This is part 3, you can find part 2 here.
I wanted to complete the challenge in style. Go out with a bang. Instead I dragged my pod across the finish line after a mistake I thought I'd grown out of.
"Dammit... Challenge complete."
Starting from fight 5, things were really looking up. I used to fly a buffer fit Merlin in a previous life; and when that Neutron wielding Merlin annihilated me in fight 4, I knew I had to give it another try.
I feel instantly at home in this fit. A Rifter was the first to melt under my new setup. Not having to worry about avoiding damage or boosting shields really takes the pressure off.
"Turn everything on, light 'em up. Good Fight."
Next up an Incursus. She tried to duel me on the gate, not gonna happen if I don't have scouts available. Thankfully she followed me to an outpost and five volleys put her to hull, and gone.
I was so confident in my fit, that fight 7 saw me engage a Tristan - the ship I love to hate. The ship I always misjudge and get kited or neut'd by.
"Not this time, friend. Off you go, Good Fight."
Followed by the Slasher. The pilot with a 7 million bounty and the 4-volley defense he managed before I sent him home in a pod (missed the bounty, pfft).
The final two fights were less than spectacular...
Fight 9 was an all out mistake. I think confidence got the better of me. I started chasing a Tormentor (which I was pleased with my ability to find him!)... I knew he'd get range on me, yet I didn't swap ammo. I tried to sort of slingshot him back into optimal and failed... and I totally ignored the drones plugging away at my ship, ultimately leading to my demise.
It's worth mentioning here that - although some of my defeats definitely pissed me off - nothing as yet caused me to rage quit for a few hours to calm down. Until fight 10.
My final fight. A Breacher falls in my lap but I'm very worried about local. It's a bit risky but I believe I've taken the appropriate precautions. If this Navy Hookbill is his friend, I've got enough time to kill him and warp out. There's a Comet buzzing around too but it's been here all along so I'm less suspicious.
The Breacher starts melting away and I'm spamming D-Scan to check for extra hostiles. He gives me a little bump, which I notice, and I spam approach a few more times to make sure he doesn't pull range.
Problems start when the Hookbill appears on D-Scan - I'm distracted now, not concentrating on the task at hand. I don't notice he's pulled range until his shield starts to regenerate through lack damage. I spam approach a few more times and realize my afterburner wasn't turned on.
I try to swap out to longer range ammo. I must've fumbled the cartridges on the floor, because I took a good 10 seconds doing the 5 second reload. Of course, it's too late. A fair fight, that I should've won, that I lost.
It's difficult not to be too hard on yourself when that happens.
Here's the full playlist of my '10 Merlins, 10 Goodfights' challenge:
(Part 4 coming soon...)