Sunday, October 26, 2014

A Squeeze into Null

Friday night.  I'm home early and the Boy is playing next door.  EVE time!  I log in and check my system, to discover a small wormhole directly to nullsec.  (Small wormholes to null are the only way that C4 systems connect directly to known space.)  Usually I don't explore nullsec, but we are planning to run our local sites tonight.  So I'll check.  I pop through the wormhole, hoping to find a nice empty system.
Targets!

What I find instead is a nice inhabited system.  And I think I can see the inhabitants on dscan.  There are two ore anoms close together in range.  I point dscan at them and...

Yup.  Miners.  Miner that are out in space.  That's a bit out of the ordinary.  When I am in null ghostbusting, I rarely see any miners on dscan out in space.  They all warp to POS immediately upon my entering the system, I guess.  These guys will too, I don't doubt.  Still...  let me see if I can get on grid with them, for kicks.  I doubt they'll be there in a minute, but I determine the proper ore anom with a five degree dscan, and warp in at 10km.

I land on grid, and they are still there.  Amazing!

Now I start to think about killin'.  I am about 60km from them, and they are all in a group near a couple of anchored cans.  I bookmark the cans, then think about bouncing to land right on top of the miners.
Who can see this without fantasies of slaughter?
But these are not wimpy miners; they are three skiffs and one procurer.  It's not hard to have a skiff with an omni buffer tank in the 70k EHP range.  With a DCII they can get near to 100k EHP.  So I can't kill them that fast.  Skiffs also have drone bonuses, meaning they should be able to shoo off my pesky stealth bomber without breaking a sweat.  In fact maybe they saw me enter on dscan and just are not afraid.

I ponder this.  The obvious solution would be to drop on them in my Onyx.  It doesn't do as much damage as a bomber but its tank is huge.  But an Onyx can't fit through a small wormhole.  Unless... unless it has two warp disruption fields on.  That's it.  I'll put on two.  I'll lose firepower.  But it's the best I can do.

I warp around the system to look for two characters that are in local that I cannot see on grid.  I cannot find them.  Weird, knowing that.  I have an idea, so I make a safespot in the long haul between the inner system and an outer planet.  Then I warp back to the ore site.  The miners are still there.  Good.  I warp back to the wormhole and jump. Then I warp to my POS and refit into Onyx.

I find a spare warp disruption field generator and put it on.  Then I get out EFT and look at the fit.  It does 320 DPS... not great.  In fact, I am not really keen to be on site for four minutes chewing through the shields of one of those skiffs.  But my inner Penny wants a gank, and I figure the chance is too good to pass up.  So I figure on a compromise.  On the assumption that they are not paying attention, I plan to refit in their system to put on my fifth launcher.  400 DPS.  It will still take three plus minutes to kill a skiff.  But that's as much damage as one can do when constrained by a small wormhole.  It will have to be enough.

Deep breath, then I am off.  I expand my fields and cross the wormhole successfully.  Then I warp to my safespot.  I hope they miss dscanning me as I zip by.  From the safespot I cannot see them, and of course vice versa.  The minute of deployment time for depots is always frustrating.  Then I refit, and warp to the can I bookmarked earlier.

I land on grid... and no miners.  Rats.
Failure.

Oh well.  At least I didn't die.  I warp back to my depot, mindful to watch for combat probes.  There are none.  I refit to put the second warp bubble generator back on, then warp home.

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