Aiming quick and low

13th January 2011 – 5.05 pm

I have a new scanning routine. I know that I really need to switch to combat scanning probes when hunting, negating the need to warp to a mining site, and potentially getting spotted should I get decloaked on a rock or cloud, but I much prefer the simplicity of core scanning probes for general exploration. And there is a way to use the right probes for the task. In the home system I launch core probes and scan as normal, as I am only looking for new sites and the static wormhole. But, once probes are launched, I reload my probe launcher with combat probes. When I resolve the static connection I can recall the core probes to my hold and jump in to the next system with combat probes primed to launch should there be a target to hunt. If the system doesn't hold a target I have the time to reload with core probes, for simpler scanning, and I can repeat the process for each system I encounter.

Today looks to be a good day to have my new operation procedure, as scanning the home system resolves a K162 wormhole from a class 2 w-space system. I sense activity on the other side, and jumping through finds it. My directional scanner shows me three towers, a Proteus strategic cruiser, Manticore stealth bomber, and Badger hauler, but also some Sleeper wrecks. Someone is active, and I'm betting it's the Proteus. Unfortunately, there is no room in this compact system to launch probes without being spotted, but fortunately the Proteus is probably only in an anomaly, which can be found with a passive scan. I start the scan and refine my d-scan search, noting that the Proteus is running by himself. The number of wrecks visible suggests he is not salvaging as he shoots, so if I find the anomaly I may be able to catch whichever pilot clears up behind him.

Fin, however, has grander plans. 'Maybe we can neutralise the Proteus', she suggests, actively thinking about the bigger target, whereas my instincts were to wait for something softer. I like her style. My scan has finished and there is only one anomaly returned, luckily the one the Proteus sits in. I warp in, don't bump off any structure, and bookmark a couple of wrecks, but noting that nothing is close enough to the strategic cruiser to let us ambush it quickly and effectively. I relay this information as Fin considers ships choice. I discard the Onyx heavy interdictor early, knowing that its main utility is in capturing pods and, with just the two of us, we need to concentrate on the Proteus kill first and foremost. A Pilgrim recon ship may be a good choice, but we are still uncertain as to what other ship would make a good pairing.

It makes little odds, as the Proteus warps out of the anomaly. I have moved my Buzzard covert operations boat away too, to check the rest of the system passively for other anomalies. The pilot may not be content to complete one anomaly if there are more to do, and I indeed find a second one. But maybe the pilot wants to guarantee his profit, as he doesn't warp onwards to more combat. I urge Fin in to a stealth bomber and to come to the system quickly, in case a Noctis salvager appears, before remembering that I impetuously jumped in to this system without sharing the bookmark back at the tower. I didn't think there'd be quite an immediate opportunity for action. I rush homewards myself, swapping ships and copying bookmarks for Fin to follow, barely stopping as I warp back to the wormhole coming from the C2.

A punch of d-scan sees the Proteus gone and a Cormorant destroyer in its place, not a Noctis but no doubt a salvaging vessel. I warp in to the anomaly, using a bookmark I made of one of the wrecks, dropping thirty kilometres short to see the Cormorant busily salvaging. I am only six kilometres from a wreck, my lack of caution almost causing my discovery, but I am also thirty kilometres from the Cormorant itself. I manoeuvre around the wreck and close on the destroyer, getting closer so that I can activate a warp disruptor on him soon after the bomb launch. I align my Manticore, decloak, and launch!

The bomb glides towards the Cormorant gracefully, as I burst in to a flurry of activity. I lock the target, start a careful burn towards him, and prepare my weapon systems. I wait for the bomb to detonate, ravaging the Cormorant's shields, and fire my siege launchers, burning harder towards the salvager and getting my warp disruptor engaged, preventing him from fleeing. Only a couple of volleys of torpedoes are needed after the bomb's explosion, and the destroyer is destroyed. My Manticore's active sensor booster even makes my targeting systems fast enough to lock the pilot's ejected pod, which I point and shoot too.

All too quickly I am left looking at a wreck and a corpse, amidst broken Sleeper ships, just as Fin enters the system. Damn, it was just too opportune, and too fast. Speed is often essential, and I had to go on ahead at least to reconnoitre. And when the Cormorant was in the middle of my sights I had to shoot, particularly with two other ships in the system that may or may not be piloted. I had to take the shot, I'm sorry Fin. But she doesn't seem to mind too much, actually believing my first reaction of 'all done' to mean that the salvager had finished and warped off, not that I had popped and podded him. It was a bit of a blur.

I scoop the corpse, and loot and shoot the wreck, trace analysis revealing nine melted nanoribbons—the most valuable Sleeper salvage—not surviving the initial explosion. Never mind, I don't really do this for the iskies. Still in my stealth bomber I finally get around to fully checking the system, finding the Manticore and Badger seen earlier both unpiloted in different towers. A Heron frigate now joins the Manticore in one of the towers, reshipping to a Drake battlecruiser, warping out, and exiting the system. I think it's time I scanned the system properly myself, and head home with Fin to get back in to my Buzzard.

  1. 8 Responses to “Aiming quick and low”

  2. Out of curiosity, what do you do with the corpses?

    By M on Jan 13, 2011

  3. Oh, nothing really. By the way, do you like my new leather jacket? It has a rather unusual feel to it, don't you think?

    By pjharvey on Jan 13, 2011

  4. It puts the lotion on its skin...

    By Nathan J. Fealko on Jan 14, 2011

  5. Loving the blog, been reading it for a while and enjoy every post. Planning to plunge into some WH's myself and looking at moving my alts corp into the WH life.

    Keep up the awesome work.

    By Durzo Smith on Jan 14, 2011

  6. Heh =P

    By M on Jan 14, 2011

  7. it puts the lotion on it's skin or it gets the hose again....yip yip barks the dog!


    By manasi on Jan 19, 2011

  8. Fun read! Good fighting too!

    Now, what about that Stealth Bomber fit? Care to share it?

    By Akely on Feb 2, 2011

  9. Rather than hide the details in a comment I thought I'd create a post, particularly as Fin and I have been discussing our fitting recently, to optimise our damage.

    My Manticore fitting can be found contained in a post I've written for Fin's blog.

    By pjharvey on Feb 4, 2011

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