Playing with the Neighbor – Part 2

So, here we are, just blew up a Legion in our neighbor C4 at the cost of a Stealth Bomber and a couple of Ruptures.  We are not doing badly here.  The opposition sobs inside their POS with their tail between their legs and likely have no ships left that could oppose us.  They have disrespected us, we are hyped on adrenaline and we are keen to follow through with our plan to bash one of their brand new POS-es.  But blowing up a tower is not something we have ever done – we took potshots before annoy people but we never really did it in an organized way.

But thankfully, our corp has pilots with nullsec experience who quickly work out exactly what we need to bring and assemble the fleet in our home system followed by clear instructions on how to do this.  Destroying a POS is more an exercise in endurance than skill, kind of like ice mining and hence gear and brains need to be prepared equally.  I feel left out of the planning process since a) I dont have a clue how to do this,  b) on this char, I can fly a really solid frigate, I can sort of undock a cruiser and I can sit in a drake looking at offline mods.  Not exactly Battleship pilot.  So its a bomber for me, suits me fine and we get our merry gang going while we notice that our opposition is logging off.  Oh, that’s a shame.  I was hoping they would be able to watch.  Aww.

Anyway.  As the stealthy one (and the most expendable), the honor of of the first shot falls to me and I gladly abide.  I decloak, target, let torpedoes fly and look in awe as they race to their target.  I watch the shield of the POS in eager anticipation of the tremendous effect of my mighty torpedoes.

Plink.  A chip of paint falls off.  Left side.  I saw it.

This could take a while but here comes my fleet in their motley collection of high DPS Tier 3 BCs, someone even dusted off a Raven and we soon are rewarded with a noticeable change in the POS shield.  

yes, yes, its not a Nemesis, I know...

yes, yes, its not a Nemesis, I know…

But doubts do creep in.  We have no interest in actually taking this POS out.  I mean, it has a single CHA and a single SMA.  Its a medium POS without any guns or hardeners, so only a complete fool would store anything useful in this thing.  But now that we started, we can’t stop and we reload, fire, reload, fire, reload, fire…. /snooze.

Until someone from the opposition team logs in and warps directly into the POS we are shooting at. Oh cool, at least we have an audience.  My bored team devices clever plans to warp bubble the tunnel between the two POS and trap the Catalyst during its futile transit.  Skip breaks out the Onyx and positions himself somewhere.

We all hope that he would be so dense to online a gun – to load it, he would have to leave the POS shield.

He doesn’t.

He warps back to his proper POS and hangs there, frantically onlining defensive mods on that one.  Not a bad plan – he basically gave up on this useless POS and focuses his attention on his main.  His action also provide much needed entertainment – although by now we have a substantial fleet and progress is speeding up.  We only have to go to 20% (25%?) of the shield before we know if they have loaded Strontium or not.  If not – goodbye POS.  If yes, we leave, punitive mission accomplished.  With about 15 min left to shoot, Evenstar, Dean and I peel off the target in our bombers and try to take potshots at the lone representative of our opposition who zooms around in a hauler loading guns.  Now, attacking a very well stocked and alerted POS in Stealth Bombers is not something you want to do at home kids.  Trust me, I know.

Dean and Evenstar do it Gangsta-drive-by-shooting style, they fly cloaked into torpedo range, then decloak, align to something, let 2 salvos fly and warp off before the POS has time to react.  But its not working, this guy actually has some tank on this hauler and in addition, he is done now and just hangs in his blue bubble.

In the meantime, our POS bashing team reports success, they broke through the shield and hit… “16 hours of reinforcement” .  Ah crap, they have stront loaded.  Oh well.  We had fun, we scared the crap out of them, we shot at stuff and we exercised a nice punitive mission.  Everyone but the bombers starts filing out of the C4 back home – mood is good, it was kind of expected.  We bombers stay behind to watch the lone hauler in his blue cage.

