Hail Mary on a marauder

23rd April 2014 – 5.15 pm

We retreat. Mick and HR head back through the wormhole to the home system, and I am in a tactical spot some distance from the wormhole in this class 4 w-space system. Hostile ships mill around the wormhole in the distance but they don't follow my colleagues through; they are happy to dictate where any further engagement happens, forcing us to come to them and, potentially, polarising ourselves should we try to flee. I suppose it's a balancing factor: those who most want to fight must put themselves in a dangerous position.

I am ready to come home and warp to be in jump range of the wormhole, but Mick would like a second crack at the ships. He and HR talk about ships that we have that could upset our opponents, pondering choices and selections. Personally, now that I think about it, I'm more interested by the Golem marauder that's still on the field. Although not particularly vulnerable, some hundred kilometres from the wormhole, oblique to my position, given that anyone coming in to the system has to get past the combat ships slowly circling the wormhole, that he remains in the same position surely isn't a good idea.

I take a look at the relative position of the wormhole, Golem, and distant planets. He's not directly in line with any of the planets and the wormhole, but he's not far off either. I think I could get my Manticore stealth bomber in a decent position to provide a warp-in point for my colleagues, and in little time. Our ships wouldn't be able to get to the Golem quickly normally, but by positioning a ship in the fleet sufficiently beyond the target, a fleet-warp command can be initiated, aimed to drop short of the distant fleet member and on top of the target.

Hearing about the Golem remaining on the field and understanding its value, both to the owners and in ISK terms, has us making it our primary target. Essentially, if we kill any target it will be the Golem. I bounce off a distant planet from the wormhole and start manoeuvring my Manticore to provide the fleet a warp reference. It doesn't take long. The Golem just sits there, motionless. On top of that, the combat ships warp away from the wormhole, the pilots swapping to battleships.

The locals aren't escalating the conflict, they are killing the wormhole instead. A Dominix, Raven, and Armageddon are all employed in pushing mass through the connection, which limits the time we have available to make our move. It could also limit what ships we can bring through, particularly when the wormhole drops to its half-mass state. But once the Raven warps away the wormhole looks clear on both sides, the Golem still refuses to move, and we have two Dominix battleships of our own we're ready to bring in.

Our fleet moves. They warp to the wormhole, jump, and warp to drop short of my position. It's right about now that I realise requiring the ships to warp a hundred kilometres and calling for them to warp a hundred kilometres short of my position can actually be different objectives. It seemed so clear in my head, but I've screwed up. Our Dominices make the warp and only advance fifty kilometres. I'm really not that smart sometimes.

Jumping the stationary and alone Golem

Thankfully, our battleships cross the remaining distance with some speed, and I get my Manticore burning towards the Golem to make sure it won't warp away before they get close. He's caught. I paint the target and start lobbing torpedoes his way, as our Dominices catch up after my error and apply their own, significant damage and electronic warfare. The Golem realises he's in danger and enters bastion mode, hoping to keep his marauder afloat for long enough for help to arrive.

Help arrives. The same ships as before, but this time we're ignoring them for the Golem. The marauder's shields are dropping, our firepower is strong. The Golem still fights, targeting my Manticore to try to get rid of me. It works, as the first hit shreds my shields for the second time this evening. Also for the second time this evening, I bodge my exit strategy, clearly not having thought about it in advance, and aim the wrong way to start with. This time, unlike the previous occasion, I am not able to rectify this mistake quickly enough. A second volley of cruise missiles hits me, and my Manticore explodes.

Incoming fire from the ailing Golem

I would say my ship died this time because I am closer to the Golem, so his missiles get to me sooner. I think it's more accurate to say that I was lucky the first time that the Golem was so far away. Never the less, now is not the time to sit like a lemon. I warp my pod away, and bounce back to the wormhole, jumping home immediately. My part in the combat is over for now. I regret losing my ship, wanting to have done more, but I just hit a reload cycle and was being forced to warp away anyway. Given the current state of the fight, I probably did as much as I could. Except provide a better warp-in.

Falcon makes a crucial appearance

The Golem was intact but really suffering when I left it. It's taken even more damage now, but the hostiles have realised that they aren't going to fight our ships off the high-value target, and finally bring in their ECM support instead. It's a frustrating but understandable tactic, and it works. The Golem drops from bastion mode, aligns out, and when a successful jam hits both Dominices at the same time the marauder warps clear. '28% hull structure', says the Golem pilot in the local channel, 'I was shitting myself'. I would have been too.

