Ambushed outside a tower

22nd July 2010 – 5.19 pm

A nav-comp full of bookmarks makes me want to roam. I launch my Manticore stealth bomber, make sure I have a couple of bombs loaded, and warp off to our home system's static wormhole to look for unsuspecting targets. I find little activity or signs of occupancy in the first couple of systems connecting from our own, but the third has a ship visible on the directional scanner. As the ship is a Buzzard covert operations boat, and normally unseen in its natural state of being cloaked and scanning, I am expecting to find it floating passively in the system occupiers' tower. And, indeed, warping to the tower's location finds the Buzzard too. But the Buzzard isn't inside the tower's shields.

The cov-ops boat is piloted and uncloaked, vulnerable outside the safety of the tower's force field. I don't see any probes on d-scan which would indicate the pilot is actively scanning, explaining his position and perhaps absent-mindedness in forgetting to cloak, but perhaps his probes are on the other side of the system and out of d-scan range. Either way, he looks like a target to me. I try to gauge how far out of the shields this Buzzard is to give me an idea of how likely I am to get the kill before he can get back in and become immune to harm again. Adjusting my view shows that the ship is more than a few kilometres outside of the shields, which should give enough time to do plenty of damage at least. Depending on the pilot's level of attention I could even pop the ship. I have already started to move in to a better position.

I am quite far from the Buzzard and need to be careful not to get too close to the force field, which would break my own ship's cloak. I also think I ought to get close enough to the Buzzard to see the whites of the capsuleer's eyes, because if he is paying attention and has a micro-warp drive my attack is going to be over quickly. I need to get within range of my warp scrambler module to shut down any potential use of an MWD and give me a better shot. My cloaked Manticore manoeuvres its way towards the Buzzard, slowly creeping closer to the oblivious pilot. My concern that the ship will move away or cloak heightens the closer I get, but it doesn't. I get within range to start the attack.

With no ceremony I decloak, lock the Buzzard, and activate my warp scrambler to hold it in place. In a swift movement all my launchers are activated along with a target painter to increase the Buzzard's signature radius. My first volley of torpedoes hits the cov-ops boat, more effective against a painted target, and the Buzzard is remains motionless. A second volley hits and I am feeling confident. And then I get a lock warning, the tower's automatic defences training their weapons on my Manticore. One burst of fire from the defences destroys my ship's shields and I don't even get to turn around before the second obliterates the bomber.

I am left floating in space in my pod, my Manticore no more than a wreck floating within a few kilometres of the still very much intact Buzzard. I am able to warp my pod back to the wormhole heading home and make the jumps to get back to our tower, albeit without the ship I left in. The Buzzard looked like an easy target, but sometimes the situation isn't quite what it seems. I perhaps ought to learn more about different types of tower defences, as I thought I had more time to launch an attack before being targeted myself. However, I imagine the only research I'll do will be more empirical observations.

  1. 2 Responses to “Ambushed outside a tower”

  2. Clever Buzzard pilot and use of POS defense tactic. I can only imagine he saw the whole thing unless he/she completely missed though still in his/her ship. Well at least you now know the tactic and can possibly turn that same trick on someone else possibly.

    Always learn something new on your adventures.

    By Galo on Jul 22, 2010

  3. I imagine I'll just keep blowing up, realistically. But maybe one day I'll learn.

    By pjharvey on Jul 24, 2010

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