Friday, January 16, 2015

A Sloppy Scanner

It's getting late in the USA timezone, and it's a weekday.  I have not been on today, so my bookmarks are probably out of date.  These are not propitious circumstances for hunting.  But I am building troops in Star Wars Commander, and I have nothing to do in Clash of Clans.  So, let me see what wspace holds tonight.  I log in, still in my trusty Manticore as usual.

First I clean up my home system's bookmarks, and scan out new ones.  There is a new gas site, and a new wormhole.  The old C4 static is gone, so the new wormhole must be it.  There was another C4, also now gone.  And there is the static C5, which Hiljah found last night.  It is now deep into EOL, some 50 minutes to go according to the timing of her bookmark.  So, I am not going that way.  That leaves my static C4.  I warp to it, bookmark it, then head in.

C4a is not active, indeed unoccupied.  But a check with tripwire shows that it has C1 and C2 statics.  Those are good possibilities, what with the nullsec sites now in there.  C4b also has only six sigs; I won't have to sift through a lot of gas and relics to find the ways out.  I find a K162 leading to a C4, as well as the expected C1 and C2.  I head into C1 first.

C1a has nothing going on where I enter, but it is medium system with one outer planet about 17AU from my wormhole entry point.  I move off, fire probes, hide them, then warp out.

I see a Probe on scan.  Also there is a POS.  The Probe is probably at the POS.  I'll look for it.

As I start looking for the POS, a Heron appears.  Hmm.  Maybe also at the POS?  A bit of scanning shows that is untrue: they are in different 180 degree sections of space.   The Heron is not in a forcefield!  Prey!  As I narrow down to 90, then 60, the Heron launches probes.  Aha!  I doubt I can kill it -- it should recloak soon -- but I will try.  That the probes are still not out probing is a good sign for me.  The guy is slow, possibly distracted by another account.

I find the Heron at moon 7, with its probes still around it.  I throw my Manticore into warp.  While I am in warp, I keep dscanning forward.  The probes disappear.  Rats.  But the Heron is still there... it should cloak any second.  I land on grid with it.

The Heron is some 210 km away.  I orient to it, and I can see that there is a planet almost in line with him.  It's a bit "up" from the direct line.  I ponder my options.  How old is the character, anyway?  A quick check shows a year or so.  That's plenty for me to be quite unconcerned about her feelings -- she should know the score by now.  The only way I can get close to her is to warp back and forth twice.  Of course, the pilot will probably cloak long before I can do that.  Still, she has not cloaked yet... then she cloaks.  Finally.

That was way too much time uncloaked.  Herons cannot warp cloaked, but they can move, albeit slowly.  Still, I have the feeling that this particular Heron won't.  She's been slow and lazy about security at two points so far.  So I bookmark my location, then warp off to the inline planet.  Then I warp back 100km, and make another bookmark.  Then I repeat the process.  One final move: I bookmark my location then point straight up and fly about 10km.  This is, hopefully, where the Heron is.

Now I wait.  As I warped back and forth, I could see the probes when I was relatively close to my entry wormhole.  That suggests that my wormhole was brand-new, and this pilot is searching only for it, having probably already scanned the system.  That's good; it means once she finds it, she will uncloak and warp over for a look.  She may, at least.  And may is good enough for me to wait patiently for a shot.  Even though she'll probably get into warp too fast for me.  Still, one has to try.

I wait some more.
Don't uncloak and sit there.

And there she is.  20km -- not too bad.  Actually I am rather proud of how close I am.  But it is not within warp scrambler range.  I head straight at her, hoping that she'll be as tardy in warping off as she has been in starting to probe, and in recloaking after probing.

My hope and waiting pay off.  I look at her, and she's not moving.  Just a few seconds more...

Then I am range, and the same old thing happens.  I uncloak, get systems going, and the lock completes.
Too late.
Then she is smashed quickly by my torpedoes.  (Moving would have helped a lot.)  I almost lock the pod, but the pilot is alert by this point and warps free.

I scoop the meager loot, then move off and cloak.

A stabber appears on dscan, then drops onto grid and orbits the wreck for a while.  I don't uncloak.  The stabber goes home.  I do too, quite a bit happier I think.

When you want to start scanning, uncloak, fire your probes, wait for the reload, then get cloaked.  Get yourself recloaked before you start serious scanning, and before turning your attention away.  Sitting uncloaked in wspace is asking to be killed.

Also, especially in a non-covert-ops capable ship, move (cloaked) when you scan.  Even moving at 1/10 speed, if it takes you 15 minutes to scan you'll go quite a ways from where you were.  If I see a covert ops cloak, I won't bother hanging around because it will probably leave without me knowing.  But that's not true of the lesser cloaks.  Even if I cannot catch you when you uncloak, I can see you and maybe figure out where you are going when you warp off.  Then maybe I can catch you there.

Finally, unless there is some good reason to be still, keep moving when you are uncloaked.  This makes it very hard to sneak up on you.  And in the event that someone does sneak into range, your movement lowers the damage you'll take from torpedoes.


  1. Replies
    1. You are right, it was indeed a Heron. I don't know about it fucking.

      Have you ever killed a ship in wspace? It's not easy.

  2. Tunoi Veil I don't know if this guy is trolling or what.
    Killing things in W space is hard, but this guy wrote a several page dissertation on his time killing a Heron, a flipping Heron, like ... lol

    1. There's a saying I rather like: if you're reading it, it's for you. Yeah, a dissertation on killing a Heron. For you.