8 rounds. I scoop the loot, a favorable drop, and wait out my GCC.

The pirate and a friend, both pilots who have been licensed for 8-9 months, ask me to get my Rifter, as they would like to keep it cheap. I say sure, and go to Rens to get the same one I used to kill the Slicer and friend. I return to Bosboger... and to the fight of my life.

They want me to fight them BOTH, at the same time.

I size them up, size up my options. Odds are, my fit is better, my skills and implants are better, and I am, based on the fact his Thrasher was loaded with barrage, much, much more experienced than them. I accept, load RF fusion and Phalanx rockets, and head to the meeting spot, pre-heating my web, scram, repper, and guns. I immediately align to a celestial and burn, wanting to NOT have them both land on top of me.

One lands and approaches, and a moment later, the second arrives. Ok... size them up. One is at 30k, one at 22.... I will have a few seconds...

I target the closest one, webbing him at 13k, and firing, getting him to half shields before he webs me back. Its on. I heat my guns, frantically turning to keep as much range as possible from the other Rifter for as long as I can. He goes down as I am in low armor, my repper screaming in relief as the incoming DPS is cut in half.

I open fire on the second and immediately burn close, wanting to just burn him down with what I hope is much higher DPS than he is packing, and frantically trying to keep scram and web on, and cycle my repper whenever the cap allows (( I was FRANTICALLY clicking my repper, as I was in half structure long before he hit half armor )). I get off a rep cycle... his armor is low. Another rep cycle... oh, Spirits, my structure... the warning siren... Another cycle.... he hits structure.... another cycle....

And he explodes! I scoop the loot and safespot, running my repper to repair my totally evaporated armor. My ship is at 10% structure... but, I just won a hell of a fight, yet another 2 on 1. This was my fourth such engagement in the past 4 days.

And, for fun... a pic of my poor Rifter. Shoulda took it before I repped my armor.

Best fight of my career. Too bad the 2nd Rifter didnt drop  that B-Type Afterburner!!

(( First fight in 2 years my hands have shaken afterwards! ))

EDIT: That Rifter, the one that killed the Slicer, is now 6 and 0. I believe this one deserves to be retired, after pulling off the impossible, TWICE!
A tale of 2 Rifters / The Day of the Jaguar

I wake up in Auga, grab a quick plate from a rather greasy-spoonish sort of diner, and jump in my Rifter. Preflight run... all systems go, turret 2 still has some heat damage.

Bah. No worry.

I undock and bounce around a while, heading to Eszur and through the Frerstorn pocket, where my good friends from Murie inform me that all is quiet and secure. I head back home, and on my way out, in Bosboger, I see a name I know in my local log;

Miura Bull.

I pick him up on scan quickly and we play tag a bit, warping from belt to planet to belt, before we finally decided that it was time to dance. I saw that insane rep rate, did some quick calculations, and took range; Dual-rep Rifter. No web. 150s. No Rocket.

I went to 7k and smiled as his Rifter crumbled. I managed to catch the pod (Which I have come to regret.. Sorry, Miura!) and off I went, to dock at the Tribal Lib station in Abudban, drop my loot, and rep some heat damage. Good fight, good kill. My rifter never went below 75% armor. For those that do not know him, Miura Bull is the CEO and head honcho of Black Rebel Rifter Club, an all around great guy, and an amazing Rifter jock. Great people, r1fta... always up for a fight!

I decide to roam the Molden Heath loop, and chase some pirates instead of the Amarr for a bit, to let Heimatar calm down. One jump in, I encounter another man, another name... do I know him?

Alex Medvedov?

Bah. We ask each other at almost exactly the same time if we want to fight one another, Jaguar on Jaguar, Pirate on ex-pirate. A celestial is chosen, and the fight is on. I watch in horror as my tank crumbles, my Jaguar disintegrates just as he dips into armor, and warp my pod to safety. We chat some, and he recommends I make some changes to the ship.

I take this man's advice, and do what he says. I swap my fit around some; I stay with the 150s and small neut, my Tech II Afterburner, Tech II Med Shield Extender, web, and scram mids. My lows, however, I purchase a model F85 Damage Control Unit, as it is much easier on the ship's CPU, and fit dual Gyrostabilizers. 2 small shield extender rigs, load Plasma, and off I go.

Back to Heimatar.

