Moving into battleships
For a while now I’ve been pvping in my beloved caldari Heavy interdictor. One of the reasons for this is because I’ve always felt like a fifth wheel when taking a raven/scorpion into a fleet fight.
Sure, Scorpions are great and I have quite good jamming skills, but in a 100 Vs 100 battleship fleet, a lone scorpion or two won’t make all that much difference and have a tendency to go splat first, they’re also pretty useless in an armour logistics gang due to the lack of low slots. I also just don’t feel right flying a missile ship in a fleet that may engage another battleship fleet at long range. In those circumstances and at 150km+ range, missiles will take up to a minute to reach the target and by then the primary target is very likely dead before any missiles actually hit. And so I’ve resigned myself to being a light/medium support pilot most of the time.
Now, in order to encourage pvping in expensive t2 fit battleships, Mostly Harmless alliance has a very good battleship replacement program on-top of what each of the corporations provide. Basically if you loose a battleship, the corp (well, my corporation in any case) provide you with another for free, and then if the lost ship was fitted according to certain alliance-level specifications, the corporation gets given a fully fitted replacement battleship paid for out of the alliance communal coffers (don’t you just love high-end moon minerals).
In order to feel less useless, I had cross-trained from Caldari to Gallente over the past few months and have been gradually getting my gunnery skills up. I had been reluctant to fly Gallente battleships due to 1) my crappy drone skills 2) my inability to fit T2 weapons, 3) my lack of experience with non-missile ammunition.
On Sunday, I had an impulse. We had a Call to Arms and the request was “LR BS > Logistics > Scouts > other”, there wasn’t even a call for interdictors… so I hardened the F up and decided to fly a battleship.
45 mins to go until the fleet form up I asked in my corp chat if I could possibly purchase a Megathron, I could see there was a spare one in the corp hanger but needed a director to send it my way. After a short while, I received a fully corp-insured Megathron at a slight discount due to my rank in the corporation. I had previously had a whole bunch of T2 fittings shipped up from empire in anticipation of this day. These modules however, had been sitting there collecting veldspar dust in my hanger for about 3 months so I polished them up and fitted them to my new ship.
With 5 minutes to go I ran to get into my pod, throwing a Champaign bottle at the side of my new megathron, christening it “Mr Pew”. I know, it’s unimaginative, it’s all I could think of at the time. I’ll make sure I re-name it “Sir Pewalot (OBE)” when I can use T2 guns.
Then I remembered I needed ammunition… and for the first time ever when choosing ammunition, I was stumped…. I hadn’t really thought this through before. It had somehow seeped into my thick Caldari skull that different ammo types meant different optimal ranges but that’s as far as it went.
After annoying my corp-mates and apologising for being a megathron newbie I got some shadow Iron L and a few thousand t1 iron and uranium rounds and hoped for the best. (mental note: buy all ammo types and check ranges BEFORE getting into a fight, also mental note – make sure you ship extra faction ammunition to 0.0 prior to dominion hitting.).
The fleet turned out to be a POS bashing, which was perfect for me to get used to flying Gallente battleships. Despite the fact I’m lacking t2 weapons, my galente battleship skill is at lvl 4 and I was able to still do respectable damage. It also turned out that it was in a TCF held system in cloud ring. TCF had kindly bubbled all the gates with tech II large bubbles and so my Hictor would have been pretty redundant anyway. And we proceeded to reinforce two evoke POS’s with a combined fleet of 200+ including Mostly Harmless, TCF and Defi4nt battleships, logistics and light support.
It was good introduction to gunships for me. I enjoyed it, although everyone else found it boring. The Evoke POS’s appeared to be the D2 special’s I talked about previously – no guns, all hardners – designed to bore the crap out of the opposing force. Last time we were able to bring in dreadnaughts, and the Pos’s melted in 3 seige cycles, this time we sat there for about an hour even with 200 people pounding away in battleships. Bring on the Dominion changes! Found I was cap stable with 5 out of 7 guns firing which apparently was fairly good. Turned my effects on so that I could get some good shots. I think I could get used to flying a Megathron…..