If you had asked me a month ago if the changes to Interceptors would see me returning to these wonderful little ships, I would had said “Sadly not”. I would have then gona one to add that the 20m+ cost of new clones along with the expensive implants in Hark’s head means that flying fragile ships is on paper a not worthwhile risk.
In practice however, it turns out that the changes are just enough to tempt me back (at least for now). I should point out that interceptors have always held a special place in my heart, as I began my 0.0 experience flying tackle for ED during their finals stand back is Etherium Reach. So when we saw Interceptor fleets being announced post Rubicon, I decided I would throw caution to the wind, and try them out at least once. My goodness am I glad I did.
Inty fleets are amazingly good fun, and perfect anti-ratting operations. Back when we lived in the NC we used to do regular “Fishing” fleets, also known as “shot-gunning”. This was where we used ships like Assault frigates to roam into enemy territory (hopefully moving fast enough to confuse Intel channels) to enemy hubs. Here we would all jump into system and scatter at random to locations where we might find enemy carebears doing their thing. This coupled with a dictor parked on a station to catch people trying to panic dock got us a good few kills. However this was generally a lesson in Darwinism more than anything as only the stupid/slow ever got caught. Interceptor fleets operate on this same principle but surpass the old model for several reasons:
1. They are exceptionally fast in warp
It’s pretty easy for a ceptor’ fleet to cover tens of jumps in a handful of minuets. This means we can move faster than the speed of information, so we catch ratters unawares. It also means that we can move faster to the hero bait ship a few jumps away, and still arrive before he dies. Finally we can overtake people who try to run away from us. On one of our fleets, we landed on grid just as a Raven warped to a gate, we followed his warp and beat him to the gate by a good 5-10 seconds needless to say he then died.
2. They are exceptionally fast in sub warp
Engagement gone sour? No problem, just align to the sun and coast out of trouble. At several points we outstayed our welcome on grid, and had to extract quickly. In a normal fleet this could have been fatal, but in Intys, we didn’t even have to warp out to get safe. This also means that should you look like you’re going down, your chances of getting your pod out is pretty good. Even under scram and web, if you are quick you can coast out of a bubble to allow your pod to escape.
3. Bubble immunity
It’s obvious, I know but this has an unexpected ramification. You can go on an Inty fleet even if you know you only have 10 minutes till you have to walk away from the PC. When the time comes to leave fleet, you can simply find a quiet location to log off, and be safe in the knowledge that to get yourself home safe you need only worry about insterlocking gate camps on the way.
The Inty gangs have been amazing, and despite the worry of a pod-mail 5-6 times the ship loss mail, the allure of speed and easy kills is just too much to resist. Especially with kills like the afore mentioned Raven possible. The Inty fleets also got me the funniest kill I have had in a very long while where we destroyed a Rapier who though he was safe to engage in Station docking range. He had carrier providing reps against our 30 interceptors: and went down after hull tanking the reps for a good couple of minutes.
The interceptor change has been fantastic and without doubt my highlight of the Rubicon expansion.