I've been busy the past few days, just not in space. Do we still have an on-line tower in w-space? Hey, we do! Totes rad, babe. There's no one in it, of course. Home, sweet home. So with situation normal, I can consider my options. One signature is unaccounted for in the home system, and that turns out to be another pocket of gas to keep our industrialists happy, leaving me with just the static wormhole to... well, I don't have to venture through it. I could keep it closed.
Maybe I can try my idea of taking the Golem marauder in to an anomaly by itself, see how it copes. What could possibly go wrong? That is, apart from having billions of ISK of expensive ship and modules explode around me, performing an experiment whilst no one else is around to save my bacon should it go a bit awry. But the risks are probably minimal. Probably. I dunno, I've not tried this yet.
I think someone else has tried the Golem, though. The marauder has been refit with cruise missile launchers, when I'm sure I left it with torpedo launchers. Cruise missiles seem like the better option overall, as they have vastly improved range over the short-range torpedoes, although whenever I've tried to use cruise missiles I have been disappointed with their rate-of-fire.
Mind you, I don't have the skill to use the Tech II versions of the launchers, and they are generally faster than the basic launchers. It's all a bit cause-and-effect, because the low fire rate stops me wanting to train cruise missiles, but not training the skill stops me getting the advanced launchers. I should probably rectify that, particularly now that a cruise missile Golem could be viable for anomaly work in our home system, solo or otherwise.
Sadly, training that last level of cruise missile skill takes longer than a few minutes, so I need to refit the Golem back to using torpedo launchers. Their short range will necessitate moving around the site a fair bit, given that the waves of Sleepers warp in all over the place. Rather than try to encourage the battleship to move around normally, I think the micro jump drive would be useful. That's why I bought some, after all.
Torpedoes, micro jump drive, bastion module. I think I'm ready. I'm not quite sure what I'm ready for yet, as I've not used either the bastion module or the micro jump drive before, so this will be a learning experience. That's the idea, though, to learn. With that in mind, I warp the Golem to the first anomaly, of the type we're most familiar with. It's not the simplest, but at least I won't trigger a new wave of Sleepers accidentally, and will know where each wave will be coming from.
The first wave of Sleepers is easily dealt with, for the most part. I can use the MJD to get on top of them from the cosmic signature, at which point I engage the bastion module and occasionally pulse my shield booster to keep the Golem healthy. I drop out of bastion mode early, not wanting to be stuck near the start of the one-minute cycle at the end of the wave, but don't realise that the bastion module not only boosts the effects of repair modules but also those of of the ship's weapons. I wondered why my torpedoes were reaching further than normal, just as I wonder why they've stopped doing so.
Back in to bastion mode and the first wave is cleared. The second wave of Sleepers is out of range, but it's a simple matter to use the MJD to jink in one direction and, a little under a minute later, to jink back in to be on top of the Sleepers. Triangles are pretty easy to work out, even if the delay between jumps is a little awkward. Not having locks break when using the MJD is interesting, and lets me jump right back in to the combat. Arf!
More micro-management is needed for the third wave. Frigates come flying in fast, once I've made one jump to get them interested in me, and I'm really glad to see that torpedoes hit the tiny warp-scrambling ships when target-painted, given that my drones don't do much but explode. But more bouncing around with the MJD is required, in and out of bastion mode, each Sleeper wanting to pull range on my Golem and succeeding by being faster than my sluggish marauder. Each bounce takes time, but it is only time and not threat that is increased.
The final wave is cleared. My glorious leader comes on-line. 'I did some testing.' I'm doing some too. We compare notes. Torpedoes aren't great, given how the Sleepers pull range, and although the time required per anomaly looks to be high at least clearing the site is achievable, letting me bring the Golem home. Fin tried torpedoes too and agrees, and she also tried cruise missiles. They have more than enough range, but aren't quite as devastating as torpedoes. The high range also makes the salvaging feature of the marauder a bit useless, as wrecks are made far out of range of the tractor beam modules.
Maybe we can solve the salvage problem with a mobile tractor unit. Plant the Golem in the site, deploy a mobile tractor unit, and launch cruise missiles with abandon. That sounds horribly uninvolving and boring to me. Fin's other plan to 'get a second Golem' sounds much more my style. Let's get ourselves flying even more expensive ships! I like it. Maybe one torpedo boat, one cruise missile boat. I think we need more testing, which will be difficult to do without another marauder. As we talk, I loot and salvage the site I cleared, bringing back around a hundred million ISK. A couple of dozen more of them and the Golem will pay for a companion.