Tuesday, July 29, 2014


Come at me... my POS, bro.
I just finished Starbase Defense Management IV.  Yay, me.

As of Crius, CCP reduced the prerequisite for Starbase Defense Management from Anchoring V (which is a hard sell) to anchoring IV (not easy, but doable).  I had thought they were going to do it for Kronos, so I had Anchoring IV done.  And now I have my SDM done for all time.  Will I ever do level V?  Doubtful.

Now is the time to skill up all your POS defenders.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Hitting a Mistake

The weekend.  Always a good time to look for unwilling playmates.  Today I am on and off my computer, as I do things IRL. My system should be zipped since my old static should have just died.  So I return to the computer to see what I can find.

A glance at my scanner window shows that there is a new signature.  I check for where it is, then warp into the middle of nowhere to launch probes.  I find the wormhole in two iterations, mindful that there may well be scouts in my system who would want to see that.  Wormhole found, I pull probes immediately and warp over to look.

The new wormhole's color shows it as going to C4.  So, C4c.  (C4b is reserved for the system through our static.)  As I sit and ponder, I see a Cheetah appear near it and jump.  Interesting.  Perhaps there is someone I can kill on the other side.  I'll need all the eyes I can get, and I have no corpies on line.  So I log out my Jita alt, then log Otto, my sidekick, on my second account.  He's already in his Cheetah, ready to sniff around the enemy system.  By this time the enemy scout should be long gone, so Otto warps to the wormhole directly and jumps.

Nobody is at the wormhole uncloaked.  A tower with a Cheetah is on dscan.  That's my guy.  I quickly move off the wormhole and cloak, then I start looking for the tower.  It's at the system's outer planet.  I warp over to it, then isolate it at its moon.  I warp up for a look.

The Cheetah is not actually my guy. It is empty.  However, as I sit there, a Vargur warps up.  Hmm. The enemy system C4c is medium sized.  Perhaps there is something happening on the other side, out of dscan range.

I warp over to a conveniently located ore anom.  THen I dscan, and sure enough.  There's no force field on scan, so no active tower.  But there is indeed a Golem on scan.  No wrecks, though, so I  wonder what it is doing.  Perhaps bashing a structure?  But then I dscan against and there is a sleeper wreck.  OK, they are running an anom.  I quickly bookmark all anoms, then search among them for the one with the Golem and wrecks.  I find it, except that now it is a Golem, wrecks, and Thanatos.  Two marauders running sites, and they intentionally opened their system first?  That makes no sense at all.  But there they are.

Soon they are joined by a Vargur.  One of them pops out a mobile tractor (of course).  So I bookmark that, and also start moving back away from it 150km to a perch.

The Thanatos deploys Firbolgs, which is when I finally realize that Thanatoses are carriers and not marauders.  They are not very good at this.  It sends the Firbolgs 100km to the battleships.  And it also leaves them on cruisers.  (One can imagine very little damage.)   Since they are taking quite a while, once I have my perch ready, I warp out to the tower to get eyes on.  Only the unmanned Cheetah is there.  OK, this is my opportunity to jump Von in, in my Manticore.  I am hoping to catch a salvager.  Otto remains at the tower, so I can see what they are doing.

I warp back to my perch in the anom, then wait.  Eventually I realize that the Golem is salvaging.  So I am not sure what I will be able to do here; perhaps nothing.  The enemy finish the site, then the Thanatos warps out.  And then the Vargur, too.
I could steal that.
There are still many wrecks to go, and I consider warping over to some of the battleship wrecks to grab their loot.  It's perhaps the only thing I can do at this point.  But doing that would reveal me, and I'd prefer a decent target.  So I just watch.  At their tower, the other two characters are just sitting, although the Thanatos is gone and there is second Cheetah out instead.

I sit back in the anom at my perch, trying to think of ways to be a nuisance.  A Golem's cruise missiles would not hurt me much, but it probably has drones (I was not paying enough attention earlier), and they would.

The only thing I can think of is maybe he will pull the tractor full of loot, creating a can.  If he does this routinely, I'll take a shot in the next site they run at stealing the loot right out from under his nose.   I'll have to uncloak at just the right time, but I figure that I will get a clean shot at it and can warp and/or recloak before a marauder can lock me.  But he may not pull the tractor while it is still full; you can remove the loot from a tractor unit by hand if you want.  I want to see what he does, so I warp to the can at 70km.  Now I look at the Golem up close, to see its tractor-pull in detail.  (Also I can make a nice screen shot.)
Just sitting there.

