Phase 3. I'm rusty at combat and had forgotten a few tactics. So, I get into the mining ring and then a Diamondback scout shows up. Oh, he wants to know what's in my cargo hold! I give him the 3 large pulse lasers and his shields go down right away! But then the Dance of the Diamondback begins, and what a dance it was. I could not lay a gunsight on him, meanwhile he is sniping away at my shields and they drop and drop and I'm still trying to get a bead on this guy. I had to jump out! I was that rusty, I just had to jump out and figure out what I had forgotten. Came back later on, after some thinking and some Scotch well more Scotch than thinking perhaps; and now it's a viper. But I remember the tactics a bit better now - not so hard on the throttle (work in the sweet blue spot), use the thrusters to help in turning (she is not the most agile ship 6/10), power management. It starts to come back, and I kill the viper. That Diamondback still haunts me. The only thing I didn't try was Flight Assist Off, and when that Diamondback returns, I may have to try that to get turning faster.
I'm still happy as a pig in muck with the Python. The last 3 runs have all been close to 3 million Cr runs after repair, refuel, rearm and that will help to quick pay this girl off if I can get 33 good runs out of her. I like the visibility with my cockpit up front, I like getting the medium landing pads back, I don't miss the 10-bin refinery because metallics only have 9 ores available. I like having 2 pips to engines, 3 to weps and being able to work the asteroid field in an efficient manner.
I've powered down 1 of the mining lasers, as it is overkill IMHO if using a 2-collector limpet module. Stick another laser there instead. She is unforgiving if you exceed cargo capacity by carrying ore in your refinery. You WILL get a reduced jump range. If you're working on a very narrow jump range, then be careful or you will either end up dumping cargo to get back or flying a longer route (if available) home.