As for our ships, Mick gets clear, HR doesn't. We lose a Dominix to the fleet, on top of the Manticore, and the Ishtar in the earlier engagement. Whilst we made mistakes, I think we did pretty well. After all, we don't know what mistakes the other fleet think they did, and I would consider leaving the Golem where it was to be their biggest one. Yes, we lost a couple of ships, but our plan was to throw a Hail Mary at the marauder. The excitement, no doubt on both sides, was well worth our time and ISK.

  1. 17 Responses to “Hail Mary on a marauder”

  2. Golem pilot here. Great write up Penny! It was an absolutely thrilling engagement. Our FC asked if I would use my Golem as bait. I was against the idea initially (because of the amount of isk I had invested in that ship) until our CEO said he would bring his Falcon. That's what made me commit to the idea of the bait Golem.

    When we had our first engagement with your Manticore and the Ishtar, and seeing how hard the Golem hit your Manticores' shields, it gave me a false sense of security. We figured after you guys left that you wouldn't return, but also knew you had eyes on us in our system via the Proteus and your Manticore, so we came up with a plan to leave the Golem and Falcon on the wormhole, while the others reshipped into crush ships to make one pass through the wh and see if we could bait you guys back in.

    What we didn't anticipate was the two neut Domi's warping to me. I saw them come in and thought, "Hey, sweet, more ships to shoot". Then they warped 20-30 km away from me and my heart skipped a beat and I realized I wasn't so safe anymore. I didn't realize they were using you as warp in and thought they fitted up MJD's to get on top of me, either way I knew I was fooked.

    My shooting at your Manticore was more a desperate attempt to get at least one more kill out of the ordeal because like you said, the Golem was going down under the heavy DPS and neuting. Just as I was about to pop, hero Falcon got those beautiful raspberry jams off just as I was leaving bastion and aligning to a POS and was able to catch warp, barely escaping, and fully puckered.

    One question I had though, once I landed at the POS I looked at my overview and saw one of the domi's there. Did one of them follow me, or was that just a visual glitch?

    Anyways, I personally cough our "win" to pure luck. If any skill was involved on our side it was our hero Falcon pilot that stayed cloaked the majority of the time. Other than that I was just incredibly lucky hahaha!

    All in all, great fight guys!

    By The DLT on Apr 23, 2014

  3. Thanks, DLT. It's always interesting to hear the other side of the story.

    It was awfully good of you to use your Golem as bait. It really looked like an oversight to me. Of course, as you say, we were unlikely to come back after our initial drubbing, but the bait was enticing, we had a plan, and the timing worked out well. Once the wormhole was clear of your ships we got our opportunity and were willing to commit our ships.

    Mistakes were made, but that's to be expected. What matters is that it was a great fight, from both sides.

    The Dominix following you must have been a glitch.

    By pjharvey on Apr 23, 2014

  4. DLT, I was at your tower, I warped to a random moon, just pure chance it was where your tower was. Think it shot me too.

    By Mick Straih on Apr 23, 2014

  5. Ah, right. Mick escaped. It was his Dominix you saw.

    By pjharvey on Apr 23, 2014

  6. I logged on that day just to see what everyone was up to. Immediately got notified of PVP, asked what they needed and then boarded the falcon.

    (I've played EVE off and on for about ten years; and in my early TNC days, we had a severe lack of Falcon pilots. Lets just say I maxed those skills immediately and have been flying falcons ever since and as often as possible in PVP.)

    I was asked by the FC to give falcon support for the ishtar, but I reminded them that an ishtar with drones already in the water isn't going to offer anything; being a falcon pilot I knew that me warping off to a random spot and cloaking was playing a very effective game of psychological warfare on you guys.

    Me 'not' being active in the fight was more effective than decloaking and throwing jams, when none of our guys were in any real danger.

    When the Ishtar went down and the pod left, we knew of the eyes in system and we figured crushing the hole with the golem there would stir something to come out of the woodwork. Of course, we aren't going to let a golem sit there by itself, so my falcon; ever the angel on my corp-mates shoulders; stood silent vigil until needed.

    I don't much care for kills or glory anymore, I'm much more the tactician and will gladly sit silent and observe until I know I'm needed; which always pays off for everyone else.

    And in this case, it did. I had a good laugh that the structure was down to 20-some odd percent on the golem, and in the end I imagine everyone had fun.

    Thank you guys for the engagement, and we did notice your own falcon jumping into the system, perhaps for a third attempt. I told my guys to just let it go, at that point there was no reason to continue on; we all had fun and had a good thrill, and it was getting close to dinner time anyway. =]

    By Shevai - TNC CEO on Apr 24, 2014

  7. "I don't much care for kills or glory anymore"

    This would be much more believable were it not contained in an 8-paragraph self-directed encomium . Also, if you didn't fly a Falcon so much, and have "CEO" in your handle, and if you'd take that @!#$ing 8 foot wide halo off your head, I can barely get around you in the buffet line at lunch. And who the hell wears shoes with endangered fish in their water-filled heels in 2014? Bashing the shoe on the ground so you can fling the endangered fish into your mouth as you scream "FALCONNN!" in a paroxysm of faux rage may be part of your special medically approved diet, but it certainly isn't humble. Unless you do it while still cloaked.

