Well. Where were we? Oh yes. Tail between legs, ran away, even lost a ship or two in our futile attempt to crack a tasty POS in a C2. We are soundly beaten and the local must have a big grin on his face.
But while we have a newly found respect for a Death Star POS (especially if it is fitted with all Faction mods), we are not giving up. The strategy of using Vexors Navy Issue (VNI for short) and their sentry drones is in principle sound. The issue was holding the cap chain in the face of tons of DPS and frequent jams. This should be addressable.
To practice, I set up a POS on SiSi with the exclusive goal to make it a punching ball for my alliance mates. You can’t buy faction POS mods on SiSi which limits me to stand up a large Amarr tower with nothing online other than the medium and small batteries plus a few ECM’s thrown in. I figured, there is no need for warp scrams (that our target has) since we are not going anywhere or webs (ditto) and everything that saves CPU and powergrid is turned off. If you do that, you end up with something akin to a blue ball of pain since nothing prevents you to warp away but if you want to fight it, bring a damn good tank.
With a limited crew, we try to break it but we can not. The DPS is too much for our remote-repping fleet and our team is overwhelmed by the DPS. One side of me wants to chuckle (after all, I spent hours building this damn thing and it was supposed to be tough as nails) but on the other hand, I want to help create a fleet composition that actually can take on our target. We log off and our math geniuses start the thinking.
A week goes past and I am still in “Sochi” with my scout, needless to say he is not part of my corp or alliance. Just a harmless scout. I don’t log him in every day but when I do, I change his ship name, switch from combat to core probes (T1 and Sisters) and generally pretend I am someone different every time. The target never sees me on grid since I have no reason to leave the system but instead, I am privy to watching our target do nothing. Nothing at all.
The next shooting attempt on my tower is rudely interrupted by CCP. They decided this would be a good time to re-image SiSi resulting my POS getting wiped off the map. I curse – all this work for naught – but only for a short time until my alliance mate Nylon Elephant has set up a new one, conveniently next to a station. We assemble the team and a large fleet forms. We have pre-fitted Vexors and Ishtars for the shooters and Guardians for the Logis. No creativity on fits allowed, we play “Nullsec” on this one and the fleet comp is set in stone.
A shooting team of about 15 boats assembles, backed by 4 Guardians. Our capable FCs break the teams up into groups of 4 shooters watched over by a Guardian and we warp into action. Our single Dominix serves us as anchor and we aggress the POS who promptly targets me first, neuts me, shoots me into Armor and jams my cap chain mate. A good start. I feel Death’s cold fingers creeping up my trousers. But “my” Guardian sends me cap and armor as if it was nothing, the POS switches target, we drop drones and the shooting starts in earnest. Well, as earnest as you can get on SiSi…. (btw, are there non-capsuleer crew manning ships on SiSi?)
The new fits and the new tactics of breaking up the teams works amazingly well. We overkill on Guardians but we have plenty of ships and even after a couple of logis log off (Real Life, seriously, what a cheap excuse), we still hold the damage. High fives all around, the mood is positive, we can do this.
But when? For some weird reason, the week of Valentine’s day is objected by our team. My fellow neckbeards pretend having sweethearts and refuse to book a weekend for spaceships. Even if they had women in their lives, a POS shoot is an Alliance activity and hence should have priority. Right?
Well, the weekend after “Hallmark Day” is set as the date. CapCom, we are “go” for infiltration on Wednesday, shooting on Friday.
Remorse starts nagging me. We are about to destroy someone’s livelihood. He is likely a solo player, minding his own business, running his C2 quietly and on the defensive side. Never engage, never smack talk, never risk anything. “He” may be a handicapped, PTSD veteran, female and from a minority with bilateral frostbite, severe speech impediment and ugly children. If we destroy his (her?) POS, he (she?) may be at wit’s end and kill himself in real life. And I found his POS, I guided the team in, I am responsible.
While I wrote the last bit a little flippant, there is some truth to it. What right do we have to destroy his game? What has he done to us? Believe it or not, I am getting second thoughts. I pride myself on playing a very ethical game. I will never scam anyone and have paid for ships more than once when I felt that I killed a newby. EVE is a cold, harsh place but I am not a cold, harsh person.
The train is running. I can not stop what happens next. Or can I? I don’t even try. But this thought is with me for the entire time.
To be continued. (and yes, the next chapter is the final one. Nobody in NS would ever think of writing a 4-chapter post about a single POS, but we are not NS, for us, this is quite extraordinary)