Neutralising a Nidhoggur

6th August 2010 – 5.12 pm

I'm not quite sure what I'm seeing. I've just ganked two ships mining gas, only podding one of the pilots because the other got away, and now a Nidhoggur carrier has appeared on my overview. I think this is the first time I've seen a carrier being piloted in space and am not quite sure what to expect. Indeed, I finish looting the second gas miner wreck before deciding that perhaps I should warp my Onyx heavy interdictor out of the pocket. As far as I can tell, the carrier hasn't taken any aggressive actions yet. Apart from being a carrier.

I warp out cleanly, the carrier's fighters launching around the Nidhoggur as I leave. But my colleage in the Lachesis recon ship is rather more fearless than me and has charged towards the carrier. He announces he has the Nidhoggur 'pointed'—its warp engines disrupted—and that he is shooting its fighters. I turn around at the wormhole and head back. His ship is more fragile than my HIC and if he is confident in tackling the carrier then I can at least provide what support I can. Besides which, the Ishtar heavy assault ship and Drake battlecruiser that weren't in time to shoot the miners have now arrived. And a couple more pilots are preparing ships to come and help shoot a carrier.

The Lachesis pilot seems to be okay. I activate the Onyx's warp bubble when I return and trap the Nidhoggur, relieving some of the pressure from the recon ship, and our combat ships start shooting. Unsurprisingly, the carrier can easily repair any damage we can do to it but at least it hasn't called in reinforcements yet, if it can. We need to deplete its capacity to repair, which means neutralising the energy in its capacitor. The carrier is under control, letting some pilots return to bring more appropriately fitted ships. Three battleships help us shoot and neutralise the carrier but it still isn't quite enough. We can only hope that we can maintain the damage and energy drain longer than the carrier pilot can repair, but after a while the Nidhoggur disappears. He must have logged off, probably causing his client to crash to keep his repper modules active. It's not a kill but I'll take it as a small victory.

We have some big ships in the system and, back at the wormhole before we jump out, I remind the fleet that there is a tower devoid of defences here. Out of the spirit of adventure, or spite at the carrier pilot's disappearance, the fleet warps to the tower and starts shooting. It is only a small tower and may well be possible to destroy, although even if we can overcome its shields the tower will enter reinforced mode if it has any strontium in its fuel bays. But if the owners haven't bothered to configure any defences maybe they didn't think strontium was necessary either.

As the combat ships shoot the tower I am asked to return with my Buzzard covert operations boat and scan the system for wormholes, to help ensure our safety in the system. Shooting a tower anchored to a celestial object makes us rather easy to find. I scan the system and find two wormholes. One is the system's static connection, the other is a K162. Both connect to other class 5 w-space systems, like this one, and both wormholes are reaching the end of their natural lifetimes. We should be relatively safe. I park my Buzzard again and swap for a Drake battlecruiser to help shoot the tower.

Our Lachesis pilot is not moving from the ladar site where the Nidhoggur both appeared and disappeared. He knows that if the carrier returns and warps to the tower it will be able to repair in short order any damage we can do to the tower, negating our entire assault. If, however, he keeps his Lachesis nearby and can lock and point the carrier if it returns the carrier will remain neutralised. He's pretty smart sometimes. His theory that the carrier will return to repair the tower seems to be confirmed when a pod warps in to the ladar site and out again, no doubt checking to see if it is safe for the carrier to return. Our pilot also wonders if perhaps the carrier has the tower's supply of strontium in its hold, another reason why the corporation wants to get the carrier back to the tower.

Shooting the tower is slow. Its shields are slowly depleting, although our damage drops slightly when one of the fleet's drones drifts too far and is caught inside the tower's shields, shutting the drone down completely. 'If anyone asks', the owner says, 'this is an innocent drone recovery mission'. It is as good a reason as any and we keep shooting. The tower's owners don't seem particularly uspet that we are shooting them, but it doesn't look like they have any ships to attack us with. The only ships inside the tower are a hauler and mining barge and there is no ship maintenance array. Perhaps all their combat ships are in the carrier's hangar and another consequence of having their pilot off-line is that they cannot retaliate to our threat. It is beginning to look like even more of a mistake to have warped the Nidhoggur in to the ladar site.

