Pengu and HAM

2nd August 2010 – 5.12 pm

Our scout has eyes on targets, a Drake and a cloaking Tengu. Both are piloted and seem to be alert but are staying inside their tower for now. To get the battlecruiser and strategic cruiser to come out and play the scout has a plan. He swaps to a Proteus strategic cruiser and plants it casually—but not too casually—in orbit around a planet. But he isn't alone, my Onyx heavy interdictor and an ally's Raven battleship are sitting on the other side of the wormhole in to the system. If the bait is taken we can jump through to spring the trap.

Maybe the two pilots aren't paying any attention, sitting in the safety of their tower's shields. The Proteus lurks for a while but we get no reaction. Our time will be put to better use shooting Sleepers in our neighbouring class 4 w-space system, so we head back home and board our own strategic cruisers. We jump a Legion and two Tengu ships in to the adjacent system, warping to one of the anomalies present. Sleeper combat is quick and simple in a fleet of three Tech III ships. Our combined firepower easily punches through the Sleepers' armour whilst any one of our ships is capable of withstanding the combined incoming fire.

There is a fair bit of sub-warp travel needed between each wave of Sleepers, as they can appear over a hundred kilometres away and my heavy assault missiles only have a quarter of that range, but I use this time to reload. In fact, I find I have plenty of opportunities to reload when trying to get in to range of a the next target. It has been suggested that I use ordinary heavy missiles because of their longer range and it would certainly preclude my having to be so agile in combat. But even heavy missile launchers have to reload and I am merely shifting that time. There may be times when I am not shooting because I am out of range but, because I use that time to reload, when I can shoot I am shooting.

I also am quite enjoying the active state of combat in Pengu. I find I can't simply focus on the current target but need to bear in mind the likely following target, determining the best path between the two ships to reduce range difficulties whilst maintaining a good transversal velocity to mitigate incoming damage. Using the shorter-range heavy assault missiles not only increases my DPS but also keeps me more aware of my surroundings. And firing hundreds of missiles is a refreshing change from the months of piloting logistic ships in to combat.

The first anomaly is cleared. As this C4 system is occupied we don't want to leave behind our profit for others to claim and as I enjoy it I volunteer to salvage. I swap Pengu back at the tower for my salvaging Cormorant destroyer and sweep up the wrecks I just helped create. My salvaging is quicker than the strategic cruisers can shoot Sleepers, even with a fourth capsuleer joining us in his Tengu, and I drop the gathered loot off at the tower and return in Pengu to help shoot Sleepers again. A second and third anomaly are cleared, again after each one I swap to salvage before returning in Pengu to continue the assault. What an ideal afternoon... in space!

A fourth anomaly is cleared and the Legion pilot offers to salvage instead, returning to swap ships whilst the final scattered Sleepers are destroyed. As it is the last site we are planning to clear for now we keep our combat ships in the pocket to help protect the salvager. It looks like we may need the protection as a Buzzard covert operations boat is briefly seen on the directional scanner, shortly followed by a scanning probe. Only one probe is needed to find all anomalies in the system in one scan and a single probe indicates a ship looking for anomalies—and any ships inside them—and not one scanning for wormholes. But our salvaging is smooth and efficient and we clear the site before we can be interrupted, getting back home with a total of a little over one hundred million ISK profit each for the evening.

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