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.

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