Thursday, September 24, 2015

The tale of a space gank

If one wants content, he must look for it. While I do play stealthy stalking style, I sometimes also like to look for targets, especially if I have some free time on my hands, like on the weekends. So if you complain about not having pvp opportunities, you should reconsider your strategy.

That's a lot of wormholes to cover solo, but it's a necessary evil. While I was scouting low-sec connections, my Domi fleet was sitting at the station when I saw an interesting comment in local.

It immediately rang some warning bells. My profiles are being reviewed. It wouldn't bother me that much except at the time, my tackle Proteus was scouting their wormhole. I did not jump in just recently. I have been watching the corp of the guy in local for two hours now. It's quite possible they had a scout watching their low-sec exit and saw me coming in, but never saw me going out. There was not much for me to do there as wormhole had only few signatures.

My cover was blown and I probably wouldn't get any kills. Not today at least. I chose their wormhole to be my next target and perhaps I will need a few days to throw them off the scent. In a few days I may or may not still be at their system. I will do my best to move out when there are as few pilots logged in as possible, this way they might still think I'm around while in truth, I may be far away. This is my psychological warfare - keep your targets on your toes.

While I was chilling and occasionally checking d-scan, I always got a hit on an Epithal hauler. I did not pay attention at first as I just brushed it off as a simple pi run, but it's been awhile. It was, too long for it to still be doing it. I decided to take a look.

There he was, standing still. I must say, this looks very fishy. While it's possible someone had an emergency and had to leave the keyboard, it's been way too long. Also, timing is just too good. I am stalking in the system and suddenly there is an Epithal, conveniently sitting within my d-scan range from low-sec wormhole? If there ever was a bait thrown to my face, this must be it. To be honest, I am disappointed. I am being baited by a cheap shit t1 hauler. Of course it can work on solo hunters, but I am putting 4 expensive ships on the line. Why would I risk breaking my cover for a t1 transport kill? And these guys have done their research on my killboard, so they must have something to take on my Domi fleet or at least something that would be annoying to fight against. The game is on. I will not be taking the bait, but I will stick around for another opportunity.

So I watched them at the tower...

and watched them at the wormholes...

and watched them some more at the tower...

and watched them some more in other systems...

until one fateful day, my watch was about to end.

Four days later I have a Tengu at the anomaly. Don't know if they have forgotten me or if they just feel lucky. I have not been very stealthy. I did scout surrounding systems and I did jump here and there with some of them still online. I am quite sure I might have been spotted once or twice after our initial encounter. But that doesn't matter. If that's a bait, I will gladly accept it as worthy.

Tackle goes without a hitch. Tengu is orbiting his mobile tractor unit which I use as a warp in. My Domi fleet lands and gets to work.

Tengu gets converted to wreck and I am happy to see some of that blue and green loot that I like.

Unfortunately, they get scooped by a mobile tractor unit, however, with Bob's blessing and approval of the loot fairy I get most of it intact. My job here is done. and I take my leave.

Next day I get a surprising convo.

It was a CEO of the corp. It's always nice when someone commends on your kill, even though I did not get a gf at the time of a gank.

Logan wanted to ask a few questions. I'm an open book so I don't really mind. Anyone who can lookup a killboard history can get a good intel about any man or a corp. Besides, all my tools of the trade are always posted here.

I get revealed, that the Epithal I saw in the beginning was indeed a bait. Logan claimed it usually works quite well, but I explained that it is mostly a viable bait for amateurs and day trippers. You can bait a solo bomber or other cloaky ship, but anyone with a bigger fleet at their disposal will most likely will wait for another opportunity, especially when there are other, more juicy ships, sitting at the tower.

Sometimes it's hard to track days. While I stalk in particular wormhole, I always check surrounding systems. Everyday you get new connections and new opportunities arise. So even staying in one wormhole, in a way, you are still always on the move.

While I am quite lucky so far in not dying and three Dominixes can look intimidating, the simple truth is, it is very easy to counter my setup. First, each Dominix has a cloak fitted, which gimps lock time, even with sensor booster fitted. Second, it is me flying 4 ships at the same time, so I am bound to make errors. One jammer with one logi support can really mess things up for me. In other words, any normal pvp fleet can be the end for me. That is why I rely on quick surprise attacks. I am prepared to lose my ships every day I log in and it will happen sooner or later. However, I try to minimize such thing happening by observing environment and doing background checks of my targets. Good awareness, like everything, comes with experience. We exchange few more words and part our ways.

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