Fight of the vultures

Man, its busy.  We have new recruits coming into the hole who desire fame, fortune and wrecks and shall receive.  Our corp just paid out > 1.2bn ISK to members in loot  / salvage alone, ore, gas and PI stuff come extra.  So, damn, bad time to be a sleeper in our neighborhood…. We are still recruiting but are switching over to EU / UK time now so we are building up our transatlantic teams.

So, when I log in, a number of our guys mill around, learn how to operate the POS (and curse at CCP, that goes together) and scouting routes for our new guys and the members who were locked out during their shopping trips.    Our brand new C2a has a nullsec and a C5 static and 2 POS have been bookmarked.  Why anyone wants to live there is beyond me but we need to scan it since our other two routes suck even more.  24 jumps from Amarr with 5 active low sec systems?  Yes I brought my bomber in that way but I don’t feel like getting our little convoy of haulers through that as well.

Its C2a or we need to roll the holes, possible but a pain in backside.  I go in and scout, make a customary visit to our previously bookmarked POS perches and to my amazement see that one of two POS has no bubble.  It must have just run out of fuel.   We have encountered this before and while I feel really sorry for the guys who this happens to, it does certainly not stop me from rallying the team.  While this is actually relatively safe now – the locals must be asleep or this wouldnt have happened in the first place – it is very dangerous since we have not scanned this place down.  It has a C5 and a nullsec hole somewhere and any crew that finds it will have the same idea and likely bring a PvP fleet to defend its treasure.

So, I make the first call to get bombers in, covops and every able-bodied pilot who can scan or shoot anything. People file in with whatever ship they brought but I give out my own Talos so that we have more DPS.  We really have to hurry up.  The system fills with our team and scanner probes and while the shooters crack open the free floating hangar and ship arrays, the spotters blanked us with probes trying to find the holes asap and put eyes on the entry points for possible enemies.

A single Condor blips up on D-scan with the same naming structure as the floating ships.  Likely he heeds the call of the POS running out of gas and is trying to do something about it.  But by now we have a Naga, a Talos, a Drake, a Myrm and a Bomber dishing out damage and our logistics director Gumby jumps into 3 screen action running hauler relays to sweep up the loot.

A POS that runs out of fuel is free-for-all but the arrays need to be pried open first….

All POS mods are cracked and the site is filling with ejected cans.  The spotters are trying desperately to find the one lone Condor – not because he is a threat but he could be gathering intel for his mates to come drop on us.

After the POS mods are cracked, the eject the content in cans. Sweeping them up is a royal pain for the slow haulers. Very dangerous…

This goes too slow.  We are getting a grip on the system now with the sigs and are finding more WH entries and exits than we can cover.  On our hole home, we have a constant stream of Gumby’s hauler alts but we are not making progress emptying the dozens of cans or scooping up the ships that are now floating free in the POS.  Gumby makes the call to bring in his Orca.  He spotted a several cans full of ore and while it doesn’t have the highest priority, he is an industrialist by heart and lusts after space dusts to build corp ships. I remind him of the significant risk and he says “Its just ISK” and proceeds to jump into with the massive Industrial Command ship.  I switch to my Falcon – if we do get dropped, my hope is that I can hold them off long enough for the Orca to escape.  All other ships are slowly circling the POS at their best range so that they are not in immediate danger.  The most likely scenario for a hostile drop is an Onyx with its bubble catching everything.  So, at this point, range is good.  Gumby curses the sea of jet cans since he has to empty them, he cant scoop them up and proceeds to shoot them with his Naga while he lands his fat whale in the middle.    Some of our crew drop their ships off at home and fly the floating hulls out.  There are 3 Moas, fully T2 loaded with gas harvesters for example, a number of other nice ships, Occator, Itty V and so on.  The Orca is full, turns around, jumps out.  Drops his loot into one of our Arrays, waits out the polarization timer and comes straight back.  Tension is dropping, there are no more ships floating (that we want or can fly, Gumby’s alt gets into the last Itty V and sits there) and the Orca is loading up.

