Saturday, November 15, 2014

Hunting down 2 Marauders and a blingu

"Our armor is dropping, Sir!"
"Distribute all reps on Dominix 1 and Dominix 2. Do we have a tackle on that Golem?"
"Negative, Golem has bastion module still active"
"Sir, 2 sleeper battleship class vessels just switched fire to us. We are also getting aggro from both Marauders"

Armor alert goes off.

"We are at 30% armor. Sir, we need to align and warp out."
"Negative! Overheat and set all reps on Dominix 3. Keep focus fire and neutralizers on the Golem"
"We are holding! Positive point on Golem"

Capacitor alerts go off through the board.

"We are low on capacitor and we are getting split aggro again. All ships are heavily damaged"
"Keep injecting those cap charges. Turn off overheat and split repairs again. Get secondary tackle on Vargur"

2 hours ago

It's been several days since I have been stalking a c4 that was inhabited by small Russian corp. I never see more than few anomalies at a time and no other sigs apart from wormholes for the last 3 days. Guys that I am watching log in and do absolutely nothing, which is quite annoying. I did a quick check-in in the morning before leaving to work. I saw tengu at the tower. Since I can't wait for him to start farming, I warped off d-scan range and logged. Later, in evening, I log in to find same tengu at the same pos. Same number of sites indicate I didn't miss any farming activities, but by now I don't expect to kill anything anymore in this system, so if I get an opportunity to move out, I will take it.

I stop giving shit about my cover and start scanning around. 2 statics and k162 to c3 is resolved. I start with k162. Empty. Just some signatures with one empty tower in the system. I jump back and head to a c3 static. Once I'm in, d-scan shows promising results. Some ships on scan sitting at the tower, few other cloaky ships quickly disappear. I do not know if they logged or activity is ongoing. After waiting for a couple of minutes, I decide to jump back and check out c4, just so I would be aware of my neighbors and not try a gank with potential big fleet next door.

Spotting an opportunity

A tower and 2 tengus on 360 degree scan with no wrecks. A little promising sight. Then I realize tengus are not on tower. A more promising sight. Then I realize tengus are at the anomaly. A very promising sight! I quickly initiate warp to the destination. When I land I see a beautiful sight of 2 tengus starting their farming activities. Is today going to be a lucky day? Not that I complain, as I had quite few kills lately, but timing is just perfect. I also seem not to be spotted when cloaking up as tengus continue shooting sleepers. Perhaps I moved once they were locking the targets. Doesn't matter. As long as my internet does not crash and I get a positive tackle I will be happy.

2 tengus doing a c4 site. Something feels a bit off. Site is not for your average tengu. Taking a closer look, orbiting speed looks very high - above 1kms. I've seen this behavior before. Those must be 100mn afterburner tengus and those tend to have some shiny mods fitted. To catch, hold and kill 100mn afteburner tengu is no easy task. Especially if you have only 1 webifier fitted. Not only you must get good position to 1000ms+ moving tengu while cloaked, which is within 15km range, but also to hold it enough time for back up to arrive, which normally, by the time Battleships exit warp, you are so far away that you can't get remote reps on tackle ship and can't catch it, since speed is almost the same as of that webbed tengu. But I'm not the one to give up before trying. Wormhole is 5AU from the site, so it's not too bad for warp time.

I get into position, burn to intercept tengu's orbit and wait for the right moment. As soon as tengu enters 15km I decloak and move to him at full speed. Possitive lock, scram/web landed on primary, point on the second tengu. I initiate warp of my domi fleet. It probably took some time for tengu pilot to realize what is happening, as when my dominixes landed it was only within 20km range trying to lose proteus. I overheated mwd, clicked approach tengu and unleashed heavy neutralizer with drones on him. Being greedy, I set 2nd domi to follow other tengu and by the time I clicked on my 3rd, target was already 40km away, which turned out to be a big problem, since my proteus was at 20% armor and first dominix was still not within scram or rep range, not to mention running out of cap. Eventually tengu was capped out and focus fire of 3 ogre sets got the job done and tengu exploded.

Cha-Ching! Isn't it beautiful? 1.2bil tengu went up in smokes. Loot fairy was generous as ever. Have you ever seen picture as per below?

Yes, those are mid slots that all dropped. Though I can't help but not notice t2 mod in the low slot. I guess he couldn't afford last Ballistic Control System to be faction, what a cheapskate! I loot the wreck, carefully selecting shiny stuff, due to limited capacity in my ship. When you leave on long wormhole trip, you pack as much as you can, with no cargo space to spare.

