After an interesting day's experiences I have a few lessons I've learned that I'd like to share.
First, I encountered a Hound in a belt, and quickly approached, engaging him. He managed to get me down to about 80% armor before he went KABLOOEY! He sat there watching me loot his wreck before he eventually warped off.
This guy signed up as a capsuleer some 2 years ago, but had been inactive. He didn't even know where his lossmail would be. And his fittings were crap. Who brings a Stealth Bomber into lowsec, WITH a cloak, and then lets themselves be blown up?
Lesson 1: Not all 'veterans' know what they're doing.
Just to hammer this point home, I managed to find a Cyclone, 280km off a planet. I joined up with some bluemates, and one of them probed him and warped to the Cyclone, then the rest of us warped to them. We immediately engaged this battlecruiser, quickly destroying it. My bluemate podkilled him while I retrieved the loot.
The pilot woke up in his new clone, not knowing what had happened. He contacted me after checking his killmail, asking "Why? WHY?!" or something like that. Turns out he was away from his systems having a big turd or something when we struck.
He was a 3 year old pilot too, but had been active for only a few months before being inactive for almost 3 years. He started piloting again today, and decided lowsec was the place to go. Unfortunately for him, it wasn't.
So I gave him some advice about lowsec, referred him to my '23 tips for surviving lowsec', and offered to sell him back his loot. But it was mostly crap anyway, and he understandably wasn't interested.
In between those two kills, I met up with Biz Quick again. It was him and his brother who had destroyed my Brutix yesterday. Anyway, we got to talking, and eventually I suggested a rematch. My cruiser against his equivalent. He went to get his Arbitrator and met up off a remote planet.
It was on! I watched as he released his drones, and I released mine. Then I discovered he'd set his ship up for speed, and my MWD simply wasn't capable of catching up, nor were my drones. I watched him circle me at about 20km, avoiding my web and guns, and keeping his distance from the drones failing to catch up to him.
I set my guns on his drones, and brought my drones back to deal with them too, but by this time I was at 20% armor, and he was about 30% shields (my drones had a few potshots at him). My medium blasters were having difficulty hitting the drones, and I knew I'd failed.
He was good enough to stop fighting, much to my surprise, as I had expected this was to the death. If the situation were reversed, I would have destroyed him, getting revenge for the loss of my Brutix yesterday. His explanation was that it wasn't a real fight because I couldn't touch him, so there was no point taking it to the end.
I like how there's honour amongst pirates. I'm not sure I can say the same about antipirates.... They always fight to the death, no surrender and no quarter. Pirates are such a different bunch.
Lesson 2: Take out the drones first!
It would have worked better for me if I had've taken out his drones first, so that they weren't doing me any damage. It turned out that he had no weapons in his high slots, focused entirely on using drones and keeping his ship out of range.
So some good experiences today, and some good lessons.
I've also finally completed the skills I've been training on for the past month, letting me now fit Tech 2 Medium Blasters to my ships. This is an exciting time... Bring on the destruction!