Friday, August 21, 2015

Looking death in the eyes

Day started pretty innocently. I was minding my own business, with cloaky Proteus parked in the system, when I spotted an Astero on scan. Since I have all the sites pre-scanned, it doesn't take long for me get visual.

I make position bookmark and plan my move. Astero carries a bit more of a punch than normal covert ops frigate. Since my Proteus is almost dpsless, I usually bring one of my Dominixes to get gank done quick and dirty. This time, however, I decide to just "test" how long it will take for me to kill an Astero with two small smartbombs and a single heavy neutron blaster.

Once he moves to the next can, I make my move and grab him. Astero looks disoriented for a bit, but then I see a warp disruptor icon suddenly pop up on my screen. Well shit, I am being tackled back. It's not unseen for an Astero to carry a disruptor to kill other explorers. Real panic sets in when I suddenly click d-scan and see bunch of ships. Results say 3 Gilas and 2 Rattlesnakes are coming in. What the fuck? I'm sure not even a minute had passed since our fight started and bunch of ships are already coming in? Having in mind battleship warp speeds, I can only assume I was very unlucky with my timing and that it is a farming fleet that just happened to be in warp when I attacked and went answered call of help against a single Proteus.

I have no time for theories and I need to act fast. There are 5 ships coming in. My mind does calculations on its own and I instinctively warp my Domi fleet to the rescue. I may be an underdog in this fight, but it's not like I don't have a chance. It all depends on what kind of fits they have and their fighting skills and coordination. I'm willing to take the odds.

When Domi fleet is in warp, I realize my ship is disrupted, but not scrammed. That means my micro warp drive is still active and I have Astero scrammed and webbed. I overheat my mods and try to break the distance. It goes quite well and before you know it, I am out of 20km range and safely in warp. Now I can return and choose my targets from a distance. I am not interested in holding down as many targets as I can. Afterall, it's me who is being ganked.

Enemy fleet takes "long" time. I assume it was a fleet warp with Rattlesnakes, but they are on the way, there's no mistake. With Proteus safely out, I check on my Dominixes that are on collision course with the enemy. I start to regret my decision to warp as Proteus managed to get away on it's own. Regret grows even more when I realize that one of my battleships stayed behind. It had a cloak still on so fleet warp did not affect him. Fuck.

Two Dominixes will be a food. I need my trio to put up a fight so I quickly decloak and initiate warp. Meanwhile my other two Domis land on the enemy fleet.

There's still 18AU to cover for the missing Domi. It should take around 30 seconds. I hold my "out of warp invulnerability" session as long as I can and also warp back Proteus. I hope it would show as an attractive target. It is much easier to repair than a Dominix. I end up committing all my arsenal of weapons, but in a very disorganized way.

With each second passed, I am more and more accepting that this may be the end. Who knows what kind of reinforcements will arrive in the next few minutes? Coms are probably going nuts. While I nervously wait for those red boxes and disruptor icons to appear, I see an interesting sight. Their fleet starts to warp off one by one, until lone Rattlesnake is left. I quickly try to lock him, but good luck doing that with a battleship that has cloak fitted. Soon there's only me left on grid. Perhaps Bob still has some plans for me. I quickly gtfo back to my safe and initiate convo to get some answers.

I try to find out if it was a farming fleet, which I am quite sure it was. It could have been a great fight, but both sides chose safety over uncertainty. Without proper research no one could know what to expect. I am offered a fight, but hell will freeze before I will engage in an arranged brawl. Its gank or get ganked life for me and I live to fight another day.


  1. Whew! Talk about a lucky break. I respect your call to warp that last domi in to give your self a full chance. Go big or go home, right?

    1. Exactly, there's little room for doubt. Either you commit or stay away. Can't be in the middle :)

  2. Interesting encounter! I am thinking that the next evolution in WH hunting is bait explorers. I would bet that you may have met another solo WH hunter, with a few more accounts. The reaction of warping out one by one so soon after landing is telling imho.

    1. I am a big fan of baiting, but only when I have corp watching my back. Solo with few ships it's better to gank as in w-space you may not know what you will bait yourself in.