How not to kite:
So, I’ve got this kite fit for a Merlin that I’ve been wanting to test for quite a while. I’ve lost the setup a few times due to warping in on blaster boats sitting in FW complexes and simply dying before even being able to pull range. This time though, I really wanted to give the fit a proper test and went looking for targets it could take down. I was quite confident that it could beat a faction frigate like a Republic Fleet Firetail if flown properly, I just need to be careful not to land on top of people. I was also expecting it to be rather easy to find people willing to fight it, which might be true any other day, but this particular day everything seemed to run from me, even the faction frigates.
Eventually I found a Firetail on one of the plexes in Isbrabata and after a gentle dance bouncing between a few celestials we eventually end up on grid together but about 100km apart. I started to aproach and so did the Firetail pilot. I guess I should have expected something to be wrong but I was just so excited to finally get a fight. Once I had range I started unloading my Caldari Navy Thorium rounds, activated my disruptor and overheated my webs in order to be able to keep him at range as soon as he began to come close. It didn’t take long before I was in my pod, in warp to some random planet in system. The bastard was fit with artillery cannons and I hadn’t even concidered the possibility. The pilot was kind enough to remind me that you can check out the weaponry of your opponent by simply looking at their ship, something that had completely slipped my mind.
After that loss (which actually was my 3rd kite Merlin loss without having gotten a single kill with the setup) I decided to bring out my trusty Condor instead. I roamed about for a while, got myself a pair of kills and started to feel good about myself again when I went into Isbrabata to see what I could find this time around.
The Firetail pilot was still there, in the same ship and I figured since I knew he used arties and my Condor had a tracking disruptor he would be easy prey. I warped in on him, landed way too close for my own liking and started to pull range. As soon as he got me locked I was scramed which shut off my MWD. I was scared to hell and started trying to slingshot my way out of there. After a lot of spam on the warp button, and my ship being damaged far into hull I managed to warp to the sun. I draw a deep breath, sigh with relief and give the pilot a “GF!” in local and express my surprise of how he had changed his setup to a close range one.
That was a very stupid thing to do because while typing I didn’t realize that he had followed me in warp and before I even registered that he was on grid he had already started locking me. My ship blew up very quickly and I hardly had selected a celestial before my pod went up in flames as well. I felt very stupid indeed.
After a quick second chat with the pilot it seems that he hadn’t changed to a short range setup at all but that he had a scram on his artillery boat. I found it strange, but then I’ve never flown a firetail myself and only assumed that you want to use autocannons on them.
Lessons learned: Never expect to know how people fly ships you haven’t tried, and never type in local until your ship is safe.