Battlecruiser vs. NPC battleship

16th January 2009 – 10.21 am

Having interrupted a diplomatic exchange by blowing up one of the emissaries the two factions are rather aggravated. With one diplomatic vessel not even scratched during the attack the other faction is suspicious of their involvement. Now my agent tells me it is time to drive home the wedge between the two factions. We are to accomplish this by directly attacking the previously unscathed diplomat in an act that will in all probability be seen as one of revenge. There's only one problem, the diplomat is in a battleship, although it is the only battleship in the system.

This will be interesting, a battlecruiser versus a battleship. I no doubt need bigger missiles to inflict any significant damage on a battleship, but to fit them I'll also need a battleship myself because of power requirements. I think I will just go out and see what I am up against first, knowing that I am probably underprepared to start with.

Warping in to deadspace shows a handful of cruisers and frigates escorting the battleship. The smaller ships are obviously my first targets, as I will be able to destroy them in short order and reduce the number of threats and incoming damage hopefully to manageable levels. This doesn't stop the battleship from attacking, though, and its cruise missiles make awesome 'crackow' explosions on my shields. A few of frigates explode from my drone fire, as do a couple of cruisers under a barrage of missiles, and then I notice that the cruise missiles also make an awesome explosion when hitting my armour. I am running with thermal and kinetic shield hardeners but am unfamiliar with cruise missiles, so don't know what type of damage the Devastator missiles are inflicting. As I align to a station, and destroy one last frigate and cruiser before warping out, I pull a datasheet to find out that Devastator cruise missiles deal explosive damage.

Back in the station I swap out my thermal hardeners for explosive ones. I also fit a repair module temporarily and pop out of the station to repair the damage to my armour. I activate the hardeners whilst repairing and see I have around 88% explosive damage compensation on the shields, which should mitigate most of the damage from the Devastator missiles. With my armour repaired I swap the module out again before leaving dock and heading back in to deadspace, where the battleship awaits.

Destroying the remaining few escort ships is trivial, particularly now that the cruise missiles aren't bothering my shields. The bad news is that my heavy missiles are bouncing off the shields of the battleship, which is running an active shield tanking set-up. I try to close in with the battleship, hoping to gain some advantage, but it turns and manages to keep station, holding me at optimum range for its cannons. I need more speed.

Warping back to the station I buy and fit a reheat to my Drake, surely giving me enough pace to catch a battleship. Sure enough, back in deadspace with my reheat active I can close in tight with the battleship. I am fast enough that its cannons cannot track me and close enough that its defender missiles cannot destroy the incoming fire. The battleship's shields are slowly but surely being depleted. Running the reheat permanently is chewing through my capacitor, though. Even though I am gradually blasting my way through the shields I cannot sustain reheat for what will be the duration of the battle, and if I deactivate the reheat the battleship will pull away from me, giving its defender missiles the range to work again to reduce my damage and the shield will be boosted back beyond my means to destroy it.

I warp back to the station again, this time to fit a medium energy drain module. I have a spare high slot and although I need to take a shield extender off-line to power the new module my shield has been holding out fine. The cruise missiles are doing minimal damage now I have the appropriate hardeners fitted and the cannons will only trouble me until I get close and fast enough that they can no longer track my ship.

Back in deadspace and thrusting my way on full reheat to the battleship I put the energy drain module to use. It is perfect. The energy being drained from the battleship and added to my own capacitor is more than enough to balance the drain the reheat is putting on my systems, allowing me to sustain this configuration as long as required. Now I just need to get the shields down.

In a brief moment of hope a crack appears in the battleship's armour! The shields were knocked out for the shortest time but it makes me think I can win. But just as soon as the shields are depleted they get boosted back up again and don't look like they will drop a second time. I think it is worth trying different approaches. I load Widowmaker heavy missiles instead of Scourge, but the thermal damage inflicted is considerably less than the kinetic damage of the Scourge.

I wonder if heavy assault missiles would be better, with lesser damage but a higher rate of fire. I buy a set of launchers and some ammunition and when my power plant cannot cope with all seven assault launchers installed I rememeber why I haven't tried them in an active fitting before. I take my second shield extender off-line, but even with six heavy assault launchers and one standard heavy launcher the damage to the battleship's shields is still not enough.

I try Thunderbolt heavy missiles. Even if my intelligence suggests the battleship's armour is resistant to EM damage I only need to get and keep the shields down. An active shield tank won't also be an armour tank, so as long as the shields are down I can take as long as I like chipping away at the armour. It's a good idea, but Thunderbolt missiles do even less damage than Widowmakers. Having already been back-and-forth to the station enough times that the wrecks of the frigates and cruisers have disintegrated I think I may as well try Havoc heavy missiles.

The explosive warheads on the Havoc missiles deal about 10% more damage than my Scourge missiles were doing to the battleship, a good positive change. Having breached the shields already with Scourge I am hopeful that the Havoc missiles will enable me to finish my mission. It takes a while to knock the shields down, but on the second full load of Havoc missiles in my launchers I am hitting the battleship's armour again. This time, the shields stay down, the armour is ablated with little delay and missiles are striking the structure!

The battleship's structure is paper thin in comparison to its shields or armour and barely lasts a couple of salvos. I ready my ship's on-board cameras to capture the impressive moment of my first battleship kill, only to see the most disappointing explosion yet. It was more of a disintegration with no flames at all. But after a long fight and much experimentation I have finally completed my objective: the battleship is destroyed.

Warping my way back to the station I work out my accounts. I spent about 900,000 ISK on modules and ammunition in my defeat of the battleship and stand to make 1.3 million ISK from my agent as a mission reward. That's not too bad and at least I get to keep all the equipment I bought. It also furthers the Caldari agenda, hopefully firmly driving a wedge between the two factions and preventing them from becoming too strong together.

Before I head out of dock again I am going to put a little battleship insignia on my Drake, alongside all the frigate and cruiser marks. This Drake is not to be messed with.

  1. 3 Responses to “Battlecruiser vs. NPC battleship”

  2. Sounds exciting! I'm so glad that there was a favourable outcome. Too bad the explosion of the battleship was rather anti-climatic after all the refitting and running around you did. Would have loved to have seen it! :-)

    - Cheers!

    By Narobi on Jan 17, 2009

  3. Funny how long ago chronicle of past events can still be useful to someone new to the arena of similar events. I just did this mission yesterday! And it was as aggravating as you described it which could not have been described any better than your very detailed account of the mission. Yet I learned quite a bit doing that mission changing out mods as well. In the end got help from a friend in a new Drake that helped to break that tough tank on the flagship battleship. That's one tough and the toughest have seen yet. However reading your account of this mission was much better than I can describe or ever recall in detail. However the wisdom gained reading your chronicled account of this is full of wisdom and learning. Reading old blog entries is as fun as the new ones through new eyes.

    By Ardent Defender on Aug 15, 2010

  4. It's good to know my older writings are still occasionally relevant.

    To fight an NPC battleship these days I would, well, probably just jump in my Tengu and destroy the battleship without breaking a sweat. But that's what eighteen months of skill training can do for a capsuleer.

    By pjharvey on Aug 15, 2010

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