Abaddon vs. Pilgrim – Guess Who Won?
I was running a level 4 mission in my little lowsec system (yes yes I know, don’t run missions in lowsec) when I saw probes on scan. I warped out to see what happened, waited a little, then warped back in to bait the prober. It was a huge mistake (see this post for a more successful bait attempt). Mid-warp, my client disconnected, and when I logged back in, I found my Abaddon scrambled and surrounded by hostile drones. I had landed right on top of a waiting Pilgrim.
Inanamus Zura > 80 mil and u live
Inanamus Zura > otherwise ur in for along fight
00sage00 > done
Inanamus Zura > how about 80 more?
00sage00 > don’t have that much
Panicking, I went against my better judgment and paid the ransom. But the Pilgrim did not let me go. He continued to try to kill me. Cursing, I set my drones on him in a desperate attempt to get free. I temporarily forgot all my piloting skills, which allowed him to kill all but four of my drones (two Hammerheads, two Warriors).
Then I reassessed the situation, recalled my drones, and began managing my (nearly nonexistent) cap. I was not going down without a fight. I attacked his drones, then his ship, and discovered a weakness. He could not ignore my four remaining drones, as I was alternately killing his drones (his only source of DPS) and attacking him (bad for a buffer tank). So every time I put drones out, he had to pull in his medium drones and deploy small ones to kill mine. That, in turn, temporarily took pressure off of my tank. And when he tried to kill my drones, I could simply pull them back in and redeploy so that he had to retarget them.
While engaging in the DroneWars, I discovered another flaw: he was barely short of being able to fully cap me out (post-battle analysis in EFT shows that, with two medium neuts and one small, his Pilgrim drained 78 cap per second, while my Abaddon gained 86 cap per second at peak cap recharge (around 26%)). So I was able to maintain a pattern where I would build up cap to 30%, activate an armor rep cycle, then wait more for my cap to slowly charge back up again. Using this in combination with my drone-fu, I could almost tank his DPS.
Fifteen minutes later, with both of us at 60% armor, he ran out of cap charges and his neuting lightened slightly. Nursing my capacitor, I was able to climb back to 90% armor while simultaneously bringing the Pilgrim down to 40% armor. Twenty-one minutes into the fight, the Pilgrim pilot warped out, leaving a “gf” in local.
I was disappointed, as I had stupidly paid a 80 mil bounty (nearly my entire wallet; I’m poor). But I was also extremely happy – few people get attacked by a Pilgrim and emerge victorious. I learned a lot from the twenty-one minute fight:
- When baiting, don’t underestimate your enemy. It is too easy to get self-confident and careless. I did not think that the prober would be able to find me in under two minutes, so I foolishly stayed in my missioning ship.
- Never pay a ransom. Trustworthiness is a rare commodity in Eve, and even those who are reliable in real life can be utter liars in Eve. Also, do not forget to insure your ship.
- Stay calm and focused. Adrenaline may be exciting, but it is counterproductive and can easily kill you, especially in a close fight. If I had run my rep even one cycle too much or fired my lasers, my cap would have dropped below the peak recharge, allowing the Pilgrim to cap me out. Take a look at this Abaddon, this Armageddon, this Zealot, and this Megathron. All were more cap stable than I was, yet I was able to dry them out with a Arbitrator because they mismanaged their capacitor (and do not forget that not only does the Arbitrator lack a bonus to neuting, but it also cannot fit two med nuets without severely compromising the tank).
- Never give up. People naturally engage in futile actions (shooting the main guns, repping too much and capping out, etc.), especially when their death seems inevitable. Don’t. There are always ways you can fight back.