Wrecking a Rook

10th October 2010 – 3.25 pm

There are bookmarks in the can, so I don't need to scan. I'll take my Manticore stealth bomber out for a roam, and with a few sites also bookmarked along with wormholes I may be able to cause some trouble. Our home system's static wormhole is as healthy as wormholes come and leads me in to a system I last explored a month ago, remaining as unoccupied now as it was then. I warp across the class 4 w-space system to venture through the static connection to a C5. My directional scanner is clear of activity after my jump in to the class 5 system, but the system is big and it is only after I warp around for a while that I appreciate just how empty space is. But there is still a wormhole leading to a C3 to explore, along with a K162 coming from a C4.

I head to the class 3 system first, as the wormhole is closer to my current position. Jumping in to the system sees a tower and Orca on d-scan, although I suspect the industrial command ship is unpiloted at the tower and unstowed because of its size. I find the tower and the unpiloted Orca, and a second, off-line tower elsewhere in the system, but no activity. I briefly poke my bow through a wormhole opened from null-sec space, for another red dot of exploration, appearing in 5-2PQU in Insmother. The null-sec system is not particularly interesting, aside from bordering with the Cache region, and I return to w-space. The C3's static connection only leads to low-sec empire space and heading back in to the C5 finds the bookmarked K162 no longer present. All is quiet, so I head home to take a break.

On my return a fleet has formed to engage Sleepers, a standard formation of battleships and Guardians being flown for the operation. I consider throwing my Tengu strategic cruiser in to the action but the fleet calls for some ECM support, and I have steered some training in that general direction. It is probably best to get some experience flying ECM boats against Sleepers and I am asked to bring a colleague's Rook recon ship out to fight, which sounds like fun to me. I board the unfamiliar vessel, make sure all the systems are on-line and functional, and warp to join the fleet.

Sleepers are locked, ECM systems are activated, and I get some successful jams. All looks peachy. A couple of failed jams inevitably brings the ire of the Sleepers down on me and the concentrated fire evapourates the Rook's shields pretty quickly, but that is only to be expected in an armour-tanked fleet configuration. My armour starts to drop—again to be expected, as repairs cannot be effected by the Guardians until damage is taken—and continues to drop. I start to hear warning alarms and I am aligning in preparation of an emergency warp, but too quickly the Rook pops, less than five minutes after I first board the ship.

There is no need to attribute blame here. It's immaterial whether my ship was added to the watch list or not, the new Guardian logistics pilot was paying quite enough attention, or if I was sitting entirely stationary when the Rook is 'supposed to be speed-tanking, flown like your Tengu'. Yes, there's no need to attribute blame because I am entirely at fault. I'll know for the next time I'm lent an ECM boat. And that time is surprisingly sooner than I expect, coming immediately after the anomaly is cleared. The fleet is continuing the Sleeper operation in to our neighbouring C4 with me in an ECM Scorpion, probably because I am less likely to destroy a battleship quite so quickly as a cruiser-sized recon ship. Or my colleagues have exceedingly short memories.

I think this is possibly my first serious flight in a battleship. I know I have sat my pod in a few before, moving a Rokh here, destabilising a wormhole in a Raven there, but I can't recall having flown one in to actual combat. I should perhaps get used to it, and the hull in particular, for my current skill training goal. Returning my focus to the present, the ECM bonuses the Scorpion gets lets me keep good control over the Sleeper battleships' systems, and the larger hull makes it more resilient to damage spikes. The anomaly is completed without any problems and we move in to a harder magnetometric site, looking to plunder some Sleeper artefacts. Again, the fleet works as a coherent unit and the site is cleared of Sleeper presence, ready for a salvager and analyser boat to sweep behind us.

We press on to the final site in the system, a radar site full of Sleeper databanks. Even the four battleships of the last wave cause no issues, the alpha damage quickly repaired by the logistics pilots before the ECM reduces damage to a trickle. It's all going so smoothly that I have to wonder why the ECM modules don't project beams of awesome from my ship. 'They do', says the squad leader, 'but they are too awesome to be seen'. That's not awesome enough. As a logistics pilot myself I've experienced the effect fleet ECM has on incoming damage—having coasted through the minimal damage when ECM has been available, and concentrated hard to repair the vicious damage that four Sleeper battleships can sustain—and it is rewarding to be able to personally bring such support to a fleet. Expanding my roles and understanding their intricacies in both PvP and PvE keeps me feeling useful and a benefit to the corporation. Getting the Scorpion home intact tonight is a bonus.

  1. One Response to “Wrecking a Rook”

  2. That sucks loosing the Rook that fast especially someone elses ship too.

    I like ECM looking to pick up more skills in it eventually when can get back to more combat training.

    By Ardent Defender on Oct 19, 2010

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