I just realized that I was so busy with other posts on Friday that I forgot to post a KOTW. As is my custom from time to time, let's go with a Rote Kapelle kill this week:
This Curse kill is not all that impressive in and of itself, but it's a nice teaching moment that covers a lot of different concepts. Let's start with the fit itself.
There are a few times when afterburner-fit ships in PvP make perfect sense. A high-mobility HAC fleet with a good scanner probe pilot, for instance, is a good time to play around with this concept. If you have good warp-ins, good tackle, or both, the low signature radius of an afterburner ship can stand you in good stead. Unfortunately, the Curse as a native shield-tanking ship does not start with a good sig radius: it's 20% bigger than a Zealot and twice that of a Guardian. Tanky ships can get away with a higher sig radius but this armor-fit Curse has only 35k EHP and low enough armor HP that being volleyed by only a few Tornados is a real worry.
Worse than that, though, a Curse really needs to remain mobile. A Curse's main "weapons" operate at 37km or so. If things start to go badly for you, you've got to be able to GTFO. An afterburner Curse can't do it. In short, this fit is not tanky enough to de-aggress on gate if things go badly and not fast enough to skirmish.
Which brings us to everything else about the fit. Curses have the grid they do so that they can fit four medium neuts or NOSs (or in one hysterical variant fit, one heavy neut). If you're not going to do this, you are -- you'll forgive the expression -- neutering the ship's best weapons. This pilot was far too concerned about the effect the neuts would have on his ship's capacitor. There's almost no reason to fit any cap booster on a Curse much less two of them; use a medium NOS or two instead. There's also no reason to use tech2 neuts. Meta4s are every bit as effective, stand up better to over-heating, and are cheaper.
Fitting tracking disruptors on a Curse is a must-do and is probably the only thing that's been done correctly on this Curse. But in a typical shield-tanked Curse, two TDs is plenty.
Let's get to some mistakes this pilot made once he was in space that are also instructive.
De-aggressing in a fight is a tricky business, and a Recon flown in a fleet fight will be de-aggressing more often than most particularly if it cannot skirmish as this ship cannot. If you can't do your job and you're being directly threatened, warp off.(1) If the fight is still going on when you land, ask for a good warp-in. This is doubly important in a Curse because unlike most of the Recons, your main use to the fleet doesn't have the 70-100km range of a Huginn's webs, a Rook's jams, or a Lach's point. This Curse at least did that much right: when directly threatened, he de-aggressed and warped off.
But there are two important points about de-aggressing, both of which this pilot either forgot or didn't know. The first: don't warp directly from a fight to your home station. After your last aggressive action, a 60-second count-down starts. During this 60 seconds you can't jump through gates and you can't dock. It doesn't matter if the fight was on the grid with the station or not. If you warp directly from a fight to a station, unless the warp is remarkably long, you're still going to be aggressed when you land. If the attacking fleet pursues you to station, you may very well die within sight of safety. I myself killed a Falcon just this way earlier this year.
Second point (and the reason this Curse rates KOTW): don't warp to your station if your alliance has it bubbled. ;-) That's a friendly bubble that he died in...
So yeah, while there were more impressive kills this week (notably this Magnate and this Rhea), for me the Curse was the fun one to write about. Keep it in mind next time you warp to station after a fight.
(1) I wrote a semi-controversial article about Recon "tanking" that bears on this topic back in November that you might want to look at.