Monday, September 1, 2014

A Nimble Epithal

The weekend.  The long weekend.  I am out for a roam, hoping for a decent connection to highsec.  These are rarer these days, what with the dual static in C4s.  Still, ya gotta try.

I enter a new system, a C3.  A normal dscan shows a tower and an Epithal.  Probably nothing, but only one way to be sure.  I bookmark the wormhole, then move off and cloak.  Then I get busy with dscan, pointing at various planets until I find the right one.  I warp over to a moon, then proceed to interrogate the moons until I have the right one.  Finally, I land on grid.

Sure enough, there's the Epithal, idling at the tower.  Now I'd like to refit, because I am in my general purpose ganking fit: torpedoes, sebo, target painter, and one scrambler.  You need at least two scramblers for Epithals, and usually three.  Yeah, three.  For a Tech 1 one ship that costs less than a million ISK.  Are these balanced ships?  Don't think so.  Be that as it may, Epithals are what they are.  (CCP!)  And right now, I have no time nor privacy to refit.

I look for outer planets, but the minutes it would take to refit I might lose the quarry altogether.  Also, I have given up on the third warp scrambler, deeming it too rarely used to be worth carrying around.

So I sit.

I sit only a minute, and the target moves!  Where?  She is aligning to...  a planet!  Glory be.

I watch her warp, then warp to the same planet's CO at 10km.  I don't want to tip my hand too soon.

Warping, I prepare for what I'll do: head at her, uncloak, get sebo on, lock, try to bump.

I land on grid.  There she is, about 10km off. I head at her, and uncloak.  Quickly I get my sebo on then lock her, and I get activate my weapons systems.  I turn on the microwarp to try for a bump.

She's locked.  My weapons open up, she's hit, and ...

She warps.  Dammit.  But I saw her damage levels, and I hurt her a lot.

I am ready for the warp.  I spin around the view to see where she goes, and it's a planet.  It must be a CO, since she got into warp so fast.  I doubt that she ordered it before she saw me.  So I warp to that CO, this time at zero.  She knows I am here; there's no point in concealment any longer.  It takes me a second to get into warp because my microwarp is still on.  Drat.

I land on grid, and there she is.  I'm just 3000m from her.  My sebo is still going.  As soon as I am out of warp I am locking her, then activating my weapons systems.  Then I head at her, hoping to bump.

My lock completes.  My weapons open up, and boom.  She's gone.   Two rounds, one per grid. That was fast.

I am stunned for a second, but rally and start locking the pod.  The pod also appears stunned; she does not warp immediately.  My warp scrambler is almost there... the lock is almost there...

She warps.  Crap.  Well, a kill is a kill, and I move in to loot.  There is nothing of value, of course, the enemy having had plenty of time to stash whatever she had in the local POCO(s).  I get a few cheap Epithal fittings.  But it's not a passel of warp core stabilizers I do this for: it's the kills.  And that, I have. +1.

Later, I check out the Epithal's fit.  For some reason, she wanted an afterburner.  To get that, she had to give up a large shield extender.  And thus her hitpoints were so low that I could pop her in two rounds.  Yo PI gooers: this is a bad idea.  You don't need to afterburn out of bubbles: if you're in a bubble, you're dead.  You do need to deal with stealth bomber torpedoes, and this is more true than ever with the advent of small wormholes in Hyperion.

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