Restraining a Raven

19th May 2010 – 5.13 pm

The corporation has been busy. My colleagues are out of our home system and shooting an off-line tower that they owners didn't feel was worth paying a ransom for. That's a shame, but I suppose as our fleet has already popped the hangars and stolen everything ejected there isn't much left to save. I don't know what system they are all in, nor do I think there is a viable route there any more, so instead of joining them I grab what bookmarks I can find in our shared can and go exploring our local neighbourhood. Rather than head straight out through our static wormhole I take a quick look at the two incoming K162s. One is reaching the end of its life, but the other is quite stable and that's the one I jump through.

I enter the class 2 w-space system and quickly find the occupier's tower. A Drake battlecruiser and Osprey cruiser are manned inside the shields, as is a capsuleer's pod, but the more interesting feature is that their tower is in reinforced mode. As I understand it, a tower can be attacked up to a certain point, after which it enters reinforced mode for up to twenty-four hours, dependent on the amount of strontium fuel reserves. During this time the tower is invulnerable to further attacks, but once the strontium is depleted the tower becomes vulnerable again. There isn't long left on this tower's timer before it is no longer reinforced. The occupants will probably want to restore the shields, and the presence of a high-sec exit to empire space could also tempt them to make a supply run, if they haven't already. There are potential targets here.

To make the opportunity more enticing, the high-sec wormhole is out of scan range from the tower. I bookmark a point about thirty kilometres away from the high-sec wormhole and towards the tower, switch to my new Onyx, and plant it to block the exit. A friendly scout tests the efficacy of this bubble. Warping cloaked from the tower to the wormhole the scout is pulled out of warp in to my bubble, which makes for a good trap should the occupants try to fly out of their system. Warping back presents no such problems, however. It is probably late in the day for them to be making an equipment run anyway, and by myself I won't be able to break the tank of a Drake, so sitting here is ultimately a bit pointless.

A Buzzard appears on d-scan, uncloaked, and I try to narrow down his position, but he cloaks before I can warp to him. I return to sit on the wormhole a bit more, content to find out that the fleet from the earlier tower operation is returning through this high-sec connection. My Onyx is actually protecting the fleet a little. Once they are gone, I return to the wormhole connecting our system, where a corporation Hurricane battlecruiser is sitting waiting for some action to be found, whilst the Buzzard's probes are homing in on it. Before anything happens, a Raven battleship is seen at the tower, moving out of the shields. Ravens are quite sturdy and it would only have to move back in to the tower's shields to break any target locks and be safe, but we have a plan.

The Hurricane pilot returns to refit the ship a little, adding two web modules to drastically slow the Raven's engines. I get in to the only ship I currently have that has any amount of DPS, joined in a second Drake by Fin. Our scout is in position, giving us a good warp-in point on the Raven, clearly communicated. We jump in to the C2 and align to the planet, letting us all enter warp quickly when I activate the squad warp command. Our ships drop almost on top of the Raven, thanks to our scout's position, and we immediately lock, web, and start shooting. We bump the Raven to further frustrate its movements before realising that manoeuvring in between it and the tower is probably a better tactic. All the while our missiles and guns batter down the Raven's shields, and the tower guns fire on us.

The Raven is slowed down and our damage is enough to destroy it, causing a satisfying explosion. The Raven's wreck is looted, I shoot the wreck, and we warp away cleanly. Our Hurricane has taken most of the damage in the fight but we are fine. Checking the Raven's fitting shows that it sacrificed what must have been a shield booster for a shield transfer array, removing most of its tank in preparation to repair the tower's shields. To add further injury to injury, we swap in to a wing of stealth bombers and head back to catch an Osprey or two in the same position. Unfortunately, we are not able to co-ordinate our movements accurately enough whilst cloaked and two ships bump in to each other, decloaking both ships. It is a laughable attempt at a bombing run, particularly as I end up launching a bomb in the wrong direction in a hasty and disastrous attempt to salvage some dignity. We go home instead, happy with the Raven kill.

Before our scout leaves the system, a Phobos heavy interdictor appears along with some battleships, an Apocalypse, Dominix, and two Navy Ravens. They are not at the tower, though, brought out in defence, but come through the high-sec wormhole. The Phobos plants itself on the wormhole and activates its warp bubble, preventing escape, and the battleships warp to the tower and start firing warning shots. Our scout returns, but Fin's curiosity gets the better of her. She jumps through the now-EOL wormhole back to the C2 and starts monitoring the situation. The battleship fleet makes a ransom demand of five billion ISK or they will destroy the tower. Not only do they seem capable of doing so, they are undoubtedly the same pilots who put the tower in to reinforced mode. I think we got lucky, our minor antics occurring before this fleet turns up, particularly sitting my Onyx on the high-sec wormhole and bringing the fleet back through it too. A little later and we would have been in trouble.

The occupants of the C2, now defending their tower, bargain with the pirates, making a counter-offer of one billion ISK. Meanwhile, Fin is trying to sell the occupants passage through our wormhole for a lesser price. It's quite audacious to offer help to people we've just shot, but Fin has the skills to do it. The occupants want to stay, though, and their offer to the pirates of one billion ISK is accepted and paid. The pirates shoot the tower anyway. The occupants can't protect it against the battleship fleet and end up fleeing to hide in safe-spots in the system, perhaps hoping to rebuild later. They are having a really bad day. Fin makes it home before our connecting wormhole implodes and we settle down comfortably in our tower, happy that it's not us under attack.

  1. 2 Responses to “Restraining a Raven”

  2. Seems ohh so adventerous to be a Pirate. Makes for interesting reading. The Ransom parts were interesting as well as funny but interesting.

    I also had no idea Towers had different defensive modes. All interesting things to pick up and learn learning the various depths of the game.

    By Galo on May 22, 2010

  3. There is an awful lot to learn, and I make the occasional mistake, but I'm enjoying being a little pirate out in w-space.

    By pjharvey on May 29, 2010

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