Monday, May 20, 2013

Look Before You Leap

Our fleet of alts is killing sleepers tonight.  That's me and my corpie, Jayne, and several of our alts.  Earlier I flew my cloaky PVP Tengu, Artemis, to scout our connected C3.  It's a pretty large system.  The wormhole is near to an outer planet about 30 au "south" from the center.  There's a second planet that's about 15 au "east" of the sun.  And the center with several planets.  There are several towers, but they are all dead.  There's several other signatures: highsec static, some gas, some rocks.  No ships uncloaked.  No probes except mine.  Nothing for Artemis to hunt.

OK, I fly Artemis back to our POS to reship.  Meanwhile, my alt jumps in the our throwaway overwatch ship, a blackbird.  Jayne gets his two characters into PVE Tengus.  I fly in, and get my PVE Tengu.  Now we fleet and I move the fleet to the wormhole.  We jump.  My alt goes to sit cloaked about 20 km from the highsec static to listen and watch; he can warp over to jam us out of a jam if anyone jumps us.   The rest of us tear into the first anomaly.

Things are going fine.  Sleepers are killed.  Wrecks are tractored, looted, and salvaged.  We move on to a second site.  Just as we are completing the first wave, pooooorgh!  Wormhole sound!  I report it on com and we wait.  Immediately two Drakes appears on the highsec static, and pause for a second.  Are they after us?  Two Drakes vs three Tengus seems an unlikely prospect, but they may have a cloaky mate.  Or three.    Should we abort?  I tell Jayne to get aligned.

The Drakes warp off.  Where to?  I didn't see.  Ping dscan from my Tengu: nothing.  Ping dscan from my Blackbird: there.  They are still in the outer system.  What are they doing?  Another ping and... sleeper wreck!

Sleeper wrecks mean one thing: players trying to earn money.  Evidently they don't know we are here, or they'd never be so foolish.  We discuss it, and decide to attack.  However, there's a problem.  Our ships are PVE ships.  None of them has tackle.  We've got to get back to our POS to reship, and that means warping right by these guys where they'll be able to see us on dscan.  Still, nothing to be done about it.  So, I warp fleet to our wormhole, and hope they are not paying attention.  We zoom by and jump on contact.  Then we go to reship.  Artemis, time to hunt.

Meanwhile, I am watching dscan from the Blackbird, like a hawk.  No change.  No change... wait.  There's a Drake on grid at the wormhole.  Did they bug out?  No, the other guy's not there.

I bring in Artemis, and Jayne brings a stealth bomber.  We have a PVP Drake poised on the other side of our static.  I warp to the one anomaly that's around the outer planet.  Sure enough: there's a Drake still fighting sleepers, right about 25km from me.  Evidently the first guy took damage or got nossed enough to have to get offgrid; the wormhole is a fairly safe spot for that.  I set course for the guy, and close to about 10 km when Jayne is ready with the bomber.  We both uncloak; I point and web the Drake and start hitting him with assault missiles.

I'll give it to the guy, his reaction was perfect.  He rapidly locks the stealth bomber and fires a round of missiles, and gets his Warrior IIs out to sic on him.  Jayne gets just one volley of torpedoes off, and warps.  The guy now starts hitting me.  My shields are taking damage but I am fine.  Meanwhile, the other enemy Drake has returned.  Not sure if this was prompted by us or if he was just out of the action long enough to heal.  In any case, this does not help as Jayne has transited the hole and warped in our PVP Drake.  The enemy has taken damage already from the sleepers, and has heavy missiles and no tackle; we've got no damage and assault missiles.  They've got passive tanks, we've got big buffers.  The result is now ordained.  The second Drake warps off -- we could have pointed him, but Jayne instinctively pointed the guy he was shooting.  The first Drake dies and promptly zips off in his pod.  We assume he'll got to the highsec static, so we chase.  He does.  But they both escape easily.

We come back in our PVE Tengus and finish their site.  One of them pops into the system in a Loki, and disappears.  I am not sure if he cloaked or left.  He's not likely to find us since the anomaly is now gone.  And I doubt he can do anything anyway, since we have numbers and our overwatch.  But on the other hand, it's getting late and we have a kill.  So, we finish the last wreck and go home.

Good fight to you guys, anonymous Drake pilots.  Watch your dscan a little more, maybe, but scouting the system is definitely a good idea.  (I wonder if maybe they did scout and just missed us, perhaps having to fly a few jumps to reship.)

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