We drop into a level 5 non-human signal source, this time with a large Cyclops looming, who comes over to greet us. We scan each other and prepare weapons. I fire off the gauss cannons and immediately the Cyclops fights back, unleashing a swarm of 32 smaller Thargon drones. We boost away, with the Thargons in persuit and I prepare the flak launcher. We run back to the swarm and dispatch a few, reducing their numbers enough for another full frontal attack on their mother ship.
But I’m flying us in too close and without heat sinks to cool the ship and confuse our foe, my ship is heavily damaged in the next pass. Meanwhile, I fumble around trying to land more shots on its hull. A petal on the Cyclops glows red and I attempt to target it, but my skills on the fixed mounted guns are not good enough - much to Raven’s frustration.
Missiles, lightening, other things going on, such as module failures and overheating - with too little distance between us and the Cyclops. This means than my ship is now suffering. The canopy starts to crack – another weakness of the Krait 2. I manage to shoot off a glowing petal (aka an `exposed heart`) – another 3 to go. But with hull around the 50% mark and an almost blown canopy, its time to think about bailing out. I manage to expose and shoot at another glowing petal, but the canopy blows and we are firing without the crosshairs. Time to retreat and lick our wounds. This is not the usual method that my co-pilot would use for fighting Interceptors, she is an experience anti-xeno pilot, but not in a Krait and not with the methods I am trying. But she is a good teacher in that she lets me get on and try things out, my own ideas, on my setup and in a ship she is unfamiliar with. Maybe she is curious as to how I get on with my different approach.
I spent too much time too close to the Cyclops. I’m in a Krait, not an Anaconda tank, I didn’t fully use the Kraits speed to my advantage. I also need to master the flight assist off setting more, this should allow me to face the enemy while backtracking, controlling my distance from her. I also decide for the next run to ditch the xeno-scanner and FSDN in favour of heat sinks. By firing these off close to the cyclops, I will be protected from incoming weapons fire that relies on my heat signature. Finally, I need to get better at using those fixed gauss guns – I’ll have 4 set up for the next attempt. On a positive note, I felt I did quite well with the flak launcher and hitting the swarm.