Back in the Damnation

12th June 2010 – 3.28 pm

The static wormhole collapses on demand, disappearing after the Orca returns home. The new static wormhole is found and jumped through, revealing an unoccupied class 4 w-space system with ten signatures and two anomalies for us to plunder. It doesn't seem like much, with a suggestion to collapse this new wormhole too, but with limited time the pair of anomalies and radar sites could be enough. We should at least clear the sites available before thinking about collapsing the wormhole, which seems like the best idea.

I suggest clearing the two anomalies first before entering the radar site, which would enable us to ingore the despawn timer for the sites. Normally we take on the harder and more profitable sites first, but in the case of radar and magnetometric sites the databanks and artefacts that hold the extra loot despawn with the site, whereas ship wrecks persist in space for longer. To recover the extra loot we would need to dedicate one pilot to remain in the site, preferably collecting the loot, whilst the rest of the fleet continues on to the anomalies. Anomalies only have Sleeper ships and thus only leave wrecks, so by clearing the anomalies first we only need to bookmark a wreck to return later to collect the loot, and ending in a radar site doesn't compromise the strength of the fleet. However, there are two radar sites so my idea doesn't quite work, but I have a second idea.

Our previous Sleeper engagement saw the Guardian pilots, of which I was one, struggle with trying to feed three greedy and two peckish battleships with excess capacitor energy from our two spare transfer arrays, which turned out to be more frustrating than challenging. I think I can help a little. The corporation has had capsuleers training for the Guardian, understanding the undesirable nature of cancelling operations because of a single pilot's unavailability, so I am not always needed to fly one of the logistic ships. What I can pilot instead is my Damnation. With its role as a fleet command ship and my previous training I can fit three armoured warfare links, to increase the armour resistances of all ships in the fleet, reduce the amount of capacitor required for repper modules, and to reduce the cycle time of reppers. Piloting the Damnation will reduce the damage needed to repair, make repairs faster, and reduce the energy burden of repairs to make more available to transfer to other ships. I can also refit the Damnation so that it can hack in to databanks.

A quick re-configuration of my command ship lets me put three codebreaker modules in to its mid slots. Swapping the micro-warp drive for a reheat keeps the ship cap-stable, whilst I am able to fit and run all three warfare links and still have 105,000 EHP. My only compromise is targeting range, but I need to be close to the databanks and am unlikely to be contributing too much to damage anyway. The fleet command ship is designed for range and survivability, providing support to all the ships in the fleet more than heavy firepower. Running in this configuration will let us clear the radar sites actively, and although the Damnation becomes the equivalent of a trailing hacker boat the warfare links provide a tangible benefit to the fleet.

The radar sites run quite smoothly. The Guardian pilots seem quite happy with the boosted effects of their modules and there don't appear to be any panics when multiple Sleeper battleships warp in. I am able to hack in to the Sleeper databases, although there is a hitch when an escalation produces a deserted Talocan cruiser, which despawns with the site and requires salvaging to recover its contents. We are not quite self-sufficient. But for all the good my unbonussed heavy missile launchers are doing I ponder the option for future operations of removing all of the launchers and fitting salvaging modules and tractor beams instead.

Certainly, if we have a fleet that could accommodate it I think a salvaging, hacking, and analysing Damnation running armoured warfare links would be an asset, particularly when we would rather not leave the wrecks behind in the sites for too long. And as we have recently been attacking salvaging ships of other corporations' operations, and successfully, it seems wise to have the salvager be protected by the fleet whenever possible. As for tonight, a separate salvager turns up to clear up behind us in the anomalies, and he grabs the Talocan cruiser at a convenient moment so that we can move to the next radar site. The two anomalies and two radar sites are cleared for a profit of seventy-five million ISK each. Despite recently losing and replacing two Onyx heavy interdictors, and earlier a Buzzard, this evening's payment pushes my wallet over three billion ISK. I probably ought to spend more of it on new ships, not just replacements.

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