Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Double Play

I am waiting for a static C4->C1 wormhole to expire, so I can get its next incarnation.  There is no guarantee that a C1 system will get a connection to highsec or a close-to-highsec lowsec, but the odds are pretty good.  So, I am sitting at watching it every so often while mostly AFK.  Then the thing goes poof just as I go to warp off.  Well, that was strange, but it's good.  Now I can scan.

I deploy probes, then search down the new sig.  I am not in my normal scanning ship, but my Manticore, because earlier I had had some hopes of attacking a Raven I had seen hole-popping.  That did not happen and I stayed in the Manticore since I knew all I would be doing is sitting at a hole.  Searching takes one more iteration than normal, but since it is just one sig it goes fast.

Since I am in a bomber, I might as well optimize my time in C1a before the discovery scanner reveals my presence to everyone in there.  (This warning, pushed to everyone in the system, makes it really easy to zip up your system and play in near-perfect safety.  It is why Penny calls the discovery scanner the "dumbscovery" scanner.)  Post-Odyssey, you have a few minutes, I think, even if they are paying attention.  (I am not sure what the quantum is but I am pretty certain it is not instantaneous.)  I have not instantiated the wormhole yet by warping to it.  To minimize the amount of time between instantiating it and going through it, I warp to a nearby planet, align to the sig, then only when I am up to speed, warp.  Warp is immediately.  I land on grid and bookmark as I move to the hole.  Then I am through.

My dscan from the hole sees nothing but some customs offices.  I move off and fire probes, then throw them from the system.  There are only two sigs, and I can ignore the one I am at.  So searching will be fast again.  But on the off-chance of something interesting, I warp to a planet in the inner system.

A dscan from the inner system shows a Covetor and a Retriever, which is a bit unusual.  I look for the tower, and there is no tower.  Now I wake up.  A quick look at the map shows a single ore anom.  Without even bothering to dscan it, I warp to it 100, hoping I don't reveal myself on landing.  I would try to construct a better approach (from below or above), but the clock is ticking.

I land on grid, not near anything, which is good.  The two mining barges are right next to each other, eating rocks.  Both ships have mining drones out.  They are about 100km from me.  I need to warp over, so I check the asteroids for something at a good range.  I zoom out and check out the line to a big rock which is about 160km from me more or less in line with the barges; it looks good.  So I warp to 50 from it.  I come out of warp, and am dismayed to see that I am 50km from them.  I guess my eyeballing it was not very accurate.

I am starting to worry about the time.  For a moment I start looking at asteroids again, but then I realize they have a jetcan out.  I can use that.  I bookmark it, then warp to the nearest CO at 100.  Then I warp back to the jetcan.  (I think about warping to 10km, but I don't think there is any need for that.  Fast and furious.)

Now my heart is jacking up for real.  I slow down and land on grid, and I am right next to both barges.  One is just over 2000m from me as I leave warp.  Then it is less, and I am decloaked.  So I start locking both barges.  I get the warp scrambler, target painter, and torps active.  The lock completes and my Manticore opens fire.

One down
I start to orbit the second barge, just in case there is any interference.  Just as I do this, a Miasmos lands on grid.  I realize the second barge might try to warp.  So, figuring that the first will die before he can warp, I turn off the scrambler.  When it comes around and turns itself off, I scramble the second barge to keep it from warping.  (The Miasmos flees but I don't even see it.  "Tactical tunnel vision".)  The first barge dies on my third volley.  I try to lock the pod but it is gone in an instant.  Now I paint and open fire on the second barge.

As it crumbles I am already heading to the first wreck to loot.  I loot.  (Nothing of value.)  Now the second barge dies.  Again I try to lock the pod, cursing my lack of sensor booster.  (I have one on the fit, but it is turned off for CPU to run the probe launcher.)  This time I almost complete the lock, but the guy gets out just in time.  With a sensor booster I would have had him I think.  Oh well.

Opsec is hard
Little left to do here but loot the second wreck and get away from them.  I don't expect effective retaliation from miners with poor opsec in a C1.  But you cannot be sure so long as you are uncloaked.  I move off with afterburner on, then cloak.  I stick around in the asteroid anom for a while hoping that the locals do something stupid, but they don't.  So, I bring my probes in and scan.  Quickly the one sig is resolved.  The miners still don't do anything stupid, or anything at all that I can see.  That's enough sitting.  I fly to the sig, which must be the system's static.  Lowsec.  I traverse the wormhole.  The lowsec system is 24 jumps to Jita, and adjacent to highsec.  Three people in local.  Well, it will do.  I warp to the adjacent highsec system to bookmark a nearby station.  Then I return to C1a.  (The wrecks, jetcan, and mining drones are still on scan.)

Out of curiousity, I fly to a far outer planet with one moon, figuring the two miners have to be from there.  I am right.  However, it is more than two miners I find.  Rather a whole flock of ships, all manned but one, sitting safe in their POS. 

Later, I pass the system again to fly to Jita to get a ship.  Time passes as I autopilot part of the route, then buy drones and refit the ship.  Then more time as I fly it back.  On the way back into wspace, I dscan according to habit.  The C1a guys have salvaged the wrecks, although the jetcan is still there.


  1. Another happy miner ganker... I mean fearsome wormhole PvP-er!

    I honestly don't get it. If you want to gank miners, why don't you go highsec, it's full of them.

  2. It's the thrill of the hunt. If ganking miners in wspace is compared to shooting deer in the woods, ganking miners in highsec would be shooting cows in a pasture. It's not an ideal comparison either; to make it a bit tighter, you have to imagine that the woods you are hunting in are full of bears. This makes for a more thrilling hunt.

    Why do men hunt deer instead of just paying farmers to shoot a cow?

  3. For the same reason why they gank: deers can't shoot back, but it can be somehow spinned as a manly adventure instead of what it is: butchery.

  4. The manly adventure is not the killing. Killing miners is no harder in wspace than highsec. (Actually, it is typically easier to kill in wspace, since miners usually have no tank because tank is helpful in highsec only in surviving long enough for Concord to shut down the attack.) The manly adventure is finding the target in the first place.

    It is not hard to find a miner in highsec. It is not hard to get on grid with him. Indeed, it is not hard to get on grid with him uncloaked, and ship-scan him, and have him still be there five minutes later. It is quite hard to find a miner in wspace. It is very hard to find a miner in wspace who is not POSed up. (Try it sometime if you doubt.) It is also very hard to sneak up on a miner in wspace, especially in the era of the discovery scanner.

    I might also point out another aspect of manly adventure when killing ships in wspace: you may be trapped. If you see a procurer mining in wspace, it is probably a trap, but you never know without taking a bite. Indeed, I was killed once in wspace in just such a trap. I found a lone procurer, and went for it. His friends uncloaked. It was me that ended up dead, not him.

  5. Gevlon is right and you are wrong: it's always pointless to do something in anything other than the easiest way. If you want to kill a miner, go to hisec and kill a miner. What's next, organizing an all-blues run in WoW? We don't have time for that fake manliness.