Saturday, March 1, 2014

Foiled by Stabs and a Tractor

Saturday.  Usually a good day in wspace, since I can be coincident with Russians and Europeans generally.  Let's see what EVE holds this morning.

I warp to my static wormhole in my Manticore.  The wormhole is EOL.  But since I instantiated it yesterday evening, and immediately bookmarked it, I know when it will start to be in danger of vanishing.  And that's not for another two hours.  (It will vanish for sure within three.)  Perhaps someone on the other side will get incautious.

I transit the wormhole into C4b, and dscan as normal.  Nothing interesting.  The system from yesterday is as it was.  I check the tower: unoccupied.  I sucked all the decent gas out last night, but it my colleague Hiljah was on last night after me.  She instantiated the static wormhole in C4b, which connected to a C3.  So I have that bookmark to explore through.  I warp over, and jump.

C3 shows promise.  I can see a Legion and an Imicus on scan, along with a tower.  Moons are sparse, and it appears the locals have the system moon-locked.  I quickly find the planet with the tower; both ships appear to be at the tower.   Not so good.  The planet has two moons.  I warp to moon #1, and it's the right one.  The tower is here, and the Imicus is here, and it is manned.  But the Legion has moved.  Then I see a sleeper wreck on dscan.  Good.  It's probably just one guy and his alt.  I'll get a shot at a salvager.  Since I came through a wormhole from last night, he will not be spooked by that.  He has probably explored up there (I imagine using the Imicus), and found that it is just one tower and an EOL wormhole.  Not the safest for running sites, but not too bad either.

Legion kills cruisers.
The system has a lot of anoms.  I use 180 degree dscan to find the right general direction, then 90 degrees, and then 60.  That narrows it to three sites, which I narrow-beam until I find the Legion and now two wrecks.  I warp to the site at 100km.  It's an Outpost Frontier Stronghold.  He's into the second wave, cruisers.  These he kills fairly fast.  While he does that I start slowboating directly away from him, to make a perch.  Now the wave with frigates and battleships.  This one takes quite some time.  I get my perch bookmarked.  So, while he is busy, I warp off to check the outer system (which I have not yet seen) for any towers or ships.  There are none.  This makes me that much more confident that I can successfully ambush the salvager, when that happens.

I warp back to my perch.  He's still yet to kill the first battleship.  I warp over to the tower to make sure nothing interesting has happened there: it has not.  The Imicus is exactly where it was, still manned.  Now back to the site.

There's a lot of waiting in hunting.  One battleship dies, and then eventually the other.  He lingers in the site for no apparent reason, then warps.  I am hoping he will refit into a Noctis to salvage.  Instead, almost as he leaves the Imicus drops into the site.  Is he going to microwarp around?  No.  He deploys a mobile tractor unit.  Ugh.  This makes things much harder.  Still, I figure I can kill the Imicus.  And/or the tractor, if it comes to that.

Reach out and touch someone.
Slowly the wrecks are gathered.  As each one gets close, the Imicus salvages it.  It's not very fast (personally I would have dropped a tractor from the Legion to get a head start), but gradually all the wrecks are collected.  I recall my last time trying to kill a salvager near a tractor: I got screwed when the tractor "saw" the killed salvager and pulled it and looted it.  So now I wait for the tractor to drag in the second to last wreck before I attack.  I warp to 10km distance off the salvager, which leaves me just about 12000m from the Imicus.  I approach to within 8000m.  Now I wait just a bit.  The tractor loots and lets go of the second-to-last wreck, and locks onto the last wreck.  This is my time: I'll kill the Imicus now so that I can loot its wreck before the tractor.

I uncloak and get my systems going: first the sensor booster, then I start locking, and then I turn on the scrambler, painter, and torpedos.  The lock completes: got him!  My first set of torps crashes into him.  It's looking good, when suddenly: zoom.  He warps.

What?  My scrambler!  How can he -- Oh.  Crap.  I guess he was stabbed up.  Well, there's still blue loot to get if he is unwilling to fight.  I lock the tractor unit, and open fire, setting an orbit for 5000m.  I don't want to tangle with that Legion, so I quickly try a dscan at 1/10 normal range.  Neither the tower nor the Legion shows.  That's good.  I blow off the shields and armor of the tractor in a few shots. 

Now I double the dscan range.  I want to get as much warning as possible.  And this time, although I still don't see the tower I see the Legion.  Rats.  He is not afraid.  Well, I remember from last time how much structure the tractor unit has.  Namely: a lot.  I cannot kill it before he lands.  It's time to GTFO.  I turn and warp to a random celestial.  The Legion lands on grid.  As my ship turns, I try to cloak.  In fact I do cloak (I did not expect it to work), and I easily escape.

I bounce off the celestial, warping back to my perch to watch.  Will he do something idiotic?  No.  He makes no mistake.  The Legion sits there watching as the Imicus comes back to finish up.  Oh well, my chance here is shot.   Time to head home.

Kudos to my opponent.  Now, personally I prefer to zip up my system to run sites.   His setup was great against a stealth bomber, but it exposed his Legion quite a bit.  Still, if you must run sites unzipped, this is the right idea.  A super cheap stabbed-up salvager that has no range, but who cares?  It can hardly be stopped by the average cloaky killer like me.  If I'd known, I might have refit to a two scrambler fit, but why would I know?  I guess I should have suspected.  Oh well, perhaps next time.

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