Our little C2 had been neglected during the week and sleepers were allowed nest in its depth. With sleepers = ISK, these sites require attention and we set up a skeleton crew (2 Drakes, 1 watcher) to turn little red crosses in juicy salvage. Our merry band is soon joined by 2 more pilots and I jump into my Catalyst Salvager to and start mopping up.
With 3 shooters, our solar system is soon squeaky clean but while we have the team together, lets go next door where a Radar Site and several more anomalies beckon. The system was quiet last time we checked and I jump my Buzzard Covert Ops boat over to check things out before we commit the Drake team. And low and behold, D-scan shows me an Osprey Cruiser and some jet cans. Osprey? This is a fairly unusual boat and suggest a mining operation is in progress. That suits us well – as usual, we scanned down our neighbour holes in its entirety, i.e. we have warp in bookmarks for every signature and observation perches for all nine (!) active POS. My team back home without discussion switches from Sleeper-shooting Drakes into stealthy bombers and starts filing into our neighbor system. I notice that a few more ships are active in the system. A Manticore stealth bomber, a Drake and a Heron. They all sit in the their POS and my 3 fleet mates warp into Grav site to pound the miner while I keep an eye on things at the POS. I will miss out on the kill for a cruiser – woe is me – but in an active system: intel > killmail.
Team is in position, literally 10km behind the cruiser. One of our number allocates himself as the Pod catcher and the countdown is initiated when a Raven Battleship shows up in the POS, joining the floating Drake and the snoozing Manticore. Now while a the Raven can not protect the miner – by the time he lands, three full sets of faction torpedoes will done their job – but its appearance shows that something more is going in this hole and my guys hold fire, literally at the last second of the countdown. Perched 10km behind a stationary and easy kill is not mentally easy to call off the attack but our team really has excellent discipline without actually having a formal FC.
The Raven and the Drake warp off into the direction of the Radar site – having bookmarks for everything is amazing – and I warp after them to see what they are up to. And yes, they are running the site, sleepers shooting at the Battleship, the Drake seems to be salvaging as they go along and their Manticore circles at range and rains torpedoes onto the battleships. That setup of ships screams “New to Wormholes”, the bomber will have to be extremely careful of not getting targeted for example.
In expectations of a brawl with the Drake and Raven, I pull my main character into the system but instead of my beloved Nemesis, I take a Falcon Force Recon ship – the combination of Drake & Raven with their drones, remaining Sleepers and the Manticore could be a match for our cloaky crew and I am also itching to try out my new toy.
All are in position and getting ready to pound on the Battleship when it and its fellow Drake warp away. Not to the POS but to the high security exit. I speculate that they have gone shopping, they seem very new at this Wormhole thing and maybe they are adapting fits on the fly. Its wise and prudent of course but my team is getting tired and the decision is made to pop the poor little mining cruiser and call it a night. They won’t need my Falcon for that – I won’t get a lock on it before it blows up likely – and I resume sentinel station on the high security hole. And so my team efficiently counts down “3,2,1 go”, the cruiser is no more and its pilot finds himself in high security space. Corpse and the wreck are looted, our team exchanges high-fives and gets ready for bed when I spot the Manticore taking pot shots at the remaining sleeper battleship at the Radar site. That site is out of D-scan range from the gravitational site and the the bomber may literally not know that his corp mate has been corpsified. Alright, alright. Bed can wait. We can take this little squirt on our way out, our team assembles and gets ready to engage when the Wormhole flares, the Raven re-appears and flies directly into the Radar site.
Oh, how juicy. With my Falcon in position, our team slowboats to close range – which is really, really, really close to the remaining sleeper frigates btw and the countdown is initiated, bombers decloak and lock the fat battleship. My Falcon has a decloak-delay which we factored into the countdown – the Raven would need longer to lock down our bombers and when I get a solid lock, I cycle 2 Caldari racial ECM mods plus a multispec for good measure. Effectively, that Raven floats dead in the vacuum, while my fleetmates pound him with torpedoes. One of our number gets primaried by the sleepers and needs to temporarily warp out. This leaves only one bomber in on the field with the Raven’s drones finding their footing and the sleepers trying to work out what is going on here, this could still end badly. And it does, but for the Raven who blows up quite prettily, pod warps clear and we cloak and cheer.
Patience paid out, again and I am ecstatic, this was the first time I used an ECM boat and it worked flawlessly. I am under no illusion that I will loose this ship sooner than later but in the meantime, this kill was a perfect execution of a excellent plan.
The epilogue of this evening is a convo the with the crew we shot. As usual, we don’t talk in local other than “gf” but convos are fair. It was confirmed that they are new to wormhole space (as if we hand’t figure that out by ourselves… 😉 ) and we pitched our little wormhole academy which interested them greatly. They seemed to be really nice guys and we will stay in contact. It would not the first time that we shot someone who then ends up in our corp and becomes an superb member of our crew.
All in all, what I am really happy about was our fleet and communication. When we started our Academy, we wanted to create a place where new players can learn life in the wormhole. We never aspired to be a hardcore PvP corp with screaming, foam-on-mouth Fleet Commanders or kill-mail “whoring”. We are a team of equals getting the job done and having fun. It is this culture of mutual respect and trust that keeps me so attached to my crew, my wormhole and my game