Friday, November 14, 2014

A by the book tengu gank

In my early days, as an EvE noob, I wanted to be an explorer. Finding unknown things, clearing all the obstacles and getting a reward was my thing. When scanning and doing Data/Relic with some combat sites, I eventually came across this strange signature called Wormhole. I remember to this day how I was sitting on it and asking in various channels of what it is. Should I go in? What awaits me on the other side? Will I be attacked? I had no clue. One answer I got was, "Jump in and find out", so I did. At the time, I didn't know almost anything about EvE, except how to scan and cycle data/relic analyzers.  My introduction to W-space began when I jumped in and started scanning. I found a lot of Data and Relic sites.

It felt like a jackpot. I did not know what will be different, but I knew that I need to go in, shoot NPC, analyze containers and collect loot. I did not know what was blue loot, sleeper salvage, how strong sleepers were, or worst of all - what a directional scan was. Being excited, I went, shot sleepers with my trusty Myrmidon, which I'm sure was a fail fit and poorly skilled since it took me an eternity to clear the sites. However, after clearing and collecting loot, I was overwhelmed. For a noob like me, I could get 100mil or more per site. That was a lot. I did continue running wormhole data and relic sites without using d-scan whatsoever. Even today, I am surprised that I hadn't been ganked even once. Wormholes by that time have been around for more than a year. I must have been extremely lucky. Since then, I always felt special connection to "Anoikis".

Growing as a hunter

Eventually I moved to low sec with my friends. I slowly learned the way of life of a pirate. I was getting good at using d-scan and hunting. Since I resented missions, exploration remained as my main income source. It was a combined hobby of scanning, doing plex and other sites, when occasionally finding pvp opportunity and killing target on my turf. I also haven't ignored wormholes. I always poked around to see what's up. If I saw activity, I was stalking them, waiting for the right moment with my corp sitting on the other side, eagerly waiting for my signal to jump in.

D-scan was essential. It's not always you will find your target comfortably in anomaly. You need to be fast. If you need to map more than few towers in the system, you have to be efficient. If you find targets sitting on wormhole or doing data/relic sites, you need a whole new level of d-scan skills. I was getting good at it. I could scan with one try small t3 ships that were 2-4 AU outside closest celestial. My corp was very eager to join when ping went out. They knew that if there are targets in wormhole, I'm the bast man for the job to catch them. And I rarely failed to deliver.

Damn those mobile depots

Here we are today. I jump to a c3 static of my local wormhole. A tengu on scan appears. I initiate my standard protocols. While still holding session change cloak, I quickly confirm tengu is not in tower and review for potential anomalies. Tengu appears to be in one of the anomalies. No wrecks must indicate he just started. I initiate warp and cloak up.

I make 200km position bookmark from the Tengu. Fact that he is still shooting sleepers means I haven't been spotted. He even makes things easier by dropping MTU and setting close orbit around it. Now I have a perfect warp in spot which I use without a second thought. I decloak, turn on my sensor booster and lock tengu before he notices I'm even here. Of course when scram and disrutpor lands he starts to realize what's happening. I convo for ransom when suddenly I see a mobile depot go up. Shit. That can mean only one thing - he is refitting for warp core stabilizers to bail. I have 3 point scram and a single point disruptor on him. If he has 4 low slots he could very well escape my gank. To make matters worse, I am pure tackle proteus. All my dps is just few smartbombs which is not enough to disable the depot. Timer is at 30 seconds and counting. It's a race against time.

Soon domi fleet lands. I lock tengu and cycle additional scram as soon as possible. Mobile depot is already deployed and I guess he is in the middle of refitting. Once additional scram lands I start to breathe normally again. I land an extra point just because I can. That little shit is not going anywhere anymore. I quickly make a short work of his ship, which turns out to be a standard t2 fitted tengu with a dead space shield booster. 

Gank executed by the book and with a little luck involved netted me a solid t3 kill. After checking the killmail, I notice that he had only 3 WCS fitted. I do not know if he swapped for DCU last minute or perhaps he did not expect my proteus to have more than 3 point strength. Nevertheless, it was a close call. I almost lost my target, despite perfectly executed gank. After this encounter I started to wonder if I should replace long range point to a second short range scram. Both modules have advantages in different situations. Unfortunately you don't always have a luxury of choosing and have to adapt based on different circumstances. I decide to keep point until I get my first target escape with mobile depot deployed and refitted to WCS.

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