Stealth bomber, the clue is in the name

11th July 2011 – 5.22 pm

Early scanning gets an early result, a wormhole found in our high-sec mission base system. The K162 from class 1 w-space is stable and healthy, and jumping through shows me drones but no wrecks and a couple of towers in the system. My directional scanner also has a Probe and probes out and about, although I expect to find the frigate at one of the two towers. Finding the towers doesn't find the Probe, though, so on the assumption that he's resolved the wormhole and gone to investigate I return there myself.

The Probe is not only sitting on the exit to high-sec but he's launched a scanning probe. I don't think I can engage on the wormhole, as the pilot will simply jump out to empire space and evade my attentions, so I just watch and wait for now. But I suppose if he had jumped out and come back, which is a reasonable assumption to make if he had to recall his probes, then he would be polarised and unable to jump out again for a few minutes. And with scanning probes scattered about he would be unable to cloak easily. Maybe I should have taken a shot, if only I had been thinking more clearly.

I watch the Probe warp away to one of the towers, and I warp in a different direction to see if I can get far enough away to launch probes covertly. It looks like I can, and I send them far out of the system to keep them hidden until I may need them, only using them to blanket the system for now. Two anomalies, four signatures, and the Probe is all my combat probes pick up, which will make scanning quick if I get the chance. I warp back to the tower and monitor the actions of the Probe, although 'actions' is a rather grandiose term for sitting still and doing nothing.

I should have taken my shot at the Probe on the wormhole, he's clearly not going to move. Oops, I blink and he's gone. I warp across to the wormhole in time to see the Probe exit, and I loiter there whilst taking the opportunity of being alone to scan the few signatures that are here. I get as far as almost resolving one site before the wormhole flares, and I throw my probes back out of the system. The Probe returns and warps to the tower, where a Drake battlecruiser also now sits. Maybe I'll get some excitement soon.

Here we go, the Probe pilot swaps to a Hound stealth bomber and warps towards the wormhole. Maybe my probes were spotted, or the pilot is looking for an opportunistic kill on the exit. I follow behind, aiming to drop out of warp at bombing range in a bid to decloak the Hound, although I'm not sure why a capsuleer would choose to scan in a frigate when covert operation boats are available to him. The answer may be that he cannot use covert operations cloaks, as when I approach the wormhole I see the Hound uncloaked and ten kilometres away from me.

I decloak my Tengu as the strategic cruiser's warp engines cut out and target the Hound. I gain a positive lock and burn forwards, launchers spewing missiles at the tiny target. I am not half way through the Hound's armour when the pilot bails out, ejecting his pod and warping safely back to his tower, knowing that this is a fight he won't win. I pop the Hound anyway, not wanting to risk recovering it myself but still wanting my spoils of the hunt, and I loot and shoot the wreck. I find a cov-ops cloak still surviving, and I can only assume that the pilot cannot use them or he'd have cloaked, and probably be flying a Cheetah for scanning.

The Drake doesn't come out to challenge me, but the routed pilot slides his pod in to a Jaguar assault frigate. I doubt I'll find much more to do here, though, so I head back to high-sec to move on to scan a different system. But now that I think about it, I'm not sure why the Probe pilot would have to scan the already-open exit to high-sec, unless it wasn't him or a colleague of his who opened it in the first place. Maybe I should be looking in the C1 for a further K162, but I'm out here now and have many more systems to explore for further w-space adventures.

  1. 3 Responses to “Stealth bomber, the clue is in the name”

  2. I both love and hate when I can't figure out the 'enemy' pilot's mind. Puzzling over; would he/she? Or maybe?
    Such fun :D

    By Kaeda Maxwell on Jul 12, 2011

  3. Just fyi, you hear the wh sound when the pilot loads grid which means if he's competent he has already hit dscan and seen what's on scan.

    By kryn on Jul 12, 2011

  4. That makes sense, Kryn. I find there's a couple of seconds in the new system before the interface is responsive again, but that doesn't really give enough time to throw probes out of the system if the capsuleer is really paying attention. Still, you have to do what you can to remain covert.

    Kaeda, I know what you mean. There's wondering how experienced the pilot is, what precautions he's taken, how vigilant he's being. There are so many unknowns to ensure each engagement remains exciting.

    By pjharvey on Jul 12, 2011

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