Finally, the last wreck is hauled in and salvaged.  And then, strangely, the Golem just sits there.  It's a pretty strong signal that the account is being multiboxed; already I think this is no more than two guys, and I am increasingly thinking it is just one on all three accounts. 

Looks safe.
The Golem aligns, and warps out.  He did not pick up the tractor!  (More evidence it is multiboxed.)  It's go time for me.  I did not count on a mistake like this: I am too far to get there fast and too far to warp.  I bounce off a nearly planet and warp to the tractor at 10km.  Dscan is clear.

I uncloak while I am landing, then start shooting the tractor unit as I set an orbit around it at 1000m.  Via Otto, I can see what is happening at their tower.  They cannot dscan to where I am, so I think they must still be ignorant of what I am up to.  The Golem lands on grid.  They don't do anything immediately.

It takes a minute or so to kill a tractor unit; they have a lot of structure.  But it pops before they do anything, and I think they don't know.
Bank error in your favor.
 I swoop in and grab the loot.  Then I pop the tractor wreck, just to be extra mysterious. Then I cloak and move off.

Now I want to see their reaction.  I am about 10km off when I see the Vargur landing on grid.  I sails right up to where the tractor was.  Then it sits for a second, and turns and warps.

I remain in the system for some time.  They get out a Tengu and warp.  It disappears.  Then they get out a Nereus and go sit on the wormhole for a while.  Obvious bait is obvious.  I don't bite.  They keep trying, going through the wormhole for a while.  I take an opening where they are all at the tower to get Otto out.  He remains watching their hole from my side.  Then they go through to the other side, with both Tengu and Nereus, and sit for a while.  I am not sure what they are thinking here, except maybe that I'll attack the Nereus on the wormhole when it comes back in.  But I don't.

They don't start running new sites.  Eventually I pop probes and scan down their system, looking for more wormholes to explore, and also hoping that maybe I can catch them doing something later today or early tomorrow.  There are no other wormholes; the system is a dead end.  I plan to explore tonight, so I am done here now.  I head out the other way. 

Thursday, July 24, 2014

A Poor Trade

It's late night.  Corp night is done.  We killed off our local four anoms.  Then we instantiated our static wormhole to go looking for a good C4b.  After three tries, we decide to give up on the idea of running anoms.  The other guys leave one by one.  I stay on to hunt.

The chain is long and tedious.  C4b through our static has a tower but nobody home.  It has its own C4 static, to C4c, which is empty.  Then a diversion to a C6, occupied but nobody home.  It has lots of wormholes to null, and one C3.  The C3 is has a tower and nobody home, and many sigs.  Too many; I leave after verifying there's nobody around.  Then back to C4c, and into C5a, which again is occupied but nobody home.  I am sensing a pattern here.  Well, I will try once more.  C5b, where I dscan the inner system to find a tower and nobody home.  But wait!  There is still the outer system.

I fly out.  There is a tower and a Venture on scan; that's novel.  Is it at the tower?  Dscan says not.  Aha.  It's a hunt!

I am in my Manticore, but I figure it is worth trying the hunt, if only for practice.  So I warp to the inner system out of dscan range of the Venture, deploy my probes, then go through the whole hunting process.
Preparing to scan.
I find the distance to the Venture (4.5 AU), and set my probes to 4AU scanning so that I can eyeball 4AU easily.  Then I get a rough bearing, and move my probes to center there.  Now I refine the bearing.  30 degrees, 15 degrees.  The last step is 5 degrees, and that takes a while.  Once I get it to 5 degrees, I set my probes to 0.5 AU and scan.  I figure that 0.25AU is too tight for the variance I have; it is likely to miss altogether or return a non-point hit.  0.5AU is better.  I can get the scan in two tries if it is a core gas site.  If not, I should get it in one scan.

The hit comes back at 20%, with two dots.  It is a core site.  So I have to scan again, which I do as fast as I can.  When I get the 100% hit on the site, I pull the probes.  (It is a Vital Core Reservoir.)  I don't warp directly to the site, since it is rather too steeply "above" where I am.   (Gas clouds can decloak you and they are oriented up/down from the warp-in point.) Instead I bounce off a more inward planet about 10AU off, and then warp to the site at 50km.  I expect to see the Venture has fled, but it is there.  Hurrah for me.  On grid with a target; that's kind of a small victory.
On grid with game.  Woo.
Can I kill it?  Not in a Manticore.  I'll have to go back home to reship to have a chance.  It would be nice to have a Manticore for this, with light missiles.  Maybe I should make a ship like that.  But I think I will just use my Tengu.  It's worked on Ventures before.

