Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Under the Nose of a Gang

It's a holiday, so I have been playing small bits of EVE all day.  There's a C2 connection to my wspace system, and I have been watching it during the day.  It's been active, but not when I was watching.  I missed a battlecruiser and assault frigate getting killed.  I did get to steal some loot.

I have been sitting in my hunting Tengu near the tower in the C2 system.  Real life still has me prisoner, but I am in my office at least.  I can see my monitor two meters off.  I see the a Tengu warp in to the enemy POS.  A few minutes later, the one Tengu is met with more Tengus.  I squint.  Altogether it is about six of them I think.  Then they disappear.

You don't need six Tengus to run C2 sites, and this is a C2 with dual statics -- C2 and C4.  I figure they are heading for my system.  But that has to wait for 20 minutes, while I finish what I am doing IRL.  When I return, the first thing I do is dscan in my system from my alt that's sitting watching a wormhole.  I expect they have gone for our Frontier Barracks, and I will see wrecks.  But I don't.  Nobody is visible in my system.  My Barracks are intact.

OK, I dscan in the C2.  Nothing I can see.  There is an outer planet, so I warp out there to look.  Nothing.  Time to probe down this system.  Since I am conveniently out of range of the tower, this is a fine place to fire probes.  I fire my combat probes and start looking.  After sifting through some gas sites, and ignoring low signal ones, I find the highsec static.  Then a few more chaff sigs and I find another wormhole.  Let's have a look.  It's a second Y683 -- evidently this system has three statics; one highsec and two C4s -- is that possible?  Anyway, it's definitely a wormhole to C4.  I hop across.  Dscan.  Many sleeper wrecks.  And also six Tengus.  Many many wrecks, at least 30.

I am on coms with Jayne, my corpmate, who logged in while I was busy.  So I report this and Jayne gets an alt logged in.  The alt will watch in C2a at our wormhole.  Jayne gets in an Onyx.  We're not sure what we are doing yet.

Evidently these guys are running sites and planning to salvage later on.  I hope I am not too late.  I quickly save bookmarks for all remaining anomalies.  This is tedious, as there are about 15 combat sites.   I notice that there are only two Frontier Barracks, so that's what I guess they are running.  I confirm this when I cannot bookmark the first one.  This must be the site they are in: they have killed the site-despawn trigger since I came in.  (It is vexing that my virtual computer on my virtual ship knows where a point is in 3-space and will show me exactly, but I still cannot bookmark or warp to what I can plainly see before me.)  There is another anom close to it, so I warp to it at 100 and confirm that the Tengus are in the site.  They seem to be finishing off the small sleepers.  This takes a while, so I take the opportunity to activate all the sites in the system.  It's a C4.

Now I warp to the last Frontier Barracks at 100km, and start moving away from the sleepers.  I want to be 150km+ to make a good perch.  Almost immediately, the Tengu fleet enters the site and starts killing sleepers.   I get to a far enough perch, and bookmark it.  Then I warp in at 50 to get a good look at the enemy.  I am close enough to look at them up close, so I can see they are not spidering.  They do have a ripply effect going, which probably means shield hardeners.  It might mean shield boosters.  I report this and Jayne says the effects look different.  Unfortunately I have not learned what they look like, so I can't tell.  (I shall have to look at various effects and see if I can tell them apart.)

I am still trying to figure out how the enemy is planning to salvage.  One of the Tengus is not with the others for a while, and I think maybe it is salvaging.  But now I see a Noctis on dscan.  OK, that is the salvager.  The Tengus finish killing the sleepers in the Barracks I am in and warp.  Where?  Still in dscan range.  I look around; they are with the Noctis.  I "watch" as the Noctis grinds down the site.  OK.  Now they move on, to the site the Tengus were in when I showed up.  I follow this on dscan.  It appears that they are no longer running new sites.  This makes sense: they have cherry-picked only the Barracks, which is the best C4 combat anom.  The Tengus are escorting their Noctis to each site, in order.  This means they'll be coming to where I am soon.  I move back out to my perch.

