For those not familiar with the Fireball Rifter Squadron project, here's a chance to play catch up by clicking this link right here. Ok, got it? Yes, a crazy ship to pilot, you need fingers like lightning and a steady nerve as you play the part of frigate necromancer, constantly bringing the little monster back from the dead until your enemy goes pop whilst thinking what the . . . . hell was that!? Or indeed until you burn everything out or you mistime a cap boost or a repper pulse - which in turn usually means you explode.
I undocked in Egghelende solar system with a couple of homeless guys who thought it would be good fun to 'come along for the ride'. When I told them about the possibilities of a sticky end they seemed even more up for it. Strange, maybe they had their eyes on the crates of milk I had on-board?
Anyway, it wasn't long before I spotted a handful of ships on scan, the system seemed quite busy and after sifting through the ships that I didn't fancy locking horns with I spotted a Merlin and eventually narrowed it down to an asteroid field. I also suspected that he was also looking for me and as I landed my suspicions were somewhat confirmed as I was greeted with the prospect of duelling with a pirate from the Fla5hy Red corporation.
The fight was on . . .
My shields quickly disappeared as I tried to gain some range on the Caldari vessel, remembering that I had some Standard Exiles just a button away from being injected into my brain I decided that now was as good a time as any to get my latest fix. The hit was good and I felt a surge as I spun up my overheated armor repairers at the same time spitting hot projectiles at my foe.
We danced around the asteroids in tandem, exchanging blow after blow, keeping range was a little difficult as I was webbed but I managed to stay out of the blasters melting optimal range for the most part, occasionally taking some heavy broadsides my 'reppers' were now whistling and repairing the incoming damage nicely as the Merlin finally succumbed to my own damage, the stricken vessel exploding just as I capped out mid booster reload. With no power for my scrambler I couldn't even attempt to snag the pod as it scurried away.
As I was making my way over to the wreck I noticed a flurry of activity on my overview and seeing some allied battlecruisers of the enemy I had just slain land some twenty clicks away from me, I decided the best course of action was to warp off in the opposite direction, which I did. Good fights were exchanged and glancing down at my almost fried modules, decided the next best plan was a visit to the repair shop.
Repair Bill = 148,595 ISK. Ouch best hide that receipt from the bank manager.
The homeless guys were looking a little white in the face after that last bout of space combat and quite surprisingly didn't vacate the ship after I touched down for repairs. Either that or they were stuck to the inside of the ship.
It is worth noting that after the booster I took during the fight against the Merlin that we were now carrying a Capacitor Capacity Penalty. Not ideal but with a cargo full of cap boosters we could counter the loss in cap by eating more boosters when required. It also explained why I capped out so easily against the Merlin.
Moving on I made my way over to Amamake, where surprisingly there wasn't much in the way of targets so I decided to head on over to the faction warfare hub of Huola where I spotted some activity in the system. After narrowing down a Hawk assault frigate meddling inside a complex I decided to introduce myself. I landed right on top of the Hawk and immediately opened fire on the vessel, the Hawk pilot returned the favour and again it was game on.
There was one problem this time around though, it appeared that this Hawk had an invincibility to the rounds of emp that I was pummelling it with. As my own shields quickly melted, as expected, I fired up the reppers and started the task of repairing the incoming rocket fire that was causing me immense problems. By now the Hawk's shields had withered slightly, but not enough to make me believe that I had a chance of emerging victorious from this duel.
What followed though was an epic period of tanking from the plucky Fireball frenzied Rifter. I think in total I brought Fireball II back from the brink of hull collapse and imminent death on no fewer than four occasions in this dogfight, it did not want to die as it flirted with structure bleeding and chunks of armor disappearing into the void of space. Unfortunately what did want to die was one of my armor repairers, ignoring the alarms that were buzzing on the overheated module it eventually shut itself down with an almighty bang. Down to just the single repper I decided to attempt to burn out of range and make an escape with my tail between my legs. Almost the perfect plan . . . .
A friend of the Hawk in a Daredevil landed on grid and as I was now seriously webbed and taking on heavy hits of blaster fire as well as the incoming rockets, Fireball II fell to its knees, the prey had been caught and the two much stronger frigates feasted on their meal as the now single armor repper Rifter fizzled and popped just as the hull broke off into the night sky.
|Don't cry for Fireball II - it was a Daredevil we had no chance.|
Good fights were exchanged as I made my escape via capsule. The pilots commenting on the plucky Rifter and its 'impressive tank'. Fireball II didn't have much of a long life out in the field but it certainly had a fun one. All round good fun and frolics had been had in the two fights and the legacy was well and truly opened and ready for Fireball III to grab by the horns.
Number of Ships Killed -2 (edited - see comments below)
Number of Pills Popped - 1
Penalties from drug use - 1 (capacitor)
Expensive clones saved - 1
Ship Lifespan - approx 40 minutes.
Number of Homeless passengers survived - 1 (whereabouts unknown)
Number of Homeless people deceased - 1 (fried corpse found clinging to escape capsule entry door)
Cartons of Milk Lost - Thousands. 'Pator Tech School Nursery for Gifted Children' saddened at the loss of their expected delivery.
Stay tuned for part III.