As I am thinking that, suddenly the Venture turns and warps.  Oh, well.  I follow it into the inner system to see where it goes.  But it is not in the inner system.  It's not anywhere, unless it cloaked.  So, my guess is he is not local -- a daytripper.  He probably warped to a wormhole and out.

I am about to leave the system to go home for the night, when I dscan again and see... a Venture.  Hmm.  Maybe he was just dumping gas.  If he is from known space I don't expect he has the system scanned down, so he may not notice the new sig.  He disappears from dscan.  I warp back out to the Vital Core Reservoir and sure enough, there he is sucking gas.

Well.  He'll be here now for ~30 minutes.  That means I have time to run home and change ships.  So I think I'll do that.  Back across this system, then into C5a.  Then to C4c, C4b, C4a.  Home.  Across home.  Reship into my Tengu.  I fit it up: two warp scramblers instead of its ghostbusting mids.  And I put a 100mn afterburner on, just in case.  Then back down the chain: across home, to C4b, C4c, C5a, and C5b.  Across the system to the gas site at 20km.  Is the Venture still here?

It is.  And there is something odd: I can see ships out in space that don't appear on my overview.  WTF?  Ah.  They are Prospects, which I have never seen before this, and of course it would never occur to CCP to make them appear by default on people's overview if they have, say, mining frigates checked.  I add expedition frigates to my overview.   And there they are.  Now I have two more things I might hunt.
Hey.  Prospects.
I'd prefer to go after a Prospect than the Venture, because they are costlier.  But the Prospects are mining the larger cloud, the C540.  So they are pretty far from me, and also they are going be harder to intercept.  So I stick with plan A: go for the Venture.

I move in towards the C320 cloud, which the Venture is circling.  I get close, and the Venture has just passed me.  Now it's coming at me, and I move a bit in.  This is it.  I uncloak.  Then I try to lock, which is frustrating because of the 4s delay.  Eventually I start locking, but before I can finish, the Venture zooms.  It had a good reaction time.  The Prospects also vanish.  I'm left alone in the site, and I move off and cloak.  The Venture disappears from my scan.

I notice that the C320 cloud is gone.  Of all the bad luck, it appears that the Venture just finished sucking it as I was going for him.  That's probably why he reacted so fast.

I slowly sail away from the gas, so I am safe.  I start writing this.  I spend five minutes tappity tappity, then there's something on overview.  Mirabile dictu, the Venture warps back in to the site and starts sucking gas!

Well, that sure looks like bait, but he could just be stupid.  And I have my get-out-of-jail 100mn.  Also, I have not found much PVP for weeks.  So, I figure the risk is worth it.  I am going for it.

I am about 80km off from the cloud, so it takes a while to move back.  I maneuver into the path of the Venture... it circles once and I am 70km away, then again at 50km, then again at 30.  It passes me just 10km off on the next lap.  I could uncloak but it would be out of range before I could scramble it.
Almost close enough.
One more lap.  I wait... and I uncloak.  I lock, which seems to take forever, but he does not warp.  I turn on my systems; I have him.  Ha ha!

But he is headed back at me.  What?  Oh.  Warp scrambled.  Trap.  A Pilgrim uncloaks.  What's a Pilgrim?  Some T2 cruiser, I know.  Amarr, I think.  Not sure beyond that.  A second enemy uncloaks and deploys drones.  An Ishtar.  That's not good.  But I can outrun it.

I keep the missiles on the Venture, hoping to kill it then skedaddle.  It takes more rounds than I am used to.  This puzzles me, then I realize that is what you do with bait, duh.  But I eventually get the kill

It seems that Pilgrims are cap-drainer ships, because suddenly my capacitor is low.  I make a move to afterburn off, but before I get beyond one pulse, I have no cap.  Now I am screwed royally.  Ah, greed.  I betray myself.

