Back to shooting Sleepers

29th November 2010 – 5.05 pm

All is quiet. As looks to be part of a new routine, my first task is to scan the class 4 w-space system for any changes. Although the system had to stabilise on my arrival that doesn't preclude a wormhole having connected to us earlier, and it is good to know if we may have some nosy neighbours. I still have my list of sites from a previous full scan of the home system, and there are some changes. Only five signatures now accompany the three anomalies, and I resolve one ladar and three gravimetric sites along with the current static wormhole. I update my bookmarks, deleting those for sites no longer present, before warping to the wormhole to see what the adjacent class 3 system holds today.

My directional scanner shows me a Badger hauler briefly, before disappearing on a subsequent d-scan. There is no tower visible, but I have been in this system before and my notes list a tower as being out of d-scan range. I bookmark the wormhole home and warp away, finding the tower unmoved from three months ago. A piloted Hulk exhumer sits inside the shields next to an unoccupied Armageddon battleship, but promptly vanishes as the Badger seen minutes before warps in to the safety of the tower's shields. I didn't see if the Hulk warped away or not, and the thought of catching a miner so soon after moving back in to w-space is exciting, so I move to the inner system but see no sign of the ship on d-scan.

Warping back to the tower finds no trace of the Badger now either, which suggests I entered moments after their mining operation finished. I may not have a miner to catch, but at least I can be fairly confident that the occupants won't be active for at least a short while. I scan peacefully, finding the C3 to be kept quite clean. I resolve the gravimetric site the Hulk must have been mining in, and I warp in to bookmark a rock or two in case of its return, along with a magnetometric site. There is not much to plunder here. The system's static wormhole leads to low-sec empire space, apparently a common feature of C3s our system connects to, but the exit system is too deep in low-sec and too far from home to make me consider bringing more ships in.

The only other signature in the class 3 system is an anomaly, and with the systems sleepy I collect my Tengu strategic cruiser from home to engage Sleepers for the first time since moving in to the C4. I am not used to fighting C3 Sleepers, though, and don't know the range of anomalies and their patterns like I do for class 4 systems. I am hoping my ignorance won't be an issue, as the Tengu can survive C4 Sleepers so it should be fine against their C3 variants. But when I have two battleships and four frigates all webbing my cruiser, a ship that relies on mitigating damage with its speed, my shields take quite a pounding. It doesn't help that I am getting in to the habit of ignoring the Argos guns—they despawn with the site and, as they drop no loot and cannot be salvaged, only waste ammunition.

But my shields cope with the constant barrage of damage, and my heavy assault missiles are quick to take down the frigates. Sleeper battleships take longer to pop, but their armour is whittled down and I'm not in any great hurry. My main concern is with the range of my HAMs. I remember taking Pengu in to a C3 before and being unable to engage webbing cruisers that like to maintain a distance beyond the range of my missiles. If I am likely to be facing Sleepers alone regularly I should consider changing the heavy assault missiles for standard heavy missiles, which have a much better range albeit with a lower rate-of-fire.

Overall, combat is smooth this evening, even if I trigger secondary and tertiary waves earlier than is optimal. I keep a vigilant watch on d-scan, in case the occupants return or a tourist ventures in through the open connection to low-sec, but no one appears. Just the one anomaly means I am stowing my Tengu after only a brief sortie, getting my Cormorant destroyer out to salvage the wrecks. At least I return safely with the sixty million ISK or so of loot, and hopefully I am starting to get back in to the habit of making iskies.

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