Monday, June 24, 2013

Ganking and Grilling

After a bunch of routine housekeeping, I noticed aliens in my wspace system killing sleepers.  It was just me logged on from my corp, whereas they had five Tengus and two Drakes.  I am in my exploring Buzzard.  So, the immediate question is: what do I do?  To complicate matters, it is about 5:00PM.  I am grilling outside tonight, so I need to start cooking pretty soon.

I try to bookmark all four of the combat anomalies, which since I have been sitting there, are all still on my scanner list.  However, I can't bookmark two of them.  Hmm, evidently those are the ones they've already hit.  OK, I'll just warp there... nope.  Curse you CCP!  Why did you change this?  But I get two of them bookmarked.

After some thought, I decide to get in Artemis, my cloaky Tengu.  I change ships and immediately warp out to a safe spot.  Well, they should have seen that on dscan or via a cloaked scout watching me and the tower... but did they?  I cannot know.  Let's see if they slip up.  There is no reason why a gang of 7 characters ever needs to be vulnerable to one Tengu.  On the other hand, they may be sloppy about salvaging.  Already there are enough wrecks that I expect them to salvage using a Noctis.  The question is, do they escort it?

About this time all the ships disappear except one Tengu.  Probably an offgrid booster.  I am tempted to look for it using combat probes, but there really is not time for a hunt, and I am not sure I can actually get a 100% on a proper booster in any case.  I expect they have moved on to the anomaly which is in the outer planet of my system, out of dscan range.  I warp to it at 100, and sure enough.  Here they are killing sleepers.  I drive the opposite direction until I am at about 150 km from them.  I make a perch.  Then I watch them chew sleepers for a bit.

They finish the site.  Will they salvage now?  No, looks like not.  They warp and disappear from dscan.  After I wait a little while, hoping for a Noctis, I decided it isn't coming; this is consistent with the fact that the wrecks in the inner system were not salvaged when last I saw.  Should I loot some wrecks myself?  I could, I suppose, but that might tip them off and would be pretty involved for someone who's supposed to be prepping corn for the grill.  I do take the opportunity to uncloak and load Scourge Rage heavy assault missiles instead of what I had loaded.

Then I fly to the last anom at 100, and there they are.  I really do have to AFK for a while now, so I make a kind of bad perch, then warp back to my first, better perch.  Then I sigh and leave the computer.  Real Life strikes just when you don't need it.

I fire up the grill, get the meat ready, chop up broccoli for steaming, and get corn ready to grill.  I stick food on the grill and I have a minute or two... so I wander back up to my office to see what is shaking.  The enemy has had 20 minutes free of my attention.

I am lucky today.  My timing is perfect.  There is a lone Noctis on grid with me, 160km off, about half-done salvaging the wrecks.  D-scan says: nobody around but us.  OK, go time.  Hands shaking.  I warp to 10 from a wreck that he is driving towards.  I end up about 15 km from him; I turn and approach.  At about 10 I uncloak.  Hands really, really shaking.  This is ridiculous -- I can barely click a mouse on a button.  OK, I get the lock started and start trying to click my warp disruptor and painter and launchers.  My assault missiles start hitting him.  I am almost on top of him.

I start clicking d-scan.  First time, still clear.  But now I see a Tengu.  He's into armor.  Go!  I see four Tengus, uh oh.  Will they make it in time?  I clear the structure, Noctis goes boom.  I never even saw the pod; I am too busy clicking the wreck and looting it.  I get the loot.  I try to get free.  The four Tengus land on grid, right on top of me and the wreck.  I need something to warp to fast; I hit the sun and warp-to.  I try to cloak.  I don't know if they started to lock or not; it was too fast.  I am out, and cloaked.

Did I mention I am lucky today?  Really lucky?  I look at the loot I scooped... wow.  200m+.  (It turns out all the melted nanoribbons dropped, as well as most of the blue loot.)

Now I am landing on the sun, and what is here?  A pod.  The Noctis pilot.  Probably cannot catch him.  I land, and am uncloaked.  I fear the Tengus and immediately warp to my tower.  I try to lock the pod anyway, just on the off-chance it works, and I do manage to lock him.  Click on missiles?  I warp.  Oh well, I am too spazzed out to seriously contemplate taking the chance.  Keep your pod, Mr. Too Slow.  I warp and cloak.

Landing on my tower, I am uncloaked.  As fast as I can, I dump the loot in the loot can, and then warp out, cloaked, to the second perch.  We'll see if lightning strikes twice.

I have to cook again.  First, though, I really need a beer.

After dinner 45 minutes later, I get a spare moment.  Curious, I head to my computer to see what is up.  My grid has been salvaged.  Too bad.  No ships or wrecks on dscan.  I scan down their wormhole, and fly to it.  Interesting, it's currently highly disrupted.  Oh well, so much for that.

A bit later I notice that the number of sigs has dropped from 4 to 3.  Did they close it?  I warp over: yes, it is gone.

Lessons learned: first, I am a terrible PVPer because I react too strongly to it.  I suppose this goes away with exposure, but wow.  I have not gotten adrenaline so much as that before in PVP.  My hands were literally shaking 3 inches back and forth, uncontrollably.

Second, escort your Noctis.  (My corp does.)  Those Tengus came pretty fast; I would guess they were sitting on my system's side of their wormhole.  But that is not fast enough.  Or at least, not fast enough given the Noctis fitting... if you are going to hang out a Noctis out on its own, it needs maximum tank.  Do not rely on being able to warp out in time: you will be busy clicking on wrecks and looting wrecks and running salvagers and tractor beams.  You will not be paying close attention to dscan and even overview.

If you are going to salvage in one sweep after running sites, I don't see much use for a cloak on your Noctis. So the fit could be improved quite a bit there.

Third, if you are going to stick a Noctis out there unescorted, get your ECM drones out so that at least you have a chance of getting a jam.  One jam might have saved this guy, if the Tengus were spidering (I could not tell).  It would have at least meant that I would have lost my Tengu, assuming they had a point.

Finally, don't rush.  The total loot that the Noctis had on board was around 350m.  That's much more than one one C4 anom's worth: I would guess it was three anoms, probably salvaged in the order they were run.  With just one extra warp per anom, most of that loot could have been safely jetcanned next to the wormhole for a Tengu to grab and safeguard.  More generally, even if you are salvaging truly by yourself, make a safespot somewhere in the system, and anchor a small can there to put loot in.  Then if you get killed, you only lose the loot from the site you were doing, not all the sites.

1 comment:

  1. Hah, excellent! It's weird how ambushing even an unarmed ship can get the adrenalin flowing. Of course, in this case, having the Tengus looking over your shoulder isn't going to help with nerves.

    Nice haul!