They are killing me... and then they are not.  My shields hover near zero, even with both hardeners turned off due to no capacitor.  I have stopped shooting hoping to eject, but they have plenty of time to kill me.  I guess they want me to eject.  I see no way out, so there no reason to continue as is.  After my minute is up, I eject and warp.  They don't seem to try to stop me.  I send them a "gf" in local as I flee, as well as a "I knew I should not bite".  Which is sort of true, but not true enough.  My wormhole is clear, and I jump out.

That was a very bad trade.

I warp back home, down the long chain of shame: C5b, C5a, C4c, C5b, and finally C4a.  Poorer but maybe a little wiser.

Lessons learned: obvious bait is obvious.  Don't reengage, especially if you suspect bait.  Not unless you have eyes on the enemy at a chokepoint, at least, and maybe not then either.  No matter what escape you have, it can be countered.

Also, hunt in the right ship.  I am going to get a special Manticore for Ventures, so I can uncloak and pin them almost immediately.  Waiting 4s and the lock time is just too long.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

A Smartbomber Escapes

It's corp night.  This usually means running PVE sites in C4, which is needed to earn ISK to keep the corp going and my guys in cash.   My system has a bunch of anoms piled up, so we plan to run them tonight.

I am on early, and Jayne told me earlier today that we had an extra wormhole connection.  So I figure I will get on and poke around.  I get on.  Sure enough, two wormholes are bookmarked.  I fly to them both: our static is one, connection to some other C4.  The extra one is a K162 from C2.

I check the C4 first, since it is possible that I just instantiated it, and it may have inhabitants doing dangerous gankable stuff.  It does not.  It does have a ship, a Covetor, but after rapid investigation I find that it is quietly sitting empty at a POS.  After I discover that, I scan.  It has a C1 static.  This is interesting.  I have the desire to get out to highsec.  I find the C1 easily via wormhole distance from celestials, scan it, then jump in.  I'll get the remaining two sigs later if need be. 

I have just finished Pulse Weapons V.  This is necessary to get the tech 2 smart bombs, which are far superior to tech 1.  ("Smart bombs" is a misnomer: they are local area effect weapons.)  Since I have dreams of smartbombing delicate frigates in wspace, I have a fit all planned.  If I can find a way out to highsec, maybe I can buy and bring in a smartbombing Rohk. 

I enter C1a, and check it out on wormhol.es.  It's got a highsec exit!  Nice.  I quickly scan down its static, and jump out to see where it is.  It's near Amarr, 10 jumps to Jita.  This is quite workable, but I hope to get better.  So I head back upchain, to my system then down into C2a.  It connects to my C4, so it almost certainly has a highsec.  A check with wormhol.es says it does.  I get this one also on the first try, and warp to it., and try it out.  It is 20 jumps from Jita, also in Amarr space.

Time for a shopping trip.  I head my Jita alt back to Jita, to rifle my spare parts bin and buy stuff.  And I head Von back to my tower, to dump my Manticore for a shuttle.  Then I head downchain to the C1 exit, and out into highsec.  Out in highsec, I see people.  On grid with me, not cloaked.  It makes me nervous.

Warp to gate, warp to gate with Von.  Meanwhile I am buying smartbombs, shield stuff, and power diagnostics.  Soon I have all my junk together, ready to hand to me when I get there.  I get there.  I hand me my stuff.  Von assembles the Rokh, in a travel fit, then heads back out to the C1 entrance.  I put on two inertial stabilizers to help this process.  So it's tedious, but not horribly so.  Once I get past Uedama I autopilot while I do stuff IRL.

When I return, I am ready to head into wspace.  I warp to the C1 wormhole.  Then I jump into C1a... no, actually I do not.  Duh.  Battleships cannot go into C1 wormholes.  I am lucky that I have another entrance, and it's only another 10 jumps.  So off I head.  

More jumping, and I am there.  While I am in transit, some of the guys start to log on.  Jayne and Jeedmo.  I head in to C2a, then warp to the C4a wormhole.

I land on grid, and prepare to jump.  I see a Legion just as I jump, just a few thousand meters off, apparently being uncloaked by the wormhole.  Uh oh.  On the other side, nobody is waiting at least.  I try to initate micro jump immediately.  However, this takes time.  Too long.  The Legion warp scrambles me.  Micro jump fails.  Uh oh twice. 

