Finding the wrong fight

30th May 2011 – 5.06 pm

That Drake isn't looking for me. When I saw the battlecruiser on my directional scanner I thought it was a reaction to my chasing a Helios covert operations boat, who used a lazily predictable position to launch scanning probes. But Sleeper wrecks are slowly starting to appear, placing the ship in an anomaly instead, and, despite the current threat, he's not leaving. Maybe he thinks his Drake is safe from assault by a mere stealth bomber, and I suppose he's right, but I can easily change ships. And glorious leader Fin is almost returned from Jita with her new cloaky Legion strategic cruiser, giving us more firepower in a stealthy package. I think we can surprise the Drake.

I scanned this class 3 w-space system earlier and have the few anomalies present bookmarked. It is straightforward to place the Drake in one of them, and I warp in to see him continue shooting Sleepers. I bookmark a couple of wrecks, which he's looting but not salvaging as he goes, and warp to the static exit to high-sec empire space to guide Fin towards our target. Fin warps in one direction, me in another. I head home to change in to a suitably destructive ship to take on a Drake whilst Fin keeps eyes on him. But warping in to the anomaly goes awry, Fin's Legion landing in a cloud that disrupts her cloaking systems. She bounces right back out of the anomaly but it's safe to say Fin's been spotted.

At first, it looks like the Drake continues in the anomaly, but when Fin warps back in the battlecruiser has gone. He's still in the system, but we don't know where. It is possible he's taking a rest to recharge his passive shield systems, but he's gone from the site for too long to be only that keeping him away, so he's probably run away from our Legion. Meanwhile, I am in my Sacrilege heavy assault ship sitting on our static wormhole, ready to jump back in to the C3 should the Drake return, when the wormhole flares. We're not expecting visitors and I have no idea what ship will appear in front of me, but I hold and get my systems hot. An Anathema cov-ops finally sheds its session change cloak only to jump right back through the wormhole, apparently intimidated by my Sacrilege.

I follow the Anathema to class 3 w-space, giving limited chase on the other side of the wormhole. I don't expect to get a positive target lock or to be able to bump the cloaking ship, and of course it doesn't happen, the Anathema getting clean away. It makes me wonder why the ship fled home rather than simply evading me in our C4. But I'm back in the C3 now and I can hold station on the K162, as it is out of range of the anomaly where the Drake was spotted, making my response time quicker. All I have to do now is wait until the Drake is found. As it turns out, the Drake finds me.

Our target drops out of warp about twenty kilometres from our K162, which is convenient. I lock and start shooting, disrupting the Drake's warp engines, as Fin warps across to join me in the assault. I am cautious, however, not to get drawn away from the wormhole, which will be my escape route if I start to take too much damage. As it turns out, this is a sensible move. Before Fin lands a Hawk assault ship appears. The smaller target looks a quicker kill and I switch my fire away from the heftily tanked Drake, but even as I do Fin is calling extra contacts, including strategic cruisers. It's a trap!

I use my escape route to jump home as the other ships land on my position, but I saw the Hawk jump a few seconds before. He obviously plans to intercept me on the other side of the wormhole, making the situation look bad. I won't give up, and ignoring the session change timer I align to an arbitrary destination in our home system and hit 'warp'. But it's too late, I'm getting a reciprocal lock on the Hawk, indicating that my targeting systems have detected a positive lock on my ship and are responding in kind. I must be pointed, I must be losing my ship. But no, the Sacrilege continues to gain speed and, maybe a couple of seconds later, I am speeding away from the wormhole in warp!

I have no idea how the Hawk failed to disrupt my engines, but I'm glad he did. I drop out of warp, turn my ship around, and head directly to our tower, not waiting to see if I've been followed, and there I hide for a few minutes. Fin's also glad that she aimed to drop short of my initial position, letting her Legion maintain its cloak and not get the attention of the hostile fleet. It looks like the Drake was bait. Maybe the signs were there, but it is difficult to tell bait from naivity, particularly when so much of the latter is around.

It's disappointing to be lured in to yet another ambush, mostly because our own attempts at baiting pilots don't seem to work. At least we escape without loss of ship this time, thanks to Fin's vigilant monitoring of d-scan. I can tend to focus too much on the local grid when entering combat, and it is a lesson today that I should continue to be aware of my greater surroundings at all times. As for our current situation, it looks like the hostile fleet isn't one to linger, as they jump back to the C3 and slowly disappear. All appears quiet again.

  1. One Response to “Finding the wrong fight”

  2. Very good read guys - am enjoying it immensely.

    By Castagar on Jun 2, 2011

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