I am getting antsy, we have been hanging here for too long and the scouts still don’t have a real grip on all sigs to this system.  We don’t know where all the WHs are and we certainly don’t have eyes on all of them.  The lone Condor decloaks occasionally and is more like a pesky gnat than a real threat.

But gnats can be very distracting.

The Orca warps out and at that moment, a Proteus lands.  The Proteus engages but not for long. I decloaked and have racial ECM on him.  Nambi, Pokey, Simon and Hempa open fire with their BCs and the Proteus gets alphaed into 1/3 shield.  Teamspeak lights up. A serious enemy fleet has entered the wormhole, several T3s, hurricanes and more.  They are from “Transmisson Lost”, a well-known WH alliance and we need to take this seriously   A hurricane lands.  I try to ECM him but forgot what race these ships are and in confusion select the multiracial – my last resort.  It has no effect.  I curse.  More ships warp in and I try to think on my feet which ones I can disable when the call comes from the people 65km from me to bail.  This fleet is too much, we have no tank, I am inexperienced in ECM and they are bringing more and more ships on the grid. We stand and fight, we die.  I know I am reasonably safe at my range, unlikely that the enemy fleet brought snipers and they all seem to have warped directly onto the POS.

I did get a positive ECM onto the Hurricane in the end and with 2 ships disabled, I am getting bullish that we are going to be fine.   My goal is to secure our retreat when Gumby’s stolen Iteron blows up.  Then all goes dark.  Something – I dont know who and what, did to me what I did to them, I lost all locks.  Not sure if it was ECM or range damps but I am 65km away and can’t target a thing.  I see red blinking things coming at me when I announced that I need to GTFO.  I had picked something to warp to and hope to come back for another approach but the would be pretty much over once I bounce back.

But our BCs get away – apart from one, Gumby is struggling with “task saturation“.    He had 3 characters committed, one of them in the Orca he is concentrating to get out of harms way.  One of them just sat in the stolen Iteron and was blown up, so he tries to get the POD out.  His last character is in a Naga….

So, we leave the field and feel extremely good about this all, 1 BC, 1 cheap POD and a stolen Iteron V for idk, 6 ships (Occator etc), about 5 hauler’s and 2 Orca’s worth of loot and ore.  Damn, we are good 😉

I bounce my Falcon out after confirming that I am the last in the hole and keep my Buzzard alt to observe the “Transmission Lost” crew. They are parked in the debris field and pick through the left overs.  Sorry guys, we won this one…

Not much left here to pick, guys, but nice try. Better luck next time

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5 responses to “Fight of the vultures

  1. Wow! It’s not very often I hear of Corps being able to claim success over Transmission Lost. Well done! It certainly did sound like an ambush from the get-go, either that or the timing of two different Corps finding that POS and getting a fleet organized to grab the goods was extremely coincidental. Either way it sounds like your guys got the better deal.
    The only time I ever found anything just floating around free in a wormhole was when I was solo exploring in my covert Proteus and came across an empty C4. Well it was empty except for a couple of un-piloted T2 Minmatar cloaky haulers. I don’t remember what they’re called, but I couldn’t fly them, and I had no one available who could, so I blew both of them up hoping that they’d appear in a kill mail, but I guess I don’t understand the mechanics of the kill mails. You probably have to have someone piloting the ships you blow up lol.
    Anyway, this is an awesome post.

    • Well, thank you! They managed to kill one of our ships and we managed to get stuff away. This was likely timing. We were lucky that they did not show up earlier on the field, we would have probably lost the Orca. On the other hand, I did not expect this to be bait. Having a POS run out of fuel is way too risky as bait. But I fully expected to get jumped in under 30minutes, which is about what the entire operation took. I am surprised that the Lost in Transmission crew did not bring a HAC. We would have, if we had that force available…

    • Yeah, I know, they came from a neighboring C5. Literally as soon as our scouts found it, they came through. The Proteus must have been already in “our” system. We don’t know whether it was their C5 or whether they actually roamed. I suspect the former but we did not find out

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