I say "help" to my guys in corp chat (we're not on coms yet), and start wondering if I am going to survive.  My smart bombs might kill a frigate, but a Legion will barely be scratched.  My best bet is my Vespa jammer drones.  I deploy them and start locking the Legion.  This takes seemingly forever, but the lock completes.  The drones don't jam him, though, before he has a mate land in a Rapier.  Now I am double warm scrambled. They kill my drones one my one.  An enemy Cynabal joins them.
Jayne draws aggro.

Jayne shows up to the rescue, in a PVP Raven we have for such occasions.  The enemy are getting no real fight from me, and they spread points.  I am down to one scrambler on me, and now I think I can warp.  I have two warp core stabilizers fit for travel.  I try to warp, and it works.  Zoom, I am out.  Off to my tower.

Now I have to start thinking about how I can save Jayne.  He's more or less where I was, although at least he can fight.  So look in our ship storage, but it's pretty bare.  We stopped keeping around all kind of rare-PVP-contingency ships after being burned down earlier this year.

Finally I decide that I cannot do that much, but I might snipe and possibly help in that way.  So, I get in one of our normal PVE Ravens, and warp to 100km.  I figure that I can turn and get ready to flee, and if they come for me, warp.  If they don't try to get to me, I'll dish some long range damage with precision cruise missiles.  Might not save Jayne but at least it might take one of them with him.

While I am in warp, Jayne says that he warped out.  (Which is quite amazing, in retrospect.  He overheated his afterburner and somehow got free.)  So I plan to turn around immediately and warp off when I land.  Then I load grid, and I see the bubble.  I am not 100km off the wormhole as planned.  I am sucked to the bubble, and 5km off.  And there are not three enemy.  There are six?  Seven?  Many.

This looks bad.

I make the old college try to get away, turning back towards my tower.  But they have many scramblers on me almost immediately.  I lock them back, and start shooting at a damaged Legion that Jayne evidently pounded pretty hard.  Then the damage rains down on me.  My Raven is hardness fit, to face sleepers with friendly logis.  Not a huge buffer.  My shields drop precipitously, and I prepare to pod out.  Before I can, though, they fire a new bubble from a Sabre.  Now I am well trapped, and I will be podded.

I die.  (There were nine by that time.)

They pod me.

Sigh.  Sometimes plans crumble fast in wspace.  I do wonder that they picked me up at all, seeing as I was coming in unexpectedly from highsec.  But that's life.  I did get my smart bombing Rokh in, and I did not want that PVE Raven anyway.

Lesson learned: do not return to a fight without decent intel.  If I had not, we would have escaped this one scot-free, which would be a victory for us.  As it is, they win.  Nice kill, High Voltage Industries guys.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014


Hint, hint.
Seen the launcher recently?  CCP is making a point to tell you: PLEX prices are through the roof.

And yeah, I called that.  (Gloat.)  PLEX is money; more specifically, PLEX is the best commodity in New Eden to store value with.  Gevlon asserts it.  Croda at marketsforisk is another investor seeing the same thing.

PLEX is money, and it's winning over ISK for the fundamental purpose of preserving value.  Can PLEX go higher?  Yes, we know they can; on the Chinese server PLEX sell for 2 billion ISK.  There's a lot of upside here.  Can they go lower?  Of course.  But the path to lower starts with ISK being able to better preserve value.  Is CCP doing anything about that?  Nothing large.  Manufacturing costs are set to rise in Crius, but it seems unlikely that they will rise anywhere near the level of the ISK faucets pouring ISK into the economy.  And not only that, but if manufacturing costs do become a large ISK-sink, to a large degree it won't matter, since most of those costs will be passed on to customers.  Customers who, for the most part, are getting ISK from faucets via grinding.  They'll grind a bit harder, opening the faucets wider, offsetting the gain in ISK moneyworthiness that would otherwise happen.

That's why I rated PLEX as a strong buy back in May, and I did indeed buy a stack of them when the next sale happened.  I got in at around 670m in the PLEX sale that accompanied the release of Cronos.  (Indeed, it would have been superior to simply buy as soon as I posted that article.)  So I have 20 PLEX backing up my position that PLEX are better money than ISK.  (I have some older ones which I guess should also count.)

Another investment I am dabbling in is Geckos.  Geckos have an absolutely restricted supply -- no new ones can be created in game.  Geckos are highly useful, doing much more damage than equivalent heavy drones, with the speed and tracking of medium drones.  And yet as drones, they are going to get lost from time to time, both by being blown up aboard PVP ships, and accidentally left behind in missions.  Also, new missioners and PVPers will find fits that use them.  As such, they seem like a great investment.  So I bought about a billion ISK worth.  When I did it, they were at 18m ISK, then they dropped.  They have mostly recovered.  Small loss, but I expect a long term gain. 

