Thursday, January 29, 2015

Ninja Salvaging Series - Bringing in the big guns

Majority of people I visit are solo mission runners. It's not unusual to meet 2 pilots too. Be it a guy with an alt or simply 2 friends spending quality time together. More rare is to visit a site which has 3-4 ships busy shooting npc. When I visit mission with 2 players present, I prepare in advance, such as prewarping my logi into position. Though when I enter site with 3 or more ships, it's whole new level of strategy.

Strength in numbers

So here I am. I scan out 4 ships at the same spot. It's not the first time I scan out a group of people. I don't ignore them. On the contrary, according to my experience, when there's a crowd, they are more likely to shoot you. After all, why wouldn't they? What one guy in a frigate can do? I land at the site. There are 2 Dominixes and 2 Myrmidons present. This mission is open and doesn't have any gates. I basically come out of warp on top of the fleet.

Which is great news. I don't have illusions to tank 4 drone ships with Enyo. In fact, my main concern is to tank enough to get aggro from all the carebears. Once they "force" me out of their mission, I will refit to something more appropriate size, which is usually a battleship. With new engagement timer being only 5 minutes and warp changes, it is barely enough time to get to station, dock, refit, undock and warp back, burn to ships, lock and get tackle. With no gates and ships being right on the beacon, means I will have a very good shot at catching them. If they shoot. And who the hell wouldn't shoot? 

Not these guys. As soon I open fire on their mobile tractor units, they scoop them and I get yellow boxed. Oh dear, here it goes. I stop shooting for my weapons timer to go down. Few of the ships lock me and open fire. I align to station. I burn a distance, but don't warp just yet. I want my weapons timer to be over by the time I get to station.  Few seconds later all 4 of them have me locked and sent their drones after me. With half armor and 10 seconds left on my timer I decide this is my queue and I warp out. Challenge accepted.

Gearing up and going back

Besides my Enyo, I also have my scout and my link pilot dock up. All gang of fantastic 4 is now in station gearing up for the fight. It's no brainer for my alts. For exactly these situations, I have a Dominix ready for each. It's more difficult to make decision with my main. I have 3 battleships: 2 Dominixes and Hyperion and I can't remember what is what. I keep different fits for different situations, but as time is of the essence I jump to Hyperion. Ah fuck, I got only scrambler and a web. I quickly ditch the web and try to fit a point, but I am out of cpu. God damn it. I put 2nd scram instead and it seems to work. I don't like to put 2 scrams as it is difficult to hold 2 ships within that short range. Anyway, 2 scrams better than 1 and so I undock everything.

I have my Hyperion warp first and Domi fleet soon follows. I land. Surprise motherfuckers. Targets are not as close as I would want them to be. I scram both Dominixes and start dishing out pain with my blasters and drones. Unfortunately one Domi gets out and so follows the Myrm. Now I'm left with only 1 Dominix and another Myrmidon. They are far apart of each other, but I try to keep mid range in between to keep them both. Moving back and forth, losing scram for some seconds to to low agility, but still holding them. I try to focus fire on Myrmidon when I see an interesting text notice on the screen:

Yes, that means someone is about to get his ass whooped by CONCORD. I was puzzled how did he manage to concord himself with all of us being in engagement, but then I realized that my Dominixes were just observing. My Hyperion can tank quite well, so I was in no rush to put reps on me. I guess one of the guys decided to change targets and had his safety off. Oops.

A backup that couldn't back up

With Myrmidon out of the picture I focus my dps on one remaining Dominix. When suddenly I see strange thing happen. More ships warp on grid! I now have Dominix and Myrmidon that warped out back with me. Lol, what the hell is going on? On top of that I also have a bomber decloak and start shooting me. I guess these guys are up for a fight. Game on! Dominix shield tanks me quite well. I quickly run through my options for maximum kill here with only 2 scrams.

I keep scram and pressure on one Dominix, drones and scram on bomber while neuting and burning to Myrmidon, which is going to be my second target. Since they all came back, I don't expect them to leave right away. Not at least before I kill 1 or 2 more. Unfortunately, once bomber pops, Myrmidon warps away before I put scram on him. I quickly lock second Domi. One of them has bright idea to drop a Mobile depot. Nice try, but not on my watch.

Once depot is reinforced and having carebears exhausted all their options it's time to finish the job. I thought they have exhausted all their options. I notice distance of one Dominix increasing . Bloody hell, they are burning to opposite sides.

Despite my best efforts, I was not able to keep them both and break one of them in time. As soon as one of the ships is out of my scram range, he warps off. Props to the guys for not getting lost and actually giving an exciting fight and minimizing their losses. I finish off the remaining Dominix, loot the stuff and warp my fleet back to station. I check the battle report. Dominix, Myrmidon and Hound has been destroyed (note extra Domi kill showing is not related). Kill potential was higher had I prepared a bit better, but outcome was also not the worst. In any case, screwing around in high-sec sure as hell can be entertaining.

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