There's a good rule in EvE, that nothing belongs to you, until it's in the station. My first priority is to export all the stuff to empire asap. That first c3 I scanned out with low sec static few jumps out from highsec will do nicely. In a few minutes I am at the station, creating contract to red-frog all while chatting with my corp mates, discussing how will they not play poker with me anymore due to my luck. They said that all shiny mid slots dropping equals to straight flush. However, there was something that kept bothering me. When value of my drop is brought in the discussion, it seems not to add up to what I just contracted to red frog freight. After double checking, value i looted was 530mil, while drop was 700. It's too big of a difference for t2 loot to make, did I miss something? Well, yes I did. Turns out I didn't pick Caldari Navy BCU mod. "God damn it", I thought. I decided to go back and check the wreck if it's still there and if it hasn't been looted yet. I'm pretty sure locals will have tried to scoop remaining parts, but it doesn't hurt to try.

When you think everything is over

I jump back to c4. I click d-scan and get Golem and Vargur as a result. Interesting, but I don't make a big deal out of it. I mean, this is the same system where tengu was ganked in less than just an hour ago. Half finished site, sleepers wrecks, tengu wreck, surely anyone who has a little bit of common sense won't be farming anytime soon. Right? Well, d-scan says otherwise. Both Marauders are sitting in an anomaly. What is even more strange, they are in the exact same anomaly where tengu was killed. This does not make any sense. If I didn't know any better, I would say bait is written all over it, but after checking corp's background that looks unlikely. Ship of choice doesn't strike to be a bait either, but you never know. Can it be that those are legit targets? I sit and watch for couple of minutes, while getting my domi fleet ready.

I give another thought about this and decide that opportunity like this is why I play EvE. 2 Marauders dish out a lot of pain and they are 35km apart. This will be hard. Plus, as a rule of thumb, sleepers always focus fire on me, so I always take that into consideration. Regardless how this will play out, I am going in. I wait for 2nd wave to be almost cleared, with 2 BS present. I chose to attack and not wait for only 1 BS to be left in case they shoot it and I get last wave spawn on my ass. Here it goes. Domi fleet jumps in and warps. I decloak proteus and set close orbit on the Golem. Due to range between both targets, I do not expect to kill them both. I set my goal on Golem and fully expect Vargur to flee.

Most stressful gank ever

I don't remember last time having to work so much for my gank. Proteus receives a lot of punishment. When dominixes land, suddenly marauders and sleepers focus fire on them. Just as when I finish to launch drones, focus neutralizers on Golem, set up cap chain, I already hear armor warning go off. Jesus. I keep juggling between reps, trying to keep everyone alive. Overheat everything and pray that Golem's tank breaks soon. Low cap warnings keep going off. I'm almost to my last cap charges, thanks to chasing 100mn tengu. Keep toggling repairs, trying to land a scram just in case Bastion Module is off. It would really suck if target just warped out in the middle of a battle.

Things start looking up when Golem enters armor. Looks like I'm going to come out as a winner here and they must have same conclusions as me. Vargur is still on sight. I overheat point and burn at full speed to maximize my situation and get both Marauder kills. Golem pops and domi fleet soon follows proteus. Sleepers and Vargur still dish out  a lot of dps, so I can't relax. Bloody auto cannons don't use any cap, which means dps won't stop until he is killed. Once I start grinding down the shield, I see a smartbomb go off - a nightmare to drone users. All my Ogres are in red. At this point I am so stressed in keeping my ships intact, that the thought of burning outside smartbomb range, while keeping spider tank range (~10km), really depresses me. I am all-in here. I decide not to care about drones. I will need to visit k-space to resupply anyways. I keep pressure with heavy neuts. I am pretty sure he will run out of cap and tank before I run out of drones.

Tank starts to drop and Vargur is no more. I get commended by locals, admitting I caught them "nicely", to which I promptly reply with a gf. Without wasting more time, I quickly finish off MTU, collect the loot and warp to safety. This really stressed out my ships, with half mods almost burnt, no cap chargers and no nanite paste left. I head straight back to low sec. Once I'm at the station, I log in my closest trading alt to bring in supplies. Now it's time to reflect on what I have accomplished.

The point of my pilgrimage, where I go to the unknown with just a handful of ships, isolated from my corp and anyone else, is to have a soul-fulfilling hunt and a kill. Sometimes you get nothing, sometimes you score big, sometimes you end up back in medical bay with a new clone. This time, I am happy to go home not empty handed, but with a trophy that I can show off.