There's one big problem with the idea of investing in Geckos: CCP can ruin the investment at any moment by adding new Geckos to the game.  Small quantities of Geckos seem probable (i.e, Christmas), but the market can absorb them in time so long as they are finite.  Whether or not CCP adds Geckos into the game in some in-game form is the real question.  Right now I am betting "no".

I think Geckos will be a good investment in the long run, but (unlike PLEX) don't bet your portfolio on it.  Just a fraction.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Not Around

I'm on vacation.  
Back soon.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

In a Tangle of Rocks

It's late.  We ran sites in our system, which is zipped up.  Then I spend time hauling PI goop.  I am going on a trip IRL, so I needed to get ahead on my PI.  But now, I'm done.  There's a half hour left before I need to head to bed.  Let's see what C4b has today.

I swap out the Epithal I was in for my Manticore.  Our static is bookmarked, but I don't fly directly there yet.  I want to be as close as possible to it before I instantiate it.  I warp to the closest planet, then align, and only then do I warp to the static.  Now I cross, and dscan from the wormhole.

Dscan shows a paladin and a shuttle.  No wrecks, and two force fields, so they are probably at one of those POSes.  Still, that's a better result than the nothing I usually get.  I slide off the wormhole, cloak, and start searching down the towers.  Dscan shows one of them at a planet with one moon.  OK, that's easy.  I warp over.  No ships here.  Bookmark and look for the other.  Eventually I find it at a planet with two moons.  My first guess is moon 2: wrong.  Moon 1 it is.  And sure enough, there are the ships.  The shuttle is empty as expected.  But the Paladin is manned.  That's... interesting.

What is a Paladin anyway?  Can I expect it to do anything?  A click or two and I am reminded that it is a marauder.  That's kind of good, in that it might start trying to run sites on its own.  But it's kind of bad, since I cannot kill it alone.  With a mobile tractor unit, a marauder can do sites completely solo, salvaging as it goes.

This train of thought leads me to look at the scanner again for sites.  There are very few sites here: four sigs and three ore sites.  There are no combat anoms at all.  So this guy has nothing to do.  (I wonder if I just missed some action as he cleaned out the system, just as we were cleaning out mine.)

Two of the ore sites are out near an outer planet, 33 AU from me.  So out of dscan range from here.  Now I am wonder whether this guy might be doing some mining.  I'll go out and check.

I randomly pick one of the ore sites and warp to it at 10km.  While still in warp, I dscan and can see there is a tower at the planet, and there's a Venture out here somewhere.  This gets me a little exited, until I land on grid and it's not there.  I narrow-beam dscan at the planet, and I am surprised to see the Venture is not there either.  How about the other ore site?  Yes, he's in the other ore site!

TARGET!  Woo!  Hunting time.

I warp to the ore anom at 10km, while I look in my cargo.  I need a second warp scrambler.  For a while I was carrying around a mobile depot and two extra warp scramblers.  The idea was to refit, so as to be able to catch Epithals (and Ventures).  But I never actually did refit like that, because finding Epithals is rare enough and when you do you almost never have time and/or the privacy for a leisurely refit.  Ventures, same deal.  Eventually I gave up carrying them around.

I land on grid, and there he is.
In a maze.
The Venture is deep in an awful tangle of rocks.  I am not sure I can even get in close to him where he is without being decloaked by an asteroid, but he is moving, apparently orbiting the rock he's mining.  I watch him hit a rock and slow to a crawl, then move around it and speed up.  I should be able to get close to him somewhere, although the movement does make it a bit iffy.

I am aware that the discovery scanner is, even now, blaring my likely presence across the system -- or anyway it will as soon as anyone updates his scanner.  The clock is ticking.  It makes hunting a bit tense.

The Manticore is the wrong ship here.  Even if I can get close and lock, torpedoes do poor damage against tiny little frigates, and especially bad damage if the thing moves fast.  Just like last time I got a Venture, I am going to have to go home and reship.  I've still got my ghostbusting Tengu and it is still a pretty good fit for killing Ventures, since it uses rapid light missile launchers.  It's got extra scramblers in cargo, and a painter, so it should kill the thing quick if I can lock it.  (And assuming it does not flee.)  I'll reship.  No time like the present, so I warp off to my static wormhole.

