The rail guns! They do nothing!
Moa for the Money
After losing my shiny new Caracal, I decided that maybe I should try the Moa instead when it came to my first level II missions.
The Moa has hard points for rail guns. I like rail guns. Aside from just the name, which is cool in and of itself… not quite up there with “saturation bombing” or “Hemi ‘Cuda,” but in the neighborhood… I am used to them. I have had good results with them. I have a lot of my skill points tied up in gunnery related skills.
My Cormorant mounted a standard missile launcher and six 75mm rail guns. On level I missions I found that most of the ships I targeted did not stay alive long enough for me to activate all six guns, much less the missile launcher.
I rather hoped that things would carry on as before with the Moa. I couldn’t mount six rail guns, but I could get three 250mm rail guns and two assault missile launchers hooked up.
I went to find Pukka Shotsu in the Vuorrassi system to pick up my first level II mission.
Illegal Activity (1 of 3): Blow up some ships, loot the wrecks, bring back one specific thing.
Just my sort of thing. Off I went.
After warping in, I faced about 8 Gallente ships in the frigate/destroyer size range, including what I took to be a pair of electronics warfare ships that immediately laid a dampening field down on me that reduced speed.
So, sitting there, those ships seemed to be the obvious target.
Lock on! Open fire!
And… uh… kill something… some day….
My bloodclaw missiles were hitting home, though not doing all that much damage. And the rail guns. The bulk or my offensive armament.
Miss. Miss. Miss. Miss. Miss.
Meanwhile this mass of ships was not missing very often at all. When my shields got low, despite a booster, an extender, and an invulnerability field, I warped for a station.
I docked then came back out, reloaded, and headed back for a second round with the same plan. Same result.
I swapped out the 250mm rail guns for a set of Dual 150 mm rail guns I had sitting in storage in the hopes that they might track faster. I warped in. The failed to cause any damage either.
I docked and then warped back in again, going for different targets. My missiles managed to knock off an Atron and damage a soldier, but I still had to run for it.
I asked Potshot to get out his brand new Cormorant destroyer for support. We ganged up and he headed my way while I popped in and out to try to thin down the odds.
Unfortunately, I was warping out of the hornet’s nest at the moment he called “incoming” and warped in.
His Cormorant… his uninsured Cormorant… went poof in about as long as it took that furball of ships to lock on and fire.
I finally said screw it. If missiles seem to be doing all the damage, then missiles it shall be.
I headed back to our HQ and bought a Caracal.
I stripped off the fittings from the Moa, attached what I could to the Caracal, picked up three more assault missile launchers and a mix of missiles (bloodclaws and flamebursts), and headed back.
The Caracal swept all before it.
There is actually something quite inspiring seeing that oddly symmetrical (for the Caldari) cruiser ripple off a full salvo of missiles, the bright spark of their motors flying in trail to their target.
All opposing ships went down. I even killed some Gallente miners just to put the boot in.
I looted the Gallente Navy Officer’s ship that spawns after you kill enough of the first force. It held the item that I had to turn in to complete the mission.
I warped back to Pukka and turned in the mission (as a gang, so Potshot got some of the reward).
Superficial Lesson Learned
Sleek ships named after African predators: Good
Caracal on the hunt – Photo Credit: Nick and Melissa Baker
Awkward looking ships named after extinct flightless birds: Bad
Moas being picked on by a Gallente hawk – Artwork: John Megahan