I met corpmate, Flies Incandenza, in Villore for some PvPing. He's actually quite good, and is soon to be joining The Tuskers. So, who better to practice with and get some tips from. I was hoping for at least two kills. It ended up being completely embarrassing.
(You can click each Tristan header for the respective killmail.)
Here I used the same fit I've been using for the last five Tristans. It's a good baseline, I figure. From this fit I can tweak. I don't even think I get him below 50% armour.
I decided I'd give a Small Armor Repairer II a try. I drop the 200mm Rolled Tungsten for it. (Probably should have dropped the Adaptive Nano Plating II, instead, though I don't think it would have made much of a difference.) I fare even worse in this configuration. Everything I've been taught up to this point has informed me that active repping is for PvE, passive repping is for PvP. Yet, so many people seem to use Small Armor Repairer modules on their armour-tanked frigates.
For the hell of it I decide to use an ECM Burst II. With this fit, I'm just hoping to confuse Mr. Incandenza. Maybe he won't notice his target lock has dropped for a good ten seconds. Not to be the case. Flies is on the ball. The ECM Burst II cycles extremely slowly, so do not get a second chance to drop his target lock before he sends the magic signal that tells my ship it is time to eject the pod.
The 125mm Railgun IIs are not doing enough damage. So I switch to Light Neutron Blaster IIs using Null S ammo. My optimal is down to 1.4km (less than half of what it is with the rails.) I never get into range for more than a moment or three. At some point during the fight, I try to slingshot Flies (I turn 180 degrees, fly out beyond his web range, then immediately turn, burn back, hoping to shoot into my optimal.) It works briefly. But it isn't enough.
I decide to stick with the previous fit again. If I can get into range, this has to be the winning combination. Since I know he's warping to our combat area at zero, I decide to do the same. At least I'll start the fight at under my optimal. He moves faster than I do, each of us webbed. So it doesn't take long before he's outside my optimal, then outside my first falloff. I have to resort to slingshotting him again. He's more prepared for it this time. I'm getting used to this final result. Being despondent might be my lot in life when it comes to PvP. I imagine that my one kill, four days ago, might be my last.
There were occasional mistakes made. Once, forgot to web him entirely. Another time, forgot to sick my single drone on him. Even with the odd silly mistakes, they were not the difference between winning and losing. The fights where I didn't make any human error, I never came close to winning.
I have an approximate 1.5M SP advantage on him in the Gunnery skills area (my 3M SP to his 1.5M SP). So a tad frustrating that it didn't seem to give me the advantage I was hoping for.
What did I learn?
I learned that I can't beat Flies armor tank. I learned some stuff about overheating. The first fight I waited 6-10 seconds before starting to overheat weapons. I learned that in frigate fights, you should start overheating ASAP; it takes awhile before the modules burn out, usually longer to burn out than a frigate fight lasts.
I also learned that I can keep within proper weapon range with the railgun fit. The Rifter easily dictates range on me when I use the blaster fit. Most frigates seem to have optimal/falloff ranges comparable to my railgun fit. Of course, that is sort of bad, since we're both fighting in our optimals. I should maybe try different railgun ammo that gives me a range of perhaps 16km ... keep the enemy in their second or third falloff, while I'm in my optimal. That, of course, will be very slow, plinky damage, would probably never get through their armor before I run out of ammo, capacitor or patience.
This is Flies standard fit, the fit I went up against five times.
150mm Light AutoCannon II x 3 (Republic Fleet Phased Plasma S)
E5 Prototype Energy Vampire
1MN Afterburner II
Warp Scrambler II
Stasis Webifier II
Damage Control II
Small Armor Repairer II
200mm Reinforced Rolled Tungsten Plates I
Small Projectile Burst Aerator I
Small Projectile Ambit Extension I x 2
Any advice out there?