Friday, January 8, 2016

First shiny of 2016

I ended 2015 with a blast. Ganked Proteus and killed a wormhole rolling Armageddon. I wouldn't have much to say about it, except after doing a killboard research of an Armageddon's pilot, I spotted something interesting. Burred deep, behind multiple killboard layers, between null and low-sec kills and losses, there was a sight that I fell in love with.

Within a period of two weeks, there were two, very expensive, Marauder losses. I didn't spot them by accident. They do not appear until the 4th page of zKillboard and I don't normally check that far. What bothered me was one question: why the hell is he rolling wormhole while being a part of an active pvp pirate corp, which has a lot of kills in low and null, but nothing in wormholes? Even the guy himself did not have any w-space activity that I could see. It kept bothering me so I filtered out the killboard by losses and saw the sight above.

It was obvious what I had to do. If I ever got a "potential target" thrown in my face, this would be it. Thankfully, wormhole was not critical yet and a quick napkin math said I should squeeze in my three battleships without a problem. I went in, wormhole went critical and I parked my Dominixes as much on the edge of the system as I could. I logged out and would not log in until the next year.

Next year

I log in. One of the two guys in my watch list is on. The important guy, the guy I am stalking. I run a locator with my trader to make sure he is somewhere in w-space and not visiting an empire. Locator does not go through so it's clear he is somewhere in wormhole space. System had nothing on d-scan so I went ahead and started scanning. I parked my Proteus on a c3 static for a moment, but before I could scout, I saw Tengu decloak.

Well hello there. Tengu jumps through and I wait for him to come back, only he never does. Home system is a c4, a tough class for the strategic cruiser, with only few anomalies present, but a static c3 has "Tengu" written all over it. 10 minutes has passed and he is not back yet. Maybe he is doing sites on the other side? I go in and take a look.

The static is absent of any ships. No Tengu in sight. I scan the system, check it's surrounding wormholes, head back and park Proteus in the c4. Time passes by and I hear an activation sound again. Tengu is back. He warps back to the direction of the tower and is never to be seen on d-scan again. Nothing happens for the remainder of the day. I started thinking that he orbited wormhole and I got spotted when jumped to that c3. If he paid attention, he might have noticed that I'm the same guy that killed his Armageddon last year. That would suck.

New day, new opportunities. And boy, talk about opportunities. I log in to find the guy online again. Locator says he is in w-space, so this time I do not scout. I simply park my Proteus mid system and occasionally check d-scan. One of such scan checks gets my attention.

Holy excitement, Batman! I narrow Paladin at the tower, but don't find him when I get there. I start looking around with d-scan and find him at one of Operation Frostline beacons. Warp to 100 and land only to see him warping out.

I find him at the next beacon. I warp to 100 and try to make a position bookmark. Paladin is here and so are npc. Perfect.

I warp out and get back to get 200km bookmark position. When I land I don't see any wrecks and no Paladin. What the hell? The guy cleared the site and warped back to the tower. I don't know what npc frigates are doing in a site in a c4 wormhole. I must admit I have not been following EVE world news much. Anyway, my target swaps to Tengu and warps back to the first site. I follow and watch  him slowboat to the gate. Of course I learn that these sites are deadspace and I can't warp anywhere inside the grid. How disappointing that would have been if I tried to gank Paladin. 

I think for a few minutes if I should try and get that Tengu. He went through acceleration gate. Doing something, but certainly not shooting any npc as there are no wrecks*. I decide to wait it out. I almost got a bloody Paladin, strategic cruiser would be a petty kill in comparison. Sites disappear from overview and I soon see Tengu land at the tower, swap to another Tengu and warps out 1000km off the tower and cloaks up. Sigh. Well, at least one mystery is solved. Now I know where he spends his time cloaked up in the wormhole. Of course nothing happens for the rest of the day and I start to question myself if I should have tried to get that Tengu.

Next day

This guy is like a clockwork. I will find him on-line when I get back from work and I will not see anything on d-scan. As usual, I stay stealthy. No scanning, no scouting. I am even afraid of watching his tower directly, just in case my connection gets dropped. Last thing I want is for my Proteus to decloak at approximate distance of his safe spot.

I keep an eye on d-scan and get a very familiar sight.

Golem! I do not even realize that it's a different ship from yesterday. Marauders, they all look alike. Just kidding. Excitement often clouds my judgement and eyesight.

With my clouded judgement I warp to the Operation Frostline beacon instead of the tower. Last time he cleared sites so fast, that I wanted to be ready and not give him a chance to align out. I land 10km off the beacon and wait. Plan is to grab him as soon as he lands.

I wait and wait, but nothing happens. I check d-scan at the angle to the tower until I can't see him. He is still in the system, but not going towards me. I look around and find him at one of the anomalies.

I warp to 100 and land barely 20km off the mega structure. My heart stopped for a second. That would have been the worst outcome if after so much stalking I got decloaked 100km of my target. But I didn't and soon I was 200km off, ready to strike. I decloak my Domi fleet, align. Warp at 10 with Proteus and initiate warp in advance with Dominixes to account for slow warp and minimize a chance for my target to escape with ecm drones or even a mobile depot.

I decloak and scram Golem's engines. Or trying to, to be more precise. He is in bastion mode, which makes him immune to my tackle mods. I keep them cycling and soon get a positive tackle. My Dominixes land, I set on approach mode, lock the target, launch drones and cycle scrambler and neutralizer so they are active as soon as the target is locked. I do this for each battleship. By the time third Dominix locks the Marauder, I notice his shields are already gone.

It's probably the first time I see a Marauder to break so fast. He explodes before the third set of Ogres could even get to him.

Behold, a 2.7bil kill, with almost 600mil dropped loot. Of course before I could enjoy it, mtu scoops everything and I go for the second round with the loot fairy, but before I kill it, suddenly an interceptor lands. It's the same guy! Well I'll be damned, he is ninjaing his loot back! My sensor boosted Proteus locks him before he can get away and 350mil interceptor explodes. Most of the loot dies in fire.

I finish off mtu and get away with a cool 150mil faction smartbomb. Oh well, it's not about the money. It's about the adventure. But the fun does not end here. Getting surprised by interceptor I keep checking d-scan while looting the field. I spot two Megathrons on scan. I don't know what to make of them until I read local.

Google translate from Russian:
Hello! I just shut my hole and immediately leave) ok?
Looks like at the time of the gank, we had a random corp roll in to us. I guess you can say I am lucky that it was not a blood-thirsty pvp corp. Of course my target was also Russian and got quite confused. I wouldn't be surprised if with this timing he thought I was the one to roll in.

SS Squire> fucking
SS Sqire> I just went and less than 5 minutes
SS Sqire> How so?)
What a way to start 2016!

*TIL frostline npc do not leave wrecks


  1. Your posts are the highlights of my day.

  2. You know how they say there's always a cloaked Proteus in every wormhole? I'm pretty sure they just mean you. Well done.

  3. Yes, love your posts. Keep up the good work!!

  4. Thank you guys for the good feedback. Means a lot.