I play with a member of PIE in a Slicer, who's ship hit structure in 2 shots once i finally caught him at a gate, but who managed to jump before shot 3.  Bah! Undeterred, I head to Siseide, where I see... another member of Black Rebel Rifter Club.

In a Jaguar.

In a belt.

Its go time! I warp in, land 30k away, and we size one another up, staying at 15-16k from one another and taking fleeting shots. Finally, I decide enough is enough, and burn in, heating my guns, webbing, scramming, neuting, and shutting down my AB, betting that I will not need it, easily maintaining a leisurely 3k orbit and hitting hard, every shot. Perfect distance, perfect transversal.

His ship evaporates to the RF Fusion in my overheated guns, and I scoop the loot and safespot, waiting out my GCC. I then notice my ship never dipped below 40% shields.

He was running my old fit.

Thank you, Alex Medvedov. Best Jaguar loss ever, because it taught me a lot. One often  learns more from losing a ship, than by killing one.

I believe its time for a beer at the SA.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

A Girl and her Rifter

This will be a small diary/guide, to the things I learned, and am learning, often the hard way, by losing ships in losec while fighting pirates and members of the Amarrian militia.

First, let me start off by talking about my ship, the Rifter. I have been using this ship frequently for combat, for about the past 2 years, and it has rather become my "go-to" for my losec prowls. It is fast, it does good damage, and most importantly, it is cheap... which is good.

I lose a lot of Rifters.

I have had a bad string the last few days, both due to my choice of targets, ie, very experienced Frigate pilot pirates, and my fit. I had been running 150s for so long on Jaguars, that I simply stuck with them, and my beloved neutralizer, on my rifters. Then I noticed I keep getting killed by similar fits;

200mm guns, rocket launcher, AB/scram/web, and active tank. Yep, more or less, the old standard.

I fit one up, running 3 200mm Tech II Acs, a Meta 3 rocket launcher, an AB, web, and scram, and a 200 plate, damage control, and a Small Armor Repairer II. For rigs, I selected my beloved burst rig and an ambit, and one small change; a explosive resist rig.

The 200mms have both more falloff and a higher DPS, and since CONCORD has changed the regulations governing rocket motors, the changes have actually made a 30% or so increase in my applied DPS, with better range. So, those fights I have been losing, with the other guy in half structure.... yeah.

I jumped in my new Rifter and headed to the Warzone, via Bosboger and Amamake; both quiet. Dal, Vard, and Siseide were very blue, and as I entered Hofjalgund, I encountered a rather large Murientor Tribe gang, who informed me that there was little to see further up the pipe.

At that moment, two amarrians, a Rifter and an Imperial Navy Slicer, ran their gatecamp and headed into Eszur. I informed Muri I was giving chase, they wished me well, and into Eszur I went.

I jumped into system and immediately see several open Plexes. As Eszur is a nice, small system, I narrow them down... to a nearby standard complex. Crap, I think. I have no MWD... well, lets see if they wish to fight, and not run.

I warp to the gate, and am immediately targeted and fired upon by the Rifter. Oh! I scram, web, engage, shutting his MWD down and crumpling his rather weak tank, of one SMALL shield extender as shown here My damage was minimal, repaired by a couple cycles of my SAR. As I scoop the loot, the Slicer pilot calls me to planet III.

Deep breath, and into warp I go.

The slicer pilot begins a high speed orbit, moving almost 4k/sec, as I open fire and take GCC. Now, I have a problem. MWDing slicer versus AB fit rifter. Ok, i have done this before, several times, with Stabbers... this cant be much harder.

I burn at high speed, heating my AB, directly opposite her path, pulling her orbit into an ellipse, and actually slipping out of her point range for a moment. I then peek at the sky, estimate where she will be in 3-4 seconds as she burns back toward me, and make my turn. I heated my web and scram, but... for no reason.

She goes from over 20k range, to 3k, within about 3 seconds. Scram and web landed, repper working hard, and off I go, holding her at 6-7k range and pounding away with fusion. (( I had fusion and phalanx rockets loaded for the whole fight )). Cap is empty, I shut my AB off, madly attempting to cycle the SAR whenever enough cap is available... and the slicer pops, dropping some shinies. Loot scooped, and off i go, to wait out my GCC and relax.

Yep. I just prevented an attack on Eszur, and broke a horrid string of losses. At least against this pair, the new Rifter fit had worked simply splendidly.

Tired, I head home, to Auga, to crash in a Militia-operated hostel and get a bite to eat.

There would be plenty to do tomorrow