Unusually, I actually played EVE quite a bit this week – real life has been good to me and with crummy weather, outdoor activities were limited to shoveling snow.
My C4 crew is slowly growing, we have new members from Europe logging in at times when I don’t expect people and its always a nice surprise to chat with newbros. They are fun and experienced and are keen to get into WH life, after all its the least known area in New Eden and certainly has a “mystique” that attracts lone wolves from all over. Its not rational but there is solace in knowing that nobody can see you until its too late. Or – alternatively – that you don’t have to take a fight if you don’t feel comfortable with the tactical situation. For example, last week I spotted wrecks and and site runners in our C3 neighbor. A quick D-scan round later and I had my cloaky Proteus on grid with a Legion and Drake who were busy mopping up sleepers. Now thats not a lot of firepower for a C3, especially if the Legion was salvaging at the same time, thus eliminating the opportunity to blow up a salvaging boat. It also implied that both ships are low in shield or armor from the engagement with the sleepers making them vulnerable to a headshot. So, I maneuver into position when I spot a Tengu and a command ship on D-scan. Ah, these two ships are not alone in this system. 1 v 4 are not good odds. Come to think of it, they are TEST capsuleers, the same crew that was evicted from nullsec and thrown into Faction War where they fatten their wallet before they lose it again in the next war against the CFC. 4 pilots, all from TEST with a Low Sec WH likely crawling with their friends – no, I am not engaging.
But not engaging is not very fulfilling and I keep looking day after day along the chain for something to blow up. To this, I normally take my main character in a cloaky Proteus and have my alt hang back in a Falcon in case things go “pearshaped”. This method has worked well in the past but with only one DPS ship, engagements seem to take forever. That Drake for example would have had tons of time to call in friends – if he had any. I like the fight to be over fast and hence trained my alt into a Tengu – same idea, he hangs back and scouts but can add firepower where required. I am lacking EWAR now, means if things go wrong, there is nothing that saves me. We see how this goes.
A few days ago, I come back from a long and exhausting scanning roam across way too many systems without anything to show for when I spot activity in our C3 neighbor. The locals were not active earlier but this place now has a new signature meaning there may well be a new connection to explore. And yes, I see probes and a stealthbomber on Dscan. I have company. Lets hang here for a bit and see what happens.
My main character is holding on our hole home and notice a Mammoth on dscan in line with the local’s POS. Oh? I quickly warp my Tengu alt to the POS perch and lo!, the ugly hauler has a capsuleer and drifts flaccidly toward a Corporate Hanger Array. My perch is within 100km of him and I put my “view” on him and when he finally engages his warp engines I look over his hauler like a gun barrel aiming at one of two possible planets.
Well. Ok, so we have the local in a Mammoth and someone else scanning with core probes in a Stealth Bomber. If that new guy brings friends, this could get interesting. My friend Skip had his bomber blown up once when he tackled a PI hauler. Just that a third party had the same idea, had followed the hauler and got it and Skip in one swift motion.
So, here goes. I pick one POCO for my Tengu alt while engaging warp with my main character in his Proteus to the other POCO. One of them will get it. And if he is dumb enough to use a Mammoth instead of an Epithal and he have not seen me come in through his static high sec hole and has not seen the set of probes and he is warping directly to the POCO instead of to a safespot first then he is likely also fitting cargo expanders instead of warp stabilizers and he needs an education.
Both my characters land on their respective POCOS almost at the same time, decloaked, weapons hot and all tanking mods on. I should get in the habit of pre-overheating but I am not that good yet. The Mammoth lands a couple of seconds later, about 8km away a distance I can easily close with my -rather speedy, actually – Tengu. Locked, scrammed. Missiles. Should I do something fancy, like bring my main character in with a faction point and see if I can get a bounty / Haiku? Nah, screw it. We still have the third party to be concerned about, Bob only knows what they could drop on me.
More missiles. The hauler blows up with incredible speed and the capsule warps off without me being able to do anything. I am tempted to blow up the wreck but I resist – it may be good bait for someone to try salvage it. I hang back wit my Tengu and cloak up. My victim warps to his POS, reships into another Mammoth and just sits there. I am intrigued. Nobody is that stupid. He won’t do this again, will he? No, he doesn’t. He is logging off. The Mammoth was probably just to show me that he doesn’t care and that he has plenty of ugly haulers kicking around. Didn’t want that Mammoth anyway. But as last hurrah, he drops a bounty on me – revenge for my cowardly gank. 666,666 ISK bounty. I am scared. I am cursed now. Bob will not send me more haulers until this Bounty is claimed!