"And then we must go," said the robot, in all seriousness, "to a party."
"Oh," said Zaphod, startled, "can I come?"
"No," said the robot, "we are going to shoot you."
"Oh, yeah?" said Zaphod."Yes," said the robot, and they shot him.
Zaphod was so surprised that they had to shoot him again before he fell down.
My last foray into Tech 1 Cruisers didn't end that well. In fact, getting zero kills and dying in under an hour of undocking may be about as poorly as it could have gone. I knew that for my next attempt, I was going to need a bit of luck coupled with a far more impressive naming convention. Thus, I christened my latest Arbitrator class hull the GTO Judge and tried to see if I couldn't pull off some kills without dying in a fire.
My first step was knowing that my Arbitrator was not suited for solo roaming. With 8 Meters of Reinforced Rolled Tungsten Steel attached to the hull it was not nimble and therefore ill-suited to jumping through unscouted gates. So after hauling down what was likely to be the first of many of the new ship, the first thing I did when logging in was see if Blood Money didn't have a Fleet already roaming. As luck would have it, a gang was on the way back in to refit before heading out for another round of mayhem.
While waiting for them, I decided to undock and get a look around the system, when what should I spot, but a Tristan slowly surrounding itself with wrecks in a mission. Relaying this on comms got me a fellow Cartel member with a probing alt in system who was more than happy to undock and see if I couldn't nab my first kill in my new ship. Unfortunately for us, the Tristan pilot was on the lookout for probes and docked up shortly after they were launched. Fortunately for us, the probes seemed to peak the interest of a pair of Battlecruisers that were passing through the system.
The aforementioned fellow Cartel member reshipped to a Myrmidon and we attempted to goad a Drake and Brutix pilot that were in the same Corporation into fighting us. After a brief cat and mouse game, they appeared to lose interest and left the system shortly before our gang arrived. Once they got there, I decided to take a quick break while they sorted out some new ships and one of our newer members started talking the Tristan pilot into a 1v1. What I came back to was not the sounds of congratulations for a Tristan kill.
As I sat back down at the computer and donned my headset, I was immediately met with the familiar sounds of targets being called. Seeing that the fleet was still in system, I immediately undocked and warped to zero on one of our Rifter pilots. What it got me was landing atop a Brutix and his two friends: the Drake from earlier and a Hurricane.
It seems that the Battlecruisers weren't happy with the odds against our Cruiser and Battlecruiser, and had returned with a Cane and a Maller used as bait. What they didn't expect was that our 2 ships (now an Arbitrator and Hurricane) had been joined by two Rifters, a Dramiel, and a Hurricane pilot from the earlier gang. Upon hearing the commotion, we also had a pilot undock in a Curse in preparation for any additional backup they were bringing.
The Brutix I landed on top of was doing his best to actively tank the ships on the field, but was about to get a healthy dose of Amarrian E-War. With four Energy Neutralizers in my high slots, and a single Tracking Disruptor II added in for good measure, his tank quickly gave out. At about the same time, one of our Hurricanes was also dispatched. Once he was gone, I found myself the new target of interest for the remaining two ships. Luckily for me, the Drake had been wasting time trying to catch one of our Kiting Canes and was pretty far away, but the enemy's Hurricane was quickly on top of me.
Too bad for him then, because that's right where I wanted him to be. The GTO Judge was fit with an Afterburner instead of a MicroWarpdrive. While I give up considerable speed in doing so, I gain the the nifty trick of orbiting close to a Battlecruiser while my Tracking Speed Disruption Script does the rest. Suddenly an 800mm plate will last a surprisingly long time. Unfortunately, the same trick didn't work on the HAM Drake.
Once the Drake was back in range, I started going down hard and it didn't take long before it was my capsule warping away while their Hurricane was in structure. He popped by the time I could dock back up and asking whether it was worth it to undock to assist with the Drake received the response that he was melting too fast for me to get back. At least my Drones had been nice enough to whore themselves onto the killmail of the Drake. By the end of the fight we had lost a Hurricane, a Rifter and my Arbitrator to get their three Battlecruisers plus one Bait Maller (Is there any other kind?).
So Arbitrator number two lasts me about as long as Arbitrator number one did, but I had a lot more fun losing this one. The ship's hull only costs about 1misk after insurance payments, making it slightly more affordable to lose than the Tech 2 Frigates I had been flying. This realization led me to arrange a delivery of five more of the shiny Cruiser hulls before the night was through and I've been playing around with slight variations on the fittings since then. Another realization I've made in that time is that I seem to be called Primary in just about every fight I've taken it into. Nobody seems to like when I put four Neuts and a bonused Tracking Disruptor on them. Who knew?