At the outset, I must emphatically state this: I personally think the Drake is an excellent battlecruiser.

The tank on the thing is insane and in the hands of a good pilot they are truly fearsome. I have seen it used repeatedly in null sec for the classic “Burn back to gate” bait trick, for one.

For the uninitiated, this is a simple process; you’re chasing a gang through null sec, perhaps you’ve used a jump bridge to get ahead. You’re now waiting on the in gate with ‘dictor, reps and DPS to give them the traditional null sec down home welcome. The gang, however, are suspicious and are holding on the other side.

This is where your Drake pilot, with a suitably uber passive shield tank will jump through to the cautious gang on the other side. He will then look appropriately “Oh Noes”ey and derp burn back to the gate.

The gang will then hopefully get a rush of blood to the head and all open up on the apparently hapless noob, who will “crawl”  back to the gate and jump back through. It’s excellent if they all open up on him, this leaves them all with a 30 second timer and eliminates the possibility of a scout tipping the wink on the surprise on the other side.

The enraged and bloodthirsty gang, with visions of a quick and easy Drake killmail, will then wait out their timer and all “Jump, jump, jump!” straight into the welcoming arms of a well set out slaughterhouse.

All this depends on the ability of a single battlecruiser to make the 12k crawl back to the gate without melting in an instant from the combined firepower of a roaming gang (like other battlecruisers definitely WILL do). There is no better T1 BC in the game for that role, or many other roles, for that matter.

So before I get to the meat of the issue I hope that will help to deflect any Caldari emorage that the following is highly likely to provoke.

In our corp, there is a contingent of us Minmatar fans (yes, me included), who are quite voiciferous in doubting the sexual integrity of Caldari. This is because our oldest member (RL age – 62), who delights in provoking lively banter on any subject to keep corp chat rolling along,  happens to be – you guessed it – Caldari. So it’s fairly inevitable that the references to getting up close and blazing away with autocannons being associated with manliness, while missile “chucking” from a safe distance being more closely related to manicures and Tofu with latte’s and permed leg hairs, will permeate most corp banter, especially when our senior member is on.

Therefore he only has to “mention” range while missioning – a Caldari specialty with cruise missiles, especially launched from his Golem using his near perfect missile skills; to provoke some robust banter which can go on for hours.

Yesterday was just such a day. We were doing Pirate Invasion against Blood Raiders; which has the annoying habit of spawning one group of  battleships and cruisers at 100k plus range –  just the other side of a station wreck. Said battleship rats seem to be unable to grasp the idea that they will need to fly around this object, and that any amount of repeatedly bashing their ship against it will not make it move out of the way. Our senior member immediately started the ball rolling with a helping of, “just leave it to the Caldari ships, we’ll take care of those ones, seeing as how your autocannons are useless at any sort of range, etc. etc.”

I immediately fired back by turning the discussion to DPS, pointing out that I would rather have to fly 50k than put up with a 33% loss in DPS (the new DPS display in the fitting window is causing quite a bit of “discussion” these days), his T2 cruise missiles putting out a shade over 600 at 100k and my T1 EMP putting out 900 DPS at 60k.

This is where I wandered blissfully into the minefield, clutching daisies and staring at the pretty cloud formations. I slammed my mouth up into top gear without bothering to engage my brain at all and uttered:

“If you can get your Golem to put out 900 DPS I’ll buy and fly a Drake.” …. Yeah baby, that’s shown him.

That was so easy to say, so easy.

Then, with the teeth now stripped on my mouth’s top gear and the momentum halted in the following deafening silence, I realised something.

His silence was not the frustration of imminent defeat, oh no. He was not slumped back in his chair, rendered speechless at my swift and telling riposte. It was because he was stunned at the incredible stupidity of my comment. Also at the amazing good luck of someone literally chopping off their own butt cheeks and handing them to him on a silver platter, asking if he would like barbecue or tomato sauce with that.

It could have been a great response, oh yes, it could have. It could have been the kind of response that makes him log off to play Skyrim, it could have been. If I had made any mention at all of RANGE!

But no, no. Not old Blastie, oh no. So confident was I that I had him on the ropes, I didn’t even bother thinking of range.

Or torpedoes.

See, with torpedoes on board, and four faction Ballistic Control Units in the lows, a skilled pilot gets 930 DPS from a Golem. Admittedly you have to be parked in their cargo hold to do that DPS, but Blastie never mentioned range, now did he?

Of course, I immediately tried to bring range into the deal, but that was savagely shot down as me backpedalling. I didn’t have an answer to that one actually, because I was.

So there you have it. Two days to get Caldari frigate to four and Caldari cruiser to three, and then the residents of Nahyeen will be treated to the glorious sight of Blastie undocking in a Drake. Into a waiting honour guard of corpmates, with my rival at the end, furiously snagging screenshots.

It will not end there though, oh no. I have a plan to redeem myself and turn the tables on my latte sipping, cardigan wearing, backgammon playing Caldari friend. Stay tuned …

It’s all in the mind, you know.




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