So there I was last night cruising around in my Slasher looking for targets. I spotted a Tormentor in a FW plex. Activating the gate, I landed 6K away from him. To my delight, he immediately engaged. Nothing says commitment like being mutually warp scrambled, after all!
Old situational awareness habits started to kick into gear. Good thing too, because it was a blow-for-blow fight right from the start and I immediately had to micromanage my repper and overheating . He got the jump on me taking out my shields but his were also being blown apart. My armor was disappearing rather alarmingly fast compared to his. So instead of micromanaging my top and bottom racks, I just overheated both and figured I'd either get an advantage or die in a glorious ball of twisted metal. My armor began to recover and cap held steady. His armor was peeling off in the smallest bites and it seems he recovered a bit here and there. I had a few seconds to wonder if this was going to be one of those stalemate situations (like one of the best solo fights I ever had, with Dame Death; both of us in faction frigates and neither able to find an advantage; after 10 minutes we called it a draw!). Then suddenly a huge chunk of my armor repped and the Tormentor started taking a ton of damage. My opponent must have capped out--my small neut earning its keep, I imagine. He managed to do some more damage but immediately the advantage went to me and in short order, the Tormentor blew up.
It was close--I ended the fight with 65% hull and 10% armor. If my opponent had had the tiniest bit more cap (or taken the booster in his cargo that he later chastised himself for forgetting), the fight would likely have gone the other way because my repper and DCU had burned out. Ooops...so much for managing overheated mods very well. But in addition to having a neut fitted, I think my rig configuration offered a bit of a tanking advantage compared to his. Anyway, while this fight was not particularly epic, it was fun as hell and the pilot was a great sport about it when we chatted in local afterwards. As a bonus, his wreck yielded some useful loot that will probably blow up soon on of my ships. :)
I love the thrill of solo fights when opponents are evenly matched and the outcome is in question right from the get-go. Nothing offers a more sure way of getting those good old PvP shakes that are so addicting! I know I started having them the second my armor blew off! I was talking about this fight in a friend's channel afterwards and had to laugh at suggestions from others to employ link and logi alts for more solo uberness. No thanks. I don't care how much New Eden has evolved while I was gone...I prefer to get my thrills from old school solo frigate fights that are solo in the traditional sense: one ship vs one ship, not one person vs one person with an alt army backing them up. It might limit the number of good fights I get, and it might mean I die a lot because the alt army practice is so common. Oh well. It just means that when I do win--especially against an evenly matched opponent--the victory seems more genuine and well-earned than bringing overwhelming invisible assistance to sway the odds in my favor. ymmv.
So, GF, sarhamen, and thanks for giving me the first solo kill of my return to New Eden. Definitely feels like I'm getting my space legs back.