Ok, after flying around with a nice new Taranis (interceptor) setup, I spent a couple of days not having much luck finding anyone. But then I found Servenser and his Rifter sitting in a belt. I decided to engage, and quickly moved in. Unfortunately, he was well equipped to deal with me and my interceptor, and in the space of about 10 seconds, I watched in shock as my shields-armour-hull were whittled down before I had a chance to do a damned thing about it.
With that all too familiar ring in my ears from my exploding ship, I sat there in my pod, shaking my head to try and clear the dizziness, and then I quickly warped away to a safe spot.
The Taranis failed me. I used a setup suggested by my new teacher, Garmon, but it didn't matter. The other guy was better. And it 'only' cost me 22 million ISK (for ship and equipment) to realise there was no point spending so much money on failures.
So after dying to Servenser and his friend, Taranis Sinarat in a Manticore, I went back and jumped into 'Cherie', my trusty Thorax, which at half the price of an interceptor, is much better value. I've had 'Cherie' for quite a while now, and she just hasn't failed me. Every time I've got a kill in a Thorax, it's been THIS ship. It's named after an old girlfriend of mine; very beautiful she was....
I joined up with Garmon, and together we went on a bit of a patrol. Me in my cruiser, him in his Rupture. We found a Thrasher (destroyer) roaming the asteroid belts, and after pinpointing which belt he was in, we warped in and engaged.
It was over relatively quickly. My drones and blasters smashing away at the Thrasher, and Garmon's Rupture doing most of the damage, the destroyer wasn't able to last too long. We let the pod get away, and Garmon grabbed the loot while I scooted out to a safe spot.
We continued searching for a while longer, but I was fading fast. It was past my bedtime, so I said farewell for the night and went back to dock.
I was doing some solo hunting tonight, and found a lone Rupture in a belt. I've never fought a Rupture before, so I thought I'd give it a go. I warped in at 100km and sized him up. He didn't move to me, so I activated the MWD and started moving in. I got to within about 50km and activated the target lock. At the same time as I got a lock, he dropped a bunch of ECM drones, waiting for me to come in range. With a sinking heart, I looked at the drones on the overview and knew that to continue fighting would be pointless. Against the ECM drones, I would have some serious issues trying to keep a lock on the guy.
So I immediately started to a warp, following the same trajectory as what I'd been travelling so I could reduce the align time and get out of there fast. Just as the warp engaged, he got a warp disruptor beam on me - I could see it beginning to surround my ship - but he was literally a second too late and I escaped the energy tendrils and warped away from the asteroid belt.
In the local comm channel he squawked his surprise that I must have had warp stabilisers, but I told him I'd already started warping out when he tried disrupting me, so he was too late. Then he questioned why I didn't want to fight, and I told him that it'd be stupid of me to fight when he had all those ECM drones waiting for me.
He expressed his sadness that everyone runs when he drops the drones, and I told him he should have dropped them AFTER I had committed to the fight, then it would've been very different as I wouldn't have been able to warp away.
Long story short, we got to talking and decided to have a duel - first to hull. I wanted to see how my Thorax would actually compare against a Rupture. We used drones, and it wasn't until he was just blasting away at my hull that his ECM drones dropped my lock on him, but even though they were late, he was still at about 80% armour when I was into the structure.
While repairing, I realised I forgot to use my armour repairer... That's what happens when you get kidnapped by Night Elves and imprisoned or more than a year... you forget how to adequately use the equipment on your ship...
So we tried again, this time without drones and just guns. I remembered to activate the armour repairer this time (still kicking myself about that), but it still wasn't any use. Once again he got me to my hull while I could only get him to about 75% armour.
So I thanked this guy for his assistance in helping me understand that a good Rupture is going to be better than a Thorax. A most invaluable lesson.