Meanwhile I am reporting all this to Jayne.  He reships into a Hound, a stealth bomber.  Our new idea is to jump the Noctis.  We debate as to whether we might get it alone.  It looks like not.  So the question is, can we kill it under the guns of six Tengus?  We think so.

The enemy has finished where they were, and they have warped into my site.  I watch as the Noctis works.  He is, at least, a bit separated from the Tengus.  Jayne traverses the wormhole, and warps to me.

I am really unsure that we can pull it off.  It should work if there are no warp disruptors in the enemy fleet, which is probable.  And if they do not react quickly to the stealth bomber.  On the other hand, if they lock it fast enough and force it off the field, then they may be able to take me down too.  Then it depends on how much tank the Noctis has.

The Noctis is almost done salvaging.  It's down to just a few wrecks.  The time is now: we must strike now or lose our chance entirely.  I figure what the hell, this is what I am here for, to do or die.  So, I warp to within 10km of the single remaining can that is next to the Noctis.  Jayne warps to me.  We count down 3, 2, 1 and uncloak.  It's on.

I orbit at 5000 and start locking.  I get my warp disruptor going, and the assault missiles.  Will it warp before I lock?  No.  Noctis locked.  It's pinned now and the missiles are flying.  The Noctis has started moving towards the Tengus and vice versa.  They are now about 15km off, and closing fast.  I glance at the locked enemy: we're into armor.  A few more volleys and boom!  Killed.  I start trying to lock the pod, but also I tell Jayne to GTFO.  (He did not need me to tell him -- he aligned as soon as he uncloaked.)  I initiate warp to the wormhole back to C2a.  I look: uh oh.  I am warp disrupted.  Or at least, I thought I was.  I look again, and I am not.  And I warp.  What happened?  I dunno.  Fevered imagination?  (Combat logs say no such thing.  OK, fever it was.  Actually in retrospect I think it was target painting from the Tengus.)

In flight, I see my shields are down to about 75%.  I have a decent buffer tank, but still, I don't think the enemy reaction was very fast. (Combat logs confirm they never hit me until after the Noctis died.)  Jayne has safely disengaged too.  We're laughing and feeling amped on adrenaline.

I approach the wormhole, and there's the pod of the Noctis pilot.  I start trying to lock.  He jumps.  I jump.  I immediately break cloak by moving, and I wait: he breaks cloak.  I try to lock.  He warps.  Oh well.  I knew I'd only get him if he was totally negligent.  But worth the try.

We warp back to our wormhole, jump, and warp to our tower.  We know the enemy pod saw us enter their system, so they may know where we came from.  Or, they may not know, but decide to run our Frontier Barracks.  So, we jump in PVP Drakes and an oddment of other PVP ships, and wait.

This takes a while.  We have eyes on the C2a side of the hole, so I hear the slow play-by-play as the enemy return to their tower.  Eventually they get out an Anathema and fire probes.  They dork around with probes for a while and then pull them.  OK... maybe something will come now?  But no, nothing.  Now four of the enemy disappear from dscan.  Did they go back C4b?  That would seem... unlikely.  But they aren't in C2a.  The other two pilots disappear too.  Where'd they go?

1 comment:

  1. Ooh, those are the best kills, the ones where the fleet watches their own ship explode.

    I dunno if you need this tip or not, but when you make a perch in an anomaly, you can do it a bit quicker with some practice. When you create a bookmark, the location that's stored is the one where your ship is when you hit 'ok', not when you start the creation process.

    What this means is that you can initiate warp to an anomaly, for example, and click 'add bookmark', changing the text to 'perch 1' or whatever whilst you're warping. Now watch the distance tick downwards, and when you are nearly out of warp hit return or click 'ok'.

    With any luck, you'll have created a bookmark for a perch 200 to 300 kilometres away from the cosmic signature, which will let you warp back out to it immediately and let you warp in to any point in the anomaly. This can save a lot of time not needing to slowboat backwards.