After the slow night I had Monday night I was struggling to even bother logging in, I was out in Doril and would have to do 11 jumps through highsec to get to the rest of my ships. I did log in the end and drag myself back to Amamake with a bit of the loot that I have had for a while in Curse (Couple of faction MWD/Reppers).
Once I arrived back in Ama, I went out on the usual route in my Hookbill. Essentially trying to get Militia peeps to kill me. After a couple of kills not really worth mentioning I came across the reason I fly dual prop Hookbills in the first place.....Slicers, it also served to demonstrate the difference between a good slicer pilot and a bad slicer pilot.
I have always maintained that player skill trumps SP in pretty much all PvP situations, and that statement is even more relevant in the case of the Slicer. A great slicer pilot is able to kill basically all frigates, regardless of fit, with its brilliant ranged dps even the ones that can catch it have generally taken so much damage that, by the time they do they still can't win the dps race. However, the margin of error when flying one is very slim, if you make a mistake and get scrammed and webbed early you wont survive long.
Last night I engaged 3 different slicers all fit roughly the same way but all piloted differently. I will call these pilots the good, the bad and the lucky.
This was the first Slicer of the evening, landing in the belt where him and his mate in a Harpy were shooting an alliance mates Thrasher. I quickly webbed and scrammed the Harpy to slow him down and allow the Thrasher to catch up with him, whilst I went after the Slicer. Getting to 13km of him I landed the web then I smacked into an asteroid, a tiny little one but apparently I hit where it was when full and bumped off of air, this allowed the Slicer pilot to escape :(.
Warping to an outpost in Vard, I had a Slicer on scan. Once inside I started slowboating towards him, trying to bait him into burning towards me to point me. The reason for this is if he hasn't done this properly an O/H burst of my MWD generally lands me within scram range where the Slicer dies very quickly.
That didn't happen this time, instead the Slicer started burning towards me with his prop mod off, so I did the same thinking he would warp once I get to a certain distance. We eventually reach 25km of each other with me at just under half shields, this however was close enough that I could burn towards him with the mwd on before he has a chance to react and move away. Credit to the pilot I suppose at least he noticed my sudden increase of speed but unfortunately it was far too late and despite my loss of shield so far he went down fast.
There is always one isn't there. Again as before I was warping to a faction plex and according to d-scan this Slicer seemed to be in the plex, just like before. What followed was a catalogue of errors on my behalf and some absolutely nifty piloting by Nortel of Imperial Fedyakin.
I landed on the gate to find the Slicer pilot 11km from me, queue error #1, I didn't have my tackle overheated, had I realised he hadn't entered the plex yet I could have overheated the web prior to landing and this story would be different. Hastily switching on my MWD to burn for him I made error #2 I bumped the gate, this stopped me getting within scram range and again changing the end of this story.After this try as I might I just couldn't coax him into making a mistake, and was resolved to trying to burn myself out of point range. With my ship spewing flames and my hull resting at 66% structure, I managed to break orbit range just long enough to warp out.
This was the closest I have come to losing this ship to a Slicer and also served to show why I fly dual prop. The increased speed I get over the AB fits, means I can escape from situations like 'The Good'. It also gives me the tank that means I can bait people into doing stuff like 'The Bad'.
In Other News
Looking around the blogosphere yesterday I came across this post by Keyanu about how he has recently broken the top 2k mark on Battleclinic. It made me wonder how I have been doing on the BC ranking system. Before I joined Heretics, my main at the time Korg Leaf was ranked somewhere near 11k and Korg Tronix was ranked roughly 2k below him. Since I have joined Heretics and Tronix has become my main I am close to breaking the 3k mark, which means I have gone up roughly 10k places in the last 4 months and I am still going up at a pace of 200-400 places a week (According to the ranking tracker). I have to say despite the problems I have with the points system on BC in general I am quite pleased by this and shows if you want to rise quickly on BC solo in frigates.
Also I am closing in on the 1k kill mark on Tronix and I think I will replace the ship of whoever my last solo kill is, before breaking that barrier.