And he starts moving – scoots slowly to the other side of his bubble – where there are far fewer guns and stuff.  Its pretty clear that he is trying to install more mods and its also pretty clear that there are three bombers watching him trying to prevent just that.  So I am the closest and try a daredevil stunt, ride inside of the POS mods, i.e. between the POS mods and the pulsing, moving blue bubble  to where the hauler is moving.  Literally, 1/2 way around the thing. Sure it would be easier to just warp off and approach the ball from the other side.  But that would not be sporting.  See, if I decloak by getting too close to anything, the POS guns may have me point blank before I can warp off.  Or so I think – everyone makes their own adrenaline…

So, slowly, I skim the surface of the blue bubble and narrowly avoid a few scary looking guns and other mods.  I am about to congratulate myself for my amazing flying skills when I decloak.  Ah crap!  I know what I will hear next.  The shield alarm, followed in short succession by the armor siren and the sad screech of going into structure.  Followed by the little blinking mail notification and the merciless laughter of my corp mates. I squint my eyes – wait for the inevitable and try to find something to align to.  Nothing at all in front of me.  Zip. Empty space.  Vacuum.  I pick some random planet and initiate warp.  Slowly my Manticore turns around.  All the way.  I am literally riding onto a POS gun, bumping into it before my little frigate initiates warp and is away.

I should have not lived through this.  Something is definitely wrong here….

Evenstar and Dean jostle for position on the side where the slow-moving hauler will emerge and by some glitch decloak each other.  They literally stare at the hauler moving directly at them before they can scoot away and re-cloak.  If this guy doesn’t know that we are here, he really ought to be shot.  Which is of course the whole point of this exercise.

Hard to believe, he keeps marching on, doggedly and undeterred.  I am starting to have pity on him and am about to tell my friends to hold fire when he clears the POS shield, Dean and Evenstar and newly arrived Commander Jane decloak and shoot him point blank.  Aw shucks.  I may as well then before there is nothing left…

The pod slides back into his forcefield (with so many torpedoes hitting, I would not be surprised if we propelled him backwards) and we are staring at him like Zoo visitors at a cute monkey. We are all outside of his force field when we realize that we are kinda exposed here.  I mean, comeone, its a POS.  It has lots and lots of guns and stuff.  Scary shit everywhere, in fact, right next to me is some laser battery.

Nothing. Ah! May God Bless Bad Game Design. CCP, tytyty, your incompetence is creating a happy evening for us 4 paying players.  The POS must have been set up to shoot only when attacked or something, we are perfectly safe out here.  Nanananaa…

So we stare at the pod scooting back to the SMA and getting – what – another hauler?  You have to be kidding.  This guy can not be that dense.  We have 4 bombers out here in plain view.  We just blew him up and he comes out again?

Yes he is.  I mean, in some way, I want to recruit him right now.  That’s the spirit!  You’d make a great asset to our corp – we need stubborn fighters with total disregard of their tactical situation.  well, on second thought – no.  We don’t want him.

He comes closer – he is safe inside his shield but he is getting mighty close to the edge of the bubble. If it wasn’t for the vacuum, you’d hear our combined 12 torpedo launchers reloading.  He slows down.  He is aiming for the wreck!  He thinks he can reach it through the bubble and loot the mod  that he just lost.  He ain’t no dummy after all.

POS Hauler_cropped

Like Roadrunner in the old cartoons, Dean disappears  in a cloud of dust. Not sure where he is heading towards but we target the wreck – when this clown gets too close, we blow his wreck up. The POS mod it contains doesn’t fit into a bomber.  So, destruction it is.

The hauler slows to 4m/seconds, inching towards the force field.  We are literally 10km away from him – if the curtain of the pulsing bubble rushes over him, he is toast.  Slower, he inches.  Almost there.  My finger is on the torpedo trigger.

With screeching tires, Dean rematerializes right next to me.  In a Viator.  He scoots up to the wreck, loots the chunky POS module and warps away, leaving nothing but skid marks in the nether.  Skip shoots the wreck.  Thats it, curtains, friend in your blue bubble.

This would be the time where we shoot at POS mods and really make a mess out of it but its late, we   had an exciting evening and we are tired. We do a last top-gun style fly past of his POS and leave him be – may he bitch and moan to his POS security directory and tell his tale.  Whether anyone will believe him is a different story….

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