    By Bashful Tactical Angel Guy on Apr 25, 2014

  8. At some point I think you actually had a point to make but somewhere in between braiding your neck locks and lint rolling your fedora you decided that opening your Thesaurus and making a really unnecessary response to someone's comment where you try to paint them in some sort of light of false-humility was the better decision. Try not to be such a transparent thunder cunt in the future. It'll make your edgy posts that much more effective.

    By Some guy. on Apr 25, 2014

  9. @some guy:

    I was going to say something about your lack of humor but then I realized clicking on your name leads me to some virus laden linkfest, so thanks for that.

    By Bashful Tactical Angel Guy on Apr 25, 2014

  10. Dear B-TAG,

    I'm sorry, I was under the impression I was commenting on events in a blog in which I was a part of, in an effort to tell my side of the story of how I came into the unfolding events. You know, because everyone else who took part in those events are doing the same thing.

    I won't apologize for my story-telling ability though. Obviously it pulled you in and had you riveted.

    It's ok, I remember the first time I made a comment on the internet too. Quite exhilarating; that anonymity. =]

    By Shevai - TNC CEO on Apr 26, 2014

  11. "Quite exhilarating; that anonymity. =]"

    I don't know if it's exhilarating, but it's hard to beat when it comes to not seeking glory. :)

    By Bashful Tactical Angel Guy on Apr 26, 2014

  12. He was pretty anonymous until I blabbed my big mouth to the internet about this engagement.

    By pjharvey on Apr 26, 2014

  13. Eve is a nice big sandbox, it has room for anonymous commenters, and bloggers who make random pilots much less anonymous, and glory hounds, and falcon pilots who jam out the glory before it hits them--it's got room for serious comments and funny ones too. When this variegated array gets people confused as to which is which, humor ensues, or insults, or both. It's tough to tell how serious someone is being on the internet, tone doesn't translate well--but some people enjoy a challenge. The popular saying is 'fuck em if they can't take a joke', but that's a little extreme for me. Sometimes you read someone wrong, and sometimes someone doesn't bite on your marauder bait. A joke is like a bait ship, there's some Mabrick-denying risk vs. reward, some deception, some bait-and-switch and no one quite knows what will happen next. How tempting do you make that bait ship, how obvious? Do you want it to look naive, or semi-afk? In the end they either laugh at it or they take it seriously, and if they send you a stream of insults afterwards it says more about them than it does about you. And then the next day you open up a new wormhole and see what they have up their sleeves, and the story goes on.

    By Bashful Tactical Angel Guy on Apr 26, 2014

  14. I'm pretty sure you're that weirdo Epithal lover, so took your comment in the same vein as previous. But comedy is hard and, like you admit, sarcasm is impossible to gauge without tone, which ends up making good-natured ribbing appear indistinguishable from insults. So it goes with internet comments.

    I would also say that the falcon pilot, who sounds pretty super, took it all in his stride and it's our hot-headed Some Guy who provided more delightfully provocative commentary. I'm happy that we're all on the same page in some respect.

    By pjharvey on Apr 26, 2014

  15. Yes, I make no pretensions to comedic excellence, although I do offer an iron-clad 200% your money back guarantee.

    I am somewhat proud of the metaphor between a bait ship and an internet joke, however; it perches above this discussion like an angel on our shoulders, bringing the discussion full circle and paying off for all concerned. I don't like to tout my analytic skills, but as a long-time internet commenter I was able to predict that everything would turn out as it has, and was always ready and waiting in the background with the appropriate comment to come out of the woodwork. Now that we've all had our fun and thrills, all that remains is for me, in my lofty yet humble position as the in-the-background CEO of this discussion,to let everyone know that it's time to stop this discussion and go eat a healthy dinner. Bon Appetit everyone!

    By Bashful Tactical Angel Guy on Apr 26, 2014

  16. "Quite exhilarating; that anonymity. =]"

    Penny, I think Exhilarating Anonymity would be a good name for one of your future cloaky lokis.

    By Morell Tacvi on Apr 26, 2014

  17. It would be! I think it's too long though.

    By pjharvey on Apr 26, 2014

  18. I just named a ship ExhilaratinStability...you could call it a bullseye, but I call it a party.

    By Bashful Tactical Angel Guy on Apr 26, 2014

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