Crashing a command ship

4th August 2010 – 5.18 pm

Knowing the static wormhole is being collapsed makes it easy to find the new one. I launch probes from my Buzzard covert operations boat and perform a scan of the entire system prior to the wormhole's implosion, ignoring every result. Once the wormhole collapses I repeat my scan, the new wormhole being the only new signature in the system and thus the sole signal returned on the second scan. I resolve the signature and warp to it, looking for another exit to k-space for allies to bring in some battleships.

Our expert scout is rather more thorough than me and he notices a second new signature in the system, one that wasn't here when he scanned a few hours earlier. He resolves that one to find a K162 wormhole coming from a class 2 w-space system. He jumps in to that C2 to explore whilst I am heading in the other direction, through our static wormhole to a C4. I've been in this C4 system before, about four months ago, and a corporation has staked a claim in here since my last visit. A tower now sits around one of the moons, an Imicus frigate and Iteron hauler piloted in the tower's shields. They don't seem to be doing anything.

The system itself is fairly dry of signatures. I soon find an incoming connection, the distinctive greys of a class 3 system bleeding through the wormhole, as well as the static wormhole also leading to a C3. I want to investigate what activity is occurring on the other side of the K162, which is agreed upon as long as I return to drop what bookmarks I currently have. This will let our scout head through the static connection to the other C3 and we can continue to split our efforts and explore in different directions. I copy the bookmarks to our shared can before returning to jump through to the class 3 system.

The wormhole drops me at a point in the system where the directional scanner is only in range of one planet and its single moon, and a tower is also visibe. Seeing the system is occupied with only a single moon on d-scan means I can warp immediately to the tower, after bookmarking the return wormhole. The Nighthawk command ship I spotted on d-scan is sat piloted in the tower's shields and is joined by a Cormorant destroyer warping in. I make a bookmark to the tower's location and warp off to the inner system to drop scanning probes out of d-scan range of the capsuleers here. But as I reach the inner system and start dropping out of warp I note that the Nighthawk is still visible on d-scan, outside of the tower, now accompanied by a Drake battlecruiser.

I wonder what the ships are doing, whether they are warping to an anomaly or a wormhole, and delay launching probes until I know. Instead, I activate my ship's on-board scanner, which will locate all anomalies within a limited range. The scanning process takes longer without probes but it presents none of the tell-tale signs of activity that probes would. There are loads of anomalies in here! I stay in the solar system map and adjust my view to be centred on my ship. I then rotate my view to position an anomaly in a direct line with my ship. With d-scan's angular resolution narrowed down to 5° I can quickly see if the Nighthawk and Drake are in a particular anomaly. Using d-scan in this way in the system map is awfully convenient and I am confident that the two ships are in one particular anomaly. I warp to the anomaly to find out for sure.

Yes, there are the Nighthawk and Drake, shooting Sleeper ships in the anomaly. I have targets! Neither of the capsuleer ships appears to be moving much and I carefully manoeuvre closer, whilst alerted colleagues start preparing a combat fleet. I get within ten kilometres of the two ships and bookmark my position, hopefully providing a good point to warp to for the fleet. I then warp out and head home to get my own combat ship. An ally already has his Onyx heavy interdictor ready so I opt for a Drake of my own to bring to the fight, its seven heavy launchers providing some solid firepower.

The fleet is ready, mostly battlecruisers. I volunteer a colleague to act as point, asking him to use his Arazu recon ship. It can warp cloaked to the bookmark I made to the Nighthawk and Drake targets and can make adjustments to position himself for the fleet to warp to. I don't want the Onyx to warp to the bookmarked location only to find that our targets have moved, perhaps allowing them to warp away. The Arazu pilot jumps in to the C3 and warps close to the bookmark I made, manoeuvring himself to provide a good reference to the rest of the fleet. The command comes: jump!

We jump en masse through the wormhole and the fleet warps to our colleague's position. The wormhole is out of d-scan range of the anomaly the targets are in so we have some time on our hands. And we drop out of warp on top of the Nighthawk and Drake, the Onyx raising its warp bubble to prevent them both from fleeing. The Nighthawk is called as the primary target and the fleet starts firing.

The Nighthawk has an immense shield. Our firepower is knocking it down but only slowly. I use my own drones to destroy the shield maintenance drones the Nighthawk launches, but this fight will take a while. CCP Claw must be lurking somewhere as a Nemesis stealth bomber of ours is quickly popped, probably for a non-Caldari ship violation. We continue our onslaught on the Nighthawk's shields, the Drake refusing to try to escape the Onyx's bubble in an opposite direction. It takes quite a while but the command ship's shields finally break, its armour and hull being crushed almost in the blink of an eye once the shields are gone. The capsuleer only gets a few seconds to see the wreck of his ship, the pod targeted and destroyed too.

Now we turn our attention to the Drake. Despite generally having an impressive passive shield tank the Drake seems flimsy in comparison to the Nighthawk. The battlecruiser explodes quite quickly after its companion, the capsuleer podded as well. The wrecks are looted, corpses scooped, and we warp out of the pocket to return home, our piracy successful. It is only as we are leaving that I see a diplomatic member of the fleet hinting at ransoming the Drake's pod. I tend to prefer to leave no one behind. Two ships, two pods. I hope it has been an exciting introduction for our pilots new to w-space.

  1. 2 Responses to “Crashing a command ship”

  2. Good stuff.

    Hope I don't blunder into a wormhole near you, you seem to have this all down to a fine art.

    They didn't even get a chance to spot a probe on D Scan if I have read correctly.

    By Stabs on Aug 4, 2010

  3. Thanks. We're getting better, that's for sure. And, no, no probes were necessary.

    By pjharvey on Aug 5, 2010

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