The paladin is still on scan, and nothing new, as I land on the wormhole and jump.  I hope he did not see that.  I expect he did not, because he's probably not dscanning; if he is doing anything at all it should be strobing the discovery scanner to find my wormhole.  That the Venture is still out mining suggests he has not done that, suggesting that he either does not know how it works or that he is AFK.

Back home, I warp across the system, get my Tengu, then spend a few moments refitting it.  Don't need the data analyzer or the cargo scanner.  Do need two warp scramblers.  Also, this may be a setup.  It does not look like bait, but you can never be sure.  Just to be safe I take off the 10mn microwarp and replace it with a 100mn afterburner.  Much better chance to escape with that, if it is a trap.  A sebo would be nice but I don't have one in cargo and I am not going to take the time to dig around our storage for one and a script.

Now I warp back to the wormhole and jump.  I'll be polarized, but I am not worried having seen no probes nor indication they know I am there.  Nobody at the wormhole.  But my dscan kills hope.  The Venture is in range.  Rats; the cursed discovery scanner has cost me this one.

Well, perhaps he is just dumping cargo.  And anyway I cannot leave right now because of polarization.  I might as well have a look.  I move off the wormhole, cloak, and warp to the POS the Paladin is at.  Sure enough, there's the Venture.
I sit and watch as it does nothing.  (The Paladin does nothing too.)  If it is just dumping off ore, it should be warping out almost immediately; dumping ore takes no time.  After a minute of nothing, I am sure I'm burned.  Since I've nothing to do, I look up the system at wormhol.es: it has a C3 static.  So, maybe I can scan out.  Actually my time is almost up.  I think I'll just wait my five minutes and head home.

As I think such thoughts, I am surprised to see my camera drop off the Venture and return to me.  Confused, I see the Venture align and it warps.  Just below and to the right of the sun -- yes, that's the direction the ore site is in.  Could he really be ignorant of my presence?  You never know.  I pursue, warping to the ore site at 10km again.

I land on grid, and he is only 12km off.  But he is rapidly moving back into the tangle of rocks.  I watch him zoom in, 35 km off, then arc around up and left.  Finally he turns on his beam, and seems to orbit a small hemorphite asteroid.
Not safe.  But how can I get in there cloaked?
Now raise my "Asteroids" tab on overview.  All the asteroids are at least 15km from me.  I head in, more or less straight at the hemorphite rock.  I watch the ranges slowly count down.  14, 13, 11, 9.  That's getting a bit close.  I stop and look around to see which asteroid it is.  It's a big omber one.  Then I turn and move somewhat to my right, trying to stay relatively far from the omber.  This works for a while but then I am getting close to another.  I stop when I am 7 km from both.  The Venture is just 15km... this close... but not close enough.  It's moving away from me though.  

I think I am close enough.  I hate to wait -- discovery scanner -- but I am going to have to let him come to me at least a bit.  So I wait.  I watch as he loops away from me, and hits a big rock.  He is slowed for minute, but then move to my left at speed and hits another rock.  He's only 12km off.  I think this may be my opening.  I regret not taking the time to find a sebo now, but there's nothing to be done about it.

Go time.
I start moving towards him, and the asteroids are getting close.  5km.  But now I am within 10km of him, so I am pretty sure I will be in scrambler range when I uncloak.  Closer: rocks at 3km.  He's at 7.  Good range.  I uncloak, or try to; I think the rock uncloaked me.  Did I lose time?  I start trying to lock; can't due to decloak delay.  Try again.  Etc.  I start locking him.  Now I get my systems on: two warp scramblers, painter, and finally light missiles.  Will he warp in time?

He does not warp in time.  He's locked, and two rounds of missiles do the job.  I am ready, and start locking the pod immediately.  He's stunned (or more likely just raising his window as he hears the beeps of his doom), and does not make it out.  Podded.  Totally empty pod; he's not a fool.

Now I think about my own safety, and turn on my tank as well as dscanning.  Nothing on scan.  OK, I collect a small amount of loot, then the corpse, then finally pack in hemorphite until I am full.  Then I burn off away from the asteroids so I can cloak.  I linger briefly in the site to see if there will be any response (I doubt it), and there isn't.  Then I notice the time and go home to log out.