Struggling in a class 4 w-space radar site

19th March 2010 – 5.38 pm

We have a fleet for some Sleeper combat. Although the miners I blow up don't go back in to that system earlier, we are not keen to try running anomalies in it just in case they have managed to get some combat pilots awake. Besides, there is an occupied intermediate system to travel through too. We have a couple of radar sites and some anomalies in our home system, so we'll plunder these for now. The fleet is flying our standard twin Guardian configuration, with two battleships for DPS and jamming.

The first wave of Sleeper ships in the radar site is destroyed smoothly. A databank needs to be hacked in to for the second wave to be triggered. It's risky but possible to fly a hacking frigate in to the site, if we take care to warp it out quickly enough when the Sleepers arrive, but when flying such a small fleet we can't really spare the pilot. We have tended to fit a Guardian with a codebreaker, which can squeeze the module in to its fitting without compromising our remote repairing capabilities or tank or DPS of the attack ships. But, for various reasons, we don't have a codebreaker fitted this time.

I go back to the tower to change my fitting to include a codebreaker module, but before I can pluck one from the corporate hangar a Sleeper battleship appears in the site. We have an escalation event. I have no time to refit, and instead warp back to the site to help feed energy to and repair the fleet as the battleship is destroyed. Because of my fumbling, a colleague decides his ship can be spared the alpha damage of the next wave of Sleepers and returns to the tower to bring back a hacking frigate. It works, as the Sleepers are alerted to the security of their databanks being breached.

We are struggling a little to keep up with the damage of this class 4 w-space radar site. I'm sure we've cleared them before without too many problems, but today we have all our reppers on one ship, including some drones, and we still can't stop the Scorpion from taking some structure damage. At least it doesn't get any worse, and as the Sleepers are destroyed the incoming damage is reduced. And for the first time in months one of my drones gets targeted by the Sleepers, chewing through its shield and most of its armour as I recall it back to the drone bay in time to save it. The site is cleared eventually, but it took concentration to keep the fleet flying.

A Merlin is brought out to hack the databanks and a veritable bounty of loot is recovered before we plunge back in to combat, taking on the second radar site. The first wave of Sleepers is straightforwardly dealt with again, and the second is triggered as before, warping in 200 km away to give us plenty of time to prepare. The Sleepers' distance also means that their frigates get in close significantly before their bigger ships slowly drift in to firing range, giving us a chance to whittle down their numbers and reduce the incoming damage. Learning from the previous site we concentrate initial fire on the Sleeper cruisers to reduce the overall number of ships, before focussing on the battleships. Even though we take care to manage the Sleepers better, the final wave of four Sleeper Safeguard battleships tests our full repping powers and the fleet still takes minor hull damage—if any hull damage can be considered 'minor'.

It is possible that we have pushed the limits of our gank fit battleships, stripping armour and resistances from the hulls to provide more room for DPS modules and systems, knowing that the Guardians can compensate considerably for the tanking deficiency. At least our minor troubles with the Sleepers this evening are caused by reversible effects, as we can always slap armour plates back on the ships if necessary.

To end the evening, I think I hear an explosion whilst I am sitting inside the tower's shields in my Buzzard. Riyu has just triggered a smartbomb he has fitted, thinking that the shields would prevent it from firing. Here I am sitting in a ship with a frigate-sized hull and he's letting off a smartbomb. Luckily, I'm not damaged. But Riyu wonders if the shields stopped the damage or if I was out of range, so he flies over to me and fires the smartbomb again, because apparently I didn't act shocked enough the first time. Again luckily, I am not damaged, and I think that's the end of his little experiment. Maybe I'll experiment with wormhole mass limits and his Scorpion.

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