The only difference between a Basilisk and Guardian is the Guardian's not on fire

10th August 2010 – 5.03 pm

Probes on the directional scanner halts a corporation fleet's Sleeper engagement. The fleet changes from remote-repairing battleships to PvP ships and seeks the source of the scanning probes. A Rifter frigate in the neighbouring system is suggestive but is likely bait. Jumping through to the next system along reveals two battleships lurking, a Dominix and a Rokh, the Rokh activating a smartbomb to try to catch our scout. Our neighbouring system is no longer safe for Sleeper combat and we are not about to engage other capsuleers on their terms. We'll collapse our wormhole to isolate ourselves from this system whilst simultaneously opening up a new opportunity.

Collapsing the wormhole goes smoothly and co-operative scanning finds our new static connection quickly. The neighbouring class 4 system is occupied, with a Chimera carrier in the tower's shields along with a piloted Abaddon battleship. The system itself looks rather bleak, with no anomlies and only two signatures, our K162 wormhole and the system's static wormhole. Finding the exit is unsurprisingly easy. The next system along has a Manticore stealth bomber somewhere, although the bomber returns to our neighbouring C4 system's tower. The dearth of anomalies and threat of our neighbours makes us collapse our wormhole a second time. It's okay, they're like Weebles.

Our third neighbouring class 4 w-space system of the night looks like a better prospect. The system is occupied but only by a mining corporation with eight members. Despite there only being two signatures in the system again—the K162 and the static wormhole—there are sixteen anomalies to blast through. It looks like the miners clear their gravimetric and ladar mining sites but mostly leave the Sleepers alone. They may not actually mind if we come in and help with their Sleeper infestation. The static connection is left unvisited, hopefully meaning that it remains 'closed', and a fleet is reformed for Sleeper combat.

I don't quite believe what I am seeing. Ravens and Drakes and Basilisks, oh my! W-space has gone tospy turvy and supplanted our normal armour-tanking, gun-toting fleet with shield-tanking missile throwers. It's glorious. I am only mildly surprised to see that I can pilot a Basilisk logistics ship and power its shield transfer arrays equally as well I can a Guardian, the armour-based equivalent, making me a natural choice to pilot one of them. An ally in a sister corporation commands the second Basilisk. But for both of us it is our first flight in a shield-repairing logistics ship. 'Don't wait for armour damage now, Penny', I am reminded, as we warp in to our first anomaly. Ooh, good tip.

Whilst shields are clearly superior technology to rely upon than having to clear up scars and craters from armour all the time, the minimal buffer of the shields on an armour-tanked ship have a purpose. The 'watch list' may let logistic pilots see immediately which ships are taking damage, but that extra second granted when the vestigial shields are vapourised gives Guardian pilots more reaction time than their Basilisk counterparts. The Basilisk pilot needs to act instantly to incoming damage, because the first line of defence becomes the only one.

It is not helping that we are flying without ECM support this evening. Normally we have a Scorpion battleship jamming the Sleeper battleships, which greatly reduces the incoming damage to more relaxing levels, and without the Scorpion we Basilisk pilots are having to repair more damage for longer, which shows when four Sleeper battleships warp in. At least we can manage the incoming damage, no ships losing shields and taking armour damage in the first anomaly, or in the second. But on the third my own Basilisk is targeted by the wave of four Sleeper battleships and my shields disappear. But I'm not worried, I know my wingman will recover the situation.

My Basilisk's armour is then quick to disappear, my ship now being held together by little more than rivets and some welding. Another volley and I am down to 27% structure, the Basilisk now resembling a Meccano model. I'm flying Caldari, not Minmatar, for goodness sake. Then my shields rise again, and rapidly. My companion Basilisk pilot was desperately trying to repair my ship but mistakenly had the wrong target selected. On realising this he quickly corrects his targeting, overheats his shield transfer arrays, and brings my Basilisk back to full health. Well, full shields, at least, my armour and structure looking awfully red still. I quite like the flames coming out of my exhaust, though.

I ask if a Guardian could be brought in quickly between anomalies to repair my Basilisk, as another lapse of concentration could easily vapourise my ship. An armour-repairing logistics ship is jumped and warped to our location, also fitted with remote hull repair modules, and my Basilisk is returned to showroom condition, although the small scratch on the hull where the VIN used to be won't buff out for some reason. All is well again.

I certainly understand how the targeting error happened, as I have done it myself. When a logistics ship is capable of targeting ten other ships and all of them require either repairs or energy transfer it can be a bit too easy to forget to switch focus from one ship to another before activating the required module. Indeed, in this first flight of the Basilisks I have already sent an energy and shield transfer to the wrong ship a couple of times. And no harm is done in the end, all ships surviving the combat, and I get to hear the structural integrity warning alarm without then exploding for once.

The Guardian is sent home and our fleet in to another anomaly. A fourth and fifth anomaly are cleared of Sleepers without any cause to panic before it becomes sleepy time in the Penny world. We have had a successful test flight of a shield-tanked, Basilisk-supported fleet, showing that we are capable of flying in such a configuration. If we can add ECM to the fleet it would be even smoother. But, for tonight, the anomalies are salvaged and I go back to the tower to get some sleep.

  1. 4 Responses to “The only difference between a Basilisk and Guardian is the Guardian's not on fire”

  2. What fit are you using on your Basilisk?

    By rantuket on Aug 11, 2010

  3. I think the Basilisk was created and tweaked by our fitting master.

    Large S95a Partial Shield Transporter × 4
    Large Energy Transfer Array II × 2

    Sensor Booster II × 1
    Invulnerability Field II × 1
    10 MN Afterburner II × 1
    'Anointed' I EM Ward Reinforcement × 1
    Large Shield Extender II × 1

    Damage Control II × 1
    Power Diagnostic System II × 1

    Medium Ancillary Current Router I

    By pjharvey on Aug 11, 2010

  4. I am fairly new at the logistic flying.
    But I am picking up, quickly.

    But I do prefer the gardians we have.
    It has a slight margin for error ;o)

    By Stonie Bandit on Aug 12, 2010

  5. Overheating your modules to pull me back from 27% structure was heroic.

    By pjharvey on Aug 12, 2010

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