A voice pipes up in the w-space local channel, 'you need just 24 hours for fun', probably referring to the length of time a tower stays in reinforced mode and no doubt pointing to the futility of attacking a tower in w-space with its volatile connections. But it is more likely a bluff. The fleet is about to reach the peak recharge point of the tower's shields and if we can overcome that we will soon see just how vulnerable the tower is. The capsuleer who spoke in the local channel warps in to the ladar site and out again, still hoping that they can get their carrier back, as the tower's shields hit 30% strength. Then 28% and lower. We have enough firepower, the shields are going down. All that remains to be seen is what happens when we inflict the first point of armour damage, whether the tower has any strontium in it or not. The shields go down to 26% and keep falling, and we strike armour.

The tower enters reinforced mode, but only for four hours. There is some strontium in the tower's fuel bay after all, but far from a full load. Even so, it looks like it will be enough. We may have the firepower and the active wormhole connection, but the wormhole could be collapsed, or just threatened. We could keep a scanning boat in the system and find a way back to k-space for our fleet after destroying the tower, with a second scanning boat at our tower also finding a way in, but we're not quite that dedicated. It is also late already. In four hours it will be the wee hours of the morning. The fleet heads home.

It was an exciting evening. Engaging a Nidhoggur carrier and then laying siege to a tower, whilst maintaining firm control of the system. Perhaps if the tower had no strontium the position of the defenders would have been different but our fleet was capable and ready to attack. I look forwards to more adventures like this!

  1. 8 Responses to “Neutralising a Nidhoggur”

  2. To add one thing:
    While after we started shooting, a dread belonging to different corp but same alliance logged in at tower, flew closer to it, and logged after some time.
    It seems likely that the tower did not in fact have any stront, and only thing that saved it was dread's small supply that he transferred at that time.

    By Mick Straih on Aug 6, 2010

  3. I'm not in any way familiar with w-space other than poking my head in on occasion for possible targets (no luck yet) so feel free to correct me if I'm wrong. However, I've heard cap ships can't pass through wormholes smaller than C6, and even heard rumor that caps can't get into C6's either. With only a small tower in system, I'm curious where the ships could've come from.

    Oh, and thanks for finishing! I think I have a few less hairs though. :)

    By Selina on Aug 6, 2010

  4. Its interesting the Nidhoggur got away. Did you not keep a point on him aside from the warp bubble? I believe deaggressed targets can logofski out of a bubble, but they definitely can't from a Warp Disruptor.

    By Arrhidaeus on Aug 6, 2010

  5. Thanks for the extra information, Mick. We got close to taking down that tower.

    I'm glad you enjoyed the adventure, Selina. I think some capital ships can pass through C5/6 wormholes, although I'm not entirely sure about the details. It is interesting to consider how those ships ended up in that system, particularly with such a threadbare operation in place.

    I must admit I don't know exactly how the mechanics work, Arrhidaeus, but I understand that fifteen minutes after logging off a ship with aggression will warp away whatever the circumstances. I would appreciate any clarification, though. I can't recall if we had an extra point on the Nidhoggur but maybe we didn't in the end, after swapping to neutralising fits.

    By pjharvey on Aug 6, 2010

  6. As for capships, it depends on wh, some let capital ships in.
    I'm not entirely sure but i think big enough whs can only open to/from c5 and c6, simliarly how c1 will only have sub-BS sized whs in/out of it.
    Tho for some systems, such wh will be rare. For example c5 with c4 static would not, most of the time, have any way for cap ship to enter, as c4 wh (e175 iirc) will be too small.
    You can check masses on different wh types at some websites. for example here:

    In this case i'd say capships were flown in through a null sec entrance, either directly or via the system's static c5 connection.

    By Mick Straih on Aug 6, 2010

  7. Had came across this thread not long ago that related to some rules of logging off in space and with aggression:

    So hope it helps.

    By Ardent Defender on Aug 7, 2010

  8. Thanks, AD, that's some good information.

    There still seems to be some doubt as to whether a pointed ship will warp off after fifteen minutes, though.

    By pjharvey on Aug 8, 2010

  9. Cap ships can also be built inside Wh, as one of the corps within my alliance did

    By Mardios on Aug 12, 2010

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