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.|
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.|
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.
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.|
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.
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.