Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Hunting the Hunters

Our wormhole is closed.  We've just finished running and salvaging three C4 anoms, yielding perhaps 320m ISK worth of loot.  Now our system is clean.  Maybe we can find something interesting playing with other EVE players.  I reship from the PVE Tengu into my cloaky PVP Tengu, Artemis.  Then I warp to our wormhole, which we have already scanned down, and I enter C3a.

Nobody home.  It has a lowsec static.  But let's see what else we can find.  I launch probes and start scanning down the eight sigs.  Our wormhole; gas gas wormhole.  Then gas gas wormhole.  And two low-strength sigs.  Low strength sigs are usually relic or data sites, and these two are one of each.

One wormhole is the lowsec static.  The second wormhole is a K162 from a C1-3 system.  I eyeball it, trying to see what it is ala Penny's guide to wormhole colors, but I cannot be sure.  I go in.  It's a C2, with highsec static.  Well, highsec static is nice; if it is not too far from Jita we can run out a load of loot.  We've piled up a billion.  C2a has got a lot of towers, four sigs, and one ore anom.  I move away from the wormhole, launch probes, and cloak.  Then I scan my wormhole and ignore it, and then three more wormholes.  OK, these people keep their system really clean.  I admire a clean system.

I find a nullsec wormhole, then the highsec.  I pop out to see where it is: 12 jumps to Jita.  OK, fire up that Prowler with the loot!  The Prowler pilot starts her trek out while I wait for my 5 minutes of polarization to abate.  When she crosses from C3 into C2, she reports a stealth bomber uncloaking.  Of course it is hard to stop a blockade runner with just a bomber, and the Prowler cloaks and zooms off.  But we've still got three of us logged in and nothing much to do.  We decide to see if we can bait out the bomber.

I get an alt into an Epithal to be the bait.  My main reenters C2 in Artemis, and I cloak and warp to within range of the C3/C2 wormhole.  Jayne gets a dictor, and Timmay gets his interceptor.  The bait fleet flies from our C4 to C3, then to the C3/C2 hole and I pop through along with Timmay.  He holds cloak while I align (but don't warp).  Just a nice juicy target here Mr Stealth Bomber!  Come on, you know you want me dead!

Nothing happens.  Oh well.  We go back through the wormhole, and return to base.  Meanwhile, I poke around in Artemis in the C2.  I spot a Loki on dscan, then nothing, and then again.  It appears there is another cloaky sneaking around in here.

I go to see what the last wormhole is.  It is "dangerous" wspace, and eyeballing it I am pretty sure it must be C5.  (C4 is fairly distinctive, whereas C5 is not particularly, but since it is only one of them, it's C5.)  I pop through and I am right!  Huzzah.  I poke around the C5 a bit but nobody is home here.  Then I reenter C2a.  Again I see Loki on dscan briefly.  Of course I report this.

I remain in C2a and I see another glimpse of a ship on dscan.  We get a bit nervous for our Prowler pilot.  She has handed off the loot at Jita and is coming back.  We'll escort her back up the wormhole chain.  Jayne gets in a PVP Drake, and Timmay gets a stealth bomber.  We figure between these ships and Artemis, we can take on a Loki and possibly also a stealth bomber.

The prowler has arrived in the highsec border system.  If she gets jumped entering C2a, she can just back out into highsec.  I am positioned close to the C3/C2 wormhole in Artemis.  Now Jayne and Timmay head downchain, and warp to the other side of C3/C2.  When they get there, a Loki uncloaks and start hitting Jayne.  And then a stealth bomber.

OK, fight time!  I am happy to maybe help kill a Loki.  I transit the wormhole as fast as it allows.  I lock the enemy and start in with the assault missiles and warp disruption.

More ships appear on grid.  Tengu, Tengu, Loki, Proteus, Phobos...  and more.  Crap.  Everyone try to get out now.  I start aligning to ... what?  Who cares, our C4 wormhole.  A bubble is up.  OK, microwarp for the edge.  I speed up.  Corpies are saying something but I am not really hearing it.  I get close to the edge.  Warp disrupted.  I out of the bubble; I try to warp.  Does not work.  I align, lock the tackler, and fire.  (Turns out I killed him, though I did not notice it at the time.)  A new bubble is up with me in it.  I try microwarp again, I speed up.  Now I am taking damage.  The enemy is almost through the shields.  I am near the edge of the bubble.  I try one last time.  No, warp scrambled again.  Last shields, then very quickly armor/hull/dead.  I try to warp the pod but no, evidently still in a bubble.

I "gf" into local, although it was not good fight for me.  Not hugely for them either, considering that had us 10 to 3 but still let our Drake escape.  Still, the ambush was nicely done so good on that.  One enemy "gf"s me back.  The enemy gathers round.  Everyone wants to whore.  Then they pod me.  Back to Jita I go, 400m and one skill level poorer.  Ouch.

Lessons learned: (1) Have a bigger gang.  I cannot really do this one, but it's the most salient fact of their beating us.  (2) Don't fight on a wormhole unless you've got a scout on the other side, dscanning.  (3) Keep in mind your bugout a bit better.  I should have tried to escape through the wormhole, but I just was not thinking straight with the excitement.  (4) Fly better.  I almost escaped a few times, and might have if I had done a few things better like engaging the enemy tackle sooner, or overheating my microwarp.  (5) Get a better escaping ship than Artemis mark III.

One other thing I might do is get FRAPS and record my engagements.  As it is, I missed probably 95% of what happened in the fight.  I was in the "tactical tunnel", as we used to call it back in the day.  I got a kill and did not even know it.  Timmay got killed but got his pod out; Jayne escaped in the Drake somehow.  I am not even completely sure the enemy came through the wormhole.


  1. The drake escaped due to pure pilot awesomeness. That, and the presence of a juicy tengu to chew on. The overheating saved my bacon.

  2. If you can't run faster than the slowest ship, then fly one obviously cheaper than the most expensive.