Tuesday, May 13, 2014

A Caracal Kill

It's the weekend.  I log onto EVE, appearing out of nowhere into my system in my Manticore.  It is the middle of the day.  Normally a good time for finding people.  But right now I have different plans.

Earlier, I was on for a while, and I scanned down fully C4b, the C4 system that our static wormhole connects to.  C4b has no active towers, and it has the look of a long idle system.  In addition to some 30 anoms, C4b has 20 signatures.  Lots of those are gas; some are data/relic.  Only two are wormholes.  One of the wormholes is mine.  The other must be its C1 static.  I did not instantiate the static, and my guess is that it is not instantiated.  Since no other wormholes connect to mine, the pair of systems (mine, C4a, and C4b) are zipped up.  This means I can do whatever I like, in almost perfect safety.

Whatever I like is, just now, running small sites in C4b.  I am tempted to just go straight in, in my PVE Tengu.  But it is has been a few hours since I was last in there.  There may be a new connection.  It should only take me five minutes to duck in there in my Manticore, to check it out.  So I warp directly to our static, and jump.

On the other side, I dscan as normal.  And instead of the nothing that I expect, there are sleeper wrecks!  And a Venture.  The wrecks are mostly small sleepers, and a handful of cruisers.  That, and the Venture, is strong evidence someone else is running small sites.  I have been beaten to it!  I don't mind.  This is much better: it's a hunt!

Change of plans.  There is a ship out there, and I do not need to scan to find it.  Ventures are miners.  To mine gas, one must be in a gas site, and I have all of the sites in here pre-scanned.  No warning from seeing probes.  Of course killing a Venture in a Manticore with only a warp scrambler is not likely.  Still, it's one possibility.

Also, there is the matter of those sleeper wrecks.  Wrecks in wormhole space usually mean there will be a salvager along.  And that salvager is likely to be more worth killing, and more easy to kill, than a Venture.  So, this is what I am focusing on now.  There is no salvager on scan.  Might it be elsewhere in the system?

C4b is a large system.  Right now I am in the inner system, where I can see most of the planets on scan.  But there are two other clumps of sites around two outer planets.  So, my first order of business here is to fly out there and see what I can see.

I warp to a random moon at the nearer of the two outer planets.  Once I get close, I dscan.  And what do you know: a Caracal is on scan, as well as a mobile tractor unit and bunch of sleeper wrecks.  OK, plans changed again.  He's running sites.  I am now hunting him.  I type the situation into corp chat.

Fortuitously, Jayne has just logged on.  This gives me the option to blob, which I will happily take.  There is probably no hurry, and we start conferring via corp chat.  I don't really want to leave the system to reship in case the target has eyes on the wormhole.  But on the other hand, a tissue-paper ship like mine is not the best idea to take on missiles with.  I can mitigate missile damage by microwarping, but I am not confident in that.  It takes very little damage to kill a stealth bomber.  Also, I think it will be hard to keep a fast orbit and also keep a scrambler on.

Jayne proposes using a battleship, with me as tackle until he lands.  But then he might be outrun.  And also, I still have to survive a little while in that scenario.  Next I consider getting my Onyx; the problem here is I have to go back to reship.  It takes time and the Venture can potentially see that.  Then Jayne proposes a Falcon.  Great idea: the Falcon can keep the target jammed while my Manticore applies DPS.  The Falcon also has a good chance to get us out of a jam if there is unexpected help for the target.

That's our plan.  Let's go.  Jayne decides that all the typing is stupid and calls me on Skype.

Jayne is already in warp to C4b, so I focus on actually getting on grid with the target.  I dscan out his gas site quickly enough, and I warp in at 20km.  My guess is he will be right at zero, since that's the obvious place to warp to and launch a tractor.  In warp, I start to worry about being decloaked by a wreck or live sleeper.  Or even gas.  No help for it now, though, and in any case there is no completely foolproof way to sneak into an active site.

I land on grid, and I am fine.  The last two sleepers are not near me; the wrecks are in a ball next to the mobile tractor.  The Caracal is orbiting the tractor to mitigate damage, but up near to it.  Perhaps 2500 or 5000m.  I tell Jayne I am on grid.  Now I wonder: how do I get Jayne in here?  He does not know which gas site it is.  We are fleeted, so he can warp to me.  Then I hit on the idea of bookmarking the tractor, which I do.  I am forgetting that it normally takes forever for bookmarks to propagate to corpmates.  I tell Jayne about the bookmark, and he says he is already in warp to it at 30km.  (We got lucky with the bookmark propagation.)  I ask what the range on his jams are: 30km?  Yes, more or less.  So he will be at the optimal range for jamming.

The Caracal kills the second to last sleeper, and starts in on the last.

I start moving in closer, so I can uncloak at the edge of my warp scramble range.  The sleeper is not close, so that is OK.  Jayne says he's landed on the site.  Closer... 15km, then 10km.  I stop.  I want to wait for the Caracal to pull drones before we uncloak.  I don't know if two Hobgoblins can kill me, but I know that they will attack me and jamming won't stop them.  And the Caracal's next move when he kills the last sleeper is almost certain to be pulling drones, before scooping the tractor and loot, and then warping.  We will wait for that.

So we sit and watch as he kills the last Sleeper.  It's not long before boom, sleeper dead.  There's a brief pause.  Then, as expected, he pulls drones, and starts moving towards the tractor unit.

This is our signal.  I approach him, and I tell Jayne now.  I have tunnel vision; I don't know if Jayne uncloaked or not.  But I do.  Now I am locking, and then getting my sebo on, and my other systems.  The lock completes: got him.  My torps start.  I orbit him at 5000m, watching for drones or his lock.  Jayne says he has him jammed, and given the relative strengths it is probably a permajam.  The shields go down slowly due to the pulsar effect, but then the armor and structure are fast.  He does not launch drones.  He blows up.

I am ready for the pod, and I get locking ASAP.  I get it locked and scrambled, and pop.  Now I loot the cruiser wreck, but nothing is there.. oh yeah, the tractor.  It has grabbed and looted the wreck.  Crap.  I lock up the tractor and start killing it.  Jayne has already beat feet: I want him to sit at the C1 wormhole, where this guy had to have come from.  He does.  Now I kill the tractor, and get the loot.

Now we have a system full of sleeper wrecks.  It is secure, so far as we know.  We have Jayne picketing the one entrance.  So, it's time to do some salvage.  I run home, dump the loot, then get our Coercer salvager.  Then I return and salvage all the sites.  While I do this, our late victim returns in a cloaky scout.  I am sure he wants to check for wrecks at the ambush site, but they are all gone.  He waves in local, although I do not see it until later.  Good sport.

Later, I go into C1a and lurk at his tower a while.  Nothing comes of it though.  And even later, I notice that there is a new sig in C4a: it's a K162.  I never checked during the action whether it was there.

1 comment:

  1. To be fair, my main was in HS, so I couldn't just use my normal PvP ship. So to appease all the Falcon haters, the options were limited.