Saturday, August 2, 2014

Right Ship, Right Time

Previously, I set out to hunt a scout that I thought must be trying to scan out of a C5 to a C3.  However, when I moved my alt Otto towards the C5, I was almost ambushed.  At first I thought the ambush was coming from the C5, but then more ships convinced me it was coming from the C6 that I had previously seen in my home system.  I expect that having seen me and probably figured out where I came from, the enemy ships would try to ambush me coming back in to my system.  Anyway, that's what I would do.

Now I am stuck outside my home system with both my characters.  My plan is to wait for the heat to die down.  Being boring is easy.  But I think I'll get Von back into C4b, at least.  He's been orbiting the C3->C5 wormhole closely in his new Venture (and scout) killing Manticore, and now I doubt anything is coming through.  I uncloak and jump.

The right target.
A quick dscan in C5a shows everything is clear.  No, wait: there's a Venture on scan!  And me in my Venture killer!  Sometimes you're in the right ship at the right time.

There's also a Mammoth on scan, but I know from last night it is sitting empty at a tower.  And there is a Cyclone, but its helpful name suggests that it is set up as a command ship.  I.e. unlikely to be a concern.  I'll worry about it later if I have to.

The Venture might be at a tower, but finding it there will take a few seconds.  I think I know exactly where it will be: at a Vital Core Reservoir that we ninja'ed last night.  Why would anyone have a Venture out at all?  To mine gas.  And why would you mine some lesser gas when you could mine C540?  You wouldn't.  So I warp directly to the Core Reservoir, at 10km just in case the Venture just warped in or something. 

I land on grid and know disappointment.  He's not here.  Oh well, I guess he is at a tower after all.

There is still hope he'll head out to mine gas.  I'll just pick him up at the tower and wait.  So I start trying to find the tower.  My first 180 degree dscan has the Venture in it, but no tower.  He's out in space!  He must be mining in some other site, although I cannot fathom why.  (Players do strange things in EVE all the time.)  There are a lot of gas sites, so I narrow the beam to 90 degrees, then 60, then 30.  Then I lose him at 15 degrees, but the set of sites left is small enough that I find him at 5 degrees on the third try.  Sure enough, he's in a gas site.

I warp to the gas site, again at 10km just in case.  And there is he, sitting at the edge of one of the clouds.  And he's not moving.  
You should be moving.
I cannot believe it.  Ventures should always be moving.  But he's not.  Just 35km "down" from me, sitting there.  I approach him.  This should be fast.

I stop briefly at 5000m to compose myself and get a snapshot.  I rehearse to myself what I'll do when I uncloak.  Then I set my orbit around him at 1km, and uncloak.  I fumble a bit getting locking started, but its just a second.  I get my sebo on and my weapon systems ready.  And he's locked!  My two scramblers apply tackle, and my missiles fire.
Scrambled.  Shot at.
Light missiles are not particularly damaging weapons.  (I do 69 DPS in this fit.)  He has some time, so he starts to move away from me.  I keep pace for a little, then I can see I am falling behind him: 5000m, 6000m.  So I pulse my microwarp to keep up.  He briefly gets out to 10km ahead, and my scramblers turn off.  I am afraid I will lose him.  But I catch up before he can warp, and get the scramblers back on.  And then, boom.  Got him.

The pod does not warp immediately; he must be stunned.  I start locking, and got it!  Podded
Now I collect my precious corpse, and also loot the Venture wreck for a good measure.  Then I burn away from it and get cloaked.  Nothing happens.  When I dscan, I don't see anything.

I still have the problem of getting home safely.  I wait it out, seeing the C6 guys making a lot of passes in and out of my system into C4b.  But I have the time, and eventually I make a break for it with Otto.  There's an Ishtar at my static, but I get past it easily.  Then I return to watch.  A fleet forms... but that's another